What Skills Do You Need to Be a Content Writer?

Content is the backbone of all types of marketing today. And content marketing is no different. With a rise in content marketing, the demand for content writers has increased significantly. If you are planning to become a content writer, you must develop the right skills to get hired quickly. What skills do you need to be a content writer is what’s covered in this article in detail.

The content marketing market is expected to grow by $417.85 billion during 2021-25. And this means the supporting content writing market will grow too. So, being a content writer and starting your career as a writer is a great choice.

You won’t regret it.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Content Writer?

Being a content writer isn’t easy. You must possess multiple soft and technical skills to do a great job and outperform your competitors. Here are the key skills you need to become a content writer:

  1. Writing
  2. Research
  3. Creativity
  4. Adaptability
  5. SEO
  6. Communication
  7. Time management
  8. Tech-savvy.

1. Writing Skills

Perhaps the most crucial skill to be a content writer is exceptional writing skills. And this means you must be someone who has a built-in passion for writing. Needless to say, you must have above-average knowledge of the English language.

No, if you love texting all day to your friends, it doesn’t mean you are a good writer or could become one. Here is what makes good writing:

writing skills

2. Research

Writing for the web today is much more advanced and different than it was a few years back. Today’s content writers need to do a lot of research to generate content that will outperform existing top-performing content.

Content writing techniques like 10x content, cornerstone content, skyscraper technique, and others require writers to have exceptional research skills.

Here is how the 10x content technique works:

10x content strategy

You can’t do this without research, right?

3. Creativity

Creativity is defined as the ability to generate new ideas to solve complex problems and come up with something new. It plays a key role in content writing as creativity helps you come up with new ideas, thoughts, and possibilities.

If you want to be a creative writer (the writer who expresses ideas in an imaginative way), you must possess a high degree of creativity. Creativity has four key elements:

  1. Originality
  2. Fluency of ideas
  3. Problem sensitivity
  4. Flexibility of thoughts.
Four elements of creativity

Creativity skill is more related to solving problems by generating new and original ideas. This applies to all content writing formats. You must have the ability to convert complex ideas into easy to understand content.

4. Adaptability

When you are writing web content, you must have adaptability and flexibility skills. You must have the ability to adjust to new conditions quickly:

what is adaptability

This is because things on the internet change very quickly. We’re living in a digital and tech-powered era where things change on a daily basis. Take the example of Google search engine algorithm updates. Google updates its algorithm up to 600x a year. As a content writer, you need to quickly adapt to the changing search engine algorithm for content optimization.

5. SEO

Search engine optimization is another important skill for content writers. Optimizing content for search engines is important for search engine ranking and organic traffic. As a content writer, you must know the basics of SEO, especially on-page SEO. 

Here are a few on-page SEO factors that all content writers must have an understanding of:

  • Title tag
  • Heading tags
  • Meta description
  • Keyword optimization
  • Image optimization
  • Content formatting (make it easy to read and skim)
  • Graphics and media.

Well-written content that’s not optimized for search engines is useless because it won’t rank in any search engine. SEO is one of the most important skills you need to be a content writer.

6. Communication

Whether you are a freelance content writer or work full-time for a company, you need to communicate and collaborate with a lot of people. Communication skill makes you convey your message to others and understand other people’s messages.

It involves all forms of communication including:

  1. Verbal
  2. Nonverbal
  3. Written
  4. Visual.
communication types

It is hard for content writers to work alone in isolation. It never happens. You’ll always be a part of a team where you have to communicate (and collaborate) regularly with your peers.

7. Time Management

Businesses use content calendars to ensure they have enough content in the pipeline for the coming weeks. You can’t be a great content writer if you can’t meet deadlines. If you plan to work as a freelancer, time management skill is of the essence.

You’ll be managing everything yourself. There will be no boss who will nudge you. If you have poor time management skills, you might end up having a lot of unhappy clients.

Here is a nice priority matrix to help you manage time and tasks effectively:

Time Management Skills

Once you master the art of prioritizing tasks based on their importance, you’ll be able to meet deadlines smartly. It is a smart way to do things and allocate your time to the right tasks.

8. Tech Savvy

An average business uses 88 apps to do business effectively. Content writers have to use several apps and tools on a daily basis such as keyword research tools, SEO apps, content optimization tools, AI tools, and more.

Content writers have no choice but to be tech savvy. You’ll be using new and different tools. You must be technology-friendly and a quick learner. The apps aren’t just limited to content writing but there is an app for everything.

Tech savvy skill is an absolute must for content writers.

How to Get the Right Skills

The best way to learn these content writing skills is to use free tests and certifications. You might be poor at a few skills and might be great at others. Work on skills that you feel you aren’t good at.

You can use psychometric free tests to measure your skills. Then, register in certifications and training programs to improve your weaknesses. Certifications are best because you don’t have to convince your employer that you have this skill. The certificate will do this for you.

Featured Image: Pexels

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