The skills you need to be a successful content writer

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Many people think that writing for a living is a fantastic way to earn a crust – and they would be right. Writing as a way of making a living is amazing. And you will find that the majority of your work will be writing for other people. So, the question arises – What skills do you need to be a successful content writer ? This article is designed to give you an overview of these skills.

Writing for a living is a few things. It is –

  • Often a lonely way to work
  • Fulfilling to see your work out there in the public domain
  • Challenging to work to deadlines and for varied clients

With this in mind, you should know what you are letting yourself in for before you set out on this road. My book, How To Become A Freelance Content Writer: Make Money By Writing At Home to find out more about the practical side of becoming a content writer.

Let’s take a look in more detail at the skills you need to be a successful content writer today.

successful content writer - success feels amazing

Successful content writers find the right voice

You will work for a variety of clients, so the first skill that you will need to become  a successful content writer is finding the voice that matches the client. For instance, you might be writing for an accountant in the morning and a clothing company in the afternoon. These require very different voices. It is a matter of writing styles. The way you establish the right voice is by looking at the 3 C’s –

  1. Current – the content your client is presently producing
  2. Competitors – what others in their marketplace are successful with
  3. Customers – what the people who will buy from them want to hear

Putting all of this together means you have the perfect voice for each client. May I suggest you produce a client sheet for each of the people you write for. This way you can be consistent with each client and get the results they want. You can find out more about this skill in a previous blog.

Successful content writers know their topics

This goes hand in hand with the above skill. Knowing just the right thing to write for a client is a skill that the most successful content writers will have honed over time. But you can take a short cut to success here. Don’t guess or imagine what might help you write successfully for your clients. Do the research. Look at what the competition is producing and make sure you have those bases covered. When I say ‘the competition,’ you should search for those that are successful in their content marketing – and remember that this might not be those that are the most successful at business overall.

To be successful here, you should carry out three main tasks –

  1. Work on the keywords. Successful content writers know the right keywords and use them effectively. Look at the likes of BuzzSumo for some inspiration.
  2. See what is getting to the top of the Google searches for these terms. It will help you to craft something similar.
  3. Think about the headline you use. It should be to the point and work well with Google – i.e. it should have the search term included.

getting these right will allow you to develop into a successful content writer and wow your clients. This is the way forward for a successful content writer in the current market.

successful content writer - what is success to you?

Successful content writers engage

One of the key measure of the success of a piece of content is the way it is engaged with. Writing something that looks great is one thing. Writing something that delivers a result is another (often entirely different) thing. Success in content writing is all about the engagement figures. If people don’t click to buy at the end of the content then it isn’t delivering the required results.

So, successful content writers will always have one eye on the commercial side of things. You should set up Google Analytics on each site so you can see the traffic and what it is doing. If this is a little complicated, then ask a friendly web developer to help you. It will help you to see the engagement levels – a critical measure of success.

Successful content writers produce something original

Let’s get straight to the point here – if you copy the content of others then it will perform badly for your clients. It is all well and good doing the research to find out what might be successful. But then you need to put your own slant on things. Simply copying the ideas of someone else will leave you high and dry when it comes to SEO.

You see, Google and the other search engines are looking for the most relevant, most reliable content for any search term. If all you are doing is copying something that already exists, then you will struggle to come up with something original – and hence you will also struggle to make an impact with your content. The most successful content writers will provide something different each time.

If you have any questions about your content or what it can do for your business then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m always here at the end of the line and love to discuss content writing. All successful content writers need a little support every now and again so don’t be afraid to fire a question!

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