Many people envy content writers who get to work from home, have their own schedules and just write as much or as little as they want. In reality, a lot of content writers find difficulty making a living, and it’s not because they don’t write as well as the others. It’s just that writing skills are not everything they need.
If you’ve always loved writing and you want to make it your career, take note that you need an entire arsenal of in-demand skills. Below are tips to help you acquire them:
Practice and perfect various writing styles.
It’s no secret – at least among writers – that each form of writing has a style all its own. News is presented AP style (informational with bulk of story on top); blogging is friendly, personable and usually opinionated; ad copy is short and persuasive, etc., white papers are lengthy and describe problems and solutions; etc. The more of such styles you master, the more valuable and in demand you become. It’s really that simple.
Ideation is a marketing buzzword referring to the creative process of deciding on a subject, title and writing orientation; and it begins with analytics. It is usually done in a team setting, but anyone can do it on their own. That’s why it helps to know how professional marketing teams come up with ideas. However, just before that, it’s important to understand your readers, know the right keywords to use, know your competition, and craft brief but attention-grabbing titles.
Know CMS, HTML, CSS and most importantly, SEO.
Easy. You need not be a guru or something, but you have to be familiar with the basics. CMS themes usually have different levels of automatic functions, and you just have to tweak the code a bit (such as to make a title tag or fix a spacing issue) to manipulate the appearance of your text. Definitely, up-to-date SEO knowledge is also crucial. Remember that search engine algorithms are evolving, and you have to keep up.
Always be original.
At the end of the day, everything is all about reputation, so protect yours. Every time you leave your name on any piece you write, be sure it’s original. You may think it’s impossible, knowing that so many people write about the same topics everyday. Well, guess what, it’s easier than you think. Plagiarized content is ALWAYS BAD, whether for your employer or for you (more for you actually). By running your work in an anti-plagiarism program before submitting it, you can save your reputation from usually eternal damage. There are tons of similar content online, and it’s possible for you to duplicate writing, albeit accidentally, from time to time.