If you use the internet sparingly or frequently, chances are, you’ve come across written content made by a Digital Media Writer. Digital media writers, also known as Content Writers, produce written content for various digital platforms and their unique audiences to suit the goals of a brand or business entity. Content writers write advertising copies, articles, short-form/long-form social media posts, blog posts, website copies, infographics, scripts etc., to help businesses build, develop, or promote awareness for a brand, product or service.
Content writers work hand in hand, singularly or with a team of creatives to create messaging and communication that speaks to a brand’s target audience by relaying such information in the tone and voice that the brand represents. Content writers can be employed as part of a brand’s in-house communications team or as employees in a digital marketing firm like Anakle.
The job of a content writer is so important that it could make or mar a brand’s reputation. Content writers are skilled professionals who are trained to create compelling content that evokes a reaction in a reader’s mind. The path to becoming a content writer isn’t linear, but there are some non-negotiable skills that every content writer must possess.
5 Skills Every Content Writer Must Have
Content writers usually craft messaging and written content for different brands operating in diverse industries. A content writer may not necessarily be an expert in a field they are writing about. Still, they must create authoritative and convincing content that can only be achieved through adequate research.
Research as a skill is not merely limited to a simple Google search. A content writer should be able to identify credible sources of information when conducting research, as it is crucial to limit the spread of unverified information.
Editing, Editing & Editing
Stephen King said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot”. We’re recommending ‘edit a lot’ as well. The best-kept secret to creating a great piece of writing is editing. All writers spend a considerable amount of time editing their work.
A content writer should edit each written piece of written content to check that ideas are conveyed as clearly as possible with no grammatical, spelling or punctuation mistakes. While editing a piece of work, some things to look out for include sentence structure, formatting, consistency, basic spelling, grammar, and the overall flow of your ideas in the write-up.
Search Engine Optimisation
Content marketing is incomplete without search engine optimization. Optimising written content for search engine results pages is essential in building a formidable content marketing strategy.
That is why every content writer needs to have a working and updated knowledge of SEO best practices. A fair knowledge of SEO helps a content writer understand how to build up a great piece of content right from scratch to allow search engines to naturally pick up the written piece as a credible source of information.
It’s a no-brainer that content writers must be experts in communicating effectively in the written language used for communication. This is not necessarily limited to being an expert communicator in the English language.
A content writer must understand the language of use enough to deduce if a message fits the right context and is understandable by the intended audience.
At any given time, a content writer may be faced with crafting content for different digital platforms and different audiences. It is imperative that writing schedules are managed efficiently to give adequate room for writing, editing and proofreading content before it is published.
Effective time management gives a content writer room to explore more ideas and reduces the pressures of meeting deadlines. It also ensures that effective quality control processes in the agency are met before the deliverables are forwarded to the client.
The list of skills above is not all-encompassing, as there are a plethora of soft and hard skills that a content writer must possess in order to effectively function efficiently. However, these skills are important and form the foundation for a robust skillset that an aspiring professional in this field should build in preparation for the career journey ahead.