Content writers have a great job. You can work from home, a coffee shop or a hotel room. You also, for the most part, you set your schedule, and you get to work as much as you want. Most people do not realize they can do it full-time because they do not have the right skills. I am not just referring to the ability to write well because no matter how talented of a writer you are it is not enough. To become a successful freelance content writer, you need a broad skillset.
- Successful content writers are unique
Being unique is easier said than done when many people write about the same topics. No matter the topic you have your perspective on the subject that other people do not have. Good writers can make content that shows their unique perspective to their audience.
- Successful content writers are always researching their next article
As a content writer, you produce content. That gets hard to do if you do not have any material to write about. Even when you are not working for a client, that does not mean you cannot do research for potential articles.
Successful content writers are knowledgeable in the fields they write about. As a content writer, your job is to inform. You cannot expect to get your point across to your audience if you do not understand what you are writing about.
- Successful content writers know their audience
Content for your articles is not the only thing you need to research. You also need to research your target audience. When you have determined who your target audience is, you can write content they will want to read. You can use sites such as Audiense to analyze your Twitter followers and see what content interests your followers.
- Successful content writers know their competition
After researching your audience, you also need to study your competition. Learning about who your competition is, is just as important as learning about your audience. When you learn about your competitors, you can gain valuable insights. Such as finding out what content others are sharing. When you learn what others in your niche are sharing you can learn what your audience is reading.
- Successful content writers know social media
You should practice what you preach. If you are not active on social media and have little engagement with your followers, why would a company hire you? A company is much more likely to hire you when you show them that you are successful in social media.
When you write a blog post for a company, your job does not end there. You then must promote the post on social media. When you write great content and promote it to your followers, then they start engaging, and that helps you and your client. Not only did you write a great post for your client, but when the traffic increases on their site thanks to the post you wrote they are more likely to keep hiring you.
- Successful content writers know SEO
Writing the most interesting article will not do you much good if what your story does not get picked up by search engines. Business hires content writers to manage their blogs. If you do not know how to write for SEO, their website will not rank, and they will drop you and find someone who does.
You will get better SEO when you do keyword searches. Doing a search will help you write relevant post titles that will catch the eye of your audience. Now I am not saying you should try and make the title click bait. When you have relevant keywords in your meta data description, your post will rank better.
- Successful content writers know different writing styles.
Depending on whom you are hired to writing for, the style of writing will be different. News organizations use AP style, which uses short paragraphs with the relevant information first. Blogging is more storytelling and tends to be shorter than news stories. Ad copy is very brief and persuasive. Each category is content, and you need to know to become more valuable.
- Do not forget the visuals
Even though you are a writer, looking at a bunch of words is annoying. Adding visuals can break your content up a bit and make your work a little more interesting. Research shows that post that has visuals attract the eye more. If you want to catch the eye of your audience add a photo.
There is no magic formula to writing great content. Just like any profession, it will take time and practice. As you practice and gain experience, your writing will improve, and you can make it your full-time job.