Poet Marilyn Hacker summed it up when she said that “good writing gives energy, whatever it is about.” Nowhere is this more true than in content marketing. However, good writing that excites and inspires doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
There are a handful of personal qualities that contribute to writing that is interesting, original, informative, and even good for SEO. Let’s take a closer look at the most important qualities in a content writer:
Qualities of Top Content Writers
When you’re choosing a content writer, you need to look for someone with a good balance of learned skills and innate qualities. The following abilities are essentials, don’t compromise!
Skilled researchers and frequent readers
Content marketing often requires that a writer create content across several industries. It’s highly unlikely that they’ve had experience in everything they’re writing about, so the writer’s ability to research and absorb information is vital.
You want your writers to produce writing that is accurate, informative and backed up by evidence. This can be a big ask, especially in niche topics, but a writer that reads widely and has a black belt in Google-fu can handle it.
Staying on top of the latest trends (without just repeating what other publications say) is its own challenge. Look for a writer that has their pulse of major developments in dominant industries like technology and HR. You want someone who makes it their business to know what’s going on the world, so they can produce content that is fresh and relevant.
Write with the audience in mind
Writing online content is very different from writing for academia or even more traditional publications like newspapers. One of the most indispensable content writer skills is the ability to write with your audience in mind, especially when they’re an online audience with many demands on their attention.
Content that serves the reader with practical, informative knowledge that can be applied in their lives or businesses outperforms beautiful but irrelevant content – every time.
Make sure your content writer understands the practicalities of writing content that grabs a reader’s attention and keeps it, and can deliver content that conveys useful information in under ten minutes.
Adapt to their audience
Clients can span across different industries, and even a single client can have content intended for different audiences. The ability to adapt the style, tone, and language to the interests, preferences, knowledge levels of their intended audience is extremely valuable in a content writer.
This extends to using examples, quotes, humour and references that specific audiences will enjoy and find relatable. Remember, if an audience doesn’t feel a piece of content is for them they’re unlikely to find it useful.
Clear and concise
Short, sharp content that gets right to the point is always first prize.
One of the greatest advantages of good content is that it does the work for the reader. It includes research from various sources, and presents a simple, concise summary of only the most important points to answer the reader’s questions.
Simple writing isn’t necessarily simple to create, however. It’s often much easier to gild the lily, or worse, write around what you’re trying to say, than to be straightforward. That’s why the ability to write clearly and concisely is one of the most sought after content writer skills.
Creative with their story
Now, writing simply and concisely does not mean writing artlessly. A skilled writer will be able to write without excess “fluff” while still making the reading experience enjoyable.
This requires an ability to be creative with language, humour, quotes, examples and anecdotes to keep the reader engaged. Your writers’ creativity is also essential to establishing a voice and consistent identity in your content.
With so much content out there, a creative writer could be the difference in making your content hold a reader’s attention.
Knowledgeable in SEO
It’s not enough to write top-notch content, your writers also need to know how to make sure it’s readily visible on search engines.
SEO has been all the rage for years and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. So, when choosing a content writer, don’t go for an SEO rookie. The most important SEO skill you need to look for is the ability to use keywords (search terms) cleverly. A writer with SEO mojo will be able to incorporate keywords so they flow naturally and avoid keyword stuffing.
Flawless grammar and spelling
Poor grammar and spelling immediately undermine the authority of a piece of content. Your writers don’t need to be able to spell onomatopoeia without a dictionary, but they do need to stick to the core grammar rules and be aware of regional spellings for your target market.
We hope that you’ve found this article simple, concise, engaging, useful and impeccably-spelled. We wish you the best in finding content writers that meet all of the above standards.
If you need experienced professionals to handle your content, get in touch with BEAN content.