8 Soft Skills for Content Writers To Succeed In Competitive Industries

The important soft skills for content writers can bring good fortune.

It can be the difference between being the average writer or the writer that makes money.

A lot of it.

Are you a content writer who wants to build a big business or stand out from the crowd?

You will find the list below helpful.

Read on. 

8 Soft Skills for Content Writers

Note: this post doesn’t explain how to become a content writer for beginners. The tips are for people who are already into the business of writing.

If you’re reading this, I think you want something that gives you an edge in a competitive industry.

You will find other helpful posts in this blog, such as content writing for business: An introduction to writing that sells or how to make money as a content writer.

Without waisting time, let’s get to it.

#1. Creativity 

A content writer should write about existing topics a little differently. It will favor SEO, and it helps to gain the audience’s trust. 

Imagine a reader reading two websites and realizing that both have said the same thing is a big turn-off.

It won’t make a good impression on people who will eventually pay for your products or services.

So, one of the soft skills for content writers is creativity. Professional content writers will find an angle for writing fresh, creative, and unique content. 

Example:

Let’s say the topic is “How to tie a shoe.” After looking at tons of articles on the internet and seeing a million articles created on the same subject, the content writer might want to create something unique. How? 

She could develop an angle like “How To Tie A Shoe using Argon from ABC movie as a case study.”

Does that spark a new interest in something many writers have done before? Isn’t that more intriguing to read than the previous topic?

You can read my post on the science of awe and how to create fascinating pieces of work

#2. Conversion

You will notice this in how the content writer pitched ideas or introduction content writing. 

Does the intro grab the readers? Do the readers enjoy reading that they want to know about the product or brand?

The internet is noisy, and only those who can capture attention quickly and hold that attention for long will get the largest share of the fame. More readers = increased interest and probably sales.

Although most of the conversion writing is done by a copywriter, a content writer should have some copywriting skills to pull this off.

When you include a Call To Action at the end of a post or article, the readers should want to take action.

Content writers are not only creating awareness on the internet. They convert readers to fans or subscribers.

#3. Adaptation 

Content writers will likely work for more than one organization, company, case study, or project.

In many cases, the buyer personas are quite different. You’re writing for a startup targeting people in their early twenties. Tomorrow your target is fifty-something mothers who are close to retirement. 

The persona has changed, and you must work on your tone, word choice, and other things.

The ability to write in a tone that suits the purpose and audience of a given project is essential. 

You can start by imagining yourself in front of your ideal reader. If you’re sitting in front of an older person, how will you present your teachings or post? Is that the same way you will write for high school students? What language or words will you use?

#4. Search Intent 

Look at these questions.

What are the readers searching for on the internet? Why are they searching for that? What do they want to see?

Search Engine Optimization is one of the important content writing skills, but you should consider SEARCH INTENT carefully.

What does this term mean? 

Their answer will not only confirm they have a good knowledge of Seach Engine Optimization, but they can write for both search engines and humans. 

In short, SEARCH INTENT means the expectation of a person putting a certain keyword into a search engine. What do they want to see?

Find out. Create content for people’s expectations. That way, it won’t be a case of serving fried rice when the reader has asked for common snacks in California. 

Example:

“How to write a blog post” can be the keyword, but writing about the “7 most important tools for writing a great blog post” does not meet the expectation. 

Some content writers use tools to generate keywords.

However, failing to check other articles might mean they miss the point of what readers are looking for, and their content will fail its purpose.

#5. Humour 

Some content does not require humor. Sometimes, the purpose of the content can also mean being funny might be considered irrational. An overdone joke can ruin business too.

However, many people will love a good laugh when reading on the internet. Humour is magnetic. Even if the intent is to buy skin care products to treat acne that has forced the reader to stay home on the first day of prom, humor can lighten how they feel and make them buy the product faster. 

A good sense of humor is also a sign that you’re human. You’re not an AI (AI rarely tells jokes).

Example:

You are eager to get our products so you will look like Angelina Jolie come next prom. We can’t wait either to see you as beautiful as ever.

One of the skills a content writer should have is humor and wittiness. It is not something they will need all of the time. However, they should sometimes do it, but not too much. 

#6. Know your client

This differs from the popular topic of knowing your audience.

Knowing your client is about knowing the business owners you want to work with.

For instance, if you want to work with a startup, you need to know their needs. It involves understanding things like:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Keyword research
  • Content strategy
  • Content calendar
  • Site Audit
  • Blog template
  • Content distribution
  • Understanding their audience (which is still important)

Your client is the one paying your bills, but the audience is the one paying your client’s bills. These are two different things, and you need to understand them.

Brands and prospects won’t hire you if they don’t know you can serve them.

For more information about these, read things content writers do.

#7. Social Listening 

Social listening looks similar to the ability to follow trends, but it’s a little different.

Following trends is a must. It is where ideas for great content come from, and every content writer who wants to stay in business will have to do it. 

On the other hand, social listening is listening to what people say about a brand. 

What are people saying about your competitors? Do the content writers know? Will they care to find out and use that to create great content for your brand?

So social listening can help in planning your content strategy. It enables you to know what people are saying about you. Provide answers to their questions or change their negative perspective — if possible — of your brand.

Consider these among the skills for content writers’ resumes. Let them show and probably prove it.

#8. Discipline/Time Management

Discipline is essential to any successful business. It will lead to time management and fulfilng the promises made to clients.

After your skill, how you manage your time and client’s expectation is the next big thing. So aside from writing great content, you want to keep to time, fulfill the promise you make, meet deadlines, communicate with your clients, and be kind.

When things get tough — and I promise it will — you need the discipline to send another cold email, write another blog post, or apply to another opportunity.

How to Know You Have These skills

Now that you have answers to what are the qualities of a good content writer, what next?

Unfortunately, verifying these soft skills for content writers is difficult. 

Read more books, practice what you have read, and try new things.

By the way, if you need to reach out to me for anything related to writing for brands, use the contact form or reach out on LinkedIn.

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