What separates a successful content writer from the rest? A successful content writer produces content that engages and informs readers, and at the end of the day, generates conversions. Those conversions could be sales and clicks, affiliate sales, email signups, and video views. These results are achieved not by luck, but through the hard work of mastering certain skills.
Here are five skills that distinguish successful content writers:
1. Mastery over conversational grammar
There are distinct differences between the way English is spoken, and the way it’s written. In conversation, grammar can be used in ways that make English buffs cringe. For example, it’s appropriate to say, “there’s five bucks on the table” despite the five bucks being plural. As this linguist points out, “there’s” has become a go-to form that includes both singular and plural entities.
Writing, “there’s five bucks on the table” looks terrible to a self-appointed member of the grammar police. To a content writer constructing a piece of persuasive copy, it’s a secret weapon. It’s a secret weapon because it sets a casual, conversational tone for the copy. Writing the way people speak says, “we’re all just friends here, having a conversation on the couch.”
When the goal is to get a reader to take a specific action, content performs better when it’s written in a conversational tone. Conversational tones retain reader interest, make them feel more comfortable, and draw them into the story.
Conversational tones simulate personalized interactions through copy
Today’s customers want personal, one-on-one interactions with brands through phone calls, text messages, and across all forms of social media. With over 2 billion Facebook messages exchanged between consumers and businesses each month, it’s clear people don’t want to talk to bots. They want personal interactions that make them feel like human beings. Your blog content might be static, but using a conversational tone makes readers feel like they’re being spoken to directly.
2. Excitement about regular blog updates
Too many bloggers launch with a bang and then fizzle out due to lack of interest. Successful content writers are excited to churn out blog posts regularly whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. Successful content writers know maintaining a frequently updated blog is the foundation for SEO.
Regular blog updates get your website crawled by Google more frequently, which gets more of your site indexed, says content marketing agency AudienceBloom. It’s a domino effect. Indexing more of your site improves organic search visibility, which increases website traffic.
You need an enthusiasm for posting regular updates to your blog if you don’t want to be left behind.
3. Writing for SEO
A successful content writer knows the value of incorporating SEO into their work and will do whatever they can to learn it. Thanks to YouTube and Udemy, it’s easy to learn the fundamentals of SEO online. However, not every aspect of SEO is easily learned online. A good portion of SEO involves analyzing and fixing site architecture.
Successful content writers know their limits with SEO, and aren’t afraid to outsource some tasks to seasoned SEO professionals.
4. Writing timeless content
The best content writers think as far into the future as possible and write timeless content. They’ll avoid using phrases like, “yesterday, Google released a new update.” Instead, they’ll reference the date of Google’s release. This ensures content remains “evergreen.”
5. Humor that doesn’t go too far
Humor is the best way to get someone’s attention, especially when they’re having a stressful day. Since most employees surf the web while at work, there’s a good chance some of your visitors will be stressed out when they visit your blog.
Content writers who can incorporate humor into their posts will generate more repeat visitors. People are more willing to revisit a blog when they relate to the content, or the content makes them feel good. Humor makes people feel good, as long as it doesn’t go too far. Of course, there are exceptions, and some blogs thrive on dark humor – but that type of humor specifically appeals to their audience.
Keep writing to master these skills
If you haven’t mastered all of these skills, keep writing, because you will. The key to becoming a successful content writer is to be willing to learn from your mistakes as well as your successes, and keep writing no matter what.