Content Writing Skills: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published April 17, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published April 17, 2020

Content writers use strategic planning to write and edit quality stories designed for the promotion of a company's brand. Content writers must utilize specific skills to master this effective technique. In this article, we list nine skills content writers should have, offer steps for how to improve your content writing skills and discover how to include content writing skills in your job search.

Read more: Written Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

What are content writing skills?

Content writing skills give you the ability to write clear, consistent and relevant content that delivers an engaging experience for your company's target audience. The use of effective content writing directs them to visit your company's website for more information.

Read more: 5 Steps for Great Business Writing (With Tips)

Nine skills for content writers

Here are the top nine skills for content writers:

  • Adaptability

  • Research

  • Originality

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • Time management

  • Communication

  • Editing

  • Knowledge of social media

  • Technical

Adaptability

Content writers must be able to adapt their style and tone to each individual assignment. Depending on the purpose of the content, writers may need to format their piece to focus on getting detailed information to the audience or providing a call-to-action. If the objective is to increase sales, the content will be different than if they were writing for a scientific research blog. Adaptability helps writers learn and master many styles of writing, which ultimately adds value.

Research

Utilizing research in content writing improves the credibility of the article while adding value for the reader. Use government, educational and news outlets as sources to enhance the quality of information you include in your content. Providing readers with relevant and truthful content is the best way to maintain credibility as a writer.

Originality

Writers should always aim to provide original content, regardless of the subject. Content writers should be able to take research and convert that knowledge into interesting and informative content for readers. Original content positively impacts readers by presenting their site as a respected and reliable resource for information.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Understanding SEO as a writer is a key component in making sure your content is easy to find. Content writers should be able to keep up with trends and adapt techniques as needed to ensure the article is ranked high in search engines. Aligning your content with the top search results could increase its exposure to your company's target audience. Look at the rich snippet and other high-ranking articles on search engines to augment the value of your content.

Time management

Time management skills allow you to properly allocate time to ensure all deadlines are met while guaranteeing quality. This includes monitoring time spent on research, writing and editing. By understanding the amount of time you need to complete an average project, you can better manage your time to ensure a balanced workload. These skills also include your ability to identify and prioritize projects based upon deadlines and their importance. Speak with your manager about deadlines to monitor the time you spend on writing.

Communication

Communication skills assist you in accurately conveying your message to the intended audience. Being able to clearly relay information to readers is imperative for successful marketing strategies. Whether it is content for storytelling or a call-to-action following a sales pitch, proper communication skills for writers is imperative.

Editing

Effective editing skills are crucial for writers, increasing the value and quality of the content while reducing the number of revisions required. Read your content out loud to find typos, grammatical errors, redundancy and overused words. Then make revisions to refine the quality of your content.

Knowledge of social media

By understanding social media platforms, you know where to find story ideas for your content. Studying your company's existing posts helps you determine the content that resonated most with readers. Review your company's social media accounts to gather inspiration for future content to write and predict how well it'll perform.

Technical

Content writers rely on technical skills such as computer literacy and using word processing and content management systems effectively. The ability to use and implement analytics tools as well as digital collaboration tools is also helpful to content writers.

How to improve your content writer skills

Valuable content writing demonstrates a writer's ability to communicate a message clearly and effectively. Whether the aim is to increase sales or spread awareness, the following steps can help you improve as a content writer:

  1. Practice writing regularly.

  2. Read books and online articles.

  3. Write with a partner.

  4. Take a writing class or attend a workshop.

1. Practice writing regularly

Write content regularly to bolster the quality of your content and create your style. Understanding your writing style helps you communicate better and identify areas where you're effective as well as areas that need improvement to ensure you are communicating as effectively as possible. Consider freelancing for clients to learn different styles and receive feedback on how to amplify your content writing skills.

2. Read books and online articles

Read books and industry articles to familiarize yourself with varying styles of content writers. You'll discover new vocabulary and sentence structures to enhance your writing abilities. You can also read articles relevant to the industry if you are not as familiar with the subject.

3. Write with a partner

Find a writing partner to get feedback on your content writing skills. Writing partners can provide an objective look at your content and find mistakes with an additional round of proofreading. Reach out to coworkers or friends to point out errors and offer feedback on what needs improvement.

4. Take a writing class or attend a workshop

Enroll in a writing class or workshop to understand best practices when writing content. These groups give you the time to present your content to an audience, and they can offer actionable feedback for you to apply for future content. Research content marketing groups on professional networking websites to see if any classes or workshops are available in your area.

How to highlight content writer skills

Here are ways to highlight your content writing skills on resumes and cover letters as well as during an interview.

Content writing skills for resumes and cover letters

Your resume should note relevant content writing skills. Review the employer's qualifications listed in the job description to understand the content writing skills to list on your resume.

Review this example to see what your resume might look like:

Technical skills:

  • Web data analytics software

  • Word processing software

  • Social media monitoring software

  • Content management software

Additional skills:

  • Originality

  • Editing

  • Research

  • Organization

In your cover letter, discuss how your content writing skills help your prospective company accomplish its goals. You can also mention the use of specific programs or software you are familiar with.

Content writing skills for an interview

During an interview, discuss your content writing skills similar to the following example:

"In my previous position, I used my communication and organizational skills to deliver high-quality content. I collaborated with the marketing team in identifying and writing two pieces of content based on popular social media posts from the latest product launch. I earned praise from the manager after completing both pieces of content by their deadlines with minimal edits."

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