Blog, Resources

The skills your content writers need


Author – Tyler Curtis, Content Writer

“Content writers need a myriad of soft and hard skills – and that’s before they begin typing.  

Crucially, they need to be able to balance logic with empathy. Not only do they need to understand what type of content the audience needs, but they need to be able to write it in a way that truly engages them. They also need to be able to research effectively, interview thought leaders insightfully, and edit their own work objectively.  

It’s not just about putting words on a page.” 

The act of writing is something anyone can enjoy, but not everyone has the potential to pursue it as a career. The role of content and copywriters differs from that of other forms of more creative writing, as something that requires a much more strategic outlook, but is a key part of any marketing strategy.

More established businesses will have a team of content writers, usually within the marketing team, whose job is – to put it simply – to communicate ideas, products and services in an appealing way, to sell you, your brand and ultimately your products and services.

The role of content marketing

Content marketing is a valuable skill, an art form almost, in the digital era. This popular strategy is focused on creating, delivering, and disseminating content to target audiences across a range of media – from website copy to published articles.

And so, your content team are important communicators, creating what sits at the centre of most marketing activity. As ingenuously written content is such an asset to a business, the people who are responsible for it need to be powered by a certain skillset.

In this blog, we have complied a list of qualities that your content team should have to allow your business to excel amongst the competition.

1) The ability to translate information

Written content for marketing purposes is frequently created with the objective of presenting information to a given target audience. However, your content writers won’t always receive this information in a simplistic and easy-to-understand format.

Turning technical information – from team members or company documents – into a digestible piece of written content requires an analytical and measured mindset. A business might have jargon-filled and complex products or services that don’t naturally appeal to the target reader in a readily digestible format. This is where your content team comes in; to take the relevant specifics, extrapolate the unique selling points for your audience, and present it to them in the most appropriate and consumable format.

2) Proactivity

Proactivity is a useful trait that encapsulates preparation, planning and initiative. A successful content writer will seek information and approach situations for results, as opposed to just catching everything that’s thrown at them.

Whether this is contacting relevant customers, researching emerging market trends, or creating timely content plans, a forward-thinking and motivated approach always goes a long way. Your ideal content writer will relish research and always want to back up their work with credible, relevant sources.

“Being proactive as a content writer really means anticipating what questions your audience might have, and making sure you answer them before they need to ask. It’s about thinking ahead – being part of the conversation as it changes (or leading it) and balancing the value of long-term plans with the need to be reactive to new trends.”

Alice Erskine, Head of Content

3) Writing alongside marketing

It’s easy to be swept away when scribbling down content, getting ideas from brain to paper – or keyboard. A free-flowing hand or mind shouldn’t be discouraged, but with content writing, an alignment with strategic objectives should be a frequent pursuit.

Being able to write through a marketing lens is something your content writer should be familiar with. This isn’t necessarily writing in an overtly ‘salesy’ way, but means writing with consideration and purpose. It means understanding and integrating SEO , adapting tone of voice to a given audience or buyer type, and having a clear perspective of the motivation of the content.

Industry language can also affect how your content comes across. It’s a good skill for a content writer to have when they can adopt an industry voice and use, or not use, savvy industry terms. There’s nothing wrong with not having a wealth of information on the topic being written about, but for marketing purposes, how well your content writer can convey the right message to the target buyer is more important.

4) Originality

Writing comes in so many shapes and styles, each being moulded in a way that suits a reader. News writing is much more matter-of-fact than a blog post would be. As a content writer, you will have to get used to adapting your style of writing to various tones of voice. Some may resonate with your natural writing style more than others, which can be particularly challenging.

Not only can your ideal content writer penetrate these challenges, but they can do so with an unfailing sense of originality. There is a mass of content across the internet, with plenty of people writing about similar topics. Building content with a unique and captivating voice, fresh writing style, or in a way that offers an interesting perspective is a valuable asset.

5) Adaptability

Having to change tone of voice and style regularly means a content writer should be intuitively adaptable. A content writer needs to be equipped with the tools to write blogs, social media posts, whitepapers, campaign emails, amongst other things. Shapeshifting their persona, tone of voice and objectives, your content writer should be accustomed to refashioning their work accordingly.

Content writers frequently get thrown into the deep end. A successful content writer will adjust easily, using their personal strategy that has enabled them to deliver relevant communications to the target audience each and every time.

6) Effective creative processes

There’s a lot of creativity that comes with being a content writer. The process a content writer goes through to bring their communications to life, matters. No creative process is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but for this kind of writing, there are certain attributes a successful content writer needs in their process.

Marketing ideation is a praised process that encourages the generation of new ideas which can be shaped into innovative solutions. All content writers will come to conclusions differently. However, when a successful content writer gets there, it should be imaginative, productive, applicable and relevant. Otherwise, these great ideas may never actually be delivered effectively. Instead, a great content marketer will know how to turn ensure consistent, well targeted communication.

The power of content in a digital world

Successful content essentially boils down to the ‘quality not quantity’ ethos. You want your content writers to not only be able to meet deadlines and marketing best practices but to create in a unique, agile and strategic way. Content with these qualities will help your business get noticed and attract new or target audiences.

If you would like original and market-orientated thought leadership content for your business, then get in touch with EV. We have a multi-skilled team of content writers, designers and marketing experts to provide you with content that will excel.