If you want to write content for a living then it can be a good way to make some money. It can be done part time from home or as a full time job and it is possible to do very well. However, you will need to have the right skills to impress your clients. These can vary a bit from job to job but there are some main attributes that can make someone a good writer.
It is really important to make sure that you are fluent in the language that you are being asked to write in. Many writers do not write in their first language and it can be very obvious when you read the things that non-natives write as they will make some mistakes. Therefore make sure that you stick to your first language unless you have outstanding skills in another language.
Many clients are looking for a good grasp of grammar. It can be this which will show you up if you are not writing in your native language. Even if you translate all of the words correctly, it is still crucial to make sure that they are in exactly the correct order. Even if you are writing in your first language, you may not necessarily be perfect but, the fewer the mistakes, the better. You will also be wise to use a grammar checker as well as a spelling checker to be completely sure.
It is important to set the tone right. Most online content can be quite informal. However, it may be necessary to write something that is more informative and therefore needs a different approach. It is really worth finding out where the writing will be for so that you can understand exactly what the right tone will be for it.
Good Research Skills
Often writers are asked to write about things they do not know about. This can be fine as long as you have good research skills. It is important to know how to quickly find information that you are looking for. It is even more important to understand where reliable sources of information are. This can sometimes be tricky but using authoritative sources such as government departments, trusted news channels, company websites etc will be better than trusting information that you find on social media or blogs.
Quick at Typing
Although not completely necessary it is really useful to be quick at typing. You will find that the more you type, the quicker you will become but you will also need to be accurate. You may find that your thoughts can run much more quickly than your fingers and if you are not quick enough at getting them out you may forget them and this can be annoying. If you can type quickly you will also be able to fit more work in and potentially earn more money.
Ability to Write About Many Subjects
It can be really useful to be able to write about a whole variety of subjects. This is because you will be able to take on a lot more work. You will find that clients are interested in writers who can write about many different things. You may have a specific knowledge in one area, but if you can expand that it means that you will be able to take on many more jobs as a result.
It is really important to be able to write original content. Search engines notice copied content and rank websites low if they have plagiarised material. This means that many will check your work to make sure that it is not copied. It can be far better to use your own original ideas anyway as the writing is fresher and sounds more like it has come from you. There is nothing wrong with researching to get a few ideas or a better understanding of something but when you do write, make sure that it is all your own work.
Good at Following Instructions
It is really important to make sure that you follow your clients’ instructions really carefully. They will all have different requirements with regards to deadlines, tone, length, quality etc. It may be that your clients do not speak the same first language as you and this could mean that you could misinterpret what they want. It is therefore always wise to clarify any instruction that you are not completely sure about so that you know that you are doing the work properly.
Able to Work to a Deadline
It is so important that you can work to a deadline. Clients will all have specific deadlines for their work or want it to be done as soon as possible. Not only will it be good for your client if you do the work on time and they will be more likely to ask you to do more, you will also find that if you can do work more quickly you will be able to fit in more work and earn more money.
Good Communication Skills
It is really important to have good communication skills with your clients. You need to make sure that they are happy. Letting them know that you have received their emails, thanking them for payments and keeping them informed of your progress with jobs is important. They know what your status is and appreciate your politeness. They may not always be polite to you but as they are paying you, then it is best to not worry about it!