Writing is not a standalone profession. It involves many creative skills in addition to being able to put words on paper. Creating written content such as blog posts, sales copy, articles, and other forms of writing involves skills like research, photography, videography, editing, and more. As a writer, you’ll need to be able to do more than just write if you want to grow in your career.
It takes a lot to become established as a writer. Many professionals worked on their craft for years before achieving success. This is because when they started their careers, they hadn’t worked on building the skills necessary to market themselves as a business. Instead, they probably started out with paid writing jobs, trying desperately to grow their client list as they struggled to pay their bills.
One of the major reasons writers struggle is that they do not see their writing as a business. When you manage your writing as a business, you should draw up a business plan that includes how you will build your skills and business. Work hard,and invest in your business by learning complementary skills, and you’ll be on your way to growing in your writing career.
Your ability to produce quality and informative content depends on the resources you have at your disposal. But, you don’t have to depend on the meager resources of your personal experience and knowledge. Research involves searching for information and gathering points or ideas you can develop into good content. A writer without proper research skills will end up writing fluff, especially when covering a new topic.
The internet is full of information on any topic you need. Online research is the easiest and quickest way to gain fast knowledge on any particular subject, and it’s less expensive and time-consuming than offline research. When researching online, choose authority websites, journals, and published PDF documents to source your information. Authority websites are sites that have been proven to publish only genuine articles, sites like Wikipedia.
You may also decide to conduct personal research depending on your topic. This involves getting first-hand information rather than from any existing content.
An example of this is a travel writer who wants to write about a specific location. They would visit it themselves, taking in the sites and experience, then write all about it. This allows them to catch things other writers may not have noticed and write from a place of first-hand experience. Direct research helps you to gather fresh information so you can create robust, unique content.
Researching as a skill is about reaching for as much information as you can gather, and selecting the best bits that add real value to your content. Above all else, it satisfies your readers’ need for new, exciting, and well-informed content.
Your writing is never complete until it’s been through the editing process. A piece of written work can go through many stages until it finally becomes good enough for publishing.
As a writer, knowing how to edit can make or break your business. Unless you’re the best writer in the world and are able to write flawlessly on your first try every single time (trust me, you’re not), then you’ll need to learn how to edit—or, at the very least, hire a professional.
Editing requires fine-tuning your writing and paying attention to even the most minute details. This includes proper use of grammar, sentence structure, flow, fact-checking, and making sure everything makes sense. While there are plenty of writers who have good ideas, many have trouble turning those ideas into quality, error-free content.
There are editing tools available online, such as Grammarly. You can use these tools to facilitate your editing and increase the quality and readability of your work. While these tools can help you when writing, nothing beats having a professional look over your work to help find or fix what you or an editing tool may have missed.
It’s not enough to create good content, you need to get it out there for someone to read. You are probably not the only one writing about your topic of interest. Thousands of writers are crafting their own, possibly better, articles on your chosen topic and posting them online daily.
The question you should be asking is: “How do I get my article read among all the competition?” The answer lies in SEO practices.
SEO is short for search engine optimization, a process of improving how your website responds to organic searches and unpaid traffic through search engines. You need quality content that conforms to SEO rules for your work to be showcased by search engines. It is important for a writer to learn these rules and how to apply them to increase the visibility of their content. You can research SEO on company blogs such as Yoast to learn more.
Basic SEO strategies include making sure you add the main keyword early in your content to increase visibility, ensure your content is not duplicated, and use high quality titles and tags in your content.
Technology is enhancing every industry, especially writing. As a writer, you need to be established in the digital space. This is where you can grow your brand and start to be recognized by others in the writing community. To achieve this, you’ll need a platform to showcase your work and connect with potential readers.
It could be a writing hub or space such as Fiverr, HubPages, Medium, and so on. All of these platforms require you to know how to use digital writing tools such as WordPress and Google Suite. If you write for people to read (which is the general idea of writing), the best place to showcase your work is on the internet. You may have creative writing skills, but you’ll need to know the ins and outs of the digital writing world to become established in your field.
It is often said that a single image is worth a thousand words. That means you can do the work of a thousand words with a single image.
Besides your title or headlines, the next most eye-catching thing about your writing should be its images. They help to convey the idea of the piece or even set the mood you want your reader to be in when reading. Their influence on your readers is strong, and when used correctly, they can greatly improve the readability of any piece of writing.
Learning how to take and edit photos is simple now that technology has streamlined almost everything. So many phones, computers, and laptops now come with new features and apps you can download and use to create wonderful photos. You can start learning with one of these devices, and then graduate to more professional software as your skills increase.
Not every image you use has to be your own, however. There are plenty of online services you can use to find royalty free images to upload with your content, such as Unsplash, and Pixabay. You’ll still need to learn how to upload these images, edit them, and fit them properly in your written work, but regardless of how you choose to find your images, always make sure you pick an image that pairs well with your piece.
Conducting personal interviews helps you create fresher and more detailed content. Your articles will be unique because you may be the first to publish that specific story or article, and interview subjects can provide specifics that are not available in existing content.
Always choose a topic you are knowledgeable about when conducting an interview, as this will help you to craft intelligent interview questions that prompt answers that will add value to your piece. When conducting an interview you can also take photos and videos to enhance your content.
The quality of your interview depends on your interview questions. Make sure you take time to research and come up with your questions and ensure that they will provide you with enough information to write about.
You can also leverage the use of technology to make your interview easier. Tools like Skype and Zoom can help, and even smartphones are good channels for online interviews. By using personal interviews to help write your piece, your article will attract many new readers who are hungry for original information.
Every writer should have an idea of how to market and promote their work. This is as important as publishing, as when you have written and published a piece, you also need to get it to an audience.
Though it is possible to get readers through search engines, you can more easily grow your readership and make money if you know how to promote your work. Promotion enables you to establish a connection with your readers and grab their interest.
Several ways you can promote your work include social media, online groups, ads, forums, and apps. If you have authored a book, you can promote it with reviews and online marketplaces such as Amazon Kindle. Creating a summary ad of your blog post or book catches readers’ attention and helps them understand at a glance what your writing is like. When starting out as a writer, promoting your work will help you grow faster and have an easier time selling your writing.
Professional writing involves many other creative skills, and the more you learn, the more you will develop your career. Writers who don’t upgrade their knowledge struggle to be established or end up working for others. They also likely won’t be able to earn what they deserve. Learning additional skills will not just help you grow as a writer, it will add more money to your bank account.
Gaining additional skills is a must for you to be established as a professional writer, not a job seeker. Keep yourself updated on what is trendy in the industry and connect with others to know what they are doing. Sell yourself as a writer and manage your writing as a business. Learn as much as you can—no skill is a waste.
A versatile freelance writer who can dive into the web and come out with quality information to craft the best piece. A creative writer with the ability to tell everything as a story that can touch the mind of readers. Though Judith like new ideas and opportunities, her specialty is in finance, travel, b2b, e-commerce, technology, cryptocurrency, blockchain, health, lifestyle, writing, and spirituality. Her services include but are not limited to blogging, digital marketing, influencing, general writing, SEO management, researching, proofreading, account and asset management.