What Skills does a Writer need?
Words are the tool for a Writer
It does not matter if you write online or for a newspaper or a magazine. A writer must have some basic skills in order to be successful. Since most of us write, but not all of us are successful there are some skills that we could all do with polishing. Here is a list of such skills.
Ability to come up with content ideas relevant to niche
Many people can write beautifully descriptive articles on a topic that is close to their heart. However a writer needs to be able to write about just about anything that gets tossed at him. From health care, to political scams, to film star tantrums, its all about knowing how to pick the right content ideas for a niche.
Ability to conduct independent research
Research is just as important as the actual writing. Sure you know a lot, but there's always something more that you can learn. The only way you will do that is to keep reading up about a topic before you decide to write your headline. That way the independent research you conduct will help improve the quality of your article.
Ability to write and publish articles
You are not a writer if you do not publish your work. It does not matter how many poems or short stories you have written in your journal, it does not count till you actually get published. Thankfully getting published today is not such a huge hardship as it used to be in the age before the internet. There are any number of niche sites that you can write for online and become a published writer.
Ability to create an editorial calendar
Writing is a constant work in progress. You need to get used to editing your own work so that when a professional goes after the words you have written you are able to take it with ease. Try and keep writing and editing your articles to make them crisper and better before you submit them for publication, The writing skill is just another place where practice does indeed make perfect.
Extensive experience with online publishing
If you are hoping to make your living with an online freelancer's career you will need a huge online portfolio. This will allow you to have a ready reference for interested employers to look over. Plus it will allow you to sharpen your writing skills and see what works well online and what does not. This knowledge can make all the difference when you are blogging for a specific niche.
Basic understanding of SEO and Social Media
If you intend to work online you can not ignore SEO or the power of Social Media. You need to get a basic lesson in what Search Engine Optimization or SEO is all about if you wish to work with online marketeers. And believe me people pushing affiliate products are the ones who always have work ready for a writer. Also get a hang of how Twitter and Facebook work. They can be essential in online marketing.
Relationships with online publishers in your field
This one is another biggie. What you need to succeed in any field is contacts. Without useful contacts you can not survive and without relationships with online publishers you will not survive as a freelance writer. So get down to finding out the major publishers online and work towards developing a working relationship with them. The process takes ages to work out so don't be impatient but work on the skills that improve you as a writer.