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What Skills does a Writer need?

Updated on July 13, 2011

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You are not a writer if you do not publish your work.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.


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    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 6 years ago from India

      The only thing you need to do is write Sam Rager. And once you realize the kind of writing you do, you can decide where you want to get published. After that just post the writing on that site. Hubpages is a great place to begin.

    • profile image

      sam rager 6 years ago

      i am 13 yrs old and i really want to be a writer. i really dont know how to do it! will someone please help me?

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 6 years ago from India

      Thank you Wolfkat93

    • Wolfkat93 profile image

      Kathi Truscott 6 years ago from Canada, Windsor Ontario

      Interesting article, very useful

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for the many advices and tips.

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Very informative! They also say that writers need to have some marketing skills - just so they can effectively spread the word around about their wonderful works.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 6 years ago from India

      Thanks Rumpa and Vijayanths

      Reena that's true...cutting through the BS is very important. No one has hours to spare these days.

    • profile image

      Reena Daruwalla 6 years ago

      The ability to be incisive - to cut the fluff and speak about the subject in a brief and to the point manner - a writer today needs to be easily consumable.

    • profile image

      rumpa 6 years ago

      u'r one helluva writer......i really love ur work.

    • profile image

      vijayanths 6 years ago

      good research and well written.