Welcome to the incredibly competitive world of writing! It truly is dog-eat-dog today when raw talent only gets you so far in hiring potential, but there are a few skills you can develop that will increase your chances. Here are 5 skills that put you ahead in the writing industry.
1. Research Skills
Writers write what they know, don’t they? Not always. In fact, many writers educate themselves on a topic before they write a word about it. That’s why research skills are so valuable.
In freelance writing, you may be assigned topics you’ve never explored before, and you’ll be expected to write about them like you’re the expert. How do you do this? You read as much about the topic as you can and then put those fine writing skills to work by sounding like the experts themselves and attaching sources.
2. Digital Writing Skills
Digital skills are important in almost every job today. A writer who can not only create original stories but upload them onto a website with links and pictures looks far more desirable than someone who just writes. Employers see you as a package deal because they can hire one person to do multiple tasks.
So brush up on blogging, video editing programs, Photoshop, spreadsheet programs, and even social networking sites. Companies will be pleased if you know how to market through social media content.
3. HTML Experience
Knowing a little about web design can give you a competitive edge in your job search. Most companies have websites, and they’re often in need of writers to produce content.
Knowing more about HTML not only puts you ahead of other candidates; it can benefit you personally. You can practice running your own freelance website and learn how to market yourself to clients.
Writing is a solitary task, and, unfortunately, the computer won’t motivate you to get your work done. What you accomplish in a day all depends on your ability to focus.
Everyone has a different approach to their work, but there are several methods you could try to complete tasks.
Brainstorm before writing, and think of at least three key points. Make yourself comfortable, but don’t write in your bed or on the couch. You may become too relaxed and drift off. If you’re stuck, work on a different point, and if you’re in complete writer’s block, remember your original ideas. It’s also good to take a ten minute break now and then.
5. Thick Skin
All writers need to be prepared for criticism, even if it’s for the slightest imperfection. Take it in stride and use it to further improve your work. Employers wish to be well-presented, which means no mistakes and sometimes adhering to their standards of grammar, format, and content.
Rejection is also a possibility, but you can’t give up the first time it happens. Sometimes you might not have what an employer was looking for, but another employer out there is looking for what you have, so keep searching until you find them.
Don’t Give Up!
This industry gets tough, so learn those skills that set you apart from others, show your enthusiasm for the work when presented with an opportunity, and never stop writing. It’s like a muscle, and you should always keep it in shape.