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5 Key Skills Required For Content Writing

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 29/11/214 min read
5 Key Skills Required For Content Writing

Table of Contents  5 Must-have Skills Required For Content Writing Solid research skills SEO Innovativeness Ability To Focus Meet Deadlines Every Time 20 Must-read Books On Content Writing Key Takeaways Conclusion FAQ’s People across the globe are trying to sharpen the skills required for content writing in the internet era. The reason is simple –… Continue reading 5 Key Skills Required For Content Writing

Table of Contents 

  • 5 Must-have Skills Required For Content Writing
    • Solid research skills
    • SEO
    • Innovativeness
    • Ability To Focus
    • Meet Deadlines Every Time
  • 20 Must-read Books On Content Writing
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion
  • FAQ’s

People across the globe are trying to sharpen the skills required for content writing in the internet era. The reason is simple – ‘Content is King’. Simply put, good content defines businesses on the Internet.  Not only does the creation of good content contribute to brand value and position businesses positively, but it is also a component of SEO. Search engines reward good content with higher web rankings.

If you want to know the skills of a content writer, read on to know what it takes to produce great content. Then, move on to sharpening those skills.

5 Must-have Skills Required For Content Writing


The five essential skills needed for content writing are,

  • Solid research skills
  • SEO skills
  • Innovativeness
  • Ability to focus
  • Meeting deadlines every time

1. Solid research skills

Great writing begins with great research. Research is like the foundation of a great monument. The monument is only as strong as its foundation. The Internet presents a huge opportunity with the extensive wealth of information found online. From countless studies on every subject to charts and tables, it is all there at the click of a few keys on your computer/mobile device.

The challenge is just to discover the hidden gems, sift through reams of data, and distill the pure findings into your original take on the subject. The one quality you need here is patience.

2. SEO

The internet is a machine made up of hardware and software, and a crisscrossing network that connects net-savvy users. One of the essential elements of this complex setup is SEO (search engine optimization). Think of SEO as a set of rules that decide where your website will rank on Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

If you follow SEO principles – dot the i’s and cross the t’s, you have a good chance of making it to the top of search engines. SEO is an indispensable technical skill for a content writer.

Invest your time in learning SEO if you wish to succeed in content writing.


3. Innovativeness

Innovativeness is one of the skills for a content writer to have. The Internet is so chock full of content, it is difficult to stand out among the crowd. So, what sets you apart?

If you are creative, you can add new elements to your content story. Or, you can tell the same story differently. It is like cooking. Sometimes you add novel ingredients to the recipe to create something new. Sometimes, you vary the quantities of the ingredients added to the recipe. Sometimes you cook them differently. Who doesn’t like a tasty variation of the same old recipe once in a while? Innovate to change your content writing so that readers keep coming back for more.

4. Ability to focus

Focusing is a key skill content writers need. There are only so many hours in a day. To produce quality content in time you need to focus on the task at hand. You need to be a focusing machine. That is how you will keep your quality in content writing while churning out quantity material as well.

5. Meet deadlines every time

Meeting deadlines is a hallmark of professionalism in every profession. If you commit a 48-hour turnaround time to a client, you better put your money where your mouth is. Reliability is another aspect of your professional life that is showcased when you meet your deadlines. Want more five-star reviews? Then, meet those deadlines!

20 Must-read Books On Content Writing

If you are serious about acquiring the skills required for content writing, here is a list of 20 books that can sharpen your ability.

1. How to Write and Speak Better by Reader’s Digest

This book is a must-have for every aspiring content writer. It touches upon skills for a content writer extensively. 

2. The Freelance Content Marketing Writer by Jenifer Goforth Gregory

This book focuses on skills needed for content writing that will open up an income channel for you – and a very profitable one at that.

3. Why Do You Hate Money by Joey Percia

Break into the money-making mindset with this book on content writing riches. If you are looking to challenge yourself into learning the content writing trade and earning a good income from it, pick up this book.

4. Hooked On You by Ian Harris

Grab the reader hook, line, and sinker with this masterpiece on how to get people to read what you write.

5. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

Meant to help you create superb content, this book focuses on writing for the web. Social media, publishing, or marketing, this book is meant to make you look smart.

6. Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

This book lists out 50 strategies for better writing. It is a good use of money and time.

7. 3 Months to No. 1 by Will Coombe

A superb read on SEO strategies that will help writers master the dot-com game.

8. The Copywriters Handbook by Robert W. Bly

It is about obtaining an understanding of persuasive copywriting step-by-step.

9. How to Write Seductive Web Copy by Henneke Duistermat

This is a guide on writing website copy or updating existing copy. It deals with the how and what of web copy, practically.

10. On Writing Well by William Zinsser

A great reference book on writing non-fiction.

11. Master Content Marketing by Pamela Wilson

Brings you to the content writing ring and helps you win the round by sharpening the skills needed for content writing.

12. Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

Helps you use the right words and cut through the noise.

13. How To Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell

14. The One Hour Content Plan by Meera Kothand

A great reference for writing blog posts.

15. Çontent Marketing by Jeremiah B

16. They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan

A how-to when dealing with the digital customer.

17. Writing to be Understood by Anne Janzer

A dissection of reader-friendly writing.

18. The Profitable Content System by Meera Kothand

How to write profitably day after day, year after year.

19. Build Your Author Platform With a Purpose by Mimika Cooney

A handbook on marketing strategies for writers.

20. Writing is Designing by Metts, Welfle


Writing is a helpful arrow in your quiver when your business is on the Internet. If writing is your profession, reading a ton of documents to sharpen your skills needed for content writing is called for.

Be assured, the best of writers were probably where you are today at some point in their writing career. With patience, diligence, and focused intent, they stand where they are today. It comes with a spirit of purpose.

Key Takeaways

If you were to take away from this text the central ideas in 65 words, here they come,

  • Writing is a skill that can be sharpened.
  • Writing is a confluence of skills.
  • Each writing skill must be learned both independently and in confluence with the others.
  • There is no substitute for quality writing in the digital world.
  • Every bit of successful writing has quality reading behind it.
  • The content writing skills are SEO, innovativeness, meeting deadlines, focus, and research.


1. Are there different writing styles?

There are five main styles of writing: narrative, expository, persuasive, analytical, and argumentative. Each style requires a different mix of skills.

2. What does a content writer do?

Content writers create the content for print and electronic publications. They possess a set of learned and/or inherited skills that allow them to write content that readers love and relate to.

3. Can the skills required for content writing be developed?

Yes. Reading engaging articles and studying books on writing will help in this.

4. What are the key writing skills?

The key writing skills are grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, brevity, and clarity.

5. Does content writing pay well?

Yes. It pays commensurate with skill and experience. Top content writers are quite well-off.

6. How to get started in content writing?

Blog, build a portfolio, and niche down as you develop your content writing skills.

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