21 Essential Qualities for a Successful Content Writer in the Digital World


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21 Essential Qualities for a Successful Content Writer in the Digital World

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21 Essential Qualities for a Successful Content Writer in the Digital World

In today’s digital world, what is that one quality a successful content writer must possess? To answer this, we’ve gathered insights from twenty-one professionals, including Heads of Content and Content Managers. From understanding your audience to continuously learning and staying ahead of the game, discover the essential qualities that make a content writer truly successful.

  • Understanding Audience: Creating Relevant Content
  • Distinctive Tone: Maintaining Unique Style and Voice
  • Consumer Translation: Translating Brand Voice to Customer Voice
  • Listening and Observing: Key to Success
  • Research Skills: Essential for Credibility
  • Humility: Embracing Constructive Feedback for Improvement
  • Expert Level Knowledge: Demonstrating Expertise in Your Field
  • Fact-Checking: A Non-Negotiable Skill
  • Data Analytics: A Crucial Skill
  • Empathy: A Vital Quality
  • Proofreading: Ensuring Error-Free Content
  • SEO Practice: Optimizing Content for Search and Readers
  • Creativity: A Must-Have Skill
  • Personality: Writing to Stand Out
  • Human Quality: Sounding Real in the AI Age
  • Being Concise: A Win-Win
  • Self-Promotion: Building a Strong Personal Brand
  • Matching Value: Understanding What Makes Effective Content
  • Synesthetic Writing: A Memorable Approach
  • Adaptability: Being Relevant and Relatable
  • Continuous Learning: Staying Ahead of the Game

Understanding the Audience: Creating Relevant Content

A content writer must have a passion for people and user experience. Content plays a huge role in user and customer experience.

Before a content writer writes a single word, they take the time to truly understand who the target audience is. In doing so, they understand their users’ pain points to create valuable content that provides a solution to the user.

Finally, they create copy with a tone of voice that resonates with the user, while making sure their copy is inviting and easy to read, with nice, short, concise sentences and bite-size paragraph chunks.

Tom BlakeTom Blake
Head of Content, TJ Creative Marketing Limited

Distinctive Tone: Maintaining Unique Style and Voice

In the modern world of numerous news, fast trends, and AI-generated texts, successful content writers must be resilient and consistent in their own peculiar style. There are far too many tools to edit the text and make it readable, which actually makes all the texts look and sound more or less the same.

Writers with a distinctive style and tone are precious today. In my experience, texts written in a peculiar style often receive higher appraisals and get distinguished and appreciated by the audience. Flexibility and adaptability are good, yet the ability not to lose your voice is invaluable.

Tania Doshko
Tania Doshko, Career Expert and Content Manager, CryptoJobsList

Consumer Translation: Translating Brand Voice to Customer Voice

In today’s digital world, a successful content writer must be able to translate their company’s brand voice into the voice of the customer.

In my experience, I have seen many companies try to make their website sound like their target demographic, but they fail because they sound like themselves. If you want people to buy your product, you have to talk to them as if they are talking to you.

For example, if you are selling a product that helps people lose weight, don’t make your website sound like someone who just wants to lose weight wrote it. Make your website sound like it was written by someone who has been losing weight and feels great!

Gauri ManglikGauri Manglik
CEO and Co-Founder, Instrumentl

Listening and Observing: Key to Success

The ability to listen and observe! With the advent of generative AI and numerous tools, everybody can now become a writer. So, what will set exceptional writers apart from mediocre ones will be how well they can write using all their senses. This is also how one can become a great storyteller.

Swetha SitaramanSwetha Sitaraman
Thought Leadership, Vajra Global Consulting

Research Skills: Essential for Credibility

The internet is full of misinformation, and successful content marketing requires in-depth research and fact-checking. Offering credible sources will build your brand’s reputation and establish your content as a reliable source of information. Plus, helpful, educational content will rank higher on search engines—a win-win for everyone.

Start your research by interviewing industry experts and reading well-known research publications and peer-reviewed journals. Those sources will give you a reliable foundation to work from.

Leah BodenhamerLeah Bodenhamer
Content Manager

Humility: Embracing Constructive Feedback for Improvement

No one likes to hear when they might need to make changes, but being able to take constructive feedback makes all the difference for being a successful content writer. A willingness to accept and act on constructive feedback is a valuable quality for continuous improvement. When you can look past the negative feelings you might have towards feedback, you can instead make yourself a better content writer.

Scott EvansScott Evans
Co-Founder, Pink Self Storage

Expert Level Knowledge: Demonstrating Expertise in Your Field

With the changing digital landscape, content writers who can demonstrate expertise in a particular field will be in demand for the foreseeable future. AI can’t compete with experts, and Google is aiming to reward websites backed by experts.

Your career trajectory can massively change when you stand out in your industry. Even with the recent advancements in AI, we still employ expert content writers, and we aren’t concerned about AI outpacing their quality standards.

Scott SiddersScott Sidders
Co-Founder, Scott & Yanling Media Inc.

Fact-Checking: A Non-Negotiable Skill

One important quality for a successful content writer is top-notch fact-checking ability. With information circulating at lightning speed and the importance of accurate content on the rise, ensuring the credibility of the material you produce is non-negotiable.

As the owner of a video editing agency, I’ve seen firsthand how crucial it is for our content creators to be meticulous in verifying the accuracy of their work. This not only builds trust with our clients and audience, but also elevates the overall quality of the content we deliver.

In an era where misinformation spreads like wildfire, being a content writer with solid fact-checking skills is necessary for maintaining credibility and relevance.

Daniel WillmottDaniel Willmott
Founder, Shortformvideo.co

Data Analytics: A Crucial Skill

Data analytics is a crucial skill. So much of content writing these days is based on knowing your audience and your distribution channels, beyond just creating quality content. Putting out content, tracking it, and figuring out how to improve it for next time means understanding a lot of math.

This is something that I think can be a bit tricky to wrap your head around for those that come from a more writing-focused background.

Kate KandeferKate Kandefer
CEO, SEOwind

Empathy: A Vital Quality

Having collaborated with numerous writers over the years, I’ve found empathy and adaptability to be vital, yet often overlooked, qualities of truly successful content creators today. The best writers have a keen understanding of their target audience—they can put themselves in the reader’s shoes, anticipate their needs and questions, and address these effectively through their content.

At the same time, they are adaptable enough to tailor their writing style and approach based on the subject matter, goals, and tone required. The writers I’ve worked with who consistently create high-performing content are incredibly attuned to the audience’s changing preferences and habits. They are agile and able to pivot their style from long-form explanatory posts to quick, social media-friendly snippets as needed.

Rather than sticking rigidly to one way of writing, they have versatility in their toolbox. Their focus is on creating content that resonates, not just showcasing their writing skills.

Brian MeiggsBrian Meiggs
Founder, My Millennial Guide

Proofreading: Ensuring Error-Free Content

It might seem like an insignificant detail, but knowing how to proofread and understand proper grammar is something every content writer should have knowledge of. Content that has spelling and grammatical errors is often not taken seriously, and it looks like sloppy work. It hinders the success rate of the content you create, and it often leads to negative comments, which can look bad for your brand.

A good content writer will be diligent about the words they write and ensure to edit and proofread each time before submitting any final content. There are plenty of tools that can help to ensure each piece is polished and free of errors.

Aaron DavisAaron Davis
CEO and Co-Founder, Exploration

SEO Practice: Optimizing Content for Search and Readers

Successful content writers need to produce useful and engaging content that will rank well without the content looking like they only wrote it for SEO purposes. Nobody wants to read anything that’s just packed with keywords. Users want unique, highly relevant information that speaks to them and addresses their concerns.

But in order to reach the right audience, the content needs to be optimized for search engines. Today’s most successful content writers can produce content that ranks well but looks like it was actually written to be read by real people.

Temmo KinoshitaTemmo Kinoshita
Co-Founder, Lindenwood Marketing

Creativity: A Must-Have Skill

Creativity is a necessary skill for a content writer to succeed in the modern digital environment. Because there is so much content on the internet, writers must differentiate themselves and draw readers in.

Original and memorable information is communicated through creative material, which also engages readers. This involves creating attention-grabbing headlines, utilizing vibrant imagery, and narrating stories that resonate with audiences. With the use of creativity, authors can add individuality to their writing, making it more likable and shareable.

A creative approach distinguishes content in a competitive digital landscape, building a deeper connection with the audience and ultimately driving success.

Aqsa TabassamAqsa Tabassam
Digital Content Manager, My Sparkling Life

Personality: Writing to Stand Out

Nowadays, a content writer must write with personality to stand out from the competition. Countless writers out there are fast and skilled at content writing, but they might not be able to grab the reader’s attention. In the sea of writers that sound the same, you need to be unique in the way you use your voice.

Cillian ReynoldsCillian Reynolds
Managing Director, CBD Oil Ireland

Human Quality: Sounding Real in the AI Age

Sound like a human! With so much of the focus now on AI content and publishing as much copy as possible, keeping your focus on writing like a knowledgeable human will go a long way. Not just in the quality of your content, but Google’s Helpful Content Update exists specifically to identify and ultimately reward sites that publish good, authoritative content from actual human beings.

Casey MarksCasey Marks
Chief Operating Officer, Marks Building Company

Being Concise: A Win-Win

Content writers must be concise. Readers don’t have much time to consume “fluff.” Say what you want to say in a compelling, yet to-the-point way. When readers get value from your content, and it doesn’t take a lot of their time, it’s a win-win for both of you.

Kelli AndersonKelli Anderson
Career Coach, Resume Seed

Self-Promotion: Building a Strong Personal Brand

The ability to be self-promotional and maintain a brand personality is something that can help a content writer to be more successful. A strong personal brand not only establishes your identity in the competitive field of content creation but also helps you build credibility, attract opportunities, and connect with your target audience.

Your personal brand helps define your niche and expertise. It communicates to your audience the topics you are passionate about and the areas in which you excel. This clarity makes it easier for potential clients to identify you as the right fit for their content needs.

Adam Petrilli
Adam Petrilli, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, NetReputation.com

Matching Value: Understanding What Makes Effective Content

One of the most important skills a content writer needs these days is a strong understanding of SEO, with an emphasis on on-page elements.

Websites produce content to provide helpful information to readers, build authority and trust,

funnel customers into their buying cycle, place relevant keywords, distribute internal links site-wide, and link to external websites of relevance.

Knowing how search engines crawl the content before putting pen to paper is vital, as it allows the writer to tailor the articles for the above metrics.

Keywords can be sprinkled throughout, headers can be formatted congruently, and links can be embedded to funnel visitors into the buying cycle.

This understanding of SEO helps content writers create content that ranks well in Google but also ensures that the content effectively serves the website’s goals and the needs of its audience.

Phil PearcePhil Pearce
Founder, CEO and Analytics Director, MeasureMinds

Synesthetic Writing: A Memorable Approach

I believe that one quality that can greatly benefit content writers in today’s digital world is “synesthetic writing.”

Synesthetic writing is creating content that appeals to multiple senses through words. It involves crafting content in a way that not only informs and engages the reader intellectually but also elicits sensory and emotional responses. This quality allows content writers to paint vivid mental images, evoke specific emotions, and make content more memorable.

By incorporating elements like rich metaphors, evocative descriptions, and well-crafted sensory details, synesthetic writing can help content writers make their articles, blog posts, or marketing materials stand out in a crowded digital space. It enables the audience to have a more immersive and sensory experience with the content, making it more likely to leave a lasting impact.

Joshua JarvisJoshua Jarvis
Chief Marketing Officer and Founder, Junk Removal Marketing Pro

Adaptability: Being Relevant and Relatable

In today’s digital world, a successful content writer simply must be adaptable. That is, they must be able to alter their tone, style, and language to the ever-shifting online landscape.

This might not sound new, but it isn’t just about switching between formal and casual or technical and simple; it’s about deeply understanding each platform’s unique language and the audience that inhabits it.

Today’s consumers are increasingly discerning and demand niche, targeted content that resonates with them individually, especially on individually created platforms exclusively catering to their unique needs. For instance, crafting a tweet may require wit in 280 characters, whereas a LinkedIn article demands thoughtful leadership insights.

And don’t forget, a technical guide may be well-received among experts but can fall flat with novices. Understanding your audience inside-out and adapting to their needs is non-negotiable. It’s about being relevant, relatable, and resourceful—every time.

Kieran FrankKieran Frank
Content Marketing Executive, RGC Digital Marketing

Continuous Learning: Staying Ahead of the Game

Those who are always willing to learn and attend events to better their knowledge will always be ahead of their game in today’s digital world. I know from my own perspective how much tech and business networking events really help to expand my point of view and allow me the opportunity to pick up new and exciting information.

It can take some effort to be open to attending these events, as well as actively seeking online resources to further your skills. But it’s something I believe is a must for a content writer because the digital landscape is always evolving. Successful content writers stay updated on industry trends and are committed to continuous learning and skill development.

Renan FerreiraRenan Ferreira
Head of Communications and Director of Sales, RealCraft

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