A writing career can be quite rewarding, though not for all. While it is easy to write run-of-the-mill product descriptions it is a lot more difficult to write creatively. The truth of the matter is most writers make their money writing product descriptions and blogs. Most people believe that content writers have a whale of a time, working from home, as and when it pleases them. However, being a freelance writer is not that easy. Here are 5 top skills you need as a freelance writer in order to be successful:

1. Learn to write in various genres

If you want to take up academic writing, you need to master APA and MLA styles, apart from the Chicago style format. Footnote or endnote citation is something a good writer cannot afford to forget. Bloggers need to learn to write in a friendly manner, often with a personal touch to the style. If it is copy that you are writing as a freelance writer, you need to create short and crisp one-liners that are catchy.

2. Don’t grab everything that comes your way

A smart freelance writer should resist the urge to grab everything that comes his or her way. Know your target audience first and write accordingly. If you know how your readers think and react you’ll be able to write what they want to read. It pays to do a bit of keyword research using Google’s Keyword Planner and insert keywords at the appropriate places. Also, keep track of what the competition is up to because it doesn’t hurt to gain some tips from successful freelance writers. Finally, think of a catchy title that should include one of the keywords.

3. Write original stuff

Don’t ever indulge in copying and pasting, because if you do so that’s the end of your writing career. Your reputation hangs on writing original and compelling content. Although there are tens and thousands of writers churning out content on similar subjects, each piece has to be unique. You need not master all subjects, just be good at researching your stuff.

4. Learn a bit of SEO

You must have heard of Search Engine Optimization (SE0), if not it is time you learn something about it. Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science; just learn the fundamentals of SEO, WordPress and HTML as such things come in handy while writing. With Search Engine algorithms changing too very often, a freelance writer needs to keep up. Whatever you do, never compromise on quality as that is what matters ultimately.

5. Be active on the social media

Social media is a powerful tool to reach out to a large number of people. You can easily build up a captive target audience by being active on the social media and sharing your work with groups. Once your writing gets published and shared there are chances for it to go viral, provided you write great stuff. Followers will certainly share your content if they find it interesting.

To sum it all up, writing is not just about filling up the page. Content writers need to be good at marketing, SEO, understand search engine algorithms and a lot more. Keep yourself updated and try to stay ahead.