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Hire Your Dream Copywriter: 8 (Non-Writing) Skills for Content Success

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As a content marketing agency, we know that one of the hardest things we must do is find quality writers who can deliver strong copy on behalf of our customers. After all, the success of any marketing campaign hinges on the message.

It’s easy to assume, then, that a solid writing portfolio is a surefire sign of a perfect fit for your agency. While good writing skills are a given, there’s more to writing than writing.

8 Skills a Writer Must Have for True Content Success

If you’re looking to add a dream writer to your team, we recommend looking for writers with the following skills—skills that go beyond writing ability.

1. Flexibility

Even if your agency serves a specific niche, each customer has a unique voice that must be delivered through copy to attract their ideal customer. To make it happen, your writer should be able to flex tone, writing style and more to fit each project.

Plus, your writer should be comfortable flexing between projects. One day they may focus on blog posts while another day may be full of keyword research and customer interviews.

2. Ability to Take Criticism

Your writer should be able to take criticism. The work we deliver hinges on the customer. If they’re not happy, they’ll let you know (as they should). Sometimes, this feedback isn’t unicorns and glitter. Your writer should have the confidence to take a breath, pick out what’s important and move on.

A writer should also be able to take constructive criticism and work to improve where needed for success.

3. Connection

We genuinely believe that successful copywriting requires building a connection between a business and its audience. The only way to deliver this kind of copy is to connect with your customers first. Get to know them. Explore what truly makes them tick. “See” them.

A great writer will ask the right questions and be open to sharing some vulnerability with your customers. They’ll be comfortable showing their humanity, which often makes your customer feel comfortable showing theirs. And that’s where the gold lies.

4. Empathy

Connection and empathy go hand in hand. Your writer should have the capacity to place themselves in your customer’s shoes, extracting the passion they have for what they do and translating it into the written word. They should also be able to empathize with your customer’s target audience to understand their needs, fears, challenges and desires.

5. Patience

Words are hard. Difficult projects require patience. It’s not unusual to complete a project only for the customer to change their mind or goal completely. Additionally, some projects, such as complete website creation, can take weeks or months to finish. Any writer should be able to go with the flow and accept any hiccups along the way.

6. Sense of Humor

Yes, humor is a skill. No one should ever take themselves too seriously. Your writer should realize that they’re human and will make mistakes. A typo shouldn’t be the end of the world.

Thinking like a robot will only result in robotic copy…and that’s not the goal here.

7. Communication

You can’t write good copy without an ability to communicate in some way, shape or form. After all, copy is communication between a business and its audience. A writer should understand the importance of communication and be comfortable making it a part of their daily work.

Communication occurs frequently for writers. For example, they must communicate with the marketing team and your customers daily. They must also have the interpersonal skills necessary to perform successful customer interviews and strategy calls.

8. Ability to Set Aside Their Ego

Your writer should take pride in the work they deliver. Yet, they must also understand that the end product isn’t theirs, it’s the customers. This means they must accept changes, whether big or small, even if they don’t like them. They must accept feedback, even if they don’t agree. It’s critical to set ego aside to deliver the work your customers want.

Struggling to Find Your Dream Writer? Let Us Help.

The struggle is real. Yet, your dream writer is out there. But the search may take some time. Until you find the right internal fit, you can always outsource your content efforts to a dedicated content team.

Our team of Word Nerds offers connection-driven, high-quality white label copywriting services to marketing agencies. To learn more, send us a message!

Cari O'Brien

Founder & Chief Word Nerd
Cari has been providing content marketing services to businesses for over 15 years. She writes and speaks frequently about brand messaging, SEO copywriting and audience-focused copy. She’s the creator of the Connection Copywriting Method and the online writing course, Write that Site®.

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