“Anyone can write” says Vaibhav Kakkar CEO of IIM SKILLS
Have you always harbored the dream of becoming a writer but have been dissuaded by that niggling voice at the back of your head saying that writing is an innate trait not all can master? And you think to yourself “I don’t have it in me..”
Well, as writers, we all have been there at some point or the other. Whether it’s your self-doubt or imposter syndrome or absolute disappointment in your first drafts, we are beset with such issues more often than not. So does that mean we are not good enough to become a writer and make a flourishing career out of it?
Busting such myths is ace digital marketer and content consultant Mr. Vaibhav Kakkar, CEO of IIM SKILLS.
“The truth is anyone can become a writer and there is absolutely no prerequisite to starting a career as a writer!” He says.
Having started his career in the field of digital marketing and content when these two sectors were still in their nascent stages, Vaibhav went on to start his own website which gave information to the internet audience about various skill-based courses and training programs.
In 2015, he decided to launch his own company IIM SKILLS, which today can boast of being a leading ed-tech institute offering a plethora of job-oriented, skill enhancement programs including content writing, digital marketing, technical writing, and finance courses, and more.
So what can we do to become successful writers with a sustainable careers?
“We need to master a few select skills to become a writer. With continued learning and persistent practice, anyone can thrive in the world of writing..”
With that thought in mind, here we present to you the top qualities of a successful Content Writer…
Discipline is the primary requirement to become a good writer as is in any other profession. One of the best ways to develop a habit of writing is to fix a certain time of the day dedicated to writing and writing only. You should take the utmost effort to ensure that you are writing at a specified time every day initially. It would help you cultivate the habit of writing. Once you develop a routine, you will notice that you are unable to go even for one day without practicing your skill. By writing at the same time every day for at least the initial months, you train your brain to make writing an ineluctable part of your life.
2. Strong Grasp of the Language You are Writing In
One of the traits of a writer is that they continuously evolve, learn, and develop their craft by having a strong grasp of the language they are writing in. Whether it is English or any regional language, you have to make sure that you understand the grammar, vocabulary, and the nitty-gritty of that language to connect with your target readers more efficiently.
Research is a very important part of writing anything. In fact, it is one of the most important steps even before you start your journey of writing. Why should you have to research so rigorously before writing anything you may ask? Well, research is the first step to becoming a good writer.
You learn about your niche/topic/subject matter through research. You get an in-depth understanding of your topic and can back your writing with facts and figures only through thorough research. With research, you have absolute clarity on the matter you are writing about and can unhesitatingly answer the most complex of questions regarding your subject matter.
A meticulous approach to writing helps you to connect better with your target reader and do justice to their expectations of your writing abilities. Whether it’s your approach to the research, grammar, and vocabulary aspect, it gives you an edge over your competitors. It will help you every step of the writing process making your work more accurate and exhaustive.
5. Clarity of Thought
This might be considered a corollary of the 4th point. If you are meticulous in your approach to writing, then it will help you gain clarity of thought regarding the subject. This will be enriching both for you as a writer and for your readers who will get informative and appealing content to read. Bring detail-oriented and perusing what you write with sincerity can help you reach your goals faster than you can imagine.
It builds your reputation as a writer and your clients have unwavering trust in your capabilities.
You have to possess the quality of being observant if you want to become an astute writer. Some writers have the ability to connect with their audiences instantly while some flounder in that aspect. Have you ever wondered why?
A good writer tends to observe their surrounding diligently. This helps to glean more information, which, in turn, enables them to write more organically. Being observant helps them to analyze and understand situations and behaviors that propel better writing. Being observant helps the writer to imbue his writing with a more authentic and accurate depiction of the subject matter at hand.
7. Willing to Adapt To Changes
The writing industry is flexible and prone to changes. Most of your target readers will be present on the internet. Especially with the tremendous proliferation of digital channels and the internet, it has become essential to keep yourself abreast of what your target audience is looking for in the online domain. As a writer, you have to understand the pulse of your audience, and what they are interested in. You can surf different communication channels like Quora, Reddit, and social media channels to know what interests your readers.
8. Proficiency In Different Writing Styles
A writer has to be well-versed with the different styles of writing. With time we indeed develop our own style of writing but it is very important to be aware of these different styles to write impeccably and to have conviction in your talent as a writer. Some of the writing styles are as follows:
9. Well-versed with The Internet
It has become imperative that content writers are comfortable with computers and conversant with the internet. This is the era of ebooks, websites, and blogs. This means that a writer has to be well equipped with the knowledge of websites, blogs, online publications, etc to grow in their professional lives and to undertake challenging writing endeavors.
10. Writing Original Content
Anything you write must have been explored before. But it’s the way you present it, the usage of words, and your unique ideas and perspective on that matter that makes content original. To become a writer one has to make efforts to write plagiarism-free content. Any information taken from another website or blog has to be cited and should be properly mentioned.
Search engines have become advanced enough to detect plagiarism. When crawling your blog or website, if they detect plagiarism, your site is penalized. As a result, your reputation as a writer takes a hit. So make sure to write original content and double-check by scanning your work through a plagiarism detector tool.
11. Giving due Importance to Headlines, Titles, and Subheadings
Headlines are a vital part of a write-up. How many times have you proceeded with reading an article because the headline made it too good to resist. And how many times have you avoided reading an article because the headline was insipid and uninspiring. It is one element in your write-up that reels the reader in. Once you have hooked the reader’s attention with your heading, you have accomplished a major task in your process of content strategy.
12. Innate Love For Reading
An innate love for reading is one of the most important qualities of becoming a great writer. Imbibing the qualities of good writing can only happen with consistent reading. If you are not interested in reading books, blogs, or publications, then you can say goodbye to your dreams of becoming a writer. Reading enriches your understanding of how to write and gives you thr required imaginative powers to create compelling content.
13. Picking a Profitable Niche
A good writer isn’t someone who just pics a random subject and starts writing on it. They put in hours of research and select a profitable niche that is in demand, one that people want to read about. This one is the first rule of embarking upon your journey of becoming a writer.
You cannot write something that people don’t have an interest in reading about. This will only make your efforts futile and will negatively impact your belief in yourself. Hence make sure that you do a rigorous research on what the most popular and profitable niches are that interest you and have a great demand in the market as well. Only when you analyze the niches properly, will you be able to choose one that is profitable, riveting, and interesting for you to write.
14. Knowledge of Writing Tools and Applications
Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds and today a writer needs to have proper knowledge of writing tools and applications that are available on the internet. This aids your writing and helps mitigate a lot of unenforced errors that occur while you are writing. Some writing tools to consider are the Hemingway app, Grammarly, and Quillbot. Research tools include Ubersuggest, Answer The Public, and channels like reddit, and Quora.
15. Proofreading And Editing
A writer should be an efficient proofreader and editor as well. Proofreading and Editing help to do away with anything ambiguous in our writing and helps us to analyze and review our work. Moreover, it helps us to develop a keen discernment of the nuances of writing which, in turn, helps us to understand what would work with the audience and what wouldn’t. Once you become adept at proofreading, your writing also improves considerably.
16. Working Knowledge of SEO
As reiterated multiple times, in this age of the internet, write-ups, articles, and editorials cater to people in the online domain. Knowledge of SEO enables you to create content that is going to appear on the first pages of a search engine like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Why is it important to know SEO?
First, SEO Ranking builds credibility for a writer. It is a testament to the writers’ ability to create content that appeals to the target audience. Secondly, knowledge of SEO would help in enhancing your skillsets and diversify your portfolio to get better job opportunities in the writing domain.
Learning the fundamentals of SEO is a must for writers today. It comes in handy if you want to start your own blog or website. Most writing jobs today require you to know the basics of SEO. Some concepts to know are Off-page SEO, On-Page SEO, Alt Text, keyword density, proper use of images, internal and external links, use of subheadings and headings, and meta description.
17. Time Management Skills
Time Management might be an overused set of words but has tremendous benefits. It helps in the smooth flow of work without jarring breaks that hinder creativity. Proper time management skills help writers to be well organized and know their priorities. It also helps with the more efficient handling of deadlines and meetings. The writing process is complex with time dedicated to research, writing multiple drafts, formatting, editing, and proofreading. You have to streamline the entire process to maximize your productivity and ensure that no time is wasted.
Therefore one has to be efficient in managing time to do all of this. A writer deals with more than one project at a time and sometimes works with multiple clients with diverse demands. The best solution would be to chart out a plan the previous day. A planner can do wonders for a writer.
18. Communication Skills
Communication skills are an important quality for a writer. The entire crux of writing is to convey a particular idea successfully to different people of interest. As a writer, you have to communicate with clients if you are a freelancer or with your management if you are an employee in an organization.
Writers have to formulate a lot of business emails to coordinate with the management and clients consistently. Successful communication only happens when your writing is aligned with the goals and objectives of the business organization. And that is possible only through effective communication. That’s why a writer when starting their journey should focus on developing their communication skills for a rewarding career in the world of writing.
19. Understanding Social Media
Technology advancement and expansion have only given rise to a consolidated system with integrated content strategy gaining importance. It enables you to maximize your reach to your target readers. Hence, writers are today encouraged to understand the different social media channels and their unique characteristics comprehensively to be able to tailor content according to the nature of that social media channel.
Social media is an extremely important tool that can help writers get recognition and maximize their reach. The variety of people on social media channels also ensures that you boost your audience base. It also propels the creation of a personal brand for a writer which can help in innumerable ways starting from selling your ebook to getting traffic for your websites to selling physical books. You should be at home with the unique attributes of these social media channels. Put in the effort to tailor content specifically for the channels and you will see remarkably quick results.
20. Staying Updated With News of the Content Writing Industry
The content industry is brimming with potential, is dynamic, and prone to changes that are meant to give the target readers more relevant and interesting content. Any form of media requires writers to be able to deliver their messages successfully to that target audience. The content and information industry today caters to a massive audience. Since the possibilities are huge a writer has to consistently read up about this information and contact industry and make sure that they are updated with the latest happenings in the sector to leverage the benefits.
Last, but definitely not least, creativity is a prerequisite to becoming a good writer. You need a generous doze of good imaginative skills to turn your ideas into appealing content. Merely writing down your novel ideas is not going to help you resonate with your target audience. Good writers can turn even the most mundane of things into something incredibly exciting and appealing. That’s why you have to continuously upgrade yourself and find newer ways of presenting your ideas with an appealing narrative.
And finally! Here is a quick conversation with Digital Marketing Consultant and Content Writer Mr. Vaibhav Kakkar before we wrap up.
1. What made you think about starting IIM SKILLS?
A whole lot of research revealed that people all over the globe were looking for high-grade professional courses that would help them add to their basic skillsets to showcase to their potential employers. And some of the top in-demand courses were in the domain of writing and marketing. I thought, why not provide students and professionals with a platform that offered a flexible learning approach with an industry-validated curriculum? With industry experts with a keen understanding of the subjects we designed well-researched and curated programs in content and technical writing, digital marketing, SEO, as well as a diverse range of finance training programs.
2. What are some of the advantages you provide to the students enrolling in these courses?
We aim to provide well-rounded learning with the latest curriculum and knowledge of tools, applications, and best practices. IIM skills will always prioritize the welfare of the students first. To enhance their experience of experiential learning, we have free access to our learning management system forever.
This learning management system has all recorded class sessions as well as learning materials and updated information in the content. If a student ever faces any difficulty IIM SKILLS has a 24/7 help desk that is dedicated to solving doubts and queries as speedily as possible. We also have doubt resolution sessions with mentors and an immersive learning pedagogy that has students communicate with their mentors live during class.
3. So what is next in store for students and professionals from IIM SKILLS?
After a very successful launch of several professional, industry-specific courses, we have decided to launch finance courses that will help finance students and professionals upskill and add more skills to their resumes. With this thought in mind, we have introduced GST Course, Financial Modelling Course, and Business Accounting and Taxation Course. And there is a lot more in the pipeline. With that assurance, he signs off.
Now that you have the qualities of a writer at your fingertips, start your journey on a positive note, don’t dither, and enjoy the process…
Happy Learning folks!