When people find out I have a business writing agency, they often smile and nod. Then, invariably they tell me about their wife, nephew, fourth cousin, etc., who’s “a good writer.”
What, exactly, does it mean to be a good writer?
Signs of writing competency
- Vivid storytelling abilities
- Creative, effective syntax
- Mastery of grammar
- Good organization skills
- Smooth transitions
- Strict attention to detail
All of the above technically show writing proficiency, although skilled writers may possess only some of these traits, and in varying degrees.
Also, sometimes a good writer is simply someone who enjoys the creative process and consistently produces a high volume of content. Or, it’s a person for whom words come easily when tasked with writing a memo, report or email. Again, the above attributes may, or may not, apply.
In evaluating professional writers, however, we use a different set of standards. And we encourage you to do the same.
What is your goal?
People hire professional writers for a variety of reasons. Often, it’s lack of time, not lack of skill, that drives the decision to bring in outside help. Other times, companies bring in experts who can complement their in-house resources.
When evaluating writing help, it’s not a matter of determining whether the prospective partner is a good writer. Even a great writer may not be a good fit, depending on the project needs.
Are you trying to…
- Generate qualified leads?
- Raise money through direct mail?
- Communicate online?
- Differentiate your organization?
- Position your executives as niche experts?
- Converse with your audience?
Different goals require different writing skills – typically beyond the basic traits described earlier.
Good writing may get your point across without embarrassing the firm. But effective writing can increase your bottom line.
Future posts will discuss the skills that Market It Write looks for when adding talent for specific types of projects. What criteria do you use for interviewing writers for different projects?