You’ve decided to embark on the quest of a writer. There are many writers in the world, but none are quite like you, with your unique perspective and voice. Nevertheless, with so many writers in the world, it might be difficult to find a place where you can shine. At this critical juncture in your quest, it’s time to think about multiclassing.
In role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, multiclassing is when someone from one class, or trade, learns and develops relevant skills from another class in order to become more well-rounded.
When considering your multiclassing options as a writer, it is important to keep your goals in mind. Do you want to pen a bestselling novel, or do you want to rise to the top of an advertising agency? Maybe you have another goal in mind. Whatever it is, multiclassing can help you arrive at your destination with a few new skills to boot.
Let’s explore some options together.
- If you choose HTML, go to #1.
- If you choose marketing, go to #2.
- If you choose SEO, go to #3.
- If you choose social media, go to #4.
- For the secret ending, go to #5.
Ah, yes, the magic of coding. As a writer, you most likely gleaned the basics of math and science from your undergrad courses and hoped to never see numbers and letters mixed together again. However, in an increasingly tech-savvy world, you can’t escape from computer science. With so much content being delivered in a digital format, wouldn’t it be nice to have some control over where and how your words appear on a webpage? You don’t need to know how to build a computer, but a basic understanding of HTML can go a long way. The Internet is teeming with plenty of free resources to help you grasp the foreign world of coding. If you work in an office, try reaching out to your technology department to get pointed in the right direction.
According to every rom com or otherwise trite Hallmark Movie Channel movie, this is what writers do. You write? You must be in marketing. And you’re probably going to fall in love this winter under bizarre circumstances. Cliched movies aside, marketing is a field that many writers find themselves in, yet haven’t been exposed to in their undergrad studies. Even for those who don’t pursue a career in a marketing firm, knowing a thing or two about marketing is especially helpful for writers looking to independently publish their work. However, being the writer that you are, you are already equipped with one of the most essential skills needed for marketing: the ability to identify and appeal to a specific audience. With this, and some fine-tuning from an experienced coworker or perhaps a literary agent, you’ll develop a basic understanding in no time.
Learning the intricacies of SEO best practices is essential for anyone who intends to publish anything to the web in hopes of anyone seeing it, no matter if it’s personal or for a client. The magic of SEO is that it helps you help others find you. Sure, you might have the best-written blog this side of Middle Earth, but one does not simply happen upon the next best thing on the Internet. If you don’t have an in-house SEO specialist to help you navigate the ever-changing tides of best practices, start by considering your target audience. Which keywords would you want someone to search for in order to find your work? Are they too broad in scope? Are those words and phrases incorporated into your copy? It might seem like a daunting task, but getting a handle on SEO is absolutely worth it to get your content in front of the eyes of readers.
4. Social Media
You’ve seen it, you probably have it, but do you know how to utilize it? That is the greatest obstacle that awaits you when dealing with social media. Social media is a bit like marketing and SEO combined. You want to reach and appeal to the right people, but in a user-centric way that encourages engagement and leaves them asking for more. It’s a lot more complex than cranking out a quirky post every hour, and yet it’s such a valuable resource for reaching people. A great place to start in learning social media is to simply peruse accounts that are similar to yours (or what you want yours to become). What kind of copy are they including? How do they utilize tags? Pay attention to the details and think about how you can incorporate similar tactics in your posts.
5. All of the Above
Wow! You decided to pursue all of these skills! You might not be an expert in any of them just yet, but wasn’t the point of your quest to learn some new things? All of these skills are incredibly useful to writers across every discipline and will help you produce stronger, more visible content for any audience.
As in any career, a writer’s quest is never truly finished. There is always room for growth and best practices will unquestionably change over time. What’s more, there is plenty of time to develop any number of the skills listed above and more.
If you are new to the field of writing, which non-writing skills do you think would benefit you the most? To any veteran writers, are there any areas you wish you’d multiclassed in? Leave a comment down below!
Rebecca Bowen – Writer