Updated October 2023

A while back, MarketingProfs shared a survey of the most essential skills for aspiring marketers. I found the data really interesting because creating content and crafting persuasive copy are ranked higher than hiqh-quality written communications -- but don't the first two definitely require the third? I say yes. High-quality written communications also directly impacts the ability to craft effective presentations and reports (which, btw, are supposed to be persuasive, right?).

I've been at this a long time and admit I have a slightly different POV than a lot of folks. To me, the only difference between most genres of business writing is format and style stuff -- important, yes, but not hard to learn. Quality -- that requires some study and practice. Good writing is, to me, just good writing, regardless of the form or genre. Like Guy Kawaski said, "just write good shit." He was talking about how to get your content noticed by search engines, but it's true for any writing you want anyone to notice.

My point is, you're better off focusing on becoming a better writer than you are doing a deep dive into a particular genre like persuasive or form like reports or presentations. Knowing what makes writing good and working toward that gets you further in the long run because you've got a firm foundation on which to build genre- or form-specific expertise.

What is High-Quality Writing?

That's not a trick question. Researchers with EducationNorthwest broke down the characteristics of high-quality content into six traits. I created a checklist so you can use the rubric to quickly evaluate the quality of your own work (or someone else's) and identify opportunities for improvement.

A checklist for using the 6 Traits to evaluate the quality of your writing or someone else's.

How can I improve my writing quality?

9 ways to make your writing stronger with revisions
Click here to flip through the deck.

Again! Not a trick question! There are lots of ways, of course, but I've distilled them down to 10 can't-miss tactics that immediately make your writing better -- all conveniently aligned to the 6 Traits!

So, if you aspire to be a successful marketer, focus on the essential skills -- but in the right order! Quality first, then mechanics and specifics.

Want some additional help? I coach writers of all levels to boost their performance and effectiveness. Learn more about writing coaching.

Related Content: Quality standards for specific forms and genres of business writing

I haven't forgotten about your desire to master certain forms or genres. Check out these assets: