How to Argue Your Value As a Professional Writer

As a professional or in-house writer you know you're an invaluable asset to a company or organization. However, there may come a time when you need to put forward a very sound case to justify your role or to promote its importance. Whether it’s due to reorganization, downsizing or budget cuts, the necessity of having a professional, in-house writer may be questioned. You need to be able to voice your organizational importance and highlight how you contribute to the future success of the company or organization.

Use the following suggested steps to clarify your writing capacities. By clearly demonstrating the skills that distinguish a great professional, in-house writer from any other choice, you'll be in a far sounder position to argue for your value and to have it recognized.


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    Know your own reasons for being a writer. It is far harder to defend anything if you don't truly believe in its worth. Be prepared to reveal the passion for what you're doing. Identify the reasons that motivate you to be a writer, both now and into the future, so that these reasons are at the forefront of your mind, motivating your argument and helping you to better express them when pressed. If you're a highly proficient, professional writer who has produced a lot of verifiable, good work that can be pointed to as factual evidence of your value, you're already halfway there; it simply needs to be made clear to those less understanding.
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    Try to stand in the shoes of those who are viewing the writing role as superfluous or easily outsourced. You need to understand where such people are coming from, so that you can counteract their every misinformed idea about the value of in-house writing and fill in their gaps of knowledge with respect to the worth of targeted writing for the company or organization. Keep in mind that many people are under a mistaken belief that good writing is easy. It isn't; good writing is hard work and requires a lot of skill and knowledge. Moreover, being a writer is a fairly solitary and unglamorous existence, something that people often don't realize. Your ability to cope with this reality is already astounding, so bear in mind the possible misconceptions when trying to understand the point of view of your adversaries, so that you can successfully counteract them.
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    Argue your proficiency as a well-established writer. Communication is the foundation of every successful business, and you have the ability to communicate effectively and professionally. You can turn ideas into content that has the ability to inform, persuade or inspire. You are a tool for not only creating effective content, but for excellence in grammar, vocabulary and editing. You are also aware of the importance of plain English to produce writing that works, writing that does its job without anyone having to ask for further explanation. A professional writer produces professional content.
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    Emphasize your knowledge of the art of rhetoric. This skill produces strong, well-organized and audience-focused writing. A good professional writer is well versed and practiced in rhetoric. You know the art of effective communication and creating authoritative arguments and understand the importance of both content and form. As a writer, you will always evaluate rhetorical techniques to tailor writing to specific audiences.
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    Remind those you seek to convince that you write for the intended audience. With all communication there is an audience, a message to be delivered, and a means to get the message from the sender to the recipient. As a professional writer you become the messenger. A company or organization should value whom they chose to deliver the content because a lot can be lost in translation when using writers unfamiliar with the company's or organization's aims, mission and purpose. As a professional writer, you focus on user-centered texts and will utilize the best method of delivery without losing the message’s meaning.
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    Demonstrate that you can deliver a consistent voice. It is important for a company or organization to maintain constancy for all of their communications. By having a professional writer, the company or organization identity and voice will remain consistent and fluid. While the collaboration of ideas is essential, the identified voice of one professional writer communicating on behalf of the company or organization will make the message that much stronger.
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    Note that you can write on a multitude of platforms. Technology is constantly creating different platforms for a business to communicate information to their audience. As a professional writer you are expected to keep up with the emerging technology and not only know how to utilize it, but recognize how it may alter the meaning and adjust accordingly. By having a professional writer who is able to write for the digital world, a company’s or organization's message will be more accessible and the company’s or organization's image will stay current.
    • Be sure to keep a portfolio of examples at-the-ready all the time, that demonstrates both your print and online writing versatility. Be able to list all of the online formats you're comfortable writing in, from blogs and websites to complete articles.
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    Argue that you have the time to write well. While people in other positions may write well, they are expected to be productive in their principal role while writing consistently good copy, articles, etc., can be distracting, time-consuming, and burdensome for them thus, negatively affecting productivity not only in their principal role, but also in the secondary role as an ad hoc writer. Having a person whose time is dedicated to writing will make sure that everything that goes out will be done well and done on time. Note that in the switch from print to screen, the amount of content a company or organization can produce becomes seemingly limitless. Online material is easily distributed and navigated by the audience, so a company or organization needs more content, more often and always up-to-date. Having a dedicated writer ensures that there will be no loss in productivity in other departments trying to meet this increase in writing needs.
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    Bring up your knowledge of modern copyright laws. A professional writer is responsible for knowing the current copyright laws for all the different methods of communication and will be expected to adhere to these. Since your expertise is writing, you need to not only be on top of developments in technology but the copyright laws for these new platforms for writing. Moreover, taking care of this aspect for your company or organization seamlessly is reassuring and prevents hold-ups in having to get writing from other departments checked or vetted through someone else.
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    Stress that you value writing ethically. A professional writer values ethics when representing a company or organization. There is a risk of misrepresentations being unknowingly produced by people who are not trained to write or who lack familiarity with the underpinnings and philosophy of the company or organization. This can result in confusion over the company’s or organization's image and can even lead to legal repercussions. Writing has the power to get a reaction for good and bad and as a professional writer you will consistently focus on avoiding the negative impacts of that power.
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    Highlight how you streamline the writing process. Someone who is trained and is familiar with the depth and scope of writing will have better time management and will spend less time working on a piece than someone who is not familiar with writing. This will result in increased productivity and the ability to turn around projects quickly.
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    Maintain that you give a company or organization an edge. A company’s success requires the right tools and a good professional writer can be a secret weapon. You provide the bang and the direct shot to the audience. Every company or organization should make an informative decision regarding who should be in charge of their communications and put great value on that position. A company’s or organization's reputation, image and voice all depend upon the professionally written image. You have to repeatedly articulate that it is in a company’s or organization's best interest to utilize you as a professional writer as an effective part of their business plan.


  • You can demonstrate greater versatility as a writer if you can also demonstrate how you help others within your firm or organization to write better too. Are you already giving or able to give writing workshops? Can you or do you already provide space in your schedule to allow colleagues to drop in and spend time learning writing skills from you, to have their work checked by you so that they can learn better? This is a way of adding value to your role, helping everyone from the receptionist through to the CEO to write better.


  • Don't argue your value as a writer if you don't adhere to these high standards of professional writing!

Things You'll Need

  • Samples of work to demonstrate the points you're discussing

Sources and Citations

  • Peeples, Tim, Professional Writing and Rhetoric, New York: Addison Wesley, Educational Publishers, Inc., 2003 – research source.

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