How good writing skills save and earn money

by Xin Lu on 21 August 2008 15 comments

A while ago an article on Wise Bread talked about how complaining via a letter works much more effectively than complaining with phone calls. This made me think about all the other ways good writing skills could be financially beneficial to a person. Here is a list of ways good writing skills could save and earn money for you.

1. You will be able to negotiate more effectively in large transactions
- My grandfather told me that he saved about 30000 RMB on his condo purchase because he wrote a nice letter about why he deserved a discount. He showed me the letter and it was very concise and listed both personal and business reasons why he should get a price break. If he did not know how to write so clearly then he might not have gotten the discount. My mom also did the same thing when she and my dad purchased their first home. She wrote a clear letter detailing the issues surrounding the house and got a discount of $7500 beyond the accepted offer.

2. Good writing skills make you more desirable to employers
- In many instances, the first impression you make on a potential employer is in a cover letter or resume. An interesting and well written cover letter could potentially lead to an interview and eventually a job. Even when you do not have a formal cover letter, there are often many email exchanges during an interview process. Emails that are clearly written generally makes you seem more intelligent and responsible to a potential employer. Personally, I know that my ability to write coherent emails has given me an edge in finding software engineering jobs because most software engineers are not taught to write properly.

3. It is a cheap hobby - Writing is probably one of the cheapest hobbies out there. You do not need expensive materials or equipment and you can start with a plain notebook and pencil. Writing could also take up quite a bit of time so you could be entertained for hours by your own imagination and creativity.

4. Well written content has monetary value - Many people make a living through writing. For example, even in a software company we have copywriters and technical writers. The ability to communicate useful information is worth its weight in gold. Even if you are not a professional writer, it is possible to start a blog and earn a bit of side income because there is an endless amount of content on the internet and good content is rare.

Writing is a skill that can be learned and improved. You can take a class at a local college that teaches you to write or just read articles and books about the art of writing. Another great thing is that you can practice it anywhere and any way you want. I think it is unfortunate that proper writing is not emphasized in this highly technical world and we have mainstream journalists that publish phrases like "we wuz robbed" , but I believe that being able to communicate effectively through language will always be valued.

 

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Andrea Karim's picture

Don't forget that it's way easier to woo people (if you are into online dating) if you know the difference between their, there, and they're. I guess that doesn't save you money, but it might help to find you a smart significant other!

(says the perpetually single woman of Wise Bread)

Guest's picture
poor and broke

2. Good writing skills make you more desirable to employers - In many instances, the first impression you make on a potential employer is in a cover letter or resume. An interesting and well written cover letter could potentially lead to an interview and eventually a job. Even when you do not have a formal cover letter, there are often many email exchanges during an interview process. Emails that are clearly written generally makes you seem more intelligent and responsible to a potential employer. Personally, I know that my ability to write coherent emails has given me an edge in finding software engineering jobs because most software engineers are not taught to write properly.
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Depends on the kind of job you're applying for and whether you possess the primary qualifications for the job. Nobody has faulted my writing skills but those skills are of no use in menial jobs, and are insufficient to deliver a good job for which I am otherwise unqualified.

Guest's picture

Great post, Xin! There is almost no skill more valuable in the modern world except perhaps fluency in multiple languages. Good writing is good communication. If you can write well, you can speak well. These skills are the only way to persuade anybody of anything. And, here's something that not everybody knows. Improving writing also improves your thinking. Our minds cannot fully grasp a thing or concept unless there is a word for it! The more words there are for it with slightly different nuances, the better we can discuss it and, thus, understand it. Native Americans in Alaska supposedly have 20 different words for "snow" but there are only a few variants in the English language and usually only skiers and snowboarders know all of those. Why? Because we need to discuss the various skiing/snowboarding conditions as accurately as possible. : )

Guest's picture

Couldn't have said it better myself. My writing has landed me jobs, saved me money, allows me to best express myself ... the list goes on ... Any good speech is first written.

Guest's picture
Guest

I agreed your opinion on this. A good writing is one of most desireable skills employers are looking for.

Guest's picture

Writing skills are so important in life. When getting my masters in Educational Leadership we had to write way too many papers. One of the comments to me from the head of the department was he could tell I was a math major.

Writing is an art in itself.

Guest's picture

I would be really interested to learn more about these letters your grandfather and mother wrote in order to get cheaper homes.

Guest's picture

Hi,

Lin I should say it a very good article and it conveys the most obvious message that the "pen is mightier than sword".

It is not always that a good writer gets a good job but it is true that a person with good writing skills would always get more respect and a better position in every sphere of life.

There are many situations where a person is unable to vocalize his thoughts due to some constraints, in that case the best option could be penning down his thought into a letter or diary and conveying it.
In fact the first time I proposed..I did it by writing a letter.....
Hence it is true that people with good writing skills are better valued and respected.

Guest's picture

You may want to reconsider your critique of the expression "We wuz robbed."

http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=we+wuz+robbed&gwp=13

It appears that its a bit of a reference to a 1930's boxing coach, and has been in the sports lexicon ever since. I hate imprecise and "wrong" language as much as the next guy, but this case looks to be a pretty appropriate use of the expression.

Guest's picture
Clare

Okay, I can't let this pass by...

"journalists that publishes"? ;)

Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

Oops, it was originally "journalism". I FAIL

Guest's picture
Suz

My writing skills, which I polished in college, have been an invaluable thing for me to fall back on. Which is funny, because I never studied to become a writer because I thought it wouldn't pay the bills!

-Suz

Guest's picture
Melba

I do agree with Xin’s blog even though I detest writing and have a very limited verbal dexterity.

Because of her blog, I just decided to brush up on grammar and writing rules at: www.vu.org. This is an online university, cost $18/five weeks term – for up to three courses. I have been using this site since 1997 and still happy with its curriculum and services.

What prompted me to bone up on writing skills? A few more facts:
• emails to my friends and acquaintances - my writing style, grammar, spelling and flow of logic can say a lot about my state of mind. In addition, they can get my point, read my entire email, etc.
• eBay – when selling, a good product description (and sometimes an essay describing its story/origin) could help with getting more attention and money.

Guest's picture
shimla

good informative article, true writting is the cheapest hobby and pen is mighter than the sword.

Guest's picture

good tips. i have used them in designing my website and look forward to earn with my writing skills. My website is:
Lal Kitab. Thanks a lot for the same