Starting at A New Era
To most people writing clearly, concisely, keeping a consistent reading flow and developing a story line is hard. Writing simply does not come easy. Some have learned writing in college, some write occasionally for work and others simply read enough to mimic good writers. This makes them occasional writers. Luckily there are tools, services and people who are willing to help. This I classify into three categories:
- Old traditional tools, techniques and practices:
- New Internet tools, techniques and practices:
- New innovative formats, applications and examples:
Developing a story for a product or a marketing offer is different from writing a press release with just the facts. Writing a short introduction for a video clip in YouTube or Facebook is quite different from text for an print advertisement. Today's writing is changing because the format, channels and reader needs are changing. The biggest challenge for writers today is to write for today's readers. The second biggest challenge is working with "bosses" and "colleagues" who have not experience the change. This is probably the biggest problem and opportunity any writer faces today.
Writing Today: Face the Challenge, Reap the Reward
If you simply tackle the writing and self-promotion challenges, you will be ahead of most writers, editors and publishers. You will work in today's landscape and become a useful resource in your ecosystem. These two areas
But the need for fast, accurate and clearly written material today demands professional writers. The internet ecosystem also requires
When it comes to doing new tasks associated with writing and publishing, they are usually weak at best. Today's writing needs a host of tools to assure the material is found (SEO), has the appropriate style and jargon, aligns with correct and sometimes multiple formats (blogging, social media, email) and let's not forget continuous flow to keep a reader's attention. If you are writing for a specific goal: monetization, information, sales funnel support, or branding, you need to satisfy not only the readers. If this sounds familiar, welcome! My approach comes from writing for business and technology subjects.
Beginner and experience writers are struggling to publish today. Writing content is becoming more segmented and readers are more demanding. Formats are continuing to morph, now more direct, shorter (i.e. Twitter 140 character) and more graphic (i.e. Instagram, YouTube). Writers and publishers also struggle with the "digital" process: SEO, PPC, affiliate, analytics and promotion. If you are in the business of writing or publishing welcome. I write from personal experience of fifteen years.
The internet is made up of words and someone has to write them. With the exploding use of new technologies (mobile, cloud, social media), reader habits change and technical factors intrude into our traditional work. After working on websites, blogs, promotion (paid advertising and free promotion), site Content Management Systems (CMS) and the business of writing and publishing, I realized how complex and abstract the world of content has become. This is an attempt to explain what I have seen and how writers and consumers of written work can see what I have seen. Thanks for visiting, please contact me or comment if you are interested in my approach.
Writers, editors and publishers have an amazing opportunity. An opportunity to write and publish using their own experience and skills. Simply apply what they know to different formats, styles and promotion techniques. If you are a master of your own domain, if you have a small blog and want to reach more people or even if you are simply interested in how the content world works, thanks for reading. Content on the Internet covers every style and topic imaginable. If you are a writer or editor, start by looking at the work which I divided into two categories (by work function):
- Write, edit and publish for someone else: business, publication, organization.
- Publish on your own "for fun or profit": blog, affiliate, social media, professional advancement.
Regardless of how you work, there are a few factors to consider when writing and promoting yourself:
- Subject matter, targeting an audience, style and context on a global scale: applied personal research.
- Current written and promoted material: essentially the market, competition and untapped subjects.
- Your specific experience and how you can write quickly and accurately right now.
- How to use formats, styles and subject ideas from others in your work.
- How to extend or amplify what is done today in your own way.
As you can see my take is to be ready first and then publish. I also focus on skills which are crucial to today's writing environment (some call them "digital"). But getting a blog or a site up quickly and starting to write is also an option.Quick and dirty has become "hacking"and this method is preferred by some. Preparation, which can take weeks or months, essentially builds a "content machine" or "content factory" (terms first popularized by Hub Spot, a mail automation company). Today (2016/17) LinkedIn and content platforms (i.e. marketing automation) promote the building of a method and resources before actually publishing. This trend to build a writing and publishing operation is targeted at companies selling products. Here is where most "content marketing" promoters focus their efforts.
The second area which will help writers and publishers become more effective, is mastery of your domain. Usually writers focus on a subject matter and format. Getting the topics, writing style, jargon and even format right will help in clarity. Readers are real people and come with their own expectations. Since we cover specific subjects in narrow niches, readers expect to read in specific style on subjects which are useful right now. This shift in a crucial to understand. New publishers, in the last decade, ceased the opportunity to become influential by focusing on a niche subject.
To pick your own subject may take a few tries. Don't give up quickly, in your specific field it may be more difficult. While you search and try, you will develop skills helpful in anything you do. You will also learn how writing and publishing works today. Some skills are easy to learn from available resources (Google has great SEO, PPC and technical resources). Some skills you will have to learn in depth and with actual work.
Why Is This NOT a 250 Word Page?
Writing and publishing today is not only complex, it is somewhat abstract: almost like mastering a craft or becoming an artist. Simply put, very few people have managed a large integrated content sites and published to see successful results. Even less have succeeded in taking content and effectively making money. Essentially with all the technology and the use people make of written material, there are very few practitioners. Most do not teach their methods. I do not see much change. The need for writing and managing new technological improvements is simply too consuming to focus on training.
In addition to the fast growth and innovation, the work is not simple. Since it's new, very few traditional managers allocate enough resources. In addition, very few make the effort to understand and apply content in their business. Unfortunately this does not make getting a job easy. While the need is there, the desire to produce is not there. Sarcastically I call this the diet dilemma: everyone needs one, but everyone puts it for later and does not take it seriously. Like health and fitness we hope when our bodies give out a doctor will give us a pill to fix it all. This situation is creating the gap of have and have-not: some write and publish and influence their readers, and some don't.