Well, I am four months deep in this “content writer / creator” gig and it’s about time I unleash a stream-of-conscious confessional onto the general public. Four months of writing blogs, website content, brochure content, flyer content and all types of miscellaneous business text and one could say I have earned the title of professional writer extraordinaire… or bad mama jama at least (courtesy of Carl Carlton via 1981).
According to Wikipedia, a content writer is defined as a person who specializes in providing relevant content for websites. A love of research, knowledge, communication and expression is essential for this position as well as an insatiable curiosity of all things.
“What writers have is a license and also the freedom to sit—to sit, clench their fists, and make themselves be excruciatingly aware of the stuff that we’re mostly aware of only on a certain level.” – David Foster Wallace
One of the largest behemoths on my daily to-do checklist is the writing, editing and posting of blogs. If you are vaguely familiar with this term but aren’t sure what value these ‘blogs’ actually hold, don’t fret. You have that in common with the general public.
Clients often ask – why do blogs matter? What are blogs good for?
Blogs are actually valuable tools that provide a great deal to businesses, including but not limited to…
- SEO optimization, allowing you to rank for keywords –long tail as well as your most important keywords
- Helping to establish brand identity, whether that’s being more credible in your industry or communicating more of an inviting neighborly feel to convince people to come in
- Occasional news and event highlights, goings on in the company
“A blog is meant to generate awareness about you and your brand. It’s best used as a tool to establish authority and make people trust you.” – SERPs.com
Here are five Tribu approved tips for all of you struggling content writers out there – professional or otherwise. Curated straight from personal experiences with the help of good ol’ trial and error, these notes are straight from me to you in the hopes of making the world a contextually more interesting and grammatically correct place.
Keep a thesaurus tab open.
- Because there are only so many ways you can say “interior décor aesthetic.”
Avoid the cornucopia of grandiloquence.
- “Incessant days of incandescent lighting…” It’s tempting, I know. That thesaurus will provide you with a whole bunch of big words to choose from, but let’s keep that speech conversational. Stick to words you have heard before. If your client is a law firm, for example, the tone should remain professional sans pretention. Say it with me, “APPROPRIATE DICTION FOR THE WIN.”
Keep your head in the game.
- I recently had a conversation with the editor of a local publication at a wedding reception. “They don’t understand that sometimes you are having spousal troubles or a bad day and your writing won’t be the best.”
- I know what you’re thinking, “But Melanie, your clients always need you to be on the ball.” And you are right, dearest reader. When you are writing, keep your phone out of reach, stay off social media and make some tea. Keep it soothing and peaceful so you can focus and write your heart out.
Keep that playlist on point.
- Boy is it easy to get distracted, especially if you are in an office setting. Writing requires constant attention; so whether you are working from home, a coffee shop or in a cubicle, get a good writing playlist together. I would say some tunes that encourage head bobbing without catchy lyrics are ideal. Classical is always good choice – Stravinsky is usually my go to.
Restlessness is common, so take a break every few hours.
- Take a walk to get away and refocus. Take a breather – poetry in motion and all that.
Real Thoughts That I Have Had This Week
A content writing position is an English major’s dream come true – meaning normal people may find it nightmarish. Just for some fun and to give you a glimpse into the mind of real life content writer, here are some of my actual thoughts from this week.
- “How many times can I use ‘fabulous’ in as a descriptive adjective without seeming redundant?”
- “I wonder how often I can passively mention Beyoncé in this blog. I mean why stop at three, am I right??”
- “Oxford commas are the literal worst.”
- “Coffee on my scarf: The new scent by Estee Lauder”
- “WHERE DID ALL THE WORDS GO” (Hands outstretched in the direction of the heavens) “Oh why can I not say the thing?
Content writing is more difficult than you thought, huh? If your business is growing, you should most definitely invest in a writer who can crank out some shareable and informative content.
For all of your text needs, Tribu has got you covered. Hit us up.