Thursday, August 29, 2013

Editorial Services: Tricks of the Trade

Editorial Services: Tricks of the Trade
Writing about writing is difficult because most of the time a writer is too busy writing something else. As a writer providing editorial services, my priority is to serve my customers in helping them with their writing needs. These needs include providing content for websites, conceptualizing and creating marketing collaterals, rebranding corporate profiles, copywriting, technical writing, corporate and marketing communication, among many other areas.

Over the years, I have received many assignments and requests to write different kinds of writings. I have written articles on technology and digital lifestyle which are areas of my expertise, and topics such as health, career, and entrepreneurship, which are areas I am not entirely familiar with. Once in a while, I also receive requests to write on topics I have no idea about or beyond my ability to get involved, such as beauty products and services, wine and dining, real estate, and others.

No doubt, as an editorial services provider and freelance writer, I should make every attempt to learn the tricks of the trade to write whatever is needed by the customers, but sometimes there are simply topics that are beyond my ability. The important thing is never to turn away customers empty-handed. Recommend them to another writer or editorial services provider.

If like me your wish is to run an editorial services business, the first thing you need to think about and act on is to get to know as many writers as possible and to stay in contact with them. If you can find business associates in the same trade, all the better, build close ties with them. When you are unable to take on an assignment request by customers, always recommend the lead to your associates.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Style and Preference

Style and Preference
While there are many tips and editorial guidelines on writing, there is in the real world not a particular way of writing that is absolutely good or bad when it comes to style and preference.

Hired writers are often told to write in a particular style, such as formal or social, but much really depend on one’s adaptability and personality. A writer may masquerade a persona that is not one’s own character but will never derive satisfaction from such writings simply because the content does not bring out who the writer is.

So what do we do when we are paid to write what the hirers want us to? We need to find a balance between who we are, and who we are not. Yes, if we are writing for blogs or for the social media, we need to express in our writings the playful side of our personality even if we are not fun-loving. No doubt, there are blogs and social network pages that prefer serious content, but more often than not, we are still expected to bounce off new ideas to write in moods that are vibrant and constantly changing.

Adaptability is therefore about changing the way we write, and sometimes changing ourselves to see things differently and more creatively in varied moods. We may need to work ourselves into feeling good and happy most of the time, yet we must not lose ourselves in the process. Our preferred writing style is best to be flexible so we can tweak to fit, if writing for an organization or non-fiction.

Are we flexible enough to write differently without putting on a mask? If we are able to, then the battle is won between giving ourselves up to hirer’s preference and deriving satisfaction from our writings.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Spicing Up Your Content Writing

Spicing Up Content
"I think the content is lacking the sizzle to keep the audience interested," said the overseer. "So far I'm not seeing enough likes or comments being generated on our blog and social networks."

That is the kind of remark I would wish never to hear from my boss, but I get that a lot as a copywriter and content manager. Writing persuasive copies is what is expected of my job and unless I bring in the numbers and visitors to the websites I manage, I am at risk of losing my livelihood.

This is how the commercial world works when it comes to measuring performance and the success of an online marketing campaign in getting across the message to its audience. It is all about spicing up the heat using persuasive words accompanied by outstanding design to catch Attention, create Interest, and stir up Desire that leads to Action (AIDA).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Writing for New Media

Content Writing
Writing encompasses many fields, and unless we are a novel writer, we need to be prepared to write on any genre if our job requires us to provide editorial services.

One of the most common writings requested by customers these days is content writing. Content writing is all about creating useful and informative content for websites and the social media.

Content writing is a branch of content marketing, which aims at writing in a way that draws the targeted audience to the site in engaging them to active participation. This participation may include readers commenting on blogs and social networks, clicking ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ or ‘Tweet’ about the written post or uploaded video.

According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), “content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”

A good content strategy often begins with the use of search engine optimization (SEO) technique to obtain higher number of visits to the site. Among the first things we need to consider and ask ourselves when writing for content marketing are:

  • Who is our audience? What do they like to know or talk about?
  • Where do they usually hangout online? Which social network, community or forum?
  • Which style of writing best suit the targeted audience? Social or formal? Business-to-customer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B)?
  • What is the objective of the writing? Is it to bring awareness of a need, a message to convey, a goal to achieve, or something to educate and inform?
  • What keywords should be included in the content writing for SEO?
  • Is our writing easy to read and understand? Are there technical words or jargons in the content we need to change or remove for better clarity?
  • How can we measure the results and know which conversations catch fire?
The path towards good content writing and content marketing requires the constant analysis and evaluation of which approach best fit the targeted audience at a specific time. What works best, however, changes all the time, so there is no hard and fast rule to optimal results. The most important point to take away regarding content marketing is, without good content, marketing is impossible. Unless the readers find value in what we have written, they are unlikely to participate in the conversations to find out more. What we write in the content to draw interest and engage the audience is therefore crucial and foremost.

More Readings
What is Content Marketing?
How to Develop a Social Media Content Strategy
Content Writing Tips - How to Hold User Attention

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Creative Writing

Creative Thinking
When writing, think of different ways
to tell your story, and show your
readers what you think

Friday, January 13, 2012

Challenges of Freelance Writing

Challenges AheadWriting freelance has its ups and downs. Sometimes we get many assignments, at other times we get none. Keeping ourselves alive and supporting our dependents in such a way is not only unreliable, but also unsustainable. Unless we have lots of savings to spare, working freelance or providing editorial services as a full time job may not be the best option for livelihood.
Nonetheless, working freelance has many advantages. Among some of the greatest benefits of working freelance is flexibility—we get to choose to take on an assignment or not, depending on our timing and availability. We can spend more time with our family and do the things we like or choose to busy ourselves earning money. However, if there are not enough requests for freelance writing and our finances are tight, we may be left in jeopardy. For some of us, such a free and casual lifestyle may not be viable.
Observing from past trends, editorial service requests seem to come periodically. In certain months of the year, requests can be overwhelming, and if we are alone doing the work, we can only do as much as we can, and drop the rest. Unfortunately, by dropping the rest, we face the dilemma of not earning enough to sustain during off-peak.
One of the best ways to work around having insufficient funds during times of low editorial requests is to have multiple source of income or a contract with a corporation or organization for an ongoing project. Such a project may be to write for a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter or in-house magazine, or an arrangement with a publishing house to write for its periodicals.
Contacts and connections, however, are crucial if we hope to get writing contracts. Unless we know the right people, if we plan on going full time into writing freelance, we need to consider carefully all the aforementioned pointers before we jump in.