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.