The biggest mistake copywriters make is they assume the same copy can work in different channels. The default is to work toward efficiency. Write it once and then let design craft it for the desired distribution channel. Only it's not that simple.
Each channel has characteristics that make them distinct and different from the others.
I know a lot of writing hobbyists who are in love with the words and sentences they put on a page. You know who they are. They admire the work of people who have been dead of a few hundred years and lament the decline of true litrery genius in our culture. Personally, I don't think literary genius is extinct anymore than I believe the best writers are found in history books. Either way, that conversation misses the point completely.
The truth is professional writers make a living writing words for others—whether it is for an individual or business.
Somewhere along the way, the idea was introduced that true artists are willing to starve to make their craft. I've met too many writers, painters, photographers, etc. who are willing to sell their talent for the lowest dollar without ever considering the value they bring to the table. If I must starve to be a "real" writer, then I'm out. The good news is there is a way to create a financially sustainable path to being a professional writer.
People are willing to pay for services that relieve their "pain."
Content marketing is more of a marathon than a sprint. Those who win stay in the game long enough to outlast—or out-create—everyone else ultimately achieves their goals. Just like training for an athletic event, there are certain habits you can build into your workflow to help you improve your content marketing stamina.
Consider these 10 suggestions ...
Not every reader is the same. Some want to digest every word slowly. Others approach books as a utility to deliver mature ideas to solve practical problems. Neither reader type is better than the other.
Most people scan nonfiction content. I don't think this is a new development, nor do I think it represents the dumbing down of society due to digital publishing. As book publishing becomes an increasingly competitive space, publishers are now building books based on the reader's native consumption habits rather than traditional literary guidelines.
Personally, I welcome this shift.
There are a growing number of people who have been writing blogs posts for a decade or more. If you've been doing it five days a week for 10 years, you've created 2,600 blog posts. If each of those blog posts were 500 words, you've written 1.3 million words. Wow! That's a lot of content.
The nerd in me wonders just how many nuggets of wisdom are buried in the ominous archived section of your blog. It seems an incredible waste of time and creativity if the content you share is only used once. Surely there is a way to breathe new life into latent blog post content. Don't you agree?
Content is an asset. But your ability to cash out its value depends on your willingness to reimagine new ways you might use it.
Asking questions is easy. Asking the right questions is hard.
When you get the opportunity to interview other people, you get to step into their world for a moment in time. The goal is to see the world through their eyes, so you can share their perspective with other people.
If this is something you're interested in doing but don't feel like you're very good at, here are some tips I've picked up after more than a decade of interviewing people in chase of the story.
A professional writer is someone who gets paid professional fees to write copy. A hobbyist does not. Be careful not to confuse the two.
People who get paid to talk about writing aren't necessarily professional writers. A professional writer is someone who gets paid to open up a blank document and start typing copy that is eventually published or utilized in some form of commerce, whether it is a direct mail campaign or a book.
Hobbyists sometimes pose as professional writers.
Nike is only half right. “Just do it” works until we need to “Just quit it.” Only the quitting part seems harder that the doing part. I had the privilege of hearing Bob Goff speak speak a few years ago.
If you’re not familiar with Bob (and I wasn’t before this conference), he is an attorney with a sense of humor. Impressive! (Those are rare by the way. And, of course, my apologies to my attorney. I do appreciate you.)
One of the things Bob said that stuck with me was he quits something every Thursday.
Case studies are powerful tools that help others say things about you that you may not necessarily be able to say about your self.
An unexpected benefit of a case study is you get a great excuse to connect with some of your biggest champions and give them a chance to share their enthusiasm for you and your product or service with others in a powerful way.
Like it or not, most people still manage life through their inbox. The ability to write clearly and effectively for this medium will ensure your comments are read, considered, and acted upon.
This is a compilation of 11 tactical ways to improve your email communication habits.
Ghostwriters and collaborators are very much part of the publishing process. There is a clear distinction between the two amongst publishers. But if you’re not a publisher, you might be tempted to use the words interchangeably.
We live in a content dense culture. If every leader were responsible for writing all of their words, sentences, and paragraphs, so many ideas would never be shared and we as a culture would lose out on some incredible insights, wisdom, and perspective.
Nevertheless, the demand for content is relentless.