Although people today are more IT-literate than ever before, many still think that the more intricate aspects of information technology are best left to “professionals.” While this is understandable regarding programming and highfalutin terminology, it makes less sense when dealing with basic concepts and terms.
One such commonly used term is “content writing.” Perhaps because people continue to be intimidated by computer technology, the content writing misconceptions that have arisen include:
1. “Content writing” and “SEO content writing” are synonymous.
It’s more accurate to say that “SEO content writing” falls under the category of “content writing.” Not all content writing is SEO-best-suited; alternately, SEO writing has a more narrowly-defined purpose.
2. Content writing can directly improve page ranks on search engines.
Actually, page rankings have more to do with inbound links, although they can improve rankings on SERPs. Search engines conduct rankings in ways that don’t allow unfair or easily-manipulated advantages.
3. Good content writing can still utilize erudite, prolix and pretentious language.
Language previously deemed “good writing” in hardcopy periodicals may need to be abandoned for content writing. For example, lengthy paragraphs, multi-syllabic words, florid language, etc., are not popular in content writing. Instead, simple, straight-forward vocabulary, short paragraphs and concise sentences prevail.
4. Content writing is best done by professionals within their own industries.
Just because people are experts in a particular field does not make them as good as professional writers. A related myth is that one has to be an expert in a particular field to write about it.
5. Meta tags and meta keyword tags are still important SEO tools.
Actually, this practice has been spammed to death; consequently, they are no longer important. Then again, “title tags” and “meta description tags” may still be effective SEO tools.
6. Keyword density (i.e., keyword stuffing) should be emphasized in content writing strategies.
At best, keyword stuffing is an underhanded way to try to improve search engine rankings. Keyword density is not particularly important.
7. Content writing is synonymous with “blogging” and not as high-in-quality as traditional hardcopy-periodical writing.
While blogs do fall under “content writing,” sophisticated, well-researched and hardcopy-periodical-suitable material can also be “content writing.”
8. Full-time content writing is not a realistic way to make a living.
Actually, many writers today derive a good living writing for the Internet exclusively.
9. Content writing does not provide job security.
While there is much fluctuation in the content writing business, if anything, demand for good content writing has gotten bigger and bigger. Content writing can provide solid job security for those who do it well, establish good relationships with paying sites, and have the education/experience to succeed.
10. Content writing promotes or allows plagiarism—i.e., re-hashing information.
While there are plagiarists out there, most professional writers fear the consequences of being caught. More importantly, there are many effective measures (i.e., Copyscape, Articlechecker, search engines, etc.) for preventing such abuse.
In spite of efforts to educate people on the intricacies of online written communication, some individuals still succumb to misconceptions. Sometimes it’s a problem of stubbornness—i.e., hanging on to the past; most of the time, however, it’s a matter of not keeping up with the latest changes and innovations.
Fred F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.