Ever since the first Google Panda update, opportunities for part time jobs for writers have become all but non-existent. Content marketing agencies act like brokers, giving independently contracted writers the chance to compete for the work that’s available. The demise of many content mills is forcing writers who were once able to write about topics of their choosing to look for other opportunities.
The “One-Size Fits All” Mistake
For those who come to content marketing agencies in search of work, the shock of having to follow directions and create content according to a customer’s instructions is confusing. But that’s the way it is. After reading many forum posts, it’s clear that new writers don’t understand why their clients’ aren’t swept off their feet by their delightful submissions.
The reality is that content writing isn’t like clothes shopping, where every now and again you stumble on some really groovy “one-size- fits all” sweatshirt that’s perfect for sweater weather.
A New Approach to Content Writing
Once you venture into content writing, you can pretty much forget everything you learned before – except one thing: Internet browsers are looking for instant gratification. They want knowledge now, but they probably don’t want intellectual discourse on anything. They want to read content that is bold, exciting, and never boring. No matter what type of assignment you’re working on or what industry your client is in, your goal should be to turn potential customers into buyers and turn browsers into believers.
Tailor Your Content to the Industry You’re Writing About
As a content writer, you may find yourself writing short articles or blog posts for industries you’ve never written about before. You can’t approach your writing for every industry in the same way. You can’t write about real estate or technology in the same way that you’d write about entertainment.
If you approach all your writing in the same way, it will sound so constipated that people will cringe. It sure won’t be likable or appeal to anyone, let alone the audience you’re trying to target. Learn about the industry and look at professionally written content about the industry. Learn the language of the industry and embrace that.
Don’t Make Keywords Your Focus
Some clients give keywords and expect you to use them. Don’t ever take that to mean that the keywords should be the focus of your writing. If you do, it will sound contrived, superficial, and awkward. Give your content the sparkle it needs to earn a place on the red carpet.
Turn readers into fans, browsers into customers, and skeptics into believers in your role as an evangelist. If you want to succeed as a writer, you’ve got to have the mental strength of a gladiator. Remember, thanks to Google, there is a war on the web, and our survival as writers depends on our ability to win that war by writing content that has that emotional connection with readers, making them want to read more of what we write.
Susan B is a full-time freelance writer and researcher extraordinaire. When she’s not working, she’s taking care of tropical plants, looking for new ones to lure hummingbirds, or obsessing about ways to bring more hummingbirds to the small garden outside her apartment.