In my house, every surface owns a pile of books. Maybe two...maybe three...sometimes four or five or six different books (yes, I know I have a problem). What I've come to recognize through my voracious appetite for reading, though, is that the books I love most are often those where the world within becomes tangible as I turn the pages. How does an author do that, create a world you can see in your head just by writing words on a page? Sometimes it's as simple as changing out "Margot felt scared" for the sentence "Margot's heart thudded against her ribs and she gasped for air." It's the difference between telling and showing, and it can take a long time for writers to master the art of the latter - whether we're writing fiction or copy for websites or social media posts. Writing is writing.
Social media marketing relies, to some extent, on freelance writers. Writers are the most common kind of freelance worker in the US. How well does the freelance market treat freelance writers? And if your company employs them, do you treat them as well as other companies? Or maybe better?
Ever find yourself a little tapped out when it comes to ideas for what to say in a social media post? Me, too. Especially if you are a social media professional who writes them day in and day out, it can become difficult to think of new ways of approaching the same old Facebook update or tweet.
What qualities does good writing have? Whether you are reading a book or a Facebook post, good writing is easy to understand and it grabs you with an idea or an emotion. Sadly, there’s a lot of bad writing out there, especially on social media. There are several qualities that good writing has and when you’re creating content, you should consider them.
If you post on social media, you’re a writer. Being a writer is an important distinction to make. You’re a writer because you publish what you share online for public consumption. Once you press “post” the content is no longer in your hands. And even though you can delete your social media content, as long as someone took a screenshot or shared your content, it will continue to exist. When you begin to think of yourself as a writer, the social media landscape changes. No longer does it seem appropriate to slap content together and see what happens. No, every writer follows a style guide and those who write social media content should follow a stylebook as well.
A good headline can make or break an article. Any Buzzfeed reader can tell you that. Any website that A/B tests their headlines knows it to be true. Check out the infographic from QuickSprout below to get you writing headlines like a champ in no time.
Blogging is an amazing business tool, and a great way to share your brand, your expertise, and build relationships with current and new clients. Blogs are also a source of fresh content. And, we all know how much the search engines love fresh content.
Everyone is telling us to produce content. Content marketing is the cure for all our social media ills according to the experts. Great. Problem solved. I'll just go and create some content. Once that's finished, I'll create some more. Then some more and then, you guessed it, some more. Does anyone else see a problem here? Most of us don't have the time to keep producing original content on an almost industrial scale.
My rule for sharing content is simple (in fact, you probably learned it in kindergarten): Sharing is caring. I care about our community, and I want to reflect that in the quality of content that I share with them. To put it bluntly: Curating crap means you think your audience deserves to read crap.
I have been running my own business for about seven years now and creating online content about the same amount of time. The genesis of my business — 2008 — probably represented the apex of the traditional notion of SEO – elaborate schemes for backlinks, keyword stuffing, and jamming links into every cranny of the web, including blog comments. And I virtually ignored it all. Sure, I learned about SEO. I even experimented with it. But I generally ignored all of the SEO best practices of the day. I was the least-optimized blogger on earth for one reason – I knew the structure of the SEO system could not last.