When I first started working at Standing Dog, I signed my emails with the title of “content writer” to the laughter of my coworkers. At first, I didn’t get the joke. I was a writer and I made content—it seemed logical. Then I realized the double meaning of “content” and I understood the humor. And, yes, I was a happy writer.
Now, two years later, I have the privilege of attending the BlogWorld Expo in New York, and I’m learning that a content writer is the best kind of writer there is.
Each speaker I saw at BlogWorld stressed three things: creativity, happiness and fun. The overlapping theme was that happy writers create fun-to-read content that will drive traffic and create loyal followers.
While the speakers were addressing a diverse audience, ranging from casual bloggers to corporate representatives, their message applied to everyone. Even those writing for their company’s blog should flex their creative muscle; just because you’re representing your company doesn’t mean you have to be cold and clinical.
Two of the speakers, Dino Dogan and David Murray, stressed this point: In this era of social media, people want to talk to people, not a corporate logo. The best ways for a company to act more personable are through the company’s blog and social media channels.
Creative content has the added benefit of being shared more frequently. So many companies, both large and small, strive to produce that killer material that will be picked up by the bloggersphere and every social media network from here to Timbuktu. That content is rarely ever in the form of serious, didactic information.
However, that’s not to say that a corporate blog should devolve into fart jokes and shock-humor. But consider this: Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights in English history, didn’t just raise his nose in the air and snub the peasants. If you remember from your high school English class, there were sex scenes and violence and bawdy jokes in most of his plays, right alongside serious meditations on love, loss and other timeless themes. Shakespeare went “viral” because he operated on more than one level.
Great, you may be thinking, I have to compete with the Bard. Many of us will never be able to write a sonnet or play, but what we can do is be ourselves. Express our individuality. We may not have the best senses of humor or the sharpest wits, but we can be ourselves, and by being ourselves, we increase the likelihood that our personable
content will be retweeted, shared and liked by our peers. This, in turn, establishes your company’s niche in the marketplace and has the potential to create a community.
The next time you sit down to write or create for your company, don’t consider it a chore. Even if you’re tasked to write about something you find dull, bring your own unique take to the subject and make it your own. Chances are your audience will react much more positively than they would if you just simply talked at them.
Find your inner content writer and create something you can be proud of.
Other good quotes heard at BlogWorld Expo (N.B. might be some paraphrasing; my shorthand isn’t what it used to be):
“The day before Walkman was released, nobody knew they needed a Walkman. The day after was completely different.” –Dino Dogan
“Good planning in your writing equals less editing.” –Ali Luke
“Think about how you react and act as a consumer and put out content with that in mind.” –David Murray