Since starting the journalism degree I’ve realised that writing SEO articles and newspaper pieces have a lot in common. Every word is precious, there’s a specific focus and the content must be attention grabbing.
My news items so far have received good feedback, and a couple of stories I submitted to my local paper were published with just a minor edit (unfortunately making the sentences look wrong!).
One thing about writing journalism pieces is that everything is done in accordance with the style book. So you have to stop and think if a word is too flowery, or too dramatic. People are not dead (woman found dead at home), they die (woman dies at home). Cars don’t crash into lorries, they collide with lorries. Kids don’t get rushed to hospital, they get taken.
While this is all very well, going back to writing web articles means switching the brain back to that kind of style. Depending on the subject, these often require a bit of drama. Internet marketers would not be too pleased with a sales letter saying their latest ebook was simply interesting, it has to be amazing, powerful or absolutely fantastic.
There is however, some resemblance in the language – tabloid newspapers still use “sensational” on screaming headlines!
A few months ago I started writing for internet marketers, mainly SEO articles as well as the odd web page and sales page. Having had my own (unrelated) successful business for many years, I’ve been writing newsletters, web content, reports, advertising and fundraising requests amongst other things. All of this has been an essential part of my business, but not something that I ever really thought about, it just came naturally although I didn’t realise this until very recently.
My eyes were well and truly opened when I first started writing articles for other people! As a newbie, at least to the SEO side of things, I did a fair bit of research on the writing styles and content on article sites such as Ezine and Go Articles. I was, and still am astonished at the extent of the low quality on these so called articles. Bad grammar; terrible spelling; poor style; even content that makes little sense, it’s all in there.
Now I realise of course that not everyone is born to be a writer, and while you can learn correct grammar and spelling, a decent acceptable writing style is something that I believe comes naturally. I understand why internet marketers, online magazines, blogzines and many others choose to outsource writing work to freelance copywriters. They need content for their websites, SEO articles, sales pages, blogs and so on. Until recently, I would have assumed that finding decent writers shouldn’t be too much of a problem – how wrong I was! Unfortunately there seems to be a deluge of very poor quality writing on the internet today, made worse no doubt by the need for mass SEO articles, sales pages and marketing ads.
The good news, thankfully, is that there are plenty of excellent writers. I’ve had a look around in the interests of research and found prices ranging from $10 to $40 per hour for basic copywriting. While this may seem a little high to some of you, consider the fact that these writers are good at what they do. Take a look around Go Articles and Ezine and you’ll find countless examples of terrible content – probably written for $3 each. When you do come across the better ones, those with solid style, good spelling and grammar, or just readable you can easily see the difference.
As the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”!