24 Mar Do You Need a Professional SEO Copyriter?
I write my own web copy. I also write my own articles. I can do this because I’ve been a writer for over 20 years; I studied writing at University, I then went on to write business training manuals in various niche marketplaces. I’m a writer.
However, just because you’ve been “writing” for some time doesn’t mean that you *can* write good web copy… writing for the web is more than just a learned skill, it’s an art. Especially if you’re writing for SEO. You’ve got to find the balance between writing for the Bots and writing for the People. As today’s article suggests… writing is *not* easy… however, it is a great way to earn an income online of you can master it.
So, do you need to employ an SEO copywriting expert to produce your web copy? What’s so special about writers anyway? Surely anyone can do “writing”? It’s one of the first things they teach you at school, right? So many questions! There are a certain amount of myths about writers, some of which are best illustrated by telling friends, family or complete strangers that you are one. Normally you get a vague sense of disbelief and then they’ll want to know what books you’ve written. What the majority of people fail to understand is that there are words all around them, and somebody has to write them. We don’t all end up winning the Man Booker Prize but many of us do make a good living out of this peculiar career. In this shocking exposé of a blog post I’m going to lift the lid on some of the secrets of the writing life – and hopefully it might help you decide if you’re up to the job yourself or if you need to employ a pro to work their magic on your words. If you’re starting out on the rocky but rewarding path, hopefully they’ll also help.
Some facts about writers
- Writing is not easy. There’s nothing easy about it. Most writers will have a range of tasks that they’ll frequently find themselves doing when they’re avoiding the day job. I always know I should be writing, for example, when I find myself cleaning the oven. I hate cleaning the oven, but it has simplicity to it that writing doesn’t. Writers can be great at avoidance, but the good ones know it’s a part of the process!
- Most writers, be they the SEO type or those Man Booker winners, don’t come up with perfectly formed pieces immediately. Normally we go through something called the drafting process. In my case this is usually a draft that is pretty appalling and never sees the light of day, or the quizzical and nervous glance of a client. The first draft for most of us is just a way of getting everything on to paper – the next couple are for weeding out the rubbish and working in any better ideas we can come up with. After that it’s a good edit for spelling and grammar.
- A lot of writers are plagued with self-doubt. It may be because it’s a hard industry to break into, or because until the last twenty odd years there wasn’t much in the way of educational opportunities for would be scribblers. Self-doubt does seem to be part of any creative professional’s life and I’ve met numerous writers who suffer from it. Partly it’s also because we put a lot of ourselves into a piece of work – even the most basic stuff. But self doubt is good in one sense at least. Only truly bad writers think they’re great, in the right doses self-doubt can be turned to constructive criticism.
- Some writers believe that SEO copywriting isn’t “real” writing. Well, actually it is. So there. A vast number of writers have started out as copywriters, if only to pay the bills and get some time to do the less well paid stuff, like novel writing. Copywriting and the SEO version are actually pretty challenging and if your aspirations are to be a fulltime writer, they can be a good way to cut your teeth. Catering to the needs of clients, readers and search engines will teach you valuable lessons that will be useful when it comes to marketing that first novel.
The biggest myth?
One of the biggest myths you’ll come up against as a fledgling writer is that you should be able to produce work for very small sums indeed. When you’re breaking into a market you may have to do this, but don’t make a habit of it. What clients don’t generally see is the time behind the words – research, staring blankly out of the window and cleaning the oven. Add to that your drafting and editing, and even a short 500 word piece can take a chunk out of your working day. If you are planning on writing your own copy, be aware that this stuff is time consuming and to create quality copy, favoured by search engines, you’ll need to take your time. If you find yourself cleaning the oven and thinking “that piece really was crap”, you’re probably well on your way to becoming a writer!
Whether you supply copywriting services or are planning to write your own copy, understanding some of the myths behind the misunderstood profession of a writer will help you understand that there is slightly more to knowing the alphabet when it comes to producing excellent copy!