When I first started my writing business, the majority of projects I worked on were articles for print publication. At that time, there was a lot of need for print materials in marketing communication so I produced copy for several brochures and newsletters as well. In my spare time (ha ha, 3 little kids = not much spare time), I worked away on a novel hoping to one day be ‘discovered’ and revered for the magnificent stories I told.
Over the past ten years I’ve learned that in order to actually make a living in the creative world of writing and marketing communication, I would have to be adaptable. And adapt I did. Articles were often needed but they became necessary for both print publications and in the online world. I started getting busy with content for websites and to this day that is where the bulk of the requests come from. Everyone has or needs a website and many people don’t have the time to thoughtfully write compelling copy for it.
With so much writing online, the birth of search engine optimization made it necessary to become savvy in the ways of keyword research and placement. In the early days, I could see results almost immediately for pages I had optimized. Of course, now SEO is more complex and everyone is doing it so I need to keep learning and experimenting in order to keep client websites ranking competitively. The need for long form writing has morphed into the need for ‘quick hits’. Web copy is produced in bite-sized pieces riddled with bullet points and white space for easy scanning. Blog posts are thoughtful but often short. Headlines are where the most impact is and I’m still working on improving my skills there. Landing pages are constantly needed as online marketers have figured out how to drive traffic using social media to get people to do what they want. A recent project had me preparing copy for sales material promoting a new mobile app.
I have learned quite a bit on this rollercoaster of creativity and the speed is only picking up. How do you handle changes within your business? Do you get excited by the opportunity or terrified because it’s your first time trying something new?
Photo: Simon Howden of freedigitalphotos.net