Industry

Posts about Online Content

The day my son went viral

Content Creators dream of going viral, but at what point has it gone too far? #Sunday Reblog

Put the book back on the shelf

UntitledA couple of months ago my son, who is six years old, performed a solo routine at his school talent competition. I couldn’t attend but my wife filmed it on her mobile phone so I could watch it later. She also put it on Facebook for friends and relatives to see. Unfortunately, we hadn’t given any thought to the privacy settings and it was ‘shared’ amongst people we didn’t know. When we became aware of this we quickly changed the permissions and forgot all about it.

However, one morning, a few days later, we received a text from a friend telling us that the video was ‘trending’ on Buzzfeed and, as we hastily conducted some Google searches, it became apparent that we had a problem. There were bizarre stories about it on sites such as Huffington Post and Mail Online and these were being replicated around the world. Additionally, the…

View original post 1,212 more words

But I Want My Answer Now!

The Internet has spoiled society. I realized this today as I checked my inbox for the third time in a ten minute period. Although I knew it wasn’t rational to spend so much time staring at the screen, waiting for a 0 to change to a 1, I did it anyway. I did it because from experience I know that it is a quick response that makes or breaks you online. As one of my former employers used to say, “go at the speed of the Internet”.

But at what point does preparedness become obsession? Is it when you feel legitimately depressed that there are no new messages in your inbox? Is it when you scour the Internet looking for an opportunity to post something, just so you could elicit a response? As a copywriter, I understand the power of words, and – I’ll be honest- I take it personally when my words do not elicit a response.

So does the fact that I judge the effectiveness of my skill on my ability to receive a response say anything about my passion? I’m not sure.

I do, however, think I am spoiled.

I have grown up with the Internet. I know that people have ways of instantly seeing (and responding to) what I have to say. I have an expectation that what I have to say is important, and that people would want to respond to it. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking like this either.

The problem is: we all think that what we have to say is important; and with the Internet we all have the ability to easily say it to each other. For popular people, that ability is increased, but generally speaking, it is an equal playing field.

But now, with so many of us online, we must rely on our capacity to say something that elicits a response. We must be aggressive in our communications to get anyone to pay attention to us. Nowadays, even a copywriter gets ignored…

So before you begin sulking (like I am) because your website isn’t responsive, your tweets don’t get retweeted, or your emails are marked as spam, consider hiring a copywriter to craft your message. It isn’t a guarantee for an uncontrollable amount of responses, but I can promise, it will help!

You Can Sell Anything Online

Have you ever wanted to be a drug dealer? Who does? Surprisingly enough, people who otherwise would need special license (or couldn’t do it legally-even if they tried) are finding new ways to make money on the sale of drugs- legal, illegal, and alternative – through the Internet. Now, this post isn’t an endorsement or advertisement for any of these programs, it is actually a commentary on an internet practice that online writers frequently are exposed to.

Think you know where I am going with my post? Before you think I’m talking about the sites that sell marijuana seeds, herbal supplements or even Viagra pills, think again. I am talking about affiliate marketing- that special third party way of making money off of industries normal people would be hesitant to directly involve themselves with. It’s so easy, right? Simply post a link, or show a banner, and you can make a commission every time you passively refer a customer to these companies.

Imagine what that would be like if the real world worked that way? Oh wait, it does. Except the internet makes it a lot easier, and expands access into markets people aren’t willing to talk about face to face.

And it’s not limited to drugs. You can sell adult entertainment, adult novelties, gambling (depending on what country you’re in) and probably even more questionable things that I haven’t thought of.

What does this have to do with writing?

Someone has to write all of those billboards- I mean websites– so that Google thinks they are worth the space they are taking up. Someone has to create the landing pages that convince passer-bys to make that much needed final step- the email address, the credit card- that gives the website owner the money they were seeking to make.

Is that person me?

I won’t lie; I’ve done my share of copywriting for affiliate websites, but I generally try to stick with projects that I do not morally object with. For example, you will never see me writing anything for a site that is linked to anything promoting Duke University. A girl has got to draw the line somewhere.

Proofreading vs Copyediting (There Is A Difference)

When interviewing potential clients I often get asked the question about the difference between proofreading, editing and copy editing. I’m sure there are some industry definitions, but since this is my blog, I am going to explain how I approach the topic.

Proofreading

Proofreading is the process of checking for errors and typos. It really is that simple. You read over the work and see if there are misspellings, grammar errors or typos. Proofreading is a basic task, but when you have a lot of content – such as a book or a website, it’s easy to let a few things slip though.

Another reason why someone may hire a proofreader is if their content requires a certain style, such as MLA citations, or AP editing style. A proofreader will check to confirm that the work is written with those guidelines in mind.

Editing

Editing is less about grammar and more about style. Editors answer questions such as: Did you clearly express what you were trying to say? Is your writing redundant or convoluted? Are you using a consistent voice? Editing is useful for most types of writing and can ensure that your writing reads well. Editing includes proofreading and is great for academic writing, novels and online content.

Copy-editing

To understand the difference between copy-editing and editing, you have to first understand copy. Copy is basically persuasive writing. It is used in advertisement and marketing, but it has also become quite popular in the online world. That is because most web-content is copy. If it is not purely entertainment or educational, there is most likely some sort of commercial interest involved. (There’s also some places online where the lines between educational, entertainment and commercial are quite blurred.) Basically any writing that wants people to take some sort of action can be considered copy.

A copy editor is responsible for proofreading, editing and ensuring that the writing fulfills its purpose. They can take an educational blog and edit it into an affiliate site. They can take social networking sites and make them into monetized opportunities with just a few words. They are that cousin that can talk anyone into anything, but they do so with a pen.

If you are looking for a copy-editor for your online content do not hesitate to contact me. I can revise your current content into something that is compelling and engaging. I love creating copy that pulls at heart strings, pushes people to take action, and softly sells an idea or product. You write content for people to take action, hire a professional copywriter to ensure that it does.