One of the biggest little secrets you don’t hear about when you first become a content developer is you have to keep it fresh. Not just what you’re talking about, meaning the subject matter and how you present it, but how you word it as well.
And this can get overwhelming! In my last job, one of my greatest personal challenges wasn’t getting my own writing done, but managing the sheer volume of content delivered to me from other companies. This writing would arrive in varying degrees of quality, describing their product being provided, described, or sold that I would need to re-write or re-tool, and make just different enough so that Google or other search engines wouldn’t deem it copies of the same writing they themselves had published, and therefore, not worth ranking highly in searches.
This is where marketing crosses the bridge of understanding the concept of computer algorithms, having an intrinsic knowledge of the product you were selling yourself, and being able to manage both your grammar in both written and computer language so that the pieces would come out looking as good as you needed them to be, and matching the current campaign to boot. No wonder marketers earn their money.
My current work writing cover letters for job applications reminds me of putting this all together right now. While I am certain no behemoth from Silicon Valley is scouring my text to determine if I am using too many copy+pastes to get the job done, it’s important that I tailor each to fit the job and audience I’m looking to reach. And the one thing I want to get across is basically that I need to do this while keeping it fresh and new, so it never appears i am resting on an old set of ideas that no longer invigorates the people I am trying to reach. Regardless if I am trying to outsmart search engines.
The best part about doing this, however, is how much practice I get writing and re-writing, until I come to the point where words and phrases just start spilling out of my fingers onto my keyboard and people I barely know start complimenting my style, and that actually feels pretty amazing, especially when I had no idea I had a style!
And I don’t mean that fake, contrived way people often get their start in creative work; be it writing, photography, or even pre-crafted filters on apps designed for smart phones and tablets that add that patina of “cool” that doesn’t quite come across even with the extra strong pixels and streaks of blur covering the poorly composed shot to begin with. Writing and re-writing cotent for websites and other marketing needs only improves skills and gives moments until you truly are able to pop off with those phrases of near brilliance, those insights that make others chuckle, and even hopefully make that one an ad people will stay in their seats to watch instead of jumping up to grab a soda while watching their favorite show.
So keep at it and remember that practice may not make perfect, but it makes for a good time. And sometimes, it even makes it worth it.