RSS Underground Content Writers
Want A Sticky Website That Sells? Forget Content!
An interesting debate is raging among copywriters, web designers and content providers about the key differences, if any, between writing copy for the web versus writing content.
According to prolific copywriter Nick Usborne, a survey conducted among the readers of his email newsletter "Excess Voice," which is available at nickusborne.com, offers some interesting results. They seem to be split almost three ways: one-third consists of copywriters, another content writers and the final third both.
This is an important debate, I believe, since all online copy is content but not all content is copy. And that's a real problem.
Most designers, webmasters and writers
develop content for their web sites in a way to educate their visitors.
They also write it with the notion that "content is king," "content raises search engine rankings," "content makes a web site sticky" and
That's all fine and good. But in my estimation, web content fails
when it strives only at informing the reader, and lacks important elements
that take the reader "by the hand" and compels them to do something
-- anything, including the simple act of reading.
In other words, while some may compel our attention, many sites fail
to propel our actions, too. And their owners often scream, "Why is my site not producing any sales," "why is it so heavily trafficked but getting such a poor response" or "why
are people leaving so quickly (or after they got what they came for)?"
Well, if content was king, copy should be the castle.
The Internet is not a traditional medium in the broadcast sense. It
is intimate, dynamic and interactive. People are more involved when
reading the content of a web site than reading a conventional print
publication or watching a TV commercial. With the Internet, people
also have a powerful weapon, and they usually never think twice about
using it when the need confronts them: their mouse.
So, the idea is this: forget about writing content, at least in the
traditional sense. Think copy. Think content that compels the reader
to do something, even if it's just to continue reading.
According to Atomica.com, "copy" is defined as "the words to be printed or spoken in an advertisement." (And "advertisement" is defined as "a notice or announcement designed to attract public patronage." It's selling something, in other words.)
But the word "content," on the other hand, is defined as "the subject matter of a written work, such as a book or magazine." And keep in mind that there's no mention of the Internet, here.
Nevertheless, this is why I submit that, with its multitude of links and hypertexts, the web transforms the passive reader into an active, responsive participant. (Make that "response-able.")
A book or magazine is limited by its front and back covers. The web, however, is not. If your content does not strive at getting the reader to do something, whether it's to buy, join, subscribe, call, email, fill out a form, download, click or whatever, then you need to seriously rethink your content and the words you use.
Here's my explanation of the difference between content and copy.
Content informs. Copy invites. Even if content invites readers to keep reading, it's still selling an idea. It's still calling for some kind of action. And it's still copy, in my opinion.
If your web page is only meant to inform people, like some kind of book, it's content. (And like the closing of a book once it's read, the only action left is to close the browser window.) But if it contains links to other parts of your web site, then it's copy. And you need to write your content with that mindset.
Ultimately, write your content by incorporating a direct response formula that compels and propels your readers to act. Don't leave them hanging. Take them by the hand. In your content, integrate a call for some kind of action, in other words. Ask your reader to "buy now," "join today," "get this" or "download that ..."
... Or better yet, at least ask them to simply "click here."
the Writer of this Article
Michel Fortin is a copywriter, author and consultant dedicated to turning businesses into powerful magnets. His specialty are long copy, email and web sales letters. Subscribe to his FREE monthly email newsletter by visiting http://SuccessDoctor.com/
Online Writing and Beyond: Writers Will Lead the Content Revolution
It is often thrown around loosely on the web that "Content is king."
If content is king, then what is a content writer?
Good writers are already gifted in using a voice that reaches their audience clearly and effectively. Content writers work behind the scenes to help web sites retain and expand their readership, sales, and visits by offering articles, sales copy, email outreach, and other types of writing to enhance a web site's overall "stickiness". The basic premise behind content writing is that without content, a web site creates no reason for a customer to return. And it's much easier to get a customer to return than to visit the site in the first place. The web is still referred to as the "information superhighway", and millions of users expect their information for free.
Where Writers Fit In
Ultimately, it is not "Content is King." As readers adapt and change their uses and needs on the web, it is clear that really, the users are king and queen. Providing fresh and interactive content is simply the role content writers undertake. This is similar to the role of jesters, caterers, tutors, and playhouses to our royal readers. (Online books have failed thus far primarily for this reason; much of the content isn't uniquely informing and the format doesn't make an enjoyable read. How can somebody enjoy reading over 50 pages of boring, painful-to-read Adobe- Acrobat text?)
Content writers entertain, refresh, inform, educate and expand the world of their readers through writing. Those of us who write and love writing understand that the essence of writing is invoke emotion, take your reader "another world", inform them or prompt them to action. Combine the passion for writing with the need for content on the web, and a writer can have it all. Not only can a writer fulfill these needs, but also the web writer can achieve a coveted, long-lasting goal for every web site; compel the reader to interact.
Writers Engaging Readers
As more forms of entertainment move online, more unique ways of fulfilling their goals will surface. Some of the most popular web sites today begin with a little content and build a community. Community-based web sites not only have online writers, but also provide a forum for their users to interact to the content. Building conflict and community can engage your readers in such a way that they no longer feel like readers, but an audience. Members of an audience can applaud, converse, heckle and cheer when appropriate. By encouraging the use of a message board or other interactive media, readers return to see what the next day, week, or month will bring. They "get in on a piece of the action".
More and more web sites are creating audiences rather than readers, and writers are helping them through polls, feedback forms, and message boards. However, it seems that the web has not completely transformed the web into a completely interactive medium yet. Content writers will create a way to force the reader not to be an audience, but a part of the play. As a writer, I think that we'll give audiences more and more room to interact and influence actual events and mediums.
Where We'll Take Content Writing
In the future, I see nonfiction e-books allowing readers to pick and choose chapters based on their skill and knowledge levels. Students will be able to skip the grammar review in an online textbook if they feel their skills are up to par or took an online skill test to "test-out". Web designers will skip the HTML basics and move straight to HTML 5.0 new features and XML. Writers will be writing both for a general audience and a skilled audience, and readers will participate in the process by choosing the specific information they need. "Take what you need and leave the rest" will be the new online writing mantra. Contentville.com already did this (although they are now defunct) with a huge database of articles, thesis papers, and other formerly print media that readers pay a small fee to read. Others are following this pattern. This market will expand and readers will only pay for what they get.
In the fiction market, readers will be taken to the next level of participation by finding not only a choice of characters, plots, and settings through interactive web sites and media, but through a Choose- Your-Own Adventure type of structure. Similar to online games, users will be able to choose Jane's physical traits and John's personality, and set the story into sequence at a setting of their choice. They will choose their favorite outcomes in their online soap operas. (No more, "No! John! You should have married Mary, not left her for Margaret! She's evil!")
As for the writers? We won't have to choose the perfect beginning, middle, or end anymore. We won't have to decide on one specific audience. We'll be writing for all cultures, all ages, and all interest levels. Where content is king, we'll be the knights in shining armor, rescuing the reader from the boring, redundant, or irrelevant web reading and the writing of yesteryear.
Oh, yeah, and we'll be paid as well as the Duke of Earl.
*This article originally appeared in Web Writing Buzz Newsletter in April of 2000.
the Writer of this Article
Melissa Brewer is a full-time freelance writer and author of The Writer's Online Survival Guide, available at http://www.webwritingbuzz.com. She hosts a web site for professional freelance writers and she publishes a free weekly newsletter, The Web Writing Buzz, featuring articles on freelancing, writing jobs and publishing news from around the web.
please visit the Internet Marketing web sites:
Recently Added Internet Related Articles:
Original Content - It was easier when I was running EMJ, since I had built EMJ slowly over 25 years so people got to know me better as the company grew. At SYNNEX, I have a whole new group of people who wondered about who I was. Blogging was one way to bridge this gap.
Public Domain Content - An Ipsos-Reid poll showed that people are starting to rely more heavily on the internet with increases in the frequency of internet usage in North America the UK and Asia. At the time of the poll 72% of Americans were online within the previous month, and that number continues to rise.
Alternative Words - There are many ways to build content sites, the web offers a good amount of tools and software that enable you to quickly and easily create keyword rich content site. With the growing popularity of Private Label Rights (PLR) membership sites, webmaster and internet marketers alike, are finding these PLR sites a valuable tool to boost their growth of their business in 2006.
Tamino Xml Server - The Tamino XML Server is from Software AG and is used to publish and exchange all kinds of data especially the XML documents in the native format. It handles open standards. Leveraging on the XML technologies will improve an organizations data access.
Rss Reader - An RSS feed is created in a non-HTML format called XML. RSS readers or aggregators can interpret and display that coding, but Web browsers can't. Soon, RSS/XML readers will be part of every browser and e-mail software. But for now, you need a separate reader. You use an RSS reader to bring new, constantly updated material to you, from all your favorite sites.
Relevent Content - After reading the newest ebook published by Nathan Anderson, I was floored at how it easy it was to generate great search engine results without paying a guru an outrageous sum of money to do so. The search engines are accessible to everyone because of this new look at search engine optimization.
Content Development Plan - Any decent content can be optimized, all it needs is intelligent keyword choices and correct links placements. The content comprises of following: · Web Copy · Links · Tags · Content arrangement.
Blog Making Money - After you create a weblog that is interesting, now it is time to start making money. The second step of getting visitors is the most important, if you plan on making money. The third step is choosing how you will make money from your weblog .
Google Duplicate Content - All computer users have one common trait. They are all motivated by the desire for more knowledge about the subject they wish to investigate. Given this fact, you as a business owner must deliver the right information to your web site visitors that satisfies their need to know about your product.
RSS Blog Software