From the time I was a little girl and throughout my undergraduate studies, I dreamt of being a professional creative writer. In grade school, I would read every book I could get my hands on. In high school, I scribbled through journals with short stories. In college, I fell in love with poetry. So, how did I end up writing ads, websites and blogs for businesses? No regrets here, I love what I do. Writing web content has helped me become more organized, more efficient and more creative. You may be struggling to maintain your creative energy as a content writer, I’m here to help you create better work.
Think About the Audience
As opposed to creative writing, where you are focused on your creative vision, web content has a specific purpose and audience. Often times, it is something relatively boring and as a content writer, you’re charged with making it interesting. This opens you up to new ideas and concepts you typically would not have considered, writing for people who are nothing like you. If that’s not a creative writing exercise, I don’t know what is.
Additionally, your clients likely already have an established tone of voice for their brand. As a digital marketer, you’ll need to become a chameleon. Changing your voice from client to client can keep things interesting and challenge you to become a better writer.
Stay On Track
The world wide web is an ever-changing place (and quickly, at that), and that means your writing must be timely. Whether you’re responding to a national news event or an update in your industry, you’ll need to be in-tune with the world around you and ready to write at any moment. Most of the time, you’ll have a deadline which keeps you on track. If you’re setting your own deadlines, make them frequent and be diligent about meeting them. Having a schedule makes everything a little bit easier in this crazy world we’re living in.
Better yet, web content should be kept relatively short (between 500-1000 words per blog) so as not to lose anyone’s interest. Forget all the frivolous words, write until you get your point across and then stop writing. Be informative, be concise and be persuasive.
If you’re a creative writer, you’re likely familiar with the concept of workshopping and taking in constructive criticism. In web writing, this is something that we do all of the time with A/B testing. Thankfully, it’s much less of a blow to the ego than a creative writing workshop when one of your ads is underperforming compared to another. Whether it’s an ad or website, A/B testing is the best way to see which version of your writing is more effective. This can help you understand what your audience is looking for, helping you improve your writing in the future.
Working at an agency is one of the most creative jobs out there, and also requires a ton of writing. Don’t feel like you’re “selling out” if you decide to dive into the versatile world of digital marketing. Remember, as Ogilvy said, “Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things.”