An opportunity to go to LinkLove with the rest of my team? Great! I have a brilliant idea for Distilled’s competition about how my experience writing for magazines helped me make the transition to digital marketing.
You could have read that piece if Adria Saracino hadn’t published a post covering basically the same idea just two days ago, albeit in a much more concise and experienced way than I ever could.
So I guess I need a new angle if I want to head to LinkLove.
I’ve only worked in digital marketing since October, but looking for a new angle has become part of my daily life. People have no interest in reading generic rubbish; it’s actually quite insulting for someone with little to no experience in a specialist area trying to blag their way through a post about something the readers will be much more familiar with. Finding a unique spin on a subject may take more time than pumping out another “˜The Five Greatest…’ but ultimately, it’s about quality content, not pure quantity.
Whenever I am working on a guest contribution, I try to ensure it is something which will add real value to the reader, not merely make up the numbers and waste everyone’s time. Thankfully, this seems to be the direction Google’s algorithm updates are pushing the industry towards, which should ensure writers and journalists who have made the transition into this career path can put their skills to good use. Panda and Penguin have helped shift the emphasis in favour of quality content, both on- and off-site. Without this push towards a more content-driven market, I probably wouldn’t have been afforded the opportunity to enter the industry or write this post.
I know guest contributions (or guest posts/guest blogs – whatever you have decided is the best term) are a bit of a contentious subject, but when they’re done right I honestly think they can provide interesting and useful information and should be addressed in such a way. While I’m of the opinion that the chap recently caught outsourcing his software development job to China is a bit of a hero and potential star of Office Space 2, few things annoy me more than substandard copy which has clearly been produced, for minimal cost, with the only intention being to gain a link.
The problem is sites lowering the bar with poorly written, generic copy; posts that somehow manage to hit the 400-word mark without actually saying anything. While I’m at it, I think I’ll take aim at those nefarious rapscallions who fill up their posts with superfluous, flowery prose. One completely obvious method of bumping up the word count which always makes me smile at the sheer cheek-of-it is when the author unnecessarily uses full names when a shortened term or nickname would be more appropriate. On an unrelated note, did anyone see that horrific tackle on Ronaldo de Assis Moreira? The AtlÃ©tico Mineiro attacker, more commonly known as Ronaldinho, was lucky not to have his leg broken! Awful stuff.
Just like Adria, I fell into digital marketing quite by chance rather than design. The company I work for believes in hiring writers and then educating them in the art of SEO. I think this approach will become commonplace in our industry. You can teach people SEO, but can you really teach them how to write engaging copy?
As I have come from a writing background, the methods behind SEO are still new to me. But that’s the thing I have quickly had to learn: it will continue to be new. There isn’t really a period where you can say: “Yep, I know everything about this now.” If you do, you’re wrong!
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