Do you remember that day in grade school? The one where a clean, hardcover book with empty white pages landed on your desk and a teacher said, “start writing”? That was my favorite day of school.
I’ve always worked best in words and filling those pages with ideas or stories from my imagination was the best way to quench the thirst to create. It gave me an outlet for a wild imagination I had cultivated with books from great authors like Roald Dahl, Madeleine L’Engle, Louis Sachar and, um, Francine Pascal. And that is why, many years later, I’m thrilled that someone is actually paying me to still tell stories with those words.
My Name Is…
Hi, I’m Jennifer. A few things to know about Roundpeg’s new content writer:
Indy. I was raised in Indianapolis, and though I have moved away, I’ve always come back. I mean, those verdant cornfields in summer, can you beat that view? Oh, you can? Well, I bet you don’t have an overgrown Hot Wheels track where people pay money to watch cars drive absolutely nowhere.
Music. I have a hard time understanding or relating to people who don’t listen to music. You have hearing for a reason, and it’s certainly not for avoiding danger or listening to someone talk about their juice cleanse diet.
Coffee. Sorry not sorry, but I am so picky about my coffee. I bring a French press and freshly ground beans with me to new jobs, vacations and yes, even camping trips. As most writers have experienced, you sometimes need an in-between-projects job. My in-between has always been coffee shops and stemming from that, an appreciation for good coffee.
Now that you know those really important things, let’s talk about content.
Yukon Do It
At my previous job, I wrote a lot of websites, specifically for small Canadian businesses. You could not throw a Tim Horton’s cup from your moose drawn carriage without hitting a small business that I, or a colleague, had written a website for. Wayne Gretsky and I were practically best friends.
Operator, Can You Help Me Place This Call?
Due to being structured in a different way than most businesses, I did not have direct contact with my clients. It could occasionally be like an international game of Telephone, where by the time client information reached me, requests would be garbled, confusing or incomprehensible. My responses would be the same. It was a flaw in the system, but a necessary one for the way this company worked.
In writing these sites, one of the things I found that got a little rocky with clients was implementing this mystical, seemingly magical, top secret thing known as SEO, which we all know by now is search engine optimization or the position on the page that your website shows up on Google. It’s not actually magic, it’s strategy, but the exact algorithm for page rankings is kept on lockdown by Google.
As a content writer, you write for several different “clients”, your main client, your client’s audience and the search engines. We talk to each other every day, so we know how to write for people. Writing for search engines, well, I don’t know about you, but my robot pen pal has always been a very dry and mechanical correspondent. But he has helped me learn how to write for other robots, like search engines.
Rollup for the Magical SEO Tour
Trying to shove SEO elements, like keywords and location data, into text can result in bad copy. Which is what most clients are objecting to – they don’t like the way the copy reads or those keywords may not be a good reflection of the business. Or sometimes clients are attached to an old piece of website copy that they love, but doesn’t do much for their rankings.
In the coming weeks, I’m going to tell you what I wish I could have told those clients—that working with a good content writer who knows how to create a balance between original copy and SEO elements will result in an engaging read for your customers and will also allow your site to climb up to those coveted first page search results. To clarify even further, it means that people will be able to find your business on the web.
Until then, it’s been nice meeting you. Let’s talk some more.