A survival guide to the technological evolution of the written word.
Kansas is long gone, baby.
Yesterday’s “writing” has become today’s “content creation.” This leads anyone who was comfortable with traditional mediums (brochures, newspaper articles, academic journals, books) to question his or her writing for today’s market. This is a brief guide to take those more familiar with traditional writing into today’s world of writing for the digital consumer.
The other day, my husband, bewildered by the sheer amount of open social media and analytic tools on my desktop, stated (cue, scratching head), “Not too long ago, we were working with horses and plows”.
He’s right. Things have changed, at mind blowing rates. The written word itself (hello – it’s now the typed word) has evolved enormously, empowering any individual to blow his or her proverbial horn. Today, anyone can become a “published” writer.
As recently as 15 years ago, consumers relied almost entirely upon printed materials, newspapers, magazines, journals, books; but this is no more. Not only is information easily available online, but all forms of printed media have either had to adapt or flail to keep up with the digital world.
Today, a digital user can view public content anywhere at any time (more and more digital content is being consumed via mobile device users) making the potential reach of written content unfathomable!
Access to information
Writers need to reach out to their readership, pique their interest, and offer a current and relevant product or concept that the audience is seeking.
Content needs to be shared and publicized where it will be seen by those seeking it, and the best digital marketing available is often through one’s own well networked social media outlets. In addition, when creating original web content, writers need to keep SEO and keywords very much at the forefront.
Tip: One can get the most out of published web content by streamlining content promotion. There are some great, free and easy to learn social media management platforms available to keep this process simple. Of course, if it still seems like too much to take on, having professional assistance with marketing and social media presence makes it all easier.
Ease of Information
As a child, I had very focused interests. I would devour all information, books and encyclopedias on my chosen topic of the day. Occasionally, I would even search the then-prehistoric web for information, generating all of 7 results. I considered myself an expert in Primatology back in the day, by devouring a bunch of books. Now? I type “Primatology” into my search engine and click “go”. Easy access to becoming a full on expert on the topic.
Readers do not simply devour all information that is relevant to their niches; they pay more attention to information that is in line with their own perspectives and preferences. This means that more often than not, readers ignore information that does not fit into their own world view. Our audience reads, with a slant.
It’s all about engaging the audience. No one is going to read something boring, or long, or boring.
The digital audience has the attention span of a gnat – get to your point, and FAST! Bullets and bold are always helpful, since the digital audience scans instead of reading.
Tip: Mold to your market as each market comes with its own specific needs. One strong sign of a good content writer is the ability to write in a variety of different modes and styles based on the target audience.
New times call for new techniques.
By engaging a focused target audience through relevant content, social media and appropriate targeting, content exposure is enhanced. Simple integration tools allow one to publicize, streamline, and schedule written and media content to save hours of unnecessary work and when properly implemented, provides the exposure worthy of your words.
As for audience engagement, how many of the embedded links did you click on? Happy scribing.
Submitted by Safra