As my Virtual Assistant continues to build, I fill in gaps wherever I can, such as with freelance writing. I found a partner on freelancer.com, and I do regular writing for him. The pay on freelancer isn’t much, but “isn’t much” is superior to “nothing,” so I keep at it.
The two tasks I have been assigned more than any other are website article writing, and blog writing. It’s about what you would expect – here’s a subject, write an article or blog post about it. Make it (insert number here) words.
OK, let’s stop here and take a closer look at this requirement.
Those that know me – we’re talking physically, not just virtually – know I’m not much of an outgoing, chatty person. You know those stereotypes of men and women? I perpetuate one male stereotype in that I can say anything the average woman says in about 40 percent fewer words. I often marvel at how long it takes my wife to tell me a simple story.
Digitally, it can be similar. In building my VA network, I have subscribed to a bunch of newsletters – more than a dozen, probably getting close to 2 dozen. These newsletters are, obviously, virtual assistant-related. Because of the gender makeup of this industry, and the administrative professionals profession in general, the overwhelming majority of the newsletters are written by women. When I get one, I do a quick scan first, just to get a feel for the subject matter. Sometimes it’s news about a new trend, an upcoming education opportunity, networking stuff, or a pitch for me to buy something. There is value in all those things.
I can usually spot the sales pitch message easiest, for one main reason – the message is long. Very long. I see the side scroll bar, with a tiny darkened cursor, and I just start scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling. Good grief, I think. Honey, I can tell you want me to buy something. Get on with it, will you? Let’s get to the point.
As I have been writing articles blog posts, I see that the scenario I just described is exactly what a lot of people want. Words, words and more words! Sometimes it’s fairly easy to get a bunch of words written down. Sometimes it’s not, especially if you are not “wordy” by nature. I might get a job asking for a 700-word article or post. I’ll research the subject, start writing, and get to the point where I believe I have written more words about this subject than all articles/posts combined, ever. Then I look at the bottom of my screen and see “page 1 of 1 442 words.” WTH???? That can’t be possible! Why does this crazy client want all these words?
Here’s the thing about words – they can be very powerful regardless of the quantity. Think of objects used to cut things. A chainsaw is powerful, and very large in size. But a sliver of glass that is less than a centimeter in length can make you bleed just as much if it cuts in a critical place.
If you desire to show you are an expert, or are discussing a very complex subject, having length to the writing may be warranted. There are also times when fewer words can make a greater impact. A good writer knows which way to go based on the subject matter and the needs of the audience.
In many cases, the key is not the number of words used, but which words you use. Everyone who has a digital presence wants to be on that first page of results when someone goes to Google and searches our area of expertise. Google and the other search engines looks for certain words when ranking the search results. The practice of knowing those key words and using them so that the search engines will find your content is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. If a competitor has a 1,500-word article about a subject you also specialize in, but doesn’t have any of those key words, you can beat that competitor to the top of the search rankings if you have a 500-word article that has all the important key words.
COMMERCIAL BREAK – If you are a business owner that needs content for your website or blog, Full Force Enterprises can help. Just do the “contact us” thing.
What about you? Are you wordy or the strong silent type?