Hi. This is an old, unmaintained blog. You may find these sites more to your liking:

Carson Brackney: This is my primary site.

Ad Astra Traffic: Content production/article writing service.

Ad Astra Traffic Team: For those who'd like to get writing gigs with Ad Astra.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Answering reservations about outsourcing content...Lifelessness...

Here's another observation from someone who has purchased content in the past, but wasn't completely satisfied:

"One thing I observed, most articles that were written by ghostwriters are not the 'conversational' style of writing. They are more towards 'editorial' style, meaning they are written for newspapers or magazines. Conversational means you write as if you're talking to a person right in front of you. I believe this type of article would bring more imact to the readers. It's somethign like you're letting it all out from your chest. It's like you're giving the article a 'life.'"

This is a criticism of freelance content writers that probably contains a great deal of truth. Let's be honest, it is easy to slip into a very dry style when you are plugging away at an ever-growing stack of keyword rich articles on incredibly dull topics. I have no doubt that many buyers have received work from writers that were just plain boring and lifeless.

I don't, however, think that is an inevitability. In fact, I think it is quite avoidable. You see, most of the time writers receive assignments with specifications that do not mention the desired tone or voice at all. The buyer says "I need X articles on topic Y and they need to be Z long and I need them in three days." That's all the writer has for direction.

That can kick a freelance content writer into a "default" mode that will lead them to (hopefully) write factually accurate and readable articles meeting all expressed specifications. It may not, however, compel them to find and use an appropriate "voice."

That usually isn't a byproduct of a lack of skill on the part of the writer. Instead, it is an outgrowth of playing it safe. Most buyers are satisfied with a straightforward piece of reporting. If one strays too far from those norms, buyers may not be getting what they expected. Thus, content writers tend to keep a lot of their creativity under wraps due to concerns about efficiency and a desire not to defy customer expectation.

I think there is an easy way out of this problem for buyers--if they will tell writers that they want something that is more conversational and more lively, they will probably get just that.

By the same token, I think content writers should probably start asking more questions about voice and tone before starting on a project.

Lifelessness is not a necessary component of content writing.