Freelance Writing is for Pros

19th century freelance writer at desk with quill pen.
Freelance writer with quill pen

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When you write your own web content, are you saving money or are you throwing it away? One of the most frequently self-inflicted mistakes made by budding entrepreneurs is attempting to conserve resources by personally taking on all tasks. Seasoned businessmen have learned the difference between frugality and effectiveness, and poorly written content is not only ineffective, it’s suicidal.

Number one turnoff to website visitors? Little things, like spelling, grammar, punctuation and proper use of English. When botched, these faults become big red honking bull’s eyes that send a strong signal to readers: unprofessional!

Website writing isn’t conversation and it isn’t hard-copy either. Conversation is too unstructured and digressive to work well on the screen, and copy written for the printed page typically lacks the brevity and punch to hold a web reader’s interest for long.

A well-written web page is focused, easy to digest, and sure-footed. It starts with the page value proposition – why the page exists, and what value it adds to the website. A professional web writer had better establish the page’s value in the first sentence, because web readers are busy and impatient.

Writers need to lay out arguments with skill:

  • Focus. Your writing should center on a keyphrase for your page. Your keyphrase summarizes your content. To make it happy, surround it by friends: words and phrases that naturally flow from the keyphrase.
  • Exercise restraint. Your web content should not repeat the keyphrase 16 times out of some misguided ideas about moving the website up in the Google rankings.   Instead, write organically – use words that make sense in their context, not repetitions of one phrase.
  • Give value. Readers are giving you their time and attention. Give back with useful information presented in a concise manner. Use bullets and lists to make the information easier to access.
  • Use SEO techniques intelligently. You need quality content, precise keyword selection, and authoritative backlinks to get your web listed near page one on Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

One final point – know when to stop. We’ll expand on our themes in the next posting. In the meantime, check out my site to see how I can help you with your content requirements.

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Copyright 2011 Eric Bank, Freelance Writer

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