The Internet allows almost anyone to say almost anything.
This is why it can be very hard to get heard, sometimes.
There’s quite a lot of noise.
For each wildly popular website there are tens of thousands that lie in obscurity.
But what is the difference between those that succeed and those that fail?
The answer: good writing.
Yes, despite the stereotype of the “poor starving writer” or the lamentations about deterioration of language due to texting and Twitter, good writing hasn’t faded out of fashion with the Internet.
In fact, it has become more important than ever before.
Advertisement Is Dead, Long Live The Written Word
When I first started publishing things online back in the 90ies I often had the feeling that whatever I put on the Net just sort of sat there and caught digital dust.
Unless I told my friends to go and visit my webpage, nobody even knew it existed.
This was before the word Google was the answer to everything.
And with Google came online advertising in a scale never dreamt of before.
Since now there was a search engine that everyone was using, you could pay them to show your webpage when people searched for something.
But the more knowledgeable people became about using Google, the difference between advertised listings and “real” findings based on their keywords became more and more evident.
This and the fact that more and more people were advertising made it harder and harder to get great results for your advertisement money.
Especially for small companies and individuals it is unrealistic to spend hundreds of dollars on advertising costs every day.
Luckily, there is an alternative: Instead of paying for advertising that wastes your money and your time, you can let your writing do the talking for you.
If Content Is King, Copy Is Crown
A person who writes texts that get people to do specific actions is called a copywriter.
It’s not a flattering title, is it? Like the term ghostwriter it implies something second-handed or outright shady.
After all, “a person who gets people to do things” – that sounds rather manipulative, doesn’t it?
But it has nothing to do with hypnosis, neither does it have to be unoriginal or based on dubious ethics.
Good copy-writing makes the difference between a text that’s merely informative and one that makes the reader want to jump in and participate.
It’s a craft, a type of writing, not as glamorous as writing novels maybe – but just as important.
Because by learning this craft you can promote everything from the next concert of your best friend’s band to that novel which is sitting somewhere in your drawer. (Does anybody actually do this anymore?)
Blogging Up Steam
Now, there’s a common misconception that copy-writing is a form of writing which is hiding its real intentions, that it’s just buttering up the reader with sweet words while simultaneously eyeing his wallet.
We all know these kind of texts. You can find them everywhere from supermarket brochures to hotel descriptions.
And this is where the narrow term or definition of copy-writing broadens into the more dynamic content-writing.
If copy-writing is text that makes you click on a button and buy something, content-writing is the kind of text that is
- as informative as an encyclopedia (but narrowed down to the essentials)
- as entertaining your favorite TV-series (but without the canned laughter)
- as helpful as a conversation with a good friend or coach
It is this kind of approach to writing that can virtually promote anything without either coming off as promotional or pushy.
Two years ago, I stopped fooling around with paying for advertisements altogether and have since then been increasingly relying on content writing as way to help spread the word about my online projects.
The good news: It works a lot better and brings not just more customers and readers but is also free.
Still, writing is hard work, of course.
This is why, over the last few weeks and months, I have been busy putting together a book for everyone who wants to learn more about this approach to writing and spreading your influence on the basis of growing a blog.
UPDATE: You can get the book here.
Since I’m not doing this for a publisher or a boss breathing down my neck, I have set myself Tuesday, 30th of August as a release date. I’m planning to do a pre-release over the course of the next few days for the people who have subscribed to this blog as a way of saying thanks, so if you’re interested and haven’t yet subscribed, you can do it now.
Simply click here and enter your email. (Don’t worry, I hate SPAM as much as you do.)
Have a great day!