Some businesses may need to take a DIY approach to their online content, and we’ve talked about how to go about doing that. It’s a totally reasonable option that meets the specific needs of some firms. I absolutely believe that DIY content for your website is better than no content at all. But I’m here to tell you that while yes, you can create your own online content, you should hire or contract a writer to do it for you if you can afford it. Here are some reasons why.
Writers Are Good At What They Do
Many writers have years of experience at their craft, and practice is really the only way to master writing. I have more than ten years of experience, two years of academic study, two novels, and numerous short stories under my belt. Even if my only experience were in fiction, that’s an extensive history of work with the written word. I also have years of blogging experience, both personal and professional, and a couple of years of copywriting experience. My history writing fiction led to my passion for copy and content.
Writing teaches you how best to use language to access the emotions of the reader. The purpose of fiction, as with all art, is to provoke an emotional response in the reader. Persuasive writing, which is the writing that you want in your copy and content, also should provoke an emotional response. Dedicated writers know how to do this.
Writers Are Passionate About Their Craft
I love the work that I do, and that fact is enough to make me happier and more productive in my work. A study from the University of Warwick demonstrated that people were about 12% more productive when they are happy. Very few people will sit down to write a book unless they are passionate. Because writers are passionate about their craft, they take pride in their work, and are less likely to settle for good enough, and more likely to push themselves to excellence. All of this means that you can have better productivity and better quality from a dedicated writer than from someone with less passion for their work.
The introduction of personal fulfillment into our work also accesses a pool of intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within, and it’s stronger than external sources of motivation. This feeling of personal fulfillment is also protective against burn out, which means lower turnover.
Writers Just Write Faster
When you have a great deal of experience and practice with a skill, you’re able to do it faster without sacrificing as much in terms of quality and accuracy. The fact is that some writers definitely work faster than others, but the overall range is lower than those with less experience. Working faster with comparable quality means more work produced, more deadlines met, more happy customers and interested leads for your business.
It also means that writers are more capable of performing emergency tasks with high priority and short deadlines. This will make your content production more agile, ready to meet the demands of a fast-changing business environment.
According to a report from Orbit Media, the average time taken to write a blog post is between just over four hours. I can usually complete a 1,200 word piece in two to three hours, and sometimes in as little as ninety minutes. Obviously this varies based on the length of the post and the depth of research needed, but professional writers are going to be faster on average.
Writers Come Already Trained
Okay, this one may be a slight overstatement. Someone coming into the field of SEO, content, and copy from a background strictly dealing with fiction is going to need some training and experience to get up to speed. But they come with a raft of skills that are challenging to teach, and many of which only come with practice. This includes things like time management, understanding how to organize and structure a piece of writing, word use, spelling and grammar (these are really important, I discuss why in this post), and editing.
Editing is a particularly difficult skill to master. Editing one’s own work is a challenge; when you know your own work word by word, the eye is more likely to pass over typos and grammatical errors. Practiced writers learn (often by trial and error) how to spot these and correct them. I can usually edit a 1,200 word piece in a half hour or less.
So the next time you get a resume from a hopeful SEO and content professional that shows a deep history of fiction writing, journalistic writing (journalistic writing actually has a lot in common with commercial blogging, as noted here), or even academic writing, it might be worth giving them a chance. It may just revolutionize your content game.