Look in the acknowledgments section of almost any book, and besides a variety of loved ones, who do you almost always see receiving effusive thanks?
Good writers know they can only be great writers once an editor gets a hold of their work. Every writer needs another set of eyes to catch mistakes and inconsistencies. Every writer needs an independent, unbiased viewpoint to say, “This makes sense,” or “I think you need something else here.”
It can be disconcerting being the voice of someone else. You may find that you start adopting mannerisms and language that you’ve never used before, because you’re focused on creating in a voice that’s not your own.
For example, in a previous job where I managed a social media feed for a senior official in our organization, I frequently neglected my own social media presence because it was a little weird being two people on the internet.
Writers often talk about finding their own voice, but writing for a brand requires us to write in someone else’s voice or style. You may be copywriting or you may be creating content for a company’s blog; either way, you may feel like you’re writing as someone else.
Writing is writing, right?
Nope. If you’re a writer, you know that what type of writing you’re doing matters. And it’s not just AP versus Chicago; it’s structure and style and voice.
Here at Craft Your Content, we’re all about finding ways to help your true voice shine through as you create great content. It’s a cardinal rule of ours: instead of the “right way to do things,” there’s the right way to do things for each of our clients.
Language should be flexible. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some basic tenets of writing to follow. We can create better content by following a few rules from the academic world.
How well do you know your audience?
You probably know if they’re customers, clients, stakeholders, or supporters. You may know if they’re fans, interested but not engaged, or occasional visitors. But even if you have data on your audience, how well do you actually know them?
Do you know what they need? What they desire? What moves them to action?
When you’re creating content you hope they consume, are you creating that content with them in mind, or are you only pushing something you want at them?