Google.com, one of web's hottest search engines, has indexed over 1,346,966,000 web pages to date. The World Wide Web is officially gigantic, with hundreds of thousands of corporate, small business, and ecommerce websites vying for something more than just "eyeballs" that web analysts hailed in 1990's. In order to create success, websites are now searching for a steady, interactive audience. Why aren't they succeeding? Could it STILL have something to do with content?
Understanding The Content Buzz
About a year ago, entire web was filled with a few wonderfully hip,fatally cool clichés; "Content is King," "Your Website Needs Stickiness," "CRM is key!" and new resources, allegedly customer- oriented, began to explode across internet. Syndicated web content became a cool way to get free words to fill up space on a website. Soon, companies such as moreover.com began create a content overlap. Website competition may be presenting exact same news feed at exact same time, with exact same keyword-rich content!
Once again, web industry began buzzing, "Learn How to Create Unique Content for Your Website!" The HTML Writer's Guild began offering classes in "Advanced Web Writing", EEI Communications began offering corporate training courses in "Writing for Web and New Media", and universities across country added web writing to their technology-driven and webmaster-centered curriculum. Once trained, web design companies began touting their new "writing skills", offering a one-stop-solution to their new website customers.
The Buzzkill for Web-Based Business
Before you ask, "What does this have to do with me, as a writer?" Answer this question: Did you just read ANYTHING about writers in last two paragraphs?
Of course you didn't. Writers, traditionally, have shied away from web markets. Many writers simply think that their skills are not meant for web-based work, resulting in a strange shortage of web content writers.
"Wait," well-informed web surfer may say, "There are plenty of writers on web! In fact, there's enough quality writing online that Salon.com can now charge for content!" While it's true that web- based magazines that specialize in content attract professional writers, it is not true that average corporate website, ecommerce outfit, or web-based business attract web-specific writers.
As an experiment, go to google.com and type in "content creation" right now. How many writers are pulled up vs. web developers offering content services alongside their website development and design? Why do you think they do this?
Apparently, writers just aren't interested. At a recent Creative Network gathering, a publisher told me that it is "Great" that I write for web. He employs over 60 writers at his consulting firm, yet none of them are really interested in web writing. They do, however, want to outsource work to me because their clients are looking for this skill.
There is a common assumption that web-based solution providers (such as web designers, programmers and developers) are experts in all facets of web-based business. Alongside this assumption is "technophobia" that plagues many writers and prevents them from offering their services to online markets. We think that we're unwanted or unneeded, and our services will be rejected.