Sunday, December 29, 2013

Online Content Writing - Quality Vs. Quantity

I wanted to post this a month ago but could not do it due to urgent works that took time to complete.

November month is something special to me. No, I have not born in this month or my dear ones have born either. This is the month in which I took a crucial decision about my career and jumped in to something else, till then, was known to me as a 'passion'. Well, I am talking about my content writing stint which was adopted as a full time profession.

I am not sure which is the right word between "metamorphosis" and "evolution" that best describes my migration from a property management profession to content writing. 

Now, having backed by an experience for about 12 months in online content/copy writing, I felt an urge to scribble something about it.

Online Writing as a full time occupation

As Profession

As a profession I love the avatar of Content Writer.

In this role, I am on my own, setting up the goals, devising the road maps, striving forward to take rapid steps and busy in bargaining. It is indeed a good choice for those who have flair for writing and having abundant of creativity stacked in the top floor of the body!

As a revenue source

I understood that the writing skills alone will not suffice to make money in this profession. One should have good negotiation skills, patience to listen to the clients and most importantly the best time management abilities. If these traits are aplenty in you, sky would be the limit. Everyday would keep you busy with treasure hunting. 

It is really exciting to go after a hidden treasure. Is it not?

Lessons that I learnt

At the beginning, I was clueless about Google Keyword Tool, Keyword density etc. I was aware of "Search Engine Optimization" or SEO as part of general knowledge but without any concrete idea. 

Initially, creativity and writing skills alone were my ammunition to hit the target. In the first month I was bit disdained at the lack of SEO knowledge. Many bids were summarily dismissed and few were returned with 'regret string' attached. I kept uttering "Prayatnam Eva Agrajam" i.e. effort is supreme to myself and continued the bidding.

After a month's effort, I could capture one contract from a Chennai based SEO company. It must be a divine intervention that on day one, I got a detailed brief from the client about SEO and keyword usage. So, there I am, in the beginner's class with beginner's luck. 

Later I started reading online articles on SEO techniques and have broadened my horizon. In the 3rd month, I have come across with a retired Charted Accountant (A babu moshai from Kolkota) who gave the second contract. In the same month, I got my 3rd & 4th contracts. Now, I am on the fast track as I could present more proofs for my content writing skills.

Important Insights

Like how all the fingers are not similar, each client was different. Their needs were different. Their approaches were different. Their payment methods were different. But strikingly, all of them were behind one objective i.e. "SEO". I was wonder-struck at this unique yet diversified topic called SEO.

One client wanted a plain article without much fuss on keywords. Another client wanted at least one keyword stuffed anywhere in the article. Yet another client wished to have 2-3 keywords 'inserted' at specific places within an article. Another client wanted to have the same keyword repeated in the ratio of 2% of the total word count i.e. if the article is 1,000 words length then the keyword must be used only twice. Likewise, I have to calculate the no. of keywords vis-a-vis the total word count of each assignment.

Insight 1

I own a website albeit in Telugu (Southern India's largest spoken language) and have worked on "Telugu meta words" which could help the website to climb up the ladder in Google search (Telugu). 

But I never worked as hard as my clients to have such calibrated SEO articles on my website. My approach was totally opposite to the struggles shown by my clients. 

I understand that English is the language of their websites/blogs and there is a huge competition out there on Search Engines for this language. But I was trying to benchmark the "average competition" and tried to measure the success ratio. My study was to understand "quality" vs. "quantity" of an article and keyword respectively.

Insight 2

To my astonishment, I found that the keywords hardly play the crucial role. Yes, this is true. Believe me that the "quality" of an article supersedes the "quantity" of keywords. 

I don't think that the online readers want to 'read' a heap of 'keywords'. On the other hand, a good engaging article rekindles the reading habit of a serious reader to revisit the website and read that worthy article for one more time. These repetitive visits will directly influence the search engines' crawling of that particular webpage. Many such worthy webpages can make the website 'search engine worthy.' A healthy, qualitatively improvised 'search worthiness' of a website results in to the organic growth of the page rank and indexing by search engines.

Insight 3

Creativity is at the bottom of online success and not just statistics or ratio of keywords. I think this generalisation applies even to the product descriptions and reviews. When the articles, reviews, descriptions et al are filled with creative presentation with a crispy language and crystal clear thought process, Google (or any search engine) shall follow it.

So, believe in quality than quantity or statistics or engine's algorithms. 

"It is quality rather than quantity that matters" - Seneca - Roman Philosopher, Statesman