On this ninth day of marketing, CopyPress is exchanging those nine ladies dancing for a different kind of art: real writers writing. And readers, you’re in luck– we’ve got the talented Lisa Barone here to share her opinions on professional writing in the Internet world.
Grammar can be taught. Linguistic rules can be taught. Writing– good writing, effortless writing, writing that seizes, compels, and excites the reader– can never be taught.
A good writer commands language. A good writer uses the same words you and I use everyday, only six times prettier and eight times more concise. A good writer can take nine words and make you laugh– and she can take eighteen and make you cry. As Lisa Barone writes in today’s interview, a good writer is “someone who understands not only the technical part of how to write but who gets how to make people feel something.”
In short: good writers are a rare breed. Like unicorns. Only more practical.
Luckily, we’ve tracked down one such rare breed in Lisa Barone, co-founder and branding officer at Outspoken Media. Today we’ll be discussing the importance of hiring a professional writer as well as where to find these elusive writers. Lisa also offers some advice for any would-be professional writers and bloggers out there.
Oh, and quote of the interview? “We have this idea that we can’t truly be ourselves, take a stand or make a difference until we have an established fan base. That’s ridiculous.
Just f’n do it now.”
Amen, Lisa. Aaaaamen.
Featured Blogger: Lisa Barone
Blog: Outspoken Media
Lisa Barone is the co-founder and branding officer of Outspoken Media, a boutique marketing and SEO consulting company with a penchant for honest, call-it-like-I-see-it advice. She’s been featured in the likes of CNN, Techcrunch, and the Wall Street Journal. An avid Twitter user, Lisa is also a frequent columnist and guest poster for some of the industry’s most well-known sites and blogs.
1.) How could someone benefit from hiring a professional blogger?
I could go on about this for pages. There are so many benefits to hiring someone who understands not only the technical part of how to write but who gets how to make people feel something. Because that’s what marketing is – it’s making people feel something and provoking a response.
Hiring a professional blogger puts someone on your team who understands how to use words to connect with other people. And that’s a skill that is way harder than people assume and it’s something you can’t fake. I don’t care how great your product or service is. If you put a person who can’t write and who doesn’t understand how to talk to other people in charge of talking about it – you’re screwed. Because they’re not going to be able to communicate how that product or service can change your life. It’s like putting someone with no people skills in charge of answering your phones. Good luck with that.
We respond to companies and people who make us feel something. Professional writers are professional because they’ve learned how to make a living doing just that. You can’t really put a price on that.
2.) Can people make a real living off of being a professional blogger?
You can make a real living doing pretty much anything if you hustle hard enough. Blogging’s no different. I’m pretty sure Darren Rowse has shown the entire world you absolutely CAN make a living blogging.
I don’t consider myself a “professional blogger” but I make a pretty nice living writing all day. It’s a nice job if you can get it.
3.) Any words of encouragement for beginner bloggers that don’t have much of an audience yet?
Don’t wait until you have an audience to be great or to do what you want to do. A lot of times I hear from people that as soon as they have 500 blog subscribers they’ll starting doing X and it’ll be awesome. Or as soon as they have 5,000 Twitter followers they’ll stop doing Y and start doing Z. We have this idea that we can’t truly be ourselves, take a stand or make a difference until we have an established fan base. That’s ridiculous.
Just f’n do it now.
You’re not going to create an audience by holding back your A game. You don’t need to be anointed relevant by the blogging gods for your work to matter. It matters right now. Do, write and act in a way that matters to you. You gotta give your audience something worth finding.
Also, don’t listen to the people who write bad things about you or speak out against what you’re doing. They don’t matter.
4. How much does a professional blogger write a day?
I can’t speak for others. I consider myself a marketing consultant, not necessary a “professional blogger” but I write pretty much all day, most days. Thousands and thousands of words. It’s not all blog posts, but it’s writing in other capacities – tweets, updates, emails, documents, etc. When you’re making a living off the work that you write, it’s not just the writing itself you have to worry about. There’s also the editing, the promoting, the networking, the pushing, the emailing. Things don’t happen by themselves. If you want to be a professional blogger, be prepared to write a few thousand words a day.
5. Where can people find professional writers?
You can use a tool like Followerwonk or Tweepz to search Twitter bios for [industry keyword] and [writer] to pull writers who specialize in a particular field and may be willing to either work with the brand as a contractor or at least freelance some pieces. If that doesn’t work, scout keyword-related blogs or sites like About.com for people writing about your industry/niche whose styles you like and see if you can get them to write content for you. I’ve also heard good things about Gina LaGuardia’s editorial services though, admittedly, I haven’t used them myself.
More from the 12 Days of Marketing
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the gift of Only Words Worth Reading which will feature countless valuable information and insight on the importance of crafting top notch content from Brian Clark of CopyBlogger. If you have missed any day of our 12 Days of Marketing, you can use our advent calendar to keep track of our past (and future) posts. Speaking of calendars – mark yours for December 22 for the launch of the CopyPress video for the 12 Days of Marketing. You definitely won’t want to miss this!