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Thursday, 16 October 2014

English: A Content Writer's Dilemma

On-line writers have a fairly difficult time in writing content for the Internet, particularly for those employers that seek a convincing means of attracting viewers and visitors to their sites. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the only method to attract traffic to these sites in order to give these websites  the ranking and visibility they need. SEO can be done in a number of ways in which I myself had the experience to learn from all of my previous employers during my stint as a writer for various products. Such methods employ organic traffic growth which means building internal and external links, consistent updated blogging and finding the right niche and keyword that the Google search engine and logarithm will easily understand. Others have resorted to dubious means such as automated spam blogging using article spinning software and HTML encoded links hidden within the article itself to promote their sites. 

However, despite various methods to siphon traffic into these sites, Google has instigated their Panda logarithm that hunts down these scrupulous sites in order to give each and every website a fair share on the traffic that Google has to offer those who are using the Internet. Unfortunately, some sites tend to be a wee bit greedy when it comes to letting smaller sites take a piece of the traffic that they all want to be on top when users click the search button. From the olden days of keyword stuffing, most web page developers employ HTML code tactics to try fool the Google algorithm, nevertheless, Google wins in the end as it always does, reducing the visibility of these websites that do not follow the strict guidelines incorporated by Google into their search engine.

Fortunately, there is one old practice that seems to work perfectly up to this day and it is called content writing. Content writing works as it did many years ago during the early conception of the Internet but it seems that writing well structured and well informed articles has taken a downside as it has to fall on a compromise with giving consideration to most people that can't seem to understand the basics of the English language. I do recall the times when I was confronted by my employer to tone down my writing as to make it easy for most people to understand the contents of my article. Which is proven true since most people, particularly English speaking countries, can't seem to contemplate their own native tongue when it comes to reading it. 

This comes as a surprise for most non-English speaking countries that are currently being outsourced to undertake various tasks such as copy writing, proof reading, transcribing and word editing. Is the English language still what it is? Or should we blame the Internet for diversifying how people should comprehend it? It seems more likely the later, since the English vocabulary started to lose its substance when the Internet became the primary means of delivering information in a global scale. Compromises should be made with regard to giving people the convenience of understanding what they are reading in a blog, website or just about any informative article that they may come across on the Internet. But don't you think that people should also come into terms with improving the way they are able to understand what they read?

In the Philippines, where most English speaking writers are outsourced and employed, there are a lot of  people who know to speak conversational English. But do not expect a lot from this country as most people know how to read and write in a most passive way which leaves only a few that really know how to speak and write it properly as it should be. Do not expect the King's English or some Shakespearean Prose to be accounted on their resume, for this is but a rarity in this part of the world, unless you should happen to come across someone who delves in such sort of things. English is a beautiful language and if I may say so, a language that most people use in a daily basis around the world on their endeavours. It still remains a question on how it came to be slenderized to conveniently conform for the convenience of those who can not properly indulge themselves in the simpleness of its use.

Writing has always been about imparting the clarity of the truth in a subject being dealt with and it is within the skills of the writer to give various aspects on what the truth is regarding a certain topic. If you are to write something that has nothing to do with the truth of what the subject matter is about, then it is quite clear that you are misleading your readers. Always take to account the ideals of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway as a basis on how a real writer should define a subject matter. There is nothing like the truth to stir the interest of your readers, no matter how dull, mundane or even blatantly boring the subject is. The true skill of a writer comes out when they are able to make the simplest subject matter interesting, whether you are writing about a technically immersed subject or even about rocks, it is always on the writers personal aspect and perspective in which the topic comes alive.

Never be afraid to learn new things when it comes to honing your craft as a writer, as there are a lot of open suggestions which can improve your skills that comes from people who know how to improve your particular writing style. I for one had the so called Hemingway syndrome, which makes me write very long sentences due to having been influenced by the true master of the one true sentence. As my employer pointed out, keeping it short and simple along with putting it in a straightforward manner always gives your readers the information that they are looking for. The Internet is about information and giving people the information that they need in the simplest possible explanation will entice your readers to come back to your web page. Pride should make you discern but gratitude for learning new things is more important to improve your skills as a writer. As a parting gesture, never forget to thank the people who made you see your mistakes as a writer, your mentors and your employers. Thanks boss, I really learned a lot from you. 

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