Keeping the Writing Passion Alive
As a professional writer who has found himself writing commercial sales and promotion content exclusively, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to please myself with my writing. Sure, personal satisfaction is expected to be farther down the ladder when it comes to creating commercial content that spreads and sells, but when you begin to lose interest in any of your work, you also begin to lose appreciation for it as well. This might seem hard to believe for some of you out there who are still in the “I’d run over an old lady with a garbage truck for a regular paying gig” stage, but it happens I assure you. Even the hungriest writer can become complacent after a year or two of writing sales copy over and over, and there is little you can do to make the process enjoyable once it becomes rote.
So how to keep the fire alive? That’s a question I’ve asked myself many times, and personally, I’ve found probably two things that really keep me going.
First of I occasionally cheat. Yep, you read right, I cheat like a desperate college student who spent half the semester partying instead of studying. To put it in context though, my cheating consists of finding ways to inject a little bit of my own personality and style into pieces wherever I can. Now, while this certainly isn’t practical or advisable when trying to put together an informative page of sales copy, it can be quite productive when performing link building or brand awareness.
As an example, I have a client who is heavily into link building strategy. They’ll want promotional copy produced and distributed every day, usually to sites of their choosing. Oftentimes however, I have been able to steer them towards specialized accounts with sites in related fields which allow the addition of content and a couple links purely in exchange for the addition of said content to their site. In these cases, since I am sole creator and manager of this content distribution setup, I get to produce my own voice, my own content, and work in my own style. While I am still constrained by my clients particular niche’ and the need to represent their brand, I still managed to find an avenue of free expression that allows me to touch on a variety of subjects which interest me as well as relate to my clients business focus.
Sure there are constraints, but if you know your client well and understand their business, the chances are good that providing them with self published content can produce a big payoff in the form of increased revenue and the ability to maintain some semblance of sanity. Even marketing or producing content about items such as lighting or airguns has for me proven to be fertile ground for such a strategy. I have had many times where although I was at a boredom and frustration spawned impasse with a regularly scheduled piece of commercial content, putting aside that piece in favor of throwing together an opinion-ed piece related to that client and publishing it on one of my own platforms literally broke me out of that impasse.
Of course, in order for such a plan to work you have to bring the client onboard with the idea. Clients are often leery of giving up most control over content, and even more so control over where it is published. I have found, however, that with most clients this is pretty easy to do, especially when I mention that not only will they be getting exposure, but linkbacks as well. Combine that with a reasonable cost, and most savvy business owners won’t hesitate to give it a shot.
As long as your work to date has served them well, selling them on the idea of giving you free reign to produce, distribute and manage publication of content can often be a viable way to augment your income while keeping your creative needs satisfied, and all while providing the client with good value.