The cursor is blinking at me again, pulsing and cursing at every second that I waste staring at it whenever I try to start a blog or an article. It’s not writer’s block as that’s an entirely different thing (and much worse). It’s just that writing for the web prompts me to think of how I can go about creating engaging content based on a keyword, which is always the case. Say for this particular blog. I’m supposed to write content based on the keyword “internet marketing Los Angeles”. I need to think of how I can possibly infuse these 4 words in the introductory paragraph without sounding like a nonsensical babbling idiot.
And so an idea struck me. What is it about writing for the web that makes it so different from writing for the social media? You know how it is in Twitter or Facebook, right? The atmosphere is more relaxed. Sure, you still have to observe proper etiquette, but generally, it’s more lenient. So how exactly is writing for the web different from writing for social media?
1. In social media, I’m writing for the netizens, not for algorithms. What I discovered about web writing is that I have to please two groups – the readers and Google. SEO experts have said it countless times: “Content is king”, but is it really? I’ve seen a great deal of websites with quality content plummet in rankings whenever Google comes up with an update. And this is despite the fact that they’re strictly using white hat SEO.
In social media though, I write for the readers alone. Yes, I still do marketing, but I can write more freely. I don’t need to worry about keywords like “internet marketing Los Angeles”. I just write, period. Social media writing is more organic, I guess. And that’s appealing for readers and writers alike.
2. With social media, I don’t need to write an essay. Web writing, however, involves word count. Even if I can deliver the message in just under 300 words, I still have to prolong the discussion until I reach the word count required. This isn’t the case in social media. A simple sentence is enough because after all, people in reality have very short attention spans. If I’ve got something to say, I need to keep it short and sweet. I can’t beat around the bush just because I have to mention the keyword “internet marketing Los Angeles” at least three times in a 500-word article which is what I’ve exactly done in this blog. If I had to use a keyword in the social media, I could just use it once in a 2-liner tweet, and that’s enough to keep the netizens informed.
3. With social media, I have to give lots of varieties which eventually make writing fun. Again, with web writing, I’m confined to a specific set of keywords. This makes my playing field rather limited, and the need to focus on limited topics can sometimes drain the creative juices out of me, which eventually reflects in my output. Bored writer = bored readers.
In social media, variety keeps people interested. I’m not writing to please Google, but the readers alone, which is exactly what writing is really all about. Successfully capturing the netizens’ attention with a variety of enjoyable and interesting topics will eventually prompt them to share and pass on the information, which is really what any business or individual would want in the first place.
I wrote this blog not because I find social media marketing better than search engine marketing. I’m merely pointing out the differences between the two from a writer’s point of view. It’s also not my intention to say that web writing is a painstakingly boring or difficult thing. It can, however, be challenging. And I guess challenges come with any other profession. But since I love writing, period, I wouldn’t want to trade this job for any other. And that’s the truth.