I know what I’m offering better than anyone else, I can just write the content myself.
This is a sentiment that I come across fairly regularly. As a freelance writer for over ten years and, more recently, as a dedicated rebranding and content expert on the Imagine Monkey team, I’ve often struggled with how to combat this mentality. While trying to explain the benefits of professional content writing, I found myself returning to the same tired analogies and explanations. I’d extol the clarity of having your page written in a single, unified voice. I’d promise the client the convenience of being able to focus on the bigger picture while I handle the minutiae. I’d say, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should,” and ask, “Would you perform your son’s tonsillectomy? Or represent yourself in court?”
By and large, though, these simplifications, promises and questions don’t accurately address the root of the issue. They skip across the surface of a much deeper lake and, frankly, they are guilty of the same crimes that do-it-yourself content writers often unknowingly commit. So, what are these crimes? What do you have to gain by hiring a dedicated writer to create the content for your website? In this series, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons — the real reasons — that professional content writing will benefit you.
Selling the benefits
Often times, the biggest problem that do-it-yourself writers have is understanding the importance of selling benefits over features. In its simplest terms, imagine walking into a big box store and being given the following pitch:
“It has a microphone for producing electrical signals corresponding to a series of received acoustic signals and a master control device with an input to receive said filtered acoustic signal! It’s got a mode selector, coupled to said master control device, for selecting one of two operating modes! Two operating modes!”
Are you ready to buy yet? Or did your eyes glaze over as your attention waned? The above pitch accurately describes the product but it does nothing to convince you that this product will make your life easier. Consider this pitch, for the same product, instead:
“You ever have one of those days? You know, it’s 11:00PM and it’s snowing outside. You’re nestled in bed and about to doze off to the Late Show when you come to the sad realization that you left the light on? What if I told you that you didn’t need to get out of bed? That you could turn the lights off just by clapping your hands?”
In this example, we’re invoking the feeling of a familiar situation and using that feeling to introduce you to one of the product’s real benefits. It’s not enough to simply list benefits, either, benefits need to be properly contextualized. This is where professional content really shines. A professional writer tirelessly pursues the most common, most ordinary experience and leverages that experience to get your clients to identify with and desire your product.
In short, writing content isn’t about creating bulk content, it’s about creating meaningful content. Readers don’t become invested in lists of features. They can’t be expected to desire a solution to a problem they aren’t experiencing. Even the most amazing benefit can be shrugged off if it is presented without context. Meaningful content grabs your readers’ attentions, it conveys an understanding of their problems and, ultimately, it offers a solution to those problems. This is what content writers do: they create a link between your product and your reader and, hopefully, create in the reader a desire to reciprocate that link.
Tune in next time where we’ll talk about targeting the right audience!