Writing. It’s a method of expression. It’s how we share information with others. It’s how we create a voice.
It’s the foundation of content marketing.
My earliest memories of writing are from preschool. I composed words in large block print beneath a poorly sketched drawing. In elementary school my writing progressed and I learned cursive; now just another lost art form. As I moved on to middle school I can recall writing essays for history class and attempts at literary criticism. However, with every writing assignment came anxiety to produce a perfect finished essay. I not only wanted my writing to be good, but I also wanted something that exceeded the requirements of the assignment.
In high school I perfected the five paragraph essay, the ever-important thesis statement and wisely chose from a myriad of transition words to complete the prose. I’ll admit that I spent hours mulling over the perfect subject, word choice and structure for my essays. I longed for the submission of each assignment, only to be assigned another one. Thus developing my love-hate relationship with writing.
Ironically, I added a writing discipline to my college curriculum to complement my focus in business. The courses I took emphasized writing for different audiences on a variety of topics. My writing continued to develop. I wrote everything from editorials to narratives to interviews. While the hate surfaced during the creative process, my love for writing flourished with each finished product.
Fast-forward three years. I quit my full-time corporate job and moved miles way from home, all in pursuit of my love for writing. I enrolled in a graduate program to study professional communication. During my first semester I spent endless hours pouring over the works of famous rhetoricians. My attempts to connect theories were futile at best. If I wanted to study rhetoric I would have been an English major in college!
Despite my questioning, I trudged forward in the program. In subsequent semesters I realized the significance of the theories I so painfully sought to master. I was astounded by the significance of such theories in executing communication projects in both an academic and professional capacity. What’s more is they helped me become a better writer.
So where does that leave me? Well I’m still writing – which was my ultimate goal. I’ve since graduated and secured a job in a marketing and content strategy capacity. I’ve learned the significance of my writing journey. The years I spent grappling with assignments ultimately prepared me for my current career.
Despite earning my masters degree in communication, the most significant lesson I’ve learned was my journey in understanding the power of the written word and its role in content marketing.
Whether you are developing a blog, designing a social media strategy, or creating web content for your website, the foundation of your strategy lies in the writing.
Writing is a daily task for me. I blog, I write social media posts and I develop web content for a multitude of websites. Being a good writer goes beyond using good grammar and syntax though; it’s about connecting with your audience. Creating content your audience is interested in reading and sharing within their social circles.
Think about the stories that have gone viral on the Internet. Most likely they tell a good story. They pull at our heartstrings. They use vivid language. And somebody wrote about that experience with the intent that the finished product would be shared. Just as books were a popular medium of the past, blogging and social media have prospered to become the channels our generation uses to share information.
Do you have a story to tell? A lesson to share? My advice – write it down. Click publish. See where it goes. Don’t be afraid of the power of your words.
Bethany Haberstroh–Content Strategist