Over the years, I’ve written a number of articles, and as a voracious reader I read more than my fair share, at least as many or more than I’ve written. Now then, I am somewhat bothered by what I’ve observed for a number of reasons, and if you have a few moments I would like to speak with you from my perspective, observations, and experience in these matters.
You see, I’ve seen the good, bad, and ugly. I understand the allure of the digital realm, and the need to produce content for the Internet at a rapid rate, but that doesn’t mean the online article author community has to degrade itself with choppy content, with no personality, and absolutely boring words strung together. Yes, I know that not everyone is a great writer. In fact, I’m not even a great writer, even considering the amount of content I have produced. I daresay I am quite a bit better than I was when I started, which I suppose comes with the territory.
It’s not easy being an online article writer or a content producer, nor is it easy being a novelist, poet, or e-book author. It takes time to develop the skills and talent to make compelling arguments, and to write worthy content. Speaking of which there was an interesting article in the July-August Issue of Poets & Writers Magazine there was an article titled “First Fiction 2011” which had an interesting paragraph in it on page 44. The article stated;
“There’s obscene pressure on writers to be the next hot young thing… But let’s be honest: most hot young things have nothing of value to say. They haven’t read enough. It took me 25 years of reading and 12 years of practice to produce a book worthy of being in the world.”
Well, by that article author’s words, a professional author with solid writing skills, good enough to get into Poet and Writers Magazine with their intense editorial standards – he appears to agree with me here. So apparently this is a common problem both online and offline in the print world. When I first started posting articles online, I wasn’t that good, and I can remember legitimate authors trashing newbie online writers such as myself. That really bothered me because I thought to myself; “hey everyone has to start somewhere, how arrogant of those professional writers to attack us online article authors like that.”
Now it appears I’ve come full-circle, and I find camaraderie with those professional writers, no I am still not of their talent level, but I understand. You see, I find there are challenges in the online article venue, and those who are in such a hurry to throw up an ever increasing amount of content. So much so that they let their standards go. Here are some of the challenges I see in the Internet article venue;
1. Software that Creates Derivative Articles
2. Foreign Authors and Writers Who Have Poor Writing Skills
3. Article Writers who Re-write Content and Post it Online as Their Own
4. Writers who Prepare Content as Fast as they can without Consideration of Quality
You see, using software that merely changes words around is cheating, it is unethical, and it is a shortcut. It clutters the search engines with garbage content, and it floods the Internet with content that no one wishes to read. As more online users encounter this sort of information, they become turned off to it, and this hurts all writers and article authors at all levels. It hurts the beginners who are really trying to hone their skills and better their talent. And, it makes a mockery of the entire online article author sector.
Imagine that you are a foreign author and article writing individual who does not possess strong English writing skills, and rather than working hard to make your writing correct, you simply produce content as fast as possible and post it online. In essence, even though you are perhaps less than adequate, and hope one day to become a better writer in the English language, the result is the same as if you were using derivative style writing software. That is to say your articles are unreadable, and those that click on them, and start to read them get a very negative impression. Again this hurts all authors of articles everywhere.
Those that copy content online, and rewrite the articles they find or perhaps collect information from Wikipedia, and rewrite that content into bite-size articles are not helping the online reader. After all, in many ways it’s just duplicated content that is already available online. It’s not really needed, and therefore it is not helping anyone; certainly not the reader who invests time in reading whatever has been written using this methodology.
That is truly unfortunate indeed, and it’s not really fair, especially for those that do research, have experience, and knowledge in a certain area or human endeavor. Basically, you are stealing readers which may have come to their website, and brought those readers to your website instead, and rather than rewarding them with quality content, you have tricked them. You can see why this hurts the online article venue.
Lastly, those authors who packed their articles full of keywords to garner search engine optimization without producing quality content are equally tricking the reader, and it’s just not fair. You see, you can produce quality content, and do it correctly, and it may not be as hard as you think. Why not invest in some books on writing articles and hone your writing skills; promise yourself to improve your writing a little bit each and every day. As long as you are working towards those goals with constant improvement, you are joining the ranks of those that take the profession seriously.
Now then, there are three books I’d like to recommend to you, and these are books that I own myself in my own personal library. They have helped me immensely, and I hope they will help you too. The names of these three books are;
1. “You can write a column,” by Monica McCabe Cardoza
2. “Anybody Can Write – A Playful Approach,” by Roberta Jean Bryant
3. “Handbook of Magazine Article Writing,” a writer’s digest book, edited by Jean and Fredette