Some writer friends of mine despise the word “content.”
After all, they’re writers, they say. They write prose. They write articles. They work on projects. They finish assignments. They submit copy –to book publishing agents, magazine editors, website managers and blog networks.
But, make no mistake about it: they most definitely do not write “content.”
I understand the distinction they want to make. Honestly, I do.
The term “content” sounds impersonal, unprofessional and inconsequential. Somehow, it seems unlikely that writing content would require a journalism degree or years of experience at a news desk or a file cabinet full of by-lined articles. And, it has been made quite clear to me (more than once) that for many, content is synonymous with filler.
However, during one of these recent conversations, I started to wonder, “Are these writer friends taking that one word (and quite possibly, themselves) a little too seriously?” Could it be that we have been writing “content” all along?
Over the past year, I’ve had clients ask me to write content for the core pages of their websites. Others consider blog posts content. One refers to by-lined articles as “content pieces.” Someone else is looking for “quality magazine content.”
Do you see my point? The distinction that some writers are clinging to is now blurring. Our job has changed …and content is continually evolving.
I’ll admit, my feathers got a little ruffled when I first heard my work referred to as content. But, now that I have seen my articles/assignments/projects/stories/copy well-received across a wide variety of today’s different formats, I’ve become more comfortable with the term.
Book chapters. White papers. Articles. Blog posts. Web copy. I suppose at some level, it’s all content, isn’t it?
And I suppose, realizing that is the first step in becoming a modern content-ed writer.