Long Live Great Writing

If you want to know how people will be consuming media in 2013, get on a public bus.

You don’t have to ride it long to realize everyone — eh, almost everyone — is clutching a tablet, and while that’s not news, this is: What they are reading on those devices is really damn good.

I’ve been a writer for 10 years now, so I’ve known for a while that great copy exists, but talking about how great today’s writing is always seemed really, REALLY, boastful. (Did I mention I penned this terrific story about giant queens or this article about big pants?)

Then I read this essay in Esquire by Stephen Marche, who points out that we are living in the “Golden Age for Writers.”

To support that claim, he provides numerous stats, which I summarize simply here: The publishing industry is making more money than it used to — would it really be making all that cash if no one was reading any more?

Marche also recognizes great writing is happening everywhere. “The essay — long or short, literary or plain — has never been stronger,” he writes. “Practically every week, some truly fantastic piece of long-form nonfiction appears.”

That’s good news for businesses interested in content marketing, where great long-form writing can be a boon to building brand awareness.

But just because great writing is happening everywhere, doesn’t mean it is happening at your company.

How do you know if you have great content? Ask yourself three questions:

Does my content writer have a journalism degree? It’s not necessarily a requirement, but content writers need to craft a story, not just tell consumers to buy your product.

Does my content provide useful information? Better question: What’s “useful?” If your stories just talk about the greatness of your company, for example, that’s not useful.

If I didn’t own my company, would I tweet about a story written by my organization? Are you even tweeting? Oh boy. 



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