I met with a friend yesterday who is with a very big magazine publishing company. She told me most magazines today are filled with editors but few, if any, staff writers. This approach keeps overhead down, plus the pool of writers out there is so vast, so talented, and so specialized, that the written product is often better. The pay for these writers is a dollar a word. Can you say “game changing business model?”
There are small countries of subject matter experts (SMEs) out in the ether who are ready, willing and able to write for your company at reasonable prices. These are not copywriters, they are writers. You wouldn’t want them to write an ad but they are great for your website or your brochure.
Millions of new and updated websites go live every day, and they all need to be professionally written. Who’s doing that? If a small business, it’s the business owner or her husband. If a mid-size company, it may be a newly minted journalism graduate in the marketing or sales department. At a large company? An ad or digital agency copywriter. Fail. Fail. You need a SME. It’s faster, cheaper and, likely, more effective.
If my company needs 800 words on solar power for my windfarm website, I’d prefer a writer who knows the market. I’ll provide a brand brief (or briefing) and let writer do his or her magic. The piece will be crafted by someone with contextual smarts and assembled by a true wordsmith. Did I mention it will cost a buck a word? So where is the well filled with all these SMEs? Stay tuned.