Tendo Dev Blog

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Leave the writing to the pros

It’s true: when you take something away, its value becomes more apparent. I once smashed my thumb in a car door, which debilitated my right hand for several weeks but left me with a much stronger appreciation for my opposable digits.

I’m hoping a similar effect will result from the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, and a higher value is placed on professional writing skills. The latest effect of writers ditching Hollywood is the canceling of the Golden Globe Awards ceremony, producing some kvetching from those involved with the awards. The Daily Show returned to the air sans writers this week and has managed to pull off two decent episodes, but one wonders how long Stewart and Co. can rely on navel-gazing jokes about the absence of writers on the show. It’s clear that the entertainment industry depends on good writing for its success.

Developing successful content for a website is no different, yet many organizations cheap out when it comes to the writing. The prevalence of bad writing on the Web attests to this. Sure, it might seem to make sense for Jerry the Marketing Guy to develop your Web content, and Jerry might even be great at his marketing job, but that doesn’t mean he’s a writer. (No offense, Jerry.) Relevant professional experience is just as important in writing as it is in any other job category. A car salesman may know a lot about cars, but that doesn’t mean he can fix your transmission.

Quality Web content does translate into monetary value for your organization, so it’s worthwhile to invest in developing your content the right way. If you want a website that will produce results and help advance your organization’s goals, let the professional writers and editors do their jobs. —Selena Welz, associate managing editor


January 9, 2008 - Posted by | Selena Welz, Web Content


  1. Selena,
    I’m a big fan of great writing. I do my best to measure up.
    But, I am beginning to believe that there may be blogging opportunities for many small businesses that have more to do with sharing the experience of doing business with them–or simply keeping clients current on what’s new and relevant to them–than being about great writing. It may be that we need a new name for this.
    Here’s one example that I wrote about recently:
    Simple Success for Small Smoothie Supplier

    Comment by Newt Barrett | January 10, 2008 | Reply

  2. It’s kind to say that the Daily Show was decent last week. Bring back the writers!

    Comment by JulieJ | January 14, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hi Newt,
    Thanks for your comment! I agree with you that a blog is a great way to put a human face on your organization and legitimize its goals. And the example in your post is engaging, fun and absolutely effective for what it’s trying to do, which is ultimately generate leads. That’s what all content strategies should do. (I’m sure we agree on that, too.)

    My post was addressing the more formal kind of content found on home pages, information pages, or feature articles. I still assert that it takes a real pro to do this effectively, especially when you take into account more technical concerns like SEO.

    When it comes down to it, all of us online content producers owe our existence to media companies, which created the very platform on which we communicate. And it’s the pros who have established the content best practices from which the rest of us take our cues. So, even though you might not always need great writing to successfully exploit social media, the professionals serve a crucial role in overall content strategy practices, and in many cases, execution.

    Comment by Selena | January 15, 2008 | Reply

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