Archive for October, 2011

Meet the people behind our blog

Posted by on Oct 31 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

Be it a book author or a blogger or for that matter any kind of writer, what connects them with the reader is the words they write. The reader creates an image of the writer through his/her columns, blog posts, books and articles and tends to perceive the likes and dislikes of the writer from what he/she writes.

As the festivities come to an end in the office and we all get back into work mode, I thought it would be interesting to interview some of our writers, so that you get to know the people behind this blog. Read on to know about three people from our team of young and enthusiastic writers.

Isha has been with us for 7 months and believes chocolates help her fight writer’s block. Full of mischief, you’ll always see a smile on her face.

CWI: How do you manage to come up with interesting content even when the project is not very inspiring?

Isha: Although I can never make out if the content written will be able to please or interest the reader but I make sure that I’m not bored while writing on the topic. That’s the only way I keep myself going. Creating a milieu of various notions and incorporating different perspectives into a topic makes it writable and readable. Well, I too after a point surrender in front of the failing-to-cease and not-so-happening projects and just plain write.

CWI: Okay, now a non-work question – What would you prefer: A shopping spree or an evening out with friends?

Isha: Oh! It’s like asking a mother to choose her favorite child among her children… I can’t let go of any of them, since the happiness quotient attached with both of them are different. Going by my past track record I will say ‘ an evening out with friends’. Woohooo… Where’s the party tonight?

Our next writer Shrey is from Goa (one of the biggest reasons we like him!). He is the motor-mouth of our office and is known for coming up with witty articles consistently.

CWI: Before you start off with a new project, do you play around with different ideas or follow a similar format every time?

Shrey: It depends on the deadline. If it’s tight then I usually follow a simple and common format. But if I have some time on my hands then I usually try something new and different. To tell you the truth, I generally just copy a nice format from my colleagues, saves a lot of time. I hope you edit out that last part. (Sorry Shrey!)

CWI: Apart from playing computer games nonstop, what is your idea of relaxing on a weekend?

Shrey: I usually just sleep all day or read books and play video games, but every now and then I am surrounded by a couple of friends with a bottle of beer in one hand and something to eat on the other one. Sitting in a bar or on the terrace watching the sun drop down into the city, talking about absolutely nothing in particular. Though following Monday becomes a nightmare!

Sid is one of the most versatile writers we have in our team. From a travel writer to a tech expert, he can churn up interesting content even under the tightest of deadlines.

CWI: Sid, we all know that ‘content creation’ is about creativity. What is your take – is the creative process exciting for you or plain hard work?

Sid: I dare say it is ‘plain hard work’. Creativity is the major player in content creation. Hard work is just a part of it, but you just can’t do away with that also!! However, deadlines are the ghosts. Creativity may go away for a vacation if deadlines are there to haunt you.

CWI: You’ve written a lot on gadgets, what is the most must-have gadget for you?

Sid: Undoubtedly the iPad. It’s the coolest gadget I ever saw. Though I am not as tech savvy as Shrey, but I would definitely go for an iPad. The features are just awesome!

4 comments for now

A Two Line Story

Posted by on Oct 28 2011 | Content Writing

How difficult it is to describe a story in 200-300 words? Sounds like a not-that-a-big deal? Sure it does, but if the same description has to be written in two lines, brimming with emotions and inclusive of every detail, then? An instant retort would be “idiotic impractical demand!” Writing slogans, taglines and creating website pages that have minimal phrases and maximum expression is no runaway victory.

Imagine a campaign without a slogan, a product that has no definition so as to say, tagline and a company page that has nothing to welcome its visitors. None of them will appear to look an iota appealing and likeable to the patron, neither to the eye nor to the intellect. Expressing the inexpressible, ideating the unthinkable and making apparent the woolly matter with the help of words is what I would like to call ‘ a two line story’. There are millions of meanings and stories that can be weaved with the help of words. While some words are incomplete without the other there are some that represent an entire lineage of the connoisseur. It’s all about mating them together in a manner that the offspring not just symbolises their communion but describe a gamut of stories of their romancing.

To get a final outcome that is wholesome and speaks a hundred words rather than just a few apparent visible lines requires the writer to form a multitude of associations and interweave them. Starting from understanding the basic ideology, which is stemming to another offering that in fact will express and define the final goal of the company, is what- slogans, tagline and website home pages aim to achieve. The more a writer will love to do it, the more craftily ingenious will be the outcome.

The writing is an amalgamation of contrasts: crisp yet all-inclusive, comprehensible yet refined, witty yet subtle, and relatable yet goal oriented. Not to forget, these two lines define, represent and market a company and its products.

no comments for now

Caught in the Web of Keywords

Posted by on Oct 27 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

A person who has good grammar and command over the language can write good SEO articles, but, only till the time when s/he is not stuck by ten articles every day on the same keyword for next five days. Trust me this is the time when every writer has to face a few minutes or may be hour to sit and stare at the keyword on the screen to think about a new angle (that is just next to impossible) that s/he can give to the article. And then after thinking for a long time at last surrenders and change the format (this time lets add bullets to simplify) rather than a new angle to write one more article on the same keyword.

Sometimes it will be a pleasant surprise for you to write on a topic that you have never thought can be written about and it will be more interesting to know that the keywords just not match to the thyme of the articles. Being an SEO expert (one will become after writing a few sets on same keywords) all you can do is find ways to fit in the keywords, squeeze them, hide them do anything, but have them in your article. The best way to escape from this scenario is to match the topic with the knowledge you have and try and put in your own experiences related to that topic. Make sure that the keywords come in the articles with a natural flow.

You may also come across a time when you have to write on the topic that you never came across in your life. Do not stress yourself. Search and read as much as you can on the topic so that the number of articles can be completed. When writing SEO, think how to do rather than thinking what to do (though it will be not very easy for you to think in this manner). This will surely reduce your burden when you need to come up with ten original articles on the same keyword.

3 comments for now

Infusing humour in your blog: A good idea?

Posted by on Oct 25 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

Blog writing is often perceived to be synonymous with free flowing writing ornamented with a personal touch, vernacular lingo and with colours of humour as well. But, is it so? Writing is an activity that comes to full bloom when the reader is able to read, understand, relate, get astonished and even smile while glancing on the content, and of course, exactly in the same manner as what the writer actually meant! To accomplish this rather easier-said-than-done feat, writer hopelessly tries to incorporate things that invoke nothing else but boredom. Instead of relating, finding it astonishing and smiling, the writer gets a hollow stare, soporifically treated eyes and yawns.

It’s always good to read something that is infused with humour, however, ineffective humour is an impending doom waiting to engulf the writer and thrown behind the bars for the crime of spending the reader’s valuable minutes. The reader also on the other hand never forgives the writer for the rather heinous crime and might even leave presents containing words, which in a different sense are not appropriate for a public platform. Humorous writing is not everyone’s cup of tea and unnecessary inclusion of it kills the quintessence of the content.

Leaving apart light topics; issues and offbeat matters that demand utmost attention are also addressed by bloggers. Blog writing manages to reach a section of people that honour individuality and personal perspective that is tricky in today’s ‘imposed perception’ by the channels and media. Leaving behind gobbledygook language and giving readers an plain interesting read should be enough in any way.

3 comments for now

Make some noise!!

Posted by on Oct 21 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

What is the most annoying element in your way to office? I know that’s an obvious question, but don’t get surprised, I am also a human and I do run out of ideas at times! However, we hate to see a long queue of desperate vehicles forcing our patience to get exasperated at the start of our day.  It’s quite weird and surprising that the term ‘traffic’ is considered to be the lifeline for the ‘cyber addicts’. Also, more it is, you become a millionare! Why do you think the young brigade is earning quick money in extremely quick instances? Blogs have become the new buzz for the net bees of the world. However, there are a few that are often dents in the blogging world which need serious attention in order to widen up the scope of better and sensible blogging which not only includes the cyber enthusiasts, but the business enterprises all over the world also.

No one will have the balls to take a detour from the concept of blog being the best way to interact with the reader. This is because, blogs are only meant for this singular purpose only. It is only due to its closeness and conversational property that it is being used by almost all small and big enterprises to come closer to their customers. Even the celebrities have succeeded in digging up time to write a blog, just to pamper them more (poor people!). Though blogs are increasingly becoming the handiest weapon for quick and genuine results, few points need to be remembered in order to increase the importance of your blog. In other words, take the pain to scroll down through the few important steps necessary to increase the traffic of your blog –

  • You wrote a blog three or four months back, but never bothered to update it or write another one. If this is your so-called blogging scheme, think again! Quality, quantity and frequency are three major components of a well manage blog. Keep writing and write well.
  • If you have the dreams of becoming a ‘Blogging Star’, do not forget to submit your blogs in popular search engines like Google and Yahoo!
  • Don’t overdo the act adding important links to your blog. Remember, the blog needs to be read too, rather than deliberately distributing the attention towards the links. It also helps other bloggers read your blog, which in turn gives access to the websites that the other bloggers on the blogging circle are traversing into. This helps in increasing the visibility of your blog.
  • If you are lucky enough to be successful in grabbing enough eyeballs, do take the pains to reply on the comments that you may receive from your readers. This helps greatly in increasing the traffic for your sole blog.
  • Be smart enough to fit in a RSS Feed button. It not only helps in attracting readers, but it also helps in keeping up with the reader’s interest in your blog by informing them about your upcoming blogging ideas or the next blog that you are planning to write.
  • Do add tags in order to increase the feasibility of your blog. Adding tags helps search engines find relevant content more easily and instantaneously in blog search engines such as Technorati.
  • Post your best works in popular bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit to bolster traffic in your blog.
  • Adding images to your blog adds to the appeal of your blog.

All you need to do is remember them while writing a blog. Now that’s the most difficult part, isn’t it?

3 comments for now

Writers Lament- Deadlines v/s Quality!

Posted by on Oct 19 2011 | Content Writing

One of the biggest challenges of any content writer arrives at the doorstep, obviously unwarranted and uncalled, when s/he is made to jump from one boat to another, heading for different unknown destinations. I say unknown because as soon as the writer can smell the air, s/he is shooed for its quest in another one headed to a completely different direction. Sailors are not the only one who lament because of parting with their loved ones, there are copywriters who mourn over their ordeal where they commit the sin un-writing the art of writing. With each line written having mere sentences and less of cerebral-ism, the writer questions the relevance of its existence.

An attention longing article clings to the writer and cries for meaning and a well structured identity rather than a fat humpty dumpty piece of content with superfluous flab deposited on every wrong part of the body. Articles writing is a craft that is sowed with seeds of love, thought and intellectuality and are not churned out like loafs of bread in a factory, that the famished can gorge on. The fine line of craftsmanship is gobbled up by gluttonous ogres and the writer is left starving.

There are various facets of a copywriter’s work that no ordinary professional can handle. From writing along with hundred different noises hitting the eardrum, although this way the brain learns the art of selective hearing to writing thousands of words and loosing track of what s/he even wrote in the beginning of the day. At the end of the day a copywriter is also a professional who deals with deadlines and emerges victorious. A writer’s utopia might seldom come but this hope keeps him or her going in wait for a day where their mind will not famish and will get to savour the dish created out of love and not necessity.

4 comments for now

Life as an Onsite Content Writer

Posted by on Oct 18 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

The day my senior told me that I’d be working on an onsite project, the only thing I was glad about back then was that the client’s office was closer to home. I had no notion that there would be so much more in store for me.

Before my onsite tenure was to begin, I had to go to the client’s office and meet the person I was supposed to work with. While on the way to his office, I get to know that it is hardly a meeting, but more of an interview! Now, no matter what job it is, when someone tells you that it’s an interview, you certainly get a little edgy. As it was too late for me to ‘prepare’ anything, I just took along the experience and the knowledge I had gathered working as a content writer.

The so called interview was a breeze and my work commenced in a week. As far as work was concerned, it wasn’t much different from what I did back in my office, so I got accustomed to the project quite easily. But then there were many other differences that started to emerge slowly. Now my own office consists of a group of talkative, imaginative, creative (and ever hungry) writers and we have the freedom to explore, discover and share ideas among each other. A writer’s block, whenever that does happen – does not last for long, as there’s always a co-writer next to you or your seniors who help out readily whenever you get stuck. Everyone is in the same age group, so we all share a similar sense of humor (which can vary from crass to childish) and come lunch time, you would never get to hear a minute’s silence in all of those 45 minutes break!

So when I started working onsite, it was a whole new environment. For one, I am the sole writer there, so if a writer’s block does strike, I’ll have to manage it all on my own. Earlier I was so used to working with a constant (and comforting) brouhaha (of intense discussions and keyboard clatter and pigeons chatter) in the background, that it took a while adjusting to the quietness of the quiet room (oh yes, that’s what the room is called where I sit!).

A couple of days passed and I slowly realized the benefits of working client side. If you have read the old posts on this blog, you’d know that how it irks us writers when a client does not brief us well on the kind of content he needs. Luckily, I am now saved from that annoyance. Working onsite, the level of communication with the client gets hugely improved. When one has the facility to walk over to the person’s desk, share ideas and opinions and get immediate feedback, it is of great help. It is so much easier than talking to a client over the phone or instant messaging or a video call. Another thing which I’ve realized is that while onsite I am my company’s sole representative, while this does put a lot of pressure on me, it also makes me perform better.

So if you ever get a chance to work onsite, I’d say go for it. You definitely get to learn a lot and not just in terms of the work you do. You get to experience a new work environment, get to interact with people from different industries, and get to boast that content writing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!

7 comments for now

Running out of blog topics? Take a peek at your competition

Posted by on Oct 17 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

Ask any professional content writer about what annoys them the most and answer will unanimously be, “brainless clients”, followed by “writers block”. Brainless clients are so annoying that I refuse to write about them and spoil my good mood, so let’s talk about writers block.

Each and every blogger, online marketer and site owner has hit writers block. An immensely talented writer could be reduced to staring at the computer screen like an imbecile while his mental image is reduced to a static screen, unable to think about topics, let alone content.

There are two ways to tackle any obstacle; the first method is to go through it, while the second method is to go around it. While there are many ‘cures’ out there which may or may not help you deal with your writers block, there is a technique which guarantees to give you a nudge in the right direction. Just have a peek at what your competition is writing about.

Think about it, they are targeting the same audience as you, so you do not need to worry about that. You could even see which of their topics were the most popular and use this information to learn what your competition is doing right. Though, keep in mind that you will be one step behind the competition and there is a possibility that lightening won’t strike twice.

Finally, I would like to stress the fact that I am not asking you to copy their work. Just check out their topic, and put your own spin on it. The last thing you need is your competition pointing fingers and calling you out for plagiarism. It would be wise to let some time pass between the time they posted their article and the time you post yours.

Looks like I finally proved to my teacher that peeking at my friends work really does pay off.

2 comments for now

Handle Controversial Topics with Perfection

Posted by on Oct 15 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

“When you Judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself” – Dr. Wayne Dyer. When writing controversial topics personal experience and public opinion, both play a major role. Debates are interesting and healthy way of interaction for both the readers and writers, but when a writer takes the initiative to bring a bigger picture of controversial topics it’s better to balance both the sides of the story in equal proportion.  Controversies are definitely very complex in nature therefore to have an objective approach will be appreciated. Keeping in mind other’s point of view and staying focused on the subject can add to your articles on controversial topics.

The subject of controversial writings plays the vital role in deciding the track to be followed. There are a few subjects in our society that have been written for so many years unfortunately, adding to more disparities in society. Whatever subject a writer takes just remember, knowledge is the tool. It is very important to have detailed knowledge and understanding of subject (both the sides of the subject you decide to write on) before you take the crucial step to jump into the controversial matter. Your article can itself become an argument if you favour one side of the story. It is a fact that a writer has its own individuality, thoughts and a personal point of view, but while dealing with contentious topics it’s better to stay sensitive and avoid giving your personal comments that can bring out the extremists.

The two subjects that have always been associated with controversy are “Politics” and “Religion.” Sensitivity and awareness are the best buddies who can help you tackle these topics. Political controversies will always become a heated topic no matter how old it becomes and talking about religion, remember everyone thinks their religion is the best. However, there will always be some idiots who will be ready to find loopholes in your articles for their own benefits.

3 comments for now

E-mail etiquettes – time to pull up your sleeves before you commit it!

Posted by on Oct 14 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

Another bad day in the office – how many of them did you have till date? There would be some obvious collar raising expressions as a reply, but there would be some frowned up facial disambiguation too! I don’t mind them because that was, after all, inevitable. It was more than enquiring about one’s salary and age. However, writing an e-mail for a particular reason may carry its own pains. The necessary ointment of common sense and presence of mind needs to be explored by the writer himself/herself. It may sound too direct and harsh, but that’s how you spare yourself from another ‘bad day’ in the office.

E-mail etiquette is supposedly the most important part of business communications. ‘Too formal’ and ‘too casual’ are the two clichés which should always be done away with while writing an e-mail. Wait…..it would be better to put all of them in a list, rather than cramming all of them in one place –

Dos

Beating around the bush never helps. If you think that you can explain everything, you are probably right, but you need to remember that people have other work too. Get to the point as soon as possible and finish up in style. There are other ways to explain things!

Never forget to answer all the questions that were asked by the client. I don’t need to tell that if that’s not done what the forthcoming consequences are going to be!

The subject line included in the composition of an e-mail must be short and explanatory. The subject line is the only element which asks for attention. It tells the reader whether it needs to be clicked on or not

Instead of CCing everyone, do keep in mind that this function is meant for those who are associated with the information that you want to disseminate. The ‘CC’ button should always be used on priority basis

Punctuation and grammar may sound a little irrelevant, but they play an important role in quality business communication. A decent e-mail must be error free from these two perspectives

You should be careful while using HTML and attachments because all e-mail tools may not read the HTML text due to the absence of necessary tools

Finally, do check your mail before sending. It is always better to be on the safer side, as our forefathers have said so!

Don’ts

Quick response always helps in building a healthier business communication. No one has the patience to wait for a surprise. Avoid delaying for a reply as much as you can.

Each letter in the mail written in CAPITALS signifies the insanity of a person who may appear to shout out loud, and an e-mail written in all small letters mows down the importance of the mail.

Public service is not a bad idea, but when it becomes annoying, it is always better to pull the curtains. Similarly, one should be careful while clicking the ‘Reply to all’ button until it is necessary to do so.

Stay away from sending chain mails. Often they are viruses which bog down servers

E-mails are not for confidential information dissemination. Many of you might have thought it to be, but unfortunately its not. Stay alert!

Including a signature line with name, title, company and phone number at the end of every mail always helps in making the mail attain a standard look.

Tell your friends to have a look on these points before they carry on with their silly mistakes after hitting the ‘compose’ button in their mail.

3 comments for now

Next »