To be an editor, you have to be a writer. I know how hard it is to jackhammer through a wall of writer’s block, and how frustrating it can be to receive critiques on your art. I know the moment deepest dark turns into early morning, because I’ve had a tight deadline or two. Writers are the lifeblood of content marketing. Without you, it would just be marketing, which would just be Don Draper waxing poetic over roughly-sketched storyboards. We love our writers. You’re amazing at what you do, and we want you to be happy.
Part of this is having a positive, successful experience on Content Runner. Writing a large volume of articles can be difficult sometimes, and unexpected dilemmas can crop up. And like most of the communication on the Internet, intent and meaning can get misconstrued when your only context is through written word. Here are a few tips to make your experience on Content Runner as pleasant and lucrative as possible.
If you ignore every other suggestion in this post, don’t ignore this one: Reach out to your Users! Between their screen and yours can be a whole wasteland of misunderstanding. If you find yourself…
a) Unsure of an article’s instructions
b) Unclear about which style guide to use
c) Feeling like the workload is worth more than the price
d) Wanting more information about anything having to do with the article
…by all means, please contact the User for clarification! This is especially important to consider before accepting an article. It may be tempting to load up on articles now and sort them out later, but with that strategy, you’re bound to get locked into something you just don’t want to do.
If there’s a technical problem, our support team is here for you, eagerly awaiting an opportunity to help!
Don’t Leap Before You Look
Try not to skim article titles and add them to your queue willy-nilly. Carefully scan the expectations, guidelines, topic, and due date to make sure it’s a project you can realistically take on. You always have the option to drop a title you’ve mistakenly taken on or that you find yourself too busy to complete, but keep in mind that this will affect the drop rate percentage on your Writer Profile and, with several drops in one week, will freeze you out of the system for 72 hours.
One thing that sets Content Runner apart from the rest is the ability to delineate exactly which articles you want to write. That said, give yourself a break – the grueling homework of high school was years ago! Follow your bliss and write what you want.
Now that you’ve carefully chosen your project, take a moment to read it over carefully. Make sure you understand what the prompt is asking; if you find that it’s not as clear as you thought, send the User a message. Are there links or keywords you must include? Is there a certain audience you’re trying to reach? What’s the due date? Since you’ve got the weight of the content marketing world riding on your shoulders, you’re welcome to ask for clarification.
It’s something that’s drilled into you from your first writing lesson: first draft, second draft, final draft! While you shouldn’t have to make endless drafts for a 500-word article on decorating a bathroom, you should always be sure to self-edit your work. Not every User has an editing team to gloss over an article; cut down on revisions by making sure your content is polished. Reading your work out loud to yourself can help identify how all the grammar and punctuation is working together to create a fantastic piece of writing. Again, with an extra minute or two of self-editing, you’ll be saving tons of time by avoiding revision requests!
You can do this! You’ve got all the talent in the world at your fingertips; all you have to do is let it flow through to that keyboard. Every time you sit down to write, you’re only improving your skills. Flexing your writing muscles can be as satisfying as a good run. And remember, written communication can make for tricky situations, so try to take things in stride, and always ask questions. Writing is a wonderful and therapeutic thing. Make sure you have fun with it!