How Many of You Identify Yourselves as Writers?

33 replies
Many of us use article marketing as a component of our Internet businesses.

I've seen several posts from different warriors mentioning how quickly they churn out articles, and while I admit to having an initial twinge of jealousy at the speed in which some of you are able to crank out a number of usable pieces, I can't work that way. I've always considered myself to be a Writer, capital W, and treat everything I post outside of a forum as part of a larger body of work that will one day represent what I've contributed to the world.

This, of course, means that article spinning software, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and hiring others to write for me are all options that I won't use. I'm okay with that. If it takes me longer to write enough articles to get one of my sites on the first page of the search engines I'll gladly wait, because I'm trying to build authority sites. I'm not saying that my methods are better, I'm saying I believe they're better for me.

What about the rest of you? Do you find yourself agonizing over each word while scrutinizing your punctuation, or do you crank them out as fast as you can, knowing that as long as the reader gets the gist of what you're trying to communicate everything will work out fine?

Will
#article marketing #identify #writers
  • Profile picture of the author Suthan M
    i am not a writer- I believe I am a product creator more than ever be a writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Interesting question, Will. I consider myself a writer. I've had three books published (print books by a real publisher). I've written over 700 newsletters, dozens of ebooks, and many other things.

    Do I agonize over every word? Nope. I enjoy writing, there is no agony to it. I don't crank things out as quickly as I could, but at a reasonable pace that allows quality assurance. Do I strive for perfection? Nope, because there is no such landing zone for mere mortals when it comes to creativity. I do try to write well, but there is a point of diminishing returns if one carries it too far. I do believe in creating a quality body of work, and that is my pleasure.
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    • Profile picture of the author digidoodles
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      Interesting question, Will. I consider myself a writer. I've had three books published (print books by a real publisher). I've written over 700 newsletters, dozens of ebooks, and many other things.

      Do I agonize over every word? Nope. I enjoy writing, there is no agony to it. I don't crank things out as quickly as I could, but at a reasonable pace that allows quality assurance. Do I strive for perfection? Nope, because there is no such landing zone for mere mortals when it comes to creativity. I do try to write well, but there is a point of diminishing returns if one carries it too far. I do believe in creating a quality body of work, and that is my pleasure.
      Thanks for the reassurance, Dennis

      When asked the question about "scrutinizing and agonizing", I thought that maybe since I DON'T do that, I'm really not a writer.

      I do consider myself a writer. I, however, don't always put the highest quality content everywhere-- I hire other people. And yes, MOST OF THE TIME (there are a couple exceptions to this as of late), I am terribly disappointed.

      Writing comes natural for me-- I really can crank out some stuff that's good, actually. But, it's a natural talent that really can't be learned. Yes, sometimes you can practice and get faster and more efficient; other times it's a natural ability. Based on what Dennis has said, it seems he has the natural ability to write.

      Now, while I consider myself a writer, I've never been officially published. I don't believe that makes me any less than a full-blown writer (and I'm not saying that Dennis or anyone else implied otherwise

      Don't get stuck on the whole thing "I've never published a book" or "I'm not a copywriter" and think you're not a writer. Most writers are a rare breed, full of themselves (I see A LOT of this on this forum in particular.) I say, if you have to toot your own horn, you're not that good to begin with. As my daddy says, "the cream always rises to the top, Brandi".

      No truer words have ever been spoken. And he's not a writer.

      Warmly,

      Brandi

      P.S. Ok, technically he is.. LOL! He's a preacher and has published several books. But, he's really not a writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Bainbridge
    Maybe you've got to ask yourself if being a "writer" is holding you back from being a successful internet marketer? Maybe not, and I hope not - I hope you do have some excellently put together authority sites.

    I consider myself a writer and its generally what I say I do when meeting someone new, and I agree that everything on my own sites should be top quality and written by me - but I do hire people, or write lower quality material to post around to blog spinning sites, article directories etc as all this is to me is backlink building - the amount of people that will actually see this material is tiny - it sits in the dark background of the Internet but gives me backlinks so my quality sites rise in Google - it works.
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    • Profile picture of the author david carr
      Personally I wouldn't call myself a writer and do everything to speed up the process, I think that dragon naturally speaking is a gift from up above.

      My spelling is pretty bad at times so dragon helps me to overcome it and you can get into a rhythm and produce some pretty good articles, if they get published, people read them and you make sales then I think they have done their job well.

      Article spinners are as good as the person using them so it's down to you the quality of articles that they spit out.

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  • Profile picture of the author fitz10
    Yes, I do. But I also consider myself to have two "jobs". One as a writer and one as an IMer. I do article marketing for myself, as well as for others but that writing is nothing like the fiction writing I do outside of IM. When I write for IM, I always want to write with clarity and great grammar, but I do not worry about exact sentence structure, pacing, etc. the way I do with my writing job. I'm sure as any professional writer who writes for both online and offline venues will be able to tell you, the nature of each beast is completely different. But I do think that article writers and content creators should take pride in what they do and always try to produce high quality work. There seems to be an assumption in your post that there is no place for quality writing in the IM world and that is simply not true. Under most circumstances an article which is engaging and well written will definitely help your business more than one that is spun to death and crappy or even just average.

    And all that being said, many professional writers use Dragon Naturally Speaking. It's just easier to talk than write sometimes, aside from the fact that many writers have disabilities which may make it difficult to write on a keyboard.
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    • Profile picture of the author 1960Texan
      Originally Posted by fitz10 View Post

      There seems to be an assumption in your post that there is no place for quality writing in the IM world and that is simply not true. Under most circumstances an article which is engaging and well written will definitely help your business more than one that is spun to death and crappy or even just average.
      Actually, I believe that quality writing is a big part of the success I've had so far. As I mentioned in my original post, I don't think that my way is better, I just think it's better for me, although I realize that I have a tendency to carry things too far:

      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      I don't crank things out as quickly as I could, but at a reasonable pace that allows quality assurance. Do I strive for perfection? Nope, because there is no such landing zone for mere mortals when it comes to creativity. I do try to write well, but there is a point of diminishing returns if one carries it too far. I do believe in creating a quality body of work, and that is my pleasure.
      I know I'd be more productive, and probably more successful, if I relaxed a bit. Keeping that "point of diminishing returns" in mind would help.

      Will
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  • Profile picture of the author Mac the Knife
    I am a writer...among other things. I will say that just about ANY label you can put on yourself is subjective...many well known "writers" have never written a single word, but instead have spoken stories to be recorded and later transcribed by others.

    The need to define simply allows room for separation. I don't personally feel the need to label myself, but I will comment on other works if they pertain to my well being...i.e. "This person is a CRAPPY writer..." note, I DID call them a writer, but used an adjective to describe the quality of their output.

    I have certainly "churned out" articles and press releases before, sometimes in as little as 12 or 13 minutes...and sometimes, those have gotten the BEST traffic of all...


    Just my two cents...

    Mac the Knife
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  • Profile picture of the author lowjo
    I would consider myself a writer, it's a big part of my marketing.

    I used to spend days crafting an article but like Mac the Knife mentioned above it is often my fast, stream of consciousness articles and sales letters that really get results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Emily Meeks
    I've identified myself as a writer since I first learned to write. As you (hopefully) might guess though, I did not identify as "article writer" at five years old > I've written fiction from a very young age - I didn't care if the stories were spectacular or not, I just wrote everything and anything that inspired me. As I got older I wrote less because I got hung up on quality and fear of failure, but I'm getting over that; after all, one of the many reasons I'm in this game is to such a great comfortable living that I can devote my time to one of my greatest joys, writing books.

    While I do freelance writing, I have no intentions of making freelancing a career. I got into it when I needed the cash and knew it was a strength I could cultivate. It's held me over and bailed me out a few times in the last few months, but with bigger better badder plans along the way, I'm not going to continue it forever.

    So yes, I identify as a writer... just not in the Internet Marketing sense.
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    • Profile picture of the author 1960Texan
      Originally Posted by moneysoapbox View Post

      As I got older I wrote less because I got hung up on quality and fear of failure, but I'm getting over that; after all, one of the many reasons I'm in this game is to such a great comfortable living that I can devote my time to one of my greatest joys, writing books.
      I ran into the same trap a few years back. Once I realized I was editing before I actually put anything down on the page I gave myself permission to suck, then edited later.

      Will
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  • Profile picture of the author colinph970
    I think there is a middle line....I don't "crank them out as fast as I can" but I don't agonise over each word either. I pride myself on producing quality and also that I can make a living from it.....doesn't get better than that!
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  • Profile picture of the author vneely
    I'm trying to break the habit of editing as I write. Yes, it's in my nature to scrutinize every word and get hung up over how the sentences flow, and I'm picky about punctuation. But I'm trying to get over that, or at least save the agonizing until AFTER I've produced a first draft.

    Oddly enough, I *can* force myself to write articles super fast. There was a time when I consistently made money by writing several short articles every day for a content mill. But I was getting paid peanuts, and the quality of my writing suffered big time. I hated working that way and burned myself out. It took at least a year before I decided to try making money with my writing again.

    I think it's great if someone can crank out a bunch of articles in a short burst of time, and make them both interesting and grammatically correct. Me, I can't seem to work that way for sustained periods, at least not without putting my psyche through the wringer.
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    • Profile picture of the author BiancaRaven
      I'm a writer who writes the articles used by article marketers when they want quality content.

      I understand that my clients could probably write their own content if they chose. Instead, they choose to outsource their needs to someone (like me!) who actually loves what they do, takes pride in their work and enjoys the challenge of surprising each client with extra keyword inclusions to boost their marketing attempts.

      Do I agonize over every word? No. I love my job. The words come naturally. However, I can't just crank them out like crazy. I take pride in what I do
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  • Profile picture of the author adamv
    Originally Posted by 1960Texan View Post

    Many of us use article marketing as a component of our Internet businesses.

    I've seen several posts from different warriors mentioning how quickly they churn out articles, and while I admit to having an initial twinge of jealousy at the speed in which some of you are able to crank out a number of usable pieces, I can't work that way. I've always considered myself to be a Writer, capital W, and treat everything I post outside of a forum as part of a larger body of work that will one day represent what I've contributed to the world.

    This, of course, means that article spinning software, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and hiring others to write for me are all options that I won't use. I'm okay with that. If it takes me longer to write enough articles to get one of my sites on the first page of the search engines I'll gladly wait, because I'm trying to build authority sites. I'm not saying that my methods are better, I'm saying I believe they're better for me.

    What about the rest of you? Do you find yourself agonizing over each word while scrutinizing your punctuation, or do you crank them out as fast as you can, knowing that as long as the reader gets the gist of what you're trying to communicate everything will work out fine?

    Will
    I can see where you're coming from and understand some of the points you've made but I'm not sure how you can put using Dragon NaturallySpeaking in the same category as using article spinners. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is simply a tool for a slow typist to greatly increase their speed or to allow people with joint issues a chance to get some work done without aggravating their carpal tunnel syndrome.

    I consider myself a writer and I like to put out quality content but I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking nearly every day and I don't see any problem with speaking my content rather than poking at a keyboard. You make it sound like speaking your articles is somehow cheating and I would have to disagree with that. I speak my articles but not before I thoroughly research them so that I can Write (capital W) a unique, informative article but also get it done as quickly as possible. After all, I am trying to make money off of this writing content thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author 1960Texan
      Originally Posted by adamv View Post

      I can see where you're coming from and understand some of the points you've made but I'm not sure how you can put using Dragon NaturallySpeaking in the same category as using article spinners. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is simply a tool for a slow typist to greatly increase their speed or to allow people with joint issues a chance to get some work done without aggravating their carpal tunnel syndrome.

      You make it sound like speaking your articles is somehow cheating and I would have to disagree with that. I speak my articles but not before I thoroughly research them so that I can Write (capital W) a unique, informative article but also get it done as quickly as possible. After all, I am trying to make money off of this writing content thing.
      Adam, that wasn't my intent. The fact that I sometimes agonize over each word is what prevents me from using Dragon Naturally Speaking. If you or anyone else is able to use the software and put out great content (and I have no doubt that you can) then more power to you. I was simply stating my personal process.

      Will
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  • Profile picture of the author lexilexi
    Great post. I identify as a writer - and creating content that will still have value in a few years time is one of my main objectives. I think that much of the current internet marketing content is "disposable" and that the payback for really high quality content is much greater at the end of the day. I say invest in a body of work, a name and a reputation, instead of just looking for the fast buck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Debbie Allen
    I definitely think of myself as a writer first - but with a focus in online writing. As time has gone on and my skills have improved, so has my speed at churning out articles and other content.

    Generally I do not agonize over words or punctuation. I write as if I was talking and then proof-read like anyone else would. And when I find tools that can help speed up my work then I am all for it.

    Writing is my passion and it's my dream to finally reach a day when I can write what I want to write because I want to write it - not because I am trying to make money with it. But I have to admit that no matter what I am writing - I enjoy the time spent just because it allows me to do what I love.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkWrites
    I consider myself a writer because I was a writer first... since then I have added a number of other titles though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Beekay
    I know that I have been able to challenge, affirm and persuade, through the use of the written word.
    Having been an effective educator for yonkers, I must have some facility with stringing words,concepts together? That said I often forget about "keep it simple, stupid," and spell things out to an insane degree of analness. Maybe one of my significant roles is that of a writer who needs to hone her skills?
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  • Profile picture of the author rajput441
    To be honest I don't consider myself a writer. However, I don't think that I am that bad in it, and everyday I see my writing improving. So I guess with more practice I might one day call myself a real writer.
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  • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
    Any hopes of me calling myself a writer went out the window about two or three weeks ago. I found a great marketing plan that only required three articles per day for ten days. Easy enough, when I read it, but when I tried putting it to practice, well, it took four days to fail miserably at writing one 300 word article. I highly suspect I need a different means of drawing visitors to my site.

    Funny thing is that I can churn out a 1000 word email pretty quickly, but to write an article? I don't know what happens, but I lose it there.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I do it like you. I don't spin articles or dictate them with Dragon Naturally Speaking. I write them in a conversational tone and add personality to them. I don't just crank them out rapidly. I want the finished article to be actually worth reading.
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    • Profile picture of the author digidoodles
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      I do it like you. I don't spin articles or dictate them with Dragon Naturally Speaking. I write them in a conversational tone and add personality to them. I don't just crank them out rapidly. I want the finished article to be actually worth reading.
      Something to bear in mind: quality doesn't always go hand in hand with speed.

      My ex-husband could have spent weeks on a paper and it would have still been worthless. I could write it an hour and get an A on it.

      Again, natural writing abilities can't be learned. Some people can crank it out and it IS quality, worth reading.

      It's a talent. Just like web design and graphic arts. If you have that natural ability, you're gold. If you don't, people still won't be able to tell what your picture is no matter how much you practice (raising hand... I can't draw to save my life, really!)

      Warmly,

      Brandi
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I agree, Brandi. However, as with many other skills writers can work on different levels. I don't have an artistic bone in my body - but I have a couple paintings on the wall that draw compliments. Couldn't afford the art I wanted so I painted two abstracts (how much talent does that take?).

        Some people can write like that - it may not be flowing script - but it's well phrased with adequate descriptions. They can "write" - but they aren't "writers".

        I've been writing all my life - it comes naturally but I seldom wrote for others until last year. Spelling, grammar and writing is something that has always been easy for me - have no idea why that is. Writing has always been a release for me.

        I don't write drafts - I just write the article/report/ebook - proofread afterward to fix any typos and go with it. Getting started on a new project is hardest but once I get the feel for it I can write like a maniac.

        kay
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  • Profile picture of the author jedz
    Banned
    I can write stories, and poems but I don't see myself writing business articles.
    We have experienced writers who do such things for our clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      I would definitely consider myself a professional writer but having made a living doing it for so many years there are a few secrets I've learned:

      # 1: Never start writing an article or a column, report or even a book until you know enough to complete it without research.

      In other words, once you start you shouldn't be stopping at all for anything.


      # 2: Stop worrying about quality when you write your first draft. Just write any old crap and worry about quality when you rewrite.

      Writing freely without worrying about quality often produces better more free flowing work.

      Good writers rewrite anyway.


      # 3: Learn to discipline all your writing. The more you stop making spelling errors, gramatical errors etc when you write anything...the quicker you produce clean copy...the faster you'll be able to write completed work when you want to.

      Yes it's painful when you're just writing a post on a forum or an email to make sure every word is spelled perfectly but if you do that over a period of 3 or 4 months you'll stop making so many errors when you write (most of those mistakes are repetitive...when you weed them out of your writing they don't come back).

      This actually contradicts with # 2 and my recommendation would be to ignore this when you're working on a serious project but be strict with it when you're writing things like emails and forum posts.

      That will help clean up your writing without stopping you from working effectively.


      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    I took a long time to call myself a writer. In fact I used to squirm with embarrassment when people asked me what I did- even though I'd already had over twenty books published by then and numerous print articles

    I call myself a writer now, but I am amazed at how many people who don't support themselves with their writing seem far more confident to call themselves one. I've always been pretty relaxed- I'm no literature legend who will change the world with my words- I'm a person who is paid to write.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    It seems many are actually writers and not I.M. I mean recently you had the post about "how many articles a day do you write" nd some people were saying 12+. so they basically spend all day writing articles. That's not what I'd call a business owner or even I.M'er.
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  • Profile picture of the author zack_ferdinand
    Even though I have just been in the business for less than a year, I proudly call myself a writer. I can produce works that have perfect grammar and I know if I just wanted to, I can create a novel. I'm planning to do this two years from now when I am already properly equipped with a lot of experience.
    I only do online freelance writing, but I don't have any other job. I'm earning big here by just doing my own craft.
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  • Profile picture of the author ikan_sith
    i do consider myself a writer although it has mostly been fiction stories and treatments for film ideas. I however do plan to use Dragon speaking software as i dont think that it will take anything away from my writing abilities but allow me to maximize my time.

    when i write stories i dont have a problem spending a lot of time to develop an idea or an concept. In IM however I think that it is important to not spend a lot of time on articles. being concise to the point while building interest is more important. it is a discepline but one that can be learned.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by 1960Texan View Post

    What about the rest of you? Do you find yourself agonizing over each word while scrutinizing your punctuation, or do you crank them out as fast as you can, knowing that as long as the reader gets the gist of what you're trying to communicate everything will work out fine?

    Will
    I'm a writer. I enjoy writing. My writing has a purpose.

    I learned Internet marketing BECAUSE of that purpose. To turn
    words into money, to be used to sponsor treatment for children
    born with heart defects.

    It's a happy synergy - for me.

    And I completely understand what drove you to ask the question.

    I suspect the answer that will be helpful to you is this:

    Tie EVERYTHING you do into your purpose - and then, choose the
    best strategy and tactical approach to fit that.

    Sometimes, it means agonizing over words and punctuation and
    context and formatting (I know... I've gone through it).

    At other times, it means getting words out there right quick
    - and pulling in the cash!



    All success
    Dr.Mani
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