To understand how I approach my day-to-day workload for We Do Web Content, it helps to take a look back at my involvement with the company. Our relationship extends to mid-2009, when I started as a contract writer with Yvette Valencia’s then-fledgling Web content team.
The company had enjoyed profound initial success helping attorney Kenneth LaVan to launch his disability website and was quickly growing its client base. WDWC was in need of experienced professional writers who could help them to provide well-researched, accurate Web content primarily for attorneys. I worked on a contractual basis until early 2010, when Yvette brought me on as a full-time Content Manager and Senior Editor.
Business was rapidly expanding and I was ready to dive in and learn how to improve our client’s Web content and visibility. This meant taking advantage of Yvette’s extensive understanding of SEO and attorney marketing prowess. (This, in turn, had the added effect of helping me to expand my own professional skill set and knowledge base – a definite win-win.)
A life-long writer (I have a Bachelors degree in journalism and worked for nearly six years as a daily newspaper reporter), I enjoyed being on the other side of the production process. Editing dozens of pieces each week and training other writers in our style strengthened my own writing and SEO skills. Plus, I just plain liked working with other writers on a daily basis – these are my people!
By 2011, business was booming and Yvette gave me the opportunity to start overseeing select client projects. This allowed me to work more closely with new and existing clients and to better understand their needs, their clients’ needs and their content needs. At the same time, the WDWC staff was consistently receiving SEO training to help keep us current with Google updates and social media marketing techniques. It was a busy time and one of much professional growth.
In 2012, an impending wedding and return to the Midwest pushed me to take a step back from my Content Manager duties and assume the life of a full-time professional freelance writer. I now write for a variety of print and online publications, including several news and lifestyle outlets. WDWC remains my primary “client” – for lack of a better word.
I typically write several dozen pieces each week for WDWC, primarily functioning as a legal marketing content specialist. Though I work from home on a freelance basis, I try to stick to as normal of a routine as possible. I get up early in the morning and wear “real” clothes (no PJs) at my desk. I follow a daily “To Do” checklist of assignments and try to avoid in-home distractions like TV and chores (though I’ll admit, my three cats can be rather diverting). This routine helps me to stay focused and on task.
In approaching the typical assignment for WDWC, I try to draw from my extensive, “boots on the ground” experience with the company and our clients.
For every piece, I consider the following:
- What are the best, most up-to-date resources for writing this piece?
- Who is the target audience?
- What is the attorney/client’s established or desired voice?
- What is an appropriate tone for this message?
- What questions does the reader have about this topic and have I answered them in a concise manner?
- Have I presented a factually accurate and easy-to-understand assessment of the topic?
- At what stage of the buying cycle is the reader and what is an appropriate call-to-action for someone at this stage?
- Am I adhering to SEO best practices?
Every piece is proofread once – if not two or three times – before submission via our handy Web content management system. I know each piece is subject to an internal multi-step editing process, but those editing habits die hard.
When not writing, I enjoy reading – fiction, non-fiction, news, most anything. I also love plants and animals. Hiking, bicycling, gardening and bird watching number among my favorite activities. I’m also an avid music lover and serve as a volunteer programmer for Grand Rapids’ community radio station.