11 Key Skills Needed Web Content I
With the majority of businesses completely dependent on the internet for broadcasting its brand or message, the content of your website, blogs and newsletters is vital.
At Enigin we try to keep aim to keep our content to a high standard, but it takes effort and skill to do so. For Enigin Distributors and others int he energy saving business it will require the same - but what skills, experience needs to be developed or hired?
Here are the first five of 11 skills needed:
1. Training as a Print or Broadcast Journalist
Journalists are trained to tell a story using text, images, or audio, and they understand how to create content that draws an audience. Good journalists’ innate understanding of audience also gives them a critical outsider’s perspective… a nuanced perspective that marketers can sometimes lack. They might be on your payroll, but they are better at expressing neutrality—a distinct advantage in creating content that resonates with your audience.
2. Nose for a Story
The best content creators are the ones who can smell a good story. They also recognize the bones of a story easily, and they instinctively know how to develop the content to make it human and interesting. Is your candidate bursting at the seams with ideas for content that your business might create? Does she think in terms of content? Do you hear her utter phrases like “that would make a great blog post!”?
3. Digital Intuition
Rick Burnes of HubSpot says good content creators understand how the Web works. In a post on his blog, he writes, “The web is an ecosystem, and if you don’t intuitively understand the dynamics of this ecosystem—how Twitter can drive traffic to a blog; the kinds of headlines that attract attention; the simple things you can do to build blog subscriptions—you won’t be able to help your company attract online visitors.”
A shorthand would be to seek out those with ADOS*—which stands for Attention Deficit… Ooh! Shiny! These are the folks who have a passion for new digital tools. They are always looking for the newest and shiniest object: They always have (or covet) the latest gadgets, they are experimenting with the most cutting-edge technologies, and they have the coolest apps on their smartphones. They can be handy people to have on your team, because they can help you figure out how those technologies apply to growing your business. (*Thanks to Peter Shankman for this term.)
4. Business Acumen
Unless you are a novelist or a feature writer, content for content’s sake isn’t really useful. So: Can your candidate articulate the business goal of content?
As Rick points out, “For businesses, content is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Every article, tweet, and video is assessed based on its ability to generate visitors, leads, and customers, not on any subjective judgment of content quality.”
And as I wrote on ClickZ in 2000: “Developing editorial product requires more than an ability to write and edit. It also requires some sense of the market and an ability to know what kind of content will help sell your product. What you are actually selling doesn’t matter; it could be physical product, consulting services, or ad space on the site. What matters most is that the content attracts the audience you need to attract to accomplish your business goals.”
5. An Amateur Passion
Look for people who are already online and creating content, even as amateurs. (Fun fact: the root of amateur is the Latin word for love.)
Does your candidate maintain a personal blog? Create videos? Share photos on Flickr? Is she on Twitter? Obviously, your winning candidate doesn’t have to do it all. But people with a true passion for content don’t create and share it just because they are paid to do so.
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