I recently came across Inbound Writer through a friend. I’ve shared my brief thoughts on it with the students in my Writing for the Web class blog, but it’s worth repeating here…
Inbound Writer bills itself as the “first social writing application”. It combines a keyword search tool, SEO prompts, a text editor and social media platforms. As a writer, I’m not sure how I feel about it. It comes across as a DIY writing with SEO tool, which is most definitely useful, but what concerns me is the impact of something like this on the quality of the writing. The number one rule of SEO, as far as I am concerned, is that you still need to write for people, not search engines, and although I’m sure this tool is useful in many ways, I don’t think it can or should replace a writer.
Maybe I just feel that way because I don’t like the idea of an app taking my job?
I recently had the pleasure of presenting on Organic SEO and Content Development at an Advanced WordPress workshop being run by an innovative company, PowerUP Concepts. It was such a pleasure to talk to the dedicated, enthusiastic group! Juliana and Sasa of PowerUP offer a great package (with special rates for Wired Woman Society members too) and it was wonderful to be a part of it.
Something that I stressed to the group, which I don’t think people give much thought to when they are developing their website is the audience! It sounds strange and obvious, but we get so caught up in how we want it to look and what we want to say, that we forget to think of WHO we are trying to target. My suggestion to the group? Sit down for 15 minutes to half an hour and sketch out your ideal reader. Draw a picture of them if you need to! And every time you sit down to write something or design something, keep them in mind. Also ask yourself some of the following questions about that ideal reader:
- What do they need to know?
- What kind of language or design principles speak to them?
- What level of information should you include?
- What would you need to know if you were them?
By conducting an audience analysis like this (and you may need to take it further and do some market research, ask around, look at other similar sites etc), you can ensure that the content and design you offer on your site hits its target every time!
We’re hoping to run more of these combo type workshops in the new year, so watch this space.
PS- you can read Sasa and Juliana’s reflections on the workshop on the PowerUP Concepts website.