In cream, shortcake, daiquiris, smoothies, granola or all by themselves, strawberries add the sweet taste of summer itself. They’re as colorful as they are delicious. Did you know they’re the only fruit to grow seeds on the outside? Or that they’re actually a member of the rose family? All true. So if you want to encourage someone to eat well and become hooked on gardening, suggest planting a patch, or pot, of strawberries. Strawberries are among the easiest and most rewarding plants gardeners grow.
And surprisingly, many strawberries are grown best in containers.
And now you know another secret about strawberries. They are also a container fruit. Now think of content writing. While a strawberry shortcake may be considered the “speechwriter” of all writing – plain sweet strawberries picked fresh from the vine are the “content writing” of all writing. They get right to the point and do what they are supposed to do, without all the fancy eloquent prose of a long and often complex speech.
Now, I am not saying there is no room in life for a good speech. They all serve a purpose. In fact, I have been a speechwriting for many years. However, a content writer is a person who specializes in providing relevant content for websites, brochures, pamphlets, book covers, forwards for books, op-eds, letters to the editor, magazine articles, cookbooks, and a whole host of writing we read and take for granted every day. For example, every website has a specific target audience and requires a different type and level of content. Content should contain words (key words) that attract and retain users on a website. Content written specifically for a website should concentrate on a specific topic. It should also be easy to read, offering the information in easy to understand clusters or laid out in bullet points.
Most articles are centered on marketing products or services that the website is selling or endorsing, though this is not always the case. Some websites are informational only and do not sell a product or service. In those instances, the content should be geared toward helping to educate the reader while providing them with complex information in a way that is easy to understand and retain.
Long before I learned how to write my first speech, I worked in a government office writing press releases, radio actualities, talking points, “bullets,” newspaper advertising, television news feeds, scripts to be entered into the Congressional Record, and more press releases – all forms of content writing. When I first discovered speechwriting, I learned how to write campaign speeches and speeches to be delivered on the floor of the US House of Representatives. It was a whole new and different experience, to go from writing 350-word “content” articles to 3,000 to 4,000 word speeches. Speeches are nothing more than long content writing – call it storytelling – wrapped around a theme that bonds the speaker to the audience.
You needed to do a lot of research about the audience – and the speaker – to write content writing just as you need lots more of the same to write speeches. Most content writing is not carved on the marble walls of the Lincoln Memorial as was part of his Second Inaugural Speech.
Other the other hand, most content writing is easy to read and digest in mouthfuls, like strawberries, that we take for granted because we are surrounded by them this time of year.
And most of us do not get invited to attend a speech, while it is difficult if not impossible to escape the content writing we are all exposed to in everyday like.
I love to write speeches. But I also love to research, draft and create finished examples of content writing. Writers can truly have their cake and eat it too, just as one can enjoy strawberry shortcake as much as one picked off the vine in the dog days of summer.
Both can be delicious and satisfying, and each serves its own purpose.
Enjoy your summer. And a strawberry or two. It will bring back memories.