Welles Wiley // Jan 3 2011
When I graduated from college last May, I was met with countless words of congratulations
from friends and family, and even more questions on what I planned to do next. After
spending the first 22 years of my life on the relatively straight-forward academic
path, I now found myself without a clue of where to head next. It was like I was
standing at Robert Frost's crossroads in the woods, but I didn't even know which
path was the road less traveled.
To further complicate things, my degree wasn't pointing me on any specific career
path. I graduated from a liberal arts university, which only carries with it the
ambiguous suggestion that I am a "well-rounded" person. To make matters even worse,
I majored in English, which at face value only proves that I indeed have a grasp
of the language I was born speaking.
After launching a job search for a myriad of different job titles from barista
boy to a paralegal at an ambulance chasing law firm, I finally found an ad for an
open position as a copywriter. I figured this might be one of the few times an English/Creative
Writing degree is ever put into direct usage, so I jumped at the opportunity.
After only a few weeks on the job, I quickly learned that much of what I learned
in my English courses had to be completely ignored. Thankfully, however, there are
a few other aspects of my education that have helped me greatly in my quest to become
the world's greatest internet content writer.
I will now share my findings with you in list form, because that's just what
you do when you write for the inter-webs.
Lists, bullet points, images, and all the other stuff that would have given your
professors heart attacks if you had tried to submit it to them are now completely
fair game. The more you can visually break up your writing, the better.
Every time one of my coworkers edits my work, I receive invaluable suggestions
that always make the end product better. Never skip an opportunity to have another
set of eyes go over your writing.
While it certainly is an adjustment changing your writing voice from academic
to internet, it is comforting to know that the investment in my education wasn't
completely made in vain. At least you won't be likely to make any of these
copywriting blunders. If you too are an English major and have found things
that you needed to forget or retain, leave a comment!
Welles writes SEO web copy on a wide range of topics – everything from feather beds to cloud computing. He also guides social media initiatives on behalf of Portent clients. Read More