How to spot a McWriter and avoid them like the plague
What’s a McWriter? It’s someone who writes online marketing content from a rather unoriginal standpoint. They spin articles, don’t care about story and are made snowblind by the thought of cramming in SEO terms.
Well, a McDojo is a place that sells the idea of martial arts with a focus on profit as opposed to quality teaching. As such, they sell a watered down version of martial arts, give black belts to students who aren’t ready, and generally give a bad name to the rest of those who work their bum off to grade, train and study.
Avoiding a McDojo is just as important to a martial artist as avoiding a McWriter is to a business or startup. Trouble is, when you’re out shopping for a writer, it may be hard to tell the difference.
So here’s how to spot a McWriter (and avoid them like the plague) so your online marketing content is useful and worthwhile
A McWriter won’t keep up with the latest in online marketing content
Life on the internet moves pretty damn quickly. In fact, some marketers estimate online moves in dog years, not human. Yep- 7 years to every real time year. Crazy!
Even if you’re sceptical of the 7 year timeframe, things do change very quickly in content and online marketing. So your chosen copywriter or content creator needs to know what they are doing not just based on their previous experience, but also what’s happening on the internet right now.
That’s why it’s important to find people who stay up to date with the latest trends in online marketing content.
A good content creator or copywriter will be able to talk you through what they need to do, approach your situation from a point of view of an entire plan, and will give you some kind of aftercare. They’ll be able to diagnose why your current online assets may not be working.
McWriters on the other hand will usually talk about “optimising homepages”, speak about Penguin and Panda change in Google as though they are horror stories (they aren’t- if anything, they are there to give the honest guy a better chance!) or grab onto a concept like keeping a blog or having social media without talking you through why.
Aim for the writer with a plan who doesn’t think Penguin or Panda are the death knell (or zoo friends) who can explain what they are going to do.
A McWriter thinks one size fits all
McWriter 101 is “fit your same style to pretty much everything you write and go, go, go!” Online marketing content professional 101 is “be unique, have a different voice and don’t look like your competitor so you stand out”. See the difference?
One size does not fit all. A decent writer will need to peek under the hood and come back with a plan based on working with you about what you want as your goals and design a voice that suits your business.
They’ll mix in elements like SEO, give you advice about your social and tailor their offering to your business as opposed to let the keyword rankings or being on such and such social media “just because it’s what business’ do” lead the process.
If the writer you’ve been speaking to isn’t approaching you with anything but a cookie cutter, run little business, run! Because to care about you is to do the right (write?) thing for you.
A McWriter regurgitates, an online marketing content creator writes and strategises
So you’ve been scouting around for your writer and you’ve found they all sound the same. That’s great because you’ve just eliminated a bunch of online marketing content creators you shouldn’t work with. Add them to the discard pile.
Does that sound harsh? It shouldn’t really.
McWriters go beyond gaining inspiration from other writer’s blogs and websites into nicking the ideas and recooking them for their own sites. They don’t bring you their personal bugbears in business, they don’t share with you their approach to what they do, and their helpfulness doesn’t come from the heart.
They are like singers who can hold a tune but will never do anything other than karaoke. They may be fun on a Friday night, but it’s not exactly something you’re going to want to hear over and over again like a favourite album.
So if what you find sounds like a reheat of another copywriters copy, don’t accept that as “what content writers do”- look for the ones that capture your imagination…and keep searching until you do.
After all, if you can spot the boil-in-the-bag approach to copy, so too will your customers.
A McWriter is terribly secretive
Being a great online marketing content creator takes a heck of a lot of perspiration, dedication, education and talent. It also means a hell of a lot of time in the writing gym perfecting your art, training new techniques and working on your weak points.
If you end up with a writer who isn’t keen on sharing their mysterious skills, chances are there isn’t much to share! I mean, my friend can tell me all about how they fixed a mechanical problem at work in detail- doesn’t mean I’ll be able to do his job come Monday, does it?
Sharing how you do stuff in content, SEO or writing doesn’t mean people can take that information and replicate that any more than having a kung-fu marathon on a rainy day can make you Bruce Lee.
A McWriter won’t put in the effort, they won’t be doing much other than vomit words on a page. So if they don’t reveal secrets or can’t explain how they do things, don’t call on them to have your back when you head into the big fight scene of life.
The 30 second summary on why your online marketing content deserves better:
When asked why they became a writer (or any question for that matter), a McWriter will say business crap you will be expecting to hear.
A real writer will reference overly imaginative childhoods, insatiable word love and will tell you stuff that might be hard to hear because they’ll want to put their best writing foot forward for you.
McWriters will be enamoured with how quickly you want the job done. A writer will ask you questions about your customers and try to get a sense of your positioning while talking about the best way to get your story out there.
A writer will make you feel like they care, even if they are a bit kooky or odd. A McWriter will seem about emotionally invested as a piece of Styrofoam, and will leave an oily sales after taste.
Go with the word loving, library bag toting wall flower. Thank me later.
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