"What do I need to be a web writer?"

 Web writing with Johannes VermeerI get this question a lot.

And I find the answer is a lot like those for “What do I need to be a video (or film) writer?”

  1. Great vocabulary
  2. Great writing skills
  3. Economical writing
  4. Ability to write to visuals
  5. Key word savvyness
  6. Compelling writing (you need to get readers off of the home page! And, the most important!
  7. A willingness (nay, furious need) to rewrite

Can everyone become a web writer? No. It’s just the way the world works. We can’t all be rocket scientists, either.

If you’re writing your own web copy, and you’ve never been paid to write, chances are you’re fouling things up. Writers are trained to be objective, and if you’re running a company and doing your own web writing, you’re not objective.

Something else you need to be a web writer: stamina when quoting your prices. $25 an hour is not enough, no matter where you live. $50 — phooey. Don’t you deserve to make at least as much as your plumber?

My prices begin at $100 an hour and go as high as $150, depending on complexity, research, and a few other factors.

If I could go through the rest of my life, subsidized, I would spend my time letting people know that writing is a skill much more subtle than construction, or banking, or even lawyering. People need to spend years learning it, and even then they will spend the rest of their lives working at it. That’s the challenge and appeal of writing — every task is different and fascinating.

Can’t say that about plumbing, either.



How to add Google’s Plus One button to WordPress

Google Plus iconWhy do you want Google’s Plus One (+1) button? Like Facebook “Likes” and Twitter’s tweets, the +1 button gives your stamp of approval.

Or maybe you’re tired of Facebook and want to support Google’s latest foray into the social media world. I’m not positive, but I believe that Plus One replaces Google Buzz.

Like Facebook and Twitter, you need a Google Profile before embarking on your new career of Google approval stamping.

Add Google’s plus one button to WordPress

1. If you don’t have one, get your Google Profile.

2. If you don’t have one, set up a Google gmail account.

3. Download Plus One, the plug-in, or use your WordPress console’s plugin area to download. Plus One worked right out of the box, without adding any coding to the header or anywhere else. It was released the same day as the Plus One button itself, so I have a feeling its developer used the months of beta testing to prepare this plug-in. I always prefer using a plugin to messing with the code editor.

That’s it.

Now, when you see a Plus One button and click on it to like something, the “like” will go to a list on your Google Profile.

Google has announced that it’s launching some kind of Plus One analytics. Should be one more interesting piece of social technology in an already competitive marketplace.

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