There are two types of writers:

  1. Those who write and produce masterpieces
  2. Those who write to produce masterpieces

The difference between the two is that the first one is a better writer than the second.

Writing to Produce a Masterpiece

The writer who writes to produce masterpieces probably writes a lot less, and a lot less likely to be happy with the content they produce. There is always a flaw, always something to be edited, tweaked or fixed. Writing to produce masterpieces is paralyzing!

George Lucas is a great example. Most would agree that Star Wars was a masterpiece. But 20 years after the original move was released, George Lucas decided to do some more tweaking and changing to his original classic, producing the crapfest Special Editions, complete with more critters, creatures and unneeded comic relief.

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But even that wasn't enough. In virtually every subsuquent release (theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray) Lucas continues to tinker with his "masterpiece." And I'm sure more are to come as they re-release the original trilogy in 3D!

Note to Lucas: Han shot first!

While some of the enhancements in the special edition release(s) are great visual enhancements, most fans of the movies would argue that Lucas' continued tinkering made things worse rather than better. This is what happens when you only want to produce masterpieces. You keep tweaking until it's "perfect." Unfortunately, perfect is always just one more tweak away. Kind of like Michael Jackson's face.

If you're trying to produce masterpieces, take a step back, stop tweaking and improving. Just hit publish.

Why? Because when you do, you can enjoy the writing process more, and perhaps have more unintended masterpieces than you thought possible.

Writing and Producing a Masterpiece

The writer who writes and produces masterpieces writes more and has more fans and is generally probably more content with what they produce.

Take John Grisham. Clearly this guy can write. Heck, I bet he could make a phone book interesting. But few would argue that most of the books he's written in the past ten years come even close to the brilliant A Time to Kill. Yet, Grisham is one of the top 50 best selling fiction authors of all time, and if you look strictly on earnings per book, Grisham is in the top 20 or so.

Grisham is an occasional masterpiece writer, and he's probably better for it. On the other hand, Tom Wolfe, who many believe writes nothing but masterpieces, is nowhere to be found on that list.

That's because those who write, not trying to score a masterpiece every time, find writing far more enjoyable and they produce content they--and others--like. That's the point. Not everyone has to love everything you write, they just need to like it enough to find it valuable. And even of those, you might be surprised at how many people love something you only thought was just OK.

All Content Is Your Masterpiece on the Web

What's all this have to do with writing web content? A lot.

Writing for websites is very different from any other medium. The web is more than a publishing platform. It's an interactive medium. People do more than read your content, they read, interact, follow and share.

It's true, the greater the "masterpiece," the greater the chance that the content will be shared and the more followers you'll get as a result. But waiting for the masterpiece to come before hitting the publish button creates a lot of dead space in between content. It's in that dead space that you lose followers, the interaction dies and nobody is sharing anything of yours.

However, when you write and publish good content, not everything has to be a masterpiece in order to get more followers, more shares, more interaction. In fact, the less-than-phenomenal stuff can still be interesting and valuable to your audience, can still help you build engagement, still drive traffic and, ultimately, give you a bigger audience for the next masterpiece that you actually produce.

Don't Wait for Inspiration, Just Write

Content creation and interaction is important to a solid web marketing and SEO campaign and an increasingly important factor in SEO. It doesn't have to be great, but it does need to be good. But writing good content ensures that you'll still get out a few masterpieces here and there that garner you even more attention.

Those that produce more good to great content are doing themselves a favor over those that wait for inspiration to strike. One of my college professors told us, don't wait for inspiration to strike. Just write and let inspiration come. On the web, a similar principle applies. Don't wait for your masterpiece to come to you, just write good content.

So when your web marketing firm tells you to put yourself on a rigid blogging schedule, you can understand why. Better to get out there and write something good, rather than writing, tweaking, adjusting and never publishing something fantastic. In all of his post-original-trilogy faults, at least Lucas released his "unfinished" version of Star Wars for us to enjoy over the past 30 years.






Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.





Comments (4)

I think what you've said here about writing to create something, rather than trying to make it a masterpiece is something that people find really difficult. I write blogs and it's trying to put yourself in the position of your reader, rather than trying to fabricate an intricate story. As you said writing online is for interaction, shares and to keep people coming back for more. There is no need to focus on perfection every time. Play about with what you know by writing a lot of different stuff, rather than trying to fix one piece of work to get it to your standard of perfect.

Writing is something like that someones writing to be perfect and for perfection and they want to create awesome post which make viral as much as they can. There are many ways by which they can become popular is one that they keep in mind about all factors that how to write and which kind of quality of content will make it much popular. Here you described good topic about to become viral and about how to write great content.

I had never really thought of writing that way, but it is so true. Those who try so hard to write a masterpiece are trying too hard. I know a lot of bloggers like that and they never really get that far. But the truly artful writers are the ones who make masterpieces and succeed on the internet.

I believe that being able to write well is a talent and not something that can be learned. Also, if everything was a masterpiece then nothing would stand out and masterpieces would be the norm! Not sure why I said that but it's what I thought when I saw the title. As you can see I don't have the aforementioned talent

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Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Not Every Piece of Web Content Is a Masterpiece--Nor Should It Be