Switching professions is never easy, but people do it all the time. People often decide to take a different path because they don’t love what they are doing or because there is more opportunity in a different field. So it should be easy to change from writing for print newspapers and magazines to writing on the Internet, right? After all, these fields are at least related and very similar.
In most cases, the answer is yes—a writer is a writer and although some modifications need to be made, it’s possible to make the switch. Many writers contemplate this question because internet content is becoming so important to many companies; thus creating tons of opportunity for writers. However, the question should not be whether a writer can do it, but whether they really want to.
The Top 5 Differences Between Blog Writing and Print Writing
The first thing to understand is that sometimes print publications do have an Internet version. In the majority of cases, this writing will be extremely similar. However, writing for a blog is very different than writing for a publication.
The real issue is whether or not someone has the heart to make the change. Although the actual jobs might be interchangeable (in other words a writer will surely be able to do the job), writers will need to make changes and then decide whether or not they want to make these changes. The following points are some of the differences between the two:
- Keywords. When writing online a writer will usually have to worry about utilizing specific keywords. For print writers, this was never something that needed to be incorporated, and some feel that this takes away from the fun of writing. This falls under the search engine optimization (SEO) umbrella, which is something bloggers have to understand.
- Linking. Writers will also need to pay attention to links that he/she puts in an article (and there should be links). Again, a print writer might not be used to worrying about finding reputable links. This is also part of having SEO knowledge.
- Blog Style. The style of writing online is typically very different than writing for a publication. This is probably the biggest aspect that a writer should consider before leaving print for the Internet. You will have to incorporate subheadings and bullet points, and in many cases you can insert your opinion. For those used to writing for a publication, this creativity is a bit different.
- Fewer Interviews. Publications often require a writer to interview industry leaders. Although this does occur in blog writing, most blog writing doesn’t involve interviews. This gives a print writer much less information to work with than they are familiar with, which some find to be a deal breaker.
- Hours. This is where print writers are often swayed to write for a company as a blogger. Bloggers usually have fairly flexible hours because there are no interviews to run to or publications to be sent out. In fact, many bloggers actually work from home. Although bloggers of course have deadlines, the hours are usually far less than reporters or magazine writers.
The reason that this discussion is one many writers are currently contemplating is because Internet content is becoming so important. Print content is becoming less popular and blogs are on the rise, so the opportunities are following suit.
Have you made the switch from print writer to blogger? Did you think this was the right decision, or was the job too different? Do you think a writer can love being a print writer and a blogger, or one or the other? Let us know in the comments below!
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Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility.com, a nationally recognized Search Engine Optimization Company that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country. Connect with Higher Visibility on Twitter to learn more!