Going Off At a Tangent

Twisting ideas to promote your client

By now, if you have been reading my posts, you will have gathered that I am not a so-called “creative writer”. I do not produce literature. I have no burning desire to write a novel, unless it’s guaranteed to be a bestseller ,which will keep me in the style to which I sincerely wish to become accustomed. I am a commercial animal, I write for pay and I look at writing as a means to earn my living and to form the bedrock of a business I am building.

That said, it does not mean that I am not imaginative nor creative with the ideas that flow and am used to delivering work products for my clients. It certainly does not follow that I am in any way less passionate about what I am doing, while I also have a fierce pride in my work, and delivering the very best I can provide for clients. Some of my work is “mindless pap” as I often say to enquiring friends and family and in my honest opinion it is just that – advertising and promotional rubbish. Nevertheless, it is good advertising rubbish and I can say that because it performs the task that my clients wish to achieve and I get paid for producing it.

Today, my work for the most part is not “mindless pap” as my clients and the projects have become more interesting. Writing assignments has started to exercise my mind and imagination to a greater extent, than figuring out how to get 800 words on a paper dealing with Japanese “Geta” shoes, or producing a dumbed down series of articles on alternatives to Viagra. Even when you are confronted with a topic that readily lends itself to a simple churning out of some more advertising rubbish you can exercise your imagination and tackle the subject from a different perspective. I firmly believe that the confidence I have acquired in two years of commercial writing has encouraged me to take alternative approaches to handling a client topic.

Earlier this week I had to write a series of blog posts for a site called Your Health Reporter which promotes alternative therapies, amongst which is the use of a slimming pill derived from a cactus in the Kalahari Desert, Hoodia Gordonii. Your Health Reporter, is a relatively new client for me and initially I started off with the “Lose the keg and get a 6 pack” style of posts for the slimming and fitness products that are being promoted. Last week I altered the style and that produced some incredible results.

Hoodia Gordonii is a Hollywood slimming pill of choice with Oprah Winfrey and a host of other celebs jumping on the bandwagon. It blocks the appetite receptors in your brain, so you feel full all the time and it is highly effective at helping people to lose weight. Initially my research and writing all focused on the features and benefits of Hoodia and how you too can get a slimmer shape you’ve always dreamed of, fit into that skimpy bikini without feeling self-conscious and lose weight for a long, healthier life. I think you have the idea by now and that was the approach I took until I broke one of my own rules regarding time management and started reading a post on the BBC website, which actually broke the news behind Hoodia back in 2003.

Rather than writing about Hoodia itself and what a great weight loss pill it was I posted a brief story on the blog about how the royalties from the Hoodia are changing the lives of the San Tribe of the Kalahari, where the cactus originates from. Royalties from US sales are turning an aboriginal tribe that does not have any concept of money as a medium of exchange into millionaires in one of the most backward, impoverished and harshest environments on the planet. So novel is the idea of money to the San Tribe, that the trustees of the millions of dollars for the San openly stated that they don’t think that the current generation of San will actually directly benefit from the money. It will only be when the next generation of “newly” educated children reach adulthood that the trustees think that the money will be used and controlled directly by the San.

The readership of that post has turned the Your Health Reporter blog into a success for my client. Traffic before the post was very small, but then it had only been going a week; however, that post has been the primary route for new readers and visitors to the Your Health Reporter website. My client is happy with the increased traffic, I’m happy because I have a happy client and I also produced a good piece of work as evidenced by the increased audience.

I’m not a “Creative Writer” but never ever think that I’m not trying to write creatively for my clients, my audience and myself.