Interview with Web Content Expert Rick Sloboda
Writing is thinking made visible. And words are powerful — they can make or break relationships and societies at large. As German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.”
The same goes for business, especially in the digital age; words can help a business share its story, its essence and create a movement. Rick Sloboda, Founder at Webcopy+, a leading web content strategy firm, explains: “Content has evolved into a fundamental component of a company’s brand, reach and success.”
I recently caught up with the seasoned content specialist to discuss blogging, web content and communications in general. You can connect with Rick via his content blog, @Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
- Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blogging style?
I get my creative kicks writing content, crafting marketing concepts, and writing and playing music. While I’ve done web content studies with organizations like Yale University and serve clients ranging from 1-800-GOT-JUNK to Oprah Winfrey, I especially love helping small businesses out because I can significantly contribute to their success.
In terms of style, for our content blog, I like diving deep into details and pushing knowledge boundaries. For instance, we’ve covered everything from colour psychology to neurological impact of the Internet, but do so in a personable, digestible style. Humour’s always fun when it’s fitting. Our content agency even did a prank for April Fools’ that got good mileage on the Web: Web Copywriters Make Top 10 Sexiest Professions List.
- What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
Relevant information. If it’s not relevant to a visitor’s needs, with practical take-aways, then you’re likely not hitting the mark. I believe in quality content versus quality. Our articles get good traction through social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. If we churned out weak posts frequently, we’d be short-changing visitors and ourselves. Distributing garbage on the Web is short-sighted; producing quality content is a wise, long-term investment.
- What would be your ideal working environment?
I like to mix it up. When I’m doing work for clients, I need stillness and silence and surround myself with multiple screens, reference material and notes. It’s all a part of the creative, research and writing process. When I’m coming up with concepts or writing something more imaginative or abstract, I like to immerse myself in different coffee shops, restaurants or even lounges. Sometimes I’m fortunate enough to do creative writing on travels on picturesque patios in the company of a frothy latte, or two.
- How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
Blogging is a time-consuming task. That’s why we ghostwrite for clients — because they often don’t have the time to do it themselves. Planning topics and sources ahead of time helps, but there’s no way around it — writing good content takes time and effort.
- Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
I write for a living. It’s how I pay for the mortgage, vacations and trivial things like food, so I must be a bonafide professional. I’ve been doing it professionally for more than 20 years, and have been fortunate to gain irreplaceable lessons and rich knowledge along the way, which benefits our clients. As the saying goes: if you think a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur.
- Who is you blogging model that inspired you the most?
I’m a Seth Godin fan. He conveys so much in so few words. That contributes to his success as the #1 marketing blogger in the world. What one might communicate in 300 words, he nails in 30. That’s highly effective — especially on the Web, where less is more.
- Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?
Promoting our content agency from somewhere tropical with a cool breeze and the sound of waves caressing the shore.