Beer League Hockey, Boy Bands and Blogs
My first real job was covering sports for my hometown newspaper, the Brick Town News. Before I had a driver’s license, I had a press pass.
Not only was I getting paid to write about sports, but I got into every event for free. I covered everything from high school sports to the semi-pro hockey team that played at the local ice rink. Not a bad gig for a high school sophomore.
After graduating from college, I spent a few years as a radio DJ at the Jersey Shore, where I grew up. It was a lot of fun even though boy bands like the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and 98 Degrees dominated the airwaves. 10 years before Snooki and the Situation infested Seaside Heights, I was interviewing contestants in the “Wannabe a Spice Girl” contest at the MTV Beach House.
I eventually moved behind the scenes, writing and producing commercials for radio stations in New Jersey and a national internet radio advertising network in New York. Clients kept asking me to do special projects, so I launched my first copywriting website on St. Patrick’s Day of 2006. My first steady job was actually writing blog posts for another marketing company.
Why is any of this relevant?
Journalism and radio made me a better content writer.
A good content writer is a good journalist first. I ask a lot of questions to learn about your business, your goals, your customers and your competition. That’s the only way to develop a message that matters to your audience.
When I wrote radio commercials, I had anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds to connect with listeners. I had no choice but to be clear and concise. And because the scripts were being spoken, they had to sound natural and believable. I take the same approach to writing content. Clarity, simplicity and authenticity above all else.
Even my time on the air helped me become a better communicator. When you’re speaking between songs, you need to be quick, interesting and authentic and have a good sense of timing.
What started as a few side jobs is now my full-time business. I use basic marketing and journalism principles and my own real-world experience to develop content for my clients. Content that people want, like, share and remember.