Writing for the Internet a craft or an art?

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  1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
    Kenna McHughposted 11 months ago

    How do you put the "extra" in as a writer? By extra, I mean "better than ordinary or superior" or even "more than or beyond what is usual, normal, expected, or necessary."  Is it SEO or do you write excellent content? Is the extra your craft or art? I think it's craft when writing for the Internet. What is the "craft" when writing for the Internet?

    1. samanthacubbison profile imageSTAFF
      samanthacubbisonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      From my online writing experience, I find that writing with SEO in mind makes for lackluster comments with a lot of the same phrases repeated over and over. I think that writing about topics you truly enjoy will result in that "extra" thing (and then going back to add SEO friendly keywords). Of course, practice and being open to learning new things is super important to create excellent content. For me, writing is art, so it doesn't really change just because I post it on the internet. But for some people, writing is a side-gig that is more of a craft, but that doesn't mean anything in terms of quality!

      1. Jean Bakula profile image93
        Jean Bakulaposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        I agree. I think it's an art, and you have to be engaged in the subject, then the reader will feel that passion. It always helps to keep trying to improve each article too, sometimes you think of more to add or a better way to say what you already said.

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
          Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Jean, I continue to improve my articles because, as you said, I think of more to write or a better way of putting it.

      2. Kenna McHugh profile image89
        Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Sam, I agree. I write and then add SEO. Writing is an art, though understanding the craft makes it easier to express my ideas.
        When I read for pleasure, I don't like seeing the writer's craft. Writing well enough, so the craft is secondary compared to art.

    2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image97
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I think it's both.  Anybody can write facts, but being able to make them interesting and searchable takes talent.  However, if you write poorly, creativity won't matter.  On the other hand, if you write well but produce boring material, that's no good either.  One thing I try to do in my hubs is to insert real life experiences and examples that support what I'm saying.  This lets readers know that I am credible and let's them see how things happen to people as they do things.  For example, if I warn them not to spend too much when buying an RV, I give a real life example of someone who did this and suffered  serious financial damage as a result.  Makes the point, adds interest and certainly gives people some food for thought!

      1. Sherry Hewins profile image94
        Sherry Hewinsposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        I think such things make you easier to relate to also. I like to write as if I am giving advice to a friend.

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image97
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Yes, that's it!  I do the same thing..and I do like to think of my readers as friends because I write to give them advice about things that can help them.  They often respond accordingly as a result, which really makes me feel good.  Telling people how to clean a sewer tank is much more interesting to readers if you include a bad experience you had when you did it the wrong way!!

        2. Kenna McHugh profile image89
          Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Sherry, Yes. That helps. Relating the article to someone you know helps me focus on the message.

      2. Kenna McHugh profile image89
        Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        TT2, I agree. Real life situations add to the article and make it more real to the reader.  The craft of communicating the idea is important and understood. I am sure you do that. The writing with the craft in mind improves writing. Is that art?

    3. bhattuc profile image83
      bhattucposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I think content is the main thing and then the things like style and SEO come in the picture

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
        Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Bhattuc, Exactly.

    4. shahith profile image60
      shahithposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      In my point of view writing the topic you truly enjoy never gives shinning to your article

      if you are a content writer client will ask you to write a product review you can't say "hey i am not truly loved this topic..." no you should write what clients ask to write with quality.

      It depends on three facts
      1. How you understand your audience.
      2. Your research in that particular topic.
      3. Your method to deliver that information to your readers or giving value to your readers.

      I am not an expert in writing and I get this information on the internet I think it will help you.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
        Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Shahith,
        I agree with what you found on the Internet. #1 and #3 are very important with #3 the most important. Understanding your audience helps when you are trying to formulate your article. The quality of writing is a factor, but quality becomes mediocre because of SEO and Google.

        1. shahith profile image60
          shahithposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Yes I agree

  2. Liz Alvarez profile image80
    Liz Alvarezposted 11 months ago

    I am new to HubPages and I'm so grateful to find the site where I can learn more about writing from great writers and smart people like you guys.

    1. Eurofile profile image98
      Eurofileposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Likewise, Liz. In the year I have been on Hub Pages I have learned a lot from reading discussions like this and picking up tips from more experienced writers.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
        Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        I agree. The forums are helpful and offer insight into succeeding on HP.

  3. Rochelle Frank profile image91
    Rochelle Frankposted 11 months ago

    Yes, good writing is an art, but art fails (especially on the internet) if the basics are ignored. A craftsman can become an artist. An artist usually works harder without knowing the craft.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
      Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Rochelle, I am inclined to agree with you. Art requires craft to excel. How can an artist learn the craft?

  4. theraggededge profile image98
    theraggededgeposted 11 months ago

    I think it's work big_smile

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
      Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Bev, That's true its work.  But, I would not do anything else.

      1. samanthacubbison profile imageSTAFF
        samanthacubbisonposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Just because it's work doesn't mean it can't be fun smile
        (That's the goal in life, right?)

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
          Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Exactly, Sam. Have fun! Work can be fun!! big_smile

  5. Susana S profile image96
    Susana Sposted 11 months ago

    I go for informative, concise and easy to read. I'm not the best writer but I've definitely improved over the years.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
      Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Susana,
      That is a great approach. As long as we improve and enjoy ourselves, then all the better.

  6. janshares profile image94
    jansharesposted 11 months ago

    So mad, sad just wrote of whole recitation on this when my internet connection pooped out and lost my 4 paragraph reply! When you're in the zone, you cannot always remember exactly what you wrote. That's the art of writing. Anyway, I wrote something to the effect that IMO, I believe internet writing is more craft than art. There is so much to learn and apply in order to be successful. I was clueless about all of it when I joined HP and still don't have a full grasp.

    I think the crafts we learn about the internet have to be applied to our art. Sometimes we have to modify our art in order to get views. I may have to add images and text capsules to my poem to get the attention of my target audience. So my art becomes a poem article and not just poetry, which is pure art.

    To the question, "what is that extra element the writer brings?" I think it's knowing your audience, having an awareness of human behavior, human need and what makes people tick. What do they need today? What will they want tomorrow? How do we strike while the iron is hot? And are we willing to put in the work?

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
      Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Jan, Sorry your Internet pooped out. That's frustrating. I agree to a certain extent that writing for the Internet is a craft first and foremost. My reasoning is I like the idea of expressing my thoughts and then seeing how I can fit the article into the Internet model. That is where the craft comes into play.

      Interestingly, I will find a new word and think "That would be great to put in the title of my article." I check myself because I know it will not bring viewers to my article. I may sound like a snob, but I don't think the Internet public is that literate.  I don't think Google is that literate or Google operates on assumptions when it comes to keywords.

      Then, I recall a friend of mine who is a talented and successful writer. He told me, "You can't hide good writing."

      1. janshares profile image94
        jansharesposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        We are on the same page, Kenna.

  7. Bede le Venerable profile image97
    Bede le Venerableposted 11 months ago

    Writing is both an art and a craft. In my opinion, there’s no art without good craftsmanship. What do I mean? Let’s compare writing with art (as in painting). Artists in Medieval times were renowned for solid craftsmanship. For instance, we can still appreciate paintings from 800 years ago because the artists of that era took great care to prepare their wooden panels. It was a very involved process.

    Craftsmanship in writing means having good grammar, verified facts, and a logical ordering of one’s thoughts. Like preparing a panel, this requires patience.

    The artistic part of writing is the mode of expression that makes one’s thoughts clearly understood and agreeable (as in a pleasing style). This involves choosing the right words, letting thoughts flow smoothly along, and allowing the colors to emerge by means of metaphors, humor, or interesting anecdotes.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image97
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 11 months agoin reply to this

      I agree, but we also need to remember that the majority of internet readers read on 6th grade level...the same level newspapers use.  So, we can do all of the things discussed here but if the average person does not read well enough to understand what we're saying, what good is it?  Internet writing is a tricky business, that's for sure!

      1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
        Bede le Venerableposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        OK, let me change metaphors. Good writing should be like appetizing food served on a presentable plate. No sixth grader will eat a slice of pizza from a dirty paper plate unless they are dead starving.

        Also, my thoughts don't apply to poetry, which often has no concern for proper form.

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
          Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          A good writer or a good artist hides their craft well. The writer, as an artist, concentrates on his or her writing first. The craft follows with editing, adding SEO, and determining the quality of presentation. Read the classics, and you will see what I mean.

          “I can fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank page.”
          ― Nora Roberts

          1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
            Bede le Venerableposted 11 months agoin reply to this

            I totally agree, Kenna. If a writer/artist can engage other’s attention while disguising their technique, that’s best.

            When writing a first draft, though, I try to have zero concern for artistry and just write. It’s just like painting - put in the general shapes with a big brush, then gradually refine with smaller brushes.

            1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
              Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

              Bede, I write the same way. I just write and work the article when I am done writing it down.

              1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image97
                TIMETRAVELER2posted 11 months agoin reply to this

                That's interesting because I write the exact opposite way.  I let the writing flow as it leaves my brain, and I think I do this because I'm afraid that if I let a thought wait, it will disappear!  As an older person, I tend to draw on the experiences I've known and seen so that readers can see that there is "life" behind the facts and that real people deal with the issues I discuss.  As someone here said, I write as though I am talking to a friend, which means I can't just provide content, I have to also provide deeper meaning.  This is not to say that using your technique does't work, it just means that what I do works for me.  I am clearly unable to separate the basics from the glitz when I write lol!

                1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
                  Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

                  TT2,
                  We are on the same page.  I let the writing flow from my mind to the page. It's the only way to write. I can't edit while I write. I write then edit. They are two separate hats. I put on my writer's hat and write. Then, I put on my editor's hat and edit.

                  1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image97
                    TIMETRAVELER2posted 11 months agoin reply to this

                    I produce my first draft on a word processing program and used that to edit it.  Once satisfied, I put it online.  Then after copying it back to the word processing program, I do another edit...I correct the online version as I see errors.  Finally, I make a unformatted version and save it,  I do the latter just in case the site ever goes under.  That way I have a fresh copy I can use elsewhere if need be.  Hope that never happens!

        2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image97
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 11 months agoin reply to this

          I respectfully disagree.  I was a 6th grade teacher and can tell you that those kids would eat pizza in any situation unless it was covered with bugs!!

          1. Bede le Venerable profile image97
            Bede le Venerableposted 11 months agoin reply to this

            That’s what I implied by dirty – creepy crawlies, cob webs, and all manner of disgustingness. Perhaps the fat kid would eat it, but the others would steer clear.

  8. Kenna McHugh profile image89
    Kenna McHughposted 11 months ago

    big_smile

  9. Gregory DeVictor profile image96
    Gregory DeVictorposted 11 months ago

    When adding images to an article, make sure that each graphic corresponds to your article’s theme. To enhance your seo, add a caption to each image that contains one of your keywords. For example, for my American nostalgia article for the year 1999, each image directly corresponds to a topic that I discussed at some point in the article. The caption also contains one of the keywords that I am optimizing.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
      Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Gregory,
      Excellent suggestion. The SEO changes, so it's easy to edit.

      1. Gregory DeVictor profile image96
        Gregory DeVictorposted 11 months agoin reply to this

        Kenna,

        One of my earlier American nostalgia articles was edited by HubPro before it was moved to HobblyLark. I had mistakenly repeated the title of the article (verbatim) as the title of my first text capsule that contains the introduction. The editor removed the title from the first text capsule probably because it was deemed as “keyword stuffing.” (For all of my nostalgia articles, I now leave the title of the first text capsule blank.) Therefore, I suggest that you do not repeat the title of your article as the same title for any subsequent text capsule. Yes, you can periodically use a keyword that you are optimizing for in the titles, but moderation is the key here.

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
          Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

          Gregory,
          SEO is insidious in many ways. Using it too much is a killer. I use the technique less than more.

          1. Gregory DeVictor profile image96
            Gregory DeVictorposted 11 months agoin reply to this

            Kenna,

            Unfortunately, seo is not an exact science like organic chemistry.

            1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
              Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

              Gregory,

              That is true because SEO is always changing.

              1. Gregory DeVictor profile image96
                Gregory DeVictorposted 11 months agoin reply to this

                Kenna,

                This is very true as well. Plus, what works exceptionally well for one article does not work as well or at all for another. This occurs for a multiplicity of reasons including “competition.”

                1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
                  Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

                  So true.

  10. Gregory DeVictor profile image96
    Gregory DeVictorposted 11 months ago

    Kenna, I just checked the text capsule headings on your new article. You’ve done a favorable job with varying the words “snack,” “snacking,” and “snacks.”

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image89
      Kenna McHughposted 11 months agoin reply to this

      Gregory, Thanks! big_smile

 
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