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PubCon 2012

The annual PubCon convention was held in Las Vegas on October 15th through the 18th this year, and yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending for the first time.  This post shares what I learned that firms in our industry are looking for as far as content is concerned.

The annual PubCon convention was held in Las Vegas on October 15th through the 18th this year, and yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending for the first time. For those of you who aren’t familiar with PubCon, it’s one of the premier search engine, social media and Web optimization conferences and expos in the world, and Textbroker has had a booth there for several years running now.

Our presence at the event is focused mainly around clients, but I went this year so that I could offer our prospective and current clients some information about what is perhaps our greatest asset: you, our authors! It was really cool to chat with folks from all facets of our client base, and I definitely learned a lot about what firms in our industry are looking for as far as content is concerned. Here are some areas of writing that I think we will start seeing a lot more orders for:

Specialized Content
One of the most common questions that I was asked yesterday was some variant of “I produce blog posts for a really wide variety of clients. They want really specific niche content. Can your authors provide that?” My answer was “They sure can!”

As the blog industry grows, and with the recent Google updates, clients are looking for ways to set their blogs apart from the rest, and the best way to do this is with high-quality, insightful content. You all have experiences—don’t be afraid to capitalize on them! Many of you have your occupation listed as “freelance writer” in your profile, which is fine because it’s obviously accurate. In addition to this, though, it would be beneficial for you to offer more information, like “freelance writer, retired city comptroller, part-time dog walker.” This gives our clients a lot more to go off and distinguishes you from other authors. It also helps Author Services when we are searching profiles and trying to create Teams or orchestrate DirectOrders for clients.

Keyword-rich Content
I know that this comes as no surprise to you as orders for keyword-rich content are all over Textbroker. Many of our clients are SEO companies, and this type of content is their meat and potatoes. As many companies branch out nationwide, they begin to hire SEO marketing companies that can promote their company in all locations. This means that you will likely continue to see articles with geographically specific keywords like “Plumber Little Rock Arkansas,” “Housekeepers Dayton Ohio” and “Landscaping Kansas City.”

Product Descriptions
We’ve been getting more orders for product descriptions lately, and if the clients that I spoke with yesterday are any indication of future trends, we will be seeing a lot more. Different types of products require different types of descriptions, so when you’re writing these, try to visualize your audience. Gadget or car reviews will often require more objective, technical descriptions while descriptions of jewelry or clothing might be more whimsical. As always, you can read the article instructions to get a sense of tone, or you can send the client a message asking him to clarify if you aren’t sure.

Links and HTML
As Web content and standards continue to evolve, many clients are looking for articles that already contain links and use HTML coding. If you aren’t very familiar with this, it might be a good time to brush up on the basics. Recently, Alex from TB Author Services wrote a very accessible and informative HTML starter guide for the author blog; you can you can check it out here.

Many of the folks that I spoke to yesterday who are current clients are very happy with the content that you’ve provided for them, so please pat yourselves on the back! The one thing that clients asked often is “How can I get my orders picked up more quickly?” We let them know that good, thorough instructions are often the key to this, and it came out that they aren’t always sure what makes one set of instructions good while another not so much. They expressed interest in having their instructions rated by you, so please take a second to do this! Clients really do pay attention to what you think.

All in all, PubCon was an enjoyable learning opportunity. I sincerely hope that I have a chance to go next year! As always, please feel free to email us at if you have any questions at all. Have a great weekend, and happy writing!

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