By Maggy Michaels
Editor’s Note: We were grateful to receive, unsolicited, the following submission from a talented Writing Pro in our network. Humbled, we share it with a dual appreciation of our writers’ passion for their craft and for the direction of the industry.
When I began freelancing in the 1980s, few folks who lacked an in-house writer had a consistent need for top-flight content creation. Printing was expensive, so collateral and even promo material sat around for years. The best bet for repetitive projects came from agencies that billed their clients three times what they paid me. Year after year, very little changed — until the internet shifted the world on its axis.
Today, content rules. Period.
Thanks to the perfect storm of a “gig economy” and the groundswell of content marketing, the demand for talented freelance writers is unprecedented. Along with blog and media posts, today’s editorial calendars are filled with bylined articles, case studies, white papers, e-books, and newsletters. Great content is inspiring and changing the very way we think, learn, live, play, work, and do business. In a very real sense, content marketing is leveling the field. Yesterday’s small company could never compete for attention with the Big Boys and their slick brochures, full-page ads, and prime-time TV commercials. Now they can — with a little help from the right talent.
How do companies and creators connect?
Brands can join the content marketing revolution in a number of ways, including staff expansion or vetting and managing a stable of freelance talent. The appearance of online freelancer marketplaces seemed to offer a time-saving, cost-effective solution — in theory. Most automated sites rely on a behemoth database of “writers” that anyone can join. Brands are selecting from unqualified talent, and seasoned writers are adrift on a sea of mediocrity with dismal chances of landing a viable gig. Few top-tier writers of proven worth have the incentive to stay on board, especially when marketplaces take sizable cuts and may even charge monthly fees.
Prose Media takes a different tack.
A number of unusual things about Prose Media caught my eye in a New York minute. First of all, the home office is in Manhattan — that fiercely competitive epicenter of world-class talent. Prose leverages automation like a freelancer marketplace, but its business model is refreshingly unique, professional, and transparent. It was obvious that Prose is passionate about providing quality content to brands of all shapes and sizes.
Interested writers undergo a vetting process as rigorous as any employment application, including extensive industry-specific writing samples. If you pass muster, the exclusivity continues. Each project begins in the hands of a dedicated editor, who forwards the opportunity to one or two of the most ideally suited writers for review and acceptance.
The more I learned about Prose, the more clearly I saw an ingenious platform for helping brands, agencies, and writers collaborate in creating truly great content. For once, everyone wins.
Why collaborate with Prose? Let me count the reasons.
- Prose functions like a premier editor-driven matchmaking service for companies and creators.
- Revisions are free, but in the rare case your first date disappoints, a better fit is waiting in the wings.
- If you fall in love with a writer’s work, Prose is happy to facilitate that match on future projects whenever possible.
- Along with digital cost efficiencies, Prose provides personalized attention and a chance to build relationships with editors and writers.
- Each project begins with a detailed brief, because good writers have a 99 percent chance of hitting the bull’s-eye with clear directives and adequate background material.
- Prose saves all brand preferences, including any lexicon or style guidelines, for automatic inclusion in future briefs.
- The Prose platform excels in flexibility and consistency, so single-project clients receive the same professional attention as a major corporation with a full editorial calendar.
- Scalable solutions are always available, including three tiers of carefully qualified, industry-specific writers for help in balancing objectives and cost.
- Professional editorial oversight includes final edit/proof prior to delivery at no extra charge — who else does that?
- Content marketing gurus are always standing by for those who need consulting services.
Prose makes it easy to jump into the game.
Take it from someone who has been helping brands create winning campaigns for decades: You simply can’t afford to miss surfing the content marketing wave. At the same time, you can’t afford to do it badly — or inconsistently. Begin by identifying the best media channels for your message, and then develop a solid content marketing strategy you can implement now.
Above all, never underestimate the power of polished, compelling, relevant prose to capture attention, raise brand status, build a following, and grow new business. Great content creators seldom cluster in one place — but they do at Prose Media.