Yet for the masses, knowledge is not a luxury as it was in the past. Now, it’s a service industry—an increasingly public service industry. The content development provider serving it up fast and hot gets the billion burgers served. With today’s channels of information, that superstar is the writer.
So what does it take to serve up solid content today? Relevance. It’s not enough to repost, retweet, and mash up information—although this can be valuable. Real value for readers comes from taking disparate sources of information, braiding them into a cogent, creative new piece—fast. There’s one secret to doing this well: expert research skills.
Fact vs. Fiction in the content sphere
Consider today’s writer—solidly grounded in her career, 28-48 years old, managing 90% of the ideas and content that flows through and develops around corporate America, 100% of the creative copy, 80% of the social media mania and . . . Got that writer solidly in mind? Wait a second. Where did those stats come from?
Exactly. I made them up. Like much of what you read on the internet, material that sounds like research isn’t.
A surfeit of professionals, not content developers
In fact, let’s look at BLS data from 2008—facts—about writing professionals. The median hourly wage for a writer of any stripe, technical or media, is $25.51. There are about 300,000 employed writers and content developers—a number not expected to change as a percentage of the population, and BLS coyly calls the writing job market “competitive.”<