Here is an article about NC Breweries and fantasy band mashups. It was one of few articles I read that I could finish today. It is a good fun piece. It is the best kind of writing when you have no real news to report. That isn’t a knock. I enjoyed it and it is a skill I don’t have as a writer. Not everything has to a philosophical journey to the heart of craft beer. It should be fun. It’s beer.
Good writing is hard to find and good journalism is particularly hard to find on the internet because there is just so much of it. So, I try to appreciate and show it to others.
In this space, I try to highlight an article I find interesting and worth reading and explain why you should read it too. Then there are days, filled with click bait lists and faux debates and headlines screaming craft beer’s totemic rise or ultimate demise with an article attached that is lacking in any context or skill at writing. In other words, SEO at its finest.
The time you have during the day is finite. I don’t want to waste yours or mine by publishing something just to get hits. However, that is the economy of internet publishing and news. For newspapers and real news sites and blogs, advertisers look at the number of hits to determine if they will advertise with you and how much they will pay. It’s understandable. They are looking for the greatest amount of exposure possible.
It is also understandable how some sites just churn out content that hammers home SEO. There are keywords to include in your headlines and in your meta tags. You should make your content in easily digestible bite-sized factoids. Don’t worry if the headlines are misleading or the factoids tell less than a quarter of what is an interesting story. You just need to get that content out and in the atmosphere, for people to click on it. Screw whether it’s is any good or not.
I would love for my beer writing to be a significant if not complete contributor to my income. However, how do you measure success? Is it only through the amount of money you make, the number of clicks you get, the number of people who recognize you?
Don’t get me wrong, I have a good idea of how many hits I get over a week and which articles contributed the most to them. I want as many people as possible to read my work. I just don’t measure whether an article was successful solely by how many people click on the link. I’m satisfied when I read the piece before I hit publish and it says what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it. If I do that enough times, people will find the work and appreciate it. If not, I’ve still done what I set out to do.