The start of a new decade provides an ideal opportunity for reflection and analysis on the decade just passed. And while 2019 proved to be a turbulent year politically and a disruptive one technologically, it was also an eventful one for writers and journalists. Our industry has changed so much since January 2010 that it’s worth taking a moment to consider how the art of copywriting and journalism has changed since we last welcomed in a new decade…
Putting the word out
Ten years ago, the internet was absent from millions of UK homes, and many people still relied on dial-up connectivity. Websites had already evolved away from early experiments with Comic Sans fonts and animated GIFs, but there was little video content, and photography platforms remained niche. Instead, the written word was king – particularly given the growing importance of search engine optimisation, or SEO.
By the middle of the last decade, websites were experimenting with the potential offered by home broadband connectivity. Parallax scrolling, single-page websites and auto-playing video content became briefly fashionable on many corporate websites. However, 4G’s arrival in 2013 triggered meteoric growth in mobile internet services, which literally and metaphorically rendered flashy (or Flash-y) sites unsuitable for a smartphone. As a result, we came full circle, relying on professionally-written copywriting and journalism to underpin any successful website.
Make it a large one
More recently, Google and Bing have emphasised the importance of long-form content. The days when a 500-word blog provided optimal SEO benefits have passed. And while we’re not going to extend this article to be 5,000-8,000 words long (which search engines increasingly regard as demonstrating authoritative content), long-form copywriting and journalism makes up a growing percentage of G75 Media’s monthly workload.
The last decade also saw the inexorable rise of the blog. Although Blogger debuted in 1999 and WordPress launched in 2003, blogging only really took off towards the end of the Noughties. By 2010, there was huge demand for freelance bloggers, and G75 Media began offering blogging as a service. At the time, IT and technology clients were identifying blog archives as a way of boosting keyword recognition among search engines, and two of G75 Media’s biggest clients still depend on us for weekly blog content.
Another trend which dominated the 2010s was the welcome increase in flexible working. Brands like WeWork have revolutionised the concept of office space, and millions of Britons now work from home either part-time or full-time. Copywriting and journalism are ideal sectors for both freelancing and working from home, since employers can call on specialist writers as and when their services are needed. Many of G75 Media’s clients will contact us once a year or even less frequently, knowing we can quickly and effectively deliver copywriting and journalism to meet any brief.
Goodbye and good riddance
Other trends rose and fell with equal rapidity, such as overseas copywriting firms. Agencies popped up around the world, offering cheap online copywriting for corporate clients. Almost as a rule, these firms delivered fairly dreadful content. Their writers generally spoke English as a second language, their proofreading and editing skills were negligible, and the balance of keywords and long tails (key elements of SEO) was usually wrong. When Google and Bing began downgrading websites with lazily-written content supplied by overseas copy farms, the writing was on the wall – but not on the websites. The phenomenon quickly died out as companies realised it simply isn’t worth paying for cheap copywriting and journalism.
More recently, we have also seen the welcome decline of academic writing websites. These enabled lazy students to outsource dissertation and essay writing to ‘qualified professionals’. Like all respectable content production agencies, G75 Media flatly refused to get involved in this distasteful practice, despite being approached on a number of occasions with unsolicited requests for assistance. Our copywriting services have always been ethical and honest, and they always will be.
Taking care of business
Despite these unwholesome sub-sectors of copywriting and journalism, the internet’s meteoric growth came at a great time for a business which was founded in 2007 as a dedicated copywriting agency. In February 2010, G75 Media’s founder Neil Cumins made the decision to quit his part-time day job as a property journalist and become a full-time business owner, freelance copywriter – and property journalist! Having retained his former estate-agency employer as a client, the process of building a successful copywriting agency could begin.
Today, G75 Media regularly works with clients on three continents, from America to Australia. We employ freelance writers whose areas of expertise dovetail with our client base. We deliver everything from listicles and social media content through to white papers and how-to guides for clients as diverse as manufacturers, optometrists and tourism firms. And as we enter our third decade as a limited company, G75 Media is proud to be a copywriting agency with few peers.
But why stop there? A new decade brings new opportunities, while our greater resources and superior expertise should ensure we’re able to continue growing and expanding throughout the 2020s. We don’t know what the last decade will be referred to as – possibly the Tens or the Teens – but it’s been the making of G75 Media. Here’s to another decade of award-winning copywriting and journalism.