One of my favorite Twitter accounts (with which, I certify, I have no formal affiliation whatsoever), is @AdviceToWriters. Their tweets roll in hourly and take the form of quotations from different famous writers. They are largely aimed at writers of poetry, fiction and literary non-fiction, but a number of them are wider-ranging to the point where marketing-minded folk would do well to take heed. Here is one:
The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.”—Jonathan Franzen
Franzen’s assertion that the reader is a friend would be disastrous to overlook. Consider your reader a mere spectator and he or she will likely end up feeling like an outsider because a lack of connection to the material or content he or she is reading. Write in an adversarial manner and you will alienate far more readers than you will convert. A friend, though, writes with a deft touch that inspires trust and considers and honors all sides of an argument.
If you convince yourself that the content you are producing for a client’s website is not going to be seen by many people and is there only for SEO purposes, then you will guarantee that you make no impression on any actual reader. This missed opportunity potentially robs you or your client of essential accountability, which robs you of success. In short, don’t just “mail it in.” Goodness knows there is quite enough mediocre content out there.