What does a Brafton content writer do? Glad you asked – It’s a question we get a lot.
Our writers’ main priority is creating content diligently and on deadline for our clients’ websites, whether it’s blog posts, landing page copy, eBooks or white papers. But that isn’t where the job stops. There’s a lot that goes into the day-to-day besides writing content.
We spoke with five teammates to dive into what else happens on an editorial team beside writing:
Creative brainstorm sessions
Senior Writer Liz Warren said the blogs she creates wouldn’t be half as fun to read (or write), without her team’s brainstorm sessions. As a writer on our Boston office’s Health & Living desk, Liz has a number of clients who cater to Millennials – so she can appeal to them with quirky, fun posts.
“It’s so much easier to bounce ideas off everyone in an open, relaxed atmosphere than try to do it all on your own,” Liz said. “We’re comfortable enough with each other to immediately shoot down an idea if it doesn’t work or if it’s been overdone, and we end up with a list of articles that I can actually look forward to writing.”
Brainstorming isn’t limited to team discussions, though. Liz said some clients like to be involved in the blog topic conversation, and work with her to come up with a content calendar that incorporates product updates and company news.
Client travel for live coverage
Whether kicking off a new client relationship, attending a workshop or going to conferences on clients’ behalves, Brafton has invested more than ever this year in getting writers to step away from the desk and into the field.
Earlier this month, Senior Writer Sean Callahan was on-location in Florida to provide coverage at his client’s annual conference.
“Writing live blogs was definitely a departure from my day-to-day writing,” Sean said. “We set blog topics in advance that included daily recaps, Q&A sessions with presenters, an overall recap featuring conversations with exhibitors. I also took pictures and recordings to send to the social media department for Twitter updates.”
Aside from getting first-hand exposure to his clients’ brand, business travel has other perks too. The best parts? “The post-conference barbeque on the Gulf of Mexico, all-you-can-eat crab legs and bonding with my editor.”
Read to stay inspired
Business and technology Editor Kate Tully is a firm believer that reading makes for a stronger writer – and an overall better person. Although her favorite reads outside the office might not influence her next corporate blog post (unless the client likes a tone that mirrors Mindy Kaling or David Sedaris), Kate said she’s constantly finding inspiration in her teammates’ pieces.
“Book clubs offer a forum where avid readers can actually engage in a fun and meaningful discussion about others’ writing. It’s something that’s invaluable for people who work in an industry where writing plays such a large role.”
“Each writer has his or her own unique quirks, whether that’s the style, tone or content of the stories. The editing process helps others fine tune their pieces, but it also gives me the ability to absorb other people’s writing styles and (frequently) learn new words.”
Kate loves reading so much, in fact, she teamed up with fellow editor Xavier Holland to establish a Brafton book club.
“Book clubs offer a forum where avid readers can actually engage in a fun and meaningful discussion about others’ writing,” Kate said. “It’s something that’s invaluable for people who work in an industry where writing plays such a large role.”
Hit the books to research complex topics
As a Senior Writer on our Industry & Technology desk, Nick Kakolowski is known for his ability to understand – and create easy-to-read content – around complex topics. Outsourcing can be an initial concern for marketers in niche industries, but Nick says it’s his research skills that have helped him become a strong tech writer.
“I typically use blogs, video and webinars as an entry point into a topic and will then move on to whitepapers, research summaries and similar documents to get a deeper look,” he said. “Using diverse research materials ensures that I truly internalize the knowledge and make it my own instead of just getting comfortable with a single point of view that may not represent a technology or industry completely.”
Nick’s enthusiastic about educating his teammates, which isn’t surprising given his background as a high school teacher. At Brafton, he’s developed briefs and handbooks to assist new technology writers and always suggests they “read everything they can get their hands on.”
” The most useful thing I can give my colleagues is the foundational information I have about technologies and IT industries, providing them with tools so they can dig deeper on their own,” Nick said. “My presentations and guides are aimed at giving writers that broad perspective and entry point into key historical issues for an industry so they can build off of that knowledge to dive into the client-specific details needed to understand to create excellent content.”
Send GIFs, plan potlucks, craft nights & more
Our writers work very hard. But we make a point to reward these efforts with fun stuff too.
Queue the party planning committee. In Boston, our fearless leader is none other than Editor Sam Gordon. Sam joined Brafton back in 2011, but it wasn’t until this year that she started organizing office-wide activities.
“Everyone is so busy, we don’t always get a chance to get to know one another, and at a company with a few hundred employees, that means a lot of unfamiliar faces in the halls,” Sam said. “I remember it was pretty intimidating as a newbie, so I thought it was time to try and help people get away from their desks and meet one another. That led to the creation of a lot of new events both in and outside the office.”
The agenda as-of-late in the Boston office includes our weekly Bagels & Banter (“A chance for new hires and long-standing employees from every department to sit down and get to know one another – and talk about things other than work!”). Plus, we’re gearing up for our annual Boston Harbor boat cruise, our monthly “Arts and Crafton” night and a potluck party.
Check out more behind the scenes pictures on Brafton’s Instagram.
Here are some other resources where you can learn more about Brafton’s content writers: