Thank you from The Drawing Board.jpg

Success means nothing without gratitude and as The Drawing Board continues to grow, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for choosing local writers and researchers to help your company or organization succeed.

Together, we help shape our cities and build communities by contributing to the business and cultural landscape in which we serve others.

We are proud to uplift you in what you do and are grateful you have chosen to do the same for us.

In gratitude for all you do,

Nakita Valerio (Owner/Head Writer)

Liz Hill & Rachael Heffernan (Writers/Researchers)

Not all content is created equally and nowhere is this truer than with click-bait. Click-bait is sensationalist writing, particularly headlines and imagery, that is designed to attract a netizen’s attention and especially to draw visitors to a web page – ie. click the link. Upon clicking it, the result is usually an article of low calibre or a series of 25 pictures of celebrities before their deaths where you have to click “next” after every single picture. There is one reason for this deluge of online refuse and one reason only: advertising dollars. Websites that produce click-bait exist to get traffic to their pages so advertisers will pay for airtime on their site. If click-bait can attract thousands and thousands of doting followers who will dutifully click ahead through every story, there are advertisers waiting in the wings, willing to pay to passively influence those followers.

With click-bait, the writing offered is usually garbage and the reason for this is simple: people more likely to click the link often fail to read articles all the way through and lack internet attention spans adequate to cover well-argued and well-written long reads. But does that really matter? Isn’t all content good content?

No.

In fact, bad content is far more detrimental to your organization or business than no content can be. How could this possibly be the case, right? Isn’t any content better than nothing so potential clients or patrons can find you through adequate SEO? Shouldn’t making advertising dollars off your website be a good secondary business plan? Can’t SEO strategies not even begin to be used without some base online content? So what if that content happens to be cheap, sleazy click-bait?

The reality is that the quality of content you are putting on your website reflects a lot to potential clients about your level of professionalism and your standards. If you are offering genuine quality services to people, click-bait content and headlines just cheapens your overall image. And generally speaking, unless your only goal is to make money through advertising (rather than actually selling your products and services), click-bait almost never results in potential clients investing their hard-earned dollars in your business.

In fact, click-bait is not only a poor business practice, it has become a cultural meme of online annoyance. The mosquitos of the internet, click-bait articles are appearing in everyone’s newsfeeds these days and they are as distracting as they are detrimental to the literacy levels of the internet on the whole.

As reported by Big Think, a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology recently demonstrated how most people do not tend to read online news articles the whole way through and, even worse, how – in the event that you do make it through an entire article – a deceptive click-bait headline dramatically impacts the lessons you take away from article itself: this usually means coming away with a polarized or just plain incorrect opinion on a subject, despite the content evidence in the body of the article pointing to something more nuanced.

“All too often especially when it comes to science news, we see headlines that are directly contradicted later on in an article…”

In the study, researchers presented identical articles with different headlines, ultimately determining that headlines (particularly sensationalist ones which did not stay entirely true to the article) dramatically impacted the readers thoughts about the contents of the articles. Ultimately, readers’ opinions were swayed by the content of the headline alone. And the Big Think article says it all at the end:

“The findings suggest writers and editors need to take seriously their responsibility not only in citing reliable and credible sources, but also in choosing a headline that accurately represents the truth – rather than a headline that will get the most clicks. Similarly, readers need to be aware that headlines have an impact on how they perceive articles they read; in an age where profits are determined by clicks, accurately portraying the truth may not be at the forefront of an editor’s mind when deciding how to phrase a headline.”

When it comes to content development as business owners or members of professional organizations, we have a responsibility to raise internet literacy, be pioneers of education in our field and to report responsibly. In the end, quality content reflects the values of your organization far better than sensationalism does and speaks more effectively to those who are much more likely to become real business patrons.

It might not seem like the most important thing in a CEO’s daily purview of company operations but writing has a surprisingly important place in building an organization’s legitimacy, marketing prowess, teaching capabilities, and legacy and online presence. Time and time again, we have seen companies spending thousands and thousands of hard-earned dollars on beautiful website designs only to find that they are not hitting the first page of search engines.

Why is this the case? The online reality is that if your site lacks timely, diversified, precise content writing and images, it doesn’t matter how beautiful it is: no one will find you. And that is a recipe for business disaster – not only for those of us who conduct our business online, but for everyone else too.

These days, if a company does not have a solid website with essential content in an organized, intuitive fashion, people either won’t know you exist or, if they do, won’t trust you. A website might not obviously turn into dollars walking through your business’ door but just because you can’t see how something is directly working, doesn’t mean it isn’t.

A website functions like a safety blanket for potential customers who are using search engines to find businesses in their communities. They might look for particular services you offer by googling keywords. If your site lacks the appropriate content, despite the fact that your business is offering those services or products, your competitors will appear in the search results long before you do.

If you are on your content game, and your potential client comes to a beautiful, branded, navigable site, your online legitimacy immediately starts to build a trust relationship with them by communicating your standards for quality and professionalism. It doesn’t matter if you run your business out of a home office or a professional building centre downtown, your website may be the first impression that clients have of your company and the principles on which you run your organization.

Sloppy websites with dated content can hurt you just as much as excellent websites with timely content can help you succeed. And it all starts with developing adequate, targeted content on your site. Content comes in many forms and can include:

  • Blog articles
  • Static Content
  • Advertising
  • Embedded Video
  • Slideshows
  • Images

Trust your content development to someone who is professionally trained to do appropriate research and create high-quality writing for you on a consistent basis. For some of the most basic reasons to hire a professional – such as those from The Drawing Board – check out our top five reasons here.

 

The Drawing Board has done something incredible and we want all of you to celebrate with us: we have surpassed the number of visitors to our blog for the entirety of 2015 and we did it in just 5 months!

If the numbers are any indication, we are set to beat last year’s numbers (over 6000 visitors) by more than double by the time December 31st rolls around and that kind of traffic is not something to ignore. In fact, this exemplifies perfectly the reasons why we recommend content writing – content turns to traffic which turns into legitimacy, branding and business.

Through our blog, we have been able to publish professionally, garner more like-minded clients we get to support with our services and reach thousands of people all over the world – inspiring dialogue and putting our writers on the map as public intellectuals and important thinkers.

We have some exciting projects coming up for the future of The Drawing Board so please stay tuned for all things lovely in the world of publishing! In the meantime, let’s celebrate!

The Drawing Board was started by Nakita Valerio in 2009. Over the years, we have supported many amazing clients and the scope of what we do has changed from writing to full-on marketing support with the offer of eBook publications, newsletter authourship, social media management and much more. We were founded on the principle that talented people should be acting on those talents, whatever their business may be.

Let’s face it: the digital world is here to stay and if all of us are going to be using websites and social media to communicate, shop, share and live then we had better be doing it well. One of the biggest stumbling blocks that is facing companies, non-profits and charities these days is good, quality content on the social media and websites that keeps them informative, relevant and interesting. This is because of a very simple fact of life: Web designers and business owners are not writers.

We are writers. This is what we do. And even though we make it look easy, we are trained professionals in our trade and we make it our mission to uplift you and your business through our writing services.

What do you get when you cross three historians with passion for writing? You get The Drawing Board.

NakitaNakita Valerio
Owner and Head Writer for The Drawing Board

Nakita Valerio is an academic, activist and writer in the community. She is currently pursuing graduate studies in History and Islamic-Jewish Studies at the University of Alberta.  Nakita was named one of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation’s Top 30 under 30 for 2015, and is the recipient of the 2016 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, as well as the Walter H. Johns Graduate Studies Fellowship. She has also been honoured with the State of Kuwait, the Queen Elizabeth II and the Frank W Peers Awards for Graduate Studies in 2015. She has been recognized by Rotary International with an Award for Excellence in Service to Humanity and has been named one of Edmonton’s “Difference Makers” for 2015 by the Edmonton Journal. Nakita is the co-founder of Bassma Primary School in El Attaouia, Morocco and the Director of Public Policy with the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council.

1395963_10152046806551411_1850691895_nRachael Heffernan

Writer and Researcher for The Drawing Board

Rachael Heffernan is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies at the University of Alberta. In the course of her academic career, she has received a number of scholarships and awards, including the Harrison Prize in Religion and the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship. During her undergraduate degree, Rachael was published twice in The Codex: Bishop University’s Journal of Philosophy, Religion, Classics, and Liberal Arts for her work on Hittite divination and magic and philosophy of religion. Rachael has also had the opportunity to participate in an archaeological dig in Israel, and has spoken at a conference on Secularism at the University of Alberta on the Christian nature of contemporary Western healthcare. Her wide-ranging interests in scholarship are complemented by her eclectic extra-curricular interests: she is a personal safety instructor and lifelong martial artist who has been recognized for her leadership with a Nepean Community Sports Hero Award. She is an enthusiastic reader, writer, and learner of all things, a tireless athlete, and a passionate teacher.

lizLiz Hill

Writer and Researcher for The Drawing Board

Liz came to Edmonton to do a Masters degree in History at the University of Alberta after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History at the University of Victoria. Her research interests include medieval and early modern social and cultural history, especially issues around medical history and persecution. In the first year of her Masters degree, Liz received the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, followed by the Walter H. Johns Fellowship, Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship, and the Field Law Leilani Muir Graduate Research Scholarship.She  presented at the HCGSA Conference at University of Alberta in 2016 and will be writing the entry on Leprosy in World Christianity for the De Gruyter’s Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (forthcoming). She has worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Alberta, and as a contract researcher and writer for the Government of Alberta’s Heritage division. In addition to her work as a writer and researcher, Liz volunteers with the Art Gallery of Alberta and Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture.

cousins  Inspired by a recent post we wrote for Behrends Group of Companies, we figured it would be a good idea to talk about why we named The Drawing Board as such! First of all, this business has not always been known by this name. Though Nakita has been doing online content management for various businesses and organizations since 2009, she didn’t officially name and launch it until August of 2014. This was done with the intention to expand our services and clientele base. Nakita had worked for the incredible Edmonton-based business, Optimum Health Vitamins and Kolya Naturals Spa and Apothecary for 8 years and it felt like it was time for a change. With the goal of setting out on her own within 6 to 8 months, The Drawing Board was born.

375078_10150782137025568_1715195333_nIn coming up with the name, Nakita and Michele brainstormed together regularly. We wanted it to be something catchy, meaningful and something you always come back to. We wanted it to represent modernity and freshness – exactly what our content would breathe into the life of your business. So what do you always come back to when you need new ideas? You come back to the drawing board!

cousins2We also wanted to emphasize the creative relationships we want to build with clients. The Drawing Board is a dynamic team and we strive to empower your writing ideas by working together to fish them out, solidify your vision and then translate this into impeccable writing. Most of our clients offer us snippets of information, bullet-point notes that they cobble together from various conversations among their staff. Our job is to take these schematic ideas and create writing masterpieces. The Drawing Board is a place where the sketched beginnings of your ideas become a business reality.