Constant Content has gotten an unusually large amount of submissions in the first-person point-of-view. As stated in our guidelines, these are not generally accepted. Why don’t we accept personal accounts or narratives?
1. Customers purchase content on an as-needed basis. There is no opportunity for the author to build a relationship with readers, as would a writer of a weekly column. Therefore, the reader is not invested in the personal life of the author because the author is a stranger; they will not empathize with the writer and may find the emotions/opinions of a stranger to be irrelevant.
2. Our customers look for web content. Web customers or people who search for information on the internet are searching for just that – information. They are less interested in experiences that may be unique to the author and are more interested in information that will be immediately useful to them – how to care for a burn, what to do if their ficus is looking a little brown, how they can lose ten pounds before the wedding next month.
3. Customers want content that will be found by search engines and ranked high so that customers will visit their pages. Pages that are relevant to a wide group of people – that is, articles that address the audience, rather than use introspection – will rank more highly because they will be more likely to get link backs, will more likely be visited by people looking for information, and will more likely be given more credit by those who use internet search tools like Stumbleupon or Digg.
4. Personal narratives have a difficult time balancing information and style with sentimentality and emotion. First-person accounts are often so subjective that the reader will be turned off by shows of emotion (especially if it is negative) because there is no common ground between the reader and the writer. Successful autobiographical authors use objectivity to help others see the world through their eyes and show rather than tell about situations. However, Constant Content is not a good place for narratives – fiction or nonfiction – simply because customers are in the market for the type of content described above.
Please avoid using the first-person point-of-view (either a single time or multiple times) in your articles, except when a requester has specifically asked for personal accounts. For more information, please re-read the blog post about avoiding the first-person point-of-view, republished in its entirety here:
You may have had one or more of your articles rejected for use of the first person point-of-view (POV), and you may be wondering in what cases the “I” voice is unacceptable. I’ll explain.
In most cases, the “I” slips into articles even if the article begins by addressing the reader as “you”.’ When the reader is suddenly hit with the author’s opinion or experience, this is uncomfortable and is known as author intrusion. When a reader has been set up to absorb information directed at them, it can be awkward to suddenly hear the voice of the author. Voice or POV should stay consistent throughout a piece, whether it is first-, second-, or third-person.
However, for web writing, “I” should rarely be used.Constant Content will, of course, accept articles that are submitted for requests that require the inclusion of personal experience, narratives, or anecdotes. For other writing, “I” is hardly ideal. Why? Because readers want to know what is true for them if they are seeking information. The experience of the writer is usually irrelevant, as the writer is only one person. Authors of articles at Constant Content should seek to explain what is generally true in a broad sense. This will not only make your article more useful to readers, but it will make it more useful to the customer who buys it.
Ex. You write an article about poison ivy. However, you happen to be immune to poison ivy’s toxins. Instead of saying, “Poison ivy will make you itch, but I am immune to it”, it would be better to say, “Poison ivy will make most people itch, however, there are a few people who happen to be immune to this plant’s toxins.”
Goals of Articles Submitted to Constant Content
Articles submitted to Constant Content should, above all, offer something to the reader. Personal narratives rarely do this. Most people reading web writing are seeking information. A personal narrative that does not connect to the reader does not offer the reader anything. Articles that fall into this category may be perceived as a waste of the reader’s time. In addition, a reader who does not suspect that the article will provide them what they are looking for after the first few sentences will cease to keep reading.
Even blog authors are straying from the use of the word “I”. Personal blogs are still in the styles of diaries. However, blogs more often offer information that is up-to-date and informative. In this case, the first-person is once again rendered irrelevant.
Credibility and Professionalism
In addition, because writers for Constant Content rarely have connections with the publications in which their work is featured, the “I” can become even more problematic. The reader is not familiar with the writer or the writer’s work. The “I” is a stranger, and the stranger may not be able to be trusted in the reader’s eyes. Removing the “I” from articles submitted to Constant Content will lend more credibility and professionalism to the information.
The reader doesn’t care about the process it takes to write an article. If you give them a step-by-step about what you went through to gather the information you present, they will quickly grow bored and stop reading. Present the result of your research, not the process. Cite credible sources (“The FDA reports . . . ” not “My mother says . . . “) that inspire confidence in the information.