Allow us to introduce you to Chris Godwin. With almost 10 years of writer success with Constant Content under his belt, Chris brings a lot to the table when it comes to skill, talent, and passion. His work at Constant Content includes home-related content such as furniture, décor, home improvement, and more.
Hi Chris—it’s great to have you featured on our writer success stories series. We’ve worked together for a few years now, so I’m excited to get your story out to our audience.
Well, first, thanks for thinking of me! We have definitely worked on some big projects over the years. I had to do a little digging, but my first piece for Constant Content dates back to 2012. We’re coming up on 10 years!
That’s awesome! So what type of content have you been creating for Constant Content all this time?
These days I’m creating content for a few big, publicly traded companies, as well as a variety of smaller clients. Most of my work focuses on design and home-related items, from furniture to dinnerware and everything in-between. I also have a few clients who are more on the building end of that sector or selling products you might need to build a home—everything from flooring materials to hammers and AC units. I won’t name any names, but these are places anyone reading this is likely familiar with.
It makes sense since I do have a design background and have worked on a variety of commercial and residential projects for years. I also sold furniture and worked in trade showrooms when I was really young; both of my parents are interior designers, so I grew up with it.
I also love branching out and writing other content when the client is a good fit. I actually started doing this type of work by writing recipes! Cooking is definitely a passion of mine.
Sounds like you have a lot of variety to choose from! In terms of your “bread-and-butter” assignments, would you say that you write a lot of SEO and product pages for your home-product-related clients?
Yes, my focus is primarily SEO and product pages for my clients. I also craft guides on occasion for clients that focus more on things like choosing or installing flooring, for example.
It’s hard to put an exact number on how much work I do since projects ebb and flow. Obviously, projects with lower word counts — like some product description pages — push those numbers into the stratosphere.
It’s not at all unusual for me to write 3,000 words in a day. During busy times I might be working on 50 substantial pieces per week!
How do you keep yourself motivated to write so much client content? Can you give us a peek into your process so we can see how it leads to writer success?
Oh boy, that’s a tough one. How long do you want to listen to me talk about this?
I definitely need to keep myself organized and create a calendar so I can see what’s coming up. This is really important for me now since some of my bigger clients are placing orders several months out.
My writing process is relatively simple: I sit down and write! I’m not a real early morning person, but I typically try to get down to business as soon as I’m drinking my coffee. On a busy day, I’m writing 20 minutes after I wake up.
If I have a ton of SEO content that’s similar, I may work in pieces. I might write introductions for a few pieces before moving on to other sections. But for long-form content or guides that require a lot of research, that doesn’t work at all.
Really, I feel this out on a daily or even hourly basis. I ask myself, Is this working? Is this efficient? Am I feeling like I’m out of words, or am I really humming along? If something feels stagnant, I’ll try to shift my process, if that’s possible.
I definitely try to break up my days. Writing is relatively intense mental work; it’s hard to sit and write for four hours. So I’ll write in the morning, take a break, have lunch, then come back to it in the afternoon.
I’m also not averse to working at night! I’ve been doing this work for a while now, but even before that, I’ve kind of always been my own boss, so to speak. That means doing the work when it’s most efficient for me. I have no problem coming back to a piece after dinner if I’m feeling stuck or I’m just out of gas earlier in the day.
One way I trick myself when I feel like I’m not crushing it is to physically move around. Sometimes taking my laptop and setting up outside works. Sometimes I’ll go sit on the sofa. I stand at the bar in my kitchen sometimes. Many days, though, I’m just working at my desk.
I don’t like distractions while I’m working. I know writers that like to have music on or listen to the news. Not me. A quiet room with a closed door is what I’m after!
Brilliant! How did you get to know these clients? Did you submit for casting calls or public requests on Constant Content?
When I first started working with CC I applied to casting calls and worked with clients to help them get content through public requests. Now, a lot of my projects are ones that I get through the amazing team at Constant Content. I’m lucky that they trust me. In some cases, I wrote the very first bits of content for these clients when they had initial meetings with Constant Content. I love those projects because along with the client, I get to shape the tone of the work. That’s a writer’s dream, right?
Really, though, I have to go back to the amazing people at CC that have helped me build this fabulous roster of clients. Again, they trust me, and that’s something I think writers just getting started may not think about as much.
Writing, in more ways than one, is about communication. I talk with somebody from CC almost every single day. Some days projects are just lined up and I’m writing, and all I need to do is submit work. Other days, I’m working with the team to finalize orders for clients, schedule new orders, etc.
I also take deadlines very seriously, which I think has helped me earn trust from the internal team at CC and my clients. If I commit to a deadline, I’m going to have it done for you. There are NO exceptions.
That means staying disciplined and on schedule. It also means pushing through with a 10,000-word day if that’s what I’ve committed to, even if I’ve fallen behind schedule.
Do you write for the Constant Content catalogue as well?
I used to, but truthfully, I don’t have any time for spec work anymore. My clients keep me very busy! I will say that a lot of my pieces that went into the catalogue have sold over time—even ones that were created for private clients and seemed way too obscure to sell to a general audience.
It seems like writing for Constant Content is your full-time gig. But I know that you have a bunch of other passion projects on the side. Tell us a bit about that as well.
I’m also a musician, and not surprisingly, much of my music is built around storytelling and song lyrics. Constant Content has provided me with a huge amount of flexibility, particularly with scheduling, to pursue that passion.
I have a record coming out at the end of this year and completed my last record at the very tail end of 2019. I’ve got a lot of other musical projects that are brewing too.
My wife, who is in the arts and is an editor for The Offing, is launching an independent record label and publishing company as well. It’s called Past Due, which has a lot to do with my philosophy on my creative work.
I think it was Charles Bukowski who said—and I’m paraphrasing—that he decided to write because there were things that needed to be said and nobody had said them, at least not the right way. If they existed already, there would be no reason to create them.
The best, most urgent work is truly past due and just waiting to come to light. That’s what writing means to me. So, I’m incredibly busy all the time, but my work with CC really allows me to get everything done—as long as I stay organized, anyway!
An artist and an entrepreneur—I love it! How do you strike that balance?
I have no idea most days! No, of course I’m kidding.
The main thing is that you can’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and work. For me, I might be writing in the morning and starting a recording session in the afternoon. Maybe I’m wrapping up a piece for a client after a mid-day rehearsal across town.
I might have to work on a Saturday morning. It would be disingenuous to say that it’s always easy and that it’s never stressful. But following those passions is not an option for me, so there’s no other way.
Again, the flexibility that CC provides is amazing for me. I have deadlines, but when I do that work is up to me.
You mentioned to me in an early conversation that you are also a cinephile. I’m not sure if you knew this, but I’m also an indie filmmaker—and a big fan of your favorite director Michael Haneke as well. Tell us how cinema inspires you to do what you do.
I think that’s so cool. In an alternative universe, I like to think I would have been good at making films. Of course, I can say that as a person who hasn’t gone through the day-to-day struggle of getting a movie made. I have seen the process of making a record, loading equipment in and out of live venues, etc. So the grass is always greener, right?
Yes, film is a massive inspiration for me. It’s a different language, and one I don’t really speak as a creator, so that could be one reason I’m so drawn to it. It’s still magical.
As far as my favorite movies, I do tend to gravitate to a lot of older stuff, along with some of the more, uh, hard-edged auteurs of today like Michael Haneke, who we already talked about.
Pale Flower, Masahiro Shinoda’s 1964 film, comes to mind right away. It’s also a movie that I don’t think too many people have seen. Dark, dramatic and with an incredible score by Toru Takemitsu.
The 400 Blows, the somewhat disturbing coming-of-age story written and directed by Francois Truffaut, is also a long-time favorite.
I think Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story is the greatest film ever made.
Well, it has been a pleasure working with you all these years, and I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. Before we end this interview, do you have any final words of wisdom to help the Constant Content writers find writer success?
The best advice I could give is to communicate constantly and value deadlines. With my large clients, missing a holiday deadline, for example, could be disastrous.
If you do quality work, being responsive and a genuine pleasure to deal with can help you stand out. Do your work on time every time, and you will become truly valuable to your clients. That means stable, consistent work will come to you instead of you chasing after it.
Thank you so much, Chris! We wish you all the very best!
Interviewer: Rasanga Weerasinghe is a director here at Constant Content. When he is not busy working with clients and writers he finds time to write, and direct films of all genres.