What is Content Writing, How to write an effective content, Best Practice in SEO
March 21, 2014
How To Write Fast: 8 Secrets To Better, Quicker Content Creation
March 21, 2014
Knowing how to write fast is not something women entrepreneurs inherently know how to do, and producing high quality content, writing an article or producing blog content can seem to take FOREVER.
In this video I’ll share 8 secrets for how you can learn to write faster and still create the high quality content that will keep your customers coming back for more.
1. Take a look at your internal dialog before you do anything and really look at the story you are telling yourself about the things you want to change.
2. The two questions you need to ask yourself before writing so that you can reverse engineer your content and get your readers the results they are looking for.
3. How you can organize all of your ideas in one place so you can write faster.
4. The importance of keeping things short and sweet.
5. Why you need to stop everything and create an editorial calendar before writing another word.
6. Why trying to complete the entire writing process at one time won’t help you write faster.
7. Work expands to the time allotted…if you want to write faster you need to set a time limit.
8. Be the vessel, not the source. Allow quality content to come through you and take the pressure off yourself by realizing you’re not doing this alone.
Thanks for watching!
6 Content Tips: How To Write When You Have Nothing To Write About
March 21, 2014
When I tell a client/friend/colleague they need to add X pages of interesting content to their site, I typically hear one of three answers:
- 3% of the time: “No problem, I’m on it.”
- 75% of the time: “But I don’t have anything to write about.”
- 22% of the time: “No one wants to hear about my product/service. It’s boring.”
I’ll ignore the obvious replies, like “If it’s so boring, why does anyone buy it?” or “Then why can you talk about your product for 2 hours at a party?” I understand how tough it can be to come up with material. When you spend all your time working in your business, day in and day out, it can start seeming routine, mundane and so second-nature, you can’t imagine what people would want to know.
Here’s a list of a few ways I come up with material, and how I present them to give the most bang for the SEO buck.
1. Q & A / FAQ Sections
My favorite option can seem like a cop-out, but there are potential clients and customers out there with questions. Answering those questions can give you instant content.
Put a simple form on your website and invite folks to send you their questions. Then write a short article/post about each one. You’re not giving away your products or expertise for free! Your customers will still work with you, no matter how detailed you get.
In fact, in my experience, the more detailed you get, the more likely the reader is to hire you, because they realize just how much work they’d have to do. I’ve been blogging and writing articles for over 10 years now. Somehow, folks still hire me.
Get the most SEO value
To get the most value out of Q & A sections:
- Link from your answers to relevant services pages on your site, as well as to other answers.
- Check the phrasing of the question. Make sure the question uses the most common phrasing. If it doesn’t, edit it.
- Occasionally do a Q&A roundup: a single article, post or page on your site that lists all of the questions relevant to one topic.
2. Post Specifications
If you sell products, post your product specs, in HTML format. Link to the specifications from the relevant product page. That way, folks who want more information can drill down.
Get the most SEO value
- Do the specifications in HTML format! It’s tempting to use PDF, which indexes fairly well. But you want total control over title tag, in- and outbound links, etc. You can link to a PDF ‘printable’ version.
- Rewrite any paragraph text. If you’re using the manufacturer’s standard specification sheet, rewrite any detailed text ensure the page is as unique as possible.
3. Transcribe Videos & Podcasts
I’ve written about this before. Send your videos and podcasts off to be transcribed. Then post the transcriptions to your site as articles, or post them on the same page as the video or podcast in question. If you do any internal training sessions of 15 minutes or more, record those and get them transcribed, too. It’s like you’re writing without having to write.
Get the most SEO value
- If you’ve transcribed a video or podcast, be sure to place the transcription on the same page. That could boost the video’s chance to rank in universal search, too.
- Edit the transcriptions for readability. Sometimes the spoken word is riddled with slang and incomplete sentences that work perfectly when you’re speaking live. Tweak the language for a few choice key phrases, too.
- Link like with like. If a transcription relates to a product, link them together. Same with services, Q&A items and specifications. Don’t just throw content up on your site—make use of it.
4. Write About The Funniest Thing That’s Ever Happened In Your Business
Don’t be mean, but write about the silliest, funniest thing you’ve ever encountered in your day-to-day work. I don’t care if you’re a plumber, a purveyor of rubber gloves, a toothpaste manufacturer or a cashier at a grocery store; something funny has happened to you at work.
Example: I worked as a technical writer. What the heck would I write about?
The story: I was once sitting around with my colleagues, joking about what tech writers would’ve done during biblical times. The phone rang, and someone else answered it. She put the person on hold and burst out laughing. “Ian”, she said, laughing so hard she was crying, “It’s someone named Moses.”
And it really was.
It doesn’t always have to be directly relevant.
Get the most SEO value
- Try to tie the event in to your work somehow. In my case, I was at work, so the tie-in is pretty easy. But there’s almost always some relevant moral or lesson you can extract.
5. Write About The Best Thing To Happen In Your Industry
This is an easy one. Pick a recent event (in the last month – up to a year) that you feel has done a lot for your industry. Write that sucker down. Tell people why you think it matters. Solicit their comments.
Get the most… Oh, you get it by now.
- Be sure to contact other pundits in your industry. Get a discussion going. You’ll build links, and you might just learn something at the same time.
I don’t know much about this one (cough, lying… cough, cough). If something infuriates you, write down why, and how to fix it.
The only note I’ll put here: Do not publish right away. Ever. Let your rant sit, safe and sound, for 24 hours. Then reread it. See if you were offensive or downright nasty. If you were, rewrite or start again. Being a schmuck is not an SEO strategy.
The Bad News…It’s Still Work
Writing will always be work. But with practice and a sense of purpose, it gets easier. Hopefully, some of the above ideas will prove helpful. If you have other tips, leave them below in the comments. Or, even better, write your own set of strategies on your own website!
picture is courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A Comprehensive Guide for beginners to Content Writing for Search Engine Optimization
January 17, 2014
Copywriting is an art of writing information for various forms of media. It has evolved through time from its early forms in books, magazines and newspapers, Copywriting has again transcended from its usual form and practices into the new internet era; Copywriting as utilized by the Search Engine Optimization business is also known as Internet Content Writing, Web Content Writing, amongst other terms. The various terms of Copywriting shall be used interchangeably throughout this text.
This article will try to tell you about the basics of copywriting and its advanced application on the SEO aspect. This article aims to provide the beginners in the Search Engine Optimization industry, an in-depth but friendly guide to seo content writing, as well as providing the more advanced copywriters with a guide to remind them of the several tricks they might have forgotten about the craft.
This guide shall be divided into the three parts of the copywriting process: the before, during, and after. This is the first part of the guide dealing with the things a copywriter must do BEFORE writing the copy. Succeeding parts shall be posted separately.
Before doing any writing you should first know the purpose why you’re writing that content. Your purpose should be clear and definite so no equivocation of ideas will exist that might confound your readers. Is the writing for sports? Is it for entertainment? Is it educational? These things should be clear on your mind before you write your copy, so a natural flow will exist as you write.
Another thing to consider is to know whom are you writing for and who are the people you wish to convey the message to? Knowledge of your audience will give you many benefits: people with different cultures only respond to a specific approach you use, technical terms would be very trivial when talking to beginners while spelled out and explained details would be very time consuming for experts. The internet is used by a vast network of people and your target may only comprise a very small minority. It is important that you address your target effectively if you want more conversions (making site visitors into customers) on your web site.
About the resources
Knowing the right information will certainly give you the right results. Knowing what people want and what they are searching for will be one of the keys to make it big in this business. One of the things that can help you acquire this information is through case studies, surveys and polls that can be found all over the internet. Most of these studies provide general demographic information about internet users. If you’re lucky enough (since it is discouraged), you might even stumble with information regarding the searching habits of different demographics.
Once you have decided to use particular information from the internet, make sure that it is from a reliable author or source. Incorrect and inaccurate data proliferates all over the internet and it happens that you may be misled by others to use them, so, see to it that the articles or studies you are about to use are made and conducted by certified educational institutions or known private companies so you will not have any problems about their authenticity.
Another effective source of information from the internet are pages which rank high among search engines especially those that are related to yours. Analyze and learn the effective things they have done to increase their PageRank and apply them to your work. You could also check out the pages of your top competitors, you might learn a lot from them but be careful not to copy their stuff as it is since they will be constantly checking out their competition. Copyright guidelines are finally catching up with those who replicate content, ending blacklisted by major search engines.
SEO forums are also helpful in guiding you about the latest trends in the Search Engine Optimization business. Experts usually crowd in these forums to discuss the tricks and trends of the business. Moreover, new updates and trends about Search Engine Algorithms and Technology can be found on these forums so it is highly advisable that you check out those forums. However, the forums might be a little too complicated for beginners as terms often become too technical to understand even by seasoned users.
About the words
Now let us go down to business! It is time to know what are the keywords and keyphrases you will use for your copy! The key words and phrases would be the ones that you will use and try to integrate throughout the whole copy. It would be the bait you place in the hook in order to attract and hopefully catch your potential customers.
First of all, you and your client should brainstorm together (face to face if possible) about the keywords and keyphrases you want to use for the copy. It is important that you brainstorm together so that you will be able to stay true to the brand and have an effective choice for use in the search engine optimization efforts. You could make use of different keyword tools found in the web such as Keyword Discovery, GoodKeywords, WordTracker, Overture, etc. (issues regarding their usability and effectiveness will be discussed separately). These tools can be downloaded or used directly over the internet should you choose to utilize it.
In choosing keyphrases or keywords remember to start with and use popular but “not-so-competitive” terms since it would be very difficult to compete with more established websites if you have just been starting. The above-mentioned tools will help you determine which key words or phrases you could use.
One word keywords are very difficult if not impossible to compete with as it would have a more general scope compared with keyphrases. For example, if you are trying to write content for a company selling educational toys, choosing a keyword like “toys” would be a stupid idea since search engines would give around one hundred million hits for that particular keyword, while changing it into keyphrase like “toys for students” or “educational toys” would only have hits of around five million. This means that the chance that a web searcher would actually go to your website would be 100,000,000:1 under the keyword “toys” while choosing the keyphrase “educational toys” means a chance of 5,000,000:1, greatly increasing your chance of being visited. Besides, customers are more likely to refine their searches since using or typing just one word searches would mean being bombarded with a lot of unwanted information than they need, costing more time and effort.
Your keywords should specifically target (1) the product or service that you are offering and (2) what people actually type whenever they use the search engines in looking for products and services like yours. A good example would be when writing content for a company selling kilns for bricks, you should not optimize for the keyword “kiln for bricks” if most people actually type “oven for bricks” when they are looking for such equipment. It is useless to optimize for the term kiln when most people opt to type oven since a few if none will be looking for the term kiln.
You should also identify and discover various words and terms which are closely related to your keyword or keyphrases. Some key-terms and keyphrases are so intimately intertwined with others that one group associates it with a particular field while another choose to associate it with something else. One good example would be Cosmetic Surgery. Cosmetic Surgery is a medical procedure, so, it can be regarded as something related with medicine and surgery, while it is also correct to say that it is related with cosmetics and beauty. Since the fields of medicine, surgery, cosmetics and beauty are popular fields, optimizing for both the cosmetic and the surgical aspect of the keyphrase Cosmetic Surgery would bring more keyword hits for searches from individuals of both parts of the spectrum.
Another thing to consider is to integrate local terminologies or equivalents of your products or services when optimizing with key words or phrases. An “elevator” in the US would be a “lift” in the UK, a “truck” in the US would be a “lorry” in the UK, and the list goes on. When trying to sell products or services for a huge demographically different society, you should optimize for both of the groups as each would tend to search for the more familiar local term. Better yet, you could create different sites for different demographic groups, replacing particular key words and phrases; enabling you to cater to both.
Moreover, it would be wise to consider placing regional information or regional key words or phrases. Integrating regional information along with keywords and keyphrases enables users who prefer more specified searches to visit your website. You would also benefit from the limited competition because of the more specified search. Most people looking for products and services in the internet would certainly prefer to find what they need locally, so adding local regional information would definitely be of great help to you and your potential client. Another benefit is that you could add another keyword, which is the regional information to your existing key word or key phrase. For example, instead of having just “plumbing services” add “Atlanta” before ‘plumbing services’. This would give you an edge over competitors as it would profoundly decrease your competition.
About the content
Now that you have the key words and phrases you would need its time to plan about the general thrust of the content, on what the content should be like.
Generally, the main idea of writing content is for it to be able to provide useful information for visitors in your site. You are primarily writing for the readers, the human visitors of your site, and about the products and services that you have to offer. Secondary to that idea is to provide the search engines information so they could properly and accurately index your site according to its proper category, so anyone who wants to look for something in particular, through the use of search engines, would eventually find what he needs. In other words, your content should be both customer-oriented and search engine friendly.
In order to do that, you need to plan properly on how to do your copywriting. The whole text should be able to give them what they need and want to know about the products and services you have. Hence, it is highly advisable that you read a lot of information about the subject product or service before you write the actual copy. The goal is to become extremely knowledgeable about the product, so you can explore all the possibilities and play with its strengths and weaknesses and write everything that is needed.
One important thing to remember is to write content that is unique. Copying content is not only plagiarism and cheating but is also a serious offense that could cause painful penalties under existing Copyright laws. More and more Intellectual Property Rights watch dogs are reporting cases of content stealing and have gained some grounds over the years. Major search engines are now penalizing sites which illegally acquire content from other sources. Penalties include permanently putting sites under a blacklist, sort of a “permanent not to contact sites” for crawlers. Lawsuits and cases about web content writing are now increasing day by day, with more countries enacting laws on Intellectual Property Rights. The risks are just too great if you plagiarize and copy content. So make sure that you quote or place endnotes when you choose to use parts of other’s content.
And lastly, your content should be written in plain, simple, and natural language so as not to destroy the natural flow of words as you write. Highly technical words and terms should be reserved for highly technical discussions, and should be discouraged for everyday internet use.
About the mood
You might be wondering what a section about mood is doing in a seo copywriting article, well, it certainly has a LOT to do about content writing. The mood of the reader would certainly affect the way he views a certain product or service. If you did not properly take care of the emotional side of your customer with your writing, consider him gone. Individual moods are affected by a lot of factors; although primarily it is internal, external factors could also affect his mood significantly and luckily what that individual reads is one of them.
First of all, you should be ‘in the mood’ for writing. Good copies are mostly written by writers who are either inspired or enlightened with what they are about to write. Content writers should make sure that they are in this special mood because the consequence of the opposite would be a very bad copy. A reader is also likely to be ‘drawn’ by an emphatic copy written superbly which would eventually end up making the reader get what you are offering.
One thing you could do to achieve that is to utilize emotional appeal to the reader. Try to integrate personal articles like “you”, “we”, and “us” more often; try to get your visitors as involved as possible. Avoid being too passive as it would prevent you from establishing a connection or a relationship with your target reader.
Keep your readers or customers engaged with your site. Make them think and interact by asking questions, giving riddles or trivia. All these create an air of friendliness for potential customers, and once you’ve made them comfortable reading, they are more likely to respond positively to you. As much as possible make them do all their transactions within your site, give out all the details about what you are offering so that can know everything they need to know. Trying to get online visitors ask questions and product or service information offline will be too cumbersome for them so be as accessible as possible.
Image is courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
12 Most Creative Blogging Content Strategies
October 17, 2013
If you want to keep your blog fresh and fun for readers, it’s essential that you post creative content. Lucky for you, there are all kinds of ways you can generate blog posts that have the creative flair you want — here are 12 strategies to do just that:
1. Giveaways and contests
- Create links to your website (which is excellent for SEO)
- Increase traffic
- Promote social engagement
- Increase brand awareness
2. Infographics and videographics
- Visual appeal (audience is much more likely to be engaged by an infographic than lengthy text)
- Quick information access (graphs allow you to take in facts and statistics faster than you could reading through a document)
- Social media exposure
- Engage your customers and prospects
- Gain insight regarding customer preferences
- Receive feedback from customers about your products and services, receive suggestions for further improvement, or source information for an article
- Cost-effectiveness as a marketing tool for your business
- Increased customer loyalty
- Generation of new forms of revenue
- Audience involvement
- Increased site traffic
- Brand exposure
6. White papers
- Efficient lead generation
- Opportunity to promote newsletter sign-ups
- Greater odds of getting more “likes” on Facebook
7. Free resources
- Expanding your fan base
- Raising brand awareness
- Promoting customer loyalty
- Creating something as simple as a badge boosts fan engagement
8. Series and themes
- Establishing your position as an authority in a specific subject area
- Engaging readers (especially ones with a strong interest in that topic)
- I think they work exceptionally well for 12 Most because readers have an expectation and writers already have a framework
9. Controversial topics
- Boost audience participation (people will want to weigh in with comments expressing their opinions)
- Increased brand exposure — posting about controversial topics is a surefire way to get people talking and raise awareness of your blog. Of course, we run the risk of backlash, but if you’re passionate about a topic it can be a homerun with your readers
10. Futuristic topics
- Promote engagement
- Entice readers to interact, responding with whether they agree or disagree with your prediction
- Optimize for early-bird searches, such as “iPhone 6” or “PS5”
11. Interesting questions
- Promote engagement
- Increase loyalty (finding interesting questions and content on your blog makes it likely that readers will want to keep coming back for more)
- Are generally fun!
12. Podcasts and article audios
- Opportunity to strengthen relationships with current readers
- Flexible options for your audience to take in your blog content (for instance, someone who has a long commute will appreciate being able to listen to your podcast in the car)
10 Surefire Content Ideas That Will Make Your Site A Link Magnet
October 17, 2013
We know that, for your site to get to the top of the search rankings, you’re going to need to attract links – and lots of them.
One of the best ways of attracting links is by creating fantastic content. Which, almost certainly means lots of content, lots of promotion, and lots of ideas. In other words, the three Ps of blogging success.
- Post regularly
- Post great content
- Promote it
But, before you get anywhere near one of those Ps, you’ll want some great ideas that will appeal to your audience – and often that’s no easy feat.
So, to get you started, here are 10 sure-fire content ideas for your blog.
The aim of your marketing is to get customers to know, like and trust you. A great way of doing that is to answer customers’ questions.
Chances are that if one customer asks you a question, many more will have the same query.
You can find questions from your email inbox, with your customer service team, by asking your customers, or by using the question filter in Wordtracker’s Keywords tool.
Writing about your company’s history can be a great way of inspiring employees and a great way of attracting links, too.
… or a really well told story about how your company was founded, and why, will naturally attract attention and links for many months to come.
Story-telling is an innate part of being human. Stories help us organize information, convey emotions and build community.
You can bring your products to life by showing how real people use them – and the benefits they bring.
Case studies also provide social proof that other people are using your products, hence making them an even more attractive commodity to prospects.
Making mistakes is an inevitable part of running a business.
Admitting to your mistakes and poor choices takes honesty and bravery.
By admitting to yours, you’ll appear more accessible, more likeable.
By doing so, you’re subtly demonstrating your experience and expertise.
Even the biggest brands are capable of admitting their misdemeanours, like Forbes for example:
Readers respond well to lists. The structure and easy to follow nature of lists are what appears to make them so popular.
So, if you can create lists that are relevant to your audience, they’re likely to attract traffic and links.
A list of 101 ideas is fantastic.
You could write about 10 easy ways to solve a problem.
Or expose the top 10 myths in your industry.
You could create a list of experts in your field.This can be a great way of introducing yourself to opinion-formers in your industry. Mild flattery rarely causes harm, and links from these authority sites are particularly valuable.
An easy way to do this is to create a useful Circle of experts on Google+ – and share it.
To get you started, you’ll find lots of shared Circles at bit.ly/shared-circles.
Once you’ve introduced yourself, why not conduct an interview?
Nowadays, you can easily record a Skype chat, or, simply email over a list of questions.
Here’s an approach you could take:
● Phone or email the person in question with a polite invitation.
● Explain your website or blog so they can judge whether to grant the interview.
● Briefly explain who your audience is and why you want the interview.
● Once the interview’s live on your site, encourage the interviewee to blog and Tweet about it.
Every year, companies spend thousands of marketing pounds sending their employees to exhibitions, seminars and training courses.
Make the most of your marketing spend by turning an event experience into interesting web copy.
It’s easy to Tweet relevant tips during the event, then at the end of the day, collate the tips into an article.
Promote the article to everyone at the event and I guarantee you’ll get good publicity.
Just like Receptional did with our recent article, 198 tips from BrightonSEO.
It’s important to speak in a language your site’s visitors understand. Yet many industries are beset with jargon that only established experts understand.
Write a jargon-busting article that helps industry newcomers to understand what’s going on.
It’s also a great excuse to use keyword rich phrases in your copy without confusing your audience.
We all love surveys.
Journalists love surveys because they contain original research and an easy story.
Readers love surveys that unveil something new and link builders love surveys because they can be a low-cost way of creating great content.
There are two approaches to surveys. First, you can comment on other peoples’ surveys. This saves you all the work of conducting your own.
Or, if your time and budget allows, conduct your own survey. It needn’t be a huge affair. For example, in this post, link builder Garrett French has surveyed 21 other link builders.
The days when it was possible to release a simple video, see it go viral, and get watched by millions of people, are long gone.
But, videos now play a significant role in online marketing; whether they are product videos, about us videos, FAQs, or news-related.
Almost any of the content we’ve discussed so far could be produced as a video.
And we know that Google loves video content, which means it’s more likely to rank well in the search results.
And as with all your content, it’s worth making time to promote it to people in your industry, so you can attain those all important shares and links. So, the easiest way to do this is to:
● Create and maintain lists of people who might be interested in your content.
● Link to other blogs from your blog. Outbound links can be one of the cheapest forms of marketing. Savvy bloggers track who is linking to them, or at least, where their traffic comes from. So linking out is an easy way to start a relationship.
● Creating outbound links makes your first contact so much easier, if you’re able to say: ‘Hi Mr Blogger, I really liked your recent post on widgets and I mentioned it in a recent post of my own.’ It shows a genuine interest in your community.
● Comment on other blogs. Most of these comments will not provide much direct search engine value, but if your comments are useful, insightful, and relevant they can drive direct traffic. They also help make the other bloggers become aware of you, and they may start reading your blog and/or linking to it.
Too many people think of link building and SEO as an activity that’s separate from their marketing. But that thinking is likely to deliver poor results. All the ideas I’ve mentioned are things you should be doing as part of your marketing – even if you weren’t trying to attract links for SEO purposes.