Archive for Writing Great Blog Content

SEO and Content Marketing: A Love Story

Once upon a time, SEO met up with Content Marketing, fell in love, and vowed to never separate, to always work together in harmony.

Anyone who’s been around the ‘Net a while understands a little about optimizing content so that the search engines can index it according to topic and relevance to readers. About ten years ago, someone decided to give a name to the type of marketing that occurs that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers: Content Marketing. How do the two differ and how are they alike?

This week, I invited Jack Dawson of webfia.com. to share his insights on working with SEO and CM together instead of separately.

Where and How They Met

There are many techniques that make up internet marketing, two of which include search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. SEO has been around for quite some time, more than a decade at least, while content marketing has only gained popularity in the last few years. Read More→

How Authentic is Your Blog Writing?… And,
How Do You Write Authentically?

AuthenticAll the data shows that people prefer doing business with authentic brands and authentic professionals. But how authentic is your blog writing? Do you sound authentic? And, how do you write authentically, anyway?

In my last blog post, I shared 5-steps for a good bio/marketing message for an e-newsletter:

  • Tell them who you are and what you can do to help solve their challenges.
  • Let them know what kinds of people you work with, and how long you’ve been helping them.
  • Don’t try to sound too good. People have antennae for hyperbole.
  • Read your bio out loud to see if it sounds authentic.

The problem is that when you try to write authentically, it’s difficult to know what exactly to do. What makes blog writing sound real, sound authentic? Read More→

5 Key Elements for Your “About” Page:
How to Tell Your Story

About-Page-My-StoryWhen’s the last time you updated your bio on your About page on your blog or website?

Smart bloggers know that this is one of the most visited pages: People want to know who’s behind a business. Personalities count. Yet many blogs and sites have a standard resume written in the third person, boring as all get-out.

Certainly client lists are important. But so are you. An About page is an important content marketing opportunity. Tell your story, your real story. If you are the sole author of your blog, write it in the first person. Read More→

2 Sure-Fire Ways to Inspire Your Blog Writing

Business-blog-writingA few years ago I polled readers and asked what their biggest blogging challenge is. Turns out, it’s not lack of time, it’s lack of inspiration. Does your blog writing lack inspiration? Is it hard to get really fired up when starting to write a post?

I get that.  When I was just starting out as a blogger (was that really over 15 years ago?!) I could just feel that screen staring right back at me.  What can a blogger blog about to other bloggers?

Lack of inspiration comes from not being sure you’re doing it right, or doing it well, and lack of confidence that it will be worth it… in other words, fear and doubt.

Fear and doubt go away when you know what you’re doing, and have a system that will allow you to move forward confidently.

Here are two ways you can side-step fear and doubt, and write frequent, consistent quality posts and develop a blogging habit that will grow your abilities over time. Nobody starts out writing well. Yet, everybody’s got a piece of genius within them, so it’s a question of finding it and putting it on paper, quickly, before any demons get in the way. Read More→

The Biggest Mistake Business Bloggers Make (and how to avoid it!)

Oops!The biggest mistake business bloggers make is that they are frequently ego-centric. This isn’t necessarily all bad, it simply doesn’t bring the blogging results that smart professionals expect.

Bloggers are so passionate about their message and their expertise, they preach. They shout. They proclaim. They implore. They explain. They document and support their logic.

But they forget about that old background tune that repeats in the head of all readers: “What’s in it for me?” Bloggers assume that their readers are like them and interested in the same things.

How to Avoid Bad Blogging

If you want good advice, refer to the classics. There’s no better style writing advice than The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B.White. Here are 10 tips that adapt Strunk and White’s advice to blog writing (the first 8 are from Dean Rieck over on Copyblogger and is titled The Ultimate Blogger Writing Guide): Read More→

The ABC’s of Business Blogging:
Create Shareable Content – Don’t Be a Bore

Create Shareable ContentIn the world of business blogging and content marketing, there’s nothing worse than a bore.

I know we’ve all seen bad content marketing – blogs that are irrelevant, outdated, full of incorrect information, typos, rambling rants and silly drivel. But what I find to be the worst is mediocrity. Read More→

The ABC’s of Great Blogging:
Be Original and Offer Insight

Image of young pretty woman changing realityWhen it comes to content marketing and great blogging, insight and originality rules.

According to the authors of Content Rules:

“Produce great stuff, and your customers will come to you. Produce really great stuff, and your customers will share and disseminate your message for you. More than ever before, content is king! Content rules!” ~ Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars and More that Engage Customers and Ignite Your business (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2011).

This works, but it’s a lot of work. If you’re a coach, consultant, or service professional, say a doctor, therapist, lawyer, financial adviser, or health expert, you need to create content that will help your clients. You need to become a trusted resource for insights, and a go-to curator of tips and information to be helpful to people who are interested.

And you need to create strong feelings around your published content so that people will take action and keep coming back. You need them to subscribe, to sign up, to download, to ask you questions and engage with you so they become clients when they are ready. Read More→

4 Ways to Keep People Reading Your Blog

Blog - ChamberThe thing to know about business blogging is that it’s a continual quest to make your blog better. One good post now and again isn’t enough; you’ve got to keep readers coming back.

Most of us don’t blog for the fun of it, we do it because we want readers coming to our website. We want people to actually read the content that we craft because we know it has value to them.

So how do we keep readers interested and coming back to your site over and over? Here are some simple ways to spark readers coming back for more:

Read More→

Simplify Your Blog Writing:
Shortcuts to Publishing a Leadership Blog

mazeHow’s your blog writing going? Snap, crackle and publish? Or are you a little blocked, maybe even constipated?

Do you feel dread and overwhelm when it’s time to post on your blog?

You may offer great solutions and services for your clients, but if you don’t simplify your blog writing tasks and publish frequent, compelling content, you won’t get great content marketing results.

In a blog post last week I shared that the two most common statements I hear about blogging are: Read More→

Blog Goals: 5 Tips to Keep Your Blog
Focused and on Track

Blog-Goals

Is your blog focused and on track? Do you find yourself saying, “I don’t have enough time to blog,” or “I don’t know what to write about?”

Guess what? These two questions are related to the same problem: not enough clarity about blog goals. Here’s how I help my clients solve this problem of clarity:

  1. Define your business Ps & Q – (3Ps + 1Q):
    => What Problem do you solve?
    => Who are the People you serve?
    => What Products and services do you offer?
    => What makes you uniQue??
  2. Create a course outline or a table of contents as if you were writing a book or teaching a class on this problem, i.e., your expertise.
  3. Make a list of keywords, categories and topics you’re qualified to write about and that must be addressed to solve the problems of your readers.
  4. Make an editorial calendar for each day of the week you’re going to be blogging. Make sure you cover all the topics and categories, and that your keywords are repeated frequently in posts and titles (search engine optimization).
  5. Make a weekly blog schedule to include writing the content, sharing it on social sites, researching and commenting on other blogs, and formatting, editing, linking, etc.

Don’t underestimate the time it takes for all the peripheral upkeep of blogging. Maintaining a successful blog takes more time than just writing a post. And it almost always takes longer than the 30 minutes required for writing.

Are you focusing on client needs?

Read More→