Archive for content marketing tips

Blog Writing Tips: How to Become Productive and Prolific at Those Tasks You Hate

Manage Your Time 300x252 Blog Writing Tips: How to Become Productive and Prolific at Those Tasks You Hate How can you develop more productive blog writing habits? When are you going to stick to your content marketing calendar? What’s it going to take?

I know many small business owners who purposely procrastinate on writing and finance tasks they hate. Are you one of these professionals who work better when you have too much to do and not enough time to do it in? Think about it. Read More→

Key Content Marketing Strategy: Answer Readers’ Questions

bigstock What You Need To Know 40622695 300x200 Key Content Marketing Strategy: Answer Readers Questions Does your website answer readers’ questions? This is a key element of a smart content marketing strategy. You must devote a few key content pages to answering readers’ questions about your business products and services.

Otherwise you’re not helping them solve their problems. You won’t keep visitors on your site for long; it will be “click and bye-bye.” Read More→

Content Marketing with Blogs: Online Persuasion

Want to know more about online persuasion and how you can write content that gets results? Here’s a quick one minute video promoting my Content Marketing with Blogs ebook.

The e-book formatting and design was done by my son-in-law, expert graphic designer and creative genius, Scott Krakoff. Tell me what you think…

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, be my guest: Content Marketing with Blogs…

How Content Marketing Works on Pinterest

pinterest 300x242 How Content Marketing Works on PinterestFor a social media site to truly step into the spotlight, it has to have something special. Pinterest is one show-stopping sharing site that has taken the Web world by storm. A study done by Shopify, shows the growth of this site is better than Facebook and Twitter at the same point in their history. So how does your content marketing strategy work for this site?

According to Wikipedia, Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections or ‘like’ photos. Their mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing.

Orders from Pinterest are double those of Facebook and the site is the leader in average dollar amount per order, over sites such as Google, Amazon and Bing. Marketers are trying to find the best ways to leverage their companies and clients on this photo-driven site. So, how do these online marketing professionals incorporate content marketing while on Pinterest?

What to Share

For sure, this new social site is a no-brainer for retail stores and e-Commerce sites. However, if you’re in a B2B business or sell services or have products that might be tricky to show off on an image driven site, what to share as part of your content marketing strategy can be a roadblock. Read More→

Social Media: 3 Things Teenagers Can Teach Business About Getting It Right

SocialMediaLike 300x277 Social Media: 3 Things Teenagers Can Teach Business About Getting It RightIt seems that the younger the employee, the more frequently they use social media. While it is still relatively easy to find baby boomers who have no social media accounts, it’s tough to find a millennial without at least one online profile. Tougher still is finding a teenager who is not connected on Facebook and Twitter.

The difference between teens and their older counterparts on social media platforms is that they use it less to connect, and more as a creative outlet. Most of the friends that teens have through social media are the same ones that they see on a regular basis at school. As a result, social media outlets are used less to connect and more to keep up. (Image: freedigitalphotos.net)

It can be easy to write our youthful “friends” off as irrelevant to our own social media pursuits. The truth is that there is actually a lot to be gleaned from the younger generation. In many ways, they get a lot right when it comes to social media. Here are a few tips savvy social marketers can take away from teens: Read More→

5 Content Marketing Questions:
Get Readers to Take Action

stock photo 17134296 success word 5 Content Marketing Questions: <br> Get Readers to Take ActionWhat will make your web readers take action or not? Content marketing isn’t successful without results. So when writing a blog post or a web page, keep these key questions in mind. You want to inspire readers to pick up the phone, click here, sign up, register, or remember your brand.

Here’s a final note in my blog post series about writing good content on the Web that gets results.

In Maria Velosa’s 2009 edition of Web Copy that Sells, she suggests 5 questions your copy should answer:

  1. What is the problem (pain, predicament)?
  2. Why hasn’t this problem been solved?
  3. What is possible?
  4. What is different now?
  5. What should you do now?

As you answer these questions, you lead readers down a path to take action. Good content on the Web, when it’s well written, should:

  • Educate
  • Entertain
  • Engage readers
  • Enrich lives

If at all possible, you should strive to enrich the lives of your readers as well. Try to make their lives better by showing them how they can save time, energy or money.

Question #4: What is different now? Read More→

5 Content Marketing Questions: #1 What’s the Problem?

problem 5 Content Marketing Questions: #1 Whats the Problem? In a previous post, Writing Web Content that Gets Results: Questions, I reviewed the basic rules of writing web content.

In this post, we’ll explore the 5 content marketing questions that will help you organize and simplify your web page and blog writing by asking 5 important questions:

  1. What is the problem (pain, predicament)?
  2. Why hasn’t this problem been solved?
  3. What is possible?
  4. What is different now?
  5. What should you do now?

As you write your content, you should cover each of the answers. This will keep you on task, and lead your readers through to action. I suppose it depends on what you’re writing, but I can’t think of many web pages, blog posts, newsletter articles where these 5 questions wouldn’t be appropriate.

I’ve been re-reading Maria Velosa’s Web Copy that Sells this week. Her blueprint for creating simple copy that works to market your products and services is clear. There’s a reason it’s organized this way.

Psychologically, we’re hard wired to sit up and pay attention to problems. This is why it’s a good idea to lead off with your headline and first paragraph addressing readers’ pain. Negative emotions are strong enough to wake us up and get us to read the rest of the story.

There are two things you must realize about this seemingly obvious and simple question: Read More→

Edit Your Content: 12 Things NOT to Miss

2692424 old style man reporter sitting at typewriter black and white Edit Your Content: 12 Things NOT to MissHere’s a checklist for editing your blog content before you publish. For any content that is vitally important, i.e. sales content or articles delivered to clients, I use Barbara Feiner, a professional editor. She not only corrects errors, but evaluates for clarity and flow.

But for blog posts and everyday content creation, I put on my editor’s visor, and act like a grumpy newspaper editor with a red pencil. Here’s what I look for:

Language

1.  Common typos like theirs for there‘s, your for you’re, that or which for who, and all those pesky things a spell check won’t pick up.
2.  Grammar goofs: The most common ones are when the verb doesn’t agree with the noun, as in “Here’s my mistakes…”
3.  Review for commas, semi-colons, ellipses and em dashes. The important thing is for it to read well, read clearly. Helps to read it out loud.
4.  Review for paragraph and line spacing, since I like to break up long blocks of text.

Formatting

5.  Review for bolded words and insert subheadings where needed.
6.  Separate a blog post after 2-3 paragraphs so that it goes to the extended post feature (“read more…”
7.  Review for eye-candy: Where would an interesting photo clip add interest to your blog post? I always start a post with a photo, usually from iStockPhoto.com.

Value  

8.  Review for external link opportunities. I always link to a person’s name (to a page on the web where you can learn more about them), to a book, or to a Wikipedia definition when useful. This is really important for building relationships with the people you respect.

9.  Review for internal link opportunities. Surely you’ve already written more than once about something; you should link the keywords to that post on  your own blog or website.

Optimization

10.  Review for keywords. Do you make it easy for search engines to know what this is about? Come on, help the poor little spiders out, they’re not exactly geniuses.
11.  Review your headline for how compelling it is. Does it draw the reader into the post to learn more? Is it keyword-rich?
12.  Description.  If you’re using a Scribe SEO Optimizer (you are, aren’t you?), make sure you’ve created a short description using the All-in-One SEO Plugin (160 characters maximum) containing keywords.  Be sure to check your tags and categories, too.

What else?

You tell me: what other things do you check for before you hit the publish button? Hit the comment link and leave me your ideas.

Blogger’s Block: Writing Tips to Get “Unstuck”

9700656 help1 Bloggers Block: Writing Tips to Get UnstuckWhat do you do when you’re stuck and can’t write on your blog? Here are some blog writing tips. I diagrammed them out.

It’s the rainy season here in Mexico – a great time to do a lot of reading and writing.  At least, that’s what one would think…But…I’m having trouble.  I’m stuck.  I’ve got Blogger’s Block.  (Yes, even experienced bloggers can get stuck from time to time.)

Solution? Start writing about where I’m at, what’s going on here, and then tie it in with something useful and relevant to readers. That’s one blog writing tip that usually bails me out.

Source of problem? I’ve been blogging so much lately for my clients that I’m dried up and stale for my own blog.

So what? I’ll bet some of you have the same blog writing problem or similar. You give your all to your clients, then when it comes time to do your own content marketing you’re as dry as toast without butter.

It’s no wonder the cobbler’s children have no shoes.

What to do? One blog writing tips is to “Just do it,” just start writing and see what comes out. You may surprise yourself. One of my clients tells me he doesn’t write that much anymore. He finds it easier to hook up the Web cam and post a video clip. Hmmm…wait a sec.

HowtoBreakBloggersBlock Bloggers Block: Writing Tips to Get Unstuck

Just by starting to write, I had to trace my thought processes to find what I usually do when I am stuck. This time I diagrammed it out using SmartDraw.trans Bloggers Block: Writing Tips to Get Unstuck

It’s interesting, no? Much easier to show than tell, and you can clearly see my four favorite resources for breaking bloggers’ block.

I will now go walk my talk and come up with some good blog posts.

And if you’re still having trouble, I’ve got more tips in a great little package you can have called Time Saving Tips for Smart Bloggers, audio, transcript, PDF handouts. You can solve your blogging blues with all the tips in this program.

What resources do you use to find ideas? Hit the comment link and share.

How to Start a Blog Serial Writing Project

check boxes How to Start a Blog Serial Writing Project
If you’ve been reading my blogs for any length of time, you know about my problem with writing:  I love to write, and I can write too much.  Anyone with a doctorate suffers from the same disease. Dissertation-itis. Nobody has time to read all those words anymore, especially not online.

Then, at some point in my writing career I got lazy. Or maybe I got smart. I started skipping the long research on a topic and reading up on its history. I just started making a list of main points and then writing out a couple of sentences on each item.

I think I got the idea from Jeff Herring, The Article Guy, who said if you can write a 7 item grocery list, you can write a good article. Now Jeff teaches article writing for people who struggle with writing and have a hard time coming up with stuff.

I fell in love with the “Make a List” writing school. Their theory is anything worth reading can be written in a list of bulleted points.

And now for my real confession:  I’ve taken the list building approach to an extreme. I’ve become a serial writer.

I wish I could say that it’s the cure for writer’s block, or that it’ll turn your work into Internet gold. I will proclaim it to be a rousing success for saving you time and energy whenever you’re faced with writing for your ezine, blog, web pages, press releases, and even white papers.

Here’s how to start a serial writing project (in list form, of course):

  1. Find an idea your readers want to know more about that will benefit them
  2. Make a list of 5 main points
  3. Write an overview of the idea with the 5 points listed and post it on your blog
  4. Each day for the next 5 days write a blog post about each of the 5 points
  5. Write a summary of the 5 points, reviewing them and reminding readers why this is important
  6. Edit each blog post into a stand alone article
  7. Compile the 7 articles into one full article. Read More→