Archive for writing on the web

The Scariest Blog: No Personality

ZOMBIES The Scariest Blog: No PersonalityWhat’s the scariest blog post you have ever read?  For me it’s a blog or website without any personality.

Storytelling and personalization is the key piece in content marketing as I see it. People are good at writing about what they know. They aren’t as good about expressing who they are and why they do what they do.

If you’re not writing real stories, your content – on your blog, in your newsletter, on your web pages – runs the risk of being boring. You may be excited about what you do as a professional, but your clients will get bored or overwhelmed if you just throw information at them.

What’s your back-story? Read More→

Great Blog Content: What Makes You Mad?

Driven Great Blog Content: What Makes You Mad?If you want to write great blog content, tap into what makes you mad. Or, what makes your readers mad? Either way, we don’t get mad about things we don’t care about.

Great blog content is always about what your readers care so much about it keeps them up at night. It makes them angry. Blood-boiling, foot-stamping, screaming mad! Read More→

How to Make Yourself Blog When You Just Don’t Feel Like Blogging

bigstock boom 400058381 300x216 How to Make Yourself Blog When You Just Dont Feel Like BloggingHere’s a tip for how to make yourself write a blog post when you’re totally uninspired. Use other people’s inspiration to motivate you.

For example, take a look at what you’re reading on the Web right now. If it’s good enough to catch your interest, maybe you can use that spark to create something new for your readers?

Here’s how I went from barely awake blog procrastination to publishing this morning.

You can tell a lot about a person just by reading the titles of the web pages they’ve got open. Right now I’m reading posts on Harvard Business Review:

  1. “How to Make Yourself Work When You Just Don’t Want to”
  2. “The Daily Routines of Geniuses”
  3. “Stop Trying to Control People or Make Them Happy”

And one on Hubspot: “12 Inspirational Writing Tips from History’s Greatest Authors.” Read More→

6 Easy Tips to Be a Better Blog Writer

BlogWriting 300x249 6 Easy Tips to Be a Better Blog WriterHow can you get to be a better, faster blog writer?

Did the job of blogging or writing fall into your lap? Or have you been a professional writer for some time, who’s now transitioned into blogging for yourself or a business?

Bloggers come from all walks of life, that’s one thing that I know for sure.

Whether you’re a professional writer or not, here are some tips on how to be more productive and efficient when it comes to writing. No blogger is safe from the pitfalls of writers’ block or lack of inspiration.

Here are a few ways that you can work on becoming a faster and better blog writer, which will in turn free up your time:

  • Set yourself up for success.  Are you easily distracted? Clear your writing space of anything that might take your mind off of the task at hand. All I need to write is my PC, a notebook, and a pen. I have to keep everything else away if I hope to get anything done.
  • Plan your content before you start. Even if it’s just jotting down a few ideas before you get started, you’ll be happy you planned ahead when it comes time to start writing. Sitting down to a completely blank canvas can be stressful. Try to come up with some ideas about what you’ll write about ahead of time. Read More→

The Biggest Mistake Experts Make When Writing an Ebook

Fire Extinguisher 205x300 The Biggest Mistake Experts Make When Writing an EbookExperts know a lot. Of course they do, any professional who’s been gathering experience for 20, 30, even 40 years has a lot to say. But many experts think they can pour out everything they know into an ebook and readers will want to buy and read it.

I call this the fire-hose writing approach. Give them everything you’ve got and hope that you hit a nerve that resonates.

You could be wrong. Readers don’t really want to know everything about your field of expertise. They mostly just want to fix a problem they’re having.

The biggest mistake experts make when writing an ebook is to focus on what they know instead of on what readers want to learn.

Reader Focused Writing

This is why you must shift your focus when writing an expert ebook from your expertise to how your readers and clients struggle.

For example, when listing a table of contents that takes the reader from A to Z – everything you know about coaching and goal setting – just to pick an example – your ebook contents needs to go directly to the reader, what he/she struggles with, why traditional solutions don’t work, what new solution you offer, and how the reader will benefit.

In other words, smart experts write an ebook following this progression:

  1. Who are you writing this book for, and why (which problems do readers face)?
  2. What common solutions exist and why they don’t always work?
  3. What new ideas and solutions can you share (challenge the status quo)?
  4. How will the reader benefit?
  5. What can readers do today to resolve their frustration?

This is not a new concept, but it can’t be emphasized enough when it comes to writing quality digital content designed to highlight your expertise in an expert ebook. Those ebook writers who start writing with a reader-centered focus will not only have an easier time writing their book, but they will also end up with greater appeal to their audience.

In website design, this is called “user-centered design” process. It’s frequently used in product development and R & D. In brief, it’s a process for creating products and services that work well for the end users. You create your design to help people achieve their goals in ways that will work for them.

As an expert, you should already know your targeted audience well since you’ve been working with them for years. Maybe they’ve changed, and if so, you need to find out what their frustrations are. Find the “sweet spot,” what they most want to discover.

Then help them understand and discover solutions they may not have thought of.

Readers don’t want to know everything you know, they don’t want to become experts. They want to fix what’s wrong and your job is to help them understand how to do that in plain language.

I’m guessing that the biggest problem that experts have in writing about their own field is that, like the spy who gets killed, “they know too much.”

Instead of blasting readers with a fire-hose, target their problem and pain with a small fire-extinguisher. It’s much kinder, don’t you think? Don’t ruin your chances of successfully publishing an expert ebook that helps you get found, get known, and get clients.

(Photo: freedigitalphotos.net)

Start an Expert Ebook with an Outline:
11 Steps

Experts Stuart Miles 300x225 Start an Expert Ebook with an Outline: <br>11 StepsAre you an expert? Then you need to write and publish an expert ebook. Now. Before your field gets flooded with too many on the same topic (if it isn’t already). Trust me on this one.

Just as business blogs caught fire in 2004-2005, expert ebooks are what smart professionals use as a key marketing tool to get found, get known and get clients.

If you’re an expert and want to get found online, there’s no better way than to give visitors to your website or blog a free report that shows your expertise, builds credibility and starts conversations.

An expert ebook is a longer version of that report and can easily be sold on Amazon. Traditional publishing barriers have fallen. All that’s standing between you and published author status is a little time and work. So let’s get busy. Here’s why:

This is one of those opportunities on the rise. Don’t miss being on the early crest of the wave.

  • The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) reported U.S. wholesale ebook sales for January, 2010 were $31.9 million, up 261 percent from the same month a year earlier.

  • Ebooks are now outselling hardcover books at Amazon, selling 180 e-books for every 100 hardcovers. Read More→

6 Easy Tips to Write a Blog Post in 30 Minutes

Blog Writing 300x199 6 Easy Tips to Write a Blog Post in 30 MinutesCan you write a blog post and publish in under an hour? How about 20 minutes? That’s my record. But as anyone who’s ever made love knows, fast isn’t always better. And sometimes it is.

There’s usually too much for small business professionals to handle. If you want to stay on schedule, you’ve got to learn to “just do it!” and do it fast.

Here’s how I research, write, add an image, compose a compelling title, and optimize for SEO and publish a blog post in under an hour. Read More→

Are Infographics Becoming Too Complex?

Infographics by KROMKRATHOGjpg 300x199 Are Infographics Becoming Too Complex?There’s no doubt that infographics are an extremely useful internet marketing tool, and as such, they’re becoming ever more commonplace when trying to gain new blog readers. There’s  no better way to attract new customers than with a clever graphic.

The problem, however, is that we’re seeing more and more that are overly complex, and are simply a waste of time. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, would this infographic be better if it were shorter, simpler, or even as text?

The main advantages of infographics, and the main reason they’re used, is that they can convey information quickly and concisely in an eye-catching way. Boring processes and masses of statistics can be explained quickly through the use of a great image, and people love this.

If you’ve got a great product for instance, you can explain some of its main features in a graphic. It’s much better to get a series of facts from an infographic than a large body of text, but if the infographic itself becomes overly long and complex, the point is lost.

Get Your Point Across Read More→

Educate Your Readers: 4 Learning Styles

6664728 online learning Educate Your Readers: 4 Learning StylesRemember the 4 E’s of Better Business Blogging? It’s my short hand memory checklist before publishing a blog post: Educate, Entertain, Engage & Enrich readers.

You write to educate, entertain, engage and enrich readers when you want to build readerships and get great results with your blogging.

When it comes to educating readers, it’s important to take a page out of teachers’ notebooks. Teachers know that not all people learn the same way.

Most of us teach in the style we’re most familiar with: our own learning styles. If you’re analytical, you’ll teach using data. Your blog readers will understand and learn well if they’re like you.

But not all readers are the same. Take, for example, an active experimenter. They want to know how to do something and need to try it out before they learn something.

I’m probably more of a conceptualizer: I’ve got to sit and think about something a while. It also helps when there are visuals so I can see how it works.

Everyone has a preferred learning style and we also have combinations. Then there’s the right brain and left brain to consider also. If you’re not a savvy psychologist or a teacher, you may be ignoring some of your readers if you’re only writing to those with your own learning style.

What’s a business blogger to do?

Here’s some help:

I’ve taken information off the www.aboutlearning.com site which explains the 4MAT system for understanding four different kinds of learning styles. I’ve tried to simplify it so you can apply it to business blog writing. Read More→

Serial Writing Formula: 1=5+2=7+1

math genius Serial Writing Formula: 1=5+2=7+1I’m no math genius, nor do I even think remotely like that in analytical terms. But once in a while I stumble upon something that makes sense, saves time, and produces exponential results.

I’m talking about serial writing. You take one main concept, break it down into a list of 5 key elements, write an introductory overview, write a concluding summary, and here’s what you get:

  • 1 longer article you can include on your website, ezine, and format into a PDF special report to sell or give away as a bonus.

1 idea = 5 points + intro + summary = 7 articles + 1 PDF report

Here’s why I like to do this:

I know that each week I need to come up with fresh content from my blogs and 2 ezines. That could be a struggle to keep fresh, yet stay focused and on topic. Or, it can get my creative juices flowing if I sit down and look at a concept from the stand point of this formula.

Here’s what I’m talking about. I learned this while I was doing it last week. I decided to try to encapsulate the main ingredients of successful online marketing systems – that was the main concept.

I made a list and came up with 6 key elements (actually only 5; the 6th one was recycling the first 5 steps).

I wrote an overview listing all 6 steps, then posted one point each day on our blogs. After the 7th posting, I wrote an 8th one summarizing the points, and including some additional information about the tools necessary for each step.

Then I edited each blog post to become a stand-alone article for submission to article directories. The goal here is to get these keywords out onto the Web in as many different ways as possible. I also am writing a press release with the 6 steps included.

Then I gathered all 8 articles together and edited them into one stand-alone special report and formatted it into a nice PDF file. This can be used as a free give-away for signing up or registering for something, or can be sold as an ebook.

We can also take the 8 articles and turn them into a series of autoresponder messages and call it a mini-course. This would be used to drive traffic to a landing page for selling a course or ebook or other program.

This week, as I wondered what to write about for my blogs, I remembered how easy it has been the last couple of weeks while completing the online success series.

So this is the start of another series: How to Write a Series of Articles for Marketing. Maybe I can find a catchier title, like Confessions of a Serial Writer…? Stay tuned as I walk my talk and show you how to make your writing life easier by multi-purposing.