Archive for Writing for the Web – Page 2

Business Blog Writing: Must You Write It Yourself?

Content-Matters-Blog-Writing-TipsDo you do all your own blog writing? If you’re a lawyer, financial adviser, doctor or consultant, should you write your own blog? Or can you outsource it to writers and guest bloggers? One of the main reasons to have a blog and publish frequently is because it helps you get found, get known, and get clients. Yet professional service providers are often pressed for time.

Visitors to your blog want to know more about you, your expertise, your talents and focus. They expect to read what you write to get familiar with you before they call or consider hiring you. This means you will need one or two hours each time you write a fresh post. And a good blog has fresh content at a minimum once or twice a week. How can you ensure you’ve got the time for blog writing so that you build up quality readership?

The solutions: The systems I’ve found to work best with the clients I serve involves a combination of learning to write quick posts, getting contributions from qualified guest authors, and using an appropriate content subscription service. I’ll explain each. Read More→

Blog Content: 4 Ways to Make Your Blog Unique

Weird-Blog-ContentWant to make your blog stand out? Try finding unusual facts and weird blog content. Give your blog a unique look and feel by publishing unusual blog content. With such an abundance of content available on the Internet, how can you make your blog unique?

By providing information that is uncommon enough to intrigue a visitor. Where can you find this unusual blog content?

1. InfographicsInfographics are a popular trend when supplying facts. Normally, they are based on real information and designed in a way to give it visual appeal. Proper developers of these factual images cite their sources which you are able to verify yourself. Be wary of false imagery, however. Anyone can build a so-called infographic without using true information. It’s always better to research the source for these facts in order to remove doubt and prevent damaging your reputation. Read More→

Small Business Content Marketing: When to Hire A Freelance Writer?

Content-Matters-Blog-Writing-TipsWhen should you hire a freelance writer for your blog or website? Most small businesses don’t realize how much writing goes into publishing (and updating) a website or blog. Yet the content on your website or blog is the key component of your content marketing strategy.

In order to get the online results you deserve (leads: phones calls, emails, sales!) your web content should be well-written and SEO optimized — as well-thought out as anything else you do to market yourself and your small business.

So who writes the web content? That’s a good question. For small businesses, it’s often the owner or an employee who takes charge of producing and updating the website and blog content. And that can often be a poor decision. If your content is written by someone who’s not a professional freelance writer and isn’t trained to effectively write for the web, it’s usually fairly obvious. Read More→

Content Marketing Writers: How’s Your Cognitive Fitness?

brain-freedigitalphotos.netWhat’s the most important thing you can do to improve your skills as a writer, blogger, or content marketer? I’m not sure there’s any one right answer, but my vote goes to working on your cognitive fitness.

That’s a term we’re going to be hearing a lot about. I first read about it in Harvard Business Review in a 2007 article called Cognitive Fitness by Roderick Gilkey and Clint Kilts.

Originally coined by Michael Merzenich, cognitive fitness refers to the capacity of a person to meet the intellectual demands of life. It is evident in an ability to:

  • Assimilate information
  • Apply rules of logic
  • Comprehend relationships
  • Detect patterns
  • Identify emotions
  • Create new perspectives
  • Develop reasonable conclusions and plans

If that’s not a job description for the professional content marketing writer, what is?

Brain Coaching for Writers Read More→

Better Content Marketing:
Words and Numbers Matter

Content-MattersAs a psychologist, I’m fascinated by how our brains work. When writing online content, I try to apply neuroscience to understanding why some copy outperforms others. When writing for business, i.e. content marketing, you want to get the words right, so that  your web pages, blogs and e-newsletters get results for your business.

Words matter. Content matters. Sometimes it boils down to just one word or set of words that can make the difference between a customer who reads or one who clicks away. For example, which do you think has more impact:

  1. The surgery has a 95% survival rate
  2. One out of 20 patients die from the procedure

If you are like most people, you would find the second statement far more worrisome even though the odds are the same. Even in today’s marketing world, where we are inundated with images and sounds, words still matter a great deal.

There is a subtle but important difference between “10 percent” and “1 out of every 10.” Roger Dooley cites examples in his book Brainfluence: Read More→

5 Reasons to Hire a Content Marketing Writer for Your Business

Content Marketing-Hire-Writer-for-your-businessContent is king.Bill Gates said it, so it must be true.

Gates uttered this one-liner way back in 1996, but the flurry of updates to Google search algorithms during 2012 has ensured that his words still resonate.

Most businesses (be they blog owners, start-ups, or established brands) now know that if they want a competitive advantage, they have to keep information-hungry customers in a ready supply of fresh, relevant, and interesting content. Depending on the type of the business, content might also be expected to be awe-inspiring. No pressure, of course.

One of the biggest problems with content is finding someone to write it. Even if you’re a great writer, or have people on staff who are, it takes time and skill to craft an article, blog or newsletter appropriate for both your audience of potential customers and the search engines.

Could the answer be to outsource the writing to a freelancer?

Let’s consider the benefits of doing so: Read More→

My Business Website: Content for Customers… or SEO?

Should my business website focus on keywords and getting search engine results? Or quality content for customers?

Perhaps a more important question is “How do I make the most of each of my web pages so that my business and I get found, get known, and get clients?”

The challenge:

You want to make sure that your business website is fresh, attractive and informative. People visiting your website want to see something that piques their curiosity in you and your products and services.

Or put another way, you want to satisfy readers who ask: “What are you going to do for me that will… (Fill in the blank).”

Always keep that ideal customer in mind when crafting your message. The content must be relevant, new and, of course, SEO “friendly.” This last requirement can seem the most daunting, especially for non-technical professionals who are less familiar with websites and online content marketing.

The “SEO Friendly” site:

For good SEO results, each page needs to be both keyword-rich and current. That means pages are updated frequently with good (relevant) content that is keyword-rich and unique, and appeals to what customers seek. You need to make your keywords obvious.

Do not use a template or basic page format and tweak the content. Search engines will not know which page to rank for what keywords. Similarly formatted content can easily be classified as duplicate content and you risk being penalized or ignored by the search engines. Read More→

Guest Blogging: How to Write a Compelling Email Offer

Too busy to keep up with posting on your business blog?

A very smart tactic for small business professionals is to invite guest bloggers. Let’s face it, publishing frequently is time consuming. Guest blogging is wise but only if done appropriately. It can cause more work if guest writers are not selected prudently.

Lately I’ve been getting one or two emails a week from aspiring freelance bloggers asking to submit guest posts. Some of the emails are well-written and I’ve said ‘yes.’ But many aren’t writing a compelling offer in their emails. And some are committing writer suicide by proposing samples and topics unsuitable for my audience (“Abraham-Lincoln-Vampire-Hunter-Slays“?!).

One invitation stands out far above the others and I’ll share it with you here. The email is very effective and can be copied by any small business professional as an outreach offer. I’ll even spell it out for you as a template. Read More→

Social Media for Busy Business Bloggers

With the onslaught of social media in the last 10 years, the ever constant question is, what can it do for my business and my business blog?

First, why should you bother with social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) if you’re in business? It’s the numbers. If you want customers, you need to go where they are online. Let’s be clear:

  • Social networking now accounts for 22% of all time spent online in the US.
  • Twitter processed more than one billion tweets in December 2009 and averages almost 40 million tweets per day.
  • Over 25% of U.S. internet page views occurred at one of the top social networking sites in December 2009, up from 13.8% a year before.
  • The number of social media users age 65 and older grew 100 percent throughout 2010, so that one in four people in that age group are now part of a social networking site.
  • As of June 2011 Facebook has 750 Million users.
  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
  • Social Media has overtaken pornography as the No. 1 activity on the web. Read More→

Using a Business Blog:
Are You Hard to Find on the Web?

Have you ever tried to find yourself on the Web? No, I don’t mean by searching for your name or the name of your business – that would be too easy. Try searching for a solution to the kind of problems your business solves, using keyword phrases your typical client might use. (Image:

Search for your business the way new prospects would search for you, without knowing your name.

When you do, you’ll know that it’s difficult to be found on the World Wide Web, because there are a lot of people and companies doing what you do. Okay, maybe not as brilliantly, and granted, maybe they have bigger marketing budgets than you, but the thing is, those search engine robots don’t care who’s big or small or even who is a qualified professional doing great things.

That’s right, search engines like Google and Yahoo only care about words and links. I know, cold and cruel, nasty little algorithms, but that’s life on the Internet. A business blog is the most common publishing platform that smart professionals use to get found on the web.

So what do the others (not-so-smart) do? Some people have found success by using expensive web site designs and hiring Search Engine Optimization experts, but there’s only so much Google juice they can get out of a site. You still need content and lots of it.

What’s needed in the online search world is a lot of content, using keywords, published frequently and attracting inbound links from other people and connections. This is why a business blog is what successful people use to get found, get known, and get clients.

I don’t want to confuse you, so let’s cut to the chase: what’s needed is for you to publish 2-3 times a week on a business blog, writing about the problems you solve for people. Oh, and it helps a lot to have some video. …And to update social media sites about what you’re blogging about. Read More→