The Importance of Understanding Your Audience

March 29, 2017 in Blogging, Content Marketing

Savvy business owners know how important it is to perform audience analysis periodically. It certainly should be done when a company is starting up, but sometimes, in the rush to “get to market”, it is overlooked until after a company is up and running, to the detriment of sales. The same is true of a blog: understanding your audience is crucial.

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How to Use Your Blog to Build a Connection With Your Audience

March 21, 2017 in Blogging, Content Marketing

Bloggers collect followers by creating a connection between the reader and the writer. It’s that easy, but a word of warning here – many writers have no idea how to do that. This article is about establishing that magical bond.

You may have noticed that many of the websites you visit are rather bland and even generic. They are often either laid out in a visually boring manner or so cluttered with ads that a visitor feels overwhelmed. There is an art to building a blog or website that is inviting, but you don’t have to be an artist or genius to do it. Just follow a few of these suggestions and you should see an immediate improvement.

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10 Tips for Better Business Writing

October 12, 2016 in Writing

The most important thing to realize when attempting to write professionally is that business writing is no different than writing a blog post or drafting a professional email. All types of writing harness the same core skills, whether it is business writing, academic writing, creative writing, or anything else. If you can harness general writing skills while writing to businesses, you will have a good foundation to begin. In order to expand on average skills and direct them specifically towards the business world, here are few simple tips.

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Four Unique Ideas for Blog Post Topics

May 9, 2016 in Blogging, Content Marketing

One of the biggest challenges for bloggers is coming up with topics that will boost their search engine optimization and increase their traffic. Even when one is blogging for a specific niche it can be difficult and more so if it is a popular niche. Part of your content marketing strategy should be a plan on how to develop blog post ideas. Here are a few suggestions that may help.

Conventional Methods

A new approach:
There is nothing wrong with finding a highly popular post that is doing well then expanding upon it. For example, let’s assume you are writing a post on diabetes. This is a popular subject and one that many are blogging about in the health industry. Your goal is to come up with an idea of how you can take this subject and turn it into something unique. You may be able to write a post about how a senior has dealt with diabetes for many years of their life and how it is now affecting their senior lifestyle.

What does your blogging audience want?
Part of your content marketing strategy should be to encourage interaction with your viewers. You can do this with social content marketing as well as enticing readers to leave comments on your blog post. Read these carefully because most often you will find that the commenters are expressing an additional want or need.

For example, maybe you did a post on dog coats. Then a viewer leaves a comment that says they wish they could find a dog coat that would grow with the dog. Here is your golden opportunity to write a post on growing dog coats. It would mean that you would have to do some research on this topic but there are many dog coats that are adjustable or you could find some how to on making dog coats.

Unconventional Ideas

Be a blogging investigator
All too often with such easy access to the internet bloggers limit themselves to this resource. They have forgotten that there is a whole world just outside their door that is loaded with exciting information that could be blogged about.

If you have a specific niche that you are writing about then try going to the source of that niche. For example, if your niche happens to be about blogging for shoes then no better place to head off to than your local shoe stores. You don’t have to buy but you could put your observation skills to work for you.

Perhaps you will observe a Mom trying to buy shoes for the little one who isn’t cooperating. Or maybe there is a “bride to be” picking out those special shoes. Then if the store is slow maybe you could interview one of the sales staff. There is no doubt that a half hour at this one location is going to give you many interesting titles and topics to write about.

Mixing business and social
No doubt after a full day of blogging and focusing on your content marketing, at the end of the day you want to forget about it. However, in your line of work it is very similar as to that of a news reporter. You can never pass up a good story. This means that you should always remain alert in your social setting to anything that may occur that would make for a good post.

For example, you may be out to dinner with a friend and she spills a glass of wine on her attire. This one event is going to give you some multiple ideas for blogging about. You could write about her reaction, the reaction of other patrons in the vicinity, how it altered the plans for the rest of the night, and the list goes on.

As a blogger you have a lot to think about to make your blogging a success. You have to be constantly vigilant about your content marketing strategies as well as search engine optimization, with both of these leading to increased traffic volume. This all comes down to exciting and unique value rich blog posts.

Five Simple Ways to Fix Your Website Content

May 4, 2016 in Blogging, Content Marketing

Five Powerful but Simple Ways to Fix your Blogging Website Content

Most bloggers will eventually check out what their competition is doing. They often will see segments of the competitors website that impresses them and they will incorporate this as part of their content marketing strategy. What can end up happening is the blog site now becomes disjointed and it looks like it has been pieced together. It can create a lot of flaws, and it can have a negative effect on your search engine optimization. Here are some tips to help you do an honest review of your blogging site and quickly fix the issues.

Getting rid of the fluff:

Starting with your home page as soon as you load your site what do you see? Take a good hard look at this and if there is anything that is there that does not have some value to you as a viewer then consider getting rid of it.

Now you need to scroll down below the fold and use the same scrutiny. It could be that you have multiple ads for the same thing. Perhaps you have several banners all offering the same content just in different forms. Everything you see on your home page is taking up valuable space, but is it offering value?

Much of what you may be getting rid of is duplicate content, and the extra bonus by eliminating it is that it may help your site’s load speed. Blogging sites often contain advertisements which can be a great money maker but this is where you need to focus on the banner ads.

Make your site skim friendly:

The majority of us are skimmers meaning that any content that first comes into view we will quickly skim over it to see if we want to devote more time to reading it in its entirety. In order for you to make your content skim friendly you need to focus on a few things. One of these is using headlines and paragraphs with sub headlines.

The next step is making sure that these headlines and sub headlines are not glaring in color or flashing, but the words are powerful and explain exactly what the content following it is going to deliver.

Proof Reading:

Now that you have only the valuable content the next step is to proof read all of it. When you are copywriting it is difficult to proof your own work. If you compiled your own site content no doubt you proofed it at the time that you loaded it. Now that it has been up awhile you will be viewing it with fresh eyes as you scrutinize it.

Proofing of course includes the checking of the content for spelling and grammar but it also should consist of a lot more, which includes more steps. Here is a proof check list that you can follow, but each step should be done one at a time. Your proofing efforts will fail if you try and implement several steps during one proofing. Having a good proof reading strategy enhances your search engine optimization and improves your content marketing.

  1. spelling errors
  2. grammar errors
  3. the flow of the content
  4. the layout
  5. the value of the content itself
  6. accuracy in quotes and citations

Navigation:

One of the biggest frustrations for many viewers is complex navigation. The more steps that your viewer has to go through to find the information that they want the more likely they are to leave your site. Make sure that every piece of content on your site is easy to find with as few steps as possible. Good navigation should be part of every content marketing planning.

Big, Bold and Beautiful Within Reason:

Headers, sliders, and pop outs all have an important function on your website, and many bloggers are incorporating them, but they can detract from your copywriting. The success with these is to keep them within reason and strategically placed. A slider that is whipping through a series of images loaded with text soon becomes a source of frustration for your site visitor.

These are simple errors that can be really costly for your blogging site. You put a lot of effort into your copywriting and you don’t want these types of blogging site flaws to detract from this, but they are easily fixed with a little effort.

Five Blog Post Styles That Will Drive More Traffic

May 2, 2016 in Blogging

Almost every business on the web now has no choice but to consider adding a blog as part of their content marketing strategy, and this includes both ecommerce and corporate sites. At one time for ecommerce sites it was enough to have product descriptions to bring traffic but this is no longer the case. Blog posts can be used to both bring traffic to the site and push it to the products if they contain the right call to actions.
Not only does your business have to strongly consider adding a blog, you also have to make the decisions as to the style of blog posts that are going to serve you well. Here are five of the most common types and all of which can be very effective if done properly.

1. How-to and Tutorials

If you are selling products then this type of blog post may be an excellent choice. Even though your product descriptions describe your product and there are instructions on the labels, users really like to see visually how it is used.

What your blog post should consist of:

You want to make sure that it each step is clearly outlined and the procedure is as simple as possible. Adding images along with each step really provides some great visuals.

What your blog should not do:

It should not portray the product as being difficult to use. Each step should be as short as possible. If there are a lot of steps, don’t number them, but instead letter each step. Too many numbers makes the product look complex.

This type of content marketing is going to boost your search engine optimization, and it addresses a problem that your reader has and gives them a solution.

2. Content Marketing Story Telling:

This is a personal story blog and it really gives you a chance to personalize your brand. It is a way to share information that focuses around an incident or event.

What your story blog should consist of:

It should be emotional and unique, but keeping it simple and something that the reader will want to share.

What it should not do:

It should not evoke negative emotions in the reader or come across as a hard luck story in order to entice viewers to buy or follow through with an action out of sympathy.

Story telling should become part of your content marketing portfolio, because it is the type of blog post that viewers can relate to, and everybody remembers a good story.
3. List Blogging

One of the most important things that viewers of content marketing material want is they want to find the most informative information in the shortest amount of time, and list blogging meets these needs. Also, while all blogging should enhance SEO, list blogging is probably one of the better ones to help boost your search engine optimization. This is because it is easier to incorporate the keywords without it looking like keyword stuffing.

List blogging do’s:

Remember that you are creating a list so don’t make each point too long. If it is a short list then you can expand on them a little more. Make sure that there is plenty of white space as long lists that are crammed together can be difficult to read.

List blogging don’ts:

Keep the font simple and don’t bold or highlight too many of the points. Don’t repeat your points on your list just to make it look longer.

4. Product Review Blogging

This can be a very powerful form of blogging if you are selling products or services, but also one that may be a little more difficult to do properly. It is a great opportunity for you to showcase your items, but it has to be done very carefully in order to be credible.

What your blog should do:

Your product review blog should contain good detail about all the important aspects of your product or service. It must be an honest review. If there are pros and cons make sure you list them both. Just make sure the pros outweigh the cons.

What your blog should not do:

It should not make false claims and should not lean heavily on the negatives of comparison products or services. If you do this then you are drawing the attention to your competitor and not to the positive aspects of what you product offers.

You have the choice here of doing a single product review of what you are offering or you could do a comparison product review.

5. Resource Blogging

Resource blogging is a great form of content marketing if there are a lot of authority sites that you can use for your resource information. It is also the kind of blog post that is easier to compile because parts of it are curated. This type of post is often used for those that are also focusing on search engine optimization.

Resource blogging do’s:

Do make sure that you chose high quality authority resources and those who will be recognized. Make sure that they are relevant to the niche that you are blogging about. Make sure you give attribution back to the resource.

Resource blogging don’ts:

Do not curate large portions of the material that you are resourcing. Only use enough to make your blog post one that is informative and possesses quality.

Using curation for your content marketing is not cheating or stealing provided you give the credit to the resources that you are quoting.

When first starting out with your blog content marketing you will probably want to choose one of these styles that appeals to you the most. Do give some thought however to using a good selection of them as every viewer is different. Be sure to analyze the traffic you are getting, paying attention to the blog post styles that is drawing the most traffic. Your final outcome with blog post content marketing should be enhanced search engine optimization and increased traffic.

Keeping Your Website Updated

March 24, 2016 in Strategy

Posting regular content to your website is a big deal for your business, but you cannot keep up a great website without a plan for updating your content. You have many pages to deal with on your site, and you need to make sure that each of the pages on the site is an easy place for you to write content. The pages all have their own content guidelines, and the pages need to stick to those guidelines so that you will not confuse all the people who are reading them. Your customers will not have a choice but to read the information you put on your site, and the only thing you can do is make sure that you have put the right information on the right pages.

Do You Have A Blog?

The content marketing strategy for your site might or might not require a blog. Some companies keep blogs because it is an easy way to connect with customers, and blog content marketing makes life much simpler if you want to have one place where you connect with customers in an informal manner. You can do this in a lot of other ways, but the best way is probably with the blog. You can continue if your blog content marketing is effective, or you can move on if you want to try a new content marketing strategy.

How Else Will You Connect With Customers?

FAQs are a great way for you to connect with customers because you can keep editing the FAQs you already have. You can start with your own FAQs, and you can keep adding to them as you improve your customer service. Your customers are going to ask you questions, and you should listen to them when start asking questions that are not on the list. Make an invitation at the end of the page that allows customers to contact you for further clarification. This is a great form of content marketing because it is totally interactive. The customers do not get an answer until they ask, but it helps you improve your site.

Understand Who Your Customer Is

You want to talk to your customers in a way that works for them. You need to use language that they will be comfortable with, and you should not talk over their heads if that is not something they are used to. Talking to customers in technical language is alright if you work with people who use technical language, but it is a waste of your time if you are talking to people who are not interested in the technical language you plan to use.

Every company that has a blog or some kind of content marketing needs to make sure that it is using its website correctly. Every website can hand out a lot of information to its customers, and you need to send over as much information as you can think of. Give your customers what they are looking for, and make sure that you have written everything in a way that is easy for them to read. Invite them to give you feedback, and use that feedback to improve what your site already says. This is the only way to market with content correctly.

Four Elements of a Good Content Strategy

March 23, 2016 in Strategy

A strategy for content marketing is one of the most important parts of your overall business plan. You cannot go forward without a good content strategy, and you cannot expect your business to succeed if you avoid this simple matter. Think for a second about what you want, and then get to work with people who will help you with a good content strategy that works for your business.

Do Not Copy Someone Else

You can be inspired by another company, but you should not try to copy what they are doing. What others companies are doing should be a starting point for you when you work on your content marketing, and people around the world will notice when you copy someone else. The copying is obvious, and it makes your business look like you have no original ideas. In the digital age, it is very easy for you to be branded as unoriginal.

Create The Content You Want To Read

You should not try a plan that involves content you would never read. If you feel weird when you are writing or reading the content, it is not the right content. You are trying to attract an audience that will be your patrons for a long time, and they can all tell when you are writing or using something that sounds fake or forced. Customers will vote with their wallets by not coming back, and potential customers will just not show up at all.

Ask For Help From A Marketing Company

Your personal writing might not be enough to make your content marketing make sense. You can write all day in a style that you would put on your blog, but blog writing and a content marketer’s writing are completely different. You are trying to be as informative as possible, but you do not want to cross over from professional to personal. You are riding a very fine line between the two, and a marketer will help keep you in line when you ask for their help.

Update Your Writing Often

You cannot write one piece of content hoping that it will last forever. The content has to be updated as often as possible, and your customers will take notice when you are updating what you know. Your customers have access to endless resources, and there is no reason for you to assume that your customers cannot figure things out on their own. Give your customers as much new information as you can find, and make sure that you are happy with the updated content.

Ask For A Complete Marketing Plan

Asking a marketer for a plan will give you something to follow now and in the future. You cannot find any new customers if you do not have a plan because your content will look disjointed and strange. A plan is something you can follow so that you are always on track with your marketing, and you will give your customers the impression that you have planned for the marketing the right way.

The marketing plan for your business must be based on content that gives your customers real information. You cannot make your business more popular unless you are using a plan that was created by a professional, and you need to make sure that you are comfortable with the content you have created. Create something that you want to read, and make sure that you are happy with what goes up on your site. Your customers are counting on you to give them the information that they need, and you can create that content today with help from a marketer.

Three Simple Ways to Create Better Content

March 22, 2016 in Content Marketing

Content is critical for any website and every site on the web that has information should always try to present it in the best way possible. Trying to put forward the best type of content for a website can be a difficult thing to do. The following information is designed to help a person to generate the best blog content for any site on the internet.

Make the Content Relevant to the Site and the Reader

When a person creates a website they first must plan out the scheme and features of the site. Next, they have to make the content on the site relevant to the site and its target audience. A lot of site creators have irrelevant or meaningless data on their sites. These type of web pages are often confusing and misleading and usually causes people to turn away from them. Developers should use an online marketing strategy to make their content relevant and meaningful to their viewers. This is especially true when they are making blog content creation.

When a site creator manufactures content for their site; they should take the time to ensure that is high quality information. High quality content should be used to as a part of a developer’s online marketing strategy to pull in more viewers. The following tips will explain how this can be accomplished:

• Write information that relates to the topic of the site.

• Make sure the information is recent.

• Their message should also be presented in a fresh and new way.

A good example of high quality content sites includes those used by government and educational websites. These type of sites only produce relevant content that people can use. They would be misleading consumers or discrediting their organization if the produced any other type. People that make websites should make their pages with high quality blog content creation without compromising the style or flow of the site.

Content should Speak Directly to People

When a website connects directly with its audience people have a tendency to remember the information. Developers can create meaningful content by crafting their information to connect with their audience’s emotions or it can appeal to a reader’s values or logic. Here are simple things that a person can do to help their content to connect with audiences:

• Think about what viewers need from your site and stay focused on that point.

• Give them some information within your content that they can practically use to help solve their problems.

• Write content so that it will connect with a reader’s feelings and emotions. Yes, content that appeals to a person’s emotions and ego will usually be remembered.

A good example of content that is able to connect with audiences are websites for entertainers, musicians and movies. These sites typically features information and media about stars that touches directly with fans and viewers. This method should definitely be used as a part of a developer’s online marketing plan. People can usually remember these sites for a very long time.

A Site’s Content should be Concise and Direct

One of the worse things that a website can do is to create content that bores or overwhelms people with too much information. A good website will keep their message short, concise and direct. It will give out enough information to help people to get a general understanding. Here are some ways that developers can use this tool:

• Only write the most essential information pertaining to a subject.

• Make sure the information is useful to the reader.

• Say what you need to in the shortest way possible.

• Cut out any extra material that is not needed. So you must edit, edit and edit again to achieve this.

The bottom line is that people usually do not have a lot of time to read through a bunch of unnecessary content. Site creators should be able to say what they mean in a small of amount of time and with few words.

What Is A Content Strategy?

March 20, 2016 in Strategy

A content strategy for your business is something that guides how you talk to customers. You will need to share that strategy with your employees, and you need to use it as often as you can to help your customers learn about your products and services. A content strategy deals specifically with you how share information with the people that depend on your business, and your customers expect you to share information with them to make wise decisions.

How Do You Share Information?

Every business can have a blog on their website, and the business can have knowledgeable people working who can give loads of information to customers in a short period of time. Working with customers requires you to give them so much information that they can consider every little detail, and you need to write for your customers just the way you walk to them.

What Format Should You Use?

A blog allows you to make sure that you are talking to people in a simple format that they can share and comment on. Opening a blog is an easy way to engage customers that they will read because you are not writing in professional language. Plus, you have as many people who work for your company writing on the blog as you want. You could go so far as to give all your biggest employees a blog, and that will offer a lot of information to all your customers.

How Do You Write The Pages Of Your Site?

The pages of your website need to look a little more professional, but you still need to offer the information that your company says it can offer. You do not want to hide anything from your customers, but you want to write the pages of the site in a different way than the blog or other parts of the site that you are managing. You need to be sure that you have planned to get the site looking the way that makes you feel comfortable, and you need to check with a marketing company who knows what the industry standards are.

How Do Your Customers Interact With Employees?

The employees who work for your company have to talk to customers every day, and you want to make sure that you strategy makes its way to the mouths of your employees. The employees that you work with every day need to talk to your customers the way you write for them online, and you should make sure that you can get the employees to talk to the customers in the right way. Having a strategy that goes across your whole company is going to make your life easier in the long run, and it is going to make it much easier to work with customers, and you need to ask if you have the right options for your customers to learn about your products. Staying true to the strategy is going to be easy once you have come up with a strategy that you are happy with.

The best thing you can do for your business is to come up with a strategy that works for you, and you need to work with a marketing company that is prepared to truly help you. There are a lot of companies that do not have a strategy, and they confuse their customers with information that is not dispensed very well. Your strategy is going to change the way that you are talking to your customers, and you will be able to use that strategy online or in person with all your customers.