What’s the one thing you need to do to master a new skill?
Practice, of course!
This is as true with learning to play tennis as it is mastering content writing: the more you practice, the better you get.
Today, content writing is a critical talent, and mastering it can help you stand out in the crowded online world.
Sound hard? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you might think. Just follow these seven simple tips, and you’ll be on the top of your content writing game in no time at all.
How to Improve Your Content Writing: Why Creating Great Online Content Matters So Much
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for all of 2016 (and maybe the decade before that, as well), you’ve probably interacted with some form of online content.
Whether it was a blog, a webpage, a social media post, or even a product description, online content has touched your life in one way or another.
This industry is nowhere near dying. In fact, it’s the opposite.
Today, online content is one of the primary sources that humans use to communicate with one another.
Think about it!
Regardless of what you do for work or fun, chances are that you interact with some form of digital content every day. Do you read blogs? Do you surf the web? Do you shop online? If so, you’re interacting with online content!
According to Adweek:
- The average person interacts with 285 pieces of content every single day.
- This rounds out to 54,000 words (the length of a novel) and 1,000 different links – consumed daily.
- A whopping 63% of that content is written, while 37% is media content.
If that doesn’t put the importance of online content in perspective, I’m not sure what will!
Due to the rise of digital content, and the level of importance that consumers now place on it, learning how to improve your content writing is one of the smartest things you can do.
How to Improve Your Content Writing in 7 Steps
Regardless of whether you’re a marketer, blogger, small business owner, or just an online enthusiast, improving your content writing is one of the best ways to succeed in the digital world.
Here are seven tips to help you head into 2017 strong:
1. Up your image game
For most people, “adding an image” to a blog means plugging in a stock photo for the featured picture.
This is not enough.
Today, images make all the difference in a person’s willingness to read your content. In fact, HubSpot reports that content that includes a relevant image gets a massive 94% more views than content that is only text.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to add images to your posts. Today, there are dozens of free and high-quality stock image sites you can take advantage of. You can also hire out custom images, or create your own on a site like Canva.
No matter what you do, make sure any images you include in your posts are high-quality – there should be no blurring or odd proportions – and relevant.
2. Dig deeper than average to verify facts and statistics
It’s easy to fill your writing with general statements. It’s much harder, however, to go to the source and find relevant, solid statistics to back up your claims. This is one simple way to beef up your online writing.
Today, it’s easier than ever to find quality statistics for any industry you’re involved in. A simple Google search with the word “statistic” at the end will reveal thousands, if not millions, of hits. Before you go plugging them into your content, however, you need to know how to determine what is a high-quality source and what’s not.
One fantastic, 100% trustworthy tool for determining this is Alexa.
Alexa is an Amazon subsidiary that allows users to access traffic and rank estimates based on mass browsing behavior. Alexa’s ranks are updated daily and the tool offers a quick view of sites that are high-quality and sites that are low-quality – the lower the site ranking number, the better it’s doing online.
To use Alexa, just head to Alexa.com/siteinfo, and type in your target URL. If it ranks over 100,000, it’s a high-quality link that you can include in your content.
Save this handy-dandy visual guide:
3. Add an infographic
Right now, infographics are shared and liked on social media three times as often as any other type of content out there.
For an example of how an infographic can be used in a piece of online content check, out our recent post “Five Tips for Creating Irresistibly Tasty Holiday Content for Your Readers.”
This piece features the five tips as copy and designed into a fun infographic, hand-drawn and custom created in Adobe InDesign by our lead designer.
While we could have just written the tips out, HubSpot’s statistics show that people play close attention to information-carrying images.
Never created an infographic before? It might be best to leave it to a pro.
We offer full-service infographic creation! Visit Infographics in the Content Shop.
Like any image, the infographics you use in your content must always be high-quality, relevant, and professional.
4. Publish a case study
A case study is one piece of content that announces “I have arrived!”
Here’s why: case studies are not something that every content writer produces. They take time, they take expertise, and they take real, demonstrable success that your clients are willing to let you share.
Because of this, they are an incredibly powerful type of online content that can serve to enhance your reputation and help you land more customers.
If you’re interested in publishing a case study, you’ll have to set a time frame and start paying close attention to your results. If you have a specific job or interaction with the client that you believe would be fodder for a case study, reach out to the client and ask for permission to share the details.
Once you’ve done that, hire a professional case study writer to help you get started.
5. Write more often
Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling author, is commonly quoted as having said that it takes 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to become an expert at something. If that’s true, the more you write, the better at it you’ll be.
While there are dozens of technical or professional ways to improve your online copywriting, one of the best things that you can do to get better is simply to write more.
The more you write, the more honed your skills will be, and the more efficient you’ll be at spotting mistakes.
In addition to making you a better writer, writing more often can also help you become more visible online, since it will naturally increase your social shares and enhance your network of readers.
6. Use a headline analyzer to test your titles
One of the simplest and most overlooked tools for writers is the headline analyzer. There are several different models out there, many of which are free.
Designed to test a headline for its concentration of emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and power words, a headline analyzer takes your headline, evaluates it, and lets you know what you need to improve.
If you’re just learning to craft a great headline, a headline analyzer is a fantastic way to catch common mistakes and pivot your writing style accordingly.
Even for writers who are already professionals, a headline analyzer is a fantastic way to improve your online content and learn how to be a better writer across the board.
7. Find out which topics your readers want
Doing some research into trending topics in your industry is another fantastic way to immediately improve your online writing. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to locate trending content in your industry.
If you’d prefer to take it to the “streets,” head to a website like Quora or Reddit to figure out what your audience is talking about and what their questions are.
While most people assume that the topics they come up with are the ones their audience wants to read, the audience is the best resource for figuring out what you should be writing about.
With that in mind go to the places your audience hangs out. See what they are talking about. Once you’ve done that, bring it back to your blog. This is a sure-fire recipe for becoming appealing and compelling online.
Learning to Improve Your Content Writing Just got Easy
There are tons of cheap tips for learning to improve writing on the web.
At the end of the day, however, improving your online copywriting comes down to wanting to do it.
Here at Express Writers, we’re passionate about helping you improve your online writing. With the help of these seven tips, you can become a better online writer, learn more about the digital world around you, and grow your skills in 2017, and beyond!
Still need a bit of help managing your online copy writing needs? Contact Express Writers today to learn more about our team of experienced writers and purchase your content package now.
If you missed this week’s #ContentWritingChat, there’s no need to worry. I have you covered with a recap of some of the best tweets from the chat. Our topic was Strategies for Rising Above the Noise With Your Content with a wonderful guest host, Carrie Morgan. If you want to learn how to create better content that stands out, keep on reading!
#ContentWritingChat February 23 2016 Recap: Strategies for Rising Above the Noise With Your Content
Our guest host this week was Carrie Morgan. Carrie is a published author of the book endorsed by people like Jay Baer, Ann Handley, and Jay Baer, Above the Noise: Creating Trust, Value & Reputation Online Using Basic Digital PR. She’s also a Digital Public Relations Consultant and you can find out more about her via her website, Rock the Status Quo. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @morgancarrie.
As Carrie pointed out, knowing your audience is very important. You need to know who you’re writing for in order to create great content they’ll love. Nicholas agreed, but he also brought up user experience. Your website should provide a good experience for each visitor.
If you want people to notice your content, make sure you’re optimizing your posts for search engines and sharing regularly on social media, as Carrie suggested. When you take the time to optimize your posts, you’ll rank higher in search results, increasing the likelihood your target market finds your content. You don’t have to be an SEO expert, but you should at least know the basics.
A great reminder from Netvantage Marketing: Be original! To truly stand out online, you need to be yourself and put your own spin on things.
Don’t be afraid to just ask your audience what they’re interested in and what they need help with. They hold the answers to your questions. All you have to do is ask! You can create a survey for readers to complete or figure out where they spend time online and engage them. Kristen suggested spending time in forums and reading blog comments.
Build trust with your audience through your content. Share authentic content that provides value to your audience, as Yanique pointed out. Make sure you’re also engaging them, as our CEO, Julia, said. Starting a conversation and building relationships with your target market is essential to building a level of trust.
Stand out from your competitors by consistently providing high-quality content to your audience. Carrie says you should constantly work to improve your writing skills. The more you write, the better you get!
As Nicholas mentioned, visuals are another way you can stand out from your competition. Create eye-catching graphics your audience will love to help your blog posts and social media updates get attention.
To become an authority figure in your niche, you need to provide your audience with the content they’re looking for. Use BuzzSumo and Quora to find topics to write about. This is something we do often here at Express Writers! When you become an authority in your niche, people are going to come to you for your thoughts. And as Michael said, you can’t be afraid to share your opinion.
Make sure you get your content out there. Kathleen suggested utilizing PR and link building as ways to reach beyond your own niche.
A great answer from Village Print & Media: Create content that is relatable, relevant, inspiring, problem solving, and conversational. Your audience will love it! Ema suggested creating eBooks, webinars, and more that your audience will love and give it away for free. Everyone loves free content, but make sure they’re high-value!
And be sure to keep Kristen’s tip in mind the next time you’re writing content. Ask yourself if you would take the time to read or watch what you’ve creating. If the answer is no, there is a good chance your audience won’t either.
Carrie brings up a great point about brand consistency. Utilize your brand colors, fonts, etc. when creating images for your blog posts and social media. It helps your audience to easily recognize your graphics! If you really want to stand out with your graphics, ditch the typical stock images. So many of them have been overused so you want to find images that aren’t everywhere and find ways to make them your own.
We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Be sure to join us on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 at 10 AM CST!
The cornerstone of great online content is great SEO.
And yet, without content there is no SEO. It’s an interesting complex.
Without great SEO content, no website can rank well, can’t be found by users, and can’t go viral on the web.
With this in mind, it’s clear that writers who want to develop their online brand and improve the functionality of their online content are essential, as well as their skill sets.
To help you achieve great SEO content, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite SEO writing tips to help you succeed. Read on to learn more.
10 Smart SEO Writing Tips for Better Content
Great content is the sum of its parts, and one of its most important parts is SEO. Unfortunately, many writers simply don’t understand how to take the (few) tenants of SEO and apply them to online copywriting.
Fortunately, those who want to learn can simply take the following SEO writing tips and plug them into their online content for better results, starting today:
1. Keep all of your content high-quality
Today’s publishers are under an intense amount of pressure. People want more content than ever before, and they want it faster than it’s often possible to produce it.
Because of this, many publishers and marketers weaken and start publishing low-quality content just to have published something. Unfortunately, this is the wrong way to go. While it may seem like low-quality content can be optimized just the same, it’s important to remember that great SEO goes much deeper than technical mumbo-jumbo.
While you may be able to use the same keyword phrase in low-quality content as you do high-quality content, its effect on your readers won’t be the same, and you’ll likely sacrifice some relevance and value as a result.
Keep in mind that, in the world of SEO, all good things begin with quality content. Without a quality piece of content to optimize, your SEO efforts won’t pack the punch they should, and your content risks falling flat on its face.
By insisting on publishing only high-quality content, you can help ensure that your readers will find value in your material and that all of the SEO work you do down the road serves to enhance an already powerful piece.
2. Keep your topic relevant to your audience
No matter what you’re writing, don’t lose sight of your audience.
Some writers have a tendency to drift off to unrelated topics in hopes of being engaging and unique to a wide assortment of readers, but this misses the mark entirely.
Instead of leaping from one point to the next, ensure that your content features a cohesive structure and that it’s all designed with your target audience in mind. Focus on what you’re writing and keep who you’re writing to in mind.
Unless your content has a well-defined target audience, it never really stands a chance of ranking well, and the likelihood that it will go viral in a particular segment or group is small. Make it simple.
With this in mind, do your homework. Research your target audience and find unique ways to speak to them in your online copy. Make it fun. People will know good quality writing when they see it, and they’ll know you’re talking to them when you take proactive steps to do so.
3. Experiment with formulas for your headlines
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in the world of SEO it might sound more like this: “Imitation is the fastest path to success.”
You know that sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy are famous for their click-bait headlines, and, if you’re like most readers, you’ve probably clicked a few yourself.
As it stands today, one of the most critical components of any piece of content is its headline. In addition to providing an SEO boost by featuring relevant long-tail keywords, a headline also has a dramatic impact on click-through-rate, which, in turn, has a significant impact on SEO.
With this in mind, it’s clear that you cannot afford to let your headlines slack. Because of this, you may want to try headline formulas and see where they get you.
While nobody is advocating that you steal your competition’s headlines, or borrow excessively from successful companies, taking note of what they do and applying it to your business is an excellent way to boost your headline success and influence your click-through rates in a positive way.
In light of this, get to work testing out negative headlines, lists, headlines that reference your audience, and those that inspire curiosity. When you find one that works well, play with variations of it. In addition to boosting your SEO, this will also make you a better writer.
4. Avoid overstuffing your content with keywords
Keep your eye on how many times you use your target keyword. While keyword density obsessions have slackened in the last several years, keywords still need to feel natural, and if they don’t, you’re liable to get penalized by Google.
A good rule of thumb is to stick to in a keyword for every 50 or 100 words of content. More than that, and it will sound redundant. Less than that, and your content won’t actually be optimized for the keyword.
Wherever you use your target keyword, keep it simple and to the point. Users will pick up on awkward keyword inclusion faster than you can say “hot potato,” and they’re willing to abandon your content because of it.
5. Break your content up into headers and subheaders
In addition to making your content easier for users to read, breaking it into headers and subheaders also helps your content look more appealing, and it can have some distinct SEO benefits, as well.
One of the best guidelines for this practice comes from WordPress’s powerful Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin, which evaluates on-page content for SEO and readability, generally recommends that there be no more than 300 words between headers or subheaders. This keeps content readable and skimmable for users.
6. Update your content on a regular basis
Updating your content can mean a few things. In some cases, it may simply mean publishing new content on a regular basis. In other settings, though, it can mean going back into older posts and updating them for relevance and accuracy today.
This is a critical tactic for anyone who publishes a lot of content and can help ensure that your content ranks well and continues to provide value to readers.
If you think about it, all content needs an update now and then. Either because statistics within it have changed or because a few simple switches can make it more relevant to a modern audience. By updating your content often, you can help ensure that you steer clear of unneeded SEO penalties while continuing to provide value and relevance to readers.
7. Meta descriptions are there for a reason
Meta descriptions are short pieces of content designed to help inform readers and search engines about your article. They are usually 160 characters or less in length and should contain your keywords.
While many writers either don’t create meta descriptions, or just copy and paste their descriptions from one piece of content to the next, creating unique, relevant, and well-written meta descriptions for all of your content can go a long way toward making it more valuable.
8. Make use of writing tools
Writing tools (like the aforementioned Yoast SEO plugin) can go a long way toward improving your online copywriting and helping you achieve better SEO.
In addition to Yoast, there are also spelling and grammar checkers like Grammarly, plagiarism checkers like Copyscape, and dozens (if not hundreds) of keyword research tools and topic analysis tools in between. (We’re building a tool that will have a deeper search than Copyscape for original content checking–Copyfind!)
While these tools may seem unneeded, they can go a long way toward improving your content and boosting your chances of ranking well in Google’s SERPs.
9. Keep your content original, always
This applies to your voice and your material.
While your voice should be unique to your brand, your content should be original, as well. All of it. This means no copying or borrowing from other sites, even your own.
While many writers believe that duplicate content isn’t an issue that could ever affect them, a Search Engine Land study reports that a whopping 29% of sites have a problem with duplicate content. With this in mind, run your content through a plagiarism checker (like Grammarly or Copyscape) before you publish it and be sure that your alt. descriptions and meta information are always unique and original.
10. Spice your content up with visuals
Visuals can help enhance the interest and relevance of your content, which can make it more useful for readers. With this in mind, grab an in-depth screenshot or a quality stock photo to illustrate your content’s key points and provide context.
SEO Writing Tips for the Modern Writer
While SEO best practices change like the weather, these ten SEO writing tips are here to stay and can help you craft quality online content your readers (and search engines) will love!
Do you need skilled SEO copywriters to help your content rank well online? Visit our Content Shop to find the perfect copywriters for your online project!
Creating content that converts is something every single website and business owner wants. You want people to come to your site, read your content, and click links to buy services or products. However, you might find it difficult to create content that converts your visitors into leads. I want to share some excellent ways that you can ensure you get great content that will convert your readers into clients, as well as keeping them for the long-term. Let’s take a look at the various aspects of content and specific points within each that can help you craft expert content that helps to generate leads.
Blogging is an important aspect of any online campaign because it can bring in visitors and convert them quickly. You need to make sure you add a blog to your website to help generate engagement with your client base, as well as creating something that directs people to the rest of your site. You can do a number of things with a blog, and I am going to look at some of the elements you need to consider when blogging.
1. Use WordPress Only for Blogging. WordPress is a great blogging tool that can help you get some powerful results. There are many reasons why I think this is the best to use for your blogging needs. Some of the reasons are that it is SEO friendly, you can have a great blog design, and WordPress has been around long enough to be a trusted blogging resource. I would suggest using WordPress only for your blogging purposes, but you can use it for your static website, as well. They have a great selection of SEO plugins that help you get the most out of your blog, and so much more. Take a look at their blog platform to see just how easy it is to use and which aspects will benefit your business’s site.
2. Optimize Every Single Post. When you use WordPress, make sure that you optimize every post. WordPress makes it easy for blogs to be optimized to their fullest potential, and you need to take advantage of that. In order to get great optimization, do keyword research and use your low competition keywords in your posts. Make sure you optimize any and every image you use and select a good link name to use for the blog. How can you optimize every single aspect of a blog post with WordPress? I am going to look at that in my next point.
3. Use SEO Plugins On WordPress. As I mentioned earlier, one of the best parts of WordPress is the ability to use SEO plugins to optimize your blog further. There are several great plugins out there, but you need to choose the ones that will benefit you the most. WP Beginner highlights some of the latest SEO plugins you can use such as WordPress SEO by Yoast, SEMRush, and Google Keyword Planner. Take a look at the others listed to find some that can help your blog! You can also choose other plugins that aren’t specifically for SEO; just choose wisely and only choose the ones that will help your site and blog.
4. Use Big, Awesome, Colorful Adjectives in Your Headers. Your headlines and headers are crucial to convincing people to click and read through your blogs. When you create headlines or headers, make sure that you use amazing adjectives that capture attention. As you can see, I used a few in this header, illustrating how powerful, excellent adjectives can make a header. If you are trying to come up with great headlines or headers, you can follow a few suggestions of some of the hottest headlines out there to get started.
5. Use Action Words in Your Headers. Action words in headers are just as important as colorful adjectives because they convince readers to do something as they read. You can use action words in all of your headers, or you can wait until you create your call to action. Whichever way you choose, just keep in mind that you need to convince people to do something more than just reading your post. You can also do a mix of action words in a few headers throughout your blog and at the end for your call to action, which can be quite powerful.
6. Do a Controversial Blog Every Now and Then. Get your readers to sign up for something or go to a page by sharing a similar hatred or anger for something. Humanity is interesting and weird, isn’t it? We tend to do more when we connect with something, and many times that can be something we all feel strongly about and stand against. For example, how many people were willing to do whatever it took to stop the process of major corporations being able to take over the Internet? Several people and it was something that made all Internet users quite angry. When something like Net Neutrality comes up, you can use that as a way to write a blog and get people to act, no matter what the item is. You can also utilize trends like #WheresNatasha or other trends that have people angry or upset about something.
7. Do an Occasional Blog that Revolves Around Humor. Along with focusing on a controversy, focusing on humor is another way to get people to open up their wallets and buy your product. People love to laugh, and if you can make them laugh they will be more willing to buy items or services from you. Always make sure you are following some basic guidelines for using humor in your blog to ensure you have an impactful piece. A few things to remember are to be respectful, know your audience, and stay true to your specific brand. Once you incorporate humor, you will start to see many of your visitors starting to turn into leads.
8. Write Fun, Exciting Blogs On Seasonal Topics. When you sit down to plan out your content strategy, make sure that you look at holidays, the seasons, and any other seasonal items. Why? Because seasonal content can provide you with great inspiration for more blog posts. You don’t just have to stick with writing the typical Christmas or Thanksgiving posts, but can write on something like seasonal fails (burnt food, terrible presents, and more) or family or friend memories. Try to write your seasonal content with a fun, fresh voice without coming across sales-like to make the posts even more powerful.
9. Post a Recap Blog from an Event (and Add Photos!). Did you just have a fun event for your business? Then post a recap blog and add photos! This gives a great “behind the scenes” look at your business while giving people something to connect with. Your clients are more likely to feel a relationship with you and your business if you include them in things like your events, even if it wasn’t for clients. Your blog provides you with the unique chance to do this, and you can even use it to promote future events for your clients.
10. Use Customer Questions for Blog Inspiration. If you are looking for great blog content that can help promote a relationship and convert visitors, then utilize customer questions for blog posts. This is a great way to answer common questions while maintaining and building relationships with your clients. You can even host a monthly event where people submit their questions and you answer a handful every week, providing people with the information they want to see.
11. Write News Pieces on Your Blog. A great way to create content that converts is to start writing news pieces along with your other content. This helps you craft timely pieces that focus on trends within your industry, and offers value to your readers. You can easily find news topics in your industry by finding and following industry leaders who will post about similar topics and ideas. Always make sure you do your research and give excellent citations when creating news pieces to help make it trustworthy and set you apart as an expert in your field.
12. Do Not Hesitate to Get a Copyeditor. Every writer, no matter how skilled, needs a copyeditor. Copyeditors can read over your written material to make sure there aren’t any grammatical or spelling errors, that your pieces flow well, and that they make sense. Chances are if you simply write a blog piece and post it without editing, you are posting something with errors. We all make errors when writing, and it is hard to spot every single one with your own eye. A copyeditor can spot that, and he or she will help make your blog or web content top quality. This will help make readers trust your business more, and it will definitely make Google happy.
II. Social Media
The next aspect of content marketing is that of social media. It is just as important as your blog because it helps you connect individually with clients. It also opens up a new engagement method and gives you a great way to promote the blogs you’ve been writing. Let’s look at different aspects of social media that you should keep in mind when aiming to convert with your content.
13. Be on Facebook and Write For Facebook. Facebook is still a great social media channel to be part of, regardless of what you might be hearing. It can help convert many visitors into leads, and helps you stay in contact with your clients. With its constant evolving and improving, Facebook provides you with many great chances to reach out to your audience. Just how can you use Facebook for the best? There are many great tips out there and a few are:
- Always share links on Facebook, especially if you are linking to your website or blog. Facebook’s design for links helps to showcase images, giving people visual content with a link to click on.
- Create a post that is powerful in just a few characters. While you don’t have the limitation you do on Twitter, people have a higher likelihood of reading your Facebook post if it is short and to the point.
- It’s good to post your Facebook content during non-peak times, giving your post a chance to be seen and not lost in a sea of other posts.
- Have a consistent sharing strategy and plan for Facebook, and all of your social media channels.
- Use hashtags on Facebook to reach more people. Many people don’t realize that Facebook hashtags do actually work, and hashtags are no longer just limited to Twitter.
- When you create Facebook content, make sure you know your audience through research. Once you do, you can use Facebook’s targeting capabilities to select the various people who you want your ads and posts to reach. Vertical Response’s blog gives a great look at just how to do this to improve your Facebook posts.
14. Be on Twitter and Write for Twitter. Twitter is a great social channel and is one of the busiest channels right now. There are millions of people worldwide tweeting about their favorite shows, movies, and world events, and they could be your audience. You need to get on the social channel and begin writing and using Twitter to help leverage your business. If you want to see just how powerful Twitter has been and will be, take a look at Buffer’s excellent article.
One of the first things to realize is that Twitter focuses on what is known as micro-blogging, which means that their channel only allows for short tweets (140 characters maximum). Prepare to write content that is short and to the point. If you’re already doing this with Facebook, you shouldn’t have much trouble with Twitter. Forbes has a great list of other things to keep in mind when writing for Twitter such as:
- Engage with your audience when they respond to your Twitter posts.
- Keep your posts focused on one main goal.
- Utilize humor and/or images in your Tweets.
- Make sure that your profile is complete with profile image, bio, website link, and cover image.
15. Should You be on Instagram? Instagram is a great social channel, but it can be tricky to know if you should or shouldn’t be on it. There are a few things to consider such as whether or not you utilize visual marketing, if your clients are on the channel, or if your competitors are on it. Sit down to get familiar with Instagram and look to see if your business can benefit from it. You might be surprised just how much it might. If you get on the channel, make sure to use it to benefit your company by utilizing hashtags, knowing the age demographic you are trying to reach, and understanding how to use Instagram for Business.
16. What Other Social Media Channels Should You Use? Outside of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there are several other excellent social media channels to use. You need to make sure it is something that your company can truly benefit from before getting on it, however. A few of the top channels are:
- Google Plus. Google makes sure to make this a vital aspect if you want to rank on the SERP. It’s a given to get this for SEO purposes.
- Pinterest. Do you do a lot of visual marketing? Do you share a lot of photos and DIY tips? Then this channel might just be what your company needs.
- LinkedIn. This channel is great for business-to-business models as many professional utilize this channel. You most likely won’t be able to reach out to the general public here, but it can really help you network within your industry as well as help your B2B model.
- YouTube. This is another great visual marketing social channel. If you make videos, then this is the place to share them!
17. No Matter the Channel, Always Engage With Clients. Social media requires that you be social, which means that if you aren’t engaging with your clients, it will fall flat. Sometimes it can be hard to get engagement, but once you get it you need to make sure you are engaging back. When someone re-tweets you, thank him or her. If someone comments on a post or responds to a tweet, respond back. This will help foster a relationship with your followers and clients, and make them more likely to continue engaging. When you engage, you are also boosting your chances of converting your followers into customers.
18. Change Up Your Blog Headlines When You Post to Social Media. Creating the perfect headline for your blog is important when you want to draw in readers. However, it is also important for you to change it up when you share on social media. You want to share your blog a few times throughout the month, which means that you shouldn’t be posting the exact same title. A great way to mix it up is to come up with a few different variations and use those all on social media. This can help bring in more readers, and catch the attention of different people.
19. Figure Out the Best Times to Post for Your Business. Learning when to post to social media for your business, and what to post when, can really help when it comes to converting and generating leads. There are many different studies out there, such as NewsCred’s, which talks about some of the best times to post your content. While this can be a helpful starting point, you need to make sure to try different times to see what works best for your business. Don’t hesitate to try out new things and new times to find the best choice for you.
Advertising is still a major part of converting people into leads for your business. There are many newer methods of advertising such as social media, but the tried and true methods are just as handy. What are some of the different aspects of advertising that you should consider for your business? Read on further to see some answers that are sure to help you grow your business and create content that converts.
20. Should You Have Ads and Brochures in the Digital Age? Ads and brochures were something that many businesses utilized a few years ago to help promote their business or services. Many people wonder if they are still useful now in 2015; they can be excellent for your business still. In the digital age, you can now create brochures that are available online for your viewers to download and look at, and if you have a physical location, you can print out paper ones. However, if you don’t want to waste paper for a brochure at your physical shop, you could use QR codes and other digital methods to share brochures with people when they come in.
21. Should You Utilize Television Advertisements? It might seem like TV ads are a thing of the past when it comes to digital and Internet ads. However, it is still a great idea for many businesses. How so? Well, Google Fiber is slowly taking over America as a new form of cable TV, allowing faster access instead of using traditional cable or satellite. Google Fiber is starting to change the game when it comes to ads, by basing what viewers see on their TVs off of their viewing history, much like digital ads now. Consider getting an ad spot or two to benefit your company, especially in areas where Google Fiber is being used.
22. Create Downloadable Incentives. People love to get free things, which means offering your visitors downloadable incentives for signing up for emails or purchasing products is a great idea. Downloadable incentives can be things like free eBooks, Whitepapers, services, or whatever else you would like to give to clients. This can make them feel appreciated when they sign up for your email list or when they purchase something, giving them instant gratification.
23. Social Media Ads are Still Powerful Tools. Social media is a great place for advertising because it is, usually, free. Throughout the years, people have written about why you should focus on organic social media results, but the reality is that organic is falling away. Organic results are still very possible, so don’t worry about that, but in order to have more of an impact on social media, you need to utilize paid ads. This will help broaden your reach and can bring in new readers and customers quickly and easily.
24. Are Press Releases Still a Viable Option? While it might seem like press releases are a thing of the past, that isn’t the case just yet. They are still viable options when it comes to advertising. When you create a press release now, you always need to be sure that it is something that can, and will be, published as its own article. You will also want to make sure that you make the press release available for your Internet audience through a blog or a downloadable PDF, as this is where many people will see it.
25. Never Forget About the Power of Email Marketing. Like press releases, people often wonder if email marketing is still important to advertising. Email is still vital, and it is something you need to dedicate a decent portion of your advertising budget for. According to Forbes, when you dedicate some of your budget to email marketing, you will see an increase in lead generation, be able to connect email campaigns with your current content campaign, and measure results easily. Don’t neglect email when it comes to creating content that converts; this might just be the thing that generates more leads for your business.
IV. Visual Content
In this section, I am going to look at visual content and how it can benefit your business. Many people don’t know if visual content is for their company, but it really can help convert visitors into leads quickly. It also makes things easier to share on social media and helps people who want to consume short content to do so.
26. Create Short, Succulent Content for Infographics. Infographics are excellent for visual content and can help your customers and readers consume more content quickly. They are also easily shared on social media. When you create an infographic, you should always make sure that the content is short and incredibly interesting to help drive engagement and shares. Many people who consume infographics as a form of content are looking for shorter, easier to read content.
This infographic from Quick Sprout is an excellent example of what an infographic should look like.
27. Create Videos or Podcasts from Your Content. Other great forms of visual content are videos and podcasts. These are great for people who are commuting on trains or when someone is taking a lunch break during the workday. In fact, depending on the individual’s job, a podcast might be something they listen to throughout their workday. Because of this, it is important to create videos and/or podcasts for your business. Any business can leverage a great campaign through these content mediums; just take a look at Accenture’s YouTube channel.
28. Utilize Images on Social Media and in Blogs. Visual content isn’t just for your blogs and website but is also an important aspect of social media. Images on social media will bring in more viewers as people connect better with images than with words. This is especially true now that our society is so visual. In addition to connecting better with images, people on social media are also more likely to share a post that utilizes images or video on the channel. I’m not referring to videos or images that are on your blog or site, but to images and video that you upload directly to Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels. Start using some visual content on social media to see just how many clicks and shares you get.
29. Create a Video Web Series for Your Content. As I mentioned, video content is great to help convert visitors into buyers, and a great idea is to create a web series based off of your content. You can tell stories or adapt your content into a series that people find enjoyable. A great example of a web series adapting content is the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, which is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. While you might not be retelling a classic story, a web series that follows some sort of story with your content can help connect with your audience and build relationships with them.
30. Encourage User-Generated Visual Content. Another excellent way to get and use visual content is to utilize user-generated content. If you have products that are perfect for visual content, then you can encourage your clients to tweet and Instagram images of them with the product or of the product itself. You can create a contest to get the ball rolling on user-generated visual content, but people do still like sharing pictures of products they buy. Always be sure you like any photos that are tagged to your business to help promote engagement and encourage even more user-generated content.
V. Content Audits and Research
While content creation is a vital aspect when it comes to converting leads, you also need to make sure your existing content is hitting the target. SEO changes from month to month as we all know thanks to Google’s many changes. In addition, your keywords can change over time, and you might need to spruce up existing web content. The best way to do this is to utilize content audits and do keyword and content research.
31. Get an Audit of Your Content to Fix Any Problems. A content audit is a great idea when it comes to making sure your existing content is on point. It can help you find if any of your links are broken if your SEO is off from what is current, and which blogs need to have changes made.
A content audit can help you figure out just what needs to be changed, freshened up, and gives you great ideas on how to handle your upcoming content. It will make your strategy more effective and powerful, giving you the chance to convert more with your existing and upcoming content.
32. Do Keyword Research to Find the Best, Most Powerful Keywords. While they might not be as central to an SEO plan now, keywords are still important when it comes to ranking. However, many people don’t realize that your keywords can change over time, and if you don’t make necessary changes, they won’t help you create powerful content. A great thing to do is to do keyword research throughout the year to find the best keywords, keeping your content up-to-date. You can either do it yourself by following HubSpot’s helpful guide or hire SEO experts to do the research for you. Either way, you will be on the track to finding keywords for your content that will help generate leads.
33. Don’t Forget the Importance of Content Curation. Content curation can help you find excellent resources for your web content, as well as finding great things to share on social media. Customers love to see more than just links to your website, so sharing curated content helps to break that up and give them great resources. Content Marketing Institute gives a great guide on how to do content curation to find excellent sources for your business as well as for your customers.
VI. Web Pages
If you want to create content that converts, you will also need to make sure your web pages for products and services are top quality. When Google approaches your website to rank it on the SERP, it will approach the entirety of your website, not just your blogs. Let’s see just how you can approach your landing pages to make them powerful, helping your site rank, as well as creating content that converts.
34. Create Powerful Landing Pages. One of the first things you need to do when it comes to making your whole website effective is to create excellent landing pages. You can utilize web designers to help you create something that will not only look great but be easy to navigate for your customers. A landing page is an important aspect of every website because this is where people usually happen across your site. Sure, the “home” page is important, but not many people will go to your home page at first. They will find a landing page through your blogs and social media posts.
35. Have Pages for Individual Services or Products. A great way to utilize your landing pages is to have pages for individual services or products. This provides you with several landing pages that people can happen across on the SERP, through blogs and social media. This will help direct people to a particular product they are interested in so as to keep them from being overwhelmed with other products they don’t want. Express Writers utilizes landing pages for every single one of our services, which makes it so much easier for our clients to find the services they want and need. Try this out on your site to see just how much conversion you can get from multiple landing pages.
36. Each Page Needs Its Own Call to Action. When you create individual landing pages, make sure that each has its very own call to action. This will help encourage people who are reading the content to click on the links to look at or purchase content. You will find that call to actions on your pages are perfect when it comes to creating content that converts. Never ignore the call to action, no matter what.
37. Keep the Design Easy and Simple to Understand. Usability is something you want to keep in mind when creating your website and web content. It needs to be easy to understand and use, and if it isn’t, you could lose customers quickly. If you want content that converts, then you need to have a website that is easy to use and understand. You don’t want visitors to get frustrated with your website. Once you have an easy-to-use site, people are much more likely to stick around and buy your products or services.
Conversion is Absolutely Possible Through Content
Following the various tips in this blog, you can easily start creating content that helps convert. Every single idea can help bring in a new customer, as well as keeping your existing ones around. Long-term customers are yet another way to help convert visitors into leads. If you need an expert in any of the fields mentioned above, do not hesitate to contact Express Writers. We have an excellent team of writers, social media managers, and more who can help craft expert content that converts. Contact us, today!
Call me biased, but writing is one of my favorite things. It doesn’t matter if I am writing up web copy, blogs, book reviews, or short fiction, writing is something I deeply enjoy and I am not alone. There are many people out there who love writing, but there are also many out there who want to get started to see just what it’s all about.
However, it can be tricky when you’re a new writer, and looking for advice is one of the first things you do – hence why you’re here, right?
If you’re new to writing, then this blog is perfect for you because I will be going over some great, first-time writer tips that can help you create excellent content, no matter what.
Many of these are things I’ve learned over time and want to share my little bits of wisdom with anyone making their way in the writing world.
7 Ways A New Writer Can Be Successful
There are many ways to be successful when it comes to writing, but there are a few that I think stand out from the rest. Let’s take a look at what you can do to have a successful writing career whether you are writing a book or focusing on blogging for your business.
- Write One Word, and Then Another and Another. This is incredibly common sense, but many new writers get so caught up trying to “be the best” in writing that they forget. When you are starting out as a writer and are looking for excellent tips, the best one to start with is simply to write. Write one word, then another and another until you have a sentence and so on. This is something award-winning author Neil Gaiman is known for saying, and it is incredibly helpful and true. When you focus too hard on getting the best short story, wanting the next Harry Potter franchise or having a stellar content campaign like Disney, you will get discouraged easily. However, if you just start to write and keep writing, you will find that you are able to come up with great content no matter what it is you are writing.
- Know Your Resources and Follow Them. Writers all need to have resources, no matter if they are writing fiction, non-fiction, or focusing on writing web copy. Resources help give direction for content and give great, useful information. If you don’t use resources, you can end up saying things that aren’t true or writing something incorrectly. For example, if you are writing a story based in the 1940s, you need to make sure you know the lingo they used. In addition, if you are writing web copy and want to rank with great SEO, you need to know what to do.Following SEO resources like Moz or Copyblogger can help provide you with the information you need. This will help keep you informed about SEO changes, as well as helping you create excellent content for your website or blog. No matter what you are writing, you will be able to find resources and you need to make sure you have access to them.
- Don’t Stress if Your Writing isn’t Top Quality Right Away. Writing is like playing an instrument or learning a new language, it takes time to master it. Even then, there will always be something new to learn, and you can’t expect to know it all. When you first start out writing, it isn’t going to be near as good as it could be simply because you are out of practice. Think of this; if you know a small amount of French but never practice it, you are going to have a hard time going around France, aren’t you? However, if you practice French, you will have an easier time traveling the country and understanding the people. The same can be said about writing. Keep practicing, and you will improve over time. When you first write and read your copy, don’t get discouraged if you feel it isn’t top quality or if someone gives you constructive criticism. Keep writing, and you’ll be epic in no time.
- Set Aside Time Each Day to Write. When I first started writing, I made sure that I set aside time each and every day to write. This is important because it helped with what I mention in point one – getting in the practice of writing and improving. Before I became a copywriter, I wrote short stories and little prose poems each day just to write, and that helped me work towards a goal of awesome writing. This helped immensely once I started in the content field, and since I was already in the practice of writing every day, there wasn’t much shifting to my writing schedule. Now, I write several thousand words a day, and it helps to grow my writing capabilities. Since you’re just now starting out, consider setting aside thirty minutes each day and bump it up to an hour or more as you get used to it. Work out that brain and your fingers, and you’ll be incredibly happy with the results.
- Stream of Consciousness Writing and Writing as You Speak Can Be Excellent. Stream of consciousness writing is a style of writing that is was popular amongst authors such as Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf. It is even still a major part of modern American literature and is something you can expect to read when buying books or even reading blogs. While you don’t always want to write in a stream of consciousness manner, this can help you create excellent written work that flows and sounds natural. Another way to achieve this is simply to write as you speak. Basically, doing these two types of writing will help you write content that is easy to read, flows well, and makes more sense to a casual reader. However, if you do end up going the stream of consciousness route, always make sure to proofread and have someone else look over it to make sure it makes sense.It is wise to know that stream of consciousness might not work as well for web content, as web content needs to have more structure to it. However, this can really help improve your writing if you follow point number four and write every day. Stream of consciousness makes that goal easier to achieve and helps you work on excellent ideas, as well helping you flesh out various points. You might even find you can create great blogs by writing in this format and then going back and making changes to help it be more structured.
- Avoid the Urge to Follow Popular Formulas. It can be easy to mimic popular, successful formulas when you start out writing. It seems like the way to go when you want to be successful, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, if you focus on following common formulas, you have a higher chance of learning bad habits, and you won’t improve. You can always gain inspiration from other writers, blogs, and websites, but you should always make sure you make it your own. This will help set you apart from others and make your writing something people prefer. You want to be known as someone who has new ideas, and can make readers think or give readers something to enjoy. You don’t want people to think you don’t have an original idea as that can lose readers quickly. Write original content consistently, and your writing success will take off incredibly.
- Don’t Hesitate to Take a Journalistic Approach to Writing. Approaching writing for your business’s blog can be daunting. However, a great way to start creating excellent content, even as a new writer, is to start writing with a journalistic approach. This can give you a great formula to start with, and help you craft excellent material that will get read by your clients, and might even get you noticed by industry leaders. This is even a great idea for up and coming authors, especially if you want to engage with your potential audience via blogs when promoting any of your work. A journalistic approach means that you write the pertinent information first, give more explanation about said information, and then give the general info towards the end. Use this when writing your blogs whether you are writing news content or just writing a plain, simple blog post for your followers or fans.
Don’t fret about being a perfect writer just yet. Just focus on writing and having fun, and you will begin to see awesome results from readers. Once you start writing consistently, you will see improvement in your style, more clicks on blogs, and you might just even get published! Whatever your goal for writing is, these tips are sure to help you and give you the best chance possible.
If you are still unsure about writing, especially for your business’s blog, Express Writers can help. We have a great team of dedicated writers who have all experienced the awesomeness of the written word. We can provide you with excellent copy, no matter what it is you’re looking for. Take a look at our services to see just how our team can help you create excellent, written content.
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