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convincing content writing

5 Key Features of Convincing Content Writing

Web content is much like the Cinderella of the web content writing world.

cinderella web content

Photo credit wondersofdisney.disneyfansites.com

Before content mattered as much as it did today, design claimed all the attention.

However, things are starting to change. Great design doesn’t say much if there’s no meaningful content.

Tinseltown: The New Web Content Writing Era

Both Webmasters and business Website owners are beginning to understand that, and as a result reconsider the way they relate to content and content writing.

Tinseltown Websites are now starting to be sanctioned by search engines and readers alike. Google introduced new counterattack defense weapons targeting bad links and duplicate and low-quality content. Readers click away if you don’t grab their attention from the first line.

It’s becoming obvious that good content will eventually prevail over marketing tricks. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your SEO keyword research or other relevant online marketing strategies. But it does mean that you should focus more on your content writing. And getting people to click the link is all that matters, right?

Wrong. Getting them to click and buy your subscription, product, or service because they really need it. That’s different.

Your business Website is like a storefront, and people passing by window-shopping will be persuaded – or not – to come in by looking at your store window. That is content. Quality Web copy will draw them in, while tedious, illegible content will drive them away.

5 Key Features of High Quality, Convincing Content Writing

1. Make sure that what you say is meaningful and serves a purpose

The customer’s purpose, more exactly. To achieve that, you need to know who you are talking to. Ask yourself: How well do I know my target audience? Can you make a profile of your typical customer? If not, it’s time to do your homework. After identifying the profile of your regular consumers, their purchasing behavior, and their psychology, you need to find ways to connect with them through your content by answering their specific needs.

2. Say it in simple, but not simplistic, words

Provide relevant information in conversational language. If you want visitors to read your content, stick to the core, don’t beat around the bush. Remove all irrelevant details that don’t pertain directly to your topic.

3. Be transparent about your offering and don’t overstate the benefits

You have more chances of winning your customers’ loyalty if you disclose the genuine value of your product or service than if you speculate the argument of low price and fail to deliver on your promise. People don’t want cheap low-quality products; they want quality products at a fair price.

4. Provide clear explanations and telling examples, but in a concise manner

While you’re trying to get new customers, make sure that you don’t neglect your old ones. Loyalty is hard to find, so create Web content that is targeted at existing consumers, which keeps them engaged and makes them want to return to your Website. Serving repeat visitors is more important than running after new ones, so don’t place existing customers at the end of your checklist when writing content for your Website.

5. Keep it fresh if you want people to return

It’s like going to the marketplace; you go there to find fresh produce. With that in mind, post new material and update your content regularly, otherwise visitors will look somewhere else for new and dynamic info on the topic they’re interested in.

Remember: only really useful content will survive, so try to think of the long term and invest time and effort in your content writing now to reap the benefits in the not-too-distant future.

content writing do's and don'ts

4 Critical Dos and Don’ts of Web Content Writing and Editing

When it comes to web content writing and editing, it pays to play by the rules.

While there’s absolutely room for creativity and interpretation in the world of online content, there are also just things you’re better off not doing, and things that you should make certain you do.

By understanding the ins and outs (dos and don’ts) of this industry, you’ll set yourself up to be more productive and fruitful.

With that in mind, check out these web content writing rules to live by.

the do's and don'ts of content writing

Web Content Writing and Editing: 4 Key Dos and Don’ts

Just like learning to waltz requires memorizing a series of steps, learning to be an effective online copywriting requires understanding the rules of the game.

In light of that, here are our four top content writing rules for copywriting creatives in the modern world:

The 4 Big Don’ts of Online Content

In online content, learning what not to do is almost as important as learning what to do. With that in mind, here are four things you always want to avoid in your copywriting.

1. Dull, dry, icky content that could have come from anywhere

This covers both how we arrange content on a Web page, and what that page contains or how the information is rendered.

First, let’s discuss the actual content you’re writing. Any content you publish should be several things: unique, relevant, well-written, and exciting.

If these things sound like a tall order, it’s because they are. This is why so many content writers (unfortunately) go to the dark side and start churning out boring content that doesn’t do anything for their brand or their readers.

While this content certainly checks a box and gives the writer something to publish, it misses the larger goal of content as a whole, which is to inspire, educate, and provide meaning. With this in mind, writers must avoid this first pitfall like the black plague.

If you don’t have the time to put out high-quality content, you have exactly two choices: you can cut down on the content you’re publishing, or you can hire a writer (or a team of writers) to help you.

The best decision is the second one, and you’ll notice that “start publishing crappy content” is not an option at all.

Boring, poor-quality content is the bane of the online world, and it will harm your online presence much, much more than it helps it. To get the most traction from your content, you’ll also need to ensure that you’re arranging it on a page in a way that avoids being dull, dry, or icky, and lands solidly in the realm of creative, unique, and exciting.

2. Rambling without a point, or being overly verbose

While most writer jokes in the world center on an overly-intellectualized person making a simple concept difficult, the reality is the job of a writer is exactly the opposite. To be effective, you must abide by the golden web content writing rule: keep it simple.

Simple content performs better, and it’s a more efficient way to reach your audience.

With this in mind, sift through your content to cut out unneeded words, trim the fat, and get to the point. Your readers will thank you and your content will perform better.

What’s more, you’ll need to avoid common pitfalls. Remember that the best online content is original and creative, so try to avoid clichés, worn-out language, obvious statements, and irrelevant examples.

In the battle for page rank, the winners are the ones who can be authentic and simple in one easy package. Chunky, clunky, stuffed-too-full pieces need not apply.

3. Plagiarized content (or any duplicate content)

While most people imagine duplicate content as copying and pasting someone else’s website, it can be much more nuanced than that. Often, plagiarized content comes in the form of duplicated meta descriptions or improperly cited facts. Whatever you do, avoid both of these things in your online content. In addition to improving your Google rank, this will also make your content more authoritative and relevant to your users.

4. Content that is filled with mistakes

While all writers make mistakes, it’s essential that you catch them before your audience does. Spelling and grammar mistakes can destroy the functionality of your content. With this in mind, run your content through a spelling and grammar checker like Grammarly, and always give it several proof-reads before you send it off to be published.

What are the Dos of Content Writing?

Now that we’ve covered what not to do let’s talk about what you should be doing. Follow the tips below:

1. Make your point clear in every piece you write

Today, the average reader’s attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s, so you don’t have much time to make your point.

Because of this, it’s essential to be upfront about why you’re writing the piece, and what it will offer the reader. If the user can’t immediately determine this, there’s a good chance they’ll leave for a piece that’s a bit more straightforward.

Open your pieces with an attention-grabbing sentence, and then get to work explaining your purpose. Your reader will thank you.

2. Stay on topic in your material

Nobody like a rambler and your content will lose readers if it wanders too far from the point. With this in mind, pick only one idea only to discuss, illustrate, or elaborate on in your article or blog post. Once you’ve done this, back it up and flesh it out accordingly, but stick to it.

This helps your readers locate what they’re looking for, and allows you to deliver more focused content from beginning to end.

3. Experiment with different content types

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and many content creators and writers find what they love and stick with it.

Unfortunately, this renders you a stranger to dozens of unique and highly profitable forms of content that could be benefiting your company. Things like infographics, videos, memes, SlideShare presentations, and podcasts can all enhance your overall content strategy, and it’s worthwhile to check them out.

Even if you don’t feel like going whole-hog right off the bat, experimenting with different types of content can work wonders to help you reach your audience and provide a unique content experience.

With that in mind, look into ways to repurpose your existing content, or to experiment with different content formats. Take a long-form blog post and turn the facts within it into an infographic, for example, or create a unique visual to correspond with a social update.

The choice is yours, but there’s no doubt that altering your content formats can help boost your marketing strategy.

4. Do your research (keywords, competition, etc.)

While online writing doesn’t have to be a “winner take all” market, it certainly helps to do your research. By studying things like keywords, topics, trending content, and your competition, you can gain a better idea of what the content industry looks like, and how you can set yourself up to perform well within it.

While research used to be difficult due to a lack of resources and tools, it’s never been easier than it is right now. Tools like KWFinder can help you locate the best keywords for your content, while tools like BuzzSumo can help you figure out what types of content are trending for a particular keyword and why.

By using these tools in your content creation process, you not only allow yourself to gain a clearer picture of the market – but you also improve your content immediately, and give yourself the skills to keep the improvement going in future pieces.

Content creation is tough, and not using the tools that are available to you could easily be classified as one of the critical “don’ts” of the industry.

With that in mind, locate the research tools that help you understand your climate more efficiently, and then put them to use!

Web Content Writing Rules: Where All Good Content Starts & Ends

Everything that functions smoothly must have rules, and content writing is no different.

By providing some parameters for online writers and helping you figure out what areas to explore and which to avoid, web content writing rules provide an important basis for copywriters everywhere and, when observed, can help transform online content in a hurry.

So whether you’re a professional copywriter looking to enhance your skills, or a business that wants to ensure playing by the rules as they exist today, these smart web content writing rules can help you stay in the lines and on the sunny side of the street.

No time to create content that plays by the rules? No problem. At Express Writers, we have a team of highly skilled copywriters who are waiting to create the web content your company needs to succeed. Get in touch today!

web content

4 Essential Steps to Writing Web Content for Your Business Site

While design and usability are two very important factors for any business website, content is the decisive, <make it or break it> aspect.

The words you use in writing web content for your site will inspire your potential customers to buy your products or services; without them, you’ll have no visitors, no sale and no traffic.

4 Key Steps to Writing Great Web Content For Your Business

This is why, when creating your website copy and writing web content, you need to consider a few rules and to follow some crucial steps.

Step 1: Establish your goals with your web content

Why have you built your website?

Do you want people to know who you are so they may physically be looking for your specific products? Do you want to sell your services online?

Some websites are simply made in the form of a business card, but they don’t have clear sales purposes. Others are made to promote a certain aspect of some business. Content will thus differ in both structure and addressability. But if you have clear goals established before you start writing, all you have to do is fill in the blanks.

Step 2: Consider your audience

A clearly defined audience will always help you to target and better promote your products and services. Without your online users, your business would not exist and Google has acknowledged that, by new ranking algorithms that favor user experience. If you know exactly who your audience is, writing content will naturally be created to meet their expectations. But there should be a balance in that. You are not writing only for a particular niche, your goal is to reach a higher audience, so, as much as you want your site to be a hit with a certain group of people, make sure your content is not exclusively aimed at them while making others feel excluded.

Step 3: Structure information in an efficient manner

The most recommended course of action is to write down an outline in the form of a site map. Try to draw it on a piece of paper, visualizing will help. Organize your business specifics with categories: a home page will have to include the essential things people need to know about your organization, and then allow specific pages for your most important products or services. Include a page that presents your business team in depth and maybe even include a portfolio. Each page can be dropped down in several sub- categories, reflecting various aspects you consider relevant. Don’t forget to leave room for some more interactive parts on the website, such as events or contact us, these are usually parts sought after by online users.

Step 4: Start writing your web content

There are many things to keep in mind when creating your business website content. However, there are three basic rules that you should never overlook.

  • Write optimized content: Write effective text that will be indexed by search engines but remember: don’t write your copy for Google. Users will easily get annoyed if your content is too obviously stuffed with keywords. Choose your keywords carefully and don’t overdo it: the new search engine algorithms don’t favor excessive optimization and links.
  • Keep it professional: Your web copy can make you relevant in the eyes of your online readers. While keeping a conversational, friendly approach, try to stay on the professional side. Offer detailed and succinct information about your organization, include facts and figures and don’t forget to mention any awards. Don’t brag, but show you are proud about your business’ values and success.
  • Keep it succinct: Try to make things as easy and as accessible as possible for your users. Use short, relevant phrases; break the text into paragraphs, bolded subheadings and bullet points.

It isn’t difficult to create effective business content that can motivate visitors to buy from you, but it does require a talent. Just make sure to stay true to your business values and respect a few of the essential copywriting rules, the rest will come naturally.

si-robertson-duck-dynasty-copywriting

Content ROI: Writing In Action, Writing That Sells (Bonus Case Study)

It gets tweeted around by the Twitter birds.

Facebook fans start a whole discussion on it.

People mention it in their blog.

What’s the fuss about?

A well-written blog with a catchy title.

You see it circulating and gaining popularity like a snowball, and that makes you wonder (if you’re an Internet user, let’s say), how exactly did that person do it?

Content ROI: Copy that Sells

Well, it didn’t happen by chance. That little piece that raked in feedback was written by someone who knew how to get content ROI (that’s content return-on-investment, folks).

Content ROI is the skill of the copywriters. It’s when someone knows how to create copy that sells. It will either sell the product on someone’s home page, a service from a creative expert, or an idea in a blog. Creating copy that sells is when you have content ROI.

Now content ROI doesn’t happen by chance, and it sure doesn’t happen by someone who sat down at their desk and decided they’d write their own copy with no previous experience. It happens when a skilled copywriter takes a pen to paper for their client, when a writer gets inspired with a muse on fire, and when a journalist finalizes a PR going to launch.

Always, always remember…the job of a copywriter can’t really be “DIY”, or done at home. I’d like to use Si from Duck Dynasty to illustrate that point:

si-robertson-duck-dynasty-copywriting

Rule No 1, folks…

Content ROI is what it takes to create content that makes it to Google’s page one.  It’s made up of:

  • Awesome headlines
  • Informative, well-written content with no grammar errors
  • Introduction and ending that ties in together
  • Search engine optimization with a few keywords sprinkled in

Note how keywords come last.  A good content ROI expert knows that she/he can’t sit down and write with the starting point as the keyword.  The foundation must be a good idea and informative writing.

case study

Content ROI In Action: Clientele Case Study

Let’s go over a little case study here. Wendy, one of our staff writers, wrote a blog for a client. He returned the feedback that not only was it very good, but it sparked discussion and feedback from his social media fans.

  • Title of the blog: Business Ownership: Do I Have What it Takes to be a Successful Entrepreneur? This is actually 12 words, 6 or less is “optimum”, but really in content ROI topics that hit on key points of your interested followers are the ones that will go most viral. We like to go outside the rules.  Do not try this at home (unless you’re born with copywriting blood).
  • Intro of the blog: Just about everybody has a good idea that can be turned into a business, but only a small percentage of people successfully convert their fabulous idea into tangible results. Wendy took a problem that can appeal to a universal group of people who would be following the blog, and directly addressed them.  She basically looked at the crowd and said, Hey, Jim, I’ve got something that will interest you.
  • The meat of the blog consisted of a list of 20 questions that the reader, an assumed wannabe entrepreneur, had to read to answer.
  • Wendy wrapped it up with this: If you answered 15 of the 20 questions above with a yes, you may be a successful entrepreneur in the making! If not, then you may not be equipped to handle the immense challenges of running your own business. While success or failure can be determined by external factors such as the market, economy, and luck, underlying personality traits and soft skill sets are often the most influential determiners in an entrepreneur’s success.  Hey, Jim! Want some more of this? At this point, Jim is definitely hooked and will now follow and perhaps even return with some feedback to the source of interest.

Your Content ROI: The Client

Compelling content that serves for ROI helps you, the marketer, tell a story (YOUR story)—but it can be difficult and expensive to create, if you don’t find the writer people to tell it right away. To avoid expenses and save on time, knowing which content strategies get the best ROI for you is important.  Emarketer, from a study conducted and verified in 2013 by CopyPress, says that the best content strategies for ROI are the following:

1.    Articles
2.    Video
3.    White Papers

Note how items #1 and #3 require a writer—and a good one, if the end point is to sell your services.

For best content ROI, it’s wise to invest in a versatile copywriting service that can offer exactly what you need.