How to Avoid a Guest Blogging Goof

All the content in the world is nothing but clutter without a strategic plan. This goes double for guest posting.

Jami Oetting, executive editor of The Agency Post, offers some tips to help sites get past what she terms “crop dusting” content. Specifically, she outlines three phases of a guest post’s content life cycle:

  1. Strategy – map out your goals for guest posting
  2. Creation – brainstorm and outline
  3. Execution – start writing and find your supporters

How to Avoid Angering Google

Jill Whalen, SEO Consultant and CEO of High Rankings, ran an article last year titled “18 SEO Killers”. She mentioned footer links as a potential problem, and this year she followed up on that, expounding on the subject of abuses that Google dislikes. Some common footer abuses mentioned:

  • Content well below the fold
  • Keyword phrases placed in the footer
  • Lists of keywords – stuffed links in the footer
  • Footer links that use different anchor text from the main navigation
  • Links from other sites’ footers

If you’re guilty of one or more, you might soon incur Google’s wrath. Find out how to avoidSneaky Footer Links and Other Footer Abuses That Google Dislikes

Writing Great Blog Posts & Effective CTAs: The Web Content Roundup

WebContentRoundup21Here are this week’s top seven stories on web content and online marketing as voted by my Twitter followers:

1). Crash Course on Creativity

2). The (Not-So-Secret) Secret to Turning Your  Website Traffic into Paying Customers

3). 6 Simple Ways to Make a Good First Impression Online

4). Why Working With Your Brain Is The Key To Avoiding Writer’s Block

5). 21 Call to Action Examples and 3 Rules for Effective CTAs Read it & lift your conversion rate!

6). 20 Quick Tips on Writing Great Blog Posts

7). How To Double Your Traffic By Writing Irresistible Headlines [Interview with Jon Morrow]

Do You Suck at Social Media Networking?

According to Timothy Carter, you do. In his recent article at the Search Engine Journal, the social media mastermind points out the ways just about everyone screws up social media networking. Ask yourself:

  • Do your posts sound too promotional?
  • Are you engaging in one-way conversations?
  • Are you automating streams of content?

If so, you’re probably sucking at social media networking. But here’s the good news: Carter also tells us how we can turn those things around. Check out his advice: Why You Suck At Social Media Networking.

Hashtag Basics for Social Media Marketing

You’ve seen them everywhere: they’re those random pound signs (#) attached to status updates and tweets. They can be a pretty handy tool in social media marketing, but you’ve got to use them right.

Rachel Sprung, Brand & Buzz Coordinator at HubSpot, offers some handy tips on choosing and using hashtags successfully.

Whether you’re just learning how to hashtag or you need help doing it right, check out Rachel’s article here: How to Use Hashtags in Your Social Media Marketing

Give Better Feedback for Better Copy

If you want great results from your copywriter, you’ve got to get involved. You’ve got to give feedback or they won’t know how they’re doing – or how to improve.

Giving feedback is an art, and one that takes time to learn well. SEO copywriter Leif Kendall offers some key advice on the topic in his recent blog post.

If you’re not totally happy with your copywriter’s results, check out Leif’s article for some great tips on giving positive, effective feedback: How to give your copywriter feedback

Don’t Ignore These Content Marketing Trends

The internet is an ever-changing entity, so it’s vital for content marketers to constantly stay one step ahead of upcoming trends. Technological advances, Google updates, and other factors can wreak havoc on your schemes if you don’t stay on top of current marketing trends.

John Paul Nettles took a look at some of the most prevalent trends today, and offers some invaluable advice in his recent article on the Reputation Capital blog. To find out which trends to pay attention to, check out his article here: 4 Content Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore

Do You Know These 5 Reasons Why You Need a Website Copywriter?

No one builds a website to fail.

And yet many business websites fail to meet basic customer needs. Poor writing is often to blame. The information is vague, badly written, poorly organised or impossible to find.

A good website copywriter can help remedy these problems. Here are five reasons why you need a copywriter on your website team:

1. Your brochure needs to be translated for the web
Writing for the web is very different from writing for print. That’s because reading from the screen is hard on your eyes. So rather than reading word for word, web users scan the page looking for relevant information. Good web content is written to be scanned.

To make content easier to scan website copywriters use around 50% fewer words than in print. They highlight key words with bold type and create bulleted lists. They start every page with a summary (just like a newspaper story). And they write meaningful (not just clever) headings and sub-headings.

2. Your site needs to be found
Your website is worthless if it can’t be found. A large proportion of the average site’s traffic comes from search engines (such as Google). And most people don’t look beyond the first page of search engine results. So if your site’s not on the first page, chances are people won’t find you.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a process of developing a website’s content so that it gets high search engine rankings. People generally search on two- or three-word key phrases such as “laptop computer”. Search engines deliver results for queries based on what they consider are “relevant”.

Key phrase density (i.e. how often the key phrase appears on a web page) is one of the most important factors that define what is relevant. Once you have key phrase-rich content on every page of your website, your rankings are likely to improve. So copywriting is the mainstay of SEO.

But high rankings are only the beginning. You can’t just stuff each web page full of your key phrases. Good search engine optimised copy must also be reader-friendly. It flows and is easy to read, all the while driving your marketing goals.

3. You can’t afford not to
People on the web are very task-orientated. Generally they’re trying to find information, buy something, communicate or be entertained. Well written sites help them achieve their tasks efficiently. They guide them through a process to achieve their desired result quickly and with minimum effort. Good web content is a valuable asset.

Poorly written sites frustrate and annoy people. If they can’t find the information they want or the content is poorly written or nonsensical, people will leave your site and probably never return. If your website wastes people’s time and aggravates them you risk eroding your hard-earned brand equity, not to mention losing business.

4. You want to beat your competition online
Quality writing is the best way to make your site stand out from the millions of others on the web. Why? Because the average website is poorly written. Most sites are full of clichés, hyperbole and generic marketing blather, and the information is poorly organised. Great writing gives you the edge.

Don’t get me wrong – great design is essential too. But great design without great writing is like a car without wheels.

5. You don’t have the time, skill or inclination to do it yourself
Of course, you could write your own website content… that’s if you can fit it in your overloaded schedule. Good writing is hard. It takes time. A website copywriter can usually produce your content more quickly and more effectively than you can.

Using a professional
For these reasons you should consider hiring a website copywriter to help you produce the content for your site. Or, at the very least, get one to review and edit your content to ensure your website is a success.