How to become a pure genius at content writing

So, are you ready to become a pure genius at content writing?

Writing content for marketing is easy. What’s difficult is writing marketing content that’s good. Too often marketers get caught up in their own visions without taking a look at the bigger picture, leading to content that just doesn’t sell as well as it could. Luckily for us, a recent study took a look at which marketing strategies the biggest companies have successfully used to grow their business. Here are the five best steps to follow to become a pure genius at content writing:

  1. Know Your Audience

If you want people to notice your content, it takes more than just a great writing voice. What you need to do is study your target audience, then cater your content to their interests. This works best if you identify as specific of an audience as possible. What ages are they? What gender? What are their careers, hobbies, and interests? And don’t stop at just identifying your audience, take it one step further and really do your research to understand who they are. When writing content, any and all details will help you decide on the best course of action.

  1. Define Your Leadership

Odds are, if you’re writing content you have a vision. Whether it’s a vision for yourself, your career, or your company, everyone has underlying goals they want to accomplish. To make sure your content thrives, you have to pretend you’re the leader; calling all the shots to make your vision a reality. This could involve hiring an editor, seeking out a graphic designer to boost your content visually, or even hiring multiple writers to get the quantity and quality information you desire. Clearly communicate what you want, and you’ll lead your team to victory!

  1. Gather the Right Tools

This might be the most important step: a content genius always has the best gadgets. Some of the best content growing tools include:

 -Workado: An organizing tool built by marketers themselves, Workado is perfect for organizing and distributing jobs, and allowing for easy communication among coworkers. It allows content marketers a place to manage all their tasks: from your own employees and freelancers to your clients’ personal marketing campaigns.

 -Buffer: Wish there was an easier way to post content? Well that’s exactly what Buffer is for. This tool lets you post different articles in a queue, which Buffer then shares when and in the order you tell it to. It also gives you the ability to manage posts from multiple social media sites, expanding your marketing horizons.

 -Visual.ly: Great writing works wonders, but sometimes it’s the visuals that can take your content to the top. Visual.ly lets you easily connect with design and creation teams that can then use your content to make infographics, images, or even presentations.

  1. Face the Facts

What many passionate content writers are scared to do is often what they need to do: face the hard truth. And that truth is, sometimes a great piece of writing just isn’t the best for your marketing campaign. You may have put hours of work in, weeks of research, and come up with an amazing result. But if your target audience won’t find it useful, there’s no point to post it. By being honest with your work, you’ll be more effective by posting only top quality, relevant information. And more importantly, your audience will respond to it!

  1. The Hedghog Concept

And last, but certainly not least, every content writing genius understands Phil Collins’ newest marketing idea: the Hedghog Concept. It works like this: you have three overlapping circles with one focal point where they all meet. The three circles represent your passion, your talents, and your secret to making money. If you keep in mind those three circles, your content will gain a consistent focal point (where the three overlap) that will lead you to success. By figuring out what goes in your three circles, you’ll discover your content’s true vision and ultimately lead your business to success.

So, are you ready to become a pure genius at content writing?

Are you making these terrible web-design mistakes?

terrible web-design mistakes
When seeing the success of a site like Craigslist, it can be easy to assume that web design doesn’t matter at all. This is true in a way, but also completely false. The design of your website depends entirely on your type of business, who you’re marketing towards, and the impression you want to give off. So how can you know which type of web design you need: flashy or simple? Well luckily for you, regardless of which type there are a number of common mistakes that, when avoided, can greatly improve your website’s quality. Don’t make these terrible web-design mistakes, and your site will be on its way to the success you crave.
  1. Horrible background and font contrast

Despite its inability to be read, this mistake is still found everywhere on the internet. A web-designer may consider a bright blue background and dark blue font to be a neat added feature, but the strain on your eyes this causes has the potential to scare off tons of customers. Who wants to be distracted by the color of something when they’re at your site to get information? No one. For this reason, make sure to stick to black and white. Books have white backgrounds and black text for a reason: it’s easy to read. In your web-design, make sure to follow a book’s example!

  1. Skip the Sliders

One of the more innovative and flashy additions a website can have is rotating sliders, something very easy for a web-designer to include. But in the words of Time Ash of SiteTuners, “Rotating banners are absolutely evil and should be removed immediately.”

Sound harsh? Well unfortunately for the sliders, the statistics have proven how terrible of an addition they are. The reason: internet surfers rarely get past the first slide. The other slides aren’t clearly visible, so of course people are less likely to read the content on them. A recent study even showed that over 80% of the clicks were made on the first slide, and only 1% of visitors actually clicked on the slider button. The best way to make an effective website is to instead make all the information clearly visible, so your potential customers aren’t missing any important information.

  1. Tiny fonts

This is probably the easiest problem to fix, and yet there are still websites out there that use too small of a font size. The standard font size for websites used to be 12 px, and people still stick to this trend. The problem with 12 px is that it’s right on the edge of being too small to read, meaning your site visitors are likely to lose their patience more quickly. A successful website instead has bold, big letters (between 35 and 43 px) to catch the visitors’ attention, with the actual information being around 15 or 18 px to avoid eye strain.

  1. Ignoring basic design elements

A lot of websites will try to seem more ‘modern’ or ‘innovative’ by veering from the traditional design. By traditional I mean including an About page, a Contact Information page, or an Employment page. Web surfers, well actually, people in general, hate to have to think. We are programmed to automatically search for those key words when visiting a website so that we can get what we need as quickly as possible. If potential customers have to spend too much time searching for what they need, there’s a very good chance they’ll get frustrated and leave your website!

  1. Be smart with colors

The best websites stick with a certain color theme throughout their website. This way, when there are certain buttons you want customers to press such as a ‘Buy Now’ button, these can be easily highlighted by making them a color that strays from the color theme. If instead the button was made a similar color as other links on the site, visitors are likely to either get confused or not even buy because the button didn’t pop-out at them. Try using a color that is: just bright enough to draw attention, used sparingly and only for similar action buttons throughout the site, and doesn’t clash with the color scheme of your site.

 A great website can be the key to the success of a business. Don’t make these blunders and you’re on your way to a great site!

 

 

72 Must Follow Facebook Pages for Aspiring Content Marketers

Double exposure of business man and city

There is no way to deny that getting inspiration from the best will take you far!

www.postplanner.com made quite a comprehensve list of online marketers and influencers following whom is great for you business success.

72 Must Follow Facebook Pages for Aspiring Content Marketers

1. Amy Porterfield

Amy is a master of Facebook marketing, email marketing & list building.

2. Entrepreneuress Academy

Melanie Duncan is co-founder of the Online Edge Academy.

3. Jonathon ColmanJonathon is a content strategist at Facebook.

4. Ryan HolidayRyan wrote the book, “Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator”.

5. Social Media ExaminerSocial Media Examiner claims to be the world’s largest, online social media magazine.

6. Sherilynn MacaleSherilynn is a blogger & communications manager at Skully Helmets, Inc.

7. Rand FishkinRand is the founder of Moz.

8. Julien SmithJulien is co-founder and CEO of Breather.

9. Grandma MaryGrandma Mary is a self-described “slightly cranky social media edutainer”.

10. Guy KawasakiGuy is an author & chief evangelist at Canva.

11. Gary VaynerchukGary is a marketer, writer & entrepreneur.

12. Jeff BullasJeff is a social media & digital marketing strategist.

Find out who the other 60 influencers are in the original article here

Learn these writing tricks to be adored by your readers

writing tricks

Running a blog takes work if you think about it, you need to keep your layout attractive but not too distracting, you have to make sure that you’re getting enough hits and views because if not, it sort of makes everything pointless. But most of all, you need to make sure that you’re able to supply your readers with well-written content. Here are a few writing tricks we’ve learned the hard way.

Let’s face it, a lot of things can attract viewers to your blog but it’s your content and services that make them stay and continue to give you the much needed attention. However, writing is not as simple as everybody seems to think. There are a lot of factors that could affect your article, certain things like style and grammar could go a long way and even with that being taken care of you’ll still need to consider how you phrase your words and sentences.

And let’s face it, not everyone has the capacity to sprout witty diatribe like magic. But just because we lack that certain spark or extra oomph with the pen means it would discourage you from writing your own content. In fact here are some tips to help give you some writing mojo.

Tip 1: Shake Your Tail Feathers

If there is one thing a reader appreciates, it is a writer who knows what he’s talking about, a writer who doesn’t shift between opinions and give his/her readers a clear cut view of things. Confidence should be reflected in your writing. If you’re knowledgeable in your chosen topic, don’t be afraid to show it. Don’t be afraid of giving your readers a proper blow by blow, just don’t be a condescending jerk about it.

Tip 2: K.I.S.S. it to make it better

Keep it sweet and simple. No need to for lengthy overly-flowery lines of drama and flare. No need for mile long paragraphs filled of inessential stuff that your readers would just skim over. Remember, this is an article not a novella, so focus on the main topic at hand. A basic run down on the things you should center on is the 5Ws – who, what, why, when and where. There’s nothing wrong with giving a bit of color and creativity into the mix, but don’t overdo it.

Tip 3: Look at the pretty pictures

Words are scary. Words are boring. Words are only words but a mere picture is enough to convey a story worthy of a thousand. Don’t forget to give your articles that extra color that would allow your readers to visualize the ideas you’re trying to convey. Choose your photos wisely – make it creative, original and fresh. Also, don’t forget your credits.

Tip 4: Be Prepared

Don’t go running to a war without your guns. The guns I’m talking about are your grammar and style book. Nothing turns a reader off more than horrendous grammar and inconsistency. Aside from the fact that it’s make you look like a complete fool, it lowers your credibility and worth as a blogger.

So what if you lack proper punctuation and don’t know the subtle differences between ‘you’re and your’ or ‘its and it’s’, it’s the content that matters right? Wrong. You must remember that you need to dish out quality content – not this mashed up mess of word vomit – that actually gets read instead of being flagged as a joke. Also, don’t forget to reread and revise your work.

Tip 5: Catch their eye

Okay, so you have your content all punctuated and grammar checked. Your content quality is good enough to exude that knowledgeable atmosphere and you even have your pictures done up. Now, all that’s missing is a title.

Take note that nothing attracts readers more than a good title. Stuff that gives your content a certain pizzazz, that would literally make them want to click the link and read more of your article. Keep your headlines interesting but don’t overdo it, you’ll come across as overly-enthused.

Words of Wisdom: Be yourself, people appreciate sincerity more than conformity. Value your readers, they are your muse and critics, they have the power to lift you up and pull you down. Learn to face your faults and learn.

Writing is a cutthroat world – you’ll encounter criticisms, make mistakes and have your self-esteem pounded into a pulp. But you’ll learn things only experience can tell you and that is something worth experiencing for yourself.

10 easy-to-use tips for growing your blog audience

10 easy-to-use tips for growing your blog

Are you new to blogging and have no clue where, or how, to start gaining followers? Has your blog hit a slump? Try these 10 easy-to-use tips for growing your blog audience.

  1. Consistency is crucial

The first, and most important, step in growing your audience is developing a consistent posting schedule. The number or frequency of your posts is not as crucial in gaining loyal readers as is the consistency of your posting. If new readers like your writing, but they see that your posts are erratic at best, they are less likely to return than if they are able to see when your next post will be published. By sticking to a schedule, you will make following your blog easier and more enjoyable for your audience.

  1. Respect your readers

Another key to growing and maintaining your audience is showing them that you appreciate the time they have taken to read and comment on your blog. If you are too pressed for time to leave a substantial reply to every comment, at least use your manners and thank them graciously. After all, they didn’t have to read your blog, and they certainly didn’t have to take time out of their day to comment. Keep in mind, though, that if you are using Blogger or WordPress, commenters will have no way of knowing when you reply to them. Installing Disqus will give readers the option of being notified if anyone replies to their comments, and you will be promoting interaction on your blog by actively engaging your audience. You can also recognize participation and reward commenters by featuring their comments in your posts.

  1. Highlight other experts

Reaching out to others in the blogging community, or in your industry, is an important aspect of the world of blogging. If you admire a fellow blogger’s content, let them know. One way to do this is by interviewing them and featuring the interview in your next post. If you can’t swing an interview, provide a quote from them on your own blog post, along with a link back to their original content. Remember to always give others the appropriate credit when you use their material. Additionally, if you suggest that these fellow bloggers share your post with their own followers, your reach has the potential to grow exponentially.

  1. Don’t be boring (even if your subject matter is)

Even if your topic is the newest accounting software to hit the market, think of ways to spice up your post. Try thinking of what the story behind your topic may be, or how to relate your subject matter to a more interesting story through the use of analogies or metaphors. Of course, facts and figures may be critical in your presentation of the information, but if you have all the enthusiasm of a college textbook, your readers probably won’t be holding their breath waiting for your next post.

  1. Branch out to social media

Creating quality content, posting regularly, and providing readers with a way to subscribe to your blog simply may not be enough to grow your audience. There are vast numbers of people within your target audience who may never know that your blog exists because they aren’t looking for it. By creating pages or accounts for your blog on social networks, you will be sharing your blog and its content with a new audience. You will also be providing your readers with new options for following your blog, as well as an easy way for them to share your content with their friends.

  1. Be their guest

Are there blogs within your industry that you consider to be the go-to sources for new and reliable information? Contact the administrators for these blogs and offer to contribute a free, high-quality guest post. Though you won’t be reaping immediate monetary rewards, you will benefit from the exposure your guest post will gain for your blog. If you are given the opportunity to guest blog for a top blog in your industry, their readers will inevitably see your name and the link to your blog. This publicity alone could extend your reach, and you won’t have spent a dime on advertising. Guest blogging is an excellent way to increase your credibility as well.

  1. Utilize an email list

When people subscribe to your blog, you have a built-in audience that is already interested in your content. And, when people are excited about something, they generally want to share it with others. By creating an email list, you can quickly and easily make your loyal readers aware of new posts. If they are already interested in what your blog has to offer, they will also be happy to be notified of new content and will find the time to check it out and share it.

  1. Exchange links with other bloggers

This process, known as “link-ups”, allows you to participate in the exchange of blog links with fellow bloggers. Generally, link-ups follow a specific theme, and a blog must fit within the theme in order for you to participate. In short, participating bloggers all post links to their own blogs, while other bloggers visit each of the other participants’ links and either like, follow, comment, share, or otherwise show some love. If visiting bloggers like what they see, you could end up with more followers, some of whom are also likely to share content from your blog with their own audience.

  1. Leave feedback on other blogs

Whether it’s a blog that you already follow or one you found by following a link on someone’s Disqus or Facebook profile, bloggers all love feedback. Plus, by commenting on other blogs and leaving the link to your blog at the end of your feedback, you provide the blogger and other readers with a nearly irresistible invitation to click that link. If you provide feedback to other bloggers, most will feel compelled to return the favor by commenting on a few of your posts as well. In addition, readers who see your comments and follow your link may end up as loyal readers.

    10. Join blogging communities

Even the most creative blogger can run low on original content ideas at times. By joining blogging communities, you cannot only network with other bloggers (including others in your niche), but you can also collaborate with fellow bloggers to develop new content ideas. Additionally, by sharing your blog information within these communities, you may gain quite a few new followers by simply participating, networking, and having fun.

Did you like our 10 easy-to-use tips for growing your blog audience? Don’t leave us in the dark – share your thoughts in the comments section below!

5 weak words to avoid in your copywriting – from thenextweb

5 weak words to avoid

In today’s marketing reality every one of us is becoming a copywriter of some sort, being it copy for your site, news, articles, social media updates or emails to customers. A lot of us tend to forget the basics of good writing though… Thenextweb.com  comes up with 5 the most common offenders – parasite words that always make a way in your copy but give it nothing and make it sound unprofessional. So what are they?

5 weak words copywriters and bloggers should avoid (and what to use instead)

1. Really

Example:  “The swimmer really performed admirably.” Why it’s a problem: The word ‘really’ is a crutch. It is used to convey emphasis but it fails spectacularly in this. Really doesn’t tell us anything important and is inadequate as a description. It’s an example of the writing the way we speak but it just doesn’t translate on paper or screen. There’s also the issue of considering what the word “real” means. Real is a fact, it is not imagined or supposed. It is genuine. When you take this into consideration you’ll find that using really as an intensifier often conveys more emotion than we intended. If you are going to use this word, make sure to do so sparingly as to not lessen its impact. Thankfully, this problem is easily remedied: “The swimmer really performed admirably.” Can be changed into: “The swimmer performed admirably.” Nothing is lost by cutting ‘really’ from the sentence but simplicity and function is gained. As Mark Twain said, “Use the right word, not its second cousin.”

2. Things/Stuff

Example: “The article said a lot of things and stuff.” Why it’s a problem: While the writer may have a perfectly clear understanding of what ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ they are referring to, the reader does not. What things and stuff? Where things and stuff? How things and stuff? Which things and stuff? See where I’m going with this? There is too much left unsaid. The author Kurt Vonnegut often gave this piece of advice, pity the reader. He didn’t mean this in a disparaging way. What he meant was that we shouldn’t make the reader do more work than necessary. When the words ‘things’ or ‘stuff’ are used, an additional burden is placed on the reader to figure out what the writer is talking about. These words are simply too vague. The writer uses them to save time but it ends up hurting both the writer and the reader in the long run. Let’s fix the example from above: “The article said a lot of things and stuff.” Instead, we can spell out what the article says: “The article discussed the principles of interactive design.” I’ve clearly picked an extreme example to illustrate this one point: specificity rules.

Find out what the other 3 words are in the original Thenextweb.com  article here.