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What is Content Marketing?

The old methods of marketing are quickly becoming less effective and instead is being replaced with content marketing.

Content marketing is a strategy where you are giving your customers useful and relevant information in order to attract and gain business.

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For example, REI (which sells gear and clothes for outdoor recreational activities) offers customers a ton of information. There website is loaded with content that is surrounded with everything that has to do with the outdoors, and not just about their products. You’ll find a section with their expert advice and even a journal of news article and interviews.

By having this content, it opens up their website for new customers to discover them. Someone may only be searching for advice and stumble upon their page. As they are exploring the site, they will likely see the products then and be more willing to purchase if it is offered in that advice section.

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By using content marketing, it also allows them to share more information on social media and improve their SEO rankings while still being cost effective.

This is why it is important to hire a writer who is capable of accurate research or educated in the subject of your content. When you have a lot of valuable content, customers feel more trustworthy of your company and will likely do repeat business.

Can you think of other companies that use a lot of content marketing?

Keyword Research for Using SEO

Being knowledgeable in SEO strategies is important for all content writers to be familiar with. One of these strategies is using keywords that are naturally woven into your blog. But, if you’re an entry level writer then how do you know what keywords to use?

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The best method that I have discovered is to first, think about what keywords your reader would be looking for. Begin with a broad search and then try to think of words to narrow the search. For example if you running a new website for a local juice bar, your keywords might not only include the obvious keywords but also the zip code and area that you are located in.  This way your site may come up higher when users are looking a juice bar in a specific area.

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You also can try searching for these words in google. As you are researching words that you think will be good to use, you can scroll all the down at the bottom of the search screen and see the “searches related to” section. This will also give you an idea of some other keywords to input as well.

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Scrolling to the related search sections offers other keyword suggestions

Remember not to overuse the keyword and to naturally weave into your blog. I usually write the blog first the way I want it and then look for areas where I could naturally add the keywords there.

Do any of you other bloggers reading this have any helpful tips when it comes to deciding which keywords should be used?

Managing Your Writing Goals

Creating and maintaining goals is a great way to stay on track with your writing. I don’t know about you but if I don’t force myself to write, then I probably would not write as much as I do.

So if you’re like me, you should try setting some writing goals for yourself.

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When thinking about your goals, the first thing that you want to do is be realistic. Really think about it, before committing yourself to it.

Here’s why.

We, as humans all tend to become overly excited and extremely motivated when first setting goals. We envision who we want to be and then say that nothing will get in the way of our dreams. And for a few days, maybe even a few weeks it works.

We stay on track and hit our goals. Until…the inevitable happens.  You somehow manage to screw up your goal plan.

If your plan is too unrealistic, you’ll become overwhelmed quickly and when it doesn’t work out, you’ll feel like a failure. But, you’re not a failure. You just set your goals in an unrealistic way. But, kudos to you for your high ambition!

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To avoid this overwhelming feeling that do not serve us, it’s important to set realistic goals. In fact, set your goals low at first and then keep adding to them.

For example, I jstarted this blog about a month ago. It’s something that is brand new to me. I write for two other sites, I have a full time job and I need time during the weekends to mentally chill out. So, while at first I would love to write for this blog 4 times a week, I don’t think that’s really realistic at this point.

Instead, I am going to shoot for once a week. And, I’m able to hit that goal without feeling overwhelmed. In fact, I feel very satisfied with myself with hitting this goal, which in return, inspires me to keep up the work.  As this once a week post becomes an easy habit for me, then I will add 2 a week and so on.

So, once you have a realistic goal, the next thing to do is to write it down. This helps your brain to remember it better and also allows you to have a visual reminder. I like to place my written goal in an area on my desk where I see it numerous times a day. That way it’s a constant reminder and gets into my subconscious.

Another suggestion is to reward yourself every time you complete that goal. Our brain is hard wire to repeat actions that cause us pleasure. So if we do an action and expect a positive reward we are more likely to complete and repeat that action.

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Rewards are a great way to reinforce hitting your goals

The last suggestion is to remain patient. Goals take time to achieve. And learning how to achieve those goals also takes time. In our society we are led to believe that success will happen overnight, but sadly that’s not true. Every achievement takes goal setting, small steps and time. So if you remember to keep on top of your goals and you don’t quit, you will ultimately get there.

Remember no human can stay on track with their goals all the time. But what separates successful goal achieves from non-achievers is how they handle themselves when they fall off. An achiever will always get right back on the horse and try again, no matter how many times it takes.

Questions for you:

When was a time where you set a goal and achieved it? What things helped to keep you on track?

Do you Make These 5 Blogging Mistakes?

If you have a blog and it seems to be going nowhere, you may want to re-examine your technique. Especially if you are losing followers. Below are 5 common blog mistakes writers can be accustomed too, without realizing its harmful.

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Not Writing Consistently

The more consistent you write for your blog, the better. Especially if you have followers. They followed you for a reason, so give them what they want. More blogs that will make their day! This also tends to gain respect and trust from your readers as well. They know they can rely on you for consistent updates and news.

Too Many Topics

Oh man! Talking about too many topics can be really overwhelming and chaotic for your reader. Imagine this scenario….I just discovered your site and am skimming through your blog. Your blog…is right up my alley. You’re talking about the Kardashians, Ariana Grande and all the celebrity gossip. I am loving it! But then all of the sudden, I hit “Next” and your talking about how the architecture aspect of the Sears Tower was based off a pack of cigarettes. What? You completely switched topics and confused me. So, guess what…I’m leaving your site and now going to find another site by googling more celebrity gossip.

For this reason, I would advise to write between one or three topics.

Ignoring Your Audience

You need to write with a purpose and your audience is that purpose. Remember that you are writing for them. They are coming to your site for help, information or to just enjoy your writing. So keep them in mind when discussing topics. If you are unsure who your audience is, then you need to do some research and discover who they are.

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Lousy Quality

Sometimes bloggers focus more on quantity, instead of quality. While it’s important to be consistent in your blog writing, you also want to make sure it’s your best work. Good quality goes all long way. 12 crappy blogs will turn a reader away versus one great blog, which may attract a follower or two.

No Use of Tone

Writing a blog is not the same as writing an academic research paper. So, have fun with it! Do not go all monotone boring. Instead, write like you talk. Show your excitement or your dislike for something. Get your readers involved by letting them see your personality.

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Having a blog means that you learn and grow from your mistakes. That’s a part of the process and it’s apart of the fun of it. It’s all about discovering what works for you from trial and error. Hopefully now that you know these top 5 mistakes, you’ll be able to adjust your blogging methods and see if that helps you out.

Do any of you guys have any other suggestions? Anything that did or did not work for you? If so , please share in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

How to Handle Negative Comments on Your Businesses Social Media

A negative social media comment is bound to happen. And when it does, no need to worry or feel too upset. This is all quite common when running any business. Although you want to make sure it’s handled correctly.

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After seeing the comment, you need to address the situation. In other words never ignore or delete the negative statement. Instead, you want to respond as quickly as you can. For this reason, you’ll want someone managing your social media accounts, daily.

When responding, try your best to help. Do not become defensive or angry. Instead, approach the situation in a caring and calm manner.

If the conversation is going back and forth and becoming too long, the best option is to give the customer a number or email for them to reach you and talk one on one with each other.

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Problems and mistakes happen. At first people can have a harsh and critical reaction but once they feel they have been heard and the problem will be solved, they calm down. In fact, they will likely praise your company for handling it as well as you did.

So, while your first reaction to a negative comment may be defensive, remember to stay calm and help the person out. Your other followers will be reading how your company responded and will have a greater respect for you if you take the high road.

Top 5 Advantage Of Using Social Media for Your Business

Having social media accounts for your business is an effective marketing tool. Most people check their social media accounts numerous times a day. Therefore, it only makes sense that having social media helps boost sales and grows your business. You need to market on the platform where your customers are going. Below are 5 advantages of using social media for your business:

  • Allows you to connect and interact on a personal level

  • Further develops your brand and voice

  • Increases traffic to website

  • Allows for customer feedback

  • Improved search engine ratings

This will need to be monitored daily, because there are some risks when having social media. The main thing is that if you have someone being bullying or harassing others. You could also get negative feedback which you would want to be handled immediately. So it’s important to have a staff member to monitor your social media activity.

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Master the Art of Writing With These 5 Tips

When you think of a professional writer you may imagine someone who can always find the right words immediately. Which can be true, but it’s not likely a writer begin that way. Mastering the Art of Writing takes time and discipline. Below are 5 tips that will help you prepare to become a better writer.

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#1 – Write every single day

I know. Sometimes writing is daunting and you’re just not feeling it. But, if you discipline yourself to write every single day, it’ll become a lot easier and you’ll find it’s more enjoyable. Throughout the process you will also find your voice and become better with every day.

#2 – Discover your passion and make it your niche

Your energy and love for a topic shines in your writing. Therefore, you don’t want to be writing anything that you find boring. This will reflect in your writing and your readers will likely find your tone boring as well. Plus, why waste time researching and writing about something you don’t like. So be sure to be passionate about your topics.

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#3 – Always be learning and reading

Even if you have found your niche, do not think that you know it all. There is always something else to learn and to research. You want to be an expert at your field and trends are always changing. So, never assume you know it all. Instead open yourself up to learning and reading as much as possible.

#4 – Keep the rough draft…rough

In other words do not edit the first draft. Make the first draft messy! This is how you can let go and get out everything. It allows you to not have any distractions that may interrupt your creative process. Trying to make it look pretty in the first round, can be detrimental. You can easily forget the things you were going to say, all because you needed to go back a spell a word correctly.

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#5 – Take breaks

Once you have written everything out on the rough draft, step away from it. It’s all there on the paper anyway, so you can take a break. Look at it again with fresh eyes in a few hours or days later. This will make the writing process easier. If you do everything at once, your brain kind of turns into mush, and you’ll likely miss easy grammatical errors. So give yourself and your brain some time to relax and approach the piece at a later time.

It really comes down to figuring out what works for you as a writer. One method or tip may work for one writer and not another. These 5 tips usually help most writers learn how to become more productive and thoughtful in their writing. Hopefully you find them helpful as well.

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a method of creating and organizing your website so that it ranks in the top section of a search result.

Because let’s face it…we don’t tend to scroll down or let alone click onto the second page, when looking for google search results. We typically will click on the top sites that are shown to us.

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Now, typically the first result you see will have the word “ad” under it, meaning that that company paid HUGE bucks in order for their site to be listed first. But, below that you will notice sites that do not have to word “ad”. This means that this site has all the aspects that search engines are looking for and that it organically came up in the top of the search results.

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This means that this website has exactly what the user is looking for and is a reliable and trust worthy site.

How do search engines, such as Google and Yahoo do this? They use an algorithm system, that scans websites for certain qualities. Although they do not make this public knowledge, we do have a few ideas of what they are searching for.

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This includes having relevant links and references. Images that are labeled correctly. Reliable content. Easy navigation. And numerous sources of your keywords scattered in, typically in a regularly updated blog.

Creating a website using thoughtful practices of SEO will improve your sites rankings. This not only increases your rankings in the search results but also means you have a useful site for your customers.

Overusing Keywords in Your Blog

Search engines like Google are smart.

In fact, they are so smart that they are able to detect when your website is a scam and when it’s legit.

The purpose of search engines is to give their customers the best online experience by directing them to the most useful website.

Therefore, whatever key words are being typed into the search engine bar, Google wants to ensure they will produce the best websites results.

If they fail to do this, then the customers will use another search engine and Google’s respectable reputation will quickly diminish.

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For this reason, Google scans sites looking for those keywords. In the past, blog writers would overload these keywords onto their clients sites. This helped increase their SEO (search engine optimization) rankings but they were not useful sites for the customers. To remedy this, Google changed the way it scanned for legit sites.

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In fact, if you are overusing your keywords Google may think you’re not legit and will mark you lower on SEO.

That’s why hiring a good blog writer is important. You want someone who can understands this concept.

Incorporating keywords is a tricky balance.

What you want to do is focus on creating quality content with a few useful key words. If you’re thinking about the needs of the people visiting your site, then you will ultimately be successful.

 

Blog Like a Pro with the Help of These 5 Tips

Blogging is a fun and creative way to share your voice and connect with more people. But if your blog is not set up correctly, readers might be missing out on what you have to say.

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Online readers move fast and are quick to move from page to page. In order to hold your readers attention it’s crucial to follow these 5 blogging tips below.

Write original content. You’re not going to go far if you’re copying and pasting blog posts from other sites. If you are not being your authentic self, readers will pick up on it quickly and dismiss your site.

Be factual. You don’t want to give out misleading or false information. While research may be time consuming, it’ll be worth it in the end. Be as accurate as possible to gain your readers trust and they will come back for more.

Short sentences. All of us, are typically only skimming the page when reading online. For this reason, it’s important to create short sentences. This allows your readers to move their eyes faster onto to page and internalize the information. Keep your blog between 300 – 500 words. If you have to many words, the reader will lose interest and move on.

White space. Creating white space between your paragraphs, allows the readers eyes to easily navigate through the page. Seeing a bunch of words all smooched together looks time consuming and hard to read. But having white space directs the eyes to keep moving down to read further.

Share the knowledge. Your readers are online looking for answers to questions. Share what you know and give it away for free. If you don’t have the answers, your readers will find another site that does. So don’t hide the material, give out the answers.

These are your basic tips to follow when blogging. I also like to bold certain words because I feel it stands out for someone skimming.

Hopefully you made it to end of this post and are reading this. If you are then my tips worked!

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