Tag Archives: blogging

Blogging Tips for Blog and Online Marketing Success

A blog is an essential online marketing tool these days. However, if you handle it poorly, it can backfire and damage your reputation. Here are some social media marketing tips to ensure your blogging is effective.

Blog Writing Tips for Blogging Success

  1. Write original content. Copy and pasting someone else’s content is a huge no-no. Not only is it illegal and unethical under copyright law and plagiarism rules, but the search engines are very adept at recognizing duplicate content and will penalize your site for it.
  2. Use quality, optimized images. Make sure they’re royalty free if you haven’t made them yourself or paid for them. Canva and PicMonkey are two popular image tools. Your images should have some visual appeal, something that catches the eye and draws a viewer’s attention to it. All images need to have alt tags and meta descriptions that contain the proper keywords. They also need to be sized properly for the target platform. For example, Pinterest favors taller images, while other sites favor wider images. You can use a plugin like WP Smush.It to reduce the load time of your images.
  3. Keep your content fresh. Posting only one a month or less won’t be often enough to get you the results you want. Google will rank your site lower if it sees the same stale content on there.
  4. Keep your target audience in mind. For example, a legal blog shouldn’t use lots of obscure Latin terms and legalese if it’s aimed at clients in the general public. Figure out how to match your tone to the style best suited to the readers you want to reach.
  5. Proofread. Use of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation is important for a professional image. Especially if you’re trying to market writing services, a missing comma an cost you a potential customer. However, even if you’re selling widgets, sloppy writing may convey an unprofessional, sloppy impression of your business to your audience.
  6. Provide interaction. Your posts should give the reader an opportunity to provide feedback. Popular plugins for reader interaction are comment boxes and social share buttons, but there are also other options. If you use a comment plugin, be aware that spammers can target these, so you should protect your site with an anti-spam plugin like Akismet or Captcha. You may be very surprised, and not in a good way, by the number of spam comments you’ll receive without a safeguard in place. Deleting hundreds or thousands of spam comments definitely isn’t one of the joys of blogging.

These are some basic content writing tips that are essential for bloggers on all topics. Of course, there’s more to optimizing your blog and engaging with readers, so stay tuned for my follow up posts on blogging. Do you have a favorite blog? One you want to pick on-even mine?

Social Media Engagement – How Much Time is Needed?

There are differing opinions about how often you should post on social media sires like Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn when you want to promote your business. Advice can range from once a week to multiple times a day. What’s the right amount? What about personal profile posts?

Posting on Social Media Business Pages

Based upon various studies and articles on the subject, Twitter seems to be the platform that requires the most engagement, with multiple tweets daily being suggested. Regardless of how often you believe you need to be posting to your business pages, even if it’s just once a week, one thing that’s agreed upon is that your posts need to be informative and add value. Even if you’re spinning an article or curating existing content, rather than writing totally original content, this takes more time that just posting a link to another page. Your comment on the post often needs to be formatted and have hash tags. The are tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, but you’ll still to come up with content, add imagery, which needs to be optimized with an alt tag and description, etc. I’m not even factoring in the time it takes to create original images, slides, and video. How do you find the time?

Just like anything else that needs to get done, you need to make time for your priorities. There’s only so much time in the day, and sometimes proper time management calls for delegation. A top executive may need to devote more time on other business matters and find it cost-efficient to delegate social media engagement to others. That’s not a problem, but what about the small business owner without the funds to hire social media help?

Social media content writing requires proper time management, discipline, and organizational skills. I find it best to schedule my blogging on a certain day of the week. Occasionally I don’t always meet this goal because I’m putting work for others ahead of my own, but I do my best to make the time and stick to the schedule. When I can, I write an extra article to have in reserve for the weeks when I’m really crunched for time.

Posting on Social Media Personal Profile Pages

I spend all day in front of my computer, and much of it working on social media tasks. I don’t really have any time left over these days to post on my personal pages. I make time to stay in touch on Facebook with one of my long-distance friends who’s ill, that’s about it. While I’m on there, I’ll spend a few minutes reading my timeline and may comment on some posts, but I notice some of my friends are avid users and post regularly. I have to wonder where they find the time. Many have jobs and a social life. It’s true that these types of posts don’t require lots of effort, compared to writing an article or blog post. However, there are some people that post constantly enough that it’s equivalent to writing a novel, plus they leave numerous lengthy comments on others’ posts. That’s when I begin to wonder if they have a life in the real world, have social media addiction, or are just needy for attention.

Are you finding it a breeze to manage your business’ social media? Do you have time-management tricks to share? Do you think there should be a limit to how much time one spends on social media for personal pages? Please share any advice or thoughts…if you can find the time.

Tips for Freelancer Success and How to Not Get Ripped Off

freelancer success tips

Freelancing is challenging and it’s easy to make mistakes in getting hired. These mistakes can harm not only your income, but freelancer reputation as well. I hope the following advice will help you avoid some of the bumps along your road to success.

Freelancing Lessons I’ve Learned the Hard Way

Research Your Client – Many sites that post freelance jobs, like Elance and Freelancer, will display information about the employer, such as feedback from other freelancers, number of paid jobs, total amount paid, etc. This can provide valuable clues about their integrity and potential for future work with this client. It can also raise red flags, such as when they have no payment history, the payment method isn’t verified, or they have a number of unpaid jobs.

Don’t Communicate Off-Site About Freelancer Terms – If the site has a method for describing job terms, make sure to include all the details regarding the tasks involved, deadlines, and payment terms in the form provided on the site. Even if you’ve discussed terms through messages on the site, repeat them in the main page that evidences acceptance of the job proposal.

Always Nail Down the Price – Some job postings are vague about payment terms. Always get a written agreement that defines precisely how you will be paid, including:

  • Amount – This might be fixed price or hourly. If it’s hourly, make sure to agree on the number of hours authorized. If it’s an incremental or piecework rate, define the rate and amount of work to be performed. For example, a blog post assignment might be paid on a per word basis, so define the amount per word and the number or range of words to be written.
  • Payment method – Specify whether a credit card, Paypal, etc. will be used if the payment method isn’t already defined. If there are associated fees, be clear about who will be responsible to incur the fees or additional charges.
  • Time of payment – Will you be paid in a lump sum, incremental amounts as milestones are achieved, and on what exact date(s)?
  • Never work on spec – The client should have an opportunity to see your work portfolio prior to hiring you for the job. If they’re satisfied with the examples, they shouldn’t have a problem with paying you to get a job done. Escrow arrangements can resolve any doubts about delivery, and Paypal protection may also apply.
  • Don’t Give Your Work Away – Some employers will try to get you to submit an initial project at a greatly reduced rate or even free, with the promise of future work. This is usually a scam, and simply a bad business practice that you shouldn’t agree to. It may be tempting when you’re having dry spell, but don’t set yourself up to get used by an unscrupulous employer this way. Look for employers who have integrity and the financial backing to pay a fair price.

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Copywriting Tips to Drive Traffic and Sales

Copywrting tips

A copywriter must to use the most effective strategies to get viewers to click and continue reading. With so many sites competing for the limited attention of online viewers, you need a way to grab a reader’s attention and avoid having them click away before reading your message. Some essential copywriting guidelines to follow are listed below.

Copywriting that Gets Results

  • Write an effective headline. – The headline is key for grabbing a viewer’s attention. It needs to be compelling and intriguing, your viewers need to want to click and find out more. Spend time putting thought into your headline. This is the most important part of your copywriting. If your headline doesn’t motivate the viewer to click on the link and read on, the rest of what you say won’t really matter.
  • Use visual, rich media and alternative content display to grab users’ attention. – Using videos has been shown to be an effective communication tool, but images and graphs are also useful. The key is to present information in a novel, unexpected, and visually appealing way. Be careful not to use media that takes too long to load on the page. Studies have shown that even one second can make the difference between a viewer clicking away from the page or not. It’s been estimated that a third of viewers will abandon the page between one and five seconds if it has a slow load time.
  • Be informative. – Your content should offer something of value to the reader. With so many sites begging for online attention, your content needs to reward your viewers’ attention with something of benefit to them.
  • Be relatable. – This goes beyond just writing in a way that’s easy to read. While it’s important to use the right tone in speaking to the audience you’re targeting, you also want to make it easy for them to identify with what you’re saying. The use of personal narrative is an effective way of allowing the audience connect with your message.
  • Use keywords effectively. – Don’t overstuff your content with keywords. Use them in a logical way that flows naturally with the delivery of the information being presented.

Online consumers are bombarded with messages trying to grab their attention. You need to keep their limited attention span in mind. Getting viewers to click is the initial hurdle. After that, your words are the magic glue that keeps them from bouncing off of the page. With properly crafted content, your words will convert your viewers into customers.

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