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The Secrets to Web Content that Sells

13 Jun

The best web developers understand that a critical part of every website design is the actual web content on every page. This content is what drives viewers to the website, and it is what keeps viewers interested in what the website has to offer. Additionally, web content compels website viewers to take action and either buy something or want to learn more. In order to write excellent web content, it is important to understand the basic fundamentals of writing search engine optimized copy. Here are some guidelines for writing web content that sells.

Web Content Research

Expert web content writers understand that before one word is every written for a website, research must be done first. This research consists of learning more about the niche industry or hobby that the website is about. This means reading up on the industry, as well as finding out what the top competitors are including on their websites. Any business that wants to get ahead in a smart way will take the time to research competitors first. Do this right and you have a great start to creating web content that sells!

Web Content Keywords

When consumers are looking for something on the Internet, they will generally type in a series of keywords into a search engine. These keywords are what lead viewers to particular websites. The websites which have enough of these keywords included in the web content get the best results in the search engines. This is often referred to as search engine optimization, or SEO. When writing content, be sure to use keyword research tools to indentify the top five keyword combinations for the best results for your website.

Web Content Word Counts

Another way to web content success is to make sure that you follow the rules when it comes to the actual word count of your web copy. Many people do not understand that if you do not have at least 250 words on a web page, it will simply be ignored by most major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Be sure to write at least 250 words for each page. In addition, do not get carried away with your keywords, which will only cause your pages to be dropped entirely!

Web Content Paragraph Structure

Most readers will spend approximately 30 seconds or less reading your web content, so keep your sentences easy to read to keep them interested. Limit each paragraph to no more than 3-4 sentences and make sure that they make overall sense. Each paragraph should start with a compelling sentence and end with another compelling sentence to lead readers to the next paragraph. Remember, you are not writing a novel here, just great web content!

Call to Action in Web Content

Lastly, if you want to write the very best web content, you must include a call to action for your readers. Near the middle to the end of the web content, be sure to ask the reader to take action such as exploring other parts of the website (through imbedded links), pick up the phone to call, make a purchase, or send an email through a web contact form. The goal of the website is to not have people get stuck reading through many pages of content, but rather to take clear action.

As you write your web content, be sure to take the time to proofread it and spell check it so that your website comes off as intelligent and authoritative to readers. The basics of good writing apply to web content and will help your copy to sell to viewers. By following the above tips, your web content will improve and you will get positive results in terms of selling your ideas, services and products on a website marketing platform.

What I Learned From Blogging Everyday for a Month

29 May

During the month of May, I decided to participate in the 2011 WordCount Blogathon, which required posting once a day to ‘A Journey of Words’. For a busy freelance web copy writer, this was no easy task. First of all, I had to dedicate at least 30 minutes daily to writing a blog post. Secondly, I had to come up with topics that would be of interest to my readers. Lastly, I had to stick with something for an entire month, something I have struggled with in the past. But here I am, at the end of this challenge and I did it!

During this time, here’s what I learned:

1. Blogging can be a great way to connect with readers and meet new contacts. Throughout the month, I had the honor of getting comments from a huge audience of fellow bloggers, writers and business owners around the world. A few even agreed to be guest bloggers, which was such a treat. I have to say that the rewards of blogging are many.

2. Blogging teaches discipline as a freelancer. One of the biggest fears I had going into the Blogathon was that I would not have the time to blog daily. Instead, I found that the time I spent blogging taught me a lot about being committed to something bigger than myself. I became more disciplined and stopped letting things distract me from my purpose as a writer.

3. Blogging daily is a great source of free advertising. Over the entire month, I used Google alerts to track my success as a blogger, specifically to see if my name came up often through web searches. You may have noticed that there were specific keywords highlighted in most posts (but not all). These keywords helped my website to rank higher and I got a lot of Google hits on my name and my blog feeds.

Spending time on your blog daily, or at least a few times a week, can be a great way to build a steady following of people, make new friends and build awareness about your business or passions. I fully intend to use my blog as a tool to reach more people and share information in a big way this year.

Now it’s your turn to share – How do you benefit from blogging?

3 Tips for Coming Up with Ideas as a Writer

28 May

One of the questions that I get a lot from new writers and clients is, “Where do I find ideas to write about?” For many writers, inspiration comes from different sources. These sources depend on what you are exposed to in an average week, who you talk with, and what kind of media streams into your world.

You may be surprised to learn that I personally do NOT watch television, I seldom have time to sit down and read novels, and I don’t go out looking for topics to write about. Instead, I let the world unravel itself to me. I write about things that I personally encounter through different forms of technology and personal networking combined with a passion for researching.

If you are struggling with coming up with topics for your blog, marketing materials or more…here are 3 simple tips to coming up with interesting things to write about.

Use writing prompts. A great way to come up with topics, especially if you are more of a creative writer, is to employ writing prompts. These are short little intros on topics to write about, sort of like what your English teacher used to assign to you to write essays. Some of my favorite writing prompt websites give you fun writing prompts to get you started. Visit Writer’s Digest Writing Prompts and The One-Minute Writer for some fun, daily writing prompts!

Subscribe to favorite blog and news feeds. If you are a sporadic reader (like me) you can often find writing inspiration through what you read. Blogs and online news sources can give you a lot to think about and inspire new writing. If you have a mobile device, you can even read on the go. Just be sure to credit any sources you find and ask bloggers before you quote from their blog posts.

Look for popular trends. As a web copy writer, you will want to ocassionally create articles and blog posts on popular topics to drive traffic stats up. To do this, focus in on the hot topics and keywords that are creating a buzz on the Internet. Try using Google Trends or Yahoo Buzz Index to locate these topics.

 

Now it’s your turn. How do you come up with ideas to write about? Please be sure to share them below!

Why Facebook Fans Matter to Small Businesses

26 May

Does your business have a facebook fan page?

Have you been trying to figure out how to use this social media outlet to reach more of your target market?

How can you use facebook to build a loyal following of customers?

These, and many other questions are on the minds of small business owners everywhere. Social media should be at the very top of any business marketing plan. Why? Because it’s a cheap and easy way to interact with people online from all walks of life. It’s also becoming the go-to place for consumers. Just in the last year, facebook saw a huge increase in the numbers of consumers who use this website to research businesses, shop for products and services, and connect with local merchants. Just since the beginning of 2011, there are some 600 million facebook users. Consumers love to share information about their favorite stores, restaurants and services with their networks, which can range in the thousands on facebook.

A growing trend in small business online marketing is using facebook as a primary platform to launch a new idea. Before even building a website or engaging in other marketing efforts, many small businesses are simply building facebook pages and trying to earn followers through good old-fashioned networking.  And this effort works wonders! I’ve personally worked with small business owners who have used this technique to pre-launch a business website, and they have amassed hundreds of eager followers who have converted over to customers within days.

Facebook fans matter a lot to small businesses who may not have the means to pay for other types of advertising. Many small businesses just use facebook as a way to talk about new products and services, using images and website links to invite others to explore more. Some use facebook as a way to research and find new customers online that fit certain demographics. Others use social media to share information and hold contests to help generate more interest.

Perhaps the best way to use facebook and other forms of social media for a small business is to generate more web traffic. Because facebook happens to be in the number 2 spot currently on Alexa’s Top 500 Global sites, it’s really hard to beat in terms of web traffic. Put a post on facebook, and within 24 hours you can expect your website traffic stats to go up as well. I’ve seen it work time and again with clients as well as my own business.

So, if your business doesn’t have a facebook presence yet, or you are not fully maximizing it with daily posts – get in touch with me so I can help you take advantage of this excellent small business resource. I will be happy to show you how to use facebook to your advantage and why facebook fans should matter to your business.

How to Use PLR for Effective Small Business Marketing

21 May

If you’ve never heard of PLR before, you are not alone. This relatively “secret” form of content marketing has been around for quite some time with online marketers. PLR means “Private Label Rights” and it’s used to describe copy that is written for you for the purposes of private use for blogs, websites, email marketing and more. Essentially, you can buy pre-written articles and content for your small business niche, and use it virtually any way you wish. This time saving resource can help a small business owner get on top of marketing initiatives and provide more ideas for educating potential clients about the business.

But should you be using PLR for your small business? Here are some tips for using it the right way to market your business…

PLR is cheap, but you must rewrite it.  If you are a small business owner on a tight budget, you can buy PLR articles relatively cheaply in comparison to having original articles and content written for you. That is, if you have the time to re-write the content to make sure it gets past Google’s duplicate content system. The biggest mistake you can make is to simply copy and paste the content to your website or blog without re-writing PLR first. To get the most out of your investment, hire a freelance writer to re-write the content for you so that it is 100% original and promotes your business through links.

PLR provides content for other marketing needs. One of the best ways to use PLR as a small business owner is to repurpose it for use on other marketing materials – like newsletters, flyers and reports. Take PLR that is on a specific topic and combine it into one larger document to form a simple report. Use the most relevant paragraphs in the PLR to start new blog posts and topics on your community forums. Or take the PLR and use it on facebook or twitter, sentence by sentence, to generate interest in your business.

PLR can be resold for profit. A great way for any small business owner to increase profits is to organize the PLR material into eBooks or video tutorials to be sold to customers. Gather the best PLR and write a simple eBook that can be formatted and sold online via your website, eBook or print on demand programs. If you are feeling generous, use your eBooks as a giveaway on your websites and blogs to increase subscriptions from viewers. Use the PLR to create a video series on how to do something, in your business niche. All of these things can help establish you as the expert in your particular field and generate additional income for you at the same time.

So if you are ready to delve into PLR, be sure to follow the rules and you will see results in a relatively short period of time. Again, take the time to hire an experienced copy writer to help you get the most out of your PLR.

If you are looking for some good sources of quality PLR, check out the following reputable PLR providers here:

All Quality PLR

Easy PLR

All Private Label Content

PLR Private Label Rights

Mom PLR eBooks and More!

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About the Author: Tess C. Taylor, Owner of Taylor Resources Writing, is a skilled web copy writer from Charleston, South Carolina who specializes in helping small business owners project the right message online. She has personally written over 2,500 articles, managed 100+ web copy projects and is regularly featured on The Chamber of Commerce, FindVenture, WiseGeek, US News, Yahoo and more as a business and careers writer. You can find out more by visiting HTTP://WWW.TRWRITING.COM today!

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Using Google Calendar to Set Up an Easy Blogging Editorial Calendar

3 May

This week, the 2011 Wordcount Blogathon launched with some great incentives to start blogging daily! At last count, there were over 200 unique blogs participating in this fun activity. When you think about it, that’s a lot of blog posts! 

To start things off right, I decided to be proactive with my own blog and set up an easy editorial calendar using Google calendar. I use this free web-based calendar for so many things in my Charleston copy writing business. From booking private clients and scheduling myself for events, to setting up reminders for project deadlines and important networking meetings – I use Google calendar ALL the time. The cool thing is that it’s not only just a nice web-based calendar, it has a lot of great features such as sending invitations to others for meetings, and text message reminders right to any mobile device! Without this technology wonder, I would be lost most days!

So, when it came down to the Blogathon, I wanted to get myself set up with fresh ideas and reminders for topic days on my Google calendar so I have it all planned out. That way I don’t forget a day or get burnt out on blogging.

Here’s how I set up an Editorial Calendar for the Blogathon:

  1. Signed into my Google accounts
  2. Clicked on “Calendar” which took me to another page
  3. Set up a New Calendar Named “Blogathon”
  4. Added a Daily Topic for each day of the month of May
  5. Set up reminders to send me a text and email each day

It really was that easy! Anyone can use this handy FREE tool to create an online editorial calendar to maintain a blog. Try to think of topics that are relevant to your business, what your clients or friends may be into, and in a specific order that makes the best sense. If you have a complex topic, try breaking it up into a series and then writing about it for a few days – expanding on the topic as you go.

Wishing all the participants of the 2011 Wordcount Blogathon the best of success! Looking forward to getting to know others, share some great information and make new friends.

OK now it’s YOUR turn – how are you keeping track of your blog posts??? Please leave comments below!

About the Author:

Tess C. Taylor, Web Copy Writer and Owner of Taylor Resources Writing, has been writing for the web since 2007. After transitioning from a 14 year career in Human Resources, Tess writes on many topics close to the hearts of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Her work has been featured on Yahoo Business, US News and Chamber of Commerce. For more information about Tess, please visit www.trwriting.com

Word Count Blogathon 2011 – Tess C Taylor, Charleston Web Copy Writer Participating!

1 May

Hey all!

During the month of May, I’ve decided to inject my blog “A Journey of Words” with some energy by participating in the Word Count 2011 Blogathon! This fun event is the brainchild of Michelle Rafter, the founder of “Wordcount: Freelancing in the Digital Age“, which happens to be one my favorite blogs that’s jammed packed with information about web content and copy writing! The reason I chose to get involved in this are many, including:

  • My blog really needs more interesting content to get people engaged.
  • I LOVE sharing information about being a Copy Writer in Charleston.
  • I’d like to introduce some of the wonderful entrepreneurs I work with.
  • Would like to get to know many more people in the online marketing industry.
  • The topics for the Blogathon look fun to write about.
  • The 2011 Wordcount Blogathon offers some sweet prizes and a party!

The entire Blogathon requires that bloggers write at least a post per day, write on specific topics, get other bloggers involved and join in on a network of others who are doing this fun activity. The first thing I was concerned with was “Will I have enough things to talk about on my blog?”, closely followed by “How will I find time to post daily?”. Naturally, as a busy freelance web copy writer, I have a lot on my plate. Clients depend on me to get their projects done. I’m continually trying to meet more people who can utilize my services. Plus, I have a fairly active personal life as Mom to a college student. The To-Do list in my life is ever growing.

Still, I accept this challenge to grow my blog, meet new people, and get myself out there instead of being a hermit, buried under work! So, look for some informational, educational, funny, and sometimes off the wall posts in the coming weeks. I’m using my Google calendar to set reminders of the topics and to make sure I don’t forget a day. From your favorite Charleston copy writer to you – here’s to the start of something wonderful!

Want more information about how you can join the 2011 Word Count Blogathon? Register here : http://michellerafter.com/the-2011-wordcount-blogathon/