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.

Paragraph Structure for Web Writing

25 May

As you have been looking through popular websites, following your favorite writers and even dabbling in some web writing on your own, you may have noticed a pattern in the way web writing looks.

There is a certain format that seems to look better on most websites. This is not by accident. Professional web content writers understand that the way paragraphs and entire pages of content are formatted bears an impact on how well the website will perform and how readers will respond.

When you were a student, you were probably taught in English class that writers start out their work by writing a main sentence, followed by supporting sentences. Once the thought or idea is developed and a new thought is introduced, a new paragraph starts. This is fine for creative writing and for writing for traditional print publications, but for web writing, it’s a little different.

Writing for the web uses those same basic principles and takes them to the next level. Because you’ve already learned how website viewers read web pages and how they find websites, you may be trying to figure out how this applies to the format for web articles and content?

Simply put, the format you should write in has a little more to do with keeping readers’ attention and less to do with writing full paragraphs in the traditional sense. Writing paragraphs that appeal to the way people review information online becomes a critical aspect of how you will format your writing.

As you begin writing for the web, you may be tempted to write just as you always have as a creative or technical writer. While you may already have a great personal talent for writing, your writing will not perform as well on a website if you fail to recognize how people read online. In general, your sentence structure should be broken down into a simpler format so that it doesn’t overwhelm readers who are scanning the page for pertinent information.

Rule of thumb as a web writer – Keep It Simple!

 

  • Limit paragraphs to one compelling or interesting opening line or sentence. Then follow with two to three supporting sentences.

 

  • Limit paragraphs to 100 words or less for the maximum results and the increased likelihood that someone will actually read your article or content.

 

  • Limit searchable keywords to once per sentence, as anymore than that will be considered spam or trying to trick the search engines.

 

  • Use hyper-links on the desired keywords or those that are relevant to the topic of the content itself once per paragraph.

 

  • Make sure that all titles and subtitles include at least one of the keywords and bold all titles.

 

  • Keep articles between 450 – 600 words in length as that is the optimal length for web writing.

Want to learn more? Check out Freelance Writing Class for more tips on becoming a well-paid web writer!

How Writing for the Web is Different than Other Forms of Writing

24 May

Today, I would like to share an excerpt from my Freelance Writing Class on the topic of web copy writing vs. traditional creative writing. I hope you learn something here that can help you develop more web worthy writing skills.

Writing for the web is a true form of expression, just as any other form of creative writing is. It takes a great deal of imagination and introspect to piece together sentences and keywords in a format that is interesting to readers. Nothing could be more challenging than trying to keep an audience with a 30 second attention span intrigued enough to read through an entire article. This is the absolute uniqueness of writing for the web and why it appeals to people who are trying to create income as web copy writers today.

When it comes down to the actual differences in web writing versus other forms of writing, the simplest answer can often be the most confusing aspect of web writing. As each project is different, there is no one “set in stone” method to write for the web, but there is a system that can be applied to each web writing project which will guarantee the best results from your efforts. Without this system, no amount of writing or keyword placement is going to help you get traffic to your website or blog. 

Writing for the web takes planning ahead. This is where many traditional writers get stuck. While creative writing depends on the right side of the brain to come up with the ideas, twists and turns of the story or poem; writing for the web means using the left side of the brain simultaneously to actually plan out the content itself ahead of time. This can be as simple as a template for writing web friendly articles. Or it can mean actually mapping out a website ahead of time to determine the way readers will navigate through the site and what will peak their interest and in what order.

Want to learn more about the best system for writing for the web and how it can help you learn to earn? Check out my 6 week course today!

Click here to go to FREELANCE WRITING CLASS

Copy Writing 101: Getting Started as a Freelancer

23 May

Ever since I made the leap of faith to become a web copy writer over five years ago, a lot of people have asked me, “how I did it?”  To be honest, it was not an easy transition from being a corporate HR manager to that of a home based freelancer. There have been a few bumps in the road, but I knew if I stuck with it long enough I would see the fruits of my labor. And over the years, I have.

 So, if you are wondering if this may be a valid career choice for you, here’s some quick advice on getting started!

1. Keep your day job for at least six months. One of the biggest mistakes many work at home wannabee’s do is quit a perfectly great job right away. Not only is this foolish financially, but what if you realize you don’t really like being at home full time? Stay in your current job and write on the side for a while. During this time, develop your skills, pick up clients and learn the ropes of copy writing. Before long, your freelance work will outweigh your outside the home job and you can put in a notice.

2. Devote time to write daily. While you are working on building a nice career in copy writing, start developing the habits which will make you successful for the long-term. Most copy writers spend between 4-8 hours daily at their desks, researching and writing copy for a variety of clients. Many work longer hours to meet deadlines or manage multiple projects around other responsibilities. To do copy writing on a full time basis, you must LOVE writing a lot and you must be able to do this 30-40 hours a week or more.

3. Learn all you can about copy writing. One of the best ways to ramp up your career as a freelance copy writer is to learn from other writers before you. That means taking classes, participating in webinars, reading great books on writing, and studying the masters of marketing copy. A good low cost alternative to a college class is my 6 week freelance writing class where I teach you everything I have learned over the last 5 years as a web copy writer and how you can get started (and find paying work).

4. Select a writing mentor. Just as you would starting out in any other career, finding a good mentor is a critical aspect of becoming a highly compensated copy writer. A mentor should have at least five or more years of writing experience and be able to answer your general questions about freelancing, give you advice on locating work, and provide feedback on your written work. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to my mentor(s) with questions and found the help and encouragement I needed to make sound decisions as a writer.

Well, that’s about all I can tell you about getting started as a copy writer. There is a HUGE market out there of businesses and clients who need supperb copy – so go out there and grab ’em!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Blogathon 2011 Theme Day “My top 5 favorite places to write”

22 May

Well, here we are just ten days shy of the end of the 2011 WordCount Blogathon and I have to say that it’s been a blast! My blog has grown so much, I’ve met some wonderful fellow bloggers, and had a bunch of terrific guests share their insight here.

Today, as part of the Blogathon, I’ve been tasked with writing on a theme “My top 5 favorite places to write are…”, which really got me thinking! Does where I write have an effect on the type of writing I do?

Since I left the corporate world years ago to pursue web copy writing full time, I’ve written in all kinds of environments from a bedroom office to local coffee shops. The people and things around me must have some kind of influence on my work. Being a freelancer, I meet some wonderful people everywhere I happen to connect my trusty Dell laptop to the Internet. I often encounter other freelancers, small business owners and busy Mom’s who are building careers for themselves. These people share fresh ideas and perspectives with me, which are often the inspiration for new material. One would have to say then that the choices of where I love to write have a positive influence on my writing.

So, without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite places to write:

1. My queen anne style, vintage cherry writing desk. This desk is the center of my world as a Charleston web copy writer. I picked it up from an estate sale about 6 years ago, from a neiughbor who told me it was his mother’s cherished desk. It has been the place where I have sat many hours late into the night drafting new business articles, worked with clients on marketing plans, and just tried to keep it all together as an entrepreneur. Wherever I go in life, this desk comes along with me and it centers me enough to do my very best.

2. In my bedroom late at night. Sounds like the start of a great romance novel, doesn’t it? Well, to be honest, on days when I am seeking creativity the most, I take my laptop into the bedroom and get under the covers in my jammies to write. I love to write my blog posts there at the end of a busy day. I often write devotionals for my church ladies’ lunch group early in the morning when I wake up, before I roll out of bed to start the day. My bedroom is a safe haven where I ca express myself in any way I wish.

3. My little front porch. What can I say, except I am a real nature girl at heart! Ever since we moved into our dream home last fall, I have made my front porch into a mini oasis away from the stress of a work day. There’s lots of comfortable chairs, green plants and a nice breeze which refreshes my mind. During the times when I get a little burnt out from churning out articles, I relax on my front porch to have some lunch and scribble in my notebook.

4. Local Coffee Shops. Not only do they make great places to spend an afternoon with friends, the coffee shops in my hometown like Starbucks and Bigby Coffee give me a chance to write and collaborate with my clients. I often meet new clients there to go over ideas for web content, or share a quick bite to eat while brainstorming their social media strategy. When my Wi-Fi goes down, coffee shops give me a backup so I don’t lose contact with anyone or miss an important deadline.

5. The beach. Naturally, since I love the outdoors, one of the best places to refresh the soul and do some creative writing happens to be at the beaches here. In the middle of the week, I will sometimes grab my satchel, a pair of sandals, and my trusty notebook to spend an afternoon on the beach. There’s something about the sound of waves splashing against the sand that is so relaxing, and yet inspiring. Late afternoons after all the tourists and crowds have gone are the best time to write on the beach!

Well, there you have it…Please feel free to share where your favorite places to write ( or be creative ) are!

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!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Why Every Small Business Needs a Skilled Copy Writer

20 May

Are you struggling with your online marketing strategy?

There is so much talk today about how small businesses can best stay on top of market trends and direct customers to their websites to drum up more business. With over 75% of customers spending their time researching companies online before even setting foot in a store, a small business owner should be taking advantage of this huge market of consumers. As a small business owner, you can do this effectively by harnessing the power of article marketing, social media outlets, and SEO web content creation.

But you don’t have to do this alone. Here are some reasons why you should partner with a skilled copy writer.

Save Time – You can shave a great deal off your To-Do list by allowing a copy writer to come up with content for your marketing efforts. There’s no point in taking hours to research and come up with good topics to write about, especially if writing is not one of your strong points. Let someone who can do this efficiently do the work for you and save you time.

Save Money – When it comes to making the best investments in your business, article marketing, social media and optimized web content should be at the top of your advertising methods. But you don’t want to pay a small fortune for this content – let an affordable web copy writer  in Charleston do this for you at a fraction of the price a big name content site may charge.

Get Better Results – That’s right, allowing a copy writer to do the work of researching top SEO keywords that will point those pesky search engines to your website is far more productive than trying to write some dry text yourself. Get more desirable results by partnering with an experienced copy writer.

Enjoy Support – You are not in this alone. When you select a copy writer to take on your most important material for your business, you not only make a friend, but a partner who will be there to back you up along the way. Copy writers care about what they do and they care about your success too!

Ready to work with a web copy writer who has a track record for helping small business owners achieve success with online marketing? Tess C. Taylor, owner of Taylor Resources Writing in Charleston, South Carolina is an experienced web copy writer ready to make your online marketing goals a reality. Contact her today for a free, no obligation quote or just to chat about your business goals!