January 17, 2017

8 simple guidelines to creating  out of the world content.

8 simple guidelines to creating out of the world content.


Writing is a way of transmitting ideas, reflections, impressions and experience - Richard McMillian

As a beginner in content marketing, it is not new or should I say it is a common knowledge that we are often faced with questions like; how do I start writing? What methods should I use? Is the headline catchy or will people see my content as a piece of crap and won’t read up to the end?
These are several questions that comes to my head any time I want to start writing a new piece of content on my blog which brings me to the question…
 
What makes a good content marketer?
A good content marketer is a person who is able to use written word, video or images to create content that attracts and keeps a reader attention while also convincing the reader on why he/she need your products or services.

In the world of digital marketing or online marketing (even outbound marketing) , which ever you prefer, creating a very good content for marketing purposes wins the game and to become a master of the art of content marketing, one must have acquired the art of writing- which is not easy by the way.

The art of penning down good contents comes from a long road of experience and practice. However that is not to say that because the road is not easy there aren't guidelines to assist you; of course there are.

In a bid to answer the questions I asked myself every time I decide to pen down something, I went on a little research on ways by which i can improve my writing capabilities and for sure I found answers.

This post offers you simple and easy to understand content writing guidelines that will help you on your progress to becoming a master content marketer.

1. Heavy-duty Headlines: To twist the words of copyblogger , you first need an headline that is catchy, attractive and as a magnet easily draws your audience attention. Your content headline is the first thing that gets your audience attention and it is what decides whether they are going to click on it or not. Your headline is that cover that judges your content. At this point,  you will be wondering how do I get my headline right? The answer to this question is your headline should contain a mixture of the desire of your audience and the benefit of your content to them. Take this as an example;
'10 ways to make money online'
The above headline easily draws any reader attention particularly the unemployed. First of all it preyed into the audience desire- that is the thought of making money - while at the same time telling the audience that there are 10 ways to make money online; a secret to be revealed in the content that follows the headline.

2. Superb Introduction: As I said earlier, your headline is that cover that judges your content, but having a good headline is only the start of the game in content creation. Yes your headline did its job by magneting your audience attention but how do you get them to stay and continue reading? This is where your introduction comes to play. The intro of your content should be a calculated communication that transits your audience into the next phase of your work-the body of the content. Your introduction should contain the motive of giving the audience an idea on what your article offers. In other words pinpoint your message in the introductory section and use it as a guide throughout your article while avoiding contradictions and confusing tangents.

3. A Superb Body: The body of your article is where the information dispersal really happens and in writing the body of a content one must be very careful not to bore your audience with jam-packed body of words that scares the audience at first sight. Your body should be well arranged and articulated to bring about easy learning and understanding to your audience. While writing your body take note of these points below;

Use Subheads to highlight your key lessons. These not only ease the comprehension but also improves the reader learning ability and memory.

Format your content for easy reading. Make use of bullet points and block notes to highlight important points. Also reshape condense content into short paragraph so your work doesn't look banal.

Paragraphs should transition smoothly from one to the next. Your paragraph from one concept should glide smoothly to the next by choosing the first and last words carefully beginning with the most important information.

Do not let your sentences run to long. Shorter sentences are better. When you long-wind your sentence, you create boredom and trust me your reader will not care to follow.

Following the above rules will assist you in creating a good and non-banal content body. But that is not all

4. Use Hyperlinks (internal and outbound links): Hyperlink or internal linking which ever you choose to call it, helps keeps your audience abreast of information. Linking your content to relevant articles that support your claim and provides more information, increases your authority and trust among your readers. Thus it will be wise to link your contents to either previous article that you have written or someone else, podcast, videos and images that supports your idea.

5.Avoid Tautology: Tautology is seen as an unnecessary repetition either in word or sense. Pinpoint the keyword unnecessary, repeating the same words or sense ignites boredom and can easily drive your audience away. Take for example she is reading a book and as she read the book, or she as written a book of love and now she is writing another book on love. Note the continuous reappearance of the words book, read and reading, love, write and written, repetition like this tells the reader that you lack vocabulary. For the first example you can rephrase it to something like this she is reading a book and as she turned the pages….. and for the latter example something like this she is the author of a romantic novel and now she is writing another book with a love theme.
To avoid tautology, one must possess a book of synonyms - that is different words with same meaning. Such book will assist the writer in finding a word to substitute for another word.

6. Cross Check Spellings: Not everyone can boast of being a master in the art of spelling and thus one must be careful when writing. Do not use words that you are not sure of and check the spelling of words when you are in doubt. To do this you require a dictionary at your side. The dictionary however is not just to check the meaning of words alone but also to cross check if the meaning of the word in use carries the appropriate shade of meaning. Thus the dictionary also help us verify if the word in use is indeed justified in the sentence.

7.Use Precised Punctuation: To create a favorable impression on your audience your write-up must be grammatically - that is correctly punctuated. Using the right punctuation at the right interval promotes clarity in your work and ease the readers ability to grab your ideas.

8. Proof-read your work: This is the part where every writer tends to make the gravest mistakes. I too do make this error. Confident that he has written a very sound article, the writer immediately publishes the article without giving a second thought to check if there are any errors. Proof reading your work is the most important part of every content creator. It gives you the opportunity to pick out certain errors such as missing, misleading and repeated words, typo errors and formatting mistakes that can do a lot of damage to your fine write-up. By proof reading you are given the opportunity to correct these errors.


Summary

I have critically explained every point to becoming a good writer to the best of my knowledge and with the assistance of very good content writers who through their work revealed the guidelines above. For the benefit of all let me in a short paragraph summarize the points mentioned above.
Dutiful headlines that combines the needs of your audience and the benefit your article brings to them is the starting point. Then we headed on to creating a superb introduction which is a calculated communication that gives the reader an idea of what your article has to offer and helps transit your work into the body section. Your content body should be well formatted paying attention to the use of sub-heads to pinpoint key lessons and ease comprehension, reshaping dense content into short paragraph, making use of bullets and block notes. Carefully use words that can aid the use of a smooth transition from one paragraph to the other. Cross check your spellings. Avoid over using a particular word or set of words. Use hyperlinks to other contents that solidify your ideas. Use precise punctuation, get a dictionary and a book of synonyms to assist in cross checking wrongly spellings and aid in providing words with same meaning for a more colorful write-up. And lastly proof read your work for clarity and mistakes.

Conclusion

So here we are at the end of the article. At this point all you need is the right inspiration and I hope with this article I have offered you a little of that. The rest comes from you. No good content writer you see today became one in an instant. Neil Patel a genius in content marketing and digital market revealed that it took him 10 years to be good as he is today so why the rush. With this I leave you with a paraphrase a writer should bear in mind. Genius is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.
Good day!

January 7, 2017

Optimising your website for Usability

Optimising your website for Usability

I am sure the abbrevation SEO (search engine optimisation) is not a new term to you. SEO is the engine for online marketing. It is that spicy ingredient that online marketers add to their content to rank higher in search engine result page (SERP). Last year in one of the articles which i published through this blogs i wrote about the importance of SEO and it essential ingredients.

However it pains me to say that many online marketers tend to focus on one major aspect of this essential ingredients and pay less attention to the others. According to research, it  is believed that Google the leader of all search engines have about 200 factors that their search engine algorithms use in ranking website on their SERP.

Wow 200 factors, that's is a lot, to ease your mind, of the 200 factors for ranking pages, there are just a few important ones needed to catapult you to the first page of SERP. there is Keywords' and a few others which i group into the word 'usability.

Keywords is particular word or phrase which forms part of a meta-data that helps search engine match a page or website with the appropriate search query.  For example when you search for the word 'SEO' or 'search engine' on Google, this automatically triggers the search engine to look for pages in their directory that has the word or phrase and then show these pages up on their result page highlighting the keywords.

Usability on the other hand refers to the how easy it is for users to use and access your website. This focuses on website design, speed, mobile friendliness, content value and so on.
It turns out that this two factors are the most important ingredients of search engine optimisation but people tend to focus more on keywords than their website usabilty.

search engines algorithms do not just look at keywords any more. They take into consideration internet users and thus their algorithms also access a page usabilty before it appears on their search engine result page taking to focus, content value, navigation, page loading speed and mobile adaptation.

So you see, if you are the type that keeps stuffing keywords into your content and forget website usability, then search engines won't recognize your website because lack of website usabilty means increase bounce rates and increase bounce rates mean invaluable website.

Now with this information above i'm sure you will be asking how do i solve this. what should i focus on when improving my website usability? Not to worry, this page was meant to educate you on that and I have got 9 focus point.

1. Useful, quality, and relevant content. Content is the heart of marketing and the soul of the internet. Everybody on the internet are looking for relevant and useful information that will answer their queries. if your content fails to satisfy a user query, they will immediately leave your site and navigate to the next one thus increasing your bounce rates. Your website contents must be captivating and able to a user engage and glued to your page. Answering customers queries, using great visual, providing useful, easy to understand guidelines and steps on using a product and service keeps visitor glued to your page and brings them back when the log out. Returning visitors signals to search engines that your page provides quality and relevant contents and thus will increase your page ranking.

2. Page loading speed. How fast does a page on your website load when a user click on it? how many seconds does a visitor have to wait? Yes they say 'patience is a virtue but not on the internet. When visitors click on a website, they expect that it loads quickly. the highest a user can wait for a page to load is 30 seconds and if it doesn't load within the period, they immediately navigate to a page that loads faster, meaning you have lost a potential lead, increased bounce rate and reduced your rank on search engines. how then do you solve this problem; optimise image size, do not stuff your website with too much advert and
remove irrelevant side bar attractions as they contribute to slowing down your page loading time. 

3. Image optimisation. Optimising your image on your page makes search engines crawlers able to read it. it is difficult for search engines crawlers to read an image on a website. When an image that is not optimised is crawled, search engine see a huge space in between text an will infer that such content was not properly arranged and thus might reduce your page ranking. To solve this issue; use title tags, use alt tags and lastly, caption your image.

4. Readability. This focuses on your content fortmat and layout. how well is your content arranged? Does your content make it easy for visitors to digest? Using good format and layout for your content assist visitors learning ability and memorability. so how can you achieve this; make use of header tag for a  particular topic, use bullets to highlights lists, make use of the bold or italic format to highlight points use readable fonts, use very visible colors for your text, break up contents into sections with sub headers and utilise paragraphs

5. Mobile Optimisation. Google takes mobile optimisation very seriously now and you can not blame them, this is because majority of internet users access it through their mobile devices. It is not nice to start using the zoom option when a mobile device user views a web page and it appears on desktop mode. A website page that is not optimised for mobile devices usually have increase bounce rates and less views. the effect is that it reduces website page ranking and customes are lost. Here are few reason why mobile optimisation is important; most users access the internet using their smart phones. it is now becoming a major factor for website rankings, it increases users experience and website accessibility; statistics puts it that 77% of user use their smart phones to purchase goods and services as well as research products.

6. Site architecture and navigation.  well arrange is your website? how easily can a visitor find what they are loking for on it? what navigational methods have you used- search form, category tabs or header tabs? site architecture allows for easy navigation of a website for users. a well designed website with easy to find navigation system attracts search engine rankings and makes visitor happy. when a user who as the intention of by a phone logs into a technology website that offer sales in all techs including mobile phones, the visitor who will not want to start going through all the wares on the line in search for the product he or she wants will be looking out for navigation tabs or buttons that will easily narrow all the tech products to their choose of product. for example a navigation tabs or categories of a site that deals in the sales of mobile phones should have a clickable tab that separates all the types of mobile phones for easy user navigation. the effects of navigation on website usability includes;
it improves search engine web page ranking for your site,
it is a factor for the approval of AdSense and media.net,
it helps narrows customers wants.

7. Internal links. using internal links on your web page is a way to reduce bounce rate on your website and also to increase website trust and authority. if you noticed while going through this post you will see some words or phrase having different color and the ability to be clicked-those word or phrase have been internally linked to one page or another. linking a some of your content to previous contents you have written helps to get visitors glued on your website while at the same time increasing 'dwell time which sends a positive signal to search engines crawlers that your page has reliable and relevant content. There are too types of internal linking;
inbound linking: this is when you link your content on a page to a previous content that you have written on you website. this increases dwell time and trust.
The second is outbound linking: this is when you link a contents of your page to another persons website to clarify or further allow your users to navigate to a much detail narration of the particular subject. this increases your website authority.

8. Social sharing. Every blogger and website owner wants their contents to be shared on social media most especially by their customers. adding social sharing buttons such as facebook, twitter, Google plus, linkedin, pinterest and so on increases page views. it is also a source of search engine ranking. when a customer clicks on the share button found on a particular page on your website, it increases trust and ushers in more customers. statistics puts it that most social media users tends to buy from a website they follow. the effect of social sharing is as follows;
it increases conversation rate, an added advantage for website ranking on search engines; it drives in sales; increases website traffic, an advantage for bloggers; it is a free advertisement.

9. Contact Page. Not everybody realises this but a contact page if very valuable to a website.  while building your web presence online, one should put in mind that customers will want to contact the person behind the website for either queries or personal one on one business talk, it is therefore advisable that you add a contact page on your website to provide avenues for your customers to contact you. your contact page should include your official email address, phone nos, and social media pages including instant messaging. The effects of contact page to a website includes;
Search engine result page ranking as Google and other search engines see website with contact page as being trust worthy, it makes for good user experience and increases customer trust.

Conclusion
These are the nine points above. However i should also remind you that using the right keyword(s) is a great factor for ranking. but then don't  flood your page with keywords as crawlers will signal this as spamming and thus will decrease your website search engine ranking.

If you feel there is anything that isn't on the list please share with me through the comment section.

January 1, 2017

16 Convincing reason why you need a blog this 2017

16 Convincing reason why you need a blog this 2017

Happy new year to you my esteem readers.
We are in 2017 already and I'm not surprised if business owners have already taken to their drawing board to map out plans on how to market their products and services this year and i hope blogging is part of the strategy.  If not then this post will convince you on why a blog should be part of the strategy.

Before i move on to convince you why a blog should be part of that strategy let me first for the sake of those who don't know what a blog is - give you an idea.

A blog is a website through which opinions are shared, information is passed, and most of all businesses directly engage with their customers.  It is a valuable tool for marketers.
Lets move on to why you need a blog......
  1. It is the soul of content marketing. I am sure that content marketing is a part of every business marketing strategy. Every business owner  want customers to understand what their services is about and convince their customers on why such services are needed and the best way to do this is using a blog. Be it through Videos or images or articles, owning a blog gives you an edge in content marketing. 
  2. It is a direct communication channel with your leads and customer.  A blog is like an online customer service for businesses to answer their customers -frequently asked questions (FAQ) and connect with customers and leads by sharing relevant information(s). 
  3. It drives traffic to your website.  Though a blog is a website, it is an information sharing website and not the actual front of your online business.  By writing relevant articles and sharing it online either through social media or search engine you indirectly through your blog drive traffic to your website.  This you do by including a call-to-action link to the main business website on the blog. 
  4. It is simple and easy to use.  Setting up a blog is no rocket science.  You do not need to be a website designing genius or an html guru to start a  blog.  There are several blogging platforms out there and most of them are free. BloggerWordpress are the few good ones around. Click on this link to see steps on how to start a blog
  5. According to stats 60% of businesses who own a blog acquire more customers than those that don't. 
  6. It is your company/business voice.  Your business is an abstract entity and needs  a voice to let people know it exists to serve them.  The blog is that voice.  It gives you room to tell customer about your new and old product and space to share your company's initiative and get customer views about them. 
  7. It makes you an authority in your industry.  By posting frequently and updating your customer about your industry and answering questions from customers through your blog.  You are indirectly establishing yourself as an authority in your field. 
  8. It convert traffic to leads and leads to customers.  The main objective of a business blog is to generate traffic and leads.  Every article you post through your blog gives you a fighting chance to convert traffic to leads and if the post are convincing enough then leads are converted into customers.  You generate leads by adding a call-to-action button on your blog that gets visitors  to fill in thier data. 
  9. A blog gets your business discovered.  Blog as i pointed out in point 1 is the soul of content marketing and by sharing your blog content on social media, your brand and business gets discovered as more people re-share the post on their own social media page hence indirectly giving you the popularity you need. 
  10. It brings in money.  This is more and the most important reason why you will need a blog.  It brings in money for both normal bloggers and business bloggers alike.  For normal bloggers platforms such as adsense and media.net are advertising agents that helps bloggers make money. For business owners it help push up sales. 
  11. It builds customers confidence in you.  As mentioned earlier your blog is your customer relations service online and by providing solutions to their problems and updating them about new products and services, customers will see you as a professional and a reliable source of information in your industry. They will have no choice but to come to you for services. 
  12. It is a good Press relations.  Blog creates free press for your business and most especially you.  Publishing great content entice journalist to look for the person behind such great content because they see you as an expert in your field and will like to share your story with the world. 
  13. It keeps you focus on your goal.  A blog strategy requires you to define your blogging goals (who you are blogging for and why.)
  14. It keeps you on your feet.  To be seen as an expert in your field and to drive more sales and traffic you need to post new content regularly meaning you need to be up to date in your industry.  A blog keeps you alert about trends,  changes and info about your industry.  
  15. It gives you insight about your customers.  Many blogging platforms comes with analytic data that tells you who your customers are,  where they are coming from, country and behaviour.  
  16. It powers your social media.  By creating good content,  your marketing becomes easy as you provide value to your customer who like wisely share it on social media and thus you gain valuable followers  also. 

At this point i trust you are convinced on why you need a blog.  Wishing you all the best this new year.  Have a great marketing year. Love you all.