Writing better content

There are 2 things that all successful websites do:
They produce great content – then they promote that content really well.

you have to promote your content
Maybe a bit more subtle than this.

Producing well written informative content will make your site so much more engaging, which is fantastic.

Promoting that content with the aim of drawing your audience back to your site, via newsletters, is all fine and dandy if you can get tens of thousands to visit.

Here’s the tricky bit:

However there is one element that lots of site owners and content writers side step, sweep under the carpet or fake a heart attack in an attempt to change the subject at the mere mention of – and that is “content marketing”.

Marketing your content to your peers in your sector with the aim of getting backlinks is what it is all about.

Backlinks contribute hugely to your credibility, authority and trust – and are the fuel to propelling your website up the rankings.

Nothing else is going to do that like Backlinks from your peers with in your sector.

Sounds good, so what’s the problem

No problem, it’s that people just don’t like rejection.

Randomly sending out hundreds of emails to all the “info@” email addresses in your sector is not going get you very far. As some people do.

However finding out who has a history of linking to content like yours is a better way to proceed.

You may have to start by building one link at a time.

We will cover this in a later post.

So sign up to my mailing list so you don’t miss out.

First things, first.

So with that I am going to change the subject away from content marketing.
(Didn’t he just scorn others for doing that! – Yes I did)

Let’s talk about producing better content because you need to do that first, right.

My job

is to help you produce better content.

Your job

is to then move forward from better content to great content and then onto remarkable content.

Your probably thinking:

But what to write about?

There are thousands of blogs/websites out there already covering my subject/sector.

How can I write anything new and original.

Yes the internet is huge, massive and it is a sea of content – it’s everywhere.

I am going to let you into a secret.

Most of it is rubbish – poorly written – poorly presented – out of date – abandoned – forgotten about – lost, just drifting aimlessly until its life support (usually the hosting) is switched off.

Of course some of the content out there is really good – so you now we have a benchmark – but no one in your sector has a monopoly – and that great content serves as prove that great content and good content marketing works because you can bet your bottom dollar that is what they are doing.
Here’s my top tip.
Before you have built your website.
Decide how many pages and how many posts your are going to have.
The pages could be about your actual business and the posts containing information proving your expertise in your field. After all if you are claiming to be the best in your business and everyone should employ your services you should be able to write more than a paragraph of text to back that up.

So if you decide you are going to have twelve posts that would cover all aspects of your business.

Stick to that number and keep adding to and improving them.

Make your website better not bigger.

Suddenly the problem of what to write about becomes much smaller.

Your website will remain manageable and understandable – to yourselves, your visitors and the search engines.

In time that quality content will become shareable bring you those all important links.

There are a lot of ideas and information that you can gather – write it up and re-present it.

The originality that you are going to introduce is – Your angle, your point of view, your niche, your voice, your style.

Here’s my angle

I am attempting to produce content on SEO – how many others are doing that! – my angle is showing people how to apply it specifically to WordPress sites.

I sell website hosting – most of my clients use WordPress – I want them to have successful WordPress sites so they renew their hosting accounts.

There’s not much mileage in talking about website hosting itself – but all my clients want Website Success.

As for it being Good Content – you have to be the judge of that!

Other content writing considerations:

Remember the internet is huge but the audience is even bigger.

Solve peoples problems – This is the problem – This is how to solve it.

Make your post actionable – delivering an action that the reader can easily put into effect.

Don’t hold back on giving away trade secrets (this is great content) some people may try and do it themselves – most won’t and will just want you to do it for them. Remember it is all traffic to your site.

Content writing pointers:

Stick to one subject and one subject only in a single post.

The length and depth of your post should match.

Spend as much time as you need to produce something of quality.

You first sentence should be the best sentence (take time to get this right).

Craft an irresistible lead to entice readers.

Kill the hype – keep it real.

Your closing line is as important as the that first compelling line.

Plain writing is best.

Edit Edit Edit.

REF: 12 content writing tips

Other Content Ideas

If I sold insurance – I would talk about preventing accidents – uninsured drivers – home security – 50 things people didn’t insure and then something totally unexpected happened etc.

If I was a steam cleaning business – how many different bugs can be found in carpets, beds and furniture – those people you see on TV who never clean and the other extreme, obsessive compulsive cleaners – how to clean red wine out of your sisters hamster after a party (that never happened – to me anyway).

If you are really struggling to come up with any ideas to get you started here is a list of article styli content ideas that could be useful to most sectors.

  • Who is the biggest.
  • Who is the most successful.
  • When did it all start.
  • Who has had the biggest single failure.
  • Who has had the biggest single success.
  • Why did you get involved.
  • What is changing in your sector.
  • What needs changing in your sector.
  • What should never change in your sector.
  • Is your sector over/under regulated.
  • What drives you nuts about your sector.
  • What happened last/next year in your sector.

Plus always keep a constant look out for relevant content for ideas.

There is a lot of good content out there that you can be inspired by.

There’s what I do:

I find a number closely related articles.
First I will scan read them – I am looking for headlines that peak my interest.
If I see some then I go over them again and again and again.

Then with all that information still fresh in my head I start to outline my new article (in notepad++) then, once I am happy, I will flesh it out and post it!

I’ve done the research, learned the stuff and then written it up. Just like they taught us at school, right.

Leave it for a few days – the fallow period – then read it again.

It will look totally different. Like looking at it for the first time. I then correct my many many mistakes.

Personally I will post an unfinished article. Then I know for sure I will get back to it. Files in a DEV folder just don’t seem to get opened to often, but that’s just me.

Going back to old posts after they have been long since published is something I recommend you do. Refresh it with some relevant anecdotal evidence – maybe that a reader sent in. Breathe new life into it and put it out there again.

There’s another idea:

Brain Dean of Backlinko.com coined the phrase “Skyscrapper technique” where you find the tallest of those lists that you see all over the place – 20 ways to climb Everest blindfolded – the target then is to make a taller list – 24 ways etc. working on the theory the tallest list will ultimately get to the top spot on Google.

Makes sense to me. Then everything Brian says makes sense. You should Google him.

—————————————————————————————————–

Whenever you do send out a newsletter campaign ideally your site should look fresh and new. That’s easy to do if you have enough content that you can move around.

Change some images on the home page.

Change the order that the post excerpts appear.

We are doing all this hard work to get people to return to your site.

If it looks the same every time they visit how inclined are they going to be to stay and read other post or pages.

This also gives us a great reason to tell the search engines that you have changed your content and they should come and check it out. More about that later.

Once you have had your content out there for some time and added additional information.

Remember to keep revisiting adding and amending.

Ask yourself if that content could reasonably be turned into an infographic.

Inforgraphics are great a way to get a lot of information across in very short time and are highly shareable.

This is a excellent way of breathing new life into a old post that has involved into a substantial document.

recipe for success

How to create a successful website

The things you have to do to make your website successful!

It’s a huge topic. I’ve tried to reduce it to down to the fundamentals with this post.

I hope it is of some use to you.

Recipe for Website Success

Cooking time: indeterminable

Website Success Ingredients:

  • 1 website hosting account
  • 1 website (with clean design)
  • 1 keyword rich domain name
  • Generous portion of well-written content with spelling and grammatical errors trimmed off. 1900 words for pages at least 300 words for any new posts
  • Professional looking, relevant photographs/images, at least one for each page/post/article. (ABSOLUTELY NO SELFIES).
  • A pinch of video content, with a 200 word description
  • A table spoon of optimisation know how
  • A clear strategy regarding content, quality not quantity. This is fine dining after all!
  • A clear strategy for promoting your content
  • Large amount of kitchen paper to wipe away your sweat and tears!!!

Website Success Cooking Instructions

Take one website.

Make sure that all the pages have correctly written titles, descriptions and headings.
Check this with Screaming Frog

Marinade with well written, relevant and informative high quality content.

Use some keyword rich menu items. (Google only reads first link to a page and that is usually the menu!)

Sprinkle your content with internal links but don’t over do it.

Add an external link to authoritative sites from pages and post. i.e Wikipedia or .edu sites, defining subject matter. Outgoing Links

Place your photographs/images, adding ALT text, title text and decorate with image size attributes. So that you content doesn’t jump around whilst images load! (Usability)

Add a Skip to Content Link before the menu so Screen Readers don’t have to tab through all menu items!
(Accessibility)

Place your “Call to Action” above the fold so it is easy to find.

Add some site maps, HTML for visitors, XML for search engines.

Ensure that your site responds (is responsive) to different screen sizes. Check site out on as many mobile devices, tablets and laptops as you come across.

Season your website with a good pinch of optimisation for:

Quality (broken links, server errors)
Accessibility (access to all regardless of physical ability)
Compatibility issues (usable on all platforms and devices)
Privacy (US CAN-SPAM Act 2003 and/or EU Privacy Regulations 2003)
Search Engine Standards (Google, Bing and Yahoo guidelines. Best Search Practices)
Code Validation Errors (W3.org HTML and CSS validation)
Usability (user experience)

Test 10 pages for these factors here(click link and enter your website address into the input box on the right hand side)
Many sites rank well without these – but a good habit to get into and a good introduction to these types of issues. There is a beleif that these factors will become far more relevant for gaining website success in the future.

If additional media, such as video, flash files or infographics, is to your taste add a transcript so that the search engines can get a flavour of them as well.

Place online.

Whist online, take out of the refrigerator your previously prepared strategy for driving traffic to your site.

This could be gathering email addresses for newsletter distribution or article writing.

The best strategy is to market your content, content marketing, to your peers in your sector to get links back to your site. Building your authority and trust.

Now roast gently!
Remember if the content was not good going in it won’t be better coming out. Nothing but the best will do! Set for gas mark “remarkable”.

Let everyone know what you are cooking up via social media, email marketing and even good old fashioned business cards at networking events.

Whilst your site is online keep checking Google analytics and Webmaster Tools at regular intervals and for the more sophisticated palate. Re-submit your XML site whenever you add anything to your site.

Keep returning to old posts and add to and improve them, adding more information adding better images if required. Then promote again at an appropriate time.

Keep tasting your site by checking all the pages and its functionality.
Get to know it inside out.

TIP. Remember for website success:

You are not promoting your business you are promoting your content.

So that has to be as unique, as original and as interesting as possible otherwise no one will share it.

That’s what will set you apart from your competition.

Once all that has been done, pour yourself a drink in anticipation of the arrival of your guests.

Here’s to your website success!

Bon Appetit.

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