I’ll admit, I’m getting a little hungry thinking about the impending Thanksgiving holiday, but that’s not the [entire] reason I’m writing this blog post.
Think about this: a turkey takes all day to cook. I mean, you wake up at 8 AM to put that bad boy in the oven, and then you have to torture yourself for hours smelling the unfinished product. When it’s finally done, the last thing you’re about to do is throw away the leftovers. Who wants their hard work to go down the garbage disposal? So, for the next two weeks, it’s gobblers and turkey soup aplenty.
And no one really complains about gobblers or turkey soup because, come on, they’re delicious.
I promise I’m going somewhere with this.
When you write a really good piece of content, it’s kind of like a Thanksgiving turkey. You put a good amount of effort into it, and you’re going to make the most out of it – right? Because if you aren’t, you should. There’s no guarantee that when you write a really well-researched, informative, and/or interesting blog post, you’re going to get as many pageviews as you’d want on it. There’s no reason you should call it a loss, especially if it’s something you think your target audience would want to know.
I was writing a blog post about the essential ways to winterize your home for a client who does HVAC installations and repairs. It’s getting cold out there, and their prospective clients probably want to know how to winterize their homes to save energy and keep the house at a comfortable temperature. If they missed the blog post, they shouldn’t miss out on the info! So, here are a few ways to make leftovers out of perfectly good content (without, of course, plagiarizing yourself).
- Revisit old posts on social media. A few days, weeks, or even months (if it’s still relevant) after you write a good blog post, don’t be afraid to tweet about it again for anyone who might have missed it! A simple tweet or Facebook post reading, “It’s cold today! Don’t forget to check out our blog post on winterizing your home” works perfectly. I’ve seen a lot of companies do this, and I think it’s a great idea.
- Link to old blog posts in new ones. If you mention something in a blog post that’s relevant to something you wrote before, then link to it!
- Make an infographic. Perhaps your followers skimmed over your post because it was too lengthy. Infographics are fairly easy to make (see what I did there?), they’re eye-catching, and they help to organize content in a fashion that’s easy for readers to absorb.
- Make a slideshow. Similar to making an infographic, slideshows are great because they organize the content and make it easy for a reader to find what they’re looking for. Slideshare is a great tool for this because people can search for your slideshow and you can even put tags on it.
- Make a video. I could have easily made that blog post on winterizing your home into an informative video to spread it across more social channels and appeal to an audience who prefers a different type of media.
- Make an e-book, PDF, or whitepaper. Even if your readers don’t want the information now, they can save it to their computers or tablets for reference at a time when it might be more useful.
Do you repurpose your content? What methods do you use?
It was pitch black back then. But after joining WebiMax and expanding my copywriting skills, I began to see the proverbial light.
I look back at what I wrote then and what I write now and I notice a major difference in the quality and tone of my writing. Before it was good. Now, it’s better than before. And the most exciting part is it will continue to improve as long as I continue to pull from the great resources I’ll be discussing below.
I’m convinced my improvement as a writer resulted mainly from one thing: the wisdom and information in the newsletters I started reading a little over a year ago.
Benefits of Reading these Free Online Newsletters
Taking a few hours out of your week to read them will help you to dramatically improve your writing and business skills. You’ll also become more passionate and confident when the time comes to exercise your opinion. Topics covered in these newsletters include:
• Traditional copywriting and SEO copywriting
• Traditional marketing and Internet marketing
• The business of giving a lot and receiving more in return
• Perseverance, consistency and passion
• Healthy living for a healthy business
I believe that 20% of people are truly passionate about the industry they’re in. The other 80% are either complacent, apathetic, or wishing they were somewhere else. I’m confident that reading these newsletters will make you part of the 20%, if you’re not already part of it.
Whatever percentage you’re part of, find comfort in these newsletters. As you’ll learn, they’re rich with experience, intelligence and a genuine concern.
The Best Online Newsletters Currently Available
Copyblogger is the authority in content marketing. The company that specializes in producing content marketing software and other valuable marketing resources started out as a little blog about 7 years ago. The founder, Brian Clark, wrote two blog posts a day about the importance of content marketing. Eventually, Copyblogger became an empire and defined the true value of having a blog with fresh content.
In the Copyblogger newsletter, you’re going to get the latest on content marketing, social media marketing, SEO and more. In addition to receiving updates every time a new post is published, you’ll also have access to 13 free ebooks that individually dissect topics like landing pages, keyword research, email marketing and SEO copywriting.
Early to Rise
The Early to Rise newsletter is released every weekday morning around 7 a.m. like clockwork. You can always expect it and always expect it to be great. Craig Ballantyne, copywriter and self-made entrepreneur, is the editor of the newsletter. He writes about 1 post per week and brings in professionals in various industries for the other days.
The writing styles these newsletters employ have had a huge impact on my writing. Their content makes me a better businessman while their style makes me a better writer. All newsletters are clear, engaging and concise. I especially love when Bob Burg posts. He writes about the benefit of giving and how it applies to business.
Leo Babauta is an author, minimalist and deliverer of peaceful practices. The ZenHabits newsletter has over one million subscribers.
The truth is, a lot of us lose track of what’s truly important when we start following our dreams. Business and passion can make our minds race and hard to slow down. With the posts on ZenHabits, Babauta makes you stop for a minute and reflect.
He believes in simplicity and contentment and succeeds in helping you find it. Take a break from the biz, relax, and simply enjoy being present. Life is good.
American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI)
Mark Ford, the copywriter and entrepreneur who started Early to Rise, also created AWAI. I briefly mention my experience with AWAI in my previous .
Nearly every day, AWAI brings in a professional to write a single post or a series of posts about copywriting, freelance writing, graphic design and other marketing topics. If you’re trying to make your own in the freelance biz, definitely subscribe to AWAI’s The Writer’s Life newsletter. You’ll get amazing deals for awesome courses and news about upcoming conferences and events.
However, if you’re just looking for amazing content, go directly to the AWAI article library. I’ve learned so much from reading these. If you’re an aspiring copywriter, I recommend you read every post by Michael Masterson (Mark Ford’s pen name).
Comment about your favorite places for fresh content in the comments section below and let me know what you think about the newsletters mentioned above.
Ken Wisnefski – the president and founder of WebiMax –was featured in Sunday’s edition of the Courier Post. In the article, our boss spoke of taking lessons from his past to sculpt the ideology of our company. Because of his experience, he was able to chart a path that ensured WebiMax would not only provide a great work atmosphere at the office, but a great return on the marketing investments of our clients.
Of course, the aforementioned article got me thinking about how important the past of content efforts is for businesses. In fact, I thought of three key points that every company should utilize to increase the value of their content marketing initiatives.
1. Learn from your mistakes – Not every piece of content produced by your blog, uploaded to your product page, or distributed as a press release is going to be a home run. It’s how a person reacts to the duds along the way that will help determine success or failure.
Instead of shrugging your shoulders, ask yourself why a piece of content didn’t work. Did your blog answer the questions of your client base? Was your product page visually appealing to your target audience? Did it provide useful and unique text? Did it funnel towards a conversion page? Was your press release truly newsworthy? By answering these questions, you can avoid making the same mistakes twice.
2. Stop Repeating Yourself – There are always ways to be unique. While many blogs and webpages will focus on particular keywords, you would be amazed by how many different angles you can take with just a little bit of creativity.
Even if you had success with a topic in the past, don’t beat it into the ground. For example, instead of a car dealership posting five blogs covering the different questions to ask a used car dealer, they should vary the text with vehicle profiles, safety tips, common repairs that can be done from home, things to listen for on test drives, and more. When you repeat yourself, you bore your audience. Competition is fierce; uniqueness will help you stand out from the pack.
3. Capitalize on Successes – When monitoring spikes in traffic, our experts will often attribute those spikes to fresh content. When your traffic begins to plateau, it’s important to update your text. Freshness is essential in Internet marketing. Keeping your online presence timely and relevant will not only impress your audience, but assure the search engines that your site offers more value to searchers than your competitors.
Whether your content past is a point of pride or the reason you sought out this blog for advice, the information you can obtain by looking back is invaluable. Just as my boss looked back to move this company forward, so should you with your content marketing strategy.
Long gone are the days where stuffing numerous keywords into a blog post or article is considered the norm for Search Engine Optimization. Whether you’re an SEO professional or are just beginning to explore the world of SEO, you’ve probably already found that this field is an ever-changing industry that loves to keep everyone on their toes. The best method to remaining on top of the latest SEO trends is vigilance accompanied by knowledge of the past and present.
Previously, writing for SEO included a large amount of keyword-stuffing and concern with keyword density, making for not-so-interesting articles. Because in the past, blog posts and articles were written with a search engine in mind rather than an audience, content became “spammy” and people were uninterested in reading or sharing this content – content was created simply for the value of the link. Past content was also text-focused and title tags and Meta descriptions were often unhelpful to the user as they were used mainly for keyword value.
Today, post PANDA and PENGUIN updates, writing for SEO is all about creating shareable, interesting, and diverse content. Keyword density is not overly important and you risk your content being marked as spam when keyword density is too high. As demonstrated in this blog post, content doesn’t only include text. Today, content includes photos, video, infographics, and more, all which hold SEO value.
Check out the infographic below to see how writing for SEO has changed over the years:
This is my first blog post for WebiMax and I’d hate to start things off on the wrong foot. So, first and foremost, I’d like to apologize for misleading any Gene Simmons fans. As much as I’d love to tie The Demon and Starchild to SEO, I think I’ll save that for a later date.
I do want to talk about KISS, though: Keep it simple, stupid!
This is probably the best advice I can give to content creators. It’s the key to good, attractive web content. And as we know in SEO and business, in general, good web copy can be your biggest asset.
So what do I mean by writing clear copy and keeping it simple?
We’ve all been there. We’ve all started to read something only to feel completely lost after the first sentence. So what do we do? We go back and read it again. Once we think we’ve got it, we move onto the next sentence. Then, sure enough we come across another sentence that causes us to pause and re-read it. It’s exhausting.
In order to have good web copy it needs to be engaging. One sentence should flow into the next. Your readers should be able to get through the entire page without feeling they had to labor. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality, though. Sometimes the wisest words are found in the shortest sentences.
Brevity is Best
This should apply to all forms of writing but it is particularly true with the web. Simply put, people don’t read–they scan. This means you need to be strategic with your writing. Big, long chunks of text intimidate users. Common language, short sentences, short paragraphs, headings, and bullet points are your allies.
By doing so, you drastically increase the number of users who will actually read your content. After all, isn’t that the goal?
This is Nothing New
Clarity has always been instrumental in good writing. If you pick up any writing book, most harp on simplicity. Whether you prefer to read Strunk and White or Stephen King’s memoir, they all talk about being clear in your writing. When people label a piece as “a good read” it’s usually because it connects with them; it doesn’t soar over their heads. And that’s because the author kept things simple–they engaged and conversed with the reader.
In the words of W.B. Yeats: “Think like a wise man but express yourself like the common people.”
As a senior copywriter at WebiMax, I look forward to sharing more blog posts on content and how it can help your business. For more information, please feel free reach out to me at dheinkel(at)webimax.com
How much are your ideas worth? It’s a tough question. Can you really place value on ideas? I guess if it materializes to a Google or Facebook then you’ll get some pats on the back for it. However, what about all the other ideas that didn’t make it to epic, FB and Goog heights? Ideas are flying around all day and night. It’s only when we harness them, when we wrangle them in and make something out of them, that we get ‘full’ credit and appreciation for them.
I’m an idea man; but, that means nothing to you unless I can express my muse exists. Here are some copywriting ideas I can give to you. Maybe you can make something more concrete out of them. (Throws coin in idea machine.)
Is someone interesting in your business community? I bet there are tons of people to approach. Interviews have such potential; I think the questions and not the personality really make the interview. Have you entertained some good questions you would like to ask?
Spend less time worrying about the candidate and spend more time focusing on what kinds of questions would intrigue readers. You have social media accounts, don’t you? You could ask followers for their take on some good questions regarding your industry. That way, you know your questions are already burning a hole in inquiring minds.
A Day in the Life
Consumers are more curious about brands of interest. Have you considered making an infographic related to a day at your office? It could be highly informative; it could be silly and humorous. Both kinds of content intrigue readers. What I do love about the idea is that it provides an opportunity for brand expression.
Most people get lost in the design of an inforgraphic; I think it’s more about what readers can get out of them. Ask yourself, “How do I want the reader to experience this? What kinds of reactions do I want from them?” Do you want to invoke a laugh? Do you want more professional respect?
I stopped reading faceless, corporate-like blog posts. They offer very little personality; and, the intelligence is usually highly objective. I can’t really gain much value from them. However, I do get a lot of value from the opinions of others. Sure, they are just that – the opinions of others. I can wrap my head around the experiences of others, consider the messages, and then extract value to use in my own subjective experiences.
Choose five to ten in-industry business practices you celebrate and an equal number of those you disagree with. Use personal experiences to elucidate a truth you came to realize. Perhaps readers can relate, disagree, or want to add. Sharing in-industry experiences is great bait for reads. Think about popular comedians. Jokes, which are more popular, are usually those that are relatable to a greater number of people.
Write a Post on Ideas
How postmodern of me to suggest; but, it makes sense. I would want to hear from more idea people. Where do you get your ideas? What do you do with them? I’ll share some personal feedback:
- I walk around with a small notebook; my ideas like to have fun with me, knocking on my mind’s door at the most inconvenient times. But I found a way to keep them captive until later. Don’t let those little buggers get away!
- Every person is different. Do your ideas follow a cycle of seasons? Mine usually do. I am highly creative in the morning until around noon then experience a creative reprise in the evening into the wee hours. I take advantage of my idea seasons when I can. Why try to write a sunny post when I’m amidst the winter of my content?
- Two creative heads are better than one. There are a few people whom I share rough ideas with. I get more ideas from the feedback of others. Even if they don’t like where a particular idea is going, the addition of their mind into the equation further rattles some more ideas out of my idea machine.