Marketing A Business Online

Whether you’re establishing a new venture or you’ve been running one for a while, marketing a business online is challenging. There’s much to learn, and always something new. That’s the impetus for this five-part tutorial on Marketing a Business Online.

This series was inspired by a friend who’s starting a business. She asked for recommendations on everything from online marketing tools to public relations tools, and I had plenty to share.

The first marketing tool we discussed was a website, and how to get one that’s stylish and hassle-free! So this tutorial, #1 of 5, offers insights and tips about how to get a nice website up and running. Here’s a top line on every step involved…

 

5 Steps to Get a Website

If you’re serious about marketing a business online, you need a website. If you don’t have a website, your competitors probably do and will easily win the sale. What follows are the steps to get a nice website going:

  1. Buy A Domain Name

Start by brainstorming possible names for your website and/or business blog. (Some domain names you like may already be owned by others, so think of several.)

  • When choosing the domain name for your website, it’s sometimes best to use a word combination that people will type in search engines to find what you sell. You may have a reason for choosing John-Doe.com, but note: It’ll become easier to learn about your site on Google if your domain name is generic. Examples: business-consultants.com.
  • However, if marketing a business as a brand, try to pick a compelling moniker. Domain names like JohnChow.com and SethGodin.com are memorable. So are Twitter.com and LendingTree.com.
  • Either way, try to settle on a domain name that’s easy to remember, easy to spell, and as short as possible.
  • The domain name for our site, CopyClique.com, was obtained from Network Solutions. No issues; just requires an annual renewal fee.

 

  1. Choose A Website Hosting Service

I equate getting web hosting to getting a dial tone for your phone. It’s a web hosting service that takes your site “live” in cyber space. Having tried a couple of them and having discussed web hosting with a few Internet marketing long-timers, I’ll vouch for the following:

  • Copy Clique uses web hosting by Page.ly to host our WordPress.org website & blog. We love the fast, courteous customer service Joshua provides. Page.ly makes those rare, scary situations alright. 🙂
  • But I’d also have to recommend HostGator, which is preferred by a few friends and clients of our writing service. What attracts them to web hosting by HostGator is the ability to run multiple websites at one, low price. (Note: Most services make you pay separately for each site.)
  • Some web hosting services will take you through all of the next steps for a price. If you’re too busy, not interested in learning web-related coding, etc. to start marketing your business online, it’s best to pay someone to handle all of the following.

 

  1. Choose Your Content Management System (Cms)

Here, you’re deciding which website publishing software you prefer to work with. There are several good CMS choices. You can read a comparison of the three biggies here: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Conceptually, think of this as choosing whether to work in PowerPoint vs. Word vs. Excel.

Each of the above CMSs are open-source softwares: they’re free to download and use. You (or your website designer) can simply go to their home page and download it. If you do it yourself, you’ll need an FTP software like the free FileZilla, to load it to your web host account.

Now, some personal insights:

  • org is the choice of 22 out of every 100 new domains in the U.S. With WordPress.org you can publish a static website, or a blog you plan to keep fresh with updates, or both. (Note: CopyClique.com uses WordPress, and it’s a great for marketing a business online.)
  • There are thousands of (mostly) free plugins you can download to make your site do cool things. For example, there are plugins that allow you to show your newest blog posts in the sidebar, show your choice of advertisements, make a members-only site, add a shopping cart, and much more.

 

  1. Pick Your WordPress Theme Carefully

What’s truly yummy about using WordPress.org is the wealth of site designs you can choose from. They’re called themes, and there are tons of free themes as well as premium themes in the marketplace.

Warning: CHOOSE CAREFULLY when selecting a WP theme and you don’t know CSS, HTML, PHP, etc. You’re likely to encounter a confusing step. Some designers won’t help you until you pay them more… and some don’t make this clear beforehand.

  • I’ve been “stranded” this way before and it’s frustrating, a time-waster. Luckily, I discovered Elegant Themes. They offer beautiful WP theme designs; have a free community forum if you have questions; and offer very reasonably priced support.

 

  1. Get Affordable Theme Installation & Tweaks Help

If you choose a WordPress theme that doesn’t come with human help, there are solutions. Services like Ninja Blog Installation do wonderful WP theme tweaking, making your blog look and function exactly how you want it to.

  • You can also find good web design and programming help in the Internet Marketing forums. I’ve had pretty good experiences hiring WP help at DigitalPoint. Be sure to read the feedback their previous customers wrote.

This concludes Part 1 of a five-part series on Marketing a Business Online. Part 2 will cover Online Public Relations Tools. If you like, subscribe to receive the next tutorial once published. I welcome your comments and tips!

Content Strategies to OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network

When it comes to content strategies, television queen Oprah Winfrey tends to kick “Content Is King” in the shins. Whether you’re an Oprah fan or not, it’s hard to deny that plenty can be learned from her latest, greatest venture.

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launches at Noon (ET) on January 1, 2011. So, as an admirer of how Lady O does business, I can’t help but say in her deep-throated hype voice: “IT’S ALMOST HERRRRREEEE!!!” . . .

A joint venture with Discovery Communication, OWN will replace the Discovery Health Channel on cable and satellite. Oprah is chairwoman of the new network and also has editorial control.

As OWN unfolds, we’ll be witnessing a case study in content strategy and content development, as visioned by talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey. If we pay close attention, we just might learn how to score a content checkmate of our “OWN.”

 

Oprah: On Her OWN But Hardly Alone

“OWN will feature the kinds of shows I believe that people really want to watch — the kind of shows that lift you up,” Oprah said today on her long-running Oprah Winfrey Show. She also describes her new network as a continuation of what she’s done on TV for the past 25 years. So, here’s a look at some of the gems Oprah has polished within her content strategy for OWN:

  • Oprah Presents Master Class (motivational biographies featuring everyone from Simon Cowell and Lorne Michaels to Jay-Z to and Dr. Condoleeza Rice),
  • Health how-to with Dr. Oz; life how-to with Dr. Phil; and wisdom from money doctor Suzie Orman,
  • Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes (a making-of reality show of her historic show’s final season),
  • Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind (a look over the shoulders of creatives like Lady Gaga, fashion designer Tom Ford, film director James Cameron and many others),
  • In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman (how to — shut yo’ mouth!),
  • Wynona Judd and Naomi Judd star in what’s sure to be a tense, contentious mother-daughter reality show hit,
  • Inside Rehab (a docu-series about people suffering with compulsive eating disorders), and
  • Oprah’s Next Chapter (armchair traveling around the world with Oprah conducting interviews).

 

Make Oprah’s Content Strategy Your OWN

Really, Oprah is a how-to queen taking her problem-solving talent ’round the clock. And who better to show an audience how to conquer, evolve or heal than the complex, hard-working luminaries she’s befriended?

Oprah seems to have a winning content strategy, one that anyone publishing online would be smart to mimic. We may not have a Dr. Phil, Lady Gaga or a Judd on speed-dial, but we can reach out to more accessible stars in our on constellation.

Thus this content idea: Reach out to influencers in your industry or niche. Interview them. Package what you have whether as a video, report, blog exclusive, or podcast.

Market your nugget in whatever way will benefit your business or brand. You may not wind up launching your own cable network, but then again, this wasn’t Oprah’s goal with her first little interview, either.

 

Believe!

If you didn’t notice the copy in the image accompanying this article, the OWN section of Oprah.com invites anyone to create your own video channel on the site. There’s even an assignment desk, allowing you to choose from an array of topics to give your views on, like a reporter.

Great way for OWN to: 1) get free content, 2) make the site / network interactive and fun for fans, 3) generate continual buzz, and 4) discover potential new talent! So it could be great for those who create a video channel on OWN, too . . .

As of this writing, there are only 1,000 videos uploaded. So, if you’re into video marketing, this could be quite an interesting content strategy to integrate into your marketing plan.

The video channel categories at OWN include: Books, Fashion & Beauty, World, Food, Entertainment, Family, Health, Home & Garden, Money, and Spirit. If any of these are related to your products or services, why not grab your video cam and go for the potentially nice publicity?

8 Seo Tips For Content Writers

Newsflash: The marketer who dominates the information flow around your topic holds a dominant position in the online market. That’s because in web marketing, Content is King — and the “king” rules this: organic, naturally occurring web traffic from search engines.

Google LOVES  content-rich websites, and so do potential customers who’re considering doing business with you. Which is why aligning with a skilled content writer matters when trying to develop a more profitable online business.

Having plenty of text content on your site is important for ranking well (i.e., HIGHER) on search engine results pages. You can have great page titles and lots of backlinks. You can have a wonderfully designed site, too. However, if you don’t have lots of quality content, none of the rest matters.

Search engines only read text. They cannot read images, videos, flashy banners, or stylish templates. They only read and determine the quality of your web page based on the text: the written words a great content writer generates.

 

Seo Content Tips

  • Repeat your main keywords and key phrases across all of your web pages. This should be Rule #1 for every content writer. Google and other search engines determine how authoritative you are on any given top or key phrase based on how often (and logically) it’s typed on a web page.
  • When creating hyperlinks, use your key phrases as the link words. Google assigns more importance to words and phrases that you make bold, underline or italicize. Similarly, it places a higher value on the words you use in any links you create on your site. Never make links of empty words like Click Here; link using keywords such as Professional Writing Service or Content Writing Service.
  • Create article titles that are intriguing and stimulate curiosity. Let’s face it: drama attracts attention. You’ll get more web traffic from people using the search engines when you appreciate the selling job that an article title must do. People are attracted to titles with numbers in them as well.
  • Check your keyword density. Although it’s crucial to repeat your keyword phrases on your web pages, be mindful of using them too much in the same article or web page. Search engines keep an eagle-like eye trained on keyword-stuffed pages, which they consider “spammy.” Best practices are to hit a keyword density of between 2% – 5%. Smart content writers use a Keyword Density Tool to check that what you’ve written is within this range. Less than this percentage, and your article / page will be buried on the search engines; more than this percentage and the search engine may de-list your page altogether, having calculated that you’ve written gibberish that readers wouldn’t enjoy or understand.
  • Use nice images and complete their alternate text tags. These represent another great opportunity for a content writer to muscle-up an article or web page for SEO purposes. Also note: People searching through the Images pages on the search engines will be able to learn about your site this way. Try to choose images that stand out and “beg” people to click them. Curiosity may have killed that cat, but when it comes to using images, the cat gets lots of extra lives (i.e., web traffic), when your come-hither images beckon to be clicked on search engine results pages.
  • Get a professional writer for fresh content strategies. It’s important to create additional content such as FAQ pages, how-to pages, an industry glossary, and articles about your services or products. Good content writers are idea factories. They can come up with all sorts of new and exciting ways to talk about your product or service category. Since content is king, as your content writer to review your site and strategize a list of fresh content to add. Copy Clique can help you with content strategies as part of our Web Copy Review Service.
  • Use the description meta tag associated with each of your web pages. Google’s search bots look at this for clues about which search terms to make your pages discoverable for. If your site uses a content management system such as WordPress, install the plugin called All In One SEO Pack to make this process easier and well organized.
  • Learn from other websites in your category. Keep an eye on your competitors and how they’re ranking for the same keywords you’re using. There a couple of ways to do this, but one quick and easy way to learn another site’s top keywords is tap Alexa.com. Just go there and type the URL of a site you’re curious about. Alexa will spit out more good and useful information than you probably really want to know about any site across the entire web!

It isn’t easy to become a leader in your niche or brand category online. It takes a good team to help make more happen on every website — SEO pros, savvy content writers, social media drivers, and more. Together, the focus of these practitioners can deliver both on-page and off-site what it takes to make your web site more successful.

For Online Writers, the Benjamins are In the Benefits

I’ve always liked that P. Diddy ditty, “All About the Benjamins.” Except here, I’m substituting Diddy’s word Benjamins (i.e., money) with the idea of BENEFITS. Because as every cool content writer knows, it’s all about the benefits, baby!

Think about it . . . When people read the web content on your site, they’re only doing so because they want  something you seem to have. They’re looking for ways to benefit from what you’re thinking, selling or otherwise know a lot about.

Now, there are many ways that you might prove that you can be beneficial to your site visitors. You may need to show and tell how your widgets will make them faster, smarter or prettier. Or perhaps you represent a monetary savings, superior quality, a time convenience or some other key value. A great online writer helps you distill and articulate this.

If you’re a web content writer writing your own web pages, pay close attention to this area of your copy. When writing for the web, always be mindful of the WIFM factor: What’s In It for Me?! To master this, consider these guidelines, which I hope will “benefit” the web content writer in you:

  1. Make a compelling promise off the bat, in your headline and intro paragraph. Successful online writers master describing the different kinds of satisfaction or relief that a product/service uniquely delivers. These are the benefits that (hopefully) convince a reader to embrace what you offer in the marketplace.
  2. When writing for the web, try to anticipate the various questions a prospective customer will have. Think of your web content as a 24/7 sales person. That means the better the questions are answered, the more likely you are to gain a new customer.
  3. The more crucial job of a web content writer probably involves writing as specifically as possible about the benefits (and not just the features) of a product or service. Really, a good content writer addresses every reason imaginable for someone spending their hard-earned Benjamins with you.

There’s plenty more that content writers must bring to bear, far beyond distilling the benefits of a service or product. But this is a biggie when all the elements of writing for the web are equal. Making money from your web services relies heavily on describing how well you fulfill the reader’s needs.

There’s a reason to reiterate your benefits well below-the-fold — further down in your marketing copy or web  content. But the best chance of having your copy serve your online sales goals involves articulating the benefits ASAP, on each of your web pages.

Review your web pages from time to time, with fresh eyes to discern how well you’ve conveyed your benefits. If website writing simply isn’t your thing, here’s an experienced content writer who can help you, right here!

5 Content Marketing Rules, the Andy Warhol Way

Are you a fan of artist Andy Warhol? Did you know he created colorful business advice, too?

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

– Andy Warhol

True to form, Warhol’s business advice is thought-provoking — just like his artwork. I mean, one of the great mysteries of modern art revolves around why Warhol was inspired to silkscreen things as mundane as Campbell’s Soup cans and the symbol for the U.S. dollar . . . things we take for granted . . . things he felt deserved a closer, more loving look.

Did Warhol’s work really qualify as fine art, or was it too commercial? was the question. This heated debate in the art world did nothing less than propel Warhol to fame. All of these forces aligned to make his a household name, more than any other player in pop art.

Art history talk aside, there’s a business point to all of this . . . When I consider Warhol’s business quote, I see content marketing as one way that small business marketing rises to the level of art online. When creating content for web audiences, bring these five thought processes to bear. Together, they’ll paint an awesome picture of what it’s like doing business with you:

  1. ReThink Your Thinking about Value. Get Warholian: turn what’s “soup can” about your content into something approaching art. The further we venture beyond the standard fare, the more distinctive we are in the marketplace. How can your content provide more value? Some simple examples I like include sites with industry or niche glossaries.
  2. Become Passionate About Sharing Your Knowledge. This is the crux of content marketing. It’s about understanding what your target audience seeks enlightenment about, and shining a spotlight on all you know about it. This is small business marketing at its finest. What better salesperson could you have than your unique knowledge?
  3. Make Emotional Connections to Become a Memorable Brand. Not long ago, I was asked to perform a website review by an e-commerce site owner, for an online jewelry store. Although the site was beautifully designed and the merchandise was exquisite, I was puzzled by the lack of copy and personality there. I was sure that a less “sterile” environment would help convert more site visitors to sales. We rewrote all of those dry product descriptions. Four months later, the site owner informed me that her sales were now moving at a nice clip.
  4. Say No to Mediocrity. Everything online moves fast. While it’s important to keep up, it’s increasingly more important to take the time to get your content right. If you’re not EXCITED about your blog post or report or video or podcast, it probably won’t excite others. Plus, Google has just announced Panda, it’s new quality assurance measure for determining which content will rise (or fall) on the search results pages. Several influential web publishers took an immediate Page Rank drop when Panda hit the scene. Personally, I’m excited about it: serving as quality content writers is an area in which we strive to excel.
  5. Create a Unique Brand Experience. There’s too much sameness online. It’s become increasingly difficult to be truly WOW’d on the web. But yesterday I enjoyed one of those rare moments: Check out Ownzee, a brand new blog platform. Looks like a cool, arty way to share content and attract new visitors to your site.

As the great Andy Warhol said, “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.” When it comes to content marketing, pour plenty of love into your branding tools. Give them the diligence they deserve to build a lasting and more rewarding web business.

How to Write Product Descriptions

Think about it: Something of an “uncontacted tribe” constantly lands on your website — at least they do if your meta web copy and SEO product descriptions are enticing.

But the question is, once those curious cyber shoppers click to your web pages, how interested do you keep them? Is your sales copy clear and compelling? And have you provided the kind of information that not only educates, but underscores why do business with you?

It’s surprising that many e-commerce websites use very little copy on their product pages. Many simply use the scant product copy that’s provided by manufacturers.

Worse, there’s often little thought given to 1.) SEO copywriting, which helps search engines send more traffic, and 2.) the fact that search engines may dismiss the manufacturers’ copy they use, considering it duplicate content.

 

Google’s Demand for Better E-commerce Copywriting

Actually, many small businesses with an e-commerce website recently experienced a painful drop in organic traffic from search engines.

This is due to Google’s recent, very strict algorithm change called Panda (or Farmer). The Panda affect is basically challenging the e-commerce community to step up its product description writing game.

Depending on one’s time and ability to do this, the demand for a good copywriter may grow to an all-time high online.

But when we address issues surrounding our SEO copywriting quality and any duplicate content, this should benefit both customer and sales.

No longer will a confused and unimpressed “cyber tribe” flee these uninformative sites in droves.

With more information — more relevant copy on product pages and questions better answered — shoppers will gain more confidence about buying. In fact, stronger e-commerce copywriting on a website can:

  • Increase search engine traffic by 50% or more.
  • Possibly boost your sales conversions by up to 30%.

 

How to Write Product Descriptions

Like the uncontacted tribe in Peru, first-time visitors to your site are looking at a huge unknown. They’re unfamiliar but also hopeful.

Would a business interaction with you be positive, they wonder? Getting them to take action requires positioning your sales copy to land on what’s called “the sweet spot” — a safe and happy place where all systems are “go.”

Be mindful of your #1 Goal: to sell the product! You want each prospect to land on your products web page and think, “Yes, this is precisely what I’m looking for and I’m ready to buy now!”  To that end, take the following approach to writing product descriptions (or rewriting them) for greater success:

  • Write meta tag descriptions that convey the benefits of shopping your site. Using keywords in meta descriptions don’t count in search engine optimization. It’s the meta title for each page where keyword usage matters most. In fact, you can use 2 or 3 keyword phrases in your meta titles for each web page. But don’t simply plop down those keywords in meta titles. Make them more *clickable* by revealing a compelling benefit on this line, right off the bat!
  • Use a unique voice for product descriptions, and apply it consistently across all products. The best way to write product descriptions is to be informative but also be a little creative. Incorporate the power of persuasive writing to explain what makes your products or services different. But balance it all with simplicity and readability. These factors are crucial for building trust.
  • Use both paragraphs and bullet-points. Most people won’t read an entire page. In fact, as much as 79% of web page readers only scan pages and don’t read your copy word-for-word. This is why bullet-points work well. They draw the eye to your key information areas. Use your paragraphs to add texture and color about your products.
  • Pique interest, but don’t overwhelm readers. Avoid using long sentences, as they’re difficult to digest. In fact, they work against your job of persuading the reader. Shorten sentences by deleting unnecessary modifiers and phrases. Also break unwieldy sentences in two. Add color to your writing, but don’t pepper it too much with adverbs and adjectives that slow down the reading.
  • Tell the benefits of choosing each product. You probably have plenty of product features to write about, from color and weight to sizes and material used. However, it’s more often the product benefits a prospect will derive that make them purchase. What’s the “edge” one gets out of buying what you sell? Explain how your product makes the buyer prettier, faster, smarter or gives any other type of advantage.
  • Here’s the secret to becoming a better SEO copywriter. Try these steps for your e-commerce copywriting tasks:
    1. Identify targeted keywords for the page.
    2. Write your 1st draft of product description.
    3. Proofread your product description.
    4. Try to add more keywords (if appropriate).
    5. Edit again to create a natural-sounding read.
    6. If you need more keywording, don’t just “stuff” them in. Add them within a new sentence or paragraph.
  • Clearly and simply explain logistics and policies. This would include information about payment, shipping, and how to make returns. Remember, every unanswered question provides customers a reason to click away to another site. So make these things plain to understand and easily found. Also, be sure to highlight attractive features such as special discounts or free shipping.
  • Create clear “call to action” points. Make it easy to buy from you. Unmissable call to action buttons and/or bold links go a long way toward improving sales conversions. Check here for tips on how to write a call to action that works well.
  • Let the “tribe” decide which sales copy works best. If you currently have product descriptions that don’t seem to be converting well, use Google Analytics to implement an A/B split test. This allows you to study how people respond to different versions of your sales copy pertaining to the same product.
  • If you have affiliate marketers supporting your business . . . don’t provide them the exact same copy you’re using. By giving them a different set of copy, you’ll both be able to rank on search engines for a variety of keywords and phrase combinations. This is another area where a professional copywriter can be a big help, crafting sales copy that affiliate marketers will believe in and do well with.

 

Product Description Writing Requires Skill & Time

With so many “moving parts” needing to be addressed, e-commerce copywriting can be difficult and time-consuming.

However, you needn’t do it all at once. Take your time rewriting your product pages. If you rush and don’t get it right, this becomes a self-defeating (albeit well-intentioned) exercise.

Focus on perfecting your most important products first.

If you don’t have the time or patience for improving your e-commerce copywriting, align with a skilled SEO copywriter.

Use someone who knows how to incorporate your keyword phrases into your copy without compromising your site’s credibility. Just be sure to choose a copywriter who’s well-versed on all the elements it takes to

  1. Attract the right “tribe” from search engines, and
  2. Persuade those skeptical strangers to buy now!

How to Hire a Rock Star Copywriter for Electrifying Results

For many small businesses and entrepreneurs, the need to hire a copywriter is a daunting task. You may want a “rock star” copywriter, but don’t want to make an *electrifying* mistake. So, how do you select an *awesome* online copywriter who’ll be effective at helping market your products or services? Try these steps …

 

What is a Copywriter?

The best copywriters have been trained on the art of words, how to string them together to impact your target customers for sales.

Copywriters are responsible for helping generate sales by putting forth your business proposition for a positive response.

We do this by writing strong sales copy and marketing copy for various mediums including print, websites, television, radio, email and more.

Experienced copywriters know how to write copy that really speaks to potential customers and clients. They know how to make a positive impression on your behalf.

If you want to hire a copywriter to help your Internet business, you’ll find plenty of writers who’d like to work with you. But not just any copywriter will be worth your time or money.

 

How to Choose a Good Copywriter

Hiring an inexperienced copywriter — or one who isn’t a good fit for your needs — becomes frustrating for everyone involved. However, most real copywriters are a joy to work with. They make the process of building and branding a business easier.

But with so many copywriters to choose from, how do your select the right one? There are six essential points to evaluate and compare before selecting online copywriters for your sales and marketing needs:

  1. Writing Samples

Seeing is believing, so ask to see writing samples that are similar in tone to what you’re looking for. Quality copywriters are easy to spot by their writing alone (although there are other reasons you might not choose this person).

Look for work containing little to no typos and grammatical errors. But look beyond the obvious. Are you inspired by what you read?

Is there evidence of fresh, stand-apart thinking? Are there well-crafted calls-to-action, telling the audience the next step to take? These are crucial elements that some less experienced writers neglect.

  1. Experience

A copywriter’s training and work background can be indicative of whether or not this writer will be a good fit for you. Ask about their previous writing experience.

Find out the types of writing they usually do. The best copywriters usually have advertising agency experience.

However, many others good writers have learned via training with some of the best online copywriters. Try to get a sense that one credential or the other is in place.

  1. Willingness To Revise

There are excellent copywriters out there, but if they are unwilling to take direction or constructive criticism from the you, steer clear!

If a writer seems reluctant to make the revisions you may want to request, look for someone else. Most writers understand that revisions are an essential part of the writing business.

Anyone you’re considering hiring should be fine with doing whatever it takes to you, a potential new client, happy.

  1. Testimonials

Nothing beats seeing testimonials about a copywriter you’re considering hiring. Feel free to ask potential candidates to see feedback they’ve received from previous customers.

Beware of testimonials that are only signed with initials . . . are those testimonials even real?

  1. Strategic Marketing Depth

For a successful project, a lot of learning and research is required on the writer’s part. It’s important for copywriters to research and learn all they can about your marketing strategy and approach.

So, look for an indication that a copywriter is eager to dig in, to learn the best practices and positioning opportunities in your business category.

  1. Solid Seo Writing Skills

If your talking with copywriters for your online marketing needs, you need someone who has strong SEO skills writing skills.

Writing for online audiences is best done using search engine optimization (SEO) writing techniques, which  require lots of learning and practice.

Unlike basic copywriting, SEO copywriting brings more (and better!) online traffic to your Website.  It’s a writing technique the helps your site show up better on Google and other search engines.

So, ask to see each copywriter’s best SEO pages. Find out how high they’ve gotten those Web pages ranked on Google, Yahoo! and elsewhere online.

For small business owners and entrepreneurs alike, hiring out the writing process can be hard in the beginning. But in the end it’s completely worth it have an expert get your online marketing tasks handled well.

Hiring a good copywriter can relieve your stress and leads to higher productivity.

You can select the best writer for your projects (online and offline) using the tips above. If you choose a real rock star copywriter with a thorough service menu to meet your many needs, you’ll soon be singing their praises!

4 Content Curation Tools for Faster News Discovery

Are you curating content? It’s a wonderful alternative to blogging, and it’s a fairly simple process, too…

I emphasize fairly because content curation involves publishing a best-in-class roundup of blog posts, videos, etc. — the true gems pertaining to your topic.

But if what you share isn’t consistently top-notch, you can’t build a following. The leadership halo you seek for your brand won’t happen.

The good news: There are ways to conquer the challenge of discovering great, new content. And it doesn’t involve wading through Google or the usual social media search boxes.

There are a few sites I use when curating What Is Content Marketing? You may be familiar with these cool search tools. If not, you might like them. Use them to start doing less digging to uncover the Internet’s rich, buried treasures.

 

The Curating Content Process

As a content curator, your goal might be to show your audience at least one awesome content piece per day. You want to give them knock-your-socks-off content — the best and freshest articles, infographics, reports, etc. Regardless of how frequently you update, the basic steps involve:

  • Web surfing to review content that others created;
  • Deciding whether or not to include an item on your site;
  • Occasionally including your own, original content, and
  • Pressing a few buttons to upload and share it with an audience.

Now, if you’re able to quickly discover great, new content to share, you’re working smarter not harder. Only then are you truly saving time versus creating lots of original content, which is what bogs down many bloggers.

These are the basics. For the nuances that separate the good from the great, read the guidelines that Guillaume Decugis, founder of Scoop.it, left in a recent comment about content curation on CopyClique.

 

Quick Content Curation Tools

Luckily, the Internet is brimming with new-ish content curation tools — search tools that make the “discovery” aspect of it easier and more fruitful. Of course, these search tools are useful for other purposes, too.

If you need to do research for a blog post, ebook, report, slide presentation or any other reason, this powerhouse mix of free services will uncover some hidden treasures — fast!

Here’s a real time-saving gem . . . When curating content, it’s helpful to subscribe to several quality blogs and news sites that cover your industry or niche.

FeedSquares provides a fun and fast way to go through all your RSS subscriptions. It turns the RSS feeds you’ve selected into a colorful, interactive “wall” of website titles.

Click a FeedSquare and at the bottom of the page you’ll see about a dozen of that site’s most recent posts. This makes it easy to preview multiple blog excerpts at a glance.

FeedSquares is tied to Google Reader. You can download FeedSquares for free in the Google Chrome store.

 

Topsy

This is one swift and simple real-time search tool — an elegant pearl. The Home page shows links to various content that’s trending on social networks at the moment.

But use the search box to type your keyword phrase. You’ll see the hottest content most recently published using your keyword. If you like, narrow your search to Tweets only, videos only, or other media preferences.

 

YourVersion

Offering a treasure trove of features is YourVersion, another real-time social search engine service. It’s not as easy as Topsy for quickly grabbing a link to place on your site, but the quality of the finds makes it worth it.

YourVersion is great for also sharing on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. And there are convenient add-ons like a free toolbar for your Firefox or Chrome browser, an iPad app, and more.

 

Search-Cube

Interactive and fun, Search-Cube is an out-of-the-box jewel. It’s a visual search site with a simple but powerful user interface.

Just type your keyword in and watch a bevy of screenshots start flying into the page — coming together to form a 3D cube! Use your arrow keys to make the cube turn in a different direction — up, down, left, or right.

Each side of the cube you turn to shows a different matrix of screenshots. Move your cursor over one of those little squares, and you’ll see a larger preview of that site on the right side of the page.

Click on the screenshot to read more and grab the URL to share as curated content. Easy-breezy!

 

Additional Content Curation Tools

There are countless other resources for curating content, for finding great links to share. A few other favorites include the search boxes at social networks such as Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook; Google Alerts; and “Sparks” on Google Plus (G+).

There’s even the newly designed Delicio.us bookmarking service, which seems interesting (despite recent complaints by many long-time users).

But the four described above are real-time time-savers. We needn’t spend hour upon hour searching for good stuff to share. Each of these free services makes a way for the best treasure of all: more time for other tasks related to marketing a business online.

What Is an EPK?

If you want publicity, you’ll need a media kit. But creating a traditional, “paper” press kit can be a daunting task if you’re not a press release writer. Creating an electronic press kit (EPK) may seem even more intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be hard …

Use this EPK intel to learn the benefits of digitally publishing your “media kit,” becoming more discoverable online and accessible to the media.

An electronic press kit is similar to a paper press kit; it’s just stored, distributed, and presented differently. An EPK is only distributed/available electronically: over the Internet.

 

EPK Distribution

Thanks to the Internet, press kits are now faster to transmit. Pitching the media for coverage also is much more affordable when your press kit as an EPK.

Unlike when having to “snail mail” a fancy folder or package of information, you’re able to direct the media you contact to discover everything they need to know online.

An important note: The free and open nature of the Internet has shifted the paradigm of electronic press kits. EPKs originally were intended for the media, in hopes of securing TV, radio, blog or newspaper coverage.

But these days, EPKs are even used to cut out the middle man (i.e., the media). You can easily serve as your own press release writer and make your EPK accessible to consumers.

This way, you can generate direct sales — even if you can’t get any media organization to publish your news.

 

Popular EPK Formats

An EPK is the “electronic” version of a press kit, telling the 5 W’s — the Who, What, When, Where & Why of your special news, products or services. EPKs today are packaged a variety of ways, with two of the most common formats being.

  • A PDF media kit containing the various documents typically mailed in a paper press kit (e.g., press release, event schedule, product pages, company profile). The PDF is emailed and may be printed out. PDFs can’t contain videos, if that’s an important component in your sales pitch.
  • A Microsite, which is a single web page, or even better, a cluster of web pages. A microsite usually links back to your main website, but not always. Most online microsites allow you to integrate video, music, and still images as part of your e-press kit. They also provide your main website a good back link (if your have a main website).

 

A Press Release Writer Creates the Best EPKs

If your want the media, your industry and the public to take your product, services, art, book or other effort seriously, it’s generally best to have a press release writer create your EPK.

It can be difficult to tell your own story in a way that holds peoples’ attention, probably because you’re too close to it to see what’s hot vs. what’s not.

As the technology advances, we’ll likely continue to see EPKs take all kinds of formats, and become available in even more exciting ways than they currently are. Click here to see a sample EPK, press releases, and other publicity tools.

If you’d like a professional writer to create your electronic press kit, get in touch with us, let’s discuss your project!

Article Marketing Tips

There are only two ways to get more website traffic:

  1. Pay for it, or
  2. Don’t pay for it.

If you prefer the free option, these article marketing tips might be helpful. This is a great way to build your online business without incurring hefty advertising expenses.

  • Creating a presence at article directories helps your site:
  • Generate steady traffic,
  • Demonstrate niche/industry authority, and
  • Climb higher on the search engines results pages, thanks to the many links this leads into your site.

 

Why Article Marketing Works

The higher your articles appear in search engines such as Google and Bing, the better your chances to get more website traffic.

Also, the more articles you upload to the online article directories, the more you’ll enjoy the benefits of backlinks, which bolster your site’s authority on search engines.

Once an article directory shares your articles with their subscribers, the exposure your site reaps increases — and so do the number of backlinks pointing to your website.

Altogether, the benefits of article marketing can create a wondrous cycle to get more website traffic, when done well.

 

The Best of All Article Marketing Tips

The backlinks are very important, but they aren’t all you want to focus on. When implementing article marketing as a strategy, writing valuable and useful content is crucial.

Strive to really help readers, opening up and sharing insights and tips that’ll benefit their efforts. This makes you more memorable as a resource, someone who seems worth visiting the website of!

 

Keyword Related Article Marketing Tips

When writing for the web, always be mindful of search engine optimization (SEO). Your articles should contain the keywords and phrases you’ve learned that people use when searching Google for information relative to your products or services.

 

Article Marketing Content Goes Viral

Two groups of people use online article directories:

  1.  Individuals who’re likely looking to buy what you sell, and
  2. People who publish websites and need fresh content in your niche.

Most article directories allow people to use your articles for free on their site, as long as they don’t change your signature as the author or the link to your site. That’s great: everyone loves the additional exposure!

 

Rinse & Repeat the Article Marketing Process

To maximize the potential of your articles, submit half of your articles to the top 5-10 article directories. EzineArticles has been leading the article directory pack for some time, so definitely submit articles to that site.

It’s tempting to want to submit the same article to as many article directories as possible — but don’t do it. This will hinder your effort.

Google loathes duplicate content; it only values original, unique information. Your web pages could be removed altogether from the search engines.

Just do the extra work of ensuring that each article submit to a directory is different enough. It’s time consuming to do some tweaking to each, but better safe than sorry.

Have you tried article marketing? If so, did you get more website traffic? Tell us your thoughts, comments and questions about article marketing below.