Whatever it is that you may do, the first major thing to establish with any online presence is your thought leadership in one or a few given subjects related to your field. This is obviously much easier said than done. To be honest, there don't seem to be a ton of resources that actually can help you figure out just what the right topics are exactly. Establishing your own thought leadership on the internet and social media seems to be a matter of trial and error.
It is difficult, however, to try and alleviate some of the complications that come along with gaining a foothold in this all-important aspect of online visibility. Simply writing about your field isn't always enough. Simply watching the popular keyword phrases and writing to the trends isn't always enough. You need to build a fan base before you truly start producing. Yes, you have to have content for your potential fans to go to. But the worst possible feeling is to produce tons of well-written and pertinent content, then have no one view it.
At first, it's very common to receive very little interest in the articles on your blog. But you simply can't give up. Taking a short break is fine, especially if you find yourself burning out and needing to regroup. However, the best way to find help if you're struggling to build your thought leadership in your field, no matter what that field is, building your network of like-minded people in your field and related fields is key. It's important to be in contact with thought leaders in a wide variety of fields, as well, because oftentimes one thing can lead to another even if it doesn't seem related. By building this network, you can help both yourself and others become the best thought leaders that they can become.
Each individual has a special angle to offer the online community. Sometimes you just have to find someone who gives you the right prompt or simply the attention and motivation you need to keep your online and social media efforts on the right track. Whatever you do, don't give up. Giving up just makes things worse!
Unfortunately, "write it and they will come" are not the words to live by. You do have to keep writing, but you also have to make sure that you have a strong network to both share your ideas and help others spread theirs. In the end, it can work for everyone if you invest the time and energy into both cultivating relationships and providing the best possible content.
Photo credit: Pixabay, Public Domain
Pinterest has definitely become quite a social media phenomenon. It has become quite the diversion for millions around the globe and a great new way to search for images, while also being able to save them on "pin boards" for future reference. It allows for research on a wide variety of topics, including architecture, food, fashion, interior design, and many, many more. The list of topics for images you can find is practically endless!
So is Pinterest right for you to use in promoting your blog or business? It depends on what category you fit into. Pinterest is working to become friendlier for businesses all the time, and they even have business accounts now that let you track pin performance. Just be sure to have high quality pictures (at least 640 pixels wide) ready to upload that relate to the keywords for which you'd like to have them found. Even better, if you already have these pictures on your website’s blog posts, you can use Pinterest's Pin-It tool to post it to Pinterest directly from your site. This automatically links the picture back to the page it appears on within your website, making for a good back-link. While this back-link doesn't provide any "link juice," it can still be a good source of traffic for those curious to see where a picture was pinned from.
The best part of Pinterest and what is perhaps the primary reason that it has become so popular, is the fact that you can create a limitless amount of pin-boards, with each dedicated to a specific product. Say that you write for a bakery. You can create boards displaying your bakery’s pastries, another with your breads, and another with your specialty goods, broken down by each type. You can get even more specific, but be sure to choose more general broad keywords for your boards that should get a decent amount of search traffic.
Also, for bloggers, it’s very easy to take the great pictures you’re already using on your blog (hopefully!) and embed text as a caption on it with the title of your article. Obviously, you want those titles to be catchy, as you would in any case. In the case of baked goods, you may want to have a blog post with a title such as “10 Ways to Bake the Perfect Loaf of Bread” which you would then put as a caption on a picture of a warm loaf of bread right out of the oven. That will definitely entice people to click through and read the article and a lot more likely to re-pin that pin if they find that information useful.
While the social media implications are fairly clear, how does this help your overall social media and content marketing efforts? As stated before, the back-link on your pictures can be very valuable. However, the trick is that you want to get your picture seen. With how quickly Pinterest has grown, the number of pins on the site is growing exponentially on a daily basis. The best way to get your picture seen is to have people re-pin it. This simply means that someone liked your picture enough to pin it to one of their own boards. Users who follow the boards that your pictures have been pinned on will then see the recent pictures that have been added to those boards and have a chance to re-pin them to their own boards.
Pins can spread very quickly on Pinterest. It's a good idea to also find users that pin a lot of pictures related to your own keywords. This way you can re-pin their pictures to other boards that you curate specifically for pictures that relate to you, but are not directly related to your products. This will not only make your boards easier to find, but as it is easy and common for users to follow all of a particular user's boards, it gives you an easy chance to share your pins to a wider audience more quickly. As with any social media platform, the more followers you have, the greater your reach will be, and that reach can grow extremely quickly if you have content that people crave.
It seems like many people are having great success with Pinterest, including many bloggers, businesses, and writers. If any of you have any Pinterest success stories that you would like to share, we would be thrilled to hear about them! Happy pinning!
Photo credit: Pixabay, Public Domain
by Richard Rowell, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
A lot of people like to ask Google questions. Many are rather simple questions, such as: "What is the best scientific calculator?" or “What is the best way to remodel a kitchen?" If you begin to type a question into Google, the search engine's auto complete feature will often help you complete your thought. This means that other people have inputted this query into Google before.
They Have Questions, Do You Have Answers?
Interestingly enough, you may not always find quite exactly the answer to your question. Google is certainly getting better at answering certain questions, especially when it comes to products such as the aforementioned scientific calculators. But for the more general things like the kitchen remodeling question, you get sites that Google finds relevant to your question, but not necessarily giving you quite the answer you desire. You'll get articles related to what you're looking for, but nothing that directly answers said question.
It turns out that the phrase "best way to remodel a kitchen" gets about 50 monthly searches in the United State alone. Yet, no one has yet built around this phrase in an article. It naturally fits into how someone would ask that question, so why hasn't anyone done it? Content marketing experts always talk about the "long tail" keyword strategy all of the time. But it seems that many have overlooked the simplest thing: answering people’s questions.
Chasing the Long Tail Keywords
If you're struggling to find something to write about, think about what your target audience might be asking. If you're writing about yarn, for example, you don't necessarily want to just build a list of three or four word phrases concerning yarn without first thinking about what sort of questions yarn enthusiasts may ask. This is where Google Auto Complete is especially useful. Type something like "What type of yarn is used for A" and see what sort of suggestions come up. Then try "What type of yarn is used for B" and note those suggestions. If you take note of enough of these, it will uncover keywords you may not have thought of before.
Granted, answer sites like Askville on Amazon, Yahoo Answers, and others have many of these questions covered. They can actually provide you with a great research tool for additional content. So if you feel that those answers that Google provides in the search results are lacking, it's perfectly okay to go ahead and produce some content with the headline that includes the very question that one would type into Google. You would proceed with a keyword strategy like normal, but you would build your content around that question. The more specific your phrase, the more likely it is you will have highly targeted traffic.
A Tool to Help Speed Up Checking Google Auto Complete for Search Phrases
One useful free tool that you can use to help chase long-tail keyword phrases is Keywordtool.io. Their free version scrapes Google Auto-Complete for you, and while it will only give you the top few results, it can save you a bit of time manually checking auto complete. It doesn’t give you the search traffic for free, either. At the very least, it will give you a few ideas to start with when researching long-tail queries. It also allows you to scrape the auto-complete features of YouTube and Bing, as well, for additional ideas.
There’s a paid version that gives you search volume and other information, but it’s rather expensive per month. I’d recommend only paying for the Pro version if you’re looking to scrape for potential good phrases to cover with pay-per-click advertising. For the typical article writer, the free version should suffice. The time it can save you is definitely significant.
So whenever you're stuck for some content, never fear! Google Auto Complete will make the questions people are asking appear! Then you can go about answering them, leading to lots of new and qualified search traffic to your site!
There’s nothing worse than starting a blog, promoting it, and then as soon as you don’t see immediate results to abandon it. That is something that happens all too often, but you simply can’t give up. It can take months for rankings to take your site seriously, and in order to do that, you need to be able to blog consistently and effectively.
Quality Posts vs. the Quantity of Posts
Many content marketing experts suggest that you blog at least three times per week. However, the old rule of quality versus quantity most certainly applies, especially in blogging. You may get incredibly passionate bloggers to work for your site, or you’re a passionate blogger yourself already. The most important thing to consider is if you are watering down the effectiveness of your blog by diluting the quality in trying to get as much quantity as people tell you that you need.
One great way to overcome these quality issues is to find topics that you can split into two or three separate posts without finding that you’re repeating yourself or essentially saying the same thing two or three times - repetitiveness completely intentional in this case. Some possibilities include having Top 10 lists, various topical series, and inviting expert guest bloggers to write on an extremely niche topic in which he or she may be an expert.
Let’s look at all three of these possibilities.
POSSIBILITY #1: Product-Oriented Content That Isn’t Too Sales-y
Say you have a blog that compared top-selling brands of appliances. Here’s the trick. You don’t want to sound too sales-oriented, even if you have lucrative affiliate programs, because affiliate programs don’t want you to sound sales-y. Let’s say you have Brand A, Brand B, and Brand C that you find to be the most popular. Now while I say Top 10, you could have a Top 5, or even a Top 3. In this case, you’d write about Brand C first and what makes it stand out from the competition. What would make people want to choose that particular brand and how does it stack up to other popular brands?
Then you would next, perhaps a few days later, write about Brand B and compare it directly to Brand C and other popular brands. Then you’d finish off the series with Brand A, and compare all three. You want to position yourself as an expert appliance review. You’re looking to help them with their buying decisions, not to try and make them for your visitors.
This is the trick with what is called “inbound” marketing. You want to people to buy products through your site, obviously. But in blogging and other forms of inbound marketing such as social media and search engine marketing, you need to position yourself as an expert. You need to figure out how best to utilize your expertise or the knowledge of other non-competing members of your particular field to keep your products in mind without directly pitching them to consumers. It’s the old “top of mind” strategy, and it works well, but you have to be very careful to be an expert and not appear to just be a spokesperson for Brand A, B, or C. That’s fine for a sales floor or cold call, not your blog, Facebook fan page, or Twitter feed.
POSSIBILITY #2: Cornering Your Niche
Say you’re trying to get into a particular niche in your industry. Let’s pretend you’re writing for a kitchen and bath design firm. In your blogging research, you’ve found that galley kitchen designs are very popular in your area. You can write a series of five or six posts that cover different aspects of galley kitchen design. It’s actually a fairly popular search term that’s been trending steadily in traffic over the past several years.
If you decide to go that route, you could cover a variety of topics concerning galley kitchens. You may discuss the space restraints in a galley style kitchen and how to best overcome them. You may discuss what sort of appliances work best in a galley kitchen. There are considerations for cabinetry styles and counter tops which best fit into those types of kitchens. You could also focus on a slightly different keyword phrase as well, such as “galley kitchen ideas.”
There are quite a few things that you could cover to develop expertise around the niche of galley kitchen design. Keep in mind that you could sustain this series for a month or two if you post one Galley Kitchen Design article weekly. You want to build some authority around this topic, if it’s something you believe your potential customers may be interested in.
Then again, you may not want to focus simply on niches, either. This brings us to possibility number #3.
POSSIBILITY NUMBER #3: The Weekly “Expert” Blog
A very popular blogging strategy is to write expert articles or bring in experts every week to cover one specific topic. Sometimes this could be a writer who focuses on the hot topic of the week in your blog’s given field. Sometimes it could be a writer that specializes in very specific things. The trick is to complement this sort of content into the broader spectrum of all that you do with your site.
Here’s a more specific example. Say you’ve been doing blogging for a sports marketing agency that helps sports teams produce merchandising opportunities. But your regular content just isn’t bringing people to the site as you may have hoped. This is where you can bring expert bloggers in sports to help out your cause. You may want to have your guest bloggers discuss something broad such as the top uniforms in the league, or something more industry-specific such as how the best players in the league have their salaries decided. The former clearly has a far greater reach than the latter. You want to fall somewhere in between there.
Also, having a very niche topic once in a while (for example, the local team signing a sports star to a major contract and breaking down how it came together) is fine, especially if it’s current and relevant. As long as it’s fresh and interesting to your blog’s intended audience, it’s good content. Just don’t rely on some great hot news item to post every week, or you’ll be starved for content all too often.
Which is the Best Strategy?
My best suggestion is to combine some of each of these possibilities and work them into your overall blogging strategy. You want to be general to catch as broad of an appeal as possible, but you also want to be topical and current for the sake of being diversified. There is nothing as crucial to successful business as diversification and it’s as true as ever for blogging as it is for any other aspect of business. By having a wide array of content at your disposal you can be sure that you have plenty of quantity to keep the search engines happy, while also making sure that your audience becomes accustomed to plenty of quality content.
Photo credit: Morguefile.com
by Richard Rowell, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
For those about to blog, I salute you. However, don’t simply blog for the sake of blogging. Yes, a great many people are currently doing it. More than a handful are doing it well, albeit often with some outside help. But before you begin blogging, you need to ask yourself: "Do I have time to blog?"
It's true. The most important thing to consider when creating a blog is just how much time you will be able to devote to it. It’s simply unrealistic to think that blogging is something you can do for one half-hour every week. Sure, sometimes you may be able to do it. But you want to make sure that you have plenty of content waiting in the wings for when you get writer’s block. The last thing you want to happen is to simply put it off.
Or, Should You Have Someone Blog For You?
If you’re running your own website, posting weekly is fine. However, most experts will tell you that you should blog at least three times a week. This is most certainly a good idea, as it keeps your content consistently fresh. A website that is updated every 48 hours definitely looks good to the Google and Bing search engine crawler bots.
Whatever you do, make sure you’re putting out only quality content on your blog. If that is only possible once per week, that is fine. Still, you should shoot towards at least having a decent short post to accompany it. Whether that's earlier and/or later in the week is up to you.
While it's not for everyone, you could consider guest bloggers. It's good to have a group of good writers that can produce content for you on a regular basis. This way if you fall behind, you have some good content still going up on the website. It also can benefit your guest writers with backlinks and exposure for their work.
Don't Abandon Your Blog!
The trick is to not simply start a blog, post a whole bunch of content to it, and then leave the site abandoned for months at a time. This happens far too often, sad to say. Sometimes those blogs sit there for years without a new thing being posted.
Keep in mind that things will come up. Suddenly, you could find yourself not having posted on the blog in three or four months. That not only looks bad in the search engine rankings, but it also looks bad to visitors. Blog inactivity makes it look like you gave up. That's a terrible thing in the eyes of online visitors.
So yes, make sure you have the time set aside before you blog. Yes, you can always hire outside help, and there are plenty of writers out there to do it. Whatever you decide, make sure you’re posting genuinely valuable content whenever it is you decide to blog. If you don’t have the time right now, find someone to manage it for you, whether it’s in-house or contracted outside.
If you want to start a blog, don’t put it off. The later you start, the longer it takes to get results. So, post early and often and only the best quality posts. Eventually, you’re sure to get results.
Photo Credit: Morguefile.com
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Writing articles online has quickly become a popular way to earn money. This is in part due to the loss of income from layoffs and other job loss. However, many find out the hard way that the ability to maximize earning potential in online writing actually takes some thought. Online article writing is indeed a legitimate way to make money. Anyone can earn a few dollars at it here and there, but to turn it into a business, you'll first need to discover things that will help maximize the earning potential of each article.
Spelling, Grammar, and Proper English
Accurate spelling, grammar, and English can maximize your earning potential on every article you write. Potential clients look at writing for those strengths. If you spell and write so poorly that even spell check and grammar check can't save you, it's time to get back to the basics. That's right. You're going to have to study. Can't afford classes? Grab a book and teach yourself. Find free online resources. Study with a friend. Practice, practice, practice! Every good writer starts somewhere - the sooner you learn the basic skills, the better.
If no one can find your article, no matter how good it is, no one is going to read it either. Take the time to learn to SEO skills, including LSI. SEO will greatly maximize your earning potential in online article writing. Many online writers get paid for their content per page view either solely or in addition to other payments. This is why it is so important to learn SEO to draw traffic to articles. This is one method that is always changing and doing the wrong thing could give you the opposite results you intended. So be sure your knowledge stays up-to-date.
Focused Headline and Topic
Readers need a clear picture. They need to know from the start what your article is about. Focus your headline directly on the topic at hand, not just part of it. The headline (or title) "Maximize Earning Potential in Online Article Writing" tells me this article offers advice on how to earn more money with articles written for the web. If the title instead was "Pay Attention to Grammar, Titles, and More" that could refer to a book, a lesson at school, or any number of things. It does not tell me it's about article writing on the internet or how I can earn more money. When writing headlines for articles, maximize the earning potential by fully focusing on the topic at hand.
Focusing on the topic, as well as the SEO in the abstract is one more great way to maximize earning potential in online writing. Just as the headline needs focus, so does the abstract (or first few sentences). This is what search engines show with your article link. Therefore, it should clearly represent the complete focus of the article. Take out all the fluff and just get straight to the point.
Focus and Readability
Web readers want to find their info fast. That's why they search for it online - instant gratification. This means that content needs to not only be discoverable, but straight to the point and in simple language. If a reader can't understand the language and focus right away, they likely won't read the rest of the article.
Online article writers also can maximize earning potential by using clean formatting. There is no exact format o recommend because it will be different depending on the venue. However, if your article looks like one long paragraph, readers may stray away. Generally you need to break up articles into sections. Subtitles can also be used if desired. Whatever formatting you choose, be consistent throughout the article for the best readability results.
In line with the SEO skills mentioned above, promotion is another great way to draw readership. To be the most effective, they should go hand-in-hand. Article writers can maximize earning potential with promotion in many different ways. Post links in forums (where permitted), on your blog, in other articles, on social networks, and more. If you have a website, share your work there as well. There should also be a way for readers to subscribe through both RSS and email. If you have an RSS feed of your articles, it can be submitted to online article directories. There are many, many ways to be promote. The main thing to remember with promotion is to be consistent and to do it only where allowed and by the rules. You don't want to be known as a spammer. The goal instead is to be a source of interesting and informative content.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Sometimes as web writers we come across things we don't like in our research. While some might tell you to walk away from it, I'm not going to. Immerse yourself in the ickiness. Seriously. It's good for you and humanity. I promise.
I don't like bad things. Isn't "negativity" bad for me? Well, yes and no. While it may not be a good thing to dwell on something you can't change, it's not a good thing to ignore what you perceive as "bad". Why not? Ignoring the ickiness only makes it worse. If something bothers you, instead of ignoring it, immerse yourself in it and find out how you can change it.
Why should I get that close to the ick? Nothing will change if it's ignored and not studied. You can't take action on something you know nothing about. As a writer, you have the power to reach a wider audience than most and actually get something done. So immerse yourself in it. Figure it out if it really bothers you that much. If it's bad enough to make you want to ignore it, that's a sign that something about it needs to change. When something creates that powerful of a response, it may be a sign that you're the one who can change it. The only way to change something is to know about it and then take action. You can't do that without getting up close and personal.
Why me? Why should I be the one to get a dose of ickiness? Why not? If you're the one who feels bad about something, you're the perfect candidate to fix it. The bad feeling you get is likely telling you what's wrong with the bigger picture. This means you may have the solution others are seeking. What if no one else has thought of the same thing and it could help you, as well as them? And again, you are a web writer. This means you have an audience that might be able to listen. You have the power to spread the word about these things and do it in a way that people understand. Remember, "the pen is mightier than the sword".
It was just a stupid story or piece of research, right? Again, no matter what it is that you are perceiving as "bad", if it was enough to bother you, maybe it's not "just" a story. Maybe it's more than that. I'm a big believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason. I also happen to believe that if your brain is telling you something (some call it intuition), you should listen. Those feelings you have, such as anger or frustration, are exactly what you need in order to get motivated to solve a problem. Use that energy to do good, instead of ignoring it.
When people walk away from ickiness, it remains icky. While it may be hard to focus on the "bad" things in life, it takes focus, discussion, and/or research to solve those things. If everyone keeps ignoring what they perceive as bad or wrong, it never goes away. In fact, it will likely get worse. That's like ignoring a leaky toilet and hoping the leak will solve itself. Of course it won't. It's going to get worse and worse and turn into an even bigger issue until you fix it or call a plumber.
Immerse yourself in the ickiness. It's good for you -- and for humanity as a whole.
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Many of you have been asking me about ChatAbout since I've been posting about it on Facebook. Do I really get paid to chat, post, and complete tasks? How much money can you make? Is it worth the time? How can you get started and why should you?
Do I really get paid to chat, post, and complete tasks on ChatAbout? You bet I do! If I wasn't getting a benefit, I wouldn't be using the site. Most of you know how busy my days can get. Therefore, I only dedicate my time to things that are worthwhile for me and this is one of them. I'm getting extra money for something I might already do on Facebook or other social sites for free. So why not get rewarded?
What exactly can I do on ChatAbout? This site has discussion areas based on topic and if you don't see what you want, you can create your own. You can chat and create topics in these areas, as well as complete other tasks. Some of the other tasks include taking surveys, playing games, writing short articles, and watching short videos.
How much will I make on ChatAbout? Like anything else, you'll get out of it what you put into it. I don't yet know anyone getting rich from using this site. However, my personal experience is that it's been good for extra money. You can cash out for various rewards and prizes, but I always redeem for PayPal cash. I don't visit every day and when I do, I usually only put in a couple hours or less. With that, I am able to cash out fairly often. Therefore, someone who put in more effort than I do might be able to earn a lot more. It's all in what you do and the effort you personally invest. Like anything else, you're not going to get something for doing nothing.
Should I join ChatAbout? Well that's entirely up to you! if you like taking surveys, chatting, or completing tasks, it may be for you. That's especially true if you'd like the chance to earn while doing it. If you don't like completing tasks, being social, or both, I don't recommend it. But if you do, then why not get paid some extra cash to do what you may already be doing on other social sites?
Ready to give it a try? Click Here to sign up using my link, which benefits me as well. Happy chatting!
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
I've said it before and I'll tell you again. Helping others is an important part of being a web writer. Not only can you use your words to do good in the world. But you can also use them to help other writers get where you are.
But I just started. How can I help? No matter where you are in your web writing career, you've done something or learned something that can benefit someone else. Maybe you discovered a new venue others may not know about. Perhaps you learned of a resource that might help. Maybe you struggled in life and you can help someone else with a similar struggle.
Won't helping others hinder my success? No, no, and NO!! There is plenty to do for everyone. We each have our own unique goals and talents. We also each have our own styles and areas of expertise. For more insight, I discussed this aspect at greater length in the post: "Am I Creating Competition by Helping Others Succeed?"
But I don't have time to help others. What? Sure you do! You can help others while doing your normal work. Help can occur within the posts you might already make daily. Also, think of some of the moments you might waste in the day, such as time on meaningless forums or Facebook posts. Instead, use that time on forums and Facebook posts that might help others. You don't have to ditch all of your fun. But it's not that hard to find some time to help others.
Why should I help other people? Why not? It's simply a good thing to do. For me, this is always my favorite part of what I do. But there are other benefits as well, if that's not enough. Oftentimes, those who help others have the most success. They usually find something people need and help them achieve it or maybe they are just so nice and helpful that people are attracted to them or their business. It also may help you build important business connections. There are various reasons helpful people succeed. Therefore, if the joy of helping someone isn't enough, at least think of the possible financial rewards.
Have you helped someone today? What are some of the ways you help people?
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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