5 Get-It-Done Tips for Writing Your Site’s Content

5 Tips To Writing Content For Your Website

One of the biggest struggles I see my fellow entrepreneurs stuck in is creating content. A lot of emotions are stirred up when it comes to creating quality content, or even just content for their about page.

Maybe you can relate?

You sit down to write your home page content, maybe a persuasive piece of copy for a product or even a blog post. And suddenly you are paralysed by fear.

Fear of making a mistake and sounding like a fool.

Fear of what others will think.

And other times you are just not sure what to write about, what order to write it in and how to write in such a way that gels with your target audience.

But there is hope …

I want to share some tips that have helped me push my business forward. There was once a time when I was in the same situation. I hated writing.

I just wanted to design that darn website – but words have to come from somewhere!
It wasn’t until I started solving the jigsaw puzzle piece by piece that I discovered many ways of increasing the speed of writing, the level of engagement to my writing and even making it fun.

And now I want to share some tips with you!

Tip #1: Create an outline prior to writing

One of the most valuable tips I discovered was to outline my writing. I would simply use bullet points in a word processor and write down a topic per bullet. The great thing about this is that I could just list them.

Then once I had refined that ordered list of things to write about, I could start writing from that outline.

In order to create an outline, it helps to know the topic or reason for the content piece; so you stay on track. I also recommend you use prompts in your outline if you get stuck.

An example of a prompt is if you were learning about karate. You might have some prompts like:
● The mistake that almost all beginners make while practising Karate
● 10 valuable lessons I’ve learned in becoming a 1st blackbelt
● 2 things no one knows about when choosing your martial arts centre

You can learn more about creating outlines on page 8 of my free ebook available here at VA Networking.

Tip #2: Ensure you understand who you are writing for

It’s hard to write on a topic when you aren’t sure who you are writing for. It’s like taking a stab in the dark. Sure, it’s possible but then the writing gets very ME ME ME focused.

I highly recommend you define your personality and also recognise your potential customers who will read what you are writing.

One way of doing this is to create a persona or an avatar of your ideal reader. You can find an example of a quality avatar sheet at Digital Marketer.

Tip #3: Leverage writing frameworks

Frameworks are different to outlines. Outlines are very specific to the content piece you are writing. Whereas a framework can be reused. It’s like a fill in the blanks outline.

An example of a framework for a sales piece that comes to mind is something along the lines of:

1. Acknowledge the problem
2. Agitate the problem
3. Offer a Solution
4. Offer a reason why the solution is best
5. Overcome an objection
6. Finish by closing the reader

As you can see, a framework is very different to an outline. It is like fill in the blanks, rinse and repeat – a very abstract level view of your “outline”.
Sadly there are very few places to get frameworks from. But there is always the possibility of creating your own…

Tip #4: Create your own frameworks

That’s right. One of the ways I created my homepage and about page real fast was to create my own framework based on the sequence of questions I pre-empted my reader would ask.

If you look at my homepage on https://webmentee.com you’ll notice there is a formulaic flow. I cover objections, introduce solutions etc.

Tip #5: Get inspired by reading other blogs

Sometimes you are just not in the mood to write. Then you read something from another colleague or competitor. Suddenly you either get inspired, get angry or think you can do something just as good.

I highly recommend you stay ahead of the game by reading and consuming blogs. The secret is not to consume more than you produce. There has to be a ratio otherwise you can get stuck in no action, all learning mode.

And there you have it. Five solid tips to get your writing gear on. If you don’t know where to start, I suggest you get inspired by reading a blog or two on a similar topic and then outline your blog based on the key points you manage to harvest.

Just be original. Be yourself. And let your personality shine through.

This blog was written and submitted by Mark Hunter.   Mark Hunter is a WordPress and Digital Consultant. He runs a service based business called Mark Of Approval Web & Marketing where he assist clients with WordPress. He has been particularly active in the Virtual Assistant community because he loves these good folks provide great value and customer relations to their clients. As a result he’s helped some of the bigger players, like VA Networking, fine tune their websites. To contact Mark go here.

You Can’t Change People

You can’t change people; you can only change yourself. How many times can you help someone by giving them advice?  They continue to do the same thing over and over; maybe they’re just not ready to change.

Having worked since I was a teenager, I have met so many different people from many various industries and walks of life. Why are some people more successful and why are others broke all the time?  Many people have a myriad of motivational reasons to push further to reach their goals.  One thing I know for sure is that to become a better person either personally or in business, you must invest in yourself.

quote on people by jim john

We are always growing and changing.  I mean, look at your life now, were you a different person ten years ago?  In the last ten years, did you take a class, start a new relationship or become a parent?  These are changes most people experience.  One day you’re a single person with all the freedom in the world, to go out and party, travel, get home whenever you please.  Then, all of a sudden you’re a parent and boom! Things changed and now, it’s a different game in life.

As a business owner it’s not just opening up a store or getting a website and expect to have success overnight.  Oh, it’s a lot of work.  Now, you may be lucky to have started your business and clients started rolling in along with the money.  However, in order to continue to grow you must take the time to invest in your business and in personal development.

One book I read in high school is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This book taught me to listen first, rather than talk about myself. People love to talk about themselves! Sometimes being a listener is all someone needs.

Now, when someone asks me for advice, I open-heartedly like to help out and hope my words will help him or her.  I like to help by providing new ideas or direction, and hope it made their day so they can move forward.

I’ve spent hours on one person, trying to help her, even doing online research, providing the links so she can have a better mindset.  Later, I realized that there was nothing else I can provide her.  It’s really up to her.  No matter how hard we try to help others, it’s up to them.

You can train people and show them what to do and even share a secret or two.  If however, they cannot move forward, then just realize that you cannot change people.  They have to take responsibility and motivate themselves by investing in their own personal development.


TRAVEL: IS IT ONLY FOR THE RICH AND FAMOUS?

As a child my mother introduced me to travel. Back then travel was deemed only for those who could afford it and had to be of a certain stature. I didn’t see my mom that way but somehow she made it possible. I guess she too loved to travel and wanted to expose me to the world. Since then, travel has been in my blood and I have been travelling ever since. Since then, travel has become more accessible and open to all walks of life. Even the way people dress now compared to back then demonstrates how travel has evolved from business to casual.

The word travel is on blue map backgroundSince starting my own online business around 2010, travel has become even more important to me as it allows me the opportunity to attend seminars, conferences and trainings to keep abreast of my industry, know-how and latest trends and more so network and make new friends and possible business collaborations plus a little R&R on the side. However, whether you are in business or just a leisure traveller, travel can be a bit still on the expensive side for some.

I had to find a way to have my cake and eat it as they say and in sharing this blog with you, in the same way I shared my goals, someone told me about this wonderful site that helps me achieve exactly what I wanted. There are hundreds of trips under ‘Browse Experiences’! It’s pretty cool and the prices, well I will leave you to see for yourself in the video when you click on the link.

Blog Talk Radio

I have even taken it a step further and started another online radio show about travel titled youtrippin. You should check it out as it allows me to learn more about travel from others who have gone where I haven’t gone before (yeah, I am a Star Trek Fan) and enticing places to add to my bucket list. Hey, if you happen to be reading this and you have travelled somewhere and would like to share it on my show, feel free to reach out to me. I am sure there are people out there who would love to hear about it. And hey, don’t forget to check out that travel link.

I took my 76 year old mom on a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas recently and she still can’t stop talking about how 5 star the ship experience was and the VIP treatment she received from the staff. Don’t allow her to be the only one to brag! Here’s the link again to check it out and maybe, just maybe, I may see you on one of those trips or on the beaches of the world!

This article was submitted by our Guest Blogger, Corine La Font.

Corine La Font is a Speaker, Author, Coach and Self Publishing Consultant. She is also an Award Winning Publishing Resource in the 2013 Small Business Book Awards. Get a copy of her book at http://amzn.to/TFHQka, Subscribe to her Magazine at http://bit.ly/1IDj7pQ tune in to her radio programs at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/helpdeskja and http://www.blogtalkradio.com/youtripping Check out her website at http://www.helpdeskja.com She can be reached at corinelaf@gmail.com

Types of Blog Posts

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If you’re not aware of all the different types of content you can add into a blog, you may be in for a nice surprise.  You see, you don’t always have to write a story or about a certain topic.  Did you know you can create lists, add videos and more to add to your blog website?

Here 11 types of Blog Posts

#1 “How To” Posts

Create “How Tos” articles.  It could be something about a topic in your niche.  Make sure to create something that’s basic or easy to understand for the beginner.

#2 Create Lists 

It could be a list of tools you use for WordPress. Or a list of the top ten websites every blogger should know about.   Your readers will be interested in any relevant lists that you create.

#3 Write Long Blogs

Most blog posts that you write will be around 300 words or less. On occasion, it’s good to write an in-depth topic that has about 1500 words or more. Make sure to add a couple of images to break up the texts and make it more appealing to look at too.

#4 Teach with Tutorials

You can demonstrate how to do something with webinars or show step-by-step instruction.  Make sure it’s something your audience wants to learn to do.  So, for example, if you have a cooking-related website, you can teach your audience how to chop veggies properly and safely. If you build WordPress sites, you can teach your audience how to add a blog post.

#5 Add Videos

You can create a two or three minute video blog instead or writing something.  In fact,  you can just embed videos as a blog, better known as “vlogging”.   Additionally, you will embed it into your blog with appropriate title descriptions.

#6 Images and Infographics

Using data from studies relating to your niche, is a great way to provide interesting content for your blog. You can create images using stock photos or you can make them yourself using a quote in attractive text. It’s a good idea to include some commentary since search engines don’t always understand images. Use both the “alt” tags as well as some text to describe the image.

#7 Short Focused Posts

If you have a short update, it’s okay to write a short blog post on your website. They don’t all have to be profound. Sometimes, creating a very short post, 250 words or less, is another good way to include content on your blog.

#8 Blog Post Round-Ups

You can collect blog posts from other people who write about your niche, or you can do a round-up of blogs that were on your site during the week such as “most viewed” or important bits of information that you don’t want your audience to miss. However, be sure to only add a short blurb, a caption or a link to the blog posts that you didn’t write, because you don’t want to steal someone else’s work.

#9 Write Reviews

If you get paid or get a product free in exchange for doing a review, you must disclose it.  Use affiliate links to earn some money for products you review and recommended. Reviewing books within your niche on Amazon.com is also a great way to get traffic to your blog.

#10 Critiques and Commentaries

Read something that you want to comment about on the web? You can give a short synopsis of the blog post, and then link to the actual blog post or article, and then you can comment on it on your blog. Be careful if your commentary is negative or critical, though (unless that is your niche), because people can get quite upset.

#11 Create Surveys and Polls

Make a survey or poll right on your blog and ask your readers what they like to read about. Ask for their opinions about a topic. You can create surveys by using a service such as SurveyMonkey.com to create simple (free) survey.  There are other surveys that are more complicated with statics but they are usually not free.

Hope this helps get your creative blogging juices going and start writing your articles!  The more you write, the better you will become at finding your voice and or your style.

Add Images To Your Blogs

desktop with camera, iPadOne of the most important part of content marketing is the material you put on your website’s blog.

It’s important to make your blog posts visually appealing. Adding images into your blog posts will not only enhance the content but will make your page attractive.

According to an article written by Neil Patel at Hubspot.com, adding images to your blog posts whether it’s about your business, products and services will generate more traffic by 94%.  You ‘ll get more total views for your site. There are a number of ways you can source appropriate images.

 

Taking the time to choose a relevant image will make your page look more professional.

 

Shoot Your Own Photos

You can produce perfectly good images by using your own digital camera or smartphone to take relevant pictures. Take pictures of products, make a portable light box or take pictures outside in natural light. Be sure to check the background so the focus is on the main item.

Get Creative

An image doesn’t have to be a photograph; it can be an attractive quote from your blog post with a beautiful and colorful background, made into a JPEG file. This is a great way to add interest as well as call out an important point within your blog post. It looks attractive and helps explain meaning to your readers.

Hire Someone

There are plenty of graphic designers from  Fiverr, Upwork, TaskRabbit as well as other freelancer sites where you can hire others to help you come up with appropriate graphics for your blog posts.  They might come up with better ideas than you.  If you outsource your blog posts, ask your writer if they can help you with images.

Stock Photo Sites

There are quite a few stock photo sites, like iStockphoto.com, free images.com, Morguefile.com, and RGBStock.com.  Some of the photos from these sites are royalty-free, while some are paid. Check the license or copyright rules to ensure that you have a right to use the image. It’s also a good practice to give credit for images.

Limit Images

Remember to consider loading time, so use smaller images. Utilize the “alt” tags on the images so that if the photo does not show up for some reason, it will tell the reader what the image is. It also alerts search engines about the subject of your website.

So, start taking photos using your smartphone from different venues you attend or while going out for a walk and use them for your blog.  It will make your blog more interesting and fun to look at!

To read more about images and your blog, read this article I found written by Neil Patel.