Saturday, June 30, 2012

Common SEO Mistakes You Must Avoid

SEO is definitely not as easy as it seems, if you go wrong somewhere you are far away from success you target. SEO is an art and it should be done correctly always, you can't afford a single mistake.
Many techniques are considered beneficial for SEO, as time changes, the search engine algorithms change and so does the ranking of your website. You should be up to date with the changing trends and techniques in SEO to always get what you desire for your website.

Certain SEO techniques you should definitely avoid to as they are of no use or are the culprits for your downfall in search engine ranking.

• Wrong Title - First thing that the search engine crawlers notice is the title. Title usually explains what the page is all about. You must use the primary keyword in the title and avoid deceptive keywords. Avoid using the same title for all the pages; every page should have an exclusive title.

• Wrong selection of keywords - Choose the most profitable keyword for your website. The keyword should ideally not be based on traffic and not on conversion rate. Do not opt for keywords with high competition rate and low search volume. Use Google keyword tool to look for medium competition keywords with decent search volume. You should ideally go for long tail keywords instead of single word keywords.

• Wrong content - Your website's content should be 100% correct. Avoid using numbers, statistics or even worlds if you are not 100% sure about them. Avoid stuffing your content with keywords. Keyword density in the content should vary from 2 - 3 %.

• Spam Links - Avoid using links from dubious sources, exchanging links with bad neighborhood sites or those that are known for hosting malware. Do not get involved in SEO link buying schemes. Such practices can result in permanent banning of your website.

• Website maintenance - SEO is not a quick fix. You need to invest in SEO over and over again, at least till the time you don't have a lot of customers in your kitty. For high search engine ranking of your website you need to do competitive analysis regularly.

SEO is not rocket science and also not a piece of cake. Avoid making any such mistakes for achieving desired SEO results. All that you have to do is research well, be updated and work hard to achieve your target of higher traffic on your website.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Inner Workings of Life As a Freelance Copywriter

As a freelance copywriter, you write "copy" or content for others for payment. Not everyone in the world has the ability to write well. If that's a surprise to you than apparently you haven't seen some of the content online these days. I've seen many online content and articles which have been full of grammatical errors and made no sense at all. As a business owner, I would never put such sloppy copy on my website or on one of my blogs.

Now, if you're writing for another business owner who doesn't want to or doesn't have the ability to write his or her own content-this person doesn't want sloppy copy either. That type of content won't present a professional image and won't sell. Business owners need fresh content all the time. They may need this content for their website or blog or to be posted on an online magazine and all this is done to generate traffic flow to their online hub. Their hub is their website or blog with connections to all of their profiles on social media sites.

Freelance copywriters usually work on an assignment basis and if you do good work, you'll get repeat leads. Sounds simple, right? It is simple if you follow some rules and don't run into various problems which can send your freelance writing career down the tubes. The best technique is to always provide great content for your clients. Now, your client might be a direct client who you have straight contact with and there is no middleman. You may have some indirect clients who hire a contracting firm to supply one of their freelancers to writer content for them. If you provide top-notch content, with your unique voice and you submit it in a timely manner within deadlines, then you'll have no problem getting repeat assignments.

One of the biggest issues is freelancers who plagiarize and use content which is not their own and claim that it is. Let's say for example that you plagiarized content for an article that you submitted to your client. If they ascertain that it was indeed plagiarized, you can say good-bye to a credible career. Just think how much damage this can do if your plagiarism wasn't caught and the content was used on the client's website or blog or in an article linking to their online hub. That is definitely not a situation you want to find yourself in.

Usually if a client asks for you to write content for them, you are given specific keywords to use. There is a point to that and not just to drive you nuts. Those key words are used for SEO which is search engine optimization in order to drive organic traffic to the client's online hub. The key is to organically input these topical key words into the article content in a way which reads naturally and isn't forced or looks like it was done "on purpose."

There are so many benefits to becoming a freelance copy writer and to reach a full-time work from home position takes hard work and dedication; however, if you put in the dedicated effort, you will succeed. Take the time to learn some simple techniques and always remain ethical and you will build up your credibility as a real freelance writer and will never be wanting for more assignments.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Profitable Content Marketing - Do I Need a Call to Action at the End of My Content? (Really?)

Q: Do I need a Call to Action at the end of my article content?

A: I must admit, I was a little surprised by this question. It came from someone who had purchased an entry level resource from me, and the purchase came with a bonus strategy session.

In the book "Made to Stick" authors Chip and Dan Heath talk about the "curse of knowledge" - thinking that just because you know something means every one else knows it too.

So this question was another gentle reminder to always carry somewhere within you a "beginner's mind" so you can make the most difference with your students.

On to the answer

So the answer is absolutely yes, you always want to have a call to action at the end of your article content. Here are some reasons to back up my absolute yes:

1) Even if you are creating content and/or articles just to see your name in print, you are doing your readers a disservice by not showing them a way to get more from you. Why? Because if you are creating content in the most powerful way, then your reader is going to be attracted to the way you approach and solve problems. The natural result of this is that they are going to want more from you. So why leave them hanging?

2) If one of the goals of your content creation is to create traffic, then of course you want a call to action. Asking the reader to go to one of your profit sites (opt-in page, sales page, blog, etc) is still a great way to generate endless waves of traffic from your articles.

3) If one of the goals of your content creation is to build a list, then of course you want a call to action. In world full of options for paid traffic, (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more) I still believe that new list members who are earned instead of bought make the absolute best lists.

4) And I've saved the most surprising reason for last: If you create content that helps someone to take the next success steps, and do not offer a way for them to go further with you, then you are simply working for your competition.


Because your reader will learn from and move forward with you, but then you leave them hanging. So that then when they read something on the same topic from one of your competitors, who offer them a way to go further, they will choose to invest with your competitors.

And you don't really want to do that, do you?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Writer's Block, Lack of Inspiration, and Understanding Roadblocks

Is there anything more frustrating than sitting down to a blank page, and having it remain blank? Some may call its Writer's Block, some call it lack of inspiration. Either way, it's a road block everyone who enjoys writing, has to face from time to time.

Luckily in my own blog, I don't have a niche, as least I say lucky. Being able to write about anything and everything that comes to mind, has a definite freedom about it. I just have to worry about the quality of the article, and if it stacks up to the other articles I've posted. That being said, there is a small hindrance of not having a target subject to write about, which probably limits my true readership in a way...

But even I, with all the subjects in the world to write about, still hit that wall, and can't think of something to write.

In my life, I try to surround myself with aesthetics, as it were. I've always tried to collect things that inspire me, and the collection on my desk is a motley assortment of things from all over the place. From Spawn, to Star Wars, to Garfield, to Hello Kitty's friend Joey, everywhere I look I can find something that gives me a memory or a smile.

But as everyone knows, ambiance isn't enough to spark the mood, there has to be the initial catalyst of an idea. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with the subject of Writer's Block. I know I could do a far better job at writing down spontaneous ideas throughout the day, but alas, I commonly forget those small strokes of genius.

But writing things down is a wonderful way to begin getting past lack of inspiration. Even if it doesn't lead to the article you originally planned, that idea you had about cooking something a different way might inspire you to think about how to write a better article about drawing a sketch using a different format than pencil. That's how inspiration works, it's a beautiful muse that will morph into what you need it to, when you need it to.

I can definitely say, that Writer's Block, is the only challenge in this world I have truly hated. Many people have tried to write many things about how to get beyond it, and in all honesty, there is no way to get past it, beyond stepping back from the page, and thinking about something else. One has to get out of the mind set of frustration to allow thoughts to flow freely onto the page.

One of the first rules of writing is to never force it. Allow the words to simply bleed out. Its very easy to bleed, and its very easy to write. I find, the best way past coming up with a subject to write about, is to start thinking a bit more random. Think outside your box, ask yourself questions that you've always wondered about, and then think up the best answer.

I'm finding blogging to be the best freedom I've ever expressed, and in that vein, I can sit back and enjoy it better, knowing that it is true freedom of expression. I can say anything that I want, anything at all. And if I do it well enough, people will want to read it. So simply breath, step back for a moment, and think about the way in which air flows throughout a room, completely unseen, yet with currents and ebbs and tides. All the molecules mixing together, and how they all simply... float. Come back to the blank page later, it will still be there, trust me. And when inspiration does hit... you and it will be more than ready to express something well worth reading.