Category Archives: Content Creation

Where to Find “Hidden Gem” Writers For Your Business

find writers for my businessDo you ever post a gig to a job board and get inundated with unrelated samples, replies in broken English and people who can’t follow basic directions?

Here are some frank truths.  Anyone can slap on the “writer” label and work as a freelancer.  Many of them have no real passion for writing and think it’s a quick way to make a few bucks generating generic regurgitated Google fodder for website content and blog posts.

These starving artist “writers” churn out streams of awful “5 dollar” content just to keep the lights on.  They have no interest in your success because you have no interest in theirs.  Harsh? Maybe, but honest.

If someone was only willing to give me five dollars for content, do you really think I’m going to do my best work and be grateful for that? Nope.  Would you?

Are you ready to stop wasting your time and find genuine, affordable talent?  Here’s how to find the hidden gems in your niche and stop wading through garbage to get the right content developers for your projects.

Here’s how to find the hidden gems in your niche and stop wading through garbage to get the right content developers for your projects.

Any old “writer” won’t do, trust me.  I say this as an experienced professional and hobbyist writer who has developed tons of content over the years – and then revised that content multiple times to keep up with current marketing trends and Google standards.

You get what you pay for.

Well written, informative evergreen content will pay for itself many times over.  Don’t think cheap and fast, think ROI.

Passionate, professional writers are not going to crank out 500-word blog posts for you at less than slave wages – sorry.  We spend time developing our writing and marketing skills and recognize our value.

Hidden Places to Find Great Writers 

Hidden gems are often found not on job boards, but in the real world.  Spend some time visiting blogs and niche sites.  Look for a writer who is engaging not only in their posts but in their comments.

Niche Blogs and Hobbyists

Look for related, but not identical websites to avoid direct competition.

Let’s say you own a dog grooming business, instead of looking up dog grooming blogs do a search for “blogs about Yorkies” or some other specific breed that requires regular grooming.

This search will yield blogs from passionate pet owners.  Their love and interest will come through in their writing – and that’s more important than perfect grammar, SEO titles etc.

You can get an editor or content manager to take care of that later or perhaps you’ll get lucky and find a Yorkie lover with a great eye for detail and SEO knowledge :).

Ask them how much they would charge you for an article or if they would be willing to guest post.  Not only are you likely to get amazing targeted content; it will be affordable.

Search Broad Interest Websites

Some of my best clients have found me through posts on websites like HubPages and their network of sites.  Yes, you can find a lot of crap there too, but you can also find some real gems and passionate writers.

There are several professional writers and bloggers who post content there to expand readership and earn residual income every month on material that doesn’t tie into their business or niche sites.  I earn a decent chunk of pocket money with evergreen content posted there and have enjoyed a few viral hits.

I earn a decent chunk of pocket-money with evergreen content posted there and have enjoyed a few viral hits also. My content there has generated millions of views and thousands of dollars.

I chose that platform to test different writing styles to see how readers engaged with it.

Those of us who went through and finished their apprenticeship program are well-versed in at least the basics of SEO and how to write natural, engaging content that is also Google friendly.

If you click a profile and see the apprenticeship alum tag; that’s a person who has been through some pretty intensive training on writing for the web.

You can also view comments at the bottom of articles and see how the authors are engaging with others.  Perhaps this is someone well suited to help you with social media and outreach also.  Use the “contact the author” feature and start a conversation.

Another Frank Truth About Content Development

If you are paying for substandard, adequate at best gigs at best, you’ll have minimal traffic and little growth.  At worst, you’ll have a negative response to your content that reflects poorly on your business and sends potential buyers to your competitors who do invest in solid content development.

What would you rather read? An engaging, knowledgeable piece of writing that answers your questions and solves a problem? Or pre-penguin and panda Google days generic sounding search engine fodder?  I bet your visitors feel the same.  Invest and give them the content you both deserve.

 

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Blog to Thrive

Many small business owners never start a blog. They have so many demands on their time already, that blogging is either a distant priority or not even on the radar.  Who has the time to develop copywriting and social media skills when you’re busy trying to turn a profit?

Sadly, this mindset is a huge mistake that costs a lot of small businesses and here are 5 reasons why.

Search Engine Rank

Websites with current, high-quality content rank higher in search engine results without the need to pay for traffic.  Google in particular loves websites filled with regularly updated, useful content.

Not only that, but proper on-page SEO within your blog posts can help you rank for long tail keywords and give your business the opportunity to gain higher levels of organic search traffic.

Expertise

Gimmicky sales pitches and bland, stale website content drive potential customers away.  Today’s discerning consumers want answers to their questions posed in a conversational, easy to digest format.  They’re not only looking for “just the facts”, they want them delivered with a humanized touch.

Blogs are great for anticipating the needs of your visitors, answering their questions and building relationships.  If your competitors are blogging and interacting and you aren’t – you ARE losing business.

Improves Sales and Conversions

Your blog demonstrates to visitors that you are engaged and devoting energy to your business.  Nothing is quite as alluring as a business that is passionate about helping people and loving what they do.

In fact, active blogging and social media posts provide a great ROI, you’ll get much more out of it over time than what you invest up front because an active blog sends this signal loud and clear to your visitors.

Consider also that your top-notch content is more likely to be shared, placing your brand and your experience/expertise in front of new people who wouldn’t have otherwise known about you.

Opens Up Communications

Have you ever had a question about a product or service, but didn’t really want to pick up the phone and call?  A blog is not only a great way to speak to your potential customers, it provides a very easy way for them to communicate with you through comments.

I write numerous articles on subjects I’m passionate about.  Many of my pieces have questions and comments because it’s easier than clicking the “contact the author” button and composing an email or picking up the phone.

Enhances Social Media

Developing your own content makes social media work harder for you.  Sure, you can share other people’s content and that’s great.  People like social media pages that aren’t all just shameless self-promotion.

If other content is all you share, however, you are losing the opportunity to drive traffic to your own products and services.  Social media works best when you share a variety of content and that includes your own.

If you’re a small business, chances are you have concerns with both time and monetary investment when it comes to a blog and social media management.

Those concerns are certainly understandable, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, but you also must consider what your business may be losing by not taking advantage of blogging and strong social media presence.

Fortunately, there are freelancers available that can help you take on these tasks and ultimately grow your business.  If you’re curious about making the investment into your website, please contact me for a free quote.

Even if I can’t help you; I’d be happy to direct you to other resources or even give you some tips on how to start blogging on your own.

 

 

My Step-by-Step Process for Creating Incredible Content

creating content that sellsI’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my writing and I love to create content that I can feel proud of – even when my name isn’t on it.

I do a lot of writing for a variety of clients and also for my own niche sites and blogs.  Every website or blog will have a different image or voice.  The first step is to get a feel for that website.  What story is it trying to tell? How do the readers respond?  What works and how can I capitalize on that in the content I am developing?  Is there something that could be improved I can mention to the client?

Analysis is the first important step, next is the nitty gritty.

Tracking Trends

First, I use Google Alerts to stay on top of current trends for my client niches.  This shows what’s trending and what people are likely to be talking about. Staying current provides the authoritative, up to the minute edge that will grow my client’s business.  If they aren’t already doing this I ensure that I am so  I can forward this valuable information or make suggestions.

I don’t believe in just cranking out a piece and getting paid.  I take the extra steps to ensure my clients are putting my skills to the best use.  If I see something trending that looks exciting; I’m not shy about sharing that information.  My client can then decide if they want to run with it or not.

Keyword Analysis

Once topic ideas are generated or a working title is assigned; I use a few different software products and plugins that assess strong keywords and phrases.  Working these into a piece allows potential searchers to find the page.

This initial research also helps show how successful a post or page is likely to be.  Evergreen content is always a good choice, so I try to get a good blend of that and current trends.  Google loves both the stability of evergreen material and up-to-the-minute content, so it’s a balancing act.  The best websites have both.

Outlines and Mind Maps

The next step is to outline the page or post.  I often use mind mapping software for this process.  Freemind is a fantastic free software that makes pre-writing simple.  Use it to generate a workable structure for any content type.

Writing & Citing

Next, it’s time to write the content, ensuring the use of credible sources and tracking them as I go.  Many times content doesn’t require this, but certain topics that Google refers to as “Your money or your life” must be backed up with credible sources.  Websites that ignore this are at risk for deep penalties and no one wants that.

Do you find source citation cumbersome? Fortunately, there are citation websites that make it easy.  Easybib is my favorite because it’s free, fast and does citations in the 3 major formats: MLA, APA and Chicago style.

Proofreading and Editing

Once I’ve compiled the piece and cited my sources, it’s time to check for grammar, spelling and proper title case.  I use Grammarly, which not only find mistakes, but makes recommendations for improvements.  Paper Rater is another fantastic free option.

Creating a Working Title or Headline

My final step is always the title or headline.  What is going to grab the readers attention? The sheer amount of information overload on the net makes this the most important step in the process.  A title must do two things: tell the reader what the piece is about and make them want to read it.  This is, by far, the hardest part of the job for a content developer.

Formatting, Uploading and Other Extras

Ok, the content is developed, everything is proofread and it has a great headline.  Now what?

Most clients take the original files and have their webmaster upload and format the content.

Smaller businesses that use WordPress sometimes want their content uploaded directly to the platform by the author.  This is simple enough and I am happy to do it.  I even use their plugins to generate the meta descriptions, rich snippets etc. if needed.

Photos & Visual Content

Every client has different needs. Some of my clients need help seeking out good images to use for their posts and copy.  I’m happy to source images and to rework them in Photoshop.

I like good shareable pins.  These days, everything is visual, so posts without featured images don’t do as well.  Most of my clients have separate editors and graphics people, but smaller businesses may need help in that regard and so I try to be open to meeting the varying needs of different clients.

Sharing to Social Media

Again, most clients will have social media managers that handle this, however, I have done social media work as an extra service.

Some smaller clients have confided to me that it can be nice to have one person who can handle the multiple aspects of content development.

It’s less work for them to track everything and having one “go to” person simplifies life when you have questions or concerns.

Other Considerations

As a freelancer, it’s important to ask what a potential client needs if they aren’t sure.  Prices quoted vary depending on the depth of the task and amount of work required.  For example a simple blog post, content only will be less expensive than developing content with extra requirements.

This is why I have a free quote feature on my website.  It helps ensure that I and my potential clients have a full understanding of one another’s needs and what to expect.  It’s vital for a strong working relationship.

So, there you have it, a brief overview of what I do to ensure the content I develop is top-notch and my clients are satisfied.  If you are a fellow freelancer feel free to mention anything else I should add that I might have missed!

Are you a business seeking content development? Contact me now for a free quote.  I’m currently for hire and accepting new clients!