Content is king, you’ve heard it a million times. However, creating good content isn’t just about good writing, it implies a broad spectrum of technical elements that businesses need to take care of, in order to get better results from their content marketing efforts.
To better address the technical aspects of content writing, business owners can use a broad spectrum of tools that will help them take into account SEO, readability, and a host of other essential elements that come with content writing. In this article, we’ll look into 5 top writing tools that small business websites can use to get a better effect from their content.
If you’ve been researching the interdependence of SEO and content writing, you must have come across the Flesch-Kincaid scale or the concept of readability score.
The Flesch-Kincaid scale is a quantifiable score can give you some insight into how readable your text is, based on a predefined set of metrics that include the number of words per sentence, paragraph length, adverb density, and so forth. The truth is that in order to calculate a text’s score manually, you have to use a fairly intimidating formula. The good news is that Hemingway is there to help you out with that and give you content-related suggestions in real time that will help you make your text more readable.
This app will allow you to make your text less intimidating by eliminating unnecessary words, expressions, and other linguistic obstacles. It’s up to you to decide what score is optimal for your particular niche or industry. Obviously, if your website sells very niche and highly technical tools and devices, it’s unreasonable to expect that you can adjust the readability score to the level of an eighth grader’s. However, if your niche allows it — make your texts informative and straightforward.
As a freelance writer, you’ll very often have to abide by the latest SEO standards, which also implies that you have to keep an eye at the structure, word count, and other essential parameters that search engines like Google and Bing take into account when they index
After you’ve written the first draft of your text, paste it to Yoast’s content analysis tool to receive suggestions on how to improve it, based on the latest search engine optimization standards.
So, it’s important to take into account that Google and other major search engines analyze reading ease, so bear in mind that your writing shouldn’t be too complicated because, at the end of the day, it needs to suit a broad spectrum of readers.
WOWGrade is a very handy tool that allows you to delegate content creation to professional niche writers. The tool is also a lifesaver if you need to find high-quality editors that would go through the content you wrote and consult you on the stylistic and structural improvements you need to make in the future.
The company has been around for quite a while and have quite an impressive list of corporate and individual clients.
Cliché Finder is really helpful if you’re looking for stylistic consistency. Whether you’re writing a white paper, a blog entry, a press release — clichés can always find their way into our text. The problem with clichés is that they’re commonly useless lexically and they don’t really sound good either.
You can just paste a text into the cliché finder, and it will highlight the clichés it has identified.
Everybody knows about Grammarly. This service has been around for quite a while and has been continuously improving over the years. Basically speaking, Grammarly is there to ensure that all the texts that we write on a device are worded impeccably, from a syntactic, lexical, and stylistic perspective. Grammarly uses Machine Learning to gradually improve the service and also make better suggestions to the people using it.
The technology behind this tool is designed to analyze millions of documents online and compares them to your semantic choices, which is how Grammarly is trained to give you suggestions on how to improve your text. The tool also scans your text for a broad spectrum of structural issues, which are fairly problematic.
Grammarly is vital for the development of your business’s presence online because having grammatically sound is an indispensable component of search engine optimization, which in part defines your commercial success.
Writefull — a fantastic tool that you can use for both article writing and interface copy. The tool accesses data from Google Web, Google News, and Google Scholar and provides you with the number of times a certain expression was used. If you’re not sure what the best choice of words is — you can always opt for this tool to check how often people have used a said expression or combination of words.
Many of us are talented when it comes to writing, but in the current business ecosystem, competition is fierce. This is why we need these writing tools to improve our style, word choice, and grammar at times.
Linda Grandes is a full-time blogger at Studyton.com and a true expert in writing. She is interested in a variety of topics starting from education and ending at modern art. That`s why the idea of her blog cannot be narrowed to one topic as well.
We all want (and need!) to reach our audience in such a compelling way that they engage with us in return.
There are few things as discouraging and detrimental to you and your business as putting yourself out there, expelling a ton of effort, implementing painstaking strategies, only to hear crickets chirping in response to your hard work. Am I right?
A decrease in audience engagement is a sign that something is malfunctioning. Whether there’s an issue with the products or services you’re offering, the marketing strategy you’re implementing, or the particular audience you’ve targeted, consider these tips for getting over the hump that’s keeping your audience engagement from growing.
4 Tips for Increasing Audience Engagement
Learn Your Audience! Why would you expect someone to engage with you if you haven’t spent some time to engage with them first…in the way they respond to well? It’s possible that you’re not seeing a lot of audience engagement because the particular audience you’re attempting to sell to isn’t overly interested in what you’re marketing or the way you’re attempting to market it. You need to learn who your audience is, what they like, and what makes them more inclined to engage. This might mean narrowing your audience substantially from “everyone” to a more specific group. Once you’ve done this, you’re better equipped to create and market specially for them in order to increase engagement.
Now, it might sound counter-intuitive to narrow your audience in order to increase engagement, but keep in mind that “everyone” will not be interested in what you’re offering, no matter how perfect your product or service. You must identify your audience, dedicate time to learning what they like, and then engage with them in order to grow your engagement!
Examine Your Product/Service. It’s perfectly normal to love your business and believe everyone should want what you’re offering. To an extent, if you didn’t believe this about your business, then you might want to be in a different business altogether! However, often times we think our products or services are perfect and irresistible when, in fact, they could use some improvement. Don’t hesitate to examine your products or services for defects, mistakes, or weak points. Look for places to improve and then do so. You want people to engage with your business because it’s valuable, you’re worth it, and your product or service is actually good.
Consider Your Marketing Strategy. Understanding your audience and your product or service is key to developing a stellar marketing strategy. For instance, if your product is meant to help elderly people, then you might not want to expend a ton of effort in creating Facebook ads (since the majority of your audience might not use Facebook). In the same way, if your target is business owners, then your Facebook ads need to be targeted in such a way to identify people owning a business rather than any and every Facebook user.
For online marketing, keep in mind that the day of the week and time of day also have an effect on your engagement!. Different industries tend to be “online” at different times. For instance, desk-job employees tend to be more active on the internet during business hours (between 9am and 5pm) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and social media accounts tend to be more active in the afternoons and evenings. For a different industry, these “popular” times might be different, so learning what’s accurate for your particular audience is valuable for increasing audience engagement online.
Look at Yourself and Be Genuine! It will be easier for people to relate and engage with you if you’re as true as you can possibly be to yourself and your brand. Don’t try to be someone else (people will see through it and consequently not engage)! Now, genuineness can be hard to manage sometimes, especially through website content where we want to remain professional, social media posts we want to keep catchy, or webinars where we’re trying to educate others. Nevertheless, it’s so important that you remain true to yourself and your brand so that people who will click with you can do so easily.
Remember that not everyone will like you and your business, but that’s fine! You just want the engagement from your desired audience.
Are you stepping back every quarter to examine your business from a bird’s eye view and creating a revised, intentional action plan?
If not, implementing this could be a MASSIVE game changer for your company!
If you are, good work! Let’s dive in and make sure your quarterly planning meetings are as effective as possible.
If you want to scale your company and become a long-term, profitable business, it is paramount to keep everyone focused, balanced and committed to the same big goals.
The quarter is an excellent spot to step back and re-evaluate everything you’ve done to gauge effectiveness and efficiency. If you fail to do so, you will easily lose money to projects or people who are simply not providing value to your company.
A quarter is a long enough to accomplish meaningful work and measure marketing strategy but short enough that you can course correct and make important adjustments as needed if things are headed in the wrong direction.
I’ve seen fellow entrepreneurs go a full year without really digging into the details of their long-term goals, marketing efforts, budget, employee tasks and projects, etc…only to realize they were making some major mistakes as a company and losing thousands of dollars because they never sat down to go over the numbers and properly or review/revise strategy.
Don’t let this be you!!
So what is the best way to go about making an effective quarterly action plan?
After running my own business for over 5 years and working with hundreds of clients, I’ve come to the conclusion that an action plan needs to be:
Short- I prefer having everything visible on ONE PAGE
Focused- Keep everything pointing towards you MAIN goals
Clear - What is success? What is failure?
Actionable- Action items should be listed
Here are some detailed steps to help you build your quarterly, one-page action plan:
#1 Top 3 Priorities For The Quarter
Pick 2-3 main focuses for the quarter. What do you most want to accomplish in the next three months? Some ideas may include:
Increasing daily number of new leads
Increasing sales by %
Selling/moving X number of products
Hiring someone for a specific roll
Acquiring X new paying clients
Building a new product/service
Writing a book or content piece
Launch new marketing project/campaign
Whatever you choose should bring you closer to your ANNUAL goals. Although you will likely be doing day-to-day tasks that don’t relate directly to these priorities, most of your energy, time and budget should be focused on these three top priorities.
#2 Set Clear Goals & Expectations/Criteria For Your Priorities
Now that you have your 2-3 priorities, create criteria for determining success/failure. What numbers/accomplishments will satisfy you on a weekly and monthly basis? Where do you want to sit at the next quarterly meeting/review? Be realistic but also optimistic. Set OBTAINABLE goals, but ones that also make you and your company stretch.
Choose criteria that is measurable and somewhat controllable. They should be objective. If you set vague, subjective goals, at the end of the quarter you will likely question whether or not you actually achieved them.
#3 Action Items
This should be the biggest section of your action plan. One your priorities and criteria are clear, start brainstorming action items. What needs to change in order to reach your goals? What marketing strategies will you need to implement? Do you need to hire someone? Let someone go? Shift the budget around? Start new projects? Create new content? Be specific and clear.
It is also important to put down WHO is responsible for which priorities and action items. If you are a one-man-show, it’s all you! But if you have employees and contractors, they should be crystal clear on the expectations you have for their work in the upcoming quarter.
Why only one page??
The biggest problem with creating a multi-page quarterly action plan is that you are less likely to look at on a regular basis. When I first got started, I would make detailed action plans that were several pages long…and then never look at them again. You want something you can see and check in with it every day. Keeping everything focused on one page make it easy for you to glance through it and stay on track.
Are you losing sleep because of the marketing aspects of your business? Are you someone who does NOT like to plan in advance? Have you run your business in a “by the seat of your pants” style? I have good news! I’ve created a 12 Month Marketing Plan to help you build a profitable business while not getting overwhelmed by the details!
This affordable course includes 4 straight-forward modules to help you:
Work smarter, not harder
Plan effective, profitable programs
Create successful promotions on social media and other platforms
Improving your marketing strategy is far easier than you may expect. Mostly, it’s all about considering which aspects of marketing are the most worthwhile for your business. So, this short guide will walk you through some of the key things we believe you should focus on, while also touching on some areas that maybe aren’t worth your time or attention.
Create A Strong Digital Strategy
Arguably the most important thing to do is to create and build a strong digital marketing presence. The world has pretty much gone full digital, which means the majority of your customers are online in some capacity. To reach them, you must think about things like search engine marketing, SEO, social media, web design, and so on. If you click here, you can learn a lot more about all these digital methods and how they can be applied to help your strategy and create more leads for your business. If you think your business isn’t a digital business, then you’re probably wrong. Even small local companies benefit from digital marketing in the form of local SEO.
Use Inbound Marketing
Inbound and outbound marketing are like two brothers that strongly dislike one another. This is because one is nice and perfect, while the other doesn’t really get along with anyone. Inbound is the perfect brother as it represents a strand of marketing focused on grabbing people’s attention and getting them to notice you. This is in stark contrast to outbound marketing which is pretty much a case of just forcing your business in peoples faces, usually by a bombardment of ads, cold calls, or spam emails. If you want to improve your marketing strategy, then you need to use inbound marketing techniques, with a firm focus on content marketing. Let your content do all the talking as it sparks people’s interest in your business, and they stumble upon you without having anything forced down their throat. This tends to lead to a much better conversion rate.
Build Specific Campaigns
The last piece of advice is to ensure you build specific marketing campaigns as part of your overall strategy. What we mean is that you should have a marketing campaign to promote a new product, and then one to promote certain offers, and so on. Each one should be built around certain themes and ideas that help grab the attention of your target market. You can also create your campaigns around specific events as well. One very easy example is season-themed marketing campaigns. Companies will alter the way they advertise and promote themselves at different times of the year - summer marketing is vastly different in its town to winter marketing. So, create your specific campaigns to help generate interest when the time is right.
It’s not rocket science, and keep in mind there are many marketers out there right now who can help you! All it comes down to are three simple rules; go digital, focus on inbound marketing, and build campaigns for specific product launches, services, or events. Do all of this, and your marketing strategy will be improved.
The digital age has brought with it an unprecedented number of ways to make it as an entrepreneur, not to mention a virtually limitless number of fields that an entrepreneurially minded person can choose to specialise in.
Of course, the other side of that coin is that the digital age has also brought with it a large number of ways to make unfortunate business mistakes and hamper your professional progress via your own inability to effectively handle and adapt to the nuances of your field.
While some of these issue and stumbling blocks are, indeed, rooted in the internet and digital technologies themselves, a good number of others are simply the result of timeless mishaps that have dogged entrepreneurs and small business owners for just about as long as people have been working and earning money.
One of the classic blunders that afflict many entrepreneurs — digital and otherwise — is an inability to outsource, or the overwhelming desire to micro-manage every aspect of the business to the point where any other team or staff members are essentially left unable to do their job.
As it so happens, learning to outsource effectively might be even more essential for digital entrepreneurs as for others. So, if you notice a tendency in yourself to try and “do it all yourself” to the detriment of your business, consider hiring a company like Scarlett Group to take care of IT and other branches of your business, so that you can focus on your core competencies.
Here are some reasons why knowing when to outsource is essential for your success as a digital entrepreneur.
The business world is more complex today than ever before
One undeniable feature of the hyper-connected digital world which we all currently inhabit, is that things are simply more complicated than they’ve ever been before, across a wide variety of measures.
Whereas it was once the case that virtually every job was constrained by certain practicalities, borders, and technologies, virtually everything is up in the air now in this age of never-ending innovation, lightning-fast global communication, and the endless flow of information that characterises 21st Century living.
If you don’t police your productivity and your attention ruthlessly, you could spend all day, every day, fruitlessly trying to identify and apply different business strategies, new technologies, and so on.
Likewise, if you run a moderately successful business of almost any type, you could easily spread yourself far too thin by going above and beyond the call of duty in order to act as a fully-fledged team, all by yourself, while seeking to perform all the increasingly nuanced and specialised roles of a full team, all with the time and likely energy levels of any other normal person.
To put it simply, the digital age has made the business world more complex than ever before. It’s absolutely essential for any entrepreneur who wants to be successful, to know how best to spend their time in any given moment, while also having a good understanding of where their time is only wasted.
Outsourcing can be the key to ensuring that you don’t get swamped trying to do an endless number of jobs that you’re not specialised for.
You only have as much time in the day as anyone else
Tied in to the point above, is the clear and evident fact that you simply don’t have an endless amount of time. In fact, it’s one of those weird and wonderful facts of life that every single person who lives today, and who has ever lived, and who ever will live — the most ludicrously productive, and the laziest and most prone to procrastination alike — all have the exact same number of hours, minutes, and seconds in a day.
It may seem bizarre at first glance to think that you have just as much of this vital resource as someone like Richard Branson or Warren Buffet, but there’s something empowering in this fundamental understanding, too.
That is, it’s empowering if you understand the fundamental lesson of this. Which is that you need to treat your time as the most valuable and essential resource you could ever possess, and then you’ll be able to appropriately handle it, by doing the most essential thing you can with each moment you have available.
This is pretty much the same as saying that you really need to learn to outsource and defer tasks to others as and when it’s appropriate and expedient to do so.
If you waste this vital resource on tasks that are not very important, or that you’re not very good at, while neglecting those tasks that really need your attention, you’re setting yourself up for a disastrous failure down the line.
Other people can do things that you can’t
This point should be self-evident, but a large part of the reason why many entrepreneurs try to do it all themselves, is often that they’ve convinced themselves that no one else can do anything for their business quite as well, and with quite as much attention to detail, as they can.
While it’s certainly likely to be the case that no one will be as invested in your business as you are, it’s a complete fallacy to think that no one could do a better job in handling a particular aspect of your job than you can.
It’s highly unlikely that you will be a brilliant administrator, an excellent marketer, a superb IT specialist, a product development pro, a logistics maestro, and be otherwise proficient to a high degree in everything that goes into running a successful business.
If you put your ego and paranoia aside and are willing to explore outsourcing as a feasible option for various “departments” of your business, you can benefit greatly from the expertise of people who have developed their careers around becoming proficient in one or two specific areas, which in all likelihood are going to be different from the areas in which you’re proficient — no matter how much of a renaissance man, or woman, you might be.
During May I’ve decided to dive deep into my content marketing strategy and find out what’s working, what isn’t working and how I can give my audience (YOU) more of what you want.
I want to challenge you to do the same thing!
Providing high-quality, consistent content is a big priority of mine because good content has proven its value to me over and over again. A recentstudyby Kapost found that content marketing gets 3 times the leads per dollar spent than paid search and outbound marketing!
So, do you want to know what I’ve found to be extremely effective in 2018?
I’m going to let you in on an important tip to apply across your content marketing strategy this year:
Answer The Complex Questions Your Audience Is Asking
Your target market has big questions they need answers to. If you are writing in-depth articles, emails and ads that address very specific problems and give solutions, your traffic numbers will increase.
In case you haven’t noticed, the internet is jam packed with information. You can type almost any question into google and find a decent answer. Anyone can answer an easy question! And these days on google all you have to do is start typing a question and they answer will appear in a heartbeat without having to click into a post.
To stand out, you must provide more than the surface solutions- you’ve got to dive deep! Focus on becoming not just the “general practitioner” in your field but the EXPERT or SPECIALIST.
Here are a few ways toprovide smart answers to hard questionsand bring depth to your content:
Focus on question-based keywords.Put the actual question, word for word, that you are answering in your content as a header 1, 2 or 3. This will help search engines to notice you and bring you up when people type that into a search bar. Some great question based keywords include:
How to [increase/improve] [benchmark/metric]?
What is a X?
How to find X?
How to learn X for free?
What are the benefits of X?
How much does X cost?
What are the best [tools/products] in a [category]?
What’s the difference between X and Y?
Add data. Anyone can say anything in a good blog post; a great blog post has data to support all the claims. If you are giving solutions to problems, always backup your information with reputable data and citations. This will increase your credibility and also boost your SEO.
Create better blogs than your competitors. Check out what your competitors are saying about any given topic. Look at their best content and make something that’s even better. You can use tools likebuzzsumo.comorahrefs.comto see what your competitors are getting the most traffic for.
Discover the complex question your audience is asking.Write to answer hard questions and make sure you’re addressing likely follow up questions on the same topic. A great FREE resource to use for this isanswerthepublic.com. Another one isFAQ Fox.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful! If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email and let me know what’s on your mind.
As always, I’m here to help. If you need someone to brainstorm content marketing with or have another area in your business that is struggling, let’s talk. You can sign up for a free consultation with me byclicking this link. Only takes a few seconds!
My name is Robyn and I am a Certified Content Marketing Specialist, Digital Marketer and Tech Savvy Virtual Assistant who loves to help entrepreneurs grow their online business by helping them implement the right systems and marketing strategies in their business.