Did you ever have a hard time reading an article online because the author went overboard with fonts, text alignment, bold, italics and colors? It’s a common problem among new online publishers and bloggers, and one that can persist for a long time unless someone smacks some sense into that person and says, “Cut it out with all the crazy formatting already.” So that’s what I’m doing today. Giving you a whole batch of don’t-dos so that your website or blog post will be readable instead of an art project. Read more to find out what some of the more egregious errors are and make sure they aren’t part of your website.
Writing & Content Marketing
When you’re ready to publish your latest stroke of brilliance, it’s common to have an itchy trigger finger. Never before has the wit and wisdom flowed so effortlessly and elegantly from your brain to the screen. But will your audience feel the same way? Here are some important questions that you should ask every time you’re ready to publish content, so that it will reflect well on your company and bring business your way instead of sending customers off.
Are you mesmerized by the beat of the content drum? There’s no shortage of advice to “write great content” but what if you’re not a writer? What if you don’t have the time to obsess over every word that leaves your brain? What if you just don’t WANT to obsess that much about content? Well, if you want to be successful at business, content is part of it. But it doesn’t have to leave you wringing your hands or pulling out your hair. Next time you need to write for your business, pull out one (or more!) of these techniques to improve the quality of your writing and give it a lot more punch.
It’s not as violent as it sounds, but it may involve tears depending on how attached you are to the words that come out of your pen or keyboard. But if you want to improve your writing, one of the best bits of advice I’ve got is: kill those babies. Here’s a bit more explanation and some (brief) suggestions for getting your words out there. Succinctly.
I recently got involved in a Linkedin group discussion about an article that equated content marketing to giving away free stuff. It claimed that a large segment of the population doesn’t place much value on this type of content – blogs, articles, white papers, e-books, etc. If you want to get the order, the article claimed, you need to do some human selling. What really bugged me – and disturbed me, quite frankly – is the perceived disconnect between content marketing and the sales process. Here’s why content marketing is so important.
Do you want a couple of tips that will help you become a great writer in a few simple steps? Ok, there’s a bridge around here somewhere, too… the truth is, writing takes time and practice. But you CAN do it. Here are some real tips that you can use instead of looking for shortcuts that don’t work. And they come right from the honey badger. If you don’t know the honey badger, we’ve shared the popular new video making its rounds on the internet. Warning: not for the squeamish!
Shameless self-promotion involves constantly mentioning your business, your services, your qualifications and your accomplishments without any real regard for the people your business is supposed to be helping. The good news is that there are better ways to promote yourself that will gain the trust and win the loyalty of your customers. Find out what not to do… and then practice the good stuff.
This is a confession of sorts. After working in a studio with professionals who shot and edited my scripts, it was tempting to think I knew how to produce my own marketing video. However, the surest way to find out the limits of your knowledge is to attempt something by yourself. By presenting some sins I’ve committed and others I’ve been lucky enough to avoid, I hope to help you avoid same.
The great David Ogilvy once said: “I don’t know the rules of grammar… If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.” Here’s why it’s important to write *for* your audience and *to* your audience. You can maintain good grammar and break the rules at the same time.
This post isn’t about writing a good headline. It’s not even about writing a bad headline. It’s just about writing headlines that I promise you I’ll never click on. You may wonder why that matters! Well, because I’m not alone. I know plenty of people with the same gripes and maybe you’re one of them. Since writing a good headline is half the battle, sometimes the best favor you can do for yourself is to avoid writing the *bad* ones. Don’t disguise great content behind bad titles. Here are a few things that drive me – and other potential readers – quickly to the competition’s blog. When you’re done reading, let me know what some of your biggest headline pet peeves are!