Writing Skills for Blog Marketing

wpSEO-Copywriting-–-10-tips-for-writing-content-that-ranks-in-2013

Good writing becomes great content marketing content with the implementation of SEO best practices and tactics, which are changing all the time. See the excerpt from the infographic, 10 Tips for writing content that ranks in 2013.

Content is the buzzword. That’s all you hear about — engaging content; informative content; interesting, valuable content. Good content translates to  good writing. It’s as simple as that. Because face it, if you are lacking the expertise of a skilled and talented writer – your content is going nowhere.

In fact, back in 2012, the Content Marketing Institute’s consultants were all asked, “What are the essential skills for content marketing teams?” Each commentator included writing skills as a top recommendation.

Nobody picks up a pen the first time and puts things down on paper and is instantly a good writer. Nobody. Writing is a skill that needs to be fine tuned, rehearsed and refined. There are, however, certain qualities that make for a good writer. You can learn them or hire out some experts when you’re busy wearing all the other hats in your company.

What’s a good blog/content marketing writer made of?

So what does it take to be a great blog/content marketing writer? Naturally, a good writer is:

  • Creative
  • Investigative
  • Insightful
  • Mindful of readers needs

Creative people often make good writers. You need to have the capability to look at stories from various viewpoints and create new and interesting brain food that will keep your audience engaged. Really engaged. Like enough to lower your bounce rate and create more conversions, engaged. Maybe you’re starting to see where hiring a good content writer pays off?

In order to become a successful content marketer, you need to become or hire a good writer.”

Take nothing at face value. A good writer will want to know the truth behind the scenes and understands that things aren’t always what they appear to be. In B2B writing, this means learning a company’s products and services, plus the pulse of the industry they’re in, plus exactly what readers need to know.  Only then can you find the real “power of story”.

Being investigative means researching and discovering the truths, best practices and the stories behind the stories. Always publishing truth. Useful information that is proven accurate is a must for your online content in order to establish yourself as an expert in the field.

People want to hear ideas, opinions and points-of-view in personal blog posts. Ignite emotion. It takes a blog/content marketing writer that can  can use your emotional intelligence to influence readers so that blog visitors will convert to customers. Staying current on events and news, a good writer will take the information and deliver it packed full of valuable insight and discussion point. Discuss ideas. Often.

At Webdirexion, we’ve noticed a tension between wanting to play things safe, and just parrot the company public relations jargon versus being yourself in a blog post.  We handle this by staying with a factual reporting style when detailing company and industry news, while using a personal touch when individuals write a post.

Content Marketing Writing Skills and Tactics

According to Joe Pullizi in an article titled, Beyond Storytelling: 7 Highlights from Content Marketing World 2014:

“Of course, making an emotional connection is key to storytelling. Just watching the highly energetic keynote presentation delivered by Andrew Davis was a lesson, in and of itself, on how to tell a great story.

But Andrew also shared the four elements he feels are vital for brilliant storytelling:

  • Building suspense
  • Fostering aspiration
  • Driving empathy
  • Harnessing emotion

The dynamic world of SEO and its constant updates and changes keeps content marketers on their toes. For good reason. Spamming is out and Google is all the way hip to each trick of the trades for spammy SEO. But, old school, natural optimization is alive and thriving. See our article, What is SEO and Why Isn’t It Dead Yet?

The infographic, chosen for this article (top right) gives a taste for some related and updated SEO writing skills:

  1. Write for humans.  Too many SEO practitioners forgot about that until Google gave them a collective wack on the head.
  2. Forget about keyword density.  Google knows if you are packing keywords, and this was never a good way to write for humans, was it?
  3. Use synonyms.  Google’s semantic understanding has increased to where writing in this natural way wins you SEO points.
  4. Unfortunately, using the tilde key (~) before a search to find related keywords, is one of the changes Google keeps making — it is no longer available.  We like Thesaurus.com, and also BigHugeLabs.com Thesaurus where we looked up Content and Marketing, and spun this semantic twist:  Content Marketing = “Pleased Selling”. Not a bad, succinct mission statement.

Research best practices and implement. And repeat. Repeat again.

The Harmonious Balance for Blog Marketing

Take the personality profile of a good writer and equip them with the right SEO tactics and writing skills and you have an unstoppable blog/content marketing writer that can deliver that rich, engaging content you are looking for.

Content marketing — via blog marketing — and requires smart writing skills. If your company does not already have a good writer, you are likely suffering because of this and don’t even know it. Seriously. All the time websites will push big money campaigns, SEO optimization practices and other attempts to improve rankings, but with poorly written content. Seriously. That’s the problem. In order to become a successful content marketer, you need to become or hire a good writer.

Webdirexion Team Sled Race (and SMM)…

The Webdirexion Sled Team, left to right:  Scott, Miranda, Serhii (who gets his revenge after being hit with a snowball), Julie and Wendy.

The Webdirexion Sled Team, left to right: Scott (Chief Optimizer), Miranda (Content Wrestler), Serhii (Programming Ninja), Julie (SEO Maven), and Wendy (Project Chauffeur).  Sherri is not in this race (only 5 allowed on the slopes), but will appear in a forthcoming video.

Quick… what would be a great way to unwind after all that online, digital, content, internet marketing work?  A sled race, a la Jib Jab, of course.

We were inspired to create the following video for our Holiday Greetings in the spirit of fun and good humor when one on our team, Sherri Gutierrez (Marketing Consultant), did her own greeting using the same tool.  We’re reproducing our sled race here, in case you missed it, and we do wish you a Happy New Year — watch it below.

But beyond the good fun, here are some technical social media marketing points for consideration: (more…)

TacTech Talk: Responsive Schmonsive; and Authentic SMM

Scott Frangos, President of Webdirexion

Scott is Chief Optimizer for Webdirexion and includes Marketing, Content Strategy, WordPress, CSS, Photoshop, Tai Chi, and Coffee among his passions.

This month, my “TacTech Talk” Column (a fusion of Tactical and Technical tips for today’s marketers) discusses Responsive Design vs. Mobile App solutions; and I have an “authentic” Social Media Marketing tactic or two for you.

Responsive, SchmonsziveResponsive or Mobile App Solution?

There are a lot of gurus out there claiming that “responsive design” (your site shrinks according to the size of the mobile device screen) is the only way to go nowadays.  Wrong.  You have two choices — compromise your desktop view and go for a smartphone/tablet view that looks the same but smaller, or design for desktop, then optimize in an app-like interface for mobile devices.  Is one “better” than the other?  It’s debateable, and the answer depends on two things:  your budget; and how best to serve your visitors.  Let’s look at strengths and advantages to both: (more…)

What is SEO and Why Isn’t It Dead Yet?

Is SEO dead

Spammy Engine Optimization is SEO is deader than a dodo but Search Engine Optimization is very much alive and well.

In the last two years there have been countless articles published on internet marketing websites and online publications declaring that ‘SEO is dead’.  In fact, if you were to do a filtered search on Google for webpages that contained the SEO is Dead term published in the last month alone, you would find hundreds from which to choose. So, is it true?

Is SEO dead?

Well yes and no. Scammer SEO is dead. The kind that relied on creating false profiles and blasting thousands of links to spammy link directories. The kind that involved  ‘spinning’ the same piece of content multiple times and plastering the resulting gibberish all over the web. That kind of  seo worked for a while to get dubious sites ranked well  for terms that they really did not deserve (more…)

TacTech Talk: SEO, Blog Marketing & Editing Team Tactics

Scott Frangos, President of Webdirexion

Scott is Chief Optimizer for Webdirexion and includes Marketing, Content Strategy, WordPress, CSS, Photoshop, Tai Chi, and Coffee among his passions.

This month, my “TacTech Talk” Column (a new feature bringing a fusion of Tactical and Technical tips for today’s marketers) features an SEO tactic; a WordPress Writing Team Tip; and a look at Blog Marketing results.

First a quick note about our new logo.  We’ve found the winner after receiving over 200 “votes” via a five second test, plus a number of you wrote and gave an opinion (thanks — T-Shirts on the way).  We wanted a clean, web 2.0 brand that visually reflects what we mean by web direxion (direction).  You can see the new logo above.  We believe that with the right direxion, you will optimize your online marketing efforts, promote them well, and then connect with new customers and clients.  And that’s our core mission.

WebDx-Logo-14

SEO Tactic:  We’ve seen Google ranking tag index pages highly of late and recommend you go after same.  What are tags?  When you write an article using WordPress, you can check off a category(s) and tags in which to place your post.  Think of tags as (more…)

Content Marketing Agency versus Online Marketing Agency

Webdirexion is an Online Marketing Agency

What’s in a name? We chose to call ourselves an Online Marketing Agency… learn why in this article.

Content Marketing… or… Online Marketing?  Short answer:  Yes.  Both apply.  Right now, we’re going with Online Marketing, as in, Webdirexion is an Online Marketing Agency.  Sure, the discipline of Content Marketing has become quite the rage in recent years, helped along by the realization that content can make connections that lead to customers.  This is central to the work we perform at Webdirexion… so why not call ourselves a “Content Marketing Agency?”  Short Answer:  Content Marketing doesn’t define all that we do.

We recently redesigned our site, and are updating our brand, so that question came up a few times.  To answer the central brand question — who are we? — we benchmarked competitors and saw they called themselves a range of things — from Digital Marketers to (more…)

TacTech Talk: Testing, Speed, SEO

Scott Frangos, President of Webdirexion

Scott is Chief Optimizer for Webdirexion and includes Marketing, Content Strategy WordPress, CSS, Photoshop, Tai Chi, Pizza and Coffee among his passions.

This month, my “TacTech Talk” Column (a new feature bringing a fusion of Tactical and Technical tips for today’s marketers) will cover a recent lead gathering landing page test, some insights on site speed and WordPress themes, and SEO strategy tips.

First, I want to say wow — how great our growing team is… and thanks to each of you.  All are currently taking online marketing and/or programming courses (including myself… see, you can teach an old dog). I’m lucky to be working with them as Webdirexion celebrates a new site, new logo, and some fun new client campaigns.

Making the Croc’s Happy — Test Lifts Leads for Resort Client

We recently ran an A/B test for Croc’s Casino Resort, arguably one of our funnest clients — a 17-story Hotel and Casino with three restaurants and a 4-star pool on the pacific ocean in Costa Rica.  If you’re scanning the column, the takeaway learned is — always be testing to increase conversions and maximize your ROI.

We used Google’s “Content Experiments” and saw these results from our efforts: (more…)

Win A T-Shirt

Vote for our new logo and help us celebrate our growth... you could win this T-shirt.

Vote for our new logo and help us celebrate our growth… you could win this T-shirt.

UPDATE 11.14.14:  Thanks to all who participated.  We got approximately 200 votes and you have helped choose our new logo (finishing touches being applied).  We also have T-Shirt winners — we’ll send yours out soon.  And stay tuned — people liked the shirt, so we plan more promotions and rewards soon.

Webdirexion is celebrating our new website, new team members, and our new logo.  We’re growing, and thanks to you we’re happy to be offering up a free T-shirt to 5 winners who follow these two steps:

  1. Vote by clicking on the new logo of your choice here (it’s a 5 second testing program we often use to determine design options for clients)
  2. Write us why you made the choice you did to Hello [at] Webdireixon.com (click to open a direct email reply)

That’s it.  Our “The Internet is Interstellar” has three meanings:

  • You and your company are stars that get connected with prospects online, and we thank our clients for all the campaign projects we’re working on with you!
  • We like SciFi (geeks here) and the new Interstellar movie is great.
  • There are actually plans by NASA to have an internet between planets!

We will have our new logo finalized, thanks to your help, by mid-November, and notify T-shirt winners at that time.

Using Smart Forms to Boost Conversions

Webdirexion Uses Smart Forms to Boost Conversions

Forms are a user interface that can streamline your software (website) and also your business processes.

Forms are a user interface element that will streamline your software (website) and also your business processes. But man

Hours went into creating an eye-catching website and you are seeing valuable results. Your website is scoring high rankings, there is traffic coming to your site daily. Unfortunately, analytics reveal that many visitors to your site are leaving without converting. Why? You might be scaring potential clients away with an overwhelming or poorly executed form.

Don’t Drive them off your Site

When a visitor on your site makes it all the way to a form, this means you have captured their interest and you are one step closer to creating a valuable conversion. Now comes the part that will make or break the deal. Therefore, it is vitally important that the form your clients encounter is easy to use, clean, uncomplicated and personalized to their needs. At Webdirexion, we implement basic psychology tactics that will create a form that makes users want to fill out the information.

Oftentimes users will run the other direction if they encounter a complex and complicated form. Leave the form simple and user-friendly. Rather than featuring several fields, such as home address, etc. – narrow it down to the key data points needed to serve the purpose of the form.  In fact, the shorter, the better.

Implement Marketing Psychology

Appeal to the senses At Webdirexion, we implement psychological marketing tactics such as featuring a tasteful color scheme and the submit button will turn a different color or heat up when you hover it. Research has indicated that simple principals such as these will increase conversions. In fact, in an article titled Call To Action Buttons and the Psychology of Color by Paul Olysager, he states:

By combining scientific studies on color with some design principles, you can create a great call-to-action button for your website and improve its conversion rate drastically.

color-psychology-smart-forms

In this example form, we use a blue call to action (CTA) button. Blue has been shown to generate more clicks in A/B testing modes.

On this same form, when the user hovers over the CTA button, it turns purple - which  creates a "heat up" effect that has been proven to generate more click throughs.

On this same form, when the user hovers over the CTA button, it turns purple – which creates a “heat up” effect that has been proven to generate more click throughs.

Include advanced options in a digestible manner

Recently, we completed a website for a client where we took the existing form and gave it a complete makeover. Our client informed us that they wished the form was easier to use. They even made the remark that no one really completed the form in its initial state.

This particular form was used for online sign up for Hazmat training courses, and it featured a lot of content with the available courses and user information. It was a bit too much to take in. In order to make this information more digestible the first step we took was to divide it into two pages in order to not overload the user. Next, we eliminated fields that were not necessary or beneficial. Finally, we cleaned it up with a simple, easy to use and tasteful color scheme, theme and layout.

The results took our client, TMGI, by surprise. In fact, Diane, the Account Manager at TMGI stated:

“The form is much more user friendly.  It was more confusing before.  It’s easier on both ends now, saving me time, and saving the customers time — they’re not frustrated.  Before they would call me and be confused and I would have to do it for them.”

webdirexion screen shot

This simplified smart form we created for TMGI has increased their number of conversions dramatically in only 2 short months.

Appeal to the needs of the Individual

Customize the form with advanced fields that only display according to the selections of your client. By doing so, you appeal to the client’s needs with your personalized approach and attention to their unique needs. At WebDirexion you will disccover new ways to incorporate forms on your site that can do more than generate leads. While the ultimate goal is to increase conversions, we incorporate smart forms that generate the information needed to optimize all aspects of your business.

For example, let’s say you own a restaraunt. Your contact form can include an a field that states, what is the reason you are contacting us. Then according to their response, smart fields will appear that apply specifically to them. Using the restaraunt example, if reason for contacting was for an upcoming catering event, next you can display fields that will ask what date they are planning for, how many people will attend, which food service they are interested in, etc. Still using the restaraunt contact form, let’s say the user selected reason for contact was recent experience. Use this as an advantage to obtain valuable information for your business with smart fields, such as: what could we have done to make your experience better, who was your server, rate your experience from 1-10. By individualizing the automated smart fields according to the user’s needs, you have now generated much more valuable information besides a name and an e-mail address.

Ready to use smart forms to boost conversions at your sites? Let our smart forms experts launch you in the right direction. Reach out today to find out more.

Persuasion Psychology in Marketing

There’s a $189 book, just published, on techniques for persuasion in copywriting and going for the holy conversion — when a visitor to your website completes a certain goal at your website which in B2B marketing might be a PDF download, or sign-up to your newsletter, etc. Does this art and science have some smart tactics we can all use for online marketing including social and content marketing? Yes. Let’s take a look at the book, a video and some principles…

Persuasion Psychology

How do you use persuasion psychology in your online marketing?

The Book:  Cognitive Search Marketing & Paid Search: Theory, Experiment, Practice and Tactics ($189)

Although the price sounds high — if you could increase your results as a result of the author’s theories, then you might pay for it with just one or two additional sales.  What theories? (more…)