Category Archives: Content creation

How to Write Content for Your Brand: Having a Unique Voice in Writing to Stand Out

branding with content marketingContent marketing is the new buzzword when it comes to online marketing. SEO was sooo 2001. Social media has been and gone. It’s now all about Content Marketing. Whilst I don’t actually agree with these statements, it does throw up an out of the ordinary and problematic situation for brands that are now engaging in content marketing. The problem is that everyone is doing it! So how are you going to break through the mass of content and make your writing and your message stand out? In this article, I take a look why giving your content a voice is crucial to whether or not your content marketing efforts succeed. Hold tight, this could be a bumpy ride (for your existing strategy).

The Internet is Awash with Content with No Voice

Every man and his dog now have a blog. Kids are even being told to start a blog when they get to college in order to, ‘get their name out there’. Most of these blogs are truly terrible, but sometimes the content is actually pretty good. Millions of blog posts get published every day. Thousands of eBooks go live too. The competition is crazy!

That’s bad enough for businesses, but when we combine this with a tool such as Feedly and we’ve got a real problem. Feedly, if you don’t already know, allows you to read articles from all across the internet in one single location. It strips away all of your website branding and presents the reader with just the naked content. It’s a great tool for readers, but when it comes to publishing content it throws up an interesting problem. How does the reader know that the content is yours?

Why Do You Need a Voice?

It’s worth thinking about this question for a second. If you just write content to appear for certain search terms and not much else, I guess a voice isn’t vital. You’re aim, in this instance, is to appear in search engines and gain impressions. You don’t need a voice for that. However, most businesses write content for more than just impressions. They want the readers to sign up to an offer. Or they want them to subscribe to the mailing list. If you want the reader of your content to do more than just read what you’ve written, if you want to connect with them and incite an action on their behalf, you need to have a voice. A voice that they will want to hear more of, that will help to convert them from readers to advocates of your brand.

Why You Won’t Find Your Voice Today

Luckily, finding the voice of your brand probably won’t happen overnight. Why is that a good thing? Well, can you imagine your blog all of a sudden reads totally differently than how it has done for the past six months? Your existing readers are going to wonder what is going on. Worst case scenario, they may all leave you. So luckily, a true voice can’t be found overnight. It’s something that develops as your business grows.

Feedback from readers is perhaps the biggest driving force behind this. Develop your content around what your readers like. Do they prefer a humorous tone? Do they like facts and figures? They may be more creatively minded and as such prefer rich graphics and images.

These are all things that you can gauge from your existing audience. Engage with them. Talk to them. Ask them. They are your biggest advocates and they are the ones who will make content marketing work for you. Without them, you just have content.

Getting a Head Start

So whilst you won’t be able to develop your voice into a finished product today, you can begin to put things into order now. Think about whom your ideal customer is and why they read your content. Are they looking for some light-hearted reading after a hard day at work? Do they need some cold-hard facts that they can reel off to their boss in the middle of a heated debate? You probably already know your target audience, so begin to think what they would want. There are a few companies who do this incredibly well and you could learn a lot from them.

Buffer is a social media posting tool, but there blog has an incredible voice that attracts their ideal user. The blog is transparent and adheres to their culture. Its popularity shows just how well received the content is.

Coursefindr is another start-up that has really nailed its voice. It’s aimed at kids from the UK that are looking for a university degree. When you read their content, you can really tell that it knows how to talk to them. Whilst it’s got all the facts and important stuff that teachers and parents look for, it delivers it in a manner that the students find interesting and engaging.

Finally, Seth Godin is a thinker/author/speaker who knows that his readers are bombarded with content every day. Instead of aiming for blog posts that surpass the 1,000 word mark, he writes short posts that you can read before you get out of bed in the morning. Each post has a real focus and he uses his words wisely.

What ‘Your Voice’ Will Look Like

As you learn more from your readers and begin to think about who your target reader is, it’s important to make sure you keep your voice steady through each article or blog post you write. My personal preference for doing this is to have a ‘living document’ that you continually update. I use bullet points so I can easily see what makes up ‘the voice’. Points such as, ‘to the point’, ‘funny’, ‘professional’, ‘juvenile’, are the types of words that I would include.

I also like to have these printed off and stuck to the wall in front of my screen. It acts as a constant reminder for how I should be writing any content and also allows me to switch between writing styles more easily. Of course, if you’re only writing content for your own brand, then you may be able to get away with just the digital version that you can refer to before proofreading your article.

In essence, finding your voice is a never-ending journey. It’s a fun one though, and one that is well worth the effort. Your content will be recognised by readers more easily and you’ll see the benefits in the comment box beneath your articles too!

If you’ve already got your voice, let me know how you keep yourself on tone when writing. I’m always interested to hear how other people work!

About the Author

Lewis Love is a professional Marketing Consultant, specialising in new media. He’s the author of the bestselling book, Facebook Business Basics.

Best Apps And Tools That Will Make Your Blogging Life Easier

blogging appsBlogging may be hard for some of you who are not yet comfortable into the routine of coming up with something exciting and new to talk about regularly. It is very necessary that you are able to catch the inspiration when it strikes. It may be on the breakfast or dinner table, while you are on the thunderbox or when you are lying on the bed. This is where the apps come in handy and allow you keep your genius along with you always. 

Here is a list of the best apps and tools that will make your blogging life easier:

1. Evernote

This is one of the most famous web capture tool these days primarily due to the fact that it enables you to grab full web pages, audio, images, text snippets etc. and allows you to recall them whenever needed. Those who are on Evernote find it easy to recall information. If you come across such situations where you encounter a setting that you wish to write about later, use Evernote to clip it and save it for future reference. Evernote also has a lot of cool integrations to offer that make it super-easy-to-use app.

2. Tape-A-Talk Recorder or Dragon Dictation

If you are among those who prefer speaking over writing, it is advisable to get a voice recorder app that will enable you to talk about your post instead of writing it down by typing each word on the keyboard. This voice recorder app can also come in handy when you are driving to work and enroute your mind fills with ideas that you wish to write about. For Android users, Tape-A-Recorder is a useful app as it gives you the freedom to append the recording and send it across to Evernote or e-mail easily.

For iPhone users, a similar app is called Dragon dictation which has the capability of making your dictation appear as text instantly. This app can also be integrated with Evernote.

3. Google Drive

One of the biggest conveniences for any blogger can be the freedom to take his or her content anywhere and post ideas from where he or she is. This is where a web based word processor like Google drive comes to rescue. For those who keep writing on different terminals or devices and collaborating with various authors, storing documents on cloud enables an easy access to the documents to either pick up from where they left or to find out what edits have others made to it. Cloud enables a 24X7 access to your documents from any computer or gadget.

4. Springpad

This app is much similar to Evernote. Other than saving notes, you can also save tasks, look up items to save, and set reminders for particular tasks. Springpad has a wonder feature of organizing your thoughts by itself and does not bother you to do so. Hence in case you wish to blog about a location or a particular product, this app reminds you of these items and allows you to access them easily from your mobile device or computer.

5. White Noise – Rainy Day

There is no denial that the environment poses the biggest threat to your idea of working and writing on the go. All public places are so loud that you can barely concentrate on an idea. This app is a wonder way to combat such a situation. This noise generating app blocks all other distractions around you enabling you to concentrate on better things. All you need to do is plug in your earphones and run this app to focus on writing and do the task at hand.

6. Focus Booster

This free app is a simple app that runs on your desktop but the dividends that it generates are far more productive. You can set the timer and start doing the task at hand viz. designing, writing or whatever you need to do to grow your blog. After the preset time is over, take a break that is built in the app and take your time to freshen up so that you can be back with a better focus.

7. FireShot

This is a Firefox, Chrome, SeaMonkey and Thunderbird extension. This enables you to get screen shots from the web and annotate, edit, export, upload and even print them conveniently. There are a number of capture options viz. full page, visible part of the page etc. One unique offering with this extension is the set of annotations and editing tools that come with it. It also lets you capture flash content.

About the Author:

Robert Bryant is a blogger and works with MaxWell Systems – A Construction Software Company. He likes blogging about online strategies that are related to Social Media, Online Marketing and Legal issues.

Five Content Promotion Strategies To Win Google

Content and GoogleUnderstanding the need for driving higher traffic and creating the right content for your website is just not enough. You need to address the bigger challenges that necessitate the ideal combination of strategic planning and creative thinking and make your content match up with your defined business goals.

Read on for valuable strategies that discuss effective content promotion strategies that are effective for businesses to win over Google. They will empower your content to navigate targeted traffic from manifold sources (social networks, search engines, referring sites) and help you reap rich dividends and meet your true business goals—in many more ways than one.

White Papers and Freebies for Lead Generation

Offering compelling and free downloads for your targeted audience is a proven and easy means of driving sales leads and developing newsletter lists. Customers always love free stuff coming their way; therefore this content strategy proves to be a great way of funneling new potential customers inside your buying cycle. Freemium downloads usually consist of content that customers find valuable. They include common mediums like PDF files, resourceful lists, instructional videos and even free trials. Take your pick!

Proper keyword research techniques and link building strategies (in social networks and both off site as well as on site) helps in nurturing new site visitors and retaining the loyalty of other regular customers through heavily searched/most sought after topical content.

Guest posting

In contemporary times, this is probably the fastest way of finding a larger audience. Many up-and-coming content marketers are gaining SEO juice and building authority with potential customers, through their ever increasing volumes of guest postings. Smart and innovative guest posts require you to create the best content for finding thousands of readers.

You can use intelligent means to send these “satisfied” readers back to your site, where you have additional terrific content to narrate and share. Guest bloggers boasting of the highest rankings with Google can be hired for the cause.

How-to videos

Successful portals and business forums are based around providing solutions for the queries and problems faced by their customers. Figure out common problems and issues that lend themselves to how-to videos.

You can launch a series of such videos on You Tube and provide proactive solutions to viewers. They should be easy to search, Google friendly and capable of leading your perspective customers back to your site. For best results, you must aim for competitive topics and high quality videos—to differentiate yourself with more effective techniques, an interesting personality and overall better production values, or all of the above. Along with entry-level strategies and tips, you can also provide advanced advice on your products and services.

Professional networking

Along with a decent foundation of content management strategies, you also need to invest your resources in professional networking. By being relevant, interesting and respectful to the views of other bloggers in your niche, you can earn the trust of Google and your viewers alike. Look out for content writers creating interesting content, blogs and other promotional stuff at all levels -large, medium and small. Instead of joining artificial schemes or setting up channels to promote your posts, simply share all the stuff that you feel is cool, and remember to explain why. Upgrading your social media skills and using professional content online can make your presence more visible and valuable.

Product Curation for eCommerce Transactions

Like you see here, in today’s competitive world, it is quite a task to create compelling and unique content to win over the Google landscape. A great way to combat this challenge is by curating products based on user need/interest, developing articles that are fresh and intriguing and finding the right e-commerce products for leveraging the brick-and-mortar solutions of floor salesmen. Your e-commerce site should apply a customer-centric approach to create helpful product guides as well as better defined hands-on approaches for helping viewers find the right products.

These content promotion strategies should be coupled with the expertise and experience of a reputed SEO agency to drive potential customers in an exponential fashion. With the right strategies in place, you can look forward to the highest rankings and visibility on Google and other search engines that matter.

So, get a closer look at your present content schemes and gear up to integrate more feasible and effective options to drive higher traffic your way. Today!

Roman Sahakov, who is the author of this article, is a real professional in the sphere of social media marketing and SEO. Long working experience of Roman has given him a big sense of writing exactly what people need to be up-to-date in this sphere.

Why Google’s Matt Cutts Thinks Moderation Is Key To Guest Blogging

SEO experts, writers, marketers, and business owners have been writing about guest blogging for years now. Guest blogging is something that should help your company improve it’s branding and visibility, SEO, and reader satisfaction, so knowing you need to create a guest blogging strategy is pretty much a no-brainer. However, as Google continues to grow and develop, guest blogging is becoming trickier. It’s hard to know how to be successful when it comes to building links and exposure anymore, so of course it makes sense to go to the man with all the answers: Head of Google Webspam, Matt Cutts.

A Quick Recap: Why Guest Blogging Is Beneficial

For those who are unfamiliar, guest blogging is essentially the act of writing a piece of content, publishing that content on a different (but related and relevant) website on the web, and then earning a link back to your company in an author bio in return. As discussed above, guest blogging is a great way to build up your linking portfolio as well as earn you visibility with a  new audience and really show the world that you know your stuff.

There are a few different strategies used by companies today. In general, how you want to setup your guest blogging has been according to your niche and size, and this isn’t going to change. A few different ways it has worked in the past include:

  • Hire a guest blogging agency. This is usually what very large companies do when they have a lot of guest posting needs. There are many agencies out there that do nothing but guest blog and build links for websites, and if you do your research, you can find plenty that produce great content.
  • Hire a team of in-house writers. This is usually the option for larger companies who don’t like going the freelance route. It gives you more control.
  • Hire freelance writer/writers. This is probably the most popular option. If you just want a little bit extra visibility, hire one or two writers to freelance is an easy way to make it happen. Be careful though and always monitor these writers!
  • Guest blog on your own. This is usually the route for very small companies. If you’re just getting started, and particularly if you work in an odd niche, this should work just fine.

As you can see, some of these strategies produce quite a few guest posts. In the past this was a great way to improve SEO because you earned a lot of authoritative backlinks and all of that visibility, not to mention it allowed you to really work with a variety of blogs (also good for SEO). While this still works, Cutts says that moving forward guest blogging approaches need not be quite as forceful.

Why Cutts Say Moderation Is a Necessity (And How to React)

The biggest thing to understand is that Google is working to put less emphasis on linking and more emphasis on the actual content. While backlinks will still be important, they aren’t as important, and therefore Cutts explained in his latest video that moderation is the key to success moving forward. You can watch the video below:

As you can see, Cutts does make it clear that Google can easily tell the difference between a guest blog and a blog that paid for links, so no worries there.  Still, moderation will allow you to make sure that you are not just spinning articles; you’re actually writing meaningful content, which will be better for your reputation in the long run.

Do you have a guest blogging strategy that doesn’t worry about moderation? What do you think is the best way to use guest blogging to your advantage? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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