Friday

Blogging and Google Rankings – Do You Really Want to Use that Content in Your Blog Post?

This week’s online marketing tidbit addresses blogging, specifically using ‘poor quality’ content in your blog posts.

Whether it’s your own content or a guest post, if it’s not useful and quality content, should you post it?

Let’s define ‘poor quality’ content before we look at the answer.

To determine if your content is valuable (good quality), you need to answer a couple of questions:

  • Does the content offer the reader useful information?
  • Is it engaging or thought provoking?
  • Is it controversial?
  • Is it shareable?
  • Ultimately, do you think it’s ‘quality’ enough content that Google will feel it’s worthy of being the results of a search query?

For example: Maybe you agreed to be a hosting site for a service that provides virtual book tours. The content they provide for the posts is poorly written and is primarily promotional.

Should you use it? Should you use it if it has ‘good’ keywords.

Well, it depends on if you’re looking to please Google and improve your ranking.

With Google’s latest algorithms, keywords don’t pack the same punch they used to. Search engines spiders can get the gist of the entire content and base ranking and whether they’ll use that post’s link in the results of a search query on the content, not just the keywords.

In other words, Google can pretty much detect fluff and garbage, even if you have great keywords.

So, we go to the title question: Do you really want to publish that content on your site?

My answer would be 'no' to publishing ‘poor quality’ content on your website. It can lower your website rankings. It will also reduce your authority and trustworthiness to your readers.

P.S. Like the post? Please share it!

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MORE ON ONLINE MARKETING

Email Marketing – 8 Must-Have Elements in Your Subscriber Welcome
How to Write an eBook – 4 Simple Steps
Your Author Online Platform and Social Networks – Blog Page Views and Twitter Followers

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Wednesday

Writing - Pesky Adverbs or No?

Guest post by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

We are often warned that adverbs can be overdone. Then writers take the warning too literally; they think they shouldn’t use any at all!

Of course, we wouldn't have adverbs if they didn't serve a purpose. But when we examine them—carefully (very carefully!) we often find that they duplicate a quality that the very has already achieved for us. That makes them redundant.

Or they are awkward. Or they slow down the forward movement of a sentence.

Authors also worry when an editor removes their adverbs. They think those edits will change their voices. Though an author can (and should) reject edits that he/she thinks aren't appropriate, these edits of adverbs rarely change a voice. Certainly voice isn't achieved by using adverbs or most other edits. It is achieved by much subtler elements of writing. Point of view. Use of colloquialism or slang. Choice of detail.

For the most part, I think most writers worry way too much on having their voice changed and not enough about improving their writing skills.

Having said that, I worry more about editors who don’t really have the training to be editors. Would an editor really remove all of a writer’s adverbs? And how would a new author know if an editor is overstepping if he/she doesn’t have lots of information on editing under his or her own little writers’ belt?

I do hope those of you who have been relying on an outside editor--someone you hired or a friend--will read the new second edition of The Frugal Editor. It includes lots on how to partner with an editor, how to save money hiring an editor, and how to hire one that is compatible with your personality and the kind of writing you do. Many good editors like Barbara McNichol (www.barbaramcnichol.com) specialize in specific genres, nonfiction vs. fictions, etc. Larry Brooks (www.storyfix.com) helps writers of fiction specifically with structure. Good editors know that it is hard to be an expert at everything.

Editing is a two-way street. There's gotta be some trust and also some confidence. The more an author knows about editing, the better equipped she or he is to discard or keep edits.

So, yep. Examine every adverby "ly" word. And then use each one to your advantage. Know the other adverbs (like “even” and “just”). There is a list in The Frugal Editor. Especially the ones you tend to overuse. Either discard each one or use one of the methods in The Frugal Editor to turn them into more visual writing.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the classes she has taught for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program.

The first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter was named USA Book News’ “Best Professional Book” and won the coveted Irwin Award. Now in its second edition, it’s also a USA Book News award winner and received a nod from Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards. Her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success was also honored by USA Book News and won Readers’ Views Literary Award. Her marketing campaign for that book won the marketing award from New Generation Indie Book Awards.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of 14 women of “San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Instructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers' Program

Author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books including the second edition honored by USA BOOK NEWS

/ The Frugal Book Promoter: http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo
/ Web site: http://www.HowToDoItFrugally.com
/ E-mail: CarolynHowardJ@AOL.com
/ Facebook: http://Facebook.com/carolynhowardjohnson
/ Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FrugalBookPromo
/ Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/chowardjohnson


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MORE ON WRITING

Writing Fiction for Children – 4 Simple Tips
Writing with Clarity
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Monday

7 Email Marketing Tips That Will Help Increase Your Conversion Rates

Email marketing is a form of content marketing. You use emails to bring information and your products/services to your email subscriber. But, simply sending emails isn’t an effective marketing strategy; you need to know what elements should go into those emails to make them more effective, to make them boost your conversion rates.

Quick note here: conversion rates, in regard to your email marketing, are the number of subscribers who open your email and click on your call-to-action (CTA), compared to the number of subscribers who open the email and do nothing. So, if you have 100 subscribers who opened the email and only one clicked on the link (CTA), you would have a 1% conversion rate.

Here are 7 Email Marketing Tips That Will Boost Your Conversion Rates


1. Style, Style, Style

The style of the email matters and it’s the letter style that provides better conversion.

The letter style email is one that is conversational. It opens a dialogue and lets the reader know why he should keep reading and why he should say YES to your call-to-action.

With this style, the reader doesn’t feel like he’s reading a sales pitch. He feels like he’s being given an answer to his question or solution to his problem.

2. A Word is a Word is a Word

This is not true in marketing. Words, and even how they’re said (their tone) when in person or using audio, can make or break a deal. The same is true in your emails.

Research from Marketing Experiments shows that even a slight change in tone or copy can realize significant benefits.

Something as simple as the words ‘open’ and ‘sign up’ can instill a negative impression on the reader. Interestingly, these words can cause anxiety. They can be perceived as having to do something unpleasant. ‘Sign up’ is an obvious culprit here. People don’t want to sign up for more emails.

The better choice, in place of ‘Open Now’ or ‘Sign Up’ is ‘Get Access’ or ‘Get Your Free Report.’ It’s less intimidating.

3. Multiple CTAs Are a No-No

While it’s tempting to lead your email reader to your blog, your website, your CTA, and possibly some great information, keep each email simple. Don’t make the reader have to make any extra decisions.

You should have only ONE clearly labeled CTA.

4. Images

Images can be a great asset in email marketing, but they need to be sized and positioned properly. You don’t want the image to be the focal point of your email; this will only distract the reader from what you want him to do.

The image should enhance the content.

5. Clarity and Easy Reading

You want to keep the email simple. Keep it focused and easy to read. Gently and effectively lead the reader to your CTA and let him know what to expect when he clicks on the link. Don’t assume he’ll automatically know.

6. Make it About the Prospect

In a web clinic from Marketing Experiments, emails were the focus and Dr. Flint McLaughlin brought up the word ‘empathy.’ You need to feel what the prospect is feeling or at least try to. Try to put yourself in his shoes and address his questions, needs, and/or wants.

This includes your subject line. Don’t make it a sales pitch, make it personal.

7. Value

Be sure that the prospect knows what you’re promising is worth what you’re asking him to do. Information and ethical bribes are a ‘dime a dozen’ now, so make sure you give him real value for his time and effort, and possibly money.

What you’re promising must be perceived by the prospect as of greater value than what he’s giving up.

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MORE ON ONLINE MARKETING

Online Marketing – Is Blogging Worth the Time and Effort?
Online Marketing – 3 Steps to Making Money Even If You Don’t Have Your Own Product or Service
Book Marketing – 3 Reasons Why Editing Should Come Before Self-Publishing

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Friday

Blogging and Search Engines – About Pageview Statistics

A question recently came up about the difference in 'pageview' rankings:  What is the difference between the page views and the view count number listed on the posts?

I'll use the stats from Writers on the Move to answer the subscriber's question.

Alexa.com Daily Pageviews per Visitor (January 4, 2014): 3.90















Blogger Pageviews (January 3rd, 2014): 450



Social Networks Clicks for January 1st Post


















The Alexa pageviews of 3.90 reflects the number of pages a visitor clicks on per visiting session. Meaning if you go to a blog post and then click on another page on the site, and then another, these are considered page views per session. The higher the number the better. This means the site is engaging and holding the visitor's attention by bringing them further into the site.

The Blogger page views of 450 reflects the number of visitors who visited the website on 01/03/14.


The Blog Post's social networks number of 5 reflects the number of visitors who clicked on Google+ to share the post.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know.

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MORE ON ONLINE MARKETING

Are Your Writing and Marketing Efforts Really Productive? (Two Productivity Strategies to Keep You Moving Forward)
Blog Post Template – The 8 Standard Components (Part 1)
Content Marketing – Shareability, Sharing, and Paying-it-Forward

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Thursday

Freelance Copywriting - Be Smarter, Be Successful

Guest post by Will Newman (courtesy of AWAI)

One of the great perks of being a freelance copywriter, for me, is that I get to spend time volunteering in the seventh- and eighth-grade classes of my local elementary school.

But I didn't expect to learn a lesson in goal setting I could pass on to you from these classes. This is exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago when Rose – the college options teacher – talked to the eighth-graders about goal setting.

Rose expressed what I'd been teaching my Circle of Success members about goal setting with a simple mnemonic. I researched it. It turns out this approach is over 30 years old. I just hadn't heard it expressed in the way Rose did.

So if you've heard this before, bear with me. It should be a good review. If it's new to you, her approach is an excellent and simple way to approach your goal setting.
When setting goals – be SMARTER.

Each letter of that word represents one factor in setting effective goals. We'll be talking about each of these steps in greater detail over the next few weeks. But today I want to give you an overview of the system.

S – SMARTER goals are Specific …

Because you're an AWAI member, you want to be a successful copywriter. That's an admirable, large-scale goal. But it's not specific. It's too general. Too broad. And too big.
The question to ask is, "What exactly do I mean when I say this?"

For your goal to be SMARTER, it must be specific. You have to state exactly what you want to accomplish. You have to answer these questions: Who? What? Why?

For example, instead of saying, "I want to be a successful copywriter," you should say, "I will have my first paying copywriting client." This covers the "Who" (I) and "What" (get a paying client). But it doesn't answer, "Why?"

It's easy to answer that question in a general way by saying something like, "Because I want to become a successful copywriter." But that's still not specific enough. Your "Why" would be better answered with something like, "Because it will allow me to create the first sample for my copywriting portfolio."

This first part of setting smart goals is the most important. By being very specific, you force yourself to look closely at your goals. You gain insight into what you really need to accomplish to reach your large, overarching goal.

We'll be looking at exactly how to drill down from general to specific goals in the next issue of The Golden Thread that discusses SMART goals.

M – SMARTER goals are Measurable …

When you write measurable goals, you build a process for determining if you've reached them. And – just as important – if you haven't reached them.

Measurable goals don't have to be complicated. In the case of our goal here, the measurable part is one paying client. It's that simple.

A – SMARTER goals are Attainable …

Writing attainable goals is very important to keep you focused on what you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. This doesn't mean you need to abandon your dreams.

Certainly, if you're writing in the financial niche, you'd love to have a client like Agora. But if you're just starting out as a copywriter, is that a reasonable goal? Is it attainable in a short enough amount of time?

R – SMARTER goals are Relevant …

This part of SMART goals can be tricky. After all, much of the work you do relates to your overall goal of becoming a successful copywriter. But it's important to make sure the goal you write truly relates to your dream of attaining that success.

"Getting your first client" relates directly to that dream. It's relevant. "Getting interviewed in the local paper about my career" is not relevant, even though it might be an indicator of your success.

T – SMARTER goals are Time-bound …

Setting time-bound goals is as important as making your goals specific. With a time-bound goal, you set a target date when you will accomplish your specific goal. Knowing you have a specific deadline for accomplishing your goal puts pressure on you to work toward that goal.

Your time-bound goal must be reasonable. The time you allot for achieving your goal will depend, of course, on where you are right now.

ER – SMARTER goals must be Evaluated and Reevaluated …

You can't simply set your goals following the SMARTER structure and expect to accomplish them. You must evaluate – and reevaluate – your progress along the way.

There you have it for today: a broad overview of setting SMARTER goals. We'll go into greater detail for each part of the process very soon in future issues of The Golden Thread.

But don't let that stop you from setting SMARTER goals right now. To use a cliché (and I don't normally like using clichés), there's no time like the present.

Yours for a successful copywriting career,

Will Newman
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This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/.

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Monday

5 Innovative and Proven Marketing Strategies

Ne
Marketing is certainly not an evergreen topic. It can change overnight. And, to do online marketing effectively, you need to keep up with the latest trends and strategies. This means you need to read articles, attend webinars or teleclasses, and even take classes focusing on marketing.

Because of its constant changes, it’s a good idea to review some innovative and proven marketing strategies that will help guide your steps.

5 Innovative and Proven Marketing Strategies

1. Marketing is ever-changing.

This is especially true of inbound marketing. The changes are so fast, that it’s tough to be the first or even get on the wagon of a new strategy before it’s old-hat.

Because of this, it’s wise to stick to the marketing strategies that are working for you. Stay true to what works.

This is not to say you can’t venture out and try new tools and strategies, just be aware that they may not be here tomorrow, or they may not be as effective as the ‘marketer’ is purporting them to be.

2. Innovation doesn’t always mean ‘new.’

In an article at Marketing and Innovation, Yann Gourvennec noted that, “innovation isn’t always about disruption, it is often about making things better.”(1) In other words, it’s not always about creating something new. A revised or renewed product or service and be innovative. It might be in making a product or service better, or adding something to it.

3. Inbound marketing is still one of the top strategies.

In a recent survey conducted by HubSpot and MIT, the results showed that “92 percent of HubSpot’s customers increased traffic.” Seventy-five percent of those customers saw a 75 percent and more traffic increase. (2)

This proves that inbound marketing works effectively.

4. Co-branding can be a profitable marketing strategy.

The source article of this topic dealt with offline business. It gave the example of a local restaurant teaming up with a local movie theater to offer discounted tickets if the customer spent a certain amount on dinner. (3) But, this strategy can be translated into book marketing.

As an example I’ll use my children’s bedtime picture book, Day’s End Lullaby. I could research infant and baby bedroom and bedding stores to see if there is any interest in co-branding. Buy a bed set and get a bedtime story free or for a minimal fee.

The perk to the store is offering something more to its customers, helping to make that personal connection. The benefit to the author (me) would be the store buying the book at a discounted rate.

5. Gaining discoverability through Freebies.

The source article for this topic discussed the innovative marketing strategy that NAL/Penquin used for “You Knew Me When” by Emily Liebert. The publishing house sent “advance galleys with a three-bottle set of nail polish.” The book is about a successful cosmetics executive. This particular author and publisher took it to a new level – the source article is worth the read, see reference #4 below.

LIKE THIS POST? PLEASE SHARE IT!

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References:

(1) http://visionarymarketing.fr/en/blog/2013/05/innovation-what-new-really-means-the-data-center-robotics-example/
(2) http://www.shebangdesign.com/7-innovative-marketing-ideas-to-get-the-roi-rolling/#.UnVvKBAljW4
(3) http://www.shebangdesign.com/8-great-marketing-ideas/#.UnVtfhAljW4
(4) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2013/08/09/a-polished-book-marketing-plan-nails-it/

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Friday

The Writer Platform – You Definitely Need One and It Should Have Been Started Yesterday

Did you ever hear the expression, “a stitch in time saves nine?”

Whether you’re an author or freelance writer, that’s how you need to think of your writing platform. Get it started first, as the foundation of your business. It’s much more effective than trying to play catch-up.

If you’re an author, your platform needs to be in place before you hit the submissions road (if you’re going the traditional route). And, it certainly needs to be in place before you self-publish.

If you’re a freelance writer, you need to have an effective website and marketing strategies in place before you offer your services online.

Not sure if this information is valid?

Let’s go over what three heavy-hitters in the book writing world have to say:

1. Jane Friedman, Virginia Quarterly Review online and digital content instructor

In a video interview with Orna Ross of Alliance of Independent Authors, The Business of Money, Writing and Publishing, Friedman said, “having your own website is Step 0 in your book marketing efforts.”

2. Chuck Sambuchino, Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents

In his book, “Create Your Writer Platform,” Sambuchino emphasized, “If you don’t have a proven ability to promote your work and sell books, editors won’t even consider your idea, no matter how clever or timely it may be.”

3. Guy Kawasaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad

In an article at PBS.org, Kawasaki says, “The bottom line is that authors need to think of their book as a business — one that generates revenues and costs. It’s also one that the world doesn’t owe you success and sales. If you embrace the perspective of an entrepreneur with a new product, you’ll be on the right track to success as a writer.”

There you have it. Three heavy-hitters in the writing and book marketing arena all contend that authors must have an online platform.

If you haven’t started your writing platform yet, get started today. If you have one in place, make sure it’s optimized.

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MORE ON MARKETING

5 Innovative and Proven Marketing Strategies
Blogging - 4 Major Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Blog Posts
Blogging – Does the Length of Your Blog Post Matter?



5 Content and Website Safety Tips (better safe than sorry)

I recently read an email by Mark Thompson. He had lost his internet service and was thrilled that he has safety nets in place for just such an occasion.

On a personal note, I remember when I was without electricity for 12 days after hurricane Sandy. And, I remember the times I lost files due to a computer crash, two zip drive crashes, and a faulty delete key on my laptop. So, I know the feeling and want/need to be safe.

5 Tips for the ‘Just in Case’ Scenario

1. Use a cloud service, like Dropbox.com, to back up your files. You can either work directly from it or be sure to copy all your files to it. I’ve been using Dropbox for a couple of years now and love it. You can get 2 GB free.

2. Always backup your work. This includes:

  • Works-in-progress
  • Completed work
  • Client list
  • Affiliate products/links
  • Images you created/bought
  • Programs you’ve purchased
  • Groups you belong to

The list goes on and on and on and . . .

Anything you update or create new needs to be saved in an offsite or cloud service. You can use a zip drive, but I’ve had two crash already.

3. Make sure you have ALL your passwords saved in a ‘super safe’ place.

You might want to read “Six Great Password Managers” at PC Mag.

4. Tips from Mark: Contact your website hosting service and ask if they can restore your site in the event it crashes or is hacked.

5. Backup your websites. You can use a free WordPress plugin: BackWPupFree. For more information on this, visit: http://wordpress.org/plugins/backwpup/

That’s about it. Just be careful.

If you have any helpful tips to share or use any great services or products to protect your content and websites, please let us know in the comments!

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MORE ON ONLINE MARKETING

Blogging – Does the Length of Your Blog Post Matter?
Selling Online – Ecommerce Shopping Carts Basics
Video Marketing – A Powerful Marketing Tool That’s Proven to Increase Conversion Rates

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P.S. To keep up with 'visibility and authority building' writing and marketing information, along with updates on instructional webinars, join us in The Writing World (it's all free).

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Wednesday

Content Marketing - The Most Powerful Words in Your Writing


Guest post by Will Newman, courtesy of AWAI

"The first draft of anything is …"

                               ― Ernest Hemingway

I'm not going to finish Ernest Hemingway's quote. But I'm sure you know his fondness for being blunt and using Anglo-Saxon four-letter words. So you can imagine what the final word in that quote is.

Hemingway's point is that your first draft is never good enough. You must revise.

Easier said than done. Where do you begin?

Follow master copywriter Jen Stevens' lead and begin with your verbs.

Verbs provide forward movement to your writing. Strong verbs add excitement to what you have to say. Weak verbs deflate that excitement.

Jen offers these three strategies for strengthening your verbs.

1. Banish "is" and its buddies …

You can't write without using "is" or one of the other forms of the verb "to be": am, are, was, and were. But these verbs don't give a good visual picture of what you're trying to portray. You want to use verbs that describe an action or create a visual image.

For example, let's say you want to get your reader to understand the antioxidant power of dandelion tea. So you say, "Dandelion tea is a powerful antioxidant." This is your main idea … but it lacks punch.

By eliminating the verb "is," you're forced to look for a better, more visual alternative. "Dandelion tea destroys cellular oxidants that threaten your health."

You reap another benefit when you replace forms of "is." Doing this encourages you to enliven what you're going to say almost without thinking of it. Once I wrote, "Dandelion tea destroys cellular oxidants," the second part of the sentence flowed naturally.

When you replace "is" with more active verbs, you have to decide which verbs to use. You want those verbs to be as powerful as possible. That brings us to Jen's second strategy.

2. Pack power into your verbs …

Consider this sentence: "He hit the ball over the fence." Compare it with: "He smashed the baseball over the fence."

Both sentences describe the same act. The first one sounds as if the baseball barely cleared the fence. The second one makes it sound like Babe Ruth ripped the skin off the baseball when he hit it.

Your choice of verbs will carry much different images in your writing. Here are some more examples:

•    Michael went down the hall.
•    Michael lumbered down the hall.
•    Michael skipped down the hall.
•    Michael tore down the hall.
•    Michael tottered down the hall.

You don't get much of an image when you write "went." If you use the word "lumbered," you get the image of Michael being maybe a bit chunky. "Skipped" gives the image of Michael being happy about something.

When you use "tore," you give the sense of urgency without having to use the adverb "urgently."
And "tottered"? I bet when you read that, you got the image of Michael being either very old or very young.

The right verb does the work of adjectives, adverbs, and extended descriptions.

Jen has one additional foolproof verb-strengthening strategy …

3. Banish "there is" and "there are" …

I use these two phrases – "there is" and "there are" – frequently in my first draft. I have no problem doing that. Using them allows me to keep my writing process moving along smoothly.

But these two phrases deaden your copy. The good news: You can eliminate them easily, because everything you need to write a stronger sentence usually follows those phrases.

Look at the following example …

•    Instead of … There is a new and powerful formula that will relieve the stiffness and strain in your joints fast and for hours.

•    Try … A new and powerful formula relieves the stiffness and strain in your joints fast and for hours.

Everything you needed to strengthen that sentence was already in it. Once you eliminated "there is," all you needed to do was tweak the verb from "will relieve" to "relieves," and you have a more direct, more visual sentence.

Okay, now it's your turn. Take a look at the following sentence and see how you would eliminate "there is" or "there are" to strengthen it:

•    There are three strategies you can use to strengthen your writing by strengthening your verbs.

One last, crucial strategy for strengthening your writing …

I'm repeating myself. But that's okay.

Don't worry about using Jen's strategies on your first draft. Just write. Get what you have to say down on the paper (or more correctly, on your computer screen).

Then, when you do your first of several revisions, look for forms of the verb "to be." Eliminate as many of them as you can.

At the same time, you can cast out "there is" and "there are."

Having done that, it's now time for your second revision. Go back and strengthen all your verbs. Make them do the work they're capable of.

Until next week: Keep reading and keep writing.

Yours for a successful copywriting career,

Will Newman

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This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/.

~~~~~

MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

Content Marketing Success – You Have to Walk the Walk
Content Marketing with Article Directories and Ghostwriters
Email Marketing – The Subscriber Email List Bare-Bottom Basics

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Monday

4 Major Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Blog Posts

By Karen Cioffi

Writing is a craft, a craft that needs to be learned and honed. With that being said, there are many successful bloggers who had no writing training.

You might consider writing as being doubled sided – there’s fiction and nonfiction. Within these two sides there are research papers, resumes, articles for medical and scientific use, business and health content, and even short stories, children’s books, and novels.

To write for these genres, you need to learn the craft of writing. Depending on the genre you write, you need to know how to write dialogue, how to reference quotes in a nonfiction article, and how to write POV (point of view). You should know the difference between a comma and a semi-colon, and how to use each. You get the idea.

On the flip side, there is web writing: blog posts and writing copy. In these niches there aren’t many rules, aside from grabbing the reader and making your content engaging, persuasive, and shareable.

While there aren’t many rules for blogging, there are four mistakes you should avoid:

1. Avoid aiming for perfection.
If you wait for the perfect time, the perfect circumstance, the perfect topic, the perfect anything, you’ll be forever waiting.

While you do need to be a responsible writer and respect your reader by providing quality content and doing the best you can, you shouldn’t wait for everything to be perfect. There’s nothing wrong with learning as you go along.

I love what George Fisher said about perfection: “When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target.”

2. Avoid confusing and unfocused content.
The quickest way to lose a reader is to make your content confusing. If you’re topic is ‘allergies,’ don’t go on a rant about the latest clothing styles.

Blogs posts should be in easily digestible pieces of information that are focused. From the title to the concluding paragraph, keep it on topic.

In addition, you want to lead the reader down your post. In the beginning, let the reader know what to expect, what’s in it for him. This will motivate him to read on.

3. Don’t write long paragraphs.

We all lead hectic lives. We want to get targeted information as quickly as possible. For this reason, your content needs to be easy to read and written in short paragraphs. This is especially important for skim readers.

Keep your content clean and leave plenty of white space. White space is the space between paragraphs, between words, and such. It’s the blank space on the page.

This is true of podcasts and videos in your posts also. Let the reader know how long she’ll need to invest in listening or watching.

When I come across videos that I’m interested in, if the length isn’t visible, I move on. 

4. Don’t use grandiloquent language.

Here we go back to the premise that people are in a rush and along with this, most people don’t want to have to look up words to get the gist of the article. This is another quick way to lose a reader.

Keep your writing simple. Write how you would normally speak.

In addition, choose your words with care. C.S. Lewis knew the importance of this when he said, “Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”

Following these ‘four mistakes to avoid’ will help you write content that readers will appreciate and will want to share, and content that Google will be happy to use in their search results.

P.S. If you like this article, please share it!

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MORE ON ONLINE MARKETING

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Create an MP3 Podcast – The No Frills, No Cost Way using Audacity




LIKE THIS POST? PLEASE SHARE IT!


Friday

Online Marketing Tip – Using Screen Shots in Your Blog Posts

Visuals work. Screen Shots are highly focused visuals.

The great thing about using screen shots in your blog posts is it helps in conveying what you’re trying to get across. Adding visual aids to your articles lets the readers know you’ve taken the extra step to enhance their reading experience. This matters.

So, how to you use screen shots?

4 Steps to using Screen Shots in Your Blog Posts

1. On your keyboard, there is a “Prt Sc Sys Rq” or "Print Screen" button. On my laptop it looks like this:

















(If you’re wondering about the crazy Delete button on the top right of the image, it kept getting stuck and would delete whatever I was working on, so I took the top off.)

To add a screen shot, simple click on the “Prt Sc Sys Rq” button. It will take a picture of whatever is on your screen.

For the image above, I had a JPG of my laptop keyboard. I inserted it onto a blank page then clicked on the ‘print screen’ button.

2. Next, I went to Microsoft’s Paint feature. This is what it looks like in the menu:





















I clicked on the Paint Button and pasted (Ctrl V) the image into it.

3. Next I edited the image, by adding the red circle around the button, the cropped it to how I wanted it. I saved it as a it as a JPG to a file.

4. The last step, I inserted the image into this post.

Pretty simple, right?

I'd love to know if this was helpful or if you already knew how to do this.

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FOR MORE ON CREATING IMAGES, CHECK OUT:

Write That eBook and Design Your Own Cover in 10 Easy Steps
It gives step-by-step instructions on creating book covers and images and gives plenty of examples.

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MORE ON ONLINE MARKETING

Blog Post Template – The 8 Standard Components (Part 1)
The Author Website – Keep it Simple and to the Point
Creating Images – Simple and Quick

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P.S. To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).

Karen Cioffi
Award-Winning Author, Freelancer/Ghostwriter, Author/Writer Online Platform Instructor
Build an Online Platform That Works

Wednesday

Have a Wonderful New Year

Today is the first day of the rest of your life and the beginning of a new year - 
make it all it can be!


HAVE A HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!




P.S. Here's a useful Gift for the NEW YEAR:

Achieve Your Goals with a Simple Strategy

http://www.articlewritingdoctor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Acheive-Goals.pdf

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