Tutorial: repurposing content…waste not, want not

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Repurposing your content: economically sensible recycling

Despite Google’s rightful insistence on “fresh, original content,” it’s a shame in some ways not to make the most economical use of your content over more than one medium. Repurposing content solves this problem.

With the value of “owned content” rising as the social media platforms tighten up their rules and monetize your use of them more … [Read more…]

In Guy Kawasaki’s AllTop.com: I’m honored! (And why content curation is such good news, too…)

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Guy Kawasaki

If you’re into social media you’ll know that Guy Kawasaki is the social media guru to beat all gurus. So when I found out that my humble site (this one) was in his Alltop.com’s top 300-odd social media sites, I was gobsmacked. And thrilled. [Read more…]

Infographics: am I wrong to think the DIY jobs suck?

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Does this really tell you how to use the flip camera more clearly and quickly than some simple written instructions with far fewer illustrations?

When infographics were first introduced they were heralded as the next best thing since sliced spam. I didn’t warm to them and still haven’t. Am I being weird? Does anyone else agree?

Here’s Wikipedia’s take:

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends. The process of creating infographics can be referred to as data visualization, information design, or information architecture. [Read more…]

SEO is dead: long live SEO

small__7460433450Google updates, whether we like it or not, usually have an influence on how and what we write – especially for business. To find out just what changes are taking place now, I asked digital business expert James Coakes to share his views on it and how it is affecting content creators…

The latest Google update has started to roll through the index and many are questioning whether SEO is dead. Some in the industry are removing SEO from their names (SEOMOZ became MOZ at the same time as Penguin 2 arrived). [Read more…]

How to write great content that Google will love

If you want some quick, valuable advice on how to write good content that appeals both to your readers AND the mighty Google, this guest article by my US colleague,
Bob Bly, is truly brilliant. Thanks for sharing your advice with us, Bob! 

I’ve read that Google changes its search algorithm hundreds of times a year, as incredible as that sounds. As of late, they’ve made the search engine “fussier” about the content it ranks highly. Specifically, Google is rejecting crappy articles stuffed with keywords and written by content mills. (Thank yoooo, Google: this is music to my ears. Sz.)

So how do you write content that both Google and your readers will value?

There are 4 levels of writing how-to material, and the key is to write at the higher levels.

Level 1 is to merely write information or facts, not ideas or actionable strategies.

For instance, if you are writing a report on how to build web sites, and you begin by telling the reader there are a billion pages on the web, that’s interesting – but it’s not really that helpful.

Level 2 is “what to do” writing. It tells the reader what to do, but not how to do it.

An example is a real estate article that told landlords to evict problem tenants, but didn’t tell how to go about it.

Level 3 is where most good content writing should be – “how to” writing.

You not only tell the reader what to do, but also how to do it. In the real estate example, the article might tell the reader the 5 points that must be included in an eviction letter.

Level 4 is what content writers call “done for you.”

The writing not only tells the reader what and how to do something, but actually does it for them. Again in the real estate example, the article could include a sample eviction letter that the reader can just copy and send to his tenant.

Readers and Google like solid level 3 writing, and if you can provide level 4 content, so much the better. Google may also rank level 1 and level 2 articles high if they are accurate and well written … but these are less valuable to your human readers.

Tip: when writing instructional material, ask yourself about every paragraph, “Am I telling the reader how to do something? Or am I just telling them what to do?” Make sure both objectives, not just the latter, are accomplished by your copy.

You can find Bob Bly in River Vale, New Jersey, USA – http://bly.com

More on getting Google to love your content:

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

photo credit: Cea. via photo pin cc

Why some so-called professional content writers make me want to cry

There are times when I really could throw in the towel and say, “why on earth are writers like me trying to make a living out there producing high quality text” when people like this are around?

Are there really businesses and individuals who would pay for someone to write material for them in English, to the sort of standards this individual uses? If so, I think maybe I should retire and go grow orchids.

But surely not – surely good sense prevails … somewhere? The following is the text of an unsolicited message I received on LinkedIn recently.

Dear Sir, (How many male Suzans do you know? And there were only about 10 of us on his email list, so it’s not that he was standardizing his mailout.)

Thank you for your reply! (I hadn’t communicated with this guy. Nice try.)

I am a (Indian city)-based content writer. Besides it, I am also a graphologist and photographer. I have a plan to start my own article service. So, I am searching for some interested people who can outsource me regular article assignments.

Right now, I am a sole writer. So, after my business stands on its foot, then I will engage more writers to help me. My current rate for per word is $0.007. I can write on any subject. I am in content writing for last 6 months. I have already written more than 1,00,000 words till today. If you are interested to help me in this regard, then please contact me at (email address.)

Have a good day!

Yours,

(Name)

Should we feel sorry for him?

I’m sorry, but I think the answer is no. If you’re going to offer your services as a writer of English, then at least learn how to write it properly.

It wouldn’t be quite so awful if he was trying to get English writing assignments from fellow E2L speakers who might not object to his un-English use of the English language. But this kiddie was after international business in English writing, presumably from many people and companies for whom English is their first language, and for whom reasonably accurate English writing is paramount.

Do you think he deserves to get it, because his “per word” price is so cheap? Or should someone go “stand on his foot” and tell him to perfect his English before trying to market it as a worthwhile commodity – especially to native English speakers? Do you think he actually deserves to get little or no business from this lame marketing attempt?

Let me know …

Want to write “content” that’s really valuable? Here’s some help:

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

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