What I Learned About Writing & Sharing Content In 2012 (Part 2)

Let Me Continue To Share What I Learned About Writing And Sharing Content This Year: Off Topic Content, Bounce Rates, Laser Focused Content

I learned a very BIG lesson in 2012 in regards to my beloved Google. Sometimes they make changes that we don’t like at first but are for our own good. For a very long time, I was getting great traffic to a few of my sites, especially this one, but my bounce rate was at an abysmal 80%. (I cringe just typing that number!) I knew that this was going to be a big problem for me in the future because Google had made it very clear that at some point in the future they were going to penalize sites with poor bounce rates.

bounce rates image

FIRST – I have known for a very long time what the problem was with my bounce rate, I just didn’t know what to do about it. It wasn’t that I was writing content that was off topic for my readers, although it sort of was. Throughout the years of writing articles on this blog, I have always giggled at how bad of a speller I am. I thought that if I was making some of those errors that other people were too, so I came up with this bright idea to share some of those grammer blunders with my readers.

These were actually articles that I did zero keyword research on, I just wrote them up. What I didn’t count on was just how many people look up these terms everyday. There were a lot! For example, one of the terms that I get a lot of traffic from is bare vs. bear. A lot of people do not know how to use these two terms properly, so a lot of people found my article on it, but this created a big problem for me…

SECOND – Sites that were dedicated to grammar  only were referring to my article on their websites. While I was honored that they used me as a resource, I also thought that perhaps I would get a lot of writers from these sites (because I work with a lot of writers) but that was not the case. I basically got a lot of lookie-loos. Could have been kids needing help with a paper or whoever, but they were people who read the definitions and then clicked off my site within a second or two. They got what they needed very quickly and left. This is NOT what I want people to do on my website, and this is not what you want either.

THIRD – While my site is dedicated to helping people create better content and good grammar is part of that, people are not generally going to use my site as a referral for grammar tips. Therefore the high bounce rate. So what happened to fix it? Nothing on my part. What happened was that when Google added their “exact domain match” update, it knocked a lot of my grammar tip pages way down the search results, so I no longer get the huge surge of traffic I use to from these pages. In fact, my traffic decreased by about 10% from this one change which made me very upset – at first.

BUT the result was that NOW my traffic visits my site through articles that are laser focused and related to my website’s mission. People visit for up 15 to 30 minutes now – some longer. I get a lot more page views per visitor. So now my bounce rate is at an all time low of 13%! Can you say yippee!!!

LESSONS LEARNED – The lessons learned are simple. While in the past I have casted a pretty wide net in regards to content I will create for my site, I will no longer do that. While I know a lot about a lot of topics having run my business for many years online, the reality is that I cannot write about everything. Content for my site will be laser focused around my topic. I will include (sort of) off topic articles in my newsletters, in guest posts, or with my private clients. I don’t want to ever throw the balance off of my site again.

Also, your bounce rate matters if you want organic traffic from the search engines. So get familiar with yours by checking your Google Analytics stats and make any adjustments you need to make in regards to the “focus” of your content.

Read Part One Of What I Learned About Writing & Sharing Content in 2012

 

What I Learned About Writing & Sharing Content In 2012 (Part 1)

I’m going to take some time to share with you what I’ve learned about writing and sharing content this year.

When a year winds down, I like to take a look at what the big takeaway or area of growth was for entrepreneurs and marketers. This year I think it’s pretty clear that small business owners have realized not only the importance but the necessity of using content to market their businesses in a way that engages people and inspires them to share it.

The big kahunas have figured this out and have really stepped up their games this year. For instance, let’s take a look at Coke’s home page. Coke makes several attempts to engage visitors with content. They want you to read their @DocPemberton tweets over on Twitter, watch fun YouTube videos of drinking/sharing Coke, or read some of their updates over on Facebook where they share lots of interesting Coke related photos and fun facts.

painless content marketing coke

What I Learned About Keyword Research In 2012

The first element of making sure that your ideal clients and customers read your content is to make sure that you speak their language using terms that they search for on the web. The only way to make sure that you get this right is to do the research. There’s no way around this. If you don’t do this, you will be shooting in the dark and next thing you know a year has gone nothing has changed in your business.

Before Google Panda and Penguin, it use to be that you could create a piece of content, optimize it for the web, and if you followed a few basic SEO principles  Google would rank you highly and send you free traffic. This year some of that changed and it affected many, many sites across the web.

One of the huge things that I learned this year behind this is that it’s much more important to create a website and its content around one central theme versus spending too much time focusing on optimizing each individual piece of content. What I mean by this is that you have to get even more niche focused than before so that search engines as well as potential customers and clients recognize you as the authority in ONE specific topic that you write about. This is going to make it much easier to do your keyword research going forward.

FIRST – For example if you write about blogging, you need to get really specific about what aspect of blogging you focus on such as: making money with a blog, building a blog from scratch, WordPress blogging, Blogger blogging, etc. Get really specific and create content around only one of those topics.

SECOND – Build a list of 5 to 10 keywords around that topic only. This will take you literally about fifteen minutes if you use a robust keyword research tool (like my favs Market Samurai or SEMRush) or a bit longer if you do it old school using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool.

THIRD – Use these keywords and related keywords (you can find related keywords when you do your search using any keyword tool) in your titles, first paragraphs, and sprinkled naturally throughout your articles.

FOURTH – Also use the keywords as anchor text when backlinking to your site BUT be sure not to use exact matches all of the time. Enclose some of your keyword phrases with other words. For example, if your keyword is “blogging basics” be sure to use longer and varied anchor text such as “blogging basics for coaches” or “easy blogging basics”. The search engines frown upon a lot of exact term anchor text, which is why a lot of sites lost many of their rankings when the Panda, Penguin and Exact Domain Match updates hit.

FIFTH – Don’t over think your keyword research. Ultimately you need to focus on creating content that your readers will read and share!

Here are a few additional articles I wrote in 2012 that discuss keyword research:

Five Reasons Why I Won’t Read Your Blog
http://lisaangelettieblog.com/5-reasons-why-i-wont-read-blog/

How My Blog Traffic Increased By 33%
http://lisaangelettieblog.com/how-my-blog-traffic-increased-by-33-percent/

My Keyword Research SEMRush Review & Tutorial
http://lisaangelettieblog.com/keyword-research-semrush-review-tutorial/

Does Your Content Pass The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test?

Is Your Writing Simple Enough To Pass The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test?

flesch-kincaid-writing-score

Studies prove that the average customer or client responds to information that they can easily understand. Of course the question is: Are you writing content that the average customer and client can easily read and understand? Do you even know? If  your prospects are not connecting with your content, one of the reasons could be that you are writing “over their heads” and trust me when I tell you that this happens more often than you think. In an effort to sound superior, intelligent, or as an “expert” in their fields – many entrepreneurs will “overwrite” their content.

What Does Simple Writing Look Like?

Simple writing should include words that are direct, simple, and familiar to the reader. You should eliminate any needless words. Organization and structure of your content should be simple, straightforward and and arranged in a logical way so that the reader understands the point(s) you are trying to make.

How Do You Know If Your Content Is Readable?

This type of “readability” factor for your content can actually be measured using something called the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Tests.  There are two tests. One is called the Flesch Reading Ease test and gives your content a score based on readability. The higher the score, the better.

For example, a score of 0 through 30 is easily read by college graduates (such as The Harvard Law Review), a score of 60-70 is easily understood by 13-15 year old students, and a score between 90-100 can easily be understood by the average 11 year old student.

The other test is called the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test and translates the reading ease score into a grade level. Typically educators use this test to measure the readability of text books and other materials. But we are also educators and can use this test to determine if our content can be easily read by customers and clients.

With this test, the lower the grade level, the better. This test measures word count, syllable count, and sentence count to come up with a score. The score is directly related to the grade level, so for example content with a Flesch-Kincaid level of 8.2 can be easily read by the average eighth grade student.

What Score Is Good For Me?

You will find that your content will differ in scores depending on the topic, how tired you were when you wrote the article:), and other various factors. An easy way for you to get an idea of what a good score is for you is to take a sampling of the articles that were the most “shared” or “commented” on or simply your favorites. Estimate your average score out of those articles.

Keep in mind that you should probably try to not score higher than a 65 in the Flesch Reading Ease score or no higher than a 8-9 in the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level one (although this particular article scored a little high).

This has nothing to do with the aptitude of your readers. I target business owners and try to keep my Flesch scores as low as possible and the reason why is “time”. If my readers can consume and understand my content quickly, I know that they will take action faster, and probably come back to read more. If my readers have to think a little too hard about what I’ve written, they may save it for later (and never read it!) or just stop reading altogether.

How To Test Your Content

If you own Microsoft Office, you already have the test feature built into Word and Outlook.

flesch-kincaid

If you are an iWork user there are already tons of requests on the forums for developers to add this feature to Pages and Apple Mail. So hopefully we’ll see it soon, but in the meantime if much of your content is published to your WordPress blog then you can test your content using the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast or use an online calculator.

flesch-kincaid seo yoast

This article topic was written by reader request. If you have a topic you’d like me to cover on the site, feel free to drop me a note over on Facebook.

 

October Article Ideas

A great way to get a surge of traffic to your site on a regular basis is to write theme or holiday related articles. Especially if you write them in a way that they will bring you traffic EVERY month for that specific holiday or theme. So do not write anything really specific to the “year” that you wrote them. Just the month. Then watch the traffic roll in every month like clockwork.

October article ideas

Here Are Some Article Ideas For You For Monthly October Search Engine Traffic:

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

I’ve noticed a lot of television commercials around this promotion lately. It is becoming a bigger monthly promotion, so it would probably be a great idea to write content around this if you can tie it into your business some way.Talk about shelter dog you adopted. Share tips and strategies for bringing home a shelter dog.

American Pharmacist Month

Very important job and great tie in for any health related niche.

Apple Jack Month

The cereal, the drink? Uh, I’m not sure about this one.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This is a big one and you’ll see a lot of activity around this topic.

Clergy Appreciation Month

Great topic for any and all Christian, Catholic or other religious themed websites.

Computer Learning Month

Anyone could probably tie this topic in with their business. We’re all online educators in a way.

Cookie Month

Isn’t it every month? (Tee-hee!)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

A very important topic that does well with first person accounts, prevention, and how to escape strategies.

Eat Country Ham Month

I don’t eat ham, but I’m sure a lot of people do:)

International Drum Month

Great for music sites, etc.

Lupus Awareness Month

This doesn’t get the attention that say MS gets, but it’s just as serious and prevalent of an autoimmune disease. If this is your niche — get busy writing content around it. There isn’t enough.

National Diabetes Month

Another big topic. Give it a spin unique to your niche and you’ll do great in the search engines.

National Pizza Month

Recipes, health pizza versions, unique pizza toppings, how to make at home, the ideas are endless!

National Vegetarian Month

I went to the library to check out the book “Eat To Live” and I was 86th on the list! People are looking for solutions to long term health and longevity and for many that is a closer look at Vegetarianism. Show people how to convert easily and you’ll win in this niche.

National Popcorn Popping Month

Popcorn flavors. Popcorn recipes. Popcorn crafts.

Sarcastic Month

Are you serious? (LOL)

Seafood Month

Restaurant listings, seafood recipes, how seafood is caught, farm raised vs wild caught, etc.

Halloween

Obviously, you can write all Halloween and fall festive related articles as well. Here are some past articles I’ve written to help marketers write effective articles (and profit from them) on Halloween:

http://lisaangelettieblog.com/halloween-affiliate-article-marketing/

http://lisaangelettieblog.com/halloween-affiliate-article-marketing-top-halloween-keywords-pt-2/

#1 Secret For Writing Productivity

writing productivityIf you are a parent, especially a mom (shout out to all my moms!), then this is probably going to really speak to you because we tend to be multi-taskers to the tenth power! The problem with multitasking is that it can be distracting. Sure you may get a lot done, but is it really done well? OR do you even get any one thing done completely at all?

I find that the clients who have the most difficult time with creating compelling content on a consistent basis for their audience, tend to suffer from this multitasking approach towards everything in their lives including their marketing and let me tell you — for must of us this approach just won’t work.

So (drumroll please!) this is my #1 strategy and secret for writing and producing more content on a consistent basis:

Focus on only ONE marketing strategy today and that’s creating content.

Do not play around on Twitter. Do not look for Facebook friends and fans. Do not connect with someone on LinkedIn. Forget about commenting on your favorite bloggers posts. Leave those website, pay per click, or Facebook ad stats alone today. Your website doesn’t need any tweaking today. You don’t need to check emails all day. Just once at the top of the day, if at all. Instead, just focus on content.

I find when I decide that on Mondays (my personal writing blitz day) all I am going to do is write, I produce a lot more content. In fact, instead of writing just one blog post or creating one video or writing a guest post for another site — I find that I am creating 5, 7, or 8 different new pieces of content that day that will set me up lovely for the rest of the week! Bam! Content done. Now I don’t have to worry about how I’m behind on creating new content for the rest of the week because I’ve already done it. And get this…

There’s something about doing ONE thing in one sitting, without distraction. You get in a ZONE. So I find that I write my best when I have been writing several articles, book chapters, etc. at one time.

So here’s what I recommend that you do:

1. Select one day a week that you will commit to creating high level content that attracts more of your ideal clients.

2. Eliminate all distractions on that day.

3. Create a series of blog posts, guest posts, video articles, or audio articles that day — don’t just write one piece of content that day.

4. Pay yourself on the back, you’re done for the week!

Are You Writing Articles That Attract Your Ideal Clients?

About two years ago, I worked with a client who wanted help with positioning himself as a go-to authority in his industry. He initially found me through an article I had written somewhere (as most of my clients do) and wanted me to basically perform miracles for him. Okay — I’m a miracle worker sometimes (dusting off my shoulders:), so I took on the challenge.

client attracting articles

My first job was to take a look at his business and one of the first things that I took inventory of was the types of content he had created and in particular if he was creating content that resonated with his ideal clients. He wasn’t, and at first, he didn’t get it. He would occasionally write articles and publish them, but never with any purpose or rather enough purpose. Never strategically. He really just wrote what he thought was important for his ideal clients to know, titled them what he wanted,  and waited for them to come. They didn’t come.

And that’s my point here.

If you are going to spend your valuable time creating content such as articles, wouldn’t you like to make sure that they are working hard for you, and pulling more of your ideal clients towards you? Of course you do!

So here are a few points you should consider when sitting down to write an article this week. Think about your ideal client during this entire exercise – not yourself:

1. What is the point of this article? Is it to entertain your ideal clients? Am I solving a huge challenge for them?

2. Did I write this in a way that my ideal clients can understand and relate to? Am I using language that they use or am I talking above their heads or to the lowest common denominator.

3. Have previous clients asked you about this topic? That’s always a good indication that you will attract more ideal clients with content designed around the same topic.

4. Are you publishing the articles places where your ideal clients visit? Why are you guest posting at a home business site if your ideal clients are frustrated  and burned out CEO’s?

The key to filling your business with not just clients, but clients that you LOVE working with, is to ensure that you know who those ideal clients really are and that you create content that they are looking for. I’ll be talking more about how to create client attracting content like this in my upcoming teleclass, “The 5 Biggest Shifts You Must Make When Writing, Publishing & Marketing Articles That Attract Clients!” .  Register right now!

How Entrepreneurs Can Quickly Beat Writers Block

Do You Have Writers Block?

If you are an entrepreneur who shies away from writing articles because you struggle with writer’s block, do not waste your time trying to beat it by using traditional “writers block” books and courses out there. Those are typically written by fiction authors who are trying to help other fiction writers — and that’s a whole different animal!

Fiction authors typically write from a purely internal creative place. Entrepreneurs like us, need to also write from an external influence — and that’s solving the problems of our clients. When you write content that meets the needs of your clients, you will never run out of article ideas, that is article marketing 101. So when I work with new clients who tell me that they hate writing because it takes them hours to get just one article written — I know what the problem is immediately…

1. They have not identified their client’s problems and struggles.

2. They do not know how to talk to their ideal clients in a way that they will understand.

3. They have not clarified their marketing message.

And Really What All This Means Is That They Are Not Clear About Who Their Ideal Client Is. Are You?

The real struggle and the real block comes up when you start moving forward in marketing a business but aren’t 100% sure who you are talking to because you are wishing and hoping that everyone will see the value of what you do. You want anyone who will pay, and this is marketing from a place of “lack” and “desperation”. This is why you are blocked and this is how you can beat it…

Regardless Of How Sure You Think You Are,  Re-evaluate Who Your Ideal Clients Are And What Transformation You Provide For Them

Okay, I already see your eyes rolling up in your head:) But I want you to really consider what I’m asking you to do today. If you were really spot on about who you clients are, would you be struggling around idea generation?

So I today I want to get VERY specific. More than you ever have before. Ask yourself what they look like, how much money they make, what they do for a living, are they married or single, do they have children, what is their education level, where to they hang out, what social media to they use, what other sites to they visit,  and any other details you can think of.

Don’t waffle or waiver on this. If this is who your ideal clients is than that’s who they are and that’s who you should target. You cannot speak to EVERYONE. It is not effective nor authentic marketing by any stretch.

Now that you know who they are, it will be much easier for you to craft a marketing message that speaks to your ideal clients. If you are still blocked and can’t come up with 10-25 article ideas, my recommendation is to go back to the drawing board and do another exercise around getting clear about who your ideal clients are.

 

Article Spinning Software Finally Evolves!

Article Spinning Software Finally Evolves!

As someone that teaches entrepreneurs how to write and publish their own compelling content, I have to make it mybest spinner business to try every service and software product on the market, and during my quest I have never found a great article spinning software.

At the end of the day, they ALL produced articles that sounded unnatural, and that ruined my marketing message and my professional image. OR the rewriting process literally took me over an hour to complete and in the same time I could have rewritten the article myself. I never want unintelligible junk on the web with my name attached and I don’t want my virtual assistant or myself to spend hours out of our day trying to spin and submit one stinking article. Not smart.

So imagine my surprise when a nice guy named Aaron pleasantly contacted me from Spin Rewriter to let me know about his new article spinning software. Okay, so in the back of my mind, I totally believed that this software would just be another one of those programs or services that I would never use — but I was wrong.

There is a detailed list of benefits that makes this software phenomenal which I will list in a minute, but the bottom line if you are a bottom line type of person is that this software does what ALL the others can’t.

1. It will take your article and create many unique versions that are grammatically correct and still sound like you wrote them.

2. You will have dozens or even hundreds of articles for submission to directories, blog networks, 3rd party sites, etc. that you can comfortably submit knowing that they won’t get kicked back for duplicate content issues or grammatical & sentence structure problems.

3. You can do all of this literally with ONE click. I spun one of my articles into hundreds of highly unique (89%) articles in less than five minutes. Seriously

Why You Should Use Spin Rewriter Article Spinner(according to them):

article spinning software

Great benefits right? But again if I’m going to bottom line it here, being able to create hundreds of unique pages across the web will:

1. Create more backlinks to your site

2. Makes your site more important to search engine eyes

3. Then Google will rank your site higher in the search engine results

4. Which means you get more traffic

5. Which means you’ll build a bigger list and generate more income

Is that motivation enough? It was for me:) FINALLY — I’m all in!
Here’s the link: ==> Spin Rewriter