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/

#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.

 

Why You Should Never Hire A Ghostwriter

Why You Should Never Hire A Ghostwriter If You Want To Be Noticed In Your Niche

Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with many entrepreneurs. Most want to cut corners and eliminate as much work as possible and I get it. The whole 4-Hour Work Week theory and such. But I’m going to be completely honest here… Most of the entrepreneurs I know who are making six or seven figures (including myself) who are sharing their special sauce :) with the world are doing it themselves. Meaning that when it comes to their message, what they want to share with their tribe, etc. — they are the creators of that content — NOT a ghostwriter. Not a virtual assistant. Not a hired gun.

The reason why is simple. We all have competition. So if you want to “make noise” amid all the clutter in your niche you have to:

#1 – Be Authentic

#2 – Be Seen

#3 – Be Heard

#4 – Be Trustworthy

#5 – Be Unique

When you hire a ghostwriter to write your articles, your ezine, your ebook, your information product, your signature system, etc. he or she cannot help but write it in their own voice instead of yours because they are not you. The end result may be a polished, well-written,  piece of content but it doesn’t sound like you and it definitely will not meet all 5 of the above criteria.

Instead — your content will sound like the hundreds or thousands of other pieces of white-washed content in your marketplace. There is nothing unique about it and that will make you simply….average.

Okay, So How Do I Produce Great Content Regularly Without Outsourcing It?

This is my theory on outsourcing… There are many things that you can and should outsource in your business but your content is NOT one of them. Where you can maximize your efforts is in compilation, distribution, publishing. So for example, you should write a great article solving one of your ideal clients’ problems. Then give it to a virtual assistant to publish to your blog, spin or rewrite it, and distribute it to various 3rd party sites and directories.

Or say you want to create an ebook for some passive income in your business. Take some of your favorite articles on a central topic, make some additional notes on each article,  and then give them to someone to compile into a 7-10 chapter book. Someone else has done all the compiling and polishing of your book — but the content and voice is still ALL yours. Still authentic. Still You.

So if you are looking to really stand up and get noticed right now in your niche, write your own content. Do not hire a ghostwriter. Invest your dollars where it matters — leveraging your content – not creating it.

When To Write Your Halloween Articles

When To Write Your Halloween Articles For Optimal Search Engine Placement

Halloween is the BEST holiday for one of my favorite income streams – affiliate article marketing. While I do not spend a huge amount of time on affiliate article marketing, I do like to do some strategic affiliate article marketing on certain holidays and Halloween is definitely one because of the growing size of the market annually as well as the surge in popularity of all things supernatural (vampires, werewolves, witches, zombies, etc.) right now.

Halloween Affiliate Article Marketing

Remember Her Hairpins?

The time to start writing your Halloween articles for the season depends upon a few factors such as where you will be publishing the articles (on a PR1 vs PR 5 site?) and the traffic the site gets, etc. Your backlink juice matters when it comes to timely affiliate article marketing, so if you know you have an uphill battle ahead of you, it’s a good idea to get started with your Halloween affiliate article marketing in the summer — like mid to late June.

Now if you know of a few major sites that you can publish your articles on and get good PR power and traffic numbers from them – then you’re golden and can write as late as the first week of October.

People are often shopping for Halloween costumes, accessories, and party supplies up until the very day – so as long as you have some visibility in the market – you will get some hits and hopefully click conversions.

I myself like to write up to the last moment:)

SO – if you haven’t written your Halloween articles yet, you still have time, so get started. Here are a few articles that I have written in the past discussing good Halloween affiliate companies to work with, hot Halloween keyword phrases, and more info to get you going:

Top Halloween Keywords – Lisa Angelettie

Have You Written Your Halloween Articles? – Lisa Angelettie

Affiliate Article Marketing: Writing Halloween … – Lisa Angelettie

Halloween Affiliate Article Marketing – Lisa Angelettie

Learn more about writing & publishing articles for the web with my new article marketing toolkit found only on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Hot Topics For Search Engine Traffic

Hot Topics For Search Engine Traffic

While I typically encourage my community to write evergreen articles and content in order to get maximum shelf life, there are those times when I like to write articles on hot topics to get a surge of search engine traffic to my site. I also call these types of articles Magic Bullet Articles (I teach more about this in Articology).

I think these types of articles are critical for periodically breathing a little life into your site and for also showing a “real-time presence”. In other words, these types of articles allow your readers to know that you are there and your are current – not just evergreen.

So why not take 30 minutes out today and write a hot topic or magic bullet article. Your traffic stats will love it:) Remember that in order for this to work, you need to select a hot topic that you can tie into your site’s niche. Okay, so with that in mind here are a few ideas for you to get started in the next 48 hours:

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

Discuss their divorce and the infidelity that led to the divorce.

You could discuss the phenomena of how their children are using social media to deal with the divorce.

How to recover from infidelity.

Political marriages.

Celebrity marriages.

2. Floods In South Eastern Part Of United States

The South is experiencing record rainfall and flooding. If you write on this topic or if the flooding impacts your marketplace in some way – then this would be a good topic to write about.

3, Unemployment

Unemployment is still a big problem globally, and it is covered in the news almost everyday. If you are a career coach, you could write about how to effectively apply for a job in today’s market.

You could also write about innovative and fresh ideas for making extra money. There are sites devoted to this that you could use as a resource. Here’s an article on finding a side hustle.

How to save money (budgeting, coupon cutting, etc.).

Stories on history of unemployment in your area and perhaps trends on what markets are easier to get into in that area.

Content on why your business is a great one to start in an economic recession.

4. Bin Laden Raid

There are a lot of stories and content being created around the Bin Laden Raid in Pakistan and the ramifications of that raid. If you cover political news, if you discuss religion or world issues – then you will see a nice surge of traffic from writing on this topic.

5. May 21 – Doomsday

At the time of this writing, this is one of the highest researched topics on the web right now. Write something quickly on this topic (and in my opinion how ridiculous it is:) and really blast it via social media and bookmarking sites to gain quick traction.

Bonus Tip
To always find hot topics that you can write about, search news sites like CNN or check recently searched for topics over at Alexa.com

Should You Write Article Titles For Readers or Google?

Should You Write Article Titles For Readers or Google?

In the SEO (search engine optimization) world, there has always been a discussion about whether site owners, bloggers, retail site owners, etc. should write content and titles that target their community of existing readers or if you should write articles and article titles that gets good ranking in Google? That debate is still ongoing, but as you make the decision for your own content, I want you to keep a few things in mind:

New Kid On The Block – Writing Article Titles For Google
If you are new to the online marketing world then chances are that you do not have a large existing community of followers of your content. There are always exceptions to this rule, but the average newbie does not and so it probably is not in your best interest to write content or at least titles for that content that is not keyword rich. Keyword rich titles are very attractive to search engines. They love ’em!  In other words, I’m suggesting you write article titles for Google.

What this means for you is that when people search for information that includes the keywords that you are targeting in your title, your content will show up in a search engine search. This is very important to the new marketer because you want to begin to gain traction in the search engines. You want Google’s search engine spiders to start crawling your site and then showing your pages in relevant searches. This is how you will begin to obtain organic, natural, traffic to your site.

Social Butterfly – Writing Article Titles For Readers
If you have been on the web for a while and have built a following of devoted fans, perhaps to your site (they leave a lot of comments) or your Facebook fan page, Twitter page, etc., then you have a decision to make. If the word spreads about you socially on the web (someone refers your articles, forwards your articles, tweets your latest article) then you may want to write article titles that appeal especially to those readers. And often titles that appeal to readers are not especially keyword rich. This varies among niches, some markets having to be a lot more “clever” with their content in order to stand out among the clutter – but I would say that most times these titles are clever or cute.

Now the flip side to this theory is that Google will show Tweets in real-time that are keyword specific. For example, if a new Dancing With The Stars is showing and you tweet the title of the show while it is showing on live TV, Google will show you relevant tweets about the show very high on the page (above the fold). The only tweets that show though are the ones that contain the keywords. This makes a case for using keywords socially on the web as well.

Same goes for Facebook fan pages. When you are able to name your Facebook Fan Page with a customized url – using keyword terms is a good idea. I used one of my phrases for my Facebook fan page, and it ranks #3 for that term. Of course pages on my site, rank for that same term in the #1 and #2 position and this is out of over 9 million results for that term!

article marketing income

So the bottom line here is that you can do a little of both if you are building your business socially via a lot of conversation. Write what appeals to your readers first and sprinkle keyword terms in here and there when you can.

Article Marketing All-Star – Writing Article Titles For Google
If you use article marketing as part of your marketing strategy, then here’s my recommendation for you. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of articles in your niche talking about similar to identical topics. The only way to truly cut through that clutter is to write really good information (no junk) and to write relevant article titles. Ones that people will actually type when conducting a Google search. Those are the two most important factors for getting read among the sea of competitors you have out there.

Guest Post Guys and Gals – Writing Article Titles For Google
When I write a guest post for another blogger, one of the things that they ALL have asked me for was seo information. They wanted a good article title, keywords for tags, and a kick-butt summary. This is because they want their articles to be found and indexed HIGH in the search engines; and you want this too! While you also want to reach that blogger’s existing readership, you also want to always look for opportunities to attract new readers and writing a keyword rich title for your guest posts is a great way to accomplish this.

* Hot Writing Tip For Writing Balanced Article Titles
Honestly, as you practice writing more and more – you will find a balance between writing clever titles and keyword rich titles. Many of the great writers and bloggers on the web have figured this whole strategy out. It’s the best of both words. One of the short cuts you can try is to include both sides in a two-part article title.

Part 1 – will have your keyword phrase. No longer than 4 words. Very specific. Example: Raw Dog Food Diet

Part 2 – will appeal to your readers interests. Example: Is Raw Really Right For Fido?

Complete title will read: Raw Dog Food Diet: Is Raw Really Right For Fido?

The first few words of the title will appeal to the search engines and hopefully rank pretty well for that keyword term. The second part is what will help draw readers into reading the rest of your article. Both together are a content marketer’s perfect marriage.

Have any tips or thoughts about writing for readers vs. search engines? What do you do in your own business? Leave your comments or questions in the comment section below.