Content Marketing Can Help Grow Your Business

Most of us–particularly since the global recession– have seen our income shrink and our bills expand. We need to make a little extra money in a big way.. In many cases small businesses did not survive the long recession and the slow recovery that is still underway.

Ask yourself as a marketer and a business person… How’s business? Can you answer that you’ve achieved the growth that you wanted to achieve and you’re doing all that you wanted to be doing now? When is the last time that you added new content to your site? What kind of website content have you added? How current is it and how well written? Need an Article can help with the content marketing that you need to be doing.

If you’re like most of us, the truth is that you haven’t given your website the attention it deserves and it hasn’t grown and expanded the way that you wanted to by now. You’re being held up by small growth, a bad economy and in some cases by your own insecurity and your lack of knowledge about how to move your business forward. Content marketing can help to grow your business.

In many cases you’ve tried a few things and they haven’t worked out well for you so that stalled you in your tracks. Now you’re ready to move forward but you’re not entirely sure how to get started. We can help you to take those first steps using content marketing to confidently move forward into a more successful and more lucrative future.

If you’re marketing online today and you’re not entirely certain that you’ve got the right formula to make your business stand out from the crowd, you’ve come to the right place. NAA has you covered.

Seeking marketing tips, ideas and resources to help you to make the most of your online business. . . or even to start one? We’re here to help.

How to Get the Content You Want From Your Writer – Content Writing

Getting the Content You Want the First Time

How often have you requested content from a writer and had to ask for at least one revision because it just wasn’t what you wanted? When this monitor graphic for content writinghappens repeatedly, both you and the writer end up frustrated. Some simple changes in the instructions given to your writer in the initial request can make a huge difference.

The problem usually lies in the writer not having enough information to go on to get the piece written so it fits the intended purpose. This does not mean you have to give a lot of detailed instructions. Doing so will merely over complicate the request and confuse the writer even more.

The instructions should be brief but clear and cover the most important points. It helps a writer know how a piece should be written if the instructions include who the target audience is. Even a well-written piece of content won’t work if it is written for the business to business audience but it is meant for the end consumer.

Word count is often over or under estimated. If you want a certain number of points made in an article, consider how much detail you want given for each. Keep in mind that too much detail can lose a reader’s attention. It is best to keep the details of each point brief and perhaps have a link to another page with more information on individual points that may need to be expanded on to keep an article’s word count to a length that will keep a reader’s interest.

Estimating word counts is not too difficult most of the time. For content that is a basic overview, a punchy opening, main body and clear closing could follow this basic word count: opening – 50 to 100 words, main article body – 300 to 400 words, closing – 50 to 100 words. This gives a word count range of 400 to 600 words, which is plenty of leeway for a general overview article.

Articles that are not general overviews may need higher word counts. It is best to be open to your writer’s suggestion for higher word count since writers often have a good idea of what may be required for the amount of detail necessary to cover the topic.

The following is an example of how to request content so a writer knows what is needed.

  • Audience: Average consumer
  • Topic: Lawn care tools – basic overview
  • Word count: 400 to 600 words
  • Keywords: Lawn mower, edgers
  • Keyword use: allow natural flow
  • Please write the article so it grabs the reader’s attention right away, maintains it through the body of the article and keeps it to the last word.
  • Focus on the most common tools and equipment homeowners use to maintain their lawns.

The above sample request lets the writer know what you want written, who will be reading it and where the main focus should be. Enough leeway is given on the word count that the writer will be less likely to add fluff or redundancy to the word count to meet a minimum that it too high or cut it too short to avoid going over a maximum that is too low.

It is a wonderful feeling when you get the content you want the first time and don’t have to ask for revisions. More often than not, this happens when the directions are clear and concise.

Google Offers New Press Release Related Guidelines

No official Google announcements but it’s been noticed that the link scheme documentation for Google webmaster guidelines has undergone a change. The page is now telling us that press releases and guest posts can also violate the link scheme guidelines. Some of the SEO tactics that are most commonly used today are large scale advertising-type press releases and guest posting that are using optimized anchor texts in the item.

Three bullet points that Google has added to the page explain about violations. These are things that Google believes are against the guidelines that they have set down. The new additions include:

  • Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links.
  • Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank.
  • Links with optimized anchor text in articles or a press release distributed on other sites.

In addition and perhaps thankfully there are two bullet points which are now missing from the fray.

  • Linking to web spammers or unrelated sites with the intent to manipulate PageRank.
  • Links that are inserted into articles with little coherence.

Google seems to be letting us know that they aren’t going to deal with high level advertising or anchor texts inside press releases which are meant to be newsworthy. They are discouraging the use of guest postings and press releases with anchor text. While press releases are still a viable option for you to use in the promotion of your site, they should be used sparingly and used in a way that promotes actual news, rather than being used simply as a promotional tool.

Press releases have always been–or at least traditionally so– items which promoted an actual piece of news about the site. They were expected to be objective, to be written in such a way that they were not advertorial. Many websites and webmasters have gotten away from this methodology of using press releases and Google seems to be trying to bring us back to that.

To get the best from your press releases, order your press releases to look much less like an actual article and much more like a newsworthy and objective release of information. They should be objective in every way and not keyword-flooded in order to ensure that they get the attention that they deserve.

Simple Ways To Get More People To Read Your Content

Today’s world moves at a very fast pace.

This has created a culture of demand and instant gratification. The average person feels that their time is too precious to waste and they hurry along, demanding fast answers and making fast decisions.

Convincing Readers To Slow Down

Countless research studies and scientific polls have come to a generalized conclusion about the average Internet reader: They are impatient. Among the most commonly found research results is that the average reader decides in ten seconds whether your page is worth reading. They likewise suggest that those ten seconds will be spent scanning.

Scanning is when a reader glances over the page they’ve stumbled on. Their eyes flit about the screen, gathering information from headlines, subheadings, graphics, pictures, and highlighted or bold font print. They garner the basic gist of your page in ten seconds, and either settle in to read, or click back to the search engine to try again.
[captionpix imgsrc=”http://needanarticle.com/index2/wp-content/uploads/popcorn.jpg” width=”135″ captiontext=”Studies have shown that image captions are some of the most read text on a page, further encouraging your readers to grab a snack and stick around for awhile.”]

What This Means For SEO

When someone finds your page using a search engine, that search engine gauges your site’s appropriateness and value to the reader based on how long the reader stays on your page. Known as the bounce rate, the search engine keeps tabs on the amount of time that elapses between a search engine link click and the user returning to the search engine.

The longer you can keep a reader on your site, and the more pages they visit within your site while they are there, the more value the search engine places on your website’s content. The more valuable your content, the higher your search engine results.

Keep Your Reader Longer

Use these tricks to capture your reader’s attention in those ten seconds.

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[list_item]Break up your text, offering plenty of opportunities for subheadings. Capture your entire point in the subheading, expecting the reader to read these first. Let your actual text serve as a supplemental explanation.[/list_item]

[list_item]Include a few bold or highlighted words to make your points stand out from your text. These bold fonts will draw attention to important details, but only if you use them sparingly. If every paragraph contains multiple words that stand out, the desired effect will be lost.[/list_item]

[list_item]Employ plenty of white space on your page. One of the most intimidating factors a reader can encounter is a wall of text. These long paragraphs feel like work to your reader, encouraging them to bounce back to the search engine and try again.[/list_item]

[list_item]Don’t overdo the white space! While it is acceptable to let the occasional sentence stand as its own paragraph, the repeated use of this makes your website feel unorganized and chaotic.[/list_item]

[/arrow_list]

Readers Enjoy Simple Concepts

The simple concepts are what coax a reader into staying on your page for longer. Bullets, internal links, and captions that stand out from the rest of the text are simple concepts that you can use to draw the reader in.

Make sure that each included bullet gets right to the point. Tell your reader the fact right after the bullet. Expand your discussion in the text that follows, but don’t overdo the bullets!

[captionpix imgsrc=”http://needanarticle.com/index2/wp-content/uploads/Readable-Text-2.jpg” width=”200″]

Links, both internal and external, give your reader a reason to keep on going. Unless you provide the reader with something else to do, they’re heading back to the search engine.

Captions and quotations can be used to draw attention to any part of your site. Proper examples of this concept can be found in modern magazines. When a quote has been removed from the text, enlarged, and colored, it captures your reader’s attention.

What Readers Like To See

Your content should employ the inverted pyramid writing style at all times. A popular journalistic tool, the inverted pyramid style is showcased by placing the most important information at the top of each section. As you work your way through the section, the information becomes increasingly less important.

Allow your reader to skip down the page, reading the information closest to the subheading. The inverted pyramid style allows the reader to quickly judge whether they should keep reading, or skip to the next subheading.

You have to remember to not overwhelm your reader. Complicated subjects should be broken into different pages. This permits the reader to take in one important part at a time without feeling like they’re inside an encyclopedia.

Consider using the numbered list idea. As mundane as it may seem, readers will often pay attention to a post that offers them “X Ways To Learn Blank”.

The Finishing Touches

When you are finished applying all of these designs to your website, don’t eagerly hit that publish button. Rather:

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[list_item]Go back and read your post like a scanning visitor would.[/list_item]

[list_item]Determine if your headings and subheadings explain your premise by themselves.[/list_item]

[list_item]Judge the amount of bold or highlighted text to see if it is distracting due to high usage.[/list_item]

[list_item]Consider the amount of text and white space on your page. Make certain one doesn’t overwhelm the other.[/list_item]

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Most importantly, make sure you are offering valuable content to your readers. Even with all of these tricks in play, your reader won’t stick around for weak content.

Health Articles Can Build Authority in Health Niches

The Need An Article™ Article Writing Service is well-qualified to provide clients with a wide variety of content for their websites.

One example is the inclusion of health articles.

One of the biggest challenges for new websites is successfully attracting good traffic flow.

Website owners can get bogged down trying to accomplish this by themselves, especially when you consider that they could invest years before they succeeded at attracting more traffic and getting higher rankings in the search engines.

This is where Need An Article™ (or ‘NAA’ for short) and its writers can help boost traffic and provide a flow of quality website content.

Building traffic and website content is possible with NAA’s capable writers because they can provide whatever articles you may need.

With NAA’s skilled writers providing your quality content, you’ll be able to focus on the other important parts of your website business, such as a new, modern layout or upgrade, setting up that autoresponder series or anything else you know you need.

Many website owners are so busy with the other elements of their website they simply can’t focus on writing their own quality content.

It doesn’t matter what you require in terms of current health articles – they could range from concerns about the common cold to more serious health issues. NAA’s writers can provide the precise health articles you’re looking for.

Using NAA writers can result in considerable benefits for your website, here are just a few:

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[list_item]Increased search engine exposure & ranking[/list_item]

[list_item]Greater appeal to a wider audience[/list_item]

[list_item]Better traffic because of regularly updated, quality content[/list_item]

[list_item]Back-link support from other bloggers and websites due to worth while content[/list_item]

[/star_list]

Health articles are versatile and can be used in a number of situations.

For instance, if a section of your website deals with the sale of medicine, featuring a few health articles could add interest and traffic to your website.

Additionally, if you distribute an e-mail newsletter to your customers, featuring health issue articles could draw in potential new customers and help establish authority in health matters.

Have you got a health website (or any other website) that’s
in danger of “flat-lining”?
[button url=”http://needanarticle.com/” target=”_self” size=”small” style=”royalblue” ]Give it a new lease on life with Need An Article™![/button]

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Editor’s Note:
NAA content costs pennies and takes just a few minutes to organize with an NAA writer. When it’s ready, just download it and post it. It’s that easy!
Access Our Team of Professional Writers Today!

Put a Face to Your Business

It’s very important to do everything you can to give yourself the edge over the competition. However this is often easier said than done, but giving your business a personal face and engaging with your target audience can go a long way to putting you ahead of the competition.

An Online Presence

One can not understate the importance of a good website. For online success it is absolutely essential to have that online presence. All your time and efforts could be wasted if links leads back to a poor website that is difficult to navigate and doesn’t engage your visitors.

A website should be clean, easy to use and nice to look at and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. A Content Management System (CMS) platform like WordPress will provide everything you need – from start to finish. By using WordPress you could save the expense of hiring a website developer/designer if you have someone on your team with some technical skills.

Your business needs a website to succeed in our media-based age. Having a website will enable you to sell goods and services, and encourage customers to keep coming back.

While there are many ways to set up your website, adding a blog with interesting content is probably one of the best ways to engage people. ‘Calls to action’ or points at which visitors have to do something located throughout your site will guide them, but avoid pushing your sales message down their throats.

If people like your site, they’ll probably stay long enough to look around, and engagement can often be converted into sales. Videos, photos and generally interesting content about your products, staff, industry and community will engage visitors, more so than boring sales messages.

Use Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and many other social media sites are enabling businesses to better understand their customers and connect with them on a daily basis. Certain social media sites work better for some businesses than others, and finding the right ones for you depends on how you want to come across to your customers. Spend some time reading up on your options and then decide which will work for you.

Do remember to always be careful with what you post and what messages you put out – once out there, it’s out there forever – you can’t call it back in!

Newsletters

Emails and newsletters may be considered “old hat”, but the truth is they are still one of the best ways to keep in touch with your customers and sustain their interest in your brand. They can also be less risky than some social media options, and they work very well side-by-side with social media.

Newsletters are a great way for customers to be kept up to date with your company/product news, competitions and developments, and if well written, with a sufficient number of ‘calls to action’ in them, they are a great way of keeping your customers interested and coming back.

Using social media, communicating via a blog and having a good, workable website all go a long way to taking advantage of what technology has to offer. Understanding how to connect online with your customers is vital for success in this digital age.

 

The Risks of Associating Your Brand with Celebrities

Some companies are turning to celebrity endorsements as a way to increase awareness of their brand. They hope that by connecting their company to the face of a celebrity, they will get the fans of that particular celebrity to purchase their products or services.

Having a celebrity endorsement can be beneficial to some, but there are risks involved with such associations.

You’ll have to spend lots of money

Having a celebrity endorser is going to be expensive, and without a large marketing budget, you may have trouble paying for it. Also, will you actually get a decent return on your investment? If you’re going to dish out $100,000 and see only $20,000 return on sales, is it worth it?

You could choose the wrong celebrity

A celebrity endorser is no guarantee that your business will see a jump in sales or become more well known. You need to choose a celebrity who relates to your business in some way. For example, if your company is involved with animal rights, you won’t want a celebrity who has been photographed wearing fur or using other animal products to endorse your products. That would not be good for business!

It’s also possible that fans of such a celebrity will not use your products, and you could be trying to reach the wrong target audience. Choosing Taylor Swift to reach elderly women or choosing Rod Stewart to reach young men isn’t smart marketing. And, since hiring a celebrity endorser is expensive, you could find yourself out of pocket for a very large sum of money without any results to show for it.

What if your celebrity is involved in a scandal

Celebrities are just glorified ordinary people, and people, regardless of how big they are, make mistakes, some make very large mistakes. For example, Hertz had OJ Simpson endorse their products during his alleged murder of Nicole Brown. Their brand and reputation could have been in jeopardy because of the association with Simpson.

Since celebrities are only human, there’s no way of knowing if they’re going to be involved in some type of scandal that can harm your business. For instance, if your celebrity is involved in a DUI (Lindsay Lohan), gets caught for shoplifting (Winona Ryder) or is overhead making racist or anti-Semitic rants (Mel Gibson), it could damage your brand.

Unforeseen circumstances could harm your celebrity endorsement

What happens if your celebrity has a very messy and public divorce, could this impact your brand? Celebrities have personal lives, and their personal lives are far more public than we “common folk” are used to. If your company’s celebrity endorser is caught in some scandal or suffers a trauma that goes public, your brand and their endorsement of it could be pushed aside while they deal with their situations.

So before you run out to hire a celebrity endorser, make sure you understand fully all of the risks involved. Choosing the right celebrity can be difficult, plus extremely expensive. And there’s always the possibility of a scandal that could put your business in a very bad light.

Prepared by Jessica Lowenthal from Cloverleaf Brand Management Services

 

Requesting Revisions on Completed Texts – Video

In this video, learn how you can ask for changes to your completed texts. There is also a way you can use the revision option to have your writer / author add more items to the text if necessary and how you can simply compensate them by using the tipping feature within Need An Article.

Learn the number of revisions you get and the amount of time you have to revise your content before it automatically changes to the accepted status.

. . . .

Going Another Round With the Penguin-Are You Ready?

With Google Penguin predicting another hit in the very near future that may land a lot more websites and webmasters in the mire,  paying attention to the SEO news and what’s happening in the search engine world is something that not just SEO’s, but smart website owners and developers are doing.

According to Matt Cutts, speaking at SES San Francisco just a few days ago, websites and website owners are about to go one more round with the pugilistic Penguin.  In fact, it has many website owners more than just a little concerned–and rightly so.

The last bout with Google Penguin cost about 65% of all websites some level of loss or placement in serps.

Cutts predicts something similar to take place this time around. He stressed that Penguin was still in the early stages and that it was not yet to the stage of the algorithmic changes where it would only involve data refreshes to the algorithm.

Cutts stated “If you remember, in the early days of Panda, it took several months for us to iterate on the algorithm, and the Panda impact tended to be somewhat larger. . .  Likewise, we’re still in the early stages of Penguin where the engineers are incorporating new signals and iterating to improve the algorithm. Because of that, expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact.”

Cutts further commented that the next few updates would be both jolting and jarring for SEOs and website owners. Many site owners, believing that they have corrected the issues with Penguin and could actually breathe for a change and were looking forward to the next update, were warned by Matt Cutts at SEO that ”you don’t want the next Penguin update.”

The key to surviving the next update will quite likely be to add as much good, original content to your site as you can conceivably afford, and we do mean adding a great deal of well written SEO content– as well as to halt any kind of spam link activity that you or anyone else may be doing. If possible, get rid of any links that even remotely look like spam. Google seems to be counting many footer links against site owners, so if you have a great many footer links coming at your site, do what you can to get them removed as rapidly as you can. While Bing has offered a spam link tool, Google has not yet arrived at that, so manual efforts are going to be in order.

Concentrate your energies on social signals, on quality links which are derived by networking with others or by engaging them with your content.  Social is not the be all and the end all, but it is being viewed more and more. In fact, according to Google Facebook is more difficult to count due to the privacy constraints that people may use on their pages, so Twitter was more easily viewed by search engines. Get your Twitter count up if you can.

The more you have to say in an original way, the better people will like it and the more frequently your site will attain links in a more natural way. Don’t work at building links unless they have authority, relevance, and transfer.

Keep your Facebook pages updated, Twitter as frequently as possible and try to get retweets as well as FB likes if you can. Pinterest has some good effect on both traffic and conversions so use it as you can. Some other sites that may help you out are Wooxie, which allows you to not only post your articles, but make money from posting articles. Wooxie is among the most up and coming, as well as the most well rounded and interesting of the new social media sites. Take advantage of places such as this where you will get better notice than you may on Twitter. Incorporate as much social media as you can into your marketing campaign and definitely don’t skimp on the content.

Green up your site in a way that Penguin will notice and step away from those things which may be part and parcel of the next algorithm change. SEO is not the same as it was a year ago, or even six months ago. Keeping your site out of reach of the Penguin is going to mean steering clear of the old SEO ideas about link building and blog spamming.

Solid, manual methods of SEO and linking as well as networking and guest posts in your blogs or those of others are going to shine, while the other–old style methods– are going to sink your site and your income.

There’s a lot you can do to ensure that your site stays ahead of the pack. Start now and avoid the rush. 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

 

Have you been bitten by the Penguin?

UPDATE: The following Webinar is over and was a success, thanks to all who attended – we hope you gained valuable information. Now it’s time to put that info into action. Below, you will find a 13 min clip from the webinar. To gain full access, along with access to Article writing services, Social Media Services, and a whole lot more, become a valued member.

Have your traffic and your rankings taken a hit?

From novice to experienced marketers, many people were hit by the Penguin update. If your site was hit and even if it wasn’t, there is always something to learn about the new algorithm and how it may affect you, as well as upcoming changes that are in the wind.

Join us for a webinar and round-table discussion on Tuesday May 29th, at 7 PM EST
This Webinar is over.

Hosted by Need an Article’s Scott Foster.

Get some projections and some sound advice from Jeff Ryder of Over the Top Internet Marketing, great blogging and link building ideas as well as recovery strategies from Robbi Drake of No Gravity SEO and Consulting, along with added input and commentary from other SEO providers .

Listen in as our panel offers advice and discusses Google’s recent algorithm updates–what they are and what they did–as well as the importance of Social Media signals, the aftermath of Penguin and how to rebuild your position in SERPs–along with what every site owner and webmaster should be taking away from the Google changes.

There will be a 15-30 minute question and answer period after the presentation.

If you have SEO or marketing questions, here is your chance to get answers from  SEO providers with many years of experience following Google and other search engines.

Here is a 13 min clip below. To gain full access, sign up today!

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