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Five Key Factors for Compelling Web Content

Readers-searching1-618wAlthough content has always been considered the be the “king” when it comes to writing compelling web material, with the rapidly increasing numbers of websites “out there”, never has it been so vitally important to make your content better that of your competition, so it pays to take the time to create high quality articles that visitors truly want to read.

Forget about taking shortcuts; no matter what niche or business you are in, the quality of your articles, posts & sales material will always be the key to a successful online venture.

To write content that really conveys the message you want to get across, take note of these 5 key factors:

Make It Easy To Read
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Keep that in mind many people skim-read webpages. Your target readers are probably subscribed to several news feeds or  blogs, so if you want to hold their interest, you need to make your content easy to read.

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Remember readers like white space, so use short paragraphs and bullet points or numbered lists with subheadings. Use web recommended fonts because research has shown them to be the most easily read by the majority of readers. A particular font might appeal to you, but that doesn’t mean it will have universal appeal or be easily read by others, especially those with poorer eyesight.

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Add graphics to your articles where that is appropriate as this makes the structure of your post more visually appealing and helps to keep your article focused on the point you want to get across.

Good Quality Material

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While it is true that you can get articles written very cheaply when you don’t want (or don’t have time) to write them yourself and also true that some so-called “gurus” claim to still make money using poorly written articles, these guru’s may well have a very large list of people who will buy whatever they recommend, regardless of quality.

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Therefore, it isn’t a good idea for you to do what they do because you want to build a good reputation for yourself, build your business so that your readers and customers see you as a quality provider and will be more interested in your next offer. Remember, it is easier to sell something to an existing customer than it is to find a new one.

Be Natural

Cute_Vector_Robot_Character_176x189Don’t try to fill your article with keywords; make your sentences flow in a clear, informative and entertaining manner.  Search engines have evolved to the point where you will be penalised for overuse of keywords, rather than rewarded in the rankings.

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The best advice is to stop worrying about keywords. If you are answering the questions your searchers are asking then the keywords will come into the content naturally.

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Of course you can add some in on purpose after the article is finished, but in a way that does not upset the flow. Keywords should be secondary to creating an article that’s interesting and informative.

A comfortable Length

Funny_Robot_Vector_Character_25_2There may be accepted “rules” as to how long your online articles should be, but every article and every subject is different, so use your common sense about it.

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Imagine that you are the person searching for your content; ask yourself if you could find the answer to what you want to know in just 100 – 150 words? If the answer to this is “yes”, then 100 -150 words is long enough! The key is to use as many words as are required to address the subject without getting off track or including unnecessary detail and very often, that will require a lot more than 100 words.

Current

Most online content becomes out of date and needs updating from time to time. Yes, some things don’t change much over time, like how to grow vegetables or recipes, so articles about these subjects are considered “evergreen” because they are still relevant long after being written. Robot_Vector_Character_with_Thumbs_Up_175x215 However, just because they are still relevant doesn’t mean you can re-hash them without penalty from the search engines.

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Remember that Google, Bing and the like are businesses too, trying to please their customers (searchers) so they will reward those who upload content that is fresh, up to date and original. It pays to take advantage of this fact by keeping on top of your industry and keeping your readers informed. 

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It is a mistake to take shortcuts when it comes to high quality content. In the long term, it is well worth the time and effort it takes to write material that will convince your reader to take action and join your list or buy whatever you are offering.

How To Get Ideas For Blog Posts

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We all experience bloggers block from time to time, but don’t let it stop you from giving your subscribers the content they’ve been waiting for.

Here are 7 ideas that will help you come up with blog posts worth reading.

 1) Test or Review Something And Post Your Results

 If you’re really stuck for ideas, why not give yourself a challenge and post the results? For example, in the personal development niche this could mean making a gratitude list each day and writing about the effects. Or you could try a new fitness program and write about how you’re dealing with it. In most cases, readers in any niche love to read real life case studies!

 2) Google It!

 Why not Google the main topic of your blog and see what appears? You don’t want to copy any other blogs, of course, but one idea will often lead to another. Have a read around blogs in your niche – maybe even blogs outside of your niche – and see what they’re writing about. Either use this as inspiration for your own topics or write a direct response to what’s already out there.

3) Find Helpful or Interesting Videos & Share Them With Your Readers

 Why not get surfing YouTube and see if there’s an interesting video you can share with your subscribers? Embed the video into a post where you give your own personal comments. This is a super-fast way to come up with content that’s still interesting.

 4) Use What Happens In Your Daily Life As Inspiration

 You might not be writing a personal blog, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring personal experience into the posts you write. If you can relate personal experience to the topics you write about, then do so. Sometimes you have to get creative, but your blog posts will be more interesting as a result!

5) Ask Readers To Ask Questions

 What better way of coming up with content that your readers will enjoy than to invite them to ask questions? Write up a quick post one day asking them what they want to know, then post a follow up a few days later with all the answers. This last method is also an excellent way to connect with your audience.

0006_TRS_3DC6) Give Your Readers a Poll to Participate In.

Not everyone will ask questions, but if you give your readers a short, relevant poll to complete you can get some great feedback

7) Check Your Analytics to see what people are typing in their searches

 Checking your stats can leave you with a whole range of blog post ideas. Take a look at the keywords people are typing in to find your site. Chances are that some of the things they’re searching for aren’t on your blog yet. Why not use these keywords as ideas for future blog posts? You’ll also have the added benefit of knowing there’s a future audience for those posts!

Easily Add a Banner to Your Blog

Adding a banner to your blog, at the top, middle or bottom of posts or in a sidebar has always been very time-consuming and a bit of a fiddle for me. Today I’ve tried out the Max Banner Ads plugin from maxblogpress.com and it is so simple, a beginner could get banners up in no ti,e at all. See the banner at the top of my home page.

Apart from being able to choose the poition of the banner, you can also have rotating ads, so that when you refresh or re-visit the page, there is a different banner being shown. There are various ways to add the banner, from a URL or upload from your PC.  If you are promoting an affiliate product and they give you html or java code, you  just select the option “Other Text Ads / Flash / Javascript ….” and paste the code in. Easy as pie and I had mine done in less than 2 minutes.

The free version shows “Powered by Max Banner Ads” underneath. Although you can remove this if you purchase the Pro version, you can easily embed your clickbank hoplink, so worth considering leaving it there.

The help is very detailed and easy to understand – there are “How to…” pages for just about anything you could think of such as:

  • How to add banner to your blog
  • How to add Adsense, Adbrite and other (text, flash, Javascript) Ads
  • How to add ads at the sidebar of the blog
  • How to add multiple groups of ads in the same placeHow to show banner to certain pages only
  • How to show & rotate more than one banner in the same zone …….

The video on how to use Max Banner Ads and all the features is extremely well done, runs for over 9 minutes and goes into all the detail  including  you need to get going. All in all, I find this to be a highly recommended plug-in for people wanting to maximise both their promotions and their time. Doesn’t that include all of us?

Best wishes,
Trish

Gail Bottomley & WordPress Plugins

For those of you who have got started with their own blog but still learning how to make it better, I recommend you head on over to Gail Bottomley’s site www.gailbottomleyonline.com – she is an amazing lady who gives away so much valuable information to her readers, that it’s a good site to visit often. Sign up too, so you get the news when something new has been added.

Gail’s latest posts are a prime example of the value she gives away – this time telling you what plug-ins you need on your wordpress blog and better still, many of these plug-ins are free. Have a look at this page to start with www.gailbottomleyonline.com/5-most-needed-wordpress-plugins and then head on back to her home page for more great info & links.

Best wishes
Trish

Five Different Kinds of Blog Posts

Do you have a blog already, but it has been a while since you posted something?

Or perhaps  you thinking of starting a Blog?

To keep your blog fresh and interesting, then you need to post frequently, preferable at regular intervals so your readers have an idea when to expect another instalment. Create different types of posts to keep your readers interested. This also helps you from getting bored with your own blog. It doesn’t matter if you have a blog to make money directly fromit, or you are blogging to drive traffic to someone else’s product to earn affiliate commissions, you need to be aware of the following types of post.

1. The Review Post

Review blog posts can help you to earn income because you review several products, including your affiliate link for each. When reviewing, be unbiased and give an honest review, including both positive and negative comments about the product. Even if you totally loved the product, keep your review balanced by mentioning a few things that could have been improved. Your readers will appreciate your honesty and be more likely to trust your recommendation.

2. The Quick Tip Post

In between your longer posts you can do a “quick tips” type of post; these are approx 150-250 words.We may have a lot of information about our niche that we want to share but it may not rate a full length post. In that case, post a quick tip. Focus on ONE key area of the niche. For example, “How to connect a new monitor” would be a quick tip article for a beginner computer users blog.

3. The List Post

Blog readers love lists! The most popular blogs make good use of lists. You can create lists that fit with any topic imaginable. This is a great way to convey information online because it can be easily scanned by web readers who are “skimmers.” You can also create lists of different ways to accomplish a goal in your niche. “10 Ways To Prepare Your Soil For Planting” would be a great list for gardeners.

4. The Interview Post

Interviews will require some preparation, but they are very valuable to your blog. Interview someone in your niche and then share the results of that interview with your readers. This will not only provide valuable content for your blog, but will also bring more traffic. Most likely, the person you interview will also publicize the event on their blog or Website, directing traffic to your Blog.

5. The Instruction Post

This is similar to Quick Tips as you are providing your readers with valuable information. However, these Instruction posts will go into much more detail on a certain topic. Sometimes your instructions can even be divided into two or three posts or courses. Look at comments and questions from your readers to find what topic would be most beneficial to them.

As you blog, remember that your readers like variety. Don’t always write the same type of post, but add something different to keep it fresh and new.