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.

Where to Start Finding, Your Marketing Niche

Girl-dreaming-passion

The first rule of niche marketing to learn is that it is advisable to research a market first and to try to establish a shortage in the market place, after which you will need to find a product to fill that shortage. Do not try to find a market for a product that you already have as it is almost certain you will fail.

So, before doing any research you will need to decide on the type of market that interests you. There are a lot of them on the Internet so it is important to choose the right one for you. To begin the research it is advisable to start on a broad theme and then dig down into the market. The following is a good starting point to find your potential list of markets to review.

1. A market following one of your passions.
2. A market within the Internet Marketing (IM) niche.
3. A market that follows the high spenders.

Number one blueThe first is obvious. You need to list any, and all the subjects that you feel passionate about, such as hobbies, sports, your work, or any subjects that you are knowledgeable about. If you are passionate about the subject then it would seem natural that you could make others passionate as well.

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teo-blueThe second market – IM – is probably the largest market currently on the Internet, but it is a highly competitive one. There are many niches within the overall market, and maybe there would be something that could be of interest. Some of the high flyers in this market are:

  • Private Label Rights
  • Resell Rights
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Traffic Generation
  • Blogging
  • Membership Sites

number-three-blueThe third is one that tempts most newcomers, but they really don’t know where to start to look. The key here is to find information regarding which subjects have the most searches made, and there is a high spending value in that market. Some of the highest money spending markets include the following:

  • Dating
  • Travel
  • Stock Trading
  • Diets
  • Pets
  • Real Estate

Again there are many niche markets within each of the above topics with room to dig down to find the best possible returns.

Pr 072 - TRI - 16_11_10 - 012With your list of markets to explore, it is time to fully research each one thoroughly. Make extensive notes as you dig into each market. Ensure you can evaluate the number of searches in the niche; assess whether there is money being spent in the niche; and then that vital “something” that is missing, which hopefully you will be able to find and sell to the market.

When you have completed the research on your niche market list, you will need to make an evaluation of which one(s) presents the best business proposition, then start developing the niche. Remember that Rome was not built in a day, so be patient and don’t try to short-cut the research or you may miss some important information.

When the product is selling like hot cakes – start all over again.

Using PLR Successfully (for Newbies)

 

UsingPLRMost people will already know what PLR is, but for any who want to learn more, a google search or this wiki page is a good place to start  – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_label_rights

Although you have the right to publish any private label rights material “as is” on your site, there is a possibility that search engines will consider it as “duplicate content” meaning that if the identical material can be found on another site, your article can be considered duplicate content and penalised with regard to ranking. If you have some PLR you want ti use, you can easily find out how many other sites are using that same content by selecting a sentence from an article, putting quotes around it, and entering that sentence into a search engine. Often you’ll find 10, 50, or 100 other sites with the same article.

There is a lot of debate on the subject of duplicate content – only yesterday I heard one marketer proclaim that it is rubbish, using duplicate content didn’t affect his results adversely at all, while another IM teacher urged readers to avoid it at all costs.

So if you are a newbie, do you use it or not?  My suggestion is to use it, but change it enough to make it quite different from the original. For me, this is a lot faster than writing a new article from scratch. Here are three of the most common recommendations:

Firstly, you should add a new first paragraph to the article. This paragraph explain your purpose in the rest of the work and summarize what is coming up next.

Secondly,  rewrite most of the first two or three paragraphs in your own words. I like to read a few sentences in a paragraph and then reword them in my own style. Then I delete the original sentences and continue with the next sentences.

This process creates at least three or four paragraphs totally in your own words that are very unlikely to be duplicated elsewhere.

Just how may paragraphs you rewrite is up to you. The more your rewrite the better off you will be. And, the more you change, the more original the article will appear to both the search engines and your site’s visitors.

Thirdly, write a new closing paragraph. Make this a summary of the article. You may also include a lead-in to another page on your site with a link to that page.

It is often said that there is “nothing new under the sun”, in this context meaning that what has been said and written has been said and written before, the only thing that is new in each case is the presentation, so if you want to save some time when creating your own material, whether  articles or complete ebooks, using Private Label Rights in this way will avoid any duplicate content penalty.

 

For more information, subscribe to the blog (RHS of the page) – one of the June freebies is “25 Ways to Reuse PLR content”

 

 

Google’s latest changes

GoogleTop search engine Google has announced that their latest search algorithm changes are intended to favor sites with original content over sites that reproduce content produced by others, in an attempt to reduce spam sites or sites that seek to improve their rankings in order to get sales from advertising such as adsense.

As a result, many sites that consist mainly or solely on automatically generated content,  such as articles, videos or news stories already ‘out there’ will suffer much lower rankings than in the past.

Naturally, Google wants to stay as the No. 1 search engine and to keep that slot, they aim to give searchers, their customers, the best quality search results.

There is nothing more irritating than to click on a link that takes you to a site that tells you nothing about what you’re looking for. I’m sure we’ve all had that experience, so these changes are welcomed for this reason.

However, the changes may well have a big impact on those who have sites  with some reproduced content on them. If you are one of those, then a post yesterday by Gail Bottomley called Duplicate Content – No Longer Allowed can help you fix things up. There is a great deal of particulary good content there as well as the replay of her webinar on the subject. I watched the webinar live and found it particularly helpful and positive.

Any changes to reduce spam either on websites or in our inboxes are to be welcomed and anyway,  it is believed that these latest changes in Google will probably not be noticed by most viewers.

World Traffic Summit coming very soon!

World Traffic Summit is 3 days of easy-to-understand teaching on the subject of how to get loads of traffic (visitors) to your website – no matter what you sell.

The World Internet Summit team are bringing in the world’s best traffic experts to show us all how they get people to their websites. Meaning you’ll know how you can do it too. They’ll make their lessons quick, simple and practical for you, even if you’re a beginner.

Which all means, that you’ll know how to get traffic to your website as soon as you leave the event!

You’ll discover the latest and greatest techniques … including a ton of FREE strategies … for:

· Video marketing

· Article marketing

· Social media like Twitter and Facebook

· Blogs

· Search engine optimisation (SEO)

· Paid traffic

· Joint ventures

· Traffic harvesting

· Affiliate marketing secrets, and more
If you are struggling with getting visitors to YOUR website, check out the World Traffic Summit here.

Starting Your Own Blog

What is a blog and why would you want to start your own?

Firstly, a blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person’s own life and what is happening on the web. It is usually in the form of  a  frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary and links to articles on other Web sites. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects,  there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people.

Blogging is part of the general trend of putting everything on the web, regardless of whether we are talking about business, hobbies or personal stuff. It can just be a means of communicating with friends, with others who share your hobbies or interests, or it can be a business tool. Of course it can also be a combination of these things.

So perhaps instead of asking why you would want to have your own blog, ask instead if you want to, or have a need to communicate with others. The great advantage of social media is that you don’t need to know people personally to communicate with them and for this reason it is ideal for bringing interaction with others into the lives of folk who may otherwise feel isolated.

Is this you or somebody you know? Don’t think that it would be too hard to learn how to blog, because it is in fact quite simple and there are dozens of free videos and help pages to show you exactly what to do. There is no need to have fancy looking pages, but if that is what you would like, you could soon learn how to spice them up a bit.

Generally speaking blogs tend to have a few things in common:

  • A main content area with articles listed from the lates backwards.
  • Articles are usually organized into categories.
  • There is an archive of older articles.
  • There is a way for people to leave comments about the articles.
  • A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a “blogroll” is often included.
  • There can also be one or more “feeds” like RSS, Atom or RDF files. (A Feedreader accesses other sites automatically looking for new content and then posts updates about that new content to another site).

Blogs can be stand-alone (self-hosted) or externally hosted. If you wish to host your own blog, you will be able to choose your own domain name, but you will be up for the cost of that domain name and your hosting at a minimum.

Externally hosted blogs are usually free but will often have limitations on what content and customisation you can have and perhaps also whether you can monetise it so if you want your blog to make some money, it is best to start out hosting your own. It is possible to change platforms later, but you would probably have to change the blog domain and that might lose you some readers. (For a more extensive discussion on the choice of blog platforms, go to  blogger.com

Some of the most popular free hosted blogs are listed below. All are very easy to set up and get you going quickly. Have a look at each one to see if it does what you want your blog to do, for example upload photos, videos, podcasts, run discussion boards etc.

wordpress.com
thoughts.com (as distinct from wordpress.org which supplies the platform for self-hosting)
weebly
yahoo 360
Windows Live

Problogger – Tips for Beginners

If you sign up to my blog this month you will get access to free ebooks about blogging (if you are already subscribed, you’ll be sent the link).

For more information, check outbecomeablogger.comProblogger – Tips for Beginners & becomeablogger.com for free video tutorials on how to create your own blog.

Blogging is an easy and economical way to share with family, friends and busuness associates alike. Make it fun!

Affiliate Marketing

If you’re interested at all in making some money with your computer, as a sideline or as a serious business, you probably already have a good understanding of what affiliate marketing is all about and you may already use it, however there are a number of other readers who don’t know what it is and would like to understand how the process works.

Affiliate marketing is a partnership between two business for their mutual benefit, a win-win situation and is basically the process whereby one business recruits a network of smaller businesses or websites, known as affiliates to drive targeted traffic to the website which contains an offer to sell something.

The process works in two ways as you can be the person having an affiliate program, in which case you pay each of your affiliates when someone they refer makes a purchase or, the other side of the process is that you can be an affiliate for someone else, so that you are finding buyers for his product or service and you are paid a percentage commission for your work. There is nothing new in this concept, it’s just like the travelling salesman of old transitioning to the internet.

The beauty of this process for the beginner internet marketer is that you need very little start-up capital, you don’t need something of your own to sell and you don’t have to worry about ad copy and links for your marketing as they will be provided by the advertisers. You can even start without having your own website, by sending emails, writing articles or reviews for e-zines, article directories, off-line publications etc.

To get referrals who purchase, you need to concentrate on an audience that has some interest in the product or service you are promoting and then focus on important points like how the product can make something in their life easier, faster or more enjoyable. You can also stress what the product saves them from as people will do almost anything to get rid of some problems, such as having pain. In other words, point out the benefits this product would bring to your reader and not the features of it.

There is plenty of information on the internet to show you exactly how to get started but if anyone is interested an having more on the subject in this blog, post a comment below with a few details of what you’d be interested in.

Using E-Cards Safely

If you send or receive e-cards (electronic greeting cards), you may not think too much about whether they are safe for your computer or not. They are free and fast, making them a popular and convenient alternative to traditional greeting cards.

To send an e-card, you simply go to an e-card site, choose a card from a number of different categories, and then send it off to your recipient with a personalized greeting. Some of the more well-known companies are Hallmark, 123Greetings, American Greetings or Blue Mountain, but it’s worth doing a search as you’ll find many great e-card sites specialising in topics such as sports and nature & also charity e-cards.

Receiving an e-card is fun too. Often, these cards come equipped with short video or music clips. Millions of people receive e-cards for special days like Christmas, Easter and personal birthdays every year.

E-cards are created the same way Web sites are; they’re built on the Internet just like this page. So when you send someone an e-card, you’re actually giving them a link to click, which takes them to the online greeting card you created for them.

Not all e-cards are harmless cards, though; some may contain viruses, spyware, adware, phishing attacks or spam. At best, this is annoying and can involve pop-ups, lots of unwanted junk mail, or other minor disturbances. At worst, these viruses can crash your system or hack into your email contacts.

There are a number of ways you can protect your computer from unwanted surprises that come in the form of e-cards. The following are some tips for online safety for e-cards.

Know what to look for:

The best way to be safe from online viruses is to keep your eyes out for anything suspicious. A good indication an e-card is not legitimate includes:

  • There are misspelled words or names. The inclusion of non-letter characters such as * @ # $ % , if your name is misspelled, words are spelled with letters in the wrong order such as “Best Wsihes” or are misspelled in other ways, there is a possibility that it is spam or a virus.
  • Make sure you recognize the sender’s name before clicking on any links. The sender should always be recognizable, either in the subject line or the e-mail itself. People don’t normally send e-cards to strangers, so you should probably avoid opening e-cards from anyone you don’t know.
  • The e-card has an attachment. Most e-card companies that are legitimate don’t put their e-cards as attachments. Rather, they have a link you follow to the company’s website that takes you directly to the card. By downloading attachments, you can unknowingly be downloading a virus or other type of unwanted intrusion onto your computer.
  • Be cautious. If you have any suspicion that the e-Card you have received is fraudulent do not open, and do not click on any links within the e-mail if you do. Legitimate e-mails will always give you the option to pick up the e-Card by typing in the address of the Web site, rather than clicking on the link.
  • Preview a link’s Web address before you click it. If the link doesn’t show an address, move your mouse pointer over a link without clicking it to see where the link goes. (The address should appear on the bottom bar of your Web browser.)

Keep your anti-virus & firewall etc software up to date.

You should also have anti virus software, a firewall, anti-spyware and anti-adware installed on your computer to help to detect threats and protect your. In most cases you can get all these programs free, but they do need to be updated and run regularly to give you the best protection. Spyware and adware not only compromise your computer’s security, they will often slow your system down.

Read fine print and terms of service.

If you receive an e-card that has a check box saying you agree to their terms of service, be sure to read the fine print. If you are like most people, you simply check the I Agree box without even looking at the print. This can be a big mistake, because with spam e-cards, you might be agreeing to have them download spyware or adware or even to have access to your computer’s address books.

When in doubt, delete.

If something doesn’t look right, such as the name of the sender or vague subject lines, just delete the card. It’s better to safe than sorry.

E-cards are fun to receive and send, as long as you’re careful when doing so. The above tips will help you be safe online with e-cards.