5 Blog Content Writing Tips that Are Timeless

2013 New Year

When the New Year rolls around it’s usually a good time to review what worked for you and your website last  year and what can be improved upon in this one.  Isn’t there a popular saying that goes something like “out with the old and in with the new”?  No, I’m not suggesting that you revamp everything, but as stated earlier now is a good time to review what you did right.

Last year,  was a chaotic one for online content and seo copywriters, because as usual there were huge changes made in popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Youtube and Linked In.  Furthermore,  Google made substantive changes in their algorithms and some of the seo writing techniques that used to work in the past now need to be readjusted in order to get your website better ranking.  However, the following are at least five to-dos or principles that have not changed and are almost foundational to increasing views and web traffic.

1. Conduct Keyword Research

You will get little website traffic and your prospective readers aren’t going to find you if you are not using relevant keywords that help your visitors find your website.  Spend the time to do the keyword research that will increase your web traffic potential by checking out Google’s free Keyword research tool at the very minimum.

2. Create Relevant Content

This may seem basic but it bears repeating.  You need to create content that will answer the problems of your prospective reader.  You need to provide relevant answers to the questions that your readers might have and set up clear call-to-actions.

3. Create Evergreen Content

Spending time researching the questions your prospective visitors or customers ask repeatedly will pay off by providing you information to write the kind of content that will bring them back to your website again and again.  This type of content is not time sensitive but usually addresses the type of information that doesn’t change rapidly (i.e. how-to articles, principles,etc.)  and  provides answers to your most frequently asked questions, thus it is often termed “evergreen” .

4. Connect your Blog to Popular Social Media Platforms

You will increase your web traffic by connecting your blog content in ways that can be shared on the most popular social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Spend some time reviewing which social media platforms are the best prospects for sharing your data and make sure your blog posts have those social media sharing buttons.  After all, sharing is caring.

 5. Check out the technical aspects of your blog or website

The best writing is not going to get much traffic if your work is not accessible due to technical issues with your blog or website.  Broken links, slow downloading times or no social media sharing buttons available are all things that are going to hurt your blog or website’s traffic.   Make sure you attend to these issues on an ongoing basis.

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How to Use Mind Mapping to Generate Article Ideas

boy-thinking

With all the emphasis on content marketing, many small business owners are at a loss as to how they can consistently turn out well written content.  Perhaps they should use a technique known as mindmapping in order to generate powerful ideas for their written content.

What is Mindmapping?

Mindmapping is a free-form graphical technique that allows you to write down your ideas and concepts in a hub and spoke design.  It breaks away from the typically linear fashion of making lists or writing down ideas in a step by step manner.  Other terms that are used for mindmapping are spidergraphs, idea sunbursting and  web ideas. Its purpose is to allow the user to generate ideas without the constraints of worrying about having to organize them, the way we are often taught in grammar school and English classes.  Ouch, yes, my English teacher would be very unhappy reading this!

Mindmapping is said to boost the thinking process because it follows the way the brain thinks or what some scientist believe natural cognitive processes.  Since it supports the user’s ability to connect concepts in a non-linear manner, most people who use this technique are able to develop powerful ideas than they otherwise would have using traditional methods.

According to Wikipedia, “the term “mind map” was first popularized by British popular psychology author and television personality Tony Buzan when BBC TV ran a series hosted by Buzan called Use Your Head.  In this show, and companion book series, Buzan enthusiastically promoted his conception of radial tree, diagramming key words in a colorful, radiant, tree-like structure.”

What Are Its Uses?

There are a multitude of uses for mind maps.

  • Notetaking
  •  Brainstorming
  •  Studying and Memorization
  •  Researching and compiling information from several sources
  •  Writing – Developing concepts or connections

 How to Draw a Mind Map

These are the basic instructions on how to create a mind map.

-Start in the middle of a paper with a drawn shape or object and write down your main topic. Most mind map aficionados suggest you use the paper in landscape format. Use whatever shape that you want to use ovals, squares, triangles or diamonds are all fine. There are no hard and fast rules as to what shape you should be drawing or how well you need to draw.  So, don’t be concerned if you are not artistically inclined or blessed with graphic design talent.

-Using spokes or branches extend these lines out from the middle and write down one idea, preferably using a one word or two word phrase to list your sub-topic.

-From here, you repeat the process, extending spokes as third level sub-topics to the sub-topics above.

Note:  There will be no overbearing teacher to grade your mind maps, the whole point is to get your ideas down on paper and later you select which ones to develop or eliminate.

Mindmapping Technique to Develop Article Ideas

Using the process outlined above, write your main topic in the center point circle or shape.  From there begin to branch out and include subtopics that may come to mind that support your main idea.   If you get stuck, go to the internet and run a search on the main idea or keyword you are using.  At the bottom of the Google search page, you will find a list of keywords that begin with “Searches Related to…”.

With this list you can find, subtopics that you can add to your original idea and keep drilling down into further subtopics.  You may find as you use this process that you will come up with several ideas for articles rather than just one!

Tips to Make Your Mind Maps Rock

  • Use colors, images, doodles, etc.
  • Develop your ideas and illustrate them as much as you want. Draw happy faces,  arrows whatever fits for the idea you are developing.

 Mindmapping Business Tools

This concept has become so popular in business that there are many software tools available to purchase on the internet.  Companies such as Mindmapping, MindTools and ThinkBuzan offer  free downloadable software apps to help you get started.  They also offer other tools to help you use imaging software for mindmaps that you can use for presentations or group mindmapping.  Think Buzan offers free downloadable software for personal use.  The image below is an example of their imaging software tool.

Mindmap-image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the software mentioned above are great tools, you don’t need them to get started using this technique.  Just get started with a pen and some paper and get your next article written in half the time.

4 Ways to Format Your Blog Posts So They’re Easier to Read

blog post target

Back in the early days of online writing and web development (1995), formatting possibilities were very limited for most web content.  You had to be proficient in HTML (hyper text markup language) in order to change the font size of your written content which was beyond the technical abilities of many internet users.

There were only a few changes you could make to subheads and most text and online fonts were limited to Arial and Verdana.  However, now with all the Web 2.0 changes, many blog posts and online content is now being formatted with the beauty and legibility of layout print magazines. Web developers have developed these features into their blog themes so that the average blog owner doesn’t have to learn HTML and can take advantage of more advanced formatting possibilities.  Of course, their (the blog owners)  objective is to get blog readers to read their content, share their blog posts and/or act on the call to action.

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What do Google Contextual Ads Look Like?

google contextual ad unit xomba

If you have been on the internet for any length of time, you have often seen Google contexual ads, but probably did not not know their official name, as you were likely online to search for information that interested you.  In the figure above,  I have posted one of my articles, written for a content sharing website, and have highlighted  the google adsense contextual ad unit or google ad unit as they  are often referred to.  Notice that the highlighted ad unit has ads related to the article that was written and usually are comprised of text only.

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What Are Adsense Revenue Sharing Websites?

Laptop with eyeglasses

Adsense revenue sharing sites are websites that allow writers to submit articles on whatever topic they want to write about,   (such as Hubpages, Squidoo and Xomba).

The articles you have written are posted on the content sharing website  and the way a writer makes money is by sharing google adsense revenue with the website owner.  Each website has it’s own sign up policy (usually free), editorial and posting guidelines that as a writer you will have to adhere to in order to join, post articles and earn money.

They also vary in what type of revenue sharing program they have; some just provide google adsense earnings and others include additional sources of revenue such as Amazon, Chitika and Kontera earnings.  The way you (the writer) will make money depends not on how many views your article gets, but on how many people click on the contextual ads or picture or graphic ads displayed next to your article.  Obviously, the more traffic you get to your article or post,  the more potential clicks you may get and therefore, the more you will potentially earn.

Content sharing websites are a popular  business model, so much so, that there are many content sharing websites coming online on the web, some reputable and others not so much–you will want to be aware of these less than reputable  websites and avoid them altogether.

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3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Reviewing Adsense Writing or Content Sites

mistake-sign

So, you’ve read a blog post or found a website that convinced you that you can make money submitting articles online and you know that you can make a great part time income on adsense content sharing sites like Hubpages or Squidoo. That’s a great first step, but before you get ready to set up your account and start writing and submitting your articles, you should take a look at the following points so that you can avoid the three mistakes most newbie or beginning article writers make.

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Earn Money Writing for Adsense Revenue Writing Sites

Woman at computer

Online websites and blogs have become so popular that there is a constant demand for good writers to write well written content for businesses of all types and for busy website owners.  However, with the variety of websites available there are also a vast variety of content writing opportunities,  low paying gigs  and flat out scams.  For some writers, writing might become a full time career whereas for others these writing opportunities offer a chance to build a steady stream of passive income on a part-time basis.

Many internet searchers might have heard of writing opportunities available on websites like Textbroker or Freelancer.  These websites  pay you (the writer)  a flat fee for an article written according to their stated topic and deadline and  will usually pay around $2.00 to $5.00 for a 300-500 word article. (Note: 500 words is the approximate word count of this article which is about a full page on your typical word processing page.)

There is usually an application process, and after you have been approved, you have access to a job board of several article writing projects that you select, where you are then required to write the article according to stated guidelines, submit the article and wait for approval.  Upon approval, you are then credited for the job done and at certain times set up by the company (usually  bi-weekly or once a month) you are then paid via a Paypal account.  These types of writing opportunities are usually attractive to writers who want to earn money as quickly as possible.

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