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It feels good when you’ve done your research before pitching an article idea to an editor: You know the publication’s audience You know your topic offers value in unique ways You know the editor’s content preferences and pet peeves But you’re not done yet. Although hitting the “send” button on your email seems like an inconsequential step in your article pitching p ...
On June 20, 2009, I was reading Copyblogger and I got a new idea: I should write an ebook. At that point, my writing and editing business was less than a year old, and I had never written anything that resembled a book. Could I actually do it? I knew I wanted to try, so I established a plan on July 1 that would help me write, design, and self-publish an ebook on my website by September 15.
A woman brought her two Pomeranians to a barbecue I recently attended. I had never met her before, but overhearing her give the dogs commands in Norwegian, Italian, and English sparked a conversation between us and another guest. Hamburger in hand, the other barbecue-goer explained why he’s always had trouble learning a language other than English.
You might think that I’d recommend a thorough editing and proofreading process for every blog. But that’s not the case. Since I don’t know enough about your blog to answer the question I pose in the headline of this article for you, I want to provide tools that will help you evaluate your own publication.
While the goal of “improving your content writing” may seem complex, it’s not necessarily more complicated than improving each sentence you write. Better sentences add up to better content. So, let’s break down content writing into sentence writing. I’m not about to show you how to write a “perfect” sentence.
The struggle when I started my freelance writing service business looked like this: I was fascinated with crafting words that accurately conveyed a message. I hadn’t extensively studied journalism or entertainment writing because those weren’t career paths I wanted to pursue. I knew that offering basic content writing services for businesses — filling up pages with wor ...
Ten years ago, a tattoo shop I went to subscribed my email address to their email newsletter. They didn’t send updates very often, so I never unsubscribed. However, new owners recently acquired the business — and apparently their email newsletter list — because lately I’ve been getting not very good emails more frequently.
If you want to write about anything you’d like, as often as you’d like, there’s a place for that: your own website. It’s a modern privilege that gives writers the freedom to digitally publish their work publicly, with the potential to reach any reader with an internet connection. Can you imagine going back in time and telling that to someone who only wrote on paper? Someone ...
You may love to write. You may get a lot of positive feedback on your writing. And you may have even picked up many great writing gigs over the years, solidifying your status as a professional writer. But something is missing. It’s difficult to balance writing for your existing clients and attracting new clients.
I know. I know. I know. “Viral” is an actual term people use to describe wildly popular content that has spread across a variety of distribution channels, landing in our Twitter feeds, Apple News updates, text messages, and emails from Uncle Sue. But I still don’t like the word. When “going viral” is a goal for a piece of content, it puts me a little on edge.
Whenever someone questions the importance of proofreading, my go-to response is: “Pubic relations is quite different from public relations.” We all sometimes make a typo that omits or changes a letter in a word. A typo like that is difficult to spot when the mistake is still an actual word (or words). Just last week, I wrote “head lice” instead of “headline.
By now you know that — technical details aside — SEO is not separate from content marketing; it’s an integrated aspect of content marketing. Optimizing your content for search engines is part of your craft and a skill you can strengthen with practice. But even when you rank well for search terms your audience uses, the real test is what happens when someone clicks through to your website.
Why do we spend so much time researching, creating, optimizing, and promoting our content? “Geez, Stefanie. That’s a silly question,” you might be thinking. “You of all people should know that content marketing helps with our business goals. In fact, you wrote about that last week.” And you’d be absolutely correct. But that’s not what I want to focus on today.
You had trouble sleeping again last night. Up until the time you got into bed, you were looking at their Twitter feed, their Facebook page, and their website. It’s your competitor. You’re completely preoccupied with everything they do … and for a seemingly good reason. Their customer base seems to keep growing and they keep expanding their offerings, while you’re just tryi ...
I watch a lot of YouTube videos about the best ways to clean your bathroom. In fact, I realized that I spend way more time watching “hacks, tricks, and tips” about how to efficiently clean a bathroom than I do actually cleaning my bathroom. Given the hundreds of thousands of views on these types of videos, perhaps it’s not just me.
When I was a cub copy editor, I learned a simple fact-checking technique that is still one of my favorites today. It may seem unimportant, but if you don’t use this technique and fail to catch a certain type of mistake, you could set yourself up for extra work later. This is one of my favorites because it demonstrates that reviewing your copy and content for accuracy goes b ...
I’ve been rinsing my mouth with salt water after every meal for the past two weeks. It’s part of the healing process after a wisdom tooth extraction. Oral surgery: the gift that keeps on giving. During the first week, I spilled salt all over my bathroom counter. My container of salt has a perforated opening similar to a salt shaker, and sometimes the salt got stuck in the holes.
Have you ever read a blog post, listened to a podcast episode, or watched a video and thought: “I kind of get what this person is saying — and I think I agree — but it’s difficult to follow their main points. The content feels incomplete.” When content consumers have reactions like that, it delays them from sharing your content and subscribing to get more — ultimately inc ...
Serious content creators know that each article they publish is a piece of a larger content marketing arena. But the thought of generating content ideas on a regular basis often knocks us out before the opening bell even rings. It can be difficult to consistently write exceptional content that encourages visitors to stick around and learn about your unique selling proposition.
Last week, when I wrote about how to become a writer, I forgot to mention something about why you’d want to be a writer. Writers are communicators. If you’re proud of your ideas, you want to be able to communicate them clearly and precisely. Headlines are your first opportunity to present your message to the audience you want to reach.