How to make your homepage perform like a beast and catalyze conversions

What’s the point of having a website when nobody scrolls past your hero image?

If your value proposition doesn’t catch your prospect’s attention and fails to lead them past the following copy, you’re losing business faster than a falling plane.

Your homepage is the most important real estate online. Yet it is shabby, clunked, stuffed with words that don’t add any value to your prospects.

A bad homepage damages your reputation. It tarnishes your brand. It takes your business down.

Use these simple homepage copywriting techniques to snowball your sales and amplify your influence:

  1. Replace “I”, “We”, “Our”, “Ours” with “You”, “Your” and “Yours” to make your copy appealing to your prospects instead of tooting your own horn. Let the message on your website invite them already. Show them you’re here..solely..to serve them. Prove it to them that they are your priority and you’re nothing short of value.
  2. Make sure you state what you do – loud and clear. You could be a startup owner, creative entrepreneur, agency owner or an angel investor – whoever you are – Say it. Declare it. Announce it. But do it in a way that highlights the one biggest benefit you offer, the one big problem you solve for your prospects.
  3. Highlight the outcome of your product or service. You are in business for a reason. You work hard for that one purpose – to help your clients. But a majority of the homepages online barely scratch the surface of communicative marketing. Explain the outcome and let the message sink in. Let then relate, imagine, desire and own the outcome. Then, they’re ready to buy.
  4. Offer an incentive. A homepage without an incentive is a waste of your online real estate. It’s like flushing down your dollar bills aimlessly. You are letting all your hot leads slip away in a snap instead of seizing the opportunity to help them, to get registered in their minds and to stay right there.
  5. Show them what it’s like to work with you. Let them taste your work. At first, give immense value. And then give some more. This goes without saying. But did you know you can do that innovatively? For instance, inserting conversion metrics in your testimonials, including real stats from real people and getting to the nitty-gritty numbers make your prospects trust you more. It’s dear psychology at work! It’s like feeling safe to get treated by the same doctor who treated your uncle earlier rather than landing up in a certain Dr. Strange’s office.

Optimizing your homepage is easy. You just have to make sure you’re checking the above list.

Need help writing web copy? Contact now.

Copywriting 101: How to write with clarity and establish authority

Writing with clarity is all about designing your idea to be simple, comprehensible and memorable.

Today, you’ll learn:

  • The exact process to attain clarity before you start writing
  • Exercises to strengthen your message
  • How to play with adverbs to make your writing more powerful

What’s the one thing you need to write with clarity

Your ability to break an idea into simpler sub-ideas that help the reader to absorb the information easily is writing with clarity. It’s having clarity of thought.

To write clearly, your mind should watch your thoughts slow down, sit and settle. It’s like snorkeling. Too many suspended particles affect your visibility. So you wait for the water to settle down. Likewise, to write with clarity, you should wait, think and understand clearly.

Understanding an idea happens in 3 stages:

  1. Acknowledge – Giving the idea a thought and taking the liberty to agree/disagree to it.
  2. Organize – Logical structuring of your ideas with the help of a clear goal and outline to steer your writing.
  3. Mapping – Drawing relevance. This is where all the connection happens. The place where you say – “Makes sense!”
    Example: Connecting the subheadings to the main idea so that you don’t deviate from the subject and stay focused.

Without the above steps, it becomes impossible to bring your ideas to life.

If you follow the above process, you can bring clarity to your writing — one sentence at a time.

How to strengthen your message

To write is human, to edit is divine. – Stephen King

You need not struggle to whip up a fantastic piece the very first time. It’s the editing that energizes your first draft and turns it into something more powerful.

6 kickass tips to strengthen your message:

  • Use power words that evoke a feeling, emotion or stimulate a response
  • Kill your favorite sentence mercilessly if you think it confuses your reader
  • Eliminate filler words
  • Carry out several rounds of edit to make sure your writing is clear, has a flow and gets to the point quickly
  • Replace big words with simple, smaller and unambiguous words.
  • Replace adverbs with stronger, better verbs.

Let’s see how to play with adverbs in the following section.

How to use adverbs smartly

If you are using an adverb, you have got the verb wrong. – Kingsley Amis

Because adverbs weaken your writing by sucking the energy out of a phrase. Adverbs make your writing bleak and powerless which bores the reader.

But how do you avoid using adverbs? By replacing (adverb + verb) with a better verb.

Example:

  1. She sighed irritatingly in pain and despair.
  2. She groaned in pain and despair.

What sounds better to you?

In the second example, the better verb is doing a better job. It just sounds good. And writing well is all about sounding good.

But there are times when adverbs are a must to set the context. Sometimes, you’ve got to describe your verb more accurately to narrate the situation. And these are the only times you should pledge to use adverbs to make your writing stronger – to read your emotion.

Example:

The company urged the employees to avoid misusing the resources.

This sentence implies that the employees are/were/could be irresponsible in using the resources and hence the company issued a notice.

The company urged the employees to use the resources sparingly.

The above sentence sets the context. Why did they mention sparingly? Is the company running losses? Are they running out of resources? Is replenishing their resources becoming a big problem? The readers put on their thinking caps instantly and that’s exactly what you want as a writer.

You see – one adverb could imply so much more meaning when used smartly. So, choose your adverbs wisely.

Conclusion

When your message is clear, you naturally attract followers who’re eager to hear and learn from you. They listen to you and you matter to them. This is how you build authority with clear messaging.

Questions on clear messaging? Let’s figure it out in the comments!

Why Empathetic Copywriting Converts Better Than Persuasive Copywriting

Persuasive writing only gets you so far. It’s like a click-bait headline. You love it at first and then you’ll hate the sender for cheating on you.

Whereas Empathetic Copywriting is all about connecting with your readers better. It’s about being in their shoes. It’s about sharing their excitement, understanding their pain, knowing their fears and empathizing with their frustrations.

If you can make your readers relive their emotions towards their pains or dreams by painting a picture, you have achieved empathy.

How to start connecting with your reader

To connect with your readers, you should first have understood them and should know them inside out. You should have the knowledge of the kind of people they are. If you can figure out the answers to the following questions, you will have a solid research material ready to write copy that converts beyond a doubt!

So the questions you should be asking are:

  1. What makes your audience sad?
  2. What makes them happy?
  3. What keeps them worried?
  4. What gets them excited?
  5. What are their priorities?
  6. What makes them feel threatened?
  7. What are their biggest challeneges right now?

Write for real people with real emotions. Because logic makes people think, it’s the underlying emotion that makes people act. And conversion copywriting is entitled to make your reader take action.

It’s not like there is not going to be any kind of persuasion in empathetic copywriting. It means that the element of persuasion will come from a point of genuine care and goodwill toward your clients.

And that’s why, writing with empathy is what attracts your best of clients.

How to write with empathy

The first step to marketing is sorted brand messaging.

As a business, your core brand messaging should identify with your audience. And at the same time, it should clearly reflect your biggest strengths to evoke instant connection and collaboration.

Your core brand messaging should proffer your image in such a way that it instills trust and confidence in your clients. The message should inspire your reader to keep thinking about the transformation.

This shows that you’re in business for one main reason – to complement your audience’s weak points by giving them the exact solution they’re looking for.

You’re here to free your audience from that big fat suffering that’s been hindering their growth and transformation.

Imagine how much your clients will agree with you if your brand messaging identifies and empathizes with them.

Imagine how much your clients will adore you when you’re creating content only with the intention of adding value first.

How to keep your audience thinking about what you said

Do you remember the history lesson you learned in grade 5?

Do you remember the movie you watched when you were 10?

The reason you don’t remember the story from the movie and not the history lesson is because you mirrored and experienced the emotions played in the movie. You have associated and empathized with the protagonist. Likewise, help your readers re-live their pains and frustrations through your copy. Help your readers to imagine a life without these pains and frustrations and then place the capability of your solution.

This creative process of empathizing with your audience is what brings sales online.

KIP: The 3-step formula to writing with empathy:

  1. Know your audience’s exact pain points

  2. Identify with their struggles and acknowledge that in your copy

  3. Promise them to end the struggle and bring growth and desired outcomes

Seal the gaps in your communication with empathetic copywriting

Empathy is when you make your reader feel heard, understood and important.

It is when you DON’T make them feel zoned out – they start relating to you.

It is when you DON’T make them feel like a faceless speck from the masses – they start valuing you.

It is when you make them feel understood – the chemistry of liking strikes.

So it all boils down to understanding your reader. Inside out.

Have you ever observed this – even in your relationships, listening and speaking out helps understand each other better than frowning and sulking?

When you synthesize your audience’s thoughts that they find difficult to express, you’re winning them.

When your audience feel understood, they take the first step toward trusting you and believing in what you have to say. This tells them that you know where they’re coming from – a point of stress and struggle – a point that YOU have surpassed – a point in place they want to be

Empathetic Copywriting works because it:

  • Doesn’t force/coax/pressurize/ your readers
  • Doesn’t come across as salesy
  • Doesn’t limit user personas to a set of demographic patterns but also cares about the audience’s tastes, traits, and behavior in as much.

Benefits of Empathetic Copywriting

Empathetic Copywriting:

  • Doesn’t repel your audience because you’re never giving them what they don’t want
  • Helps clarify instead of confusing the reader with unwanted information
  • Appeals to the person you’re writing for (imagine the horror of your reader not understanding you. Phew!)
  • Simplifies your brand messaging and content creation process (because you understand your audience better now)
  • Helps you lay a strong foundation for relationship marketing (which never fails when marketed to the right audience)

Marketing becomes less challenging with empathetic copywriting because you are aligning all of your content around your audience’s needs.

When you know how the reader feels and acknowledge that in your content, the reader acknowledges your empathy through – action, engagement, purchase.

Summary: How to write with empathy

  • First, understand your audience (their feelings, behavior, and thoughts)
  • Empathize and acknowledge (in your copy)
  • Propose your solution (the transformation you bring)

The above three steps don’t look anything like online sales from far far away isn’t it?

What do you do differently to empathize with your audience? Tell me in the comments.

Download this FREE guide to refer to Empathetic Copywriting offline.

How to identify your brand message and nail it like a boss

 

By the end of this blog, you’ll have learned:
1. How to write your USP
2. What is your unique angle
3. How to write your mission statement
4. How to write your vision statement
5. How to stand out from your competition

Your prime offer isn’t selling because you’re not communicating your brilliance.

How do you describe what you do in one powerful sentence?

It so happens sometimes – you either narrate a boringly lengthy story or you go blank, right?

Don’t worry. It has happened to the best of us.

This happens when you haven’t delved enough to understand your brand. 

Hang on and you’ll learn how to dissect your brand and come up with the core branding statements that help you rise above the noise and command premium prices.

How to write your USP

The purpose of your messaging strategy is to help you be differentiable so that your prospects pick you over your competition.

Many business owners find it difficult to come up with a compelling USP. This happens because they’re busy joining the race. They want to do what their competitors are doing instead of identifying their unique angle.

What is your unique angle?

You can identify your unique angle when you accept your strengths and weaknesses wholeheartedly and build from there.

What it means is, elevate your strengths and complement your weaknesses to build a powerful brand.

For example, if you’re good at strategizing growth but have no idea how to create content, you should focus on strategizing growth and let someone else take care of content. 

The goal is to become extremely and especially good at the ONE thing you love to do. That is your unique angle.

Now take your unique angle and create your USP.

The purpose of your USP is to build a reputation for your brand or reinforce your preexisting brand reputation.

The formula to writing your USP

Your USP describes the purpose, goals, and benefits of working with your company.

Your USP = Who you are + What you do + For whom + Why it is beneficial + How you do it

Let me dissect my own USP. 

I’m a copywriter and brand strategist for thriving businesses looking to amplify their influence by expressing their innovativeness.

Who you are + What you do = I’m a copywriter and brand strategist

For whom = For thriving businesses

Benefits = Amplify your influence

How you do it = By expressing your innovativeness

Your turn. Write down your USP with the above formula.

Done?

Let’s move on to writing your mission statement.

How to write your mission statement

Your mission statement describes how you put your USP into action. How you differentiate your work from the others. What is the core function that makes your business what it is, what is it that you actually do? Describe this in one sentence.

Let’s take Content Primer’s mission statement as an example.

Our mission is to help businesses/organizations communicate their ideas + express their innovativeness without the stress and struggle.  

Don’t overthink this one. Because your mission is the very reason you started your business. It’s your primary purpose. Write it down.

How to write your vision statement

How to write your vision statementHow is your vision statement different from your mission statement?

Your vision statement talks about your aspirations whereas your mission statement specifies what you do in the present and how you do it.

Your vision statement tells the reader WHERE you want to be, what inspired the founding of your company, and what’s the idea that sparked the realization and growth of your brand. Write it one sentence.

For example: 

Content Primer’s vision is to connect like-minded entrepreneurs who bring about their developmental ideas together to improvise world affairs.

Your turn. Write down your vision statement keeping your company’s place in the future in mind.

How to beat your competition – Carve your identity 

When you compete based on the value you are providing to your client/customer, price becomes irrelevant. At this point, you may not believe it because money is everything, right?

Not really.

I’ll tell you how and why you with a well-known example.

You subscribe for Amazon Kindle membership even though you barely read a book.

It’s all about the offer being presented.

How to stand out from your competition

Tell me this.

What is more valuable? 

  1. You get to read unlimited books for $10/month
  2. Buy a book for $5 each

What is more valuable? Obviously the first option right? If you’re a bookworm who gulps in 2 books per week, the first offer is a steal deal. Even if you want to read just three books per month, the offer is a no-brainer and your natural instinct is to go subscribe. 

Got my point?

Now, did you see how price became irrelevant? You chose the more valuable offer even though the unlimited subscription model is priced at thrice the average price. This is when price becomes just a number.

Increase the value of your package to create a juicy offer that sells itself. 

Creating irresistible offers that bundle up relevant products/services is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

What’s one thing you bought because the offer was too good to be ignored? tell me in the comments. even better if you can share the link for the offer. If you need further help crafting the core statements that define your company’s identity, we’re happy to help you.

Follow Content Primer on Facebook to stay updated about brand messaging and attracting your ideal clients.

 

 

7 Pressing Reasons To Have An Active Business Blog

Business Blog

Is maintaining your business blog becoming a terrifying nightmare?

You know what the internet world calls a business owner with a stale blog? Non-existent 🙁

You have seen wrong writers, littered content calendar, that pressurizingly blinking cursor, the content marketing gurus who force you to take care of alt tags, meta descriptions and other robotic parameters you don’t understand and you think it is better to let it go?

Take a seat. I’ll be your blog-therapist for today. And in the end, I’ll leave you feeling good + a cheeky grin guaranteed!

You are tired of deception from the so-called “helpers”. You download all the free content creation calendars that promise you to take away your blogging woes.

But then, you end up staring at a blank worksheet that asks you the exact same questions … you have been digging the mud for??

And you graze your face exactly like that witch from a horror movie…That’s okay, swallow your snot. There is something more horrifying than this….that blank screen…it feels like your voice is being throttled. But sometimes, you go on a rampage and type out that entire paragraph like a solo engine taking test rounds around the station…and then when you read it, you press the backspace until you go back in time…to an intimidating-blinking cursor. Story repeats, yeah?

So, you make up your mind and you try to hire a “writer”…but, you end up scrapping all the work you were DELIVERED. You look at the chunks of kooky words that hang like your most ill-fitting garment catching dust. When you hit the sack, you are having nightmares where your prospects are barfing on your website. Eiks!

Forget all of this.

One fine day, you recover from all of this drama because it was a Sunday morning! You’ve had a fantastic week and now that you have an interesting incident to share with your audience, you decide to blog on your website. You grab your mug of fresh green juice and sit in the sun with your biz machine aka your laptop. All was good until you fall back trying to avoid the glaring sun … having no clue where to start, build context or structure your writing. Agghh, too much work! And you quit, right?

Or maybe you wrote it off that evening and then 11 months have gone by, your blog dons that stale blog.

If this is your story, there is help coming soon.

Look boss, I agree, you have challenges! You wanna go smash those sales figures, rock those goal-sy meetings, attend networking events, figure out the perfect funnel, grow your email list, hunt for the tech wizards who can set things up for you, go live on that podcast and the list never ends. You have A LOT on your plate!

But, are you putting your blog on the back seat because your time is TAKEN up?

Psst…aren’t you making a mistake big gun?

Tossing your blogging plan backward means you’re chapping up your business plan. Wanna know why? Here are 7 reasons (out of 119 reasons btw) to keep your blog active.

Blogging cuts down your sales time by 50%

Your blog is the place where your prospects get to know you, learn about your personality and identify your voice. It is where you show them who you are, instead of telling them what it is about you that they should know to buy from you. I mean, that’s what you do in a sales call, right?

By reading one piece of writing on your blog, your prospect has a registered impression about you. Now, it is up to you to build the tempo from here. A job well begun is half done? Obviously! You are already half your way through in winning that prospect. So, go blog darling!

Blogging gives you fodder to feed your social media profiles

You cannot go live 14 times a week to share your thoughts on social media. But, you can have blogs written to let the world (your customers) know, what your opinion on an issue is.

Now, why do you want to lose a stream of high-quality traffic just because you lack a blog?

Why do you want to send back those interested prospects to your competitors?

I repeat, why leave money on that frickin’ table?

Blogging makes you that money-making list

How else do you want to grow your email list? Yeah, you can tell me we have chatbots. But you know what? The chatbot is a vulnerable media. One click and poof, your messages are muted. You wanna talk to deaf ears? Nah…

I’d love to know if you have another method to grow your list (I am curious)

So, listen to me, get your blog up and going. Because honey, in that list is your money!

Nurture your authority. Earn respect as an expert

Imagine you are an authority figure or an influencer in your industry. If I meet you downtown and won’t stop admiring you and your work, how’d you feel? Mind=Blown!

That’s why, grow your authority. And this is a no-brainer. Come on, you are an expert already, and that’s why you are running a business. IT’s not just about someone admiring you. It’s the recognition that fetches you reputation. Your reputation is everything when you’re in business.

I’ll show you 5 easy ways to build authority…right here, right now

  1. Recommend products you use (clink clink..already making money from affiliate marketing? Nice uh!)
  2. Give your audience helpful tips that they can ACT upon (they’ll thank you forever and feel indebted to you even if they are paying money to get your secret tips and saucy advice)
  3. Get yourself featured on elite publications and look at how clients swarm your doorway. (In case you don’t know, check out my piece on the prestigious Thrive Global that got me 3 new leads within a week of posting it)
  4. Make powerful connections and flaunt them. This isn’t hard at all. All you have to do is one round-up post on your blog featuring influencers from your industry and you have an invaluable network in your back pocket.
  5. Once you do these 4 steps, you become a “credible source of valuable information” naturally. You become more authoritative.

Now, all you have to do is, share information + ideas consistently.

Blogging brings Traffic + SEO

If you have a website and do not want traffic, you are mad. I mean, not you you..come on you obviously want traffic. Imagine leads come and land on your website and they head to your services page and end up hiring you. All because you shared a blog post of yours on social media. And, if you have kickass copy + a fantastic funnel, nobody can stop you from building your list, growing your biz and making a ton of money.

Plus, there is a lot of noise out there. You can cut through that noise by talking to people in your voice on your blog, on your uncluttered space. So, my dear, get a blog!

Tip: If you need more information on SEO, check it out here.

Strike conversations with your clients over a blog post

Your blog can act like an intense knowledge dissipating FAQ repository. The information can itself act as sales objection tackling mechanism which puts your prospects in your pipeline. Having your would-be clients in your digital vicinity is cool, right?

Also, who doesn’t want an opportunity to talk to clients isn’t it?

Offer YOUR solutions (services) to your clients’ problems (opportunity)

Imagine talking about a meeting in your office that sped up productivity that leads to you landing a high-ticket client. If you talk about those innate occurrences and unique experiences, you are making your clients believe you are a real, working breathing human being. And they trust you enough to buy from you.

Quick Recap

To conclude, your blog is not just beneficial for your business, it is your creative asset. It helps you capture your voice and your reader’s attention.

Your blog is the virtual bridge that connects you with your customers. If you want to resonate with your clients, build your personal brand, grow your authoritativeness, drive traffic to your website and benefit from all of the other advantages it comes with, get your blog running.

P.S: If you are totally convinced that your blog has to have a game on but you do not have the time or capacity to maintain your blog, click here.

How to create timeless content : 5 powerful strategies

How to Create Compelling Content

Let’s admit this. A business cannot operate without content.

Content is the endocrine system that decides the fate of your business. No exaggeration. Content is what makes your company a brand.

Pick any big name and you know about it because of the reach the company has had. This kind of outreach is a product of spectacular content the brand has managed to create.

But creating compelling content isn’t an easy affair. It is a lot of hard work. And if you are looking to create content for your business or for your client, follow these 5 essential strategies to make your content evergreen.

5 Essential Strategies to create timeless content
  1. Create content that can never be replicated
  2. Create content that is easy to use
  3. Double check your grammar and spellings
  4. Create content to connect with your readers
  5. Do not deviate from purpose and context

Create content that can never be replicated

Create Timeless Content
Click to tweet this

The word “real” instantly makes anything come alive. Generic content is found everywhere. If you want to make your content an experience, it has to be unique and individualized.

To make it unique, use excerpts from your own business interactions. Talk about events that occurred between you and your clients. Narrate de facto episodes and instances in your content.

There is a very high chance of your prospects accepting you because of the real experience you bring to their table – which means better connections leading to higher conversions.

Banking on the not so good things

You can bring your negative experiences and present them as valuable lessons. To show you how –  nobody knows about the ordeals you have had with your past clients/customers. And this often happens because of miscommunication. I am sure you have learned your lessons from this.

By talking about these learnings, you demonstrate your openness. Plus, you are bringing a real story that has lived with you. Real stories are charming because everybody wants to know what happened and who you really are. That’s what it means to show and not just tell.

Help your content with the what happened factor and you succeed in eternalizing it.

Create content that is easy to use

The web is filled with content that beats around the bush. The same thing is said over and over again in a different way employing different patterns in the name of content repurposing or content upcycling. It is a waste of your reader’s precious time if you are telling them what they already know. Right?

Let’s look at an example. You often see blogs that start talking about salt harvest process when the headline clearly is meant to give you a recipe for microwave baking!

In the name of long-form content and comprehensiveness, you might be boring your readers. Don’t do that.

Follow the 3 check rule to make your content consumable:

  1. Clear and concise content
  2. Content with visual support to back your points quickly
  3. Actionable content that inspires to do more

The great overwhelm

Do your readers a favor, save them that unwanted stress! If the gurus tell you to write a minimum of 2000 words and the content you are creating doesn’t stretch that far, then do not write 2000 words just to keep up with a random rule. Write for your readers, not for rules.

Creating flubby-dubby conundrums or writing lengthy unwanted stories, stuffing images unnecessarily, throwing in stats at the drop of a hat makes your content forced and coerced. So, avoid all of this.

People are (enough) stressed with information overload, bring a breath of fresh air with content that lightens them up.

Cultivate your brand with helpful and actionable content that your readers appreciate and look forward to. – Content Primer

Double check your grammar and spellings

Grammar syntax exists for a reason. Bumbling with syntax brings unwanted confusion. Imagine this for a moment. Let’s say that the plural form of a mouse is “mouses”.

Did this just mess with your head? You have been wired to call more than one mouse – mice (Although I don’t agree with the logic here because etymology can sometimes be insane).

You instantly look down upon a piece of writing that might have a mice-mouses error like this one. Moreover, typos can get annoying as silly errors tend to change the meaning of a sentence completely leaving the reader baffled and thwarted.

But, in a quest to obsess over grammar, syntax, and spellings, don’t ignore the big work.

Typos can be forgiven if the content is exceptional. – Adam Connell

Adam Connell, the chief wizard behind Blogging Wizard goes on to say – “We’re only human, so mistakes can and will happen. That said, when people find typos, it can cause them to question the credibility of a website – particularly in sales copy or any page that someone would use to evaluate a buying decision.

Ultimately, how significantly typos impact your results can largely depend on the type of content and exactly who your audience is.”

So, if you do not want to risk your position, it is best to avoid typos and severe grammar errors that question your credibility.

Create content to connect with your readers

We write and create content to communicate what we know and express what we think. This is just one side of the story.

Your readers read your content because they want to learn, know, make aware, be informed and ultimately feel how they want to feel. That is why, it is important to write content that influences, and not just informs.

Sharp writers choose each word with piercing precision. – Henneke Duistermaat

No doubt Henneke is the best of writers. She knows how to evoke your senses. Look at the choice of her words – piercing precision! Isn’t that incredible? Your word selection makes or breaks your content. Likewise, no one enjoys being under the shadow of unimpressive words and flabby stories. More about this in the next section.

Do not deviate from purpose and context

Are stories overdone? We all know that marketing pushes stories like it’s the bloodline of the marketing system. Stories are being pumped into content like never before.

But, what we see today, especially in email newsletters is a bunch of irrelevant, irreverent stories with a connection so weak that it makes me gag.

What should you be doing instead to make your content NOT-boring?

Cut the crap and deliver what is needed. Even if you have to break rules.

When the whole world is drumming about using stories in your content, it is alright to go without it if you do not have a worthy story that connects.

I have seen emails with subject lines like “My mother’s death anniversary + Fast action bonuses”. I find this kind of subject lines obnoxiously careless and insensitive. You too, right?

Capitalizing on your mother’s death and mixing business by writing a story in the email about how loving your mommy was – an absolute NO!

It is a huge turn-off and people unsubscribe. You don’t have to bring your mother’s death anniversary to build context. It is off-putting.

So please, avoid using such click-bait headlines and cheesy marketing tactics. It is 2018! If you promise something in your headline, make sure you keep your promise by delivering what you are supposed to.

Tip: Check how to write promising headlines and also keep​​​​​​​ the promise.

Conclusion

Evergreen content is continuously improvised and nurtured. It is not a one-time task, it is a process. So, to summarize:

Timeless content is – exclusive, consumable, grammatically correct, evoking and in context.

What do you do to make your content evergreen? Do you have anything else to add to this list? Tell me in the comments below.

9 steps to writing a blog faster : Practical Template

Write a blog faster

As a time-starved business owner or freelancer, let’s face it: you have a million things to do. And writing your blog doesn’t always get top billing.

But, you will have to produce content consistently to keep your marketing alive.

And, you have other inevitable responsibilities like maintaining your website (WordPress or not), dealing with clients, those annoying plugin popups, your subcontractors, taxes, processes, workflows and 67399 other things!

In the middle of this busy-paced work day, how do you make time to write content? It sure is hard.

But, here’s the good news: There’s an easier, much faster way to write blogs – and I’ll teach it to you right now.

What you will learn in the post

  1. How to save time writing a rough title
  2. How to write the introduction
  3. How starting with Summary helps you write a blog faster
  4. How to decide on the format of the post
  5. How to design a post outline
  6. How to write a post with helpful details
  7. How to add jazz to your post
  8. How to revisit headlines
  9. How to check for readability and on-page SEO

How to save time writing a rough title

I started this post with the title “Write a blog post faster“. This helped me set the context for steadfast writing and gave me a direction. You know what you should write about.

It is a way to channelize your focus to think about what you want to achieve with this post. You should go with a rough title because it will help you set the goal for the post.

You can always come back and optimize this title later to make it more interesting and clickable. But, to begin with, and to save time, you should have a title that tells you what you should write about.

How to write the introduction

Assuming that you can update this section to suit the tone and course of your blog, write the introduction in a way that it grabs your reader’s attention.

You can do this by addressing your reader’s pain point (bring emotional relatability here).

Make sure the first sentence is super short, snackable + magnetic enough to pull your reader to the next sentence and then to the next and so on.

How starting with Summary helps you write faster

I generally wrote without summary till recently.

But this method helped me write much faster.

Because I already had the goals and the mini goals defined in the summary section. The purpose of the blog is clear now.

You only have to follow this map to write a detailed post once you decide the format of the post and come up with a blog outline.

How to decide on the format of the post

The Summary section will also help you decide the kind of post you want to be writing.

For example, whether it will be a list post, a how-to guide, an interview, a product review, newsjacking post or any other type of post.

The summary helps you set the context for the reader and the reader knows what to expect from it.

How to design post outline

This is the most important section.

Post outlining is a way of mapping the relevant topics you will be covering under your post.

Outlining a post makes it easier for you to write. And not just that, it also makes it easier for your reader to consume information without being overwhelmed.

So, how do you design an outline? Just write down the things you want to cover under your blog. For example, in this post, what makes you write faster? The outline is:

  • starting with a rough title to set goals
  • catchy introduction
  • carving a summary
  • format of the post – list, how to, review or whatever

To be more practical, let me give you another example. Say you are writing a post called “5 Benefits of using Google Docs“. Your post is all about highlighting the benefits of Google Docs. So the outline of the post will be:

  • Introduction
  • List of 5 benefits
  • Benefit 1 – Easy to use
  • Benefit 2 – Accessibility – Access from anywhere
  • Benefit 3 – Reliability – Google is up most of the time
  • Benefit 4 – Never have to worry about losing data
  • Benefit 5 – Share easily
  • Conclusion
  • CTA

Once you carve out the subheadings, it becomes so much more easier to write and most importantly, finish the post. Let’s move to the next section.

How to write a post with helpful details

Once you have outlined your post, you now know your mini goals. You only have to elaborate on these mini-goals and fill in the content. For example, say you are writing a post titled “How to achieve SEO in simple steps“. The subheadings under this will be something like:

  • Hashtags
  • Low-Competition Keywords
  • Using Images
  • Fresh Content
  • Length of content
  • Title
  • Header Tags
  • Meta tags
  • Slugs
  • Internal Links
  • Sitemaps
  • Robots.txt

Now, under each subheading, you write about optimizing or methods that help you achieve SEO.

Tip: A comprehensive subheading is a huge plus for SEO. Write, elaborate and clarify.

How to add jazz to your post

To make the post more interesting, add information in different formats. Presenting information in formats other than normal blog text format keeps your reader hooked until the end.

There are many ways to present information differently:

  • Add a Note that gives a warning to avoid mistakes your reader might commit if there is a chance that s/he might get confused.
  • Give a Tip that adds more value to the content in the subheading.
  • Quote a high authority industry personality to leverage the content.
  • Include statistics that imply that your content is well researched
  • Include images – because visual information is consumed faster and stays longer in the memory. Plus, relatable images and graphics keep the flow smooth.
  • Come up with graphs, pie charts or Venn diagrams to represent complicated information in an easy to understand, visual format.

How to polish your headlines

You must and should revisit headlines.

If your headline does not interest the reader, all your efforts go down the drain.

You can also curate a Headline Swipe File to draw inspiration when you get stuck.

I use Coschedule’s headline analyzer to check the factors that make a good headline.

For example, a catchy headline has a high emotional quotient attached.

CoSchedule’s headline analyzer tells you the exact quotient your headline is lacking.

Plus, the analyzer assesses a combined score suggesting you to tweak the headlines to make them more intriguing, catchy and clickable.

Check how I used the analyzer to come up with a title for this post.

Write a blog faster
Write headlines faster with CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

How to check for readability and on-page SEO

The last step to take care of before you publish a blog post is conducting an SEO check – put on your white hat baby! Here are the steps:

  1. Check for hyperlinks wherever necessary. Check if they are working and have no broken links.
  2. Optimize your images with the right title, descriptions etc.
  3. Conduct a spell check and use Grammarly to catch minor errors.
  4. Optimize your headings with the right header tags.
  5. Add screenshots wherever necessary. The screenshot from CoSchedule has obviously given you a better understanding of what’s going on. So, make use of screenshots to make your blog more interesting.
  6. Check for Yoast’s readability score and tweak your sentences to make them easy to read and follow.

After you follow these steps, make sure you proofread your blog.

Now that you know the 9 easy steps to write a kick-ass blog post, will you follow these steps? Or do you have a different process to write a blog? Have any questions? Comment below. Let’s have a discussion.

Why every small business needs a content calendar

Content Calendar

Before you think you don’t need a content calendar, tell me if you do all of this:

  1. Scroll Facebook endlessly in the name of networking?
  2. Wander on Twitter not knowing what to do?
  3. Being there on LinkedIn but you don’t know whom to connect with?

Do you do all of this as a freelancer or solopreneur? I bet you do.

Do you know you are wasting days and months and may be years sitting behind your screen and think why your other peers are doing good as freelancers while you are lingering around social networks for work?

It is because you don’t have a content calendar.

How will a content calendar solve your business woes?

Your calendar is like your ideal manager. If you do things according to what your calendar says, you will stick to a schedule and your productivity shall spike.

It is very easy to get distracted and also stay there. I have done it. I keep reading meaningless posts where the group admin asks, “What are you baking today?” and there are 256 comments talking about the Thai curry they tried to bake. Now ask yourself, where is this Thai curry going to help you in your career? It won’t. It only boosts the engagement profile of that FB Group and you will be bombarded with more of such meaningless posts that waste your time. This is why social media gets overwhelming.

On the other hand, imagine having a robust calendar that tells you what to do? No brain damage.

Have you ever imagined how a certain business develops engaging content day after day, every day, even on a Sunday? This is how they do it.

How to design a Content Calendar?

Hubspot has a very cool way to get you started.

Hubspot’s content calendar is based on a concept called the content cluster. Now you don’t need to start off with a platform like this, to begin with. I used a plain excel spreadsheet to design my calendar. It is distraction free. The less the application is polluted with features, the more it will help you accomplish your goals. The more it will help you turn your ideas into executable tasks.

But, I am using the concept of the content cluster to design my content strategy. It gives a good perspective and the approach is holistic. You get to design an overview of your strategy instantly with something like this.

Content Marketing further branches out to:

  1. Market Research
  2. Customer Persona Design
  3. Copywriting
  4. Business Blogging
  5. Social Media Engagement
  6. Email Marketing

Below is a picture with the core idea in the center. I named it content marketing because that is my core service.

Content Calendar
Content Cluster for a Business Blogger

You could be a freelance blogger, yet you will need all the other branches of content marketing to be successful.

You will need Market Research to find out who your customers are so that you generate content accordingly.

After you gather information about your prospects, you need to design Customer Personas.

Based on the Persona, you need to write web copy that will attract your audience.

With the help of web copy and lead magnets, you capture email ids.

Then begins email marketing to grow, retain and engage your lists.

Meanwhile, you promote the generated content on social media to gain visibility and attract traffic.

This is how the content marketing cycle runs. At every step, you evaluate the results to see what is working for you and what is not.

I shared a blog post about writing content in 50 minutes by putting up appropriate and trending hashtags. I increased my Twitter followers by 150% in 3 hours.

I could do this because I made use of the right hashtags on Twitter.

How to identify the right hashtags for your business?

  • Choose the hashtags most relevant to your content.
  • Choose the hashtags that are trending at the moment.
  • Choose the hashtags that carry relevant semantics.

This is what Content Strategy can bring to a marketing business. Content Strategy is also about retaining inbound traffic with the help of content clusters.

I generate content around these clusters to stay in tune with my niche. Isn’t this an efficient way to manage your content, be productive as well as not get overwhelmed with all the (mis)information you come across?

Advantages of having a Content Calendar

By having a definitive content guide,

  1. You will not feel lost about what to write in this wide, web world bursting with information.
  2. You get to focus on subjects that boost your industry authority.
  3. You will save 2 hours of time in a day. How many times have you wished for a 26 hour day as an entrepreneur?
  4. You can plan content according to events like Women’s day or Black Friday.
  5. You can outsource social media promotion to a VA or teammate and be rest assured that this won’t get messed up.
  6. You can easily upcycle content by clubbing two or more topics depending on the need.
  7. You can also design FREEBIES based on the topic so that the freebie stays relevant and can garner maximum lead capture.

Now, are there any reasons you don’t want a content calendar? I follow a weekly content calendar that keeps me organized. It also helps me come up with new content to write. Do you want to know how I do it? Download my Content.

 

How to map web content to your marketing goals

You cannot write anything from sewing to coding on your business blog.

Your web content needs a strategy that aligns with your customer’s goals.

Your blog needs a plan that builds the content network to establish authority in your industry. It needs content mapping to build that network.

What is industry authority?

Before I explain industry authority to you, you need to know who you are writing for and what you aim to achieve writing for your audience.

Let me give you an example, I aim to create simple guides that help aspiring writers or online business owners learn to write effective web content.

Who is my audience?

 ► Aspiring Content Writers

 ► Online Business Owners

 ► Freelancers who are DIYers

What do I do for them?

 ► I help them write web copy and content.

 ► I help them write content that elevates their goals.

What is my industry?

 ►I belong to the writing/blogging industry. You can also call it the content industry.

How do you stand out in a competitive industry like this?

 ► By holding the ropes of authority. You have to create content that showcases your expertise. If you are a website designer, your blog should display arrays of articles that solve website woes. For example, you may write posts on installing Google Analytics plugin, fixing the dangling hero on the homepage or enabling clean margin spaces on a web page etc.

By doing this, you are establishing industry authority. This tells your audience that you know your work inside out. Your audience will trust you to solve their problems because they have seen you doing that.

If you are a web design expert and if you write about your favorite pet or your favorite travel destination, it is not going to work.

Establishing authority can help you earn a loyal audience who will trust your work.

What is Content Strategy?

In short, Content Strategy is the master plan behind establishing industry authority through the content on your web. You need to devise a plan that creates a unique content network on your website.

A network cannot have broken links. Likewise, your content plan should connect each piece of content to a smaller goal.

A collection of smaller goals pointing towards a bigger marketing goal is the purpose of your website hosting a business blog.

What are marketing goals and how do you set them?

You set goals because we identify the need to prioritize. If you do not prioritize, your business will be as disorganized as an addict’s backpack. Full of stuff, but nothing vital.

Setting marketing goals becomes a need when you see shortcomings in building your brand. You see shortcomings when you evaluate your work or abilities. Have you identified your immediate business objectives? Do you have a list of tasks that elevate your business?

For freelancers or small businesses, a long to-do list is the biggest productivity killer. The overwhelming list helps you procrastinate and lose the game.

Set short goals. Have goals for the day. Beginning this month, a social media manager’s goals could be to get high paying clients. Wrong.

That is a redundant goal even though that is the ultimate result every business wants.

Make workable goals.

A social media manager should master the art of persuasion (Of course, not in a day!). She is given a limited word count. And that word count is her only opportunity to persuade as many readers she can to click the link she is posting.

So her main goal should be to master persuasive writing. She should know how to make an instant connection with her audience. She should know how to walk her audience and convince them that the link is a valuable resource.

So, the workable goal here is to learn PERSUASIVE WRITING.

Is this goal helping her meet her marketing needs? Of course, she can make use of the same persuasive methods to tell her prospective clients how good she is in her work.

Now do your marketing goals align with your content? Oh yes!

Content Mapping and Marketing Goals
Content Mapping and Marketing Goals

How content mapping boosts your business?

When you own your reader’s problems and turn them into solutions they need, consistently, it means that your strategy is on the right track.

How do you provide solutions?

  1. A high-value blog post that gives a step by step plan your reader needs to meet one of his objectives.
  2. A workflow that helps one of your readers arrive at a solution.
  3. A motivating piece of statistics that will inspire your readers to take action.
  4. An infographic diagram that explains the core subject in bite-sized chunks that is easy to consume.

You succeed in your content marketing goals only when you bring demand based solutions to your blog. Your readers will not want solutions to problems they do not have or are insignificant to them. Do your market research.

What is the best way to know what your customer needs?

There is no way you can read your customer’s mind. You are not Edward Cullen. Even if you are, your customers are many a Bellas. They are emotionless when it comes to your pain points even though you are trying to solve their problems.

When I started out in marketing and began searching for my ideal client, I would crack my head.

How can anybody read their customer’s mind to know what she wants?

I would sit for hours taking guesses. It is a stupid thing to do. Why not just ask them? By asking your customers about their problems, you are surely providing solutions to problems that EXIST.

I attended a marketing event organized by one of the startup hubs in Hyderabad. Business owners introduced themselves and spoke about how they made dollars and there were some who did not. There was one entrepreneur who invested nearly $25000 in his venture and failed. He crawled into debt. The first question the host asked was, “Did you carry out a market research before you built the product?” and the answer was “NO”. He was confused. He built an app that targeted the education community. But before building the app, he did not ask one person from the education community about the necessity of such a product.

Products are not made of ideas. Products are built, reinvented and customized to suits the market’s needs.

So, offer solutions that are needed. You will be left bankrupt if you spend your money on unwanted solutions. That is the position of market research in business.

Mapping content to your marketing goals

Now that you know what the customer wants, aim to build products around their needs. Before you sell your products, build a knowledge base that dissipates bite-sized information that solves your customer’s little problems.

How do you release the bite-sized solutions? Through your business blog, email marketing and promoting this content to the world through social media platforms. Although there are other social platforms, your business blog is the major bridge between your customer and your company that emerges as a true brand community.

Now, devising your content flow is gathering all the input points that land to one central point of focus. The CTA.

It is the CTA that helps you accomplish your goals as a marketer or a small business owner. You can easily call it that tangible element in this virtual world. Is the content leading to CTA compelling enough to catalyze the reader’s action? Has the content brought engagement that builds customer relationships? These are the factors that you need to visit with agility and work till you get there. Content Strategy is not a one-off item on your content marketing checklist. It takes experimentation to beat the odds and focus on the right channel, right method and right type of content that aligns with your goals. The point is, have you set the right goals?

How to write a gripping blog post in 50 minutes?

Write a gripping blog post in 50 minutes

IMPORTANT: I wrote this blog in 50 minutes. 

You are a new blogger.

You love seeing 100 blog posts on your website.

You want to make your website an arsenal of good content.

But, you haven’t written a blog in a week. Oh wait, I think it has been a month. Right?

How do you write a blog post quickly? Here is what you need to write quick, snap and post.

Keep logging ideas that make good blog posts

The biggest impediment a blogger faces is – “What do I blog about? What do I write? I don’t know where to start. How do I come up with good topics?”

You feel like you have run short of topics to write. But, it is not the case if you take little more effort to log ideas.

Your mind is an idea machine. The kind of power it holds is insane, in a good way. Make a note of those crazy ideas and turn them into barrels of blogs.

To start with, make a note of problems YOU are facing as a blogger. When you have found traction in collecting topics, go eavesdrop other bloggers’ problems.

Look at those blogger communities, they are flooded with problems in the form of questions. Go find the answers to those questions and help your fellow mates and more importantly, help yourself. Write more.

How to choose from my list of topics?

I am writing this post because I needed to start writing. I needed to kill those innumerable distractions from Facebook Groups and Linkedin Feed. (Let’s talk about the lame videos everybody is making on LinkedIn in my next post.)

Or, if you are anything like me, the other biggest impediment is a situation like this – “Oh, I have too many topics! Where do I start? Which one do I choose? No, I will save this one to publish later. Oh, this is the best topic, but I will save it for some special occasion.”

Do you ever have this kind of a monologue going on?

Choose the one that you feel is your closest current need. Choose the topic where you think you have more ideas about. Is it not easier to start this way?

Identify the core reason for the problem

You have chosen a topic.

You type out the headline and then what?

The problem I am talking about here is about getting a blog written quickly. I solve the problem by showing you how I solved it for myself.

Do not sit lingering about giving your post a sassy introduction already. Just start typing. I used the word typing, not writing. The first line of this post is the last thing I wrote. Makes sense right?

Start with the problem, talk about the first step and gather momentum from there. “One step at a time”, these five words are not random and overused. Think about it and try and stick to smaller goals in a day to achieve big. The catch is, sticking to the smaller goals. So, solve the core problem in smaller steps. Make use of headings to do this.

Write in a pollution-free zone

You can have your kid running around while you are writing. I wouldn’t call that a distraction. You can have 37 more tabs open. I won’t call it a distraction although you can consider shutting them down.

But writing in a place polluted with features, icons, widgets, plugins and unwanted BS all around your writing space is the biggest distraction. Technology can be a hindrance in situations like these. 

I used to write directly on WordPress and I can’t tell you what kind of a fool I was to do that. It killed my productivity and buried it in Antarctica.

Choose a writing space that has minimal features. MS Word is good, but it has portability issues.

To write this piece quick in no more than 50 minutes, I made use  of a clean writing environment. It is called Airstory.

I am not an affiliate to Airstory. I am endorsing it because it has helped me boost my productivity. Airstory turns me into a word monster. Try it here and let me know how it goes.

Shut all other windows

I have a problem. I love beautifying things and I suffer from the pathetic perfection syndrome. It is probably because I deal with obsession every single second. Obsessed with bringing the best. But I have to throw this truth here.

Looking for perfection is like living in a limbo. You don’t know whether the totem is spinning for real or not.

Being obsessed is a good thing.

You cannot be an entrepreneur if you are not obsessed with your work. 

You have to love and bathe in your work if you are an entrepreneur.

But, an obsession of the other kind – to perfectize the bigger picture is what will drag you down and pin you there. That is exactly what happened to me.

I was obsessed with the bigger picture. I was afraid of breaking rules. I was afraid to invent words (like perfectize ). I was too afraid to compromise the green color a plugin gave me to indicate my SEO score. There were too many factors judging my writing even before it got published; even when nobody was watching it.

I broke free from all of it and wrote in a clean white dynamic space. See for yourself. I did it.

Write now. Edit Later

It took me years to do this.

Again, the perfection syndrome is the culprit. I cannot get past grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in general.

I have caught errors in writings of few of the top writers in the world (no exaggeration). I mailed them the errors and have heard back about the correction and a compliment – “Good catch!”. I have such an eye for detail. 

This ability of mine was countering my own productivity. Now I knew why they were the best writers in the world and why I am just a fly catching their errors. You get it, right? Just edit later if you want to get somewhere one day.

Time your writing

You don’t need fancy chess timers on your table or an extra downloadable software or an online tool that sucks up your time asking you to create an account to save time (Oxymoron alert for the less sarcastic).

All you need is a simple timer by Google. Just Google “timer”, enter the time, hit start and you have a watch telling you to focus.

I aimed to complete an 800+ word article in 40 minutes. I arrived at a 1000+ word blog in 50 minutes. Not too bad eh?

Conclusion

Now, this blog did not require as much research because I spoke about how I solved my own problem. I had the requirement, I had the data, I ruled the style and tone. So, I could write it super fast.

But for articles that are backed by stats, research is what takes time. With that too, the above tips can boost your writing speed.

If you want to be productive and create an arsenal of blog posts, you have to write quick and write dirty, first. How can you make that possible?

Start by logging ideas.

Do not waste time finding good topics.

Use a timer.

Will you start logging ideas from today? That is the first step.

So what will you blog about now?

Comment your topic here and go start writing. Why did I ask you to comment? If you leave a comment here, you will be obliged to write about the topic and that is a good obligation that solves your blogging woes. Right? Now, go write.

P.S: I will be true to you. The editing took me another 15 minutes.