Writers’ Tips On How To Put Together A Solid Content Plan

Yes, content is KING. And we all want to make our king look good. So we need to prepare a plan for our king! Why? Because content keeps us in business. It is what drives traffic to our business or drives it away.

But each start of the year, we gather our content team and with good intentions and writers’ tips, come up with a strong content plan. Somehow, somewhere along the middle of the year, we realize our plan may not have been followed or something went wrong. We see our metrics and we wonder: What happened? What was wrong with our plan?

The importance of a content plan

Marketers need to realize how important it is to come up with a solid content plan before doing any kind of marketing. Remember, it is with our content that we communicate, persuade, encourage and thank our customers.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

-Alexander Graham Bell

We all know that every business has a goal and to achieve that goal, you need to create a content plan that involves creating high quality content, publishing it at the right places and at the right time. You therefore, maximize the opportunity for your customers, prospects and even merchandisers to see your content. This is the essence of your content plan – it is knowing what you will say, when to say it and who will get to read it.

Here are tips for online writers 2017 to come up with a great content plan:

Step 1 – Do your planning

Most businesses fail because they didn’t consider doing a content marketing plan. Collect and organize all your ideas in such a way that they answer these questions:

  1. What are your content goals?
  2. What are your content topics?
  3. What are your buyer personas?
  4. How do you want to promote your content?
  5. Who will be doing the writing?
  6. What is the best format for your content?
  7. When do you need to produce your content?

Step 2 – Create your content

And so everything is ready. Now’s the time to create your content. One of the best writers’ tips is: be consistent – with the tone of voice of your brand, infographics, imagery, memes, etc. Customers do get turned off if they see one thing different from a previous post. Keep in mind your ideal customer. Make sure that he sees consistency with every piece of content on your website.

Some types of content include:

  • Lists
  • Case Studies
  • EBooks
  • Reviews
  • Webinars
  • White Pages
  • Quizzes
  • Polls
  • Guides
  • And many more

Step 3 – Distribute your content to the right people

Now with all that content seen on your site, it’s time to do the most important step in a content plan: Distribution. It is the best way to widen your reach by getting it to the right people who will read your content and promote it.

Who can help?

  1. Social Media – Who else? But make sure it is the correct social media platforms.
  2. Promoters – These can be your existing customers who already love your product or service and can spread this love even further.
  3. Influencers – Ask the big names to give you a little shot in the arm. It is best to know a few of them even before you create your content.
  4. Colleagues, family and friends – They are behind you all the way and they know your product very well so why not ask them to help.

Step 4 – Analyze your content

Without doing any kind of analysis, you wouldn’t know if you plan is working or has failed right from the get-go. Analysis will answer questions like:

  • Is my content being shared?
  • Am I using it on the wrong social media platforms?
  • Am I getting any leads?
  • Which types of content are actually making a sale?

Track all your data to be able to edit, continue and finalize your content plan. Every month, you should take a look at it to see where you stand and do the appropriate responses to your metrics.

Step 5 – Do it all over again

As they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And if something’s working out for your company, do it all over again. You must’ve planned something right. All you need to do is look ahead and see what improvements need to be done.

So get on with it and start your planning

You will see the progress of your plan once you start reaping the benefits. It will be much easier to manage your content marketing strategies in the long run. If you need further assistance on create a solid content plan, give us a quick reply.

Writers’ Tips: Can We Protect Our Written Work?

After writing a manuscript (or masterpiece), a budding writer tends to have certain fears that his written work will be stolen from under his keyboard. Call it a little bit of arrogance but, writers do feel proud of their work (hey, they’ve put in hours of research and writing into to it!) and wouldn’t want it stolen by someone or used and claimed as their own. But a writer does have rights and it’s important to know that he owns his work from the very moment he started scribbling or resting his hands on the keyboard. Legally speaking, he owns that intellectual property.

And so the time comes when I, that budding writer, new and confident, decide to send my work over to a publisher in the hopes of making it big. But wait, how can I feel safe that it won’t get stolen? What if the publisher will steal my work, publish it and make money out of it?

It rarely happens

I have been assured that this scenario rarely happens. Which is a big sigh of relief for many writers, new and seasoned. Most of the time, publishers don’t steal, especially the big time publishers. That’s not how they make money.

Some tips for online writers 2017: Online content is not too different. Once you’ve published your online content, you will never be 100% safe from the conspiring content pirates. But cheer up, there may be hope on the horizon of protecting your work. Some internet users feel that since it’s out there in the World Wide Web, it’s free for everybody’s picking. But if you check with Copyright.gov, you will see that an original piece of work can be protected by copyright which lasts as long as the author is alive and 70 more years after the author’s death.

Some writers tips: Know your rights

Understand first and foremost, YOU CANNOT COPYRIGHT AN IDEA. That’s like patenting your brain of some sort. According to the law, ideas and concepts are not copyrightable. It is more important to protect your written content rather than your ideas.

Your written work doesn’t have to be published to be protected. But copyrighting with a few official organizations can give you the edge in case of future legal disputes.

By doing this, you are protecting the expression of your ideas through short stories, poems, novel chapters, screenplays, etc. When legal action does happen, you will have a legal copyright to prove that you were the original executor of that idea.

Copyrighting your work

If you still think your work will get stolen, there are a few ways to protect them.

  • US Copyright Office

This process can take longer (6 months to 1 year) and can be expensive depending on the material. By doing this, you will have in your possession, a public record and a certificate of registration of your work. This is valid as long as the author is alive.

  • Writers Guild of America

Register your work with the Writers Guild of America. This official body gives online services for you to submit your material for a fee. The validity for this registration is 5 years.

  • Poor Man’s Copyright

The term is used because you simply mail a copy of your work to yourself. Once it arrives at your address, DO NOT OPEN IT. The purpose of doing this is to provide proof of the date when you completed your work. However, this cannot stand in court if legal action occurs because it can be easily faked, hence the term.

Best advice

One of my favorite writers’ tips: Don’t publish anything you think is worth stealing and can make you earn money. If it’s a personal story or a poem, then it’s fine. However, if you write a novel or anything that took a lot of time making, don’t publish it online. Better send it to a legitimate publisher (or you can do the publishing yourself) and make a lot of money first then you can put it online.

Remember, the whole world is connected through the Internet. That means, copyright laws may not be the same as in the USA so someone from another country might just be profiting from your masterpiece. Be persistent in protecting what you’ve written. For sure, you will reap the rewards for a long period of time.

8 Essential Tips To Break Through As A Writer

I’ve always been fascinated by those evangelists who seem to endlessly talk to their audience without any notes or guides. And yet, their audience hangs on to every word eagerly waiting for the next sentence. I am envious of those who can keep an audience glued to every word, just like an evangelist can. Another example would be those TED Talk speakers. You can’t see it but their audience is wide awake! And what about the success of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series? They have an audience that enthusiastically awaits the next book that comes out.

Why? Because these examples know how to tell a great story. Writing is after all one form of story-telling.

Writers’ tips for even the novice writer

But it’s not easy and takes a lot of practice. If you do not have the gift of gab, fret not. Yes, it’s not easy but it’s also not unachievable.

So how does a writer, aching to make it big in the writing world, become one step ahead of his lifelong dream to be in the levels of Dostoyevsky or Dickens?? Here are essential writers’ tips to help you out. Take note, it won’t guarantee you overnight success, but don’t be discouraged. They will guarantee you to become a better writer in 2017.

Tip #1 – Read, read and do some more reading

When you read, especially the great books, you pick up on the essentials and basics. You get their sentence structure, their ideas, and their passion. All the great writers are also voracious readers.

What to do: Read as often as you can so you can learn from the masters.

Tip #2 – Enhance your story telling power

As I’ve mentioned, writing is essentially story-telling. It is the most effective way to share your wisdom, experiences and advice. Just like the evangelists, they use story-telling to spread the good news and motivate their audience. When we have problems, we seek help from those who have been through our pain. Why do we like reading the stories in the Chicken Soup series? It’s because we can relate to these stories and find solace that we are not alone in a journey. Somehow, in these stories, we see ourselves as the protagonist looking for solutions. And we love it when we succeed.

What to do: use story-telling to convince your audience. It’ll be both educational and memorable.

Tip #3 Forget the conventions

Remember back in high school when we were taught to write in a formal theme? Or how we should start a story with “I will tell you a story about my Christmas vacation.” That’s an instant book closer! Why not be courageous and tell them about “how I got locked out in the freezing cold one December night.”
What to do: Be more daring with your introductions. Smart readers will know if your story is good. They’ll get the message or lesson after reading.

Tip #4 Tell a happy story

Having a positive theme or energy in your story will get your readers in the positive mood. No one wants to read about a constant complainer or a moody person. We don’t want read about a bad day when we ourselves are having one. Let’s not surround ourselves with negative people who only rob us of our positive energy. Don’t we want a picker-upper?

What to do: Highlight the uplifting, encouraging, productive and positive ideas for your audiences.

Tip #5 Be honest. Even if it hurts

Of course, you need to tell the bad parts, the juicy details that are ugly. It’s not always sunny in your story. Give the harsh details, the bad decisions, the missed opportunities, the total failures. You need to at least bring it out once. Then you move on to how you overcame all of these and survived in one piece.

What to do: Talk of your “failures” – it makes you more human and humble. Readers expect that kind of brutal honesty.

Tip #6 Your passion will show

There are many writers who can fake passion. And readers (and editors) can easily tell them from the true one writing from the heart. If you’re not passionate about, let’s say travelling, don’t write about exotic places. If you love cooking, then write a cookbook. If you’re not passionate about your topic, do you think your audience will?
What to do: If you know a topic by heart, words will come out easily and your audience will become more enticed and engrossed.

Tip #7 Be a little less creative

Sometimes, we get carried away in our words that we drown our audience in words and lose what we are trying to say. A few descriptive words are enough for them to know how sweet smelling a freshly baked cinnamon roll is. You don’t need to talk about “the little cute brown puppy trying without success to climb the green carpeted stairs. No, readers want to know what happened next, how was it, what was the lesson.

What to do: Too many words, too much time editing. Don’t be too creative.

Tip #8 Leave some for your audience to think

When you tell a story, don’t give away everything. Don’t tell your audience what they should and shouldn’t do. Readers are reading how you did it. So it’s up to them to relate it to their lives without you having to dictate the correct answers.

What to do: Motivate your audience to make their own decisions. Make them realize that in the end, it’s their decision.

Tips For Online Writers 2017

If breaking through as a writer were that easy, everybody would be doing it. But some are just better at being themselves, at being honest, and at being passionate without having to fake it.

These simple tips are your baby steps to becoming a writer and producing material that readers will eagerly wait for and be hungry to read. Writers live for that! It’s what makes them get out of bed in the morning and start putting thoughts into words. You’ll get there soon enough.

How to Avoid The 4 Most Common Copywriting Mistakes

Every single day, copywriters are surrounded by copywriting tips, advice and many others claiming to help them become the best there is. All these coming from everywhere it’s spinning around more constantly than the Earth itself. Where to begin? What to follow? How to tell if this trick will work? But even if these are followed to the letter, copywriters will make mistakes. For this reason, it is necessary to make a first (even second and third) draft because nothing becomes perfect the first time. Take note of these very common mistakes and hopefully, the mistakes will come few and far between.

#1 Not taking care of headlines

We think of a headline and go straight to writing it thinking the first one will be the final one. But more often than not, that initial headline is rubbish. Remember, your headline is the worm at the end of your line and if they won’t bite, you won’t get an audience. A good headline can grab a reader’s first and second glance. A so-so headline will be overlooked after reading it. And a poor one won’t be read at all.

A few copywriter tips on headlines:

Avoid link-bait headlines – These are the ones that want you to read on but offer very little solutions, or entertainment, and even value. If you keep using this type and don’t back it up with real content you are offering, you will have a disenchanted audience.

Avoid too much originality – While originality is fine, sometimes trying too hard to be original will backfire. Why? Headline forms have been tried and tested; most of them have worked over the years.

Avoid trying to be witty or funny – If you’re a comedian, this might work but if you’re trying to be funny first, you won’t get your message through and people won’t click at all – and that’s not funny anymore.

#2 Misunderstanding the features and the benefits

Even seasoned copywriters still get mixed up with the two.

“So, what comes with your product?”

Here, you write the FEATURES of your product. For example: AAA Batteries included; Comes with a leather case; It has its own Anti-Virus software.

It’s not describing the product, it’s listing the add-ons and the stuff users will get.

“So how will this thing help me?”

Here, you write what good things buyers will get. For example: No need to buy batteries; Product is protected because of the leather case; There is no need to download an anti-virus software.

See the difference? Write the features in bullet form and in shorter words. Focus more on the benefits because those will address the buyers’ needs, pains, and problems – that’s what buyers are looking for.

#3 Not focusing on layout

Think about the overall visual impact of your content. Think bullets, paragraph lengths, headers, sub headers, lists, etc. Remember that the average reader scans content first and if yours is too daunting, he’s not going to reader it. Some layout tips include:

  • Use headlines, sub headers, bullets and lists, bolded or italic words so that a reader will keep scrolling.
  • Use paragraph-summarizing headers so that a reader will get the picture.
  • Use bullets with only important words.
  • Avoid complex sentences that run too long.
  • Paragraphs should be around 4 to 5 sentences only.

#4 Not focusing on the buyer

Finally, if you get mixed up with the features and benefits, chances are you are not focusing on your buyer, too.

When a prospective buyer comes to your site, he wants to know, “What’s in it for me?” And if the answers aren’t there, he’s gone. He’s looking for a better life: things that can save him time and money, make him happier, healthier, etc.

A business owner understands what keeps their buyers busy, what they’d like to do with your product or how will the product improve their lives. And that’s what copywriters should focus on, not how good the company is and how awesome the product is.

It’s not easy

Alas, copywriting is not for everybody. It’s not for the faint-hearted writers even. Anyone can write anything on a website. But those words won’t guarantee sales. Whatever content you are creating, whether fresh or updating an existing one, copywriting cannot be just a footnote. These are only a few common mistakes. There are plenty out there but avoid these ones first. Don’t rush the normal process, be thorough in your writing, take the copywriter tips and advice of the seasoned ones and steal their techniques. Finally, get input from others in the industry and not just fellow writers and copywriters. You will always pick up rare gems of advice that you should consider using. You’ll see the results very soon.