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Posts tagged ‘quality content’

Content Buyers: Please to Read This!

The title of this post sums up the #1 reason why you shouldn’t hire Third World content writers willing to provide original content for $1 an article. While the grammatical errors may not be quite so obvious as the example in the title, a freelance writer who speaks English as a second language will always be at a disadvantage to a native English speaker.

The content on your website should accomplish several objectives: demonstrate your expertise within your niche, create rapport with potential customers, and harmonize with your brand’s image.  The ideal content will blend information and entertainment in a brand-appropriate style. (For example, a financial planning website calls for a more formal style than a party planning website.)

Your blog shouldn’t read like the script for a radio commercial.  Your keyword-optimized articles should flow naturally and not appear keyword stuffed with your keyword just for the sake of keyword search bots finding your keyword. (Yes, I made it sound that way on purpose to illustrate the point.) SEO is important but it’s the human visitors that click the “buy now” button.

“You get what you pay for” is a cliche for a reason. Of course, I’m biased. I’ll admit it.  I’ve written articles for $1–as a sample. Once I demonstrate my expertise and reliability, I expect to be paid accordingly. I don’t have to write for $1 an article any more. I have a steadily growing client base willing to pay a whole lot more. Maybe one of them is your competitor….

 

 

 

 

 

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Confessions of an Internet Marketing Failure

So why should you read what I have to say when I admit to failure at internet marketing? Maybe because I learned a lot from failing at internet marketing and am finally making money doing things I love–online. And I’m willing to share some of the things I’ve learned.

Try #1: NetNuggetz

I began publishing NetNuggetz Newsletter in the late 90’s.  The focus was on free business resources. I subscribed to over 100 ezines to get leads on free biz resources and published a list of 25 free business tools every week. Using free promotion, I grew my list by about 6000% in the first few months. My articles were reprinted all over the Internet, I got emails from subscribers thanking me, and at one point was described as “arguably one of the best Internet marketers out there.” In my stubborn quest to advance the pure Cause of Free, I refused to monetize my site. In my ignorance of How Things Worked, I listed a lot of free links that sent business to affiliates–great free pr for them, not so great for me.

Try #2: Free Christian Resource Center

This was a membership site designed to share free Christian resources–every free online Bible I could find, Bible studies, Sunday school crafts, sermons, etc. Once again, people appreciated the free resources, but didn’t seem to want to pay for the premium content.

Try #3: Free Christian Crafts

One thing I noticed about the Free Christian Resource Center site statistics was that most of my traffic was coming from people looking for Christian crafts.

The grand total revenue from all three sites was less than $50–2 Clickbank commissions from an ezine ad after I figured out how to join an affiliate program and a “virtual assist” job doing an article submission for another writer.

Then Reality attacked with a vengeance. Within a 6-month period of time, both my parents passed away, a hurricane hit our winter place in Florida, and I revisited parenthood with custody of two troubled teenage grandsons. The temporary custody turned permanent and hubby decided we needed to move to Florida full time.

Once we got down here, I needed a steady paycheck (teenage boys like to eat. A lot.) So I went back to work part time and set aside my dreams of online business for the time being.

I’m no longer able to work. In fact, I spent most of 2011 in a nursing home. While there, I reclaimed an old hobby–crochet. And did a booming business selling hats, purses, dolls and novelty items to staff, visitors, and residents.

So one of the first things I did when I got home was start a blog promoting my crochet gifts and patterns. I really enjoy needlecrafts and blogging and now have three blogs–one for crochet and knit, one for Christian gifts, and one for freelance writing.

Things I’ve learned:

1. There are plenty of free online tools to use to build and promote your business. But don’t be so determined to use freebies that you miss the benefit of a  tool or service that can pay for itself in increased business.

2. Quantity might seem to be important, but quality content is even more important.

3. Site statistics will tell you exactly what your visitors are looking for (and what keywords the Googlebot picked up on).

4. Find your niche. Fine-tune it. Give it time to grow.

Does it work? In my first 2 weeks, I brought in several times the grand total from before. On March 2, my crochet blog had 7 visitors. On March 3, it had 7,013.  I still believe in providing value through freebies–in moderation. I’m still reluctant to do too much “monetizing” with outgoing link ads, banners, or popups. And I still believe the internet is a great frontier with plenty of opportunities for everyone.

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This article may be freely reprinted as long as it is unedited and resource box is included.

Judy Cox is a freelance writer and needlecrafter. Grab some free content or request a quote on custom original content at https://publisherpotpourri.wordpress.com

 

Writer vs. Copyscape

Once again I’ve been informed by a client that Copyscape “identified plagiarized material” in an original article I wrote. Since every article I write is 100% original (and I find it difficult to imagine another writer coming up with exactly the same words I would use) I don’t worry much about Copyscape.

Unless, of course, I’m doing an assignment through Freelancer.com. I’m finding that a lot of times I end up working for a third world subcontractor who depends too much on Copyscape and not enough on common sense.

After checking the flagged text, I emailed the client and pointed out that the flagged material was: 1. a direct quote 2. from a recognized expert in the field 3. properly identified and attributed as a quote and 4. therefore NOT “plagiarism”. He emailed me back, saying, ok, he would leave it as is for his client to approve or not.

I’ve had Copyscape flag common phrases (such as “red, white and blue”) before and often it’s easier to rewrite the phrase, especially for a client who speaks English as a second language. To me, it reduces the quality of the article and makes it read awkwardly.

Copyscape and similar tools were designed to improve the quality of online content, just as search algorithms were designed to return relevant results.

. “Quality” may not always be formally “correct” in terms of following Established Rules of Grammar. (Sometimes a sentence fragment is more effective than a proper sentence, and I have been known to deliberately fragment a sentence for effect.)

We just need to remember that the ultimate audience for our content is human.

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(This article is free to reprint as long as it is unedited and resource box below is included)

Judy Cox is a freelance writer specializing in blog posts and articles on a wide variety of topics. Grab some freebies and read article samples at http://publisherpotpourri.worpress.com .