These are a few of my (and Google’s) favorite things….

Content, Content, Content….

With the release of Google’s recent Hummingbird algorithm update, the term “content is king” is in the spotlight again. But, what exactly does this ‘sovereign’ phrase really mean for business and website owners?


What Exactly is Content Marketing?

For businesses, having a continuous stream of content that engages its readers and causes an action is critical for doing business.

This means producing relevant content that leads to actions such as newsletter signups, social sharing, online purchases, generating leads, increased phone queries or even physical location walk-ins. That’s why it is said that the key purpose of all content marketing strategy is to ‘persuade a visitor to take an action’.

In addition, effective SEO strategies can be executed only after coming up with new and innovative ways of content generation across all platforms.

Here are five essential ingredients to help develop that winning content marketing strategy:


Identify and Write for an Audience, not only Search Engines

When you’re in the process of achieving high rankings, it’s easy to forget that you actually need to communicate to someone.

Whether you’ve consciously thought about it or not, you always write to an audience which can be: sometimes a generic group of readers; sometimes a specific set.

Once you identify and keep your audience in mind, it does more than ensure that you write clearly. It helps you make good decisions about what content to include, how to address them, and how best to organize your information.

For instance, if you were writing for a business consulting site, you would want to use a different set of vocabulary, phrasing and tone that say, if you were writing for a parental website.

The following questions will help you get started on thinking about how to address your audience …

1)      What does your audience believe or already know?

2)      How can you help them?

3)      How do you establish rapport with your audience?

4)      What style of writing, tone, and information would appeal to them?

5)      How do you direct the audience’s attention?

6)      How do you wrap up with them?

Besides, it is important to have a smart content strategy that extends beyond keyword density to include usability, readability and grammar of the content as well.

Businesses who address all of the above will naturally observe increase in their rankings, and more importantly an upward graph towards better leads and a healthy ROI.

Keeping the audience in perspective provides you exactly what search engines love: organic signals on how popular and informative your content is.


Embrace Social: Create Content that can be shared on your Social Media Profiles

There is no denying the fact that social media has changed the way we conduct our business. It has changed the way we interact with our clients, potential customers, colleagues and employers.

Social media channels can act as powerful tools for content marketers and business owners who want to drive new readers and relationships.

A post in Social Media Today refers ‘social media’ as a never ending marathon (and not a onetime sprint). Anytime you add new posts to your website or blog, make sure to post it on your social media profiles as well. At the bare minimum you should have a FB page, G+ page and a Twitter handle to share your posts on. Active social profiles act like gleaming billboards that makes it easy for visitors to follow you to your main website.

It is also worthy to have a social sharing tool bar installed to every single post. This gives your visitors the ability to share what they just liked to their own circle of friends. It also serves as a measurement tool to understand how popular your post is.

Although social signals do not carry the same weight as natural high quality backlinks, they do factor in search engine rankings. Just like a good restaurant that serves great food, the authority and activity of your website sharing the content holds more value that the total number of shares.


Get Visual with Videos and Info graphics

Psychologists have time and again demonstrated the power of non verbal communication. They say that when presented with visual stimuli, human brain decodes its image elements in a faster, non-sequential way, while text or language is deciphered in a linear, sequential manner, taking more time to process.

This explains the rising popularity of sites such Instagram and Pinterest.

Since we are all thrive on visual cues, using infographics and videos to put content in front of your readers  stimulates a readers neural connections in more ways than one – while allowing you to deliver your message with less effort.


Monitor your Analytics and Fine-tune it

To know what content strategies are performing it is important to have a monitoring system in place. Google Analytics tool gives you an effective measurement landscape to understand metrics such as how many conversions are coming from your social pages? Or is the readership growing on your blog? How to identify the most popular content? Which campaigns are fuelling your leads? Is it email marketing or paid campaigns that are more effective.

Monitoring data will help you sort metrics to quickly find low performing pages or campaigns that need improvement, or high performing pages that can be used to guide future designs.

For someone who is not familiar in setting up and using Google Analytics, a free Digital Analytics Fundamental Course from Google can help you get started. Yes it’s free J and even I did it.


Be Consistent

As business dynamics change with time, so does the needs of your readers and visitors to your site.

To stay abreast, updating your site with fresh and relevant content is important. If not, in all likelihood your visitors will soon lose interest and not return.

Make sure that content updation and syndication remains consistent regardless of whether you’re doing all of it in-house or hiring an agency to do it.

A heady concoction of these simple tips can help you create than winning formula that increases leads, traffic, conversions and higher rankings.



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Writing is thinking.

And yes, it can be intimidating too.

There’s this proverbial expectation of knowing ‘thy’ purpose, expressing with artful precision, overcoming mammoth grammatical rules, and the singular angst that comes with writing for other people.

You often begin with a neat idea or a tiny chunk of inspiration, but as you try to weave it into language, it feels more like you’re pulling out your own guts.

Well, needless to say, writing is not a mystical art (as my fellow writers will agree) – but a practical skill acquired with months, if not years of practice. Except, sometimes, it is not so much fun.

Here I talk about few hurdles that come up in the writing process and how one can overcome them.

 Overcoming Past Rejections or Bad First Impressions

If you’re a writer, chances are that you’ve faced rejection. I certainly have. They are disheartening indeed, but when you think of it there’s immense value in staying motivated..

  1. Be Strong
  2. Realize that the rejection, like it or not, is part of the writing process and sometimes your work isn’t a fit with the client, agent or the publisher. Keep trying.
  3. Reward (be proud of) yourself everyday for finishing a paragraph, or a chapter, or a topic.
  4. Do not let external circumstances decide the course of your creative pursuits.
  5. Remember why you started in the first place. It is really about being you.

Beginnings and Endings

“But I learned long ago that you cannot tell how you will end by how you start.” – John Steinbeck, Journal of a Novel

And life can be like that, too. When you write, it makes all of us think smarter – because it forces you to go beyond the polite introductory party liner and really reflect about the impact your writing may have.

You simply need to start.


Speed up your Writing

Writing Tips


In this age of this digital disruption – you cannot wait endlessly for inspiration to strike. And if you’re a freelance writer, you already know how important it is to diversify and keep those articles, website projects, blog posts and work coming. Here’s what worked for me.

  1. Write first – then revise.
  2. Do not procrastinate on Social Networks.
  3. Do not worry about spelling errors…you can always edit the ‘p’s and the ‘a’s later.
  4. Set up a fixed time for writing.
  5. Keep your fingers moving…no emails, no phone calls, no distractions, whatsoever in between.

Do Not Stop Having Fun!

When wannabes become professional writers, we sometimes lose that edge, that creativity, that fun that drew us to writing in the first place. Writing isn’t just about your income; it’s your passion too. So do not stop having fun. :)

Best wishes on your journey into writing!





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