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Tips for Creating Content People Want to Read

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Content Marketing

Creating ContentJust because Google wants you to add content to your website, doesn’t mean you should hit publish after every phrase you write. People want better content. They want content that helps them in a meaningful way or makes them feel something intense or creates a better life for them or their family.

When we’re writing for the sake of writing, no one cares.

  • Lots of content is a recycled and less effective version of what’s already available.
  • The content is being created for the sake of SEO and nothing else.
  • You aren’t solving a problem for your readers.

When we’re writing for the sake of telling a story, solving a problem, or sharing how our business helps people, we are creating content that matters. We’re creating content people want to read and that sets us apart from the loads of crap that is available. [Tweet “Lots of content is a recycled and less effective version of what’s already available. #NoOneCares”]

Who is your target audience?

A key to writing content that people want to read is to identify your target audience.

As I began my journey as a freelance writer, I went out to the community and began networking with other women in business. We went around the room saying our name, the name of our business, and described a good lead. The idea was that we could refer clients to each other as we were networking in various circles.

HINT: Everyone is NOT your target audience.

The woman who represented a large cosmetics company stood up, gave her name and business, and said, “A good lead for me this week is anyone with skin.”

Even as a newbie to networking I knew this was bad. It was too broad.

A better response would have been, “Women ages 35 to 55 who are seeking solutions to aging.”

Take time to figure out your target audience, not just for blogging purposes but for an overall marketing strategy. You can’t market to people you don’t know.

It’s okay if the target audience changes over time as it most likely will.

What pain point(s) does your business solve for clients?

Now that you know your target audience, you can create better content. Answer questions your clients are asking you. Tell your audience how you help them solve a problem.

Not enough time to blog? Great. Hire me. I am a professional blogger.

Know you need content on your website but aren’t sure what to write? Call me. I can help.

You might need to step outside your business to see the problem that you solve.

When my accountant asked me what problem he solved, I said he took the weight of tax preparation and planning off my shoulders. I guess that makes him a weight loss coach!

What problem does your business solve for your clients? Answer that in each blog post or piece of content that you create. You will soon become a valuable asset to your clients and they will refer you as a trusted source.

It isn’t enough to just be creating content. We have to be sharing it.

Often I meet with a prospective client who wonders what we will do with blog posts once we create them. It’s a great question that I love to answer! In fact, I am working on a book on the exact subject. The short answer is that we never want to let a blog post just sit on a website. It needs to be shared.

In my blog post You’ve Written a Blog Post Now What, I address the importance of sharing content on social media and in a newsletter. While these are both effective ways to share content, I’d add that sharing content goes beyond sharing on your own social media accounts.

Join groups where your target market is spending time and engage other members of the group. Ask and answer questions. Make yourself a valued member of the group. When appropriate, share content from your blog, a link to your website services, and links to your social media accounts. The best groups I’ve found have been on Facebook and LinkedIn.

As you’re developing content ideas, I encourage you to stop writing crap and start creating content people care about and that is different than other content we’re seeing.

Share your awesome content with me on Twitter @freemcauley!

If you’re overwhelmed at the prospect of blogging for business, I’d love to chat with you about creating content that speaks to your target audience. Call me at 480-206-6452 or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Newsletters Aren’t Just for the Trash (How to Use Newsletter Content for Your Blog)

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Content Marketing

Content for Your BlogEmail can be overwhelming and sometimes we do it to ourselves. I’ve signed up for more newsletters than I care to count. Last year I used Unroll Me to unsubscribe from thousands of emails to which I was subscribed.

It was part of a strategy to test my theory that newsletters from other people aren’t just for the trash and that you can use the content for your social media and blog posts.

Here’s how to use newsletter content for your blog

Why Website Content Matters

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Content Marketing

If you’re not adding content to your business website, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with your target audience and increase your search engine ranking (SER). Without content, your website is nothing but a pretty design — and it’s not telling visitors a story. In my guest blog post on 910 West, I discuss Why Website Content Matters. HINT: The easiest and most affordable way to add content to a website is by blogging.

[Tweet “HINT: The easiest and most affordable way to add content to a website is by blogging.”]

Why You Need a Blog Editorial Calendar

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Content Marketing

blog editorial calendarIt is becoming more and more clear that my clients and I need to have a plan bigger than “I will blog about your business for you.” We need an editorial calendar of topics and sources from which I can work. That way they know what I am writing. I know it’s approved by them. And it saves time for both of us.

Why You Need a Blog Editorial Calendar 

  1. Mapping your blog. Whether you have a ghostblogger likeme writing for you or you’re writing your own posts, an editorial calendar provides a roadmap of topics on which you’re writing.

You’ve Written a Blog Post. Now What?

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Content Marketing

blog postYou’ve written a blog post. Now what? It’s sitting on your blog waiting for people to find it but no one is finding it. Why? You’re going to think this sounds weird but people want to be told what to do.

No one wants to be told what to do….or do they?

When it comes to content marketing, people want to be told what to do. They want to be told where to find the information they need. They want to know who the best bloggers are and when they post new content.

How do you share your blog posts?

  • Share on multiple social media sites multiple times over multiple days. Change the message – take a sentence from the post that will catch readers’ attention, ask a question, make a statement about the blog topic – then add a link to the post.

How to Begin Creating Engaging Content

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Content Marketing

creating engaging contentHow to begin content creation begins with making a commitment to creating content and then following through. It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. Next you need to identify your target market and why you want to create content. Without these two pieces, you won’t build content that is focused on your goals.

Identify Your Target Market

If you don’t know who you’re talking to or want to be talking to, then how do you know what to say? You don’t. You have to identify your target market so you know who you are reaching or who you want to reach so you can build a content strategy that speaks to them. 

Know Why You’re Creating Content

Knowing why you’re creating content will keep you focused on the goal. In Ken Blanchard’s book One Minute Manager, he writes about goals being like bowling pins. If you don’t have the pins to knock down, then how do you know when to celebrate? You could be rolling bowling balls all day and not know if you’ve hit your target. The same is true for content.

Here are some common reasons to create content:

Don’t be Lazy When it Comes to Content Creation

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Content Marketing

New ContentCreating content takes time and energy….and lots of it. All too often I hear business owners say they don’t have time or resources to write on their blog or post to social media. When I ask why, they say they just don’t see the value. Many say they get clients through referrals and they don’t need to be found online.

Creating content is essential to your business being found online, and ahead of your competition in search engine results.

What happens when the referral pipeline runs dry?

Building a business based solely on referrals means relying on others to send you leads. While that is good, and is how I built my business, there comes a time when we have to generate our own leads.

For me, generating my own leads means creating content for my blog while also ghostwriting for client blogs. It keeps the business moving forward while creating opportunities for attracting my target market. [Let’s be honest, by “moving forward” I mean ongoing client work and income.]

What is the value of creating content?

Three Elements of Great About Pages

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Content Marketing

As a website copywriter I am often asked to update the About Page for a business website. In researching and reviewing I have seen a variety of good, bad and so-so examples. From the shortest to the busiest to the vainest to those that are a perfect combination, here are the three elements of great about pages:

  1. Professional Headshot: Stop cutting your family out of photos that you use for business. Stop fooling us into thinking that isn’t a big mouse or the ocean behind you. Invest some time and money in professional headshots that reflect you and your business.
  2. Tells us something about you: We don’t need a complete biography but it is nice to have a personal element in your About Page. Hobbies, pets, spouses and children are all good to share in limited quantities.
  3. Tells us how you can help us: This may be the lost part of many About pages on websites. We think ABOUT mean about US as a business owner when it really means ABOUT THE BUSINESS or HOW YOU HELP CLIENTS.

Great About pages are a healthy combination of these key elements. Check out our About Page and share your comments below.

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info@mcauleyfreelancewriting.com