3 Reasons Why You Need Content Strategy

A content strategist is a popular person. And with good reason. After all, a content strategist can do for your website what no ordinary writer can – make it usable. If you’re not really sure what content strategy can achieve for you, here are three reasons that will make you want it, and want it bad:

  1. To Organize Your Content
  2. So you’ve got pages and pages of content – old, new, pre-historic, relevant, irrelevant etc. Someone in your company has got to sort it out. It’s a dirty job and no one wants to do it. So you might think it’s a good idea to just put all of it on the Internet.

    In comes the content strategist. She will actually help you arrive at what content REALLY needs to go on your website. Each page will have a definite purpose. Every piece of content will have to go through a ‘Do we really need it? Why?’ test.

    The result is a well-organized website that doesn’t look daunting for users.

  3. To Keep Your Content Fresh and Relevant
  4. Ever been to a website that shows you ‘future’ events from two years ago? What do you think of that company?

    An important function of content strategy is content governance. It means planning for the future of your content. It will decide when the content will be updated and help you allocate resources that will actually do that for you. So your content is always fresh and relevant and users always come back for more.

  5. So You Get Those all Important Leads
  6. Content strategy gives you a clean, usable website, where users can easily find the information they are looking for. A good content strategist will be able to identify the vocabulary your audience uses, and picks just the right words that will intrigue it. The result most often is that users want to know more and fill in that online form, giving you those leads that you’ve been looking for.

    And we know what that means – more leads leads to more sales leads to more revenue etc. It even leads to an improved brand perception.

    Usability is an actual science, and only a content strategy expert will be able to help you achieve that one.

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Why It Pays to Pay a Little More for Article Writing Services

If you’ve ever fallen for the $4 article writing trap, you must know the trappings that come with it. It’ll most likely be content from someone for whom English is a second language. It will not only be grammatically incorrect but complete nonsense as well. This sort of SEO article writing will not only make you cringe, it’ll make you want to cry.

If you’re a website owner

If you’re a website owner, SEO article writing that’s poorly done can severely damage your business. Here’s why:

  1. Search engines like Google have become really strict about indexing quality content. So article writing that sucks simply won’t be indexed. Which means all the money you’re paying your SEO company will come to naught.
  2. In the unlikely event that people do chance upon this article writing, of which you are purportedly the author, you will look unprofessional and unworthy of their attention.

Do your research, ask for work samples and hire a good writer. Even if they charge significantly more than $4 for their article writing services, it will bring you such high ROI, that it will be money well spent.

If you’re an SEO company

The days of ‘quantity over quality’ content are gone. Your clients are probably already complaining about the poor quality of your SEO article writing. By hiring good writers who will give you impeccable work, you can actually afford to charge your clients a premium. Good quality content is hard to come by, and this will be your differentiator.

If you’re trying to squeeze more margins out of your article writing services, remember, you won’t be in business for long.

It’s time the world woke up to the importance of quality content in SEO. It is definitely the most crucial tool in the Internet Marketing process.

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4 Top Myths about Indian Content Writing Services

Anyone who’s been down the SEO road would have tried out the content writing services of an Indian SEO company or content writing company. Lured by low rates, many clients have unfortunately burnt their fingers with unprofessional writers from the Indian subcontinent. There is enough bad press going around about ‘outsourced writers’, ‘non-native speakers of English’ etc. Considering the many misconceptions about content writing services from India, here are a few top myths I think, need to be busted:

Myth #1

English is not a first language

Many Indian writers go to schools and colleges where the medium of instruction is English. They think in English, speak in English and write very well in English too. To this small bunch of writers, English comes more naturally than their mother tongues. Some of them become prolific writers and start their own content writing company.

Myth #2

Indian writers are cheap in price and quality

Not every Indian content writing company is dirt cheap. And not every Indian writer offers low quality content writing services. While it’s true that the content writing market is filled with unscrupulous writers who churn out drivel for a dime, there is a niche with responsible writers that take their work very seriously. These are writers who’ve worked as English copywriters for leading advertising agencies, understand copy and can even tell you a thing or two about user experience and content. These writers charge a fee that is higher than that of low quality writers, but is still cheaper than what you would get elsewhere.

Myth #3

Indian writers are unprofessional

You might have made a faux pas in choosing a content writing service in the past. You may have hired writers that didn’t turn in work on time or wrote irrelevant content. However, those writers that take their work seriously make sure they understand your business completely and write articles, press releases, blogs and website content that meet your marketing objectives.

Myth #4

Indian writers can’t write in American or British English

American and British media is consumed by Indians everyday. Educated Indian writers have access to foreign newspapers, sitcoms and movies. A new culture is has made its way into the Indian psyche and manifests in the language of the educated Indian. Obviously, this reflects in our content writing too. The truly perceptive writer can adapt from Indian to American to Queen’s English as and when needed.

The next time you find an Indian content writing company, don’t shut it out. You could be pleasantly surprised with the great quality of writing, professionalism and at least 30% saving in your costs.

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Understanding Content Strategy

This is my first official post on the big, fat, beautiful world of content strategy. I feel deeply for the subject because it resonates with my deepest belief: content matters.

Being a writer in the Indian subcontinent is not easy. You come with certain tags attached: ‘non-native speaker of English’ (even though English IS my first language), ‘cheap SEO writing’, ‘unprofessional’ etc.  Universally you’re only known as a copywriter, a web content writer or an editor. And jostling for space among all these labels is the one that perhaps defines me (and some other unsuspecting writers) the best: content strategist.

What is content strategy?

According to Kristina Halvorson, content strategist and one of the main advocates of content strategy,” Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.” In other words, it answers the rather difficult question ‘So what’s your point’ and ‘Who cares’?

How many times have you been through a website, plodding through loads of data (Mission and Vision, anyone?) trying to scoop out the little nuggets that you really need?

Well a content strategist identifies, before the website is made, what those nuggets are and where she can place them so you find them easily. She also decides what information is really ‘useless fluff’ and cuts it out. She intuits what information you will be looking for at a particular time. For instance, the mobile website will have the company’s contact details first up, while the regular one will have its service categories clearly explained. She also knows what words work for you and speak to you in a language that you love.

And it doesn’t just stop here. A content strategist meticulously plans a schedule for when the website will be edited, updated and fresh, meaningful content is added. This is called content governance.

How does content strategy serve you, the client?

By giving you a website that is very user-friendly. Visitors are going to love your website – they will want to keep coming back because they now find what they need, when they need it. They’re more likely to end up as leads because they the content is worded in a way that is attractive to them. Plus you look a lot better and professional than all those other outdated websites.

Content strategy is a huge science in itself and so exciting to learn. We’ve only skimmed the surface with this post.  Watch out for more in this space.

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Ideas for Travel Writing

Most writers dream of travel writing.  If you’ve launched yourself into the wonderful world of travel website content writing you’re bound to love it. And then hate it. And then love it again.

You can’t help but share a love hate relationship with this genre of writing. You love it because you actually get to put your wanderings (frequently imagined – not every website will pay you to visit the place) down in words.  But then again, once you’re done writing about a place, you think you’ve exhausted every possible detail. Yet the same keywords keep rolling in. That’s when you think you hate it. Such are the perils of offering travel writing services. Until you’re given your next destination.

If you think you’re running out of ideas when writing for a travel website, here are a few tips that will help the thoughts to flow:

Take a different Angle: Your travel writing doesn’t have to include only a description of the place. Anyone who Googles ‘Krabi’ will find hundreds of travel articles describing the place. Try to take a different angle to the same place. For instance, “Off the beaten track in Krabi”. Write about places that are far away from throngs of tourists, pristine and undiscovered. Although this might be hard if you’re not actually visiting these places, it’s not impossible. You’ll just have to pick your client’s brains a little bit.

Make your Articles useful: Users love useful content. This is one of the commandments for web usability and goes for travel writing services as well. Think of little nuggets of information that could actually be useful for readers. E.g. ‘How to pack for Barcelona in fall’; “What to do during a long layover in Delhi”. Trust me, users will appreciate this information even more than your beautifully worded, vivid description of Machu Pichu. And it solves your problem too- you can use the same keywords without actually repeating yourself.

Titillate your Readers: Unfortunately the travel writing genre is ridden with clichés. The only way to differentiate your travel website content writing from another is to have headings that seduce the reader. Tell him something he doesn’t already know and package it really well. For instance “ 3 things you didn’t know about Amsterdam and were too afraid to ask” ; “Two things your mamma never told you about Sydney”. The idea is to pique the reader’s curiosity, get more clicks and of course, provide original, useful information. This, I strongly believe, will differentiate your travel writing services from the ‘also-rans’ in the industry.

Travel website content writing can be creatively fulfilling. Just have fun with it!

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