Article Writing Services: What to Remember

So you’re a writer and have decided to launch content writing services. Any copywriter in the know recognizes the profitability of content writing for the web. Not surprisingly SEO article writing services will soon figure in your list of services. However, SEO article writing is different from writing articles or features for print. So even if you’re an experienced writer, there are some things that you need to know to offer article writing services that will be successful in meeting your client’s business objectives.

Keep the article relevant to the client’s business: It seems obvious doesn’t it? Believe me, it’s not! This is where most writers go wrong.

A lot of times articles find their way to you through SEO companies and it’s easier to not go through the client’s website. But if you want the satisfaction of seeing your content writing actually impacting business (and if you want to stay in business in the long run), keep your articles relevant to what the client does. Let’s say the client is a manufacturer of silver cufflinks and your topic is ‘Choosing cufflinks for men’. Go to the client’s website and see if he offers plain silver cufflinks or studded ones. Then focus on ‘silver cufflinks’ in your article rather than promoting the benefits of buying gold ones.

When offering content writing services, especially articles, its easy to get caught in the flow and put your own views forward rather than what benefits the client.

Keyword placement: Ok, we’re really getting down to the basics here. But most writers only know that SEO content writing services require some keyword mumbo jumbo. Does it really matter where we place the keywords as long as they figure somewhere? Yes. There’s a science behind how search engines crawl through content on the web, so knowing where to place keywords is crucial.

Definitely keep a primary keyword in the headline, preferably within the first eight words. Include the primary keyword again in the first sentence, as soon as possible. Include at least 1-2 secondary keywords in the first paragraph.

Length of the Article: Most SEO articles are required to be between 300 to 500 words. Don’t bother keeping it longer than 500 words – it’s not going to fetch you any results.

Article Topic: Like with all forms of content writing, the title of your article must grab the reader’s attention. Try to write articles that actually add value to the reader’s life rather than hastily typing anything that will make do. Your careful attention to the subject will increase chances of it actually being clicked on and driving traffic to your client’s website. For instance, if you need to write an article on SEO, perhaps you could write about ‘5 SEO myths busted’. This would address common questions that clients looking for SEO have.

When writing articles, remember, the key lies not only in verbally and technically sound writing but also in providing actual benefits to readers.

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Travel Writing 101

The art of travel writing is a huge subject. This is just a brief 101 for travel writers to get started with. This is meant for those want to write travel articles for the web, travel blog writing or even travel brochure writing.

Almost every half-decent writer fancies becoming a travel writer, thinking that it must be the cushiest job in the world. It’s a lot of fun, no doubt, but it also calls for some key skills. Therefore travel writing needs more than just excellent writing. It comes with practice and some careful choice of information and words.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind before embarking on a new travel writing mission:

  1. Pick a place you love / Do your research: If you’re writing about a place that you’ve actually visited, choose a place that you really enjoyed. Your enthusiasm will reflect in your writing and will be contagious, making it far more enjoyable for your reader.
    Many travel articles and travel blog writing projects are however assigned to you by travel website owners. In this case, you may not have physically been to these places so you need to do plenty of in-depth research. Don’t give the audience a sketchy picture of the destination. This will make them doubt the authenticity of your client’s website and make your client lose potential business.
  2. Information you must include: All good examples of travel writing must have detailed information like ‘best time to go’, ‘restaurants for all budgets’, ‘places to shop’ and ‘top attractions’. Readers look for these details and having them there will give your article more hits.
  3. Make it real: Use evocative imagery when describing a place. Use your words to conjure an image so tangible your users can almost touch it. For instance, compare these two sentences: “Crystal clear turquoise waters gently lick the white, powdery beaches while the trees sway lazily in the breeze.” and “The beach has a calm sea with turquoise crystal clear waters and a gentle breeze.” The first sentence evokes an image of tranquility, whereas the second sentence describes, well, just a tropical beach.
  4. Avoid clichés: Like any good piece of writing your travel articles should be devoid of any clichés.
  5. Get down to details: When doing travel brochure writing or even travel blog writing, try and include specific subjects like ’10 best beaches in Spain’ or ‘5 most romantic destinations in Thailand’. These are likely to get more hits on the web and your reader’s attention.
  6. Use illustrations: While this doesn’t apply to travel brochure writing, all forms of travel writing for the web could do with easy-to-read shortcuts and illustrations. E.g. wherever possible use stars or thumbs to rate, use dollar signs to indicate budget etc. The more user-friendly your writing is, the more hits and more repeat visitors you’ll have.

Now that you’ve got the basics in place, practice, practice, practice! This is the only way you’ll master the art of travel writing and also ensure that you contribute to the SEO of travel websites in a big way.

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Strategic Website content writing: The Key to Conversions

I have the good fortune to be offering content writing services in India and globally. Seen as a pain in the you-know-where universally, the prospect of web content writing often elicits a groan or at most a dismissive grunt from most clients. And all I have to say to them is that if that’s the way you feel about doing website content, your audience will feel the same way too.

The word ‘audience’ for some strange reason, many clients think, only applies to design. The objective seems to blur from their vision when it comes to web content writing. “After all what can web content writing do?” they reason. “There needs to be lots of content on every page. Otherwise it’s going to look like we haven’t put any effort into our website.” And that’s my point. Your website content has to look effortless.

Your customer doesn’t want pages of content. He wants information. He doesn’t care whether you put it in two words or five. As long as it’s all there and he can move on. The key is WHICH two (or five words) you choose to put and WHERE you put them. This is really what converts your prospect as much as design.

If you have a website, here’s what your content writing services provider should ask you:

  1. Who is your audience? Is it a 15-year old, school-going, I-phone-loving teenager in America or a forty-year old, conservative housewife in Mumbai?
  2. What specific benefit do you want to convey to your audience? The audience has to see a clear benefit in your content.
  3. E.g. If you are selling fashion bracelets for teenage boys, which of these do you think they’ll respond to?

    Option 1: Silver, spiked bracelets that bring out the ‘bad boy’ in you. Slip it on. Get the chicks and move on. Click here to buy now. Click here for more details.

    Option 2: XYZ is a company that is based in Texas. It offers a whole range of fashion bracelets for boys and has won many awards for its product design, HR processes and marketing efforts. Our bracelets are silver with spikes. They’re designed to make you feel really good and will fetch you plenty of compliments. These delightful bracelets will make you want more and more. Buy it for yourself and for your friends. They make a great gift for birthdays and Christmas too. Click here to buy.

    I’m hoping you said Option 1!

  4. What is the objective of your website? Is it to make a sale? Generate a lead? Engage the user? Build a brand in his mind?

What’s important when doing website content writing or offering any other form of content writing services, is not to insult the intelligence of your audience. No one falls for hyperbole. More importantly, no one has time to plod through the exaggerations to find the little nuggets of information.

As a website owner, you can make the content writing process exciting for yourself. As a content writer, you can get your client to take you more seriously. This will happen only when you realize that you don’t HAVE to have 300 words on every page. Ask ‘why’ am I putting this word here? What objective is it meeting? Even the delicate divide of less content but enough for SEO can be met.

There’s lots to be said on strategic and scientific website content writing, including the concept of heat maps, and knowing how audiences read content on website. That’s going to be reserved for another post. Until then, let’s start evaluating and downsizing! Happy cleaning!

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