Archive | SEO Writing

Why is your headline not selling?

How to write great headlines?If you are writing content regularly, chances are you are challenged at times over the use of headlines, creating headline, and creating headlines that will actually grab the reader’s attention.  And you’re not alone.

Your headline is what grabs the reader’s attention and in one sentence makes them decide if they are going to give up their valuable time to read your content or pass it over for the next guys. If you want to make that sale, you better figure out how to make them choose yours.

Regardless of how good your content is, if the headline doesn’t get them in the door, it won’t matter.

Too often the headline is the afterthought for writers. They throw it together more to inform -a synopsis of the article content- rather that utilize it as an attention grabber or bait to the reader. Unless you are writing technical data, your headline should do one of two things:

  • Make the Reader Curious
  • Disturb the Reader

If your headlines are not doing one of these two things, they are most likely not as effective as they could be.

Let’s take a few examples and decide which of the two headlines below you would be more likely to click through to.

Case #1

Cleaning Up Your Credit Is As Easy As 1-2-3.

Is Your Credit Cleanup Missing This Key Component?

Case #2

Lower Your Insurance Rates With Our Proven System.

Is Your Insurance Company Holding You Hostage?

Case # 3

8 Ways To Keep Your Child Healthy.

Don’t Let Your Children Fall Victim To These Health Pirates!

First set Vs Second set of head lines

In almost all cases, the reader has an idea of what the articles are about by the headlines. In the first set, in all of these headlines the reader is expecting to learn about credit clean up, car insurance and their child’s health.

So, what’s the difference between the first and the second in each set? Well, let’s break it down.

In the first headline of each set, the writer has given away too much information about the article. The reader can quickly decide if they want to read one more droning article about cleaning up your credit or insurance rates. Since the reader knows these are everywhere, he or she is less inclined to make an extra effort and may just decide they can do the research themselves later. There is no draw.

The second headline, though also clearly about the same subject matter, leads the reader to think a bit more, piques their curiosity or disturbs them enough to want to know more. “Hey, maybe I am missing This? What is This? Could I be missing something with my kids health? What are health pirates anyway?”

Case # 1 Explained

No one wants to miss out on solving a problem they have or be the last one to know, right? The mere disturbance and curiosity created by giving away just enough information is most likely going to make the reader want to learn more about this article.

Case # 2 Explained

In the case of the insurance headlines, the writer has hit on a common feeling among consumers and utilized that anger to entice the reader. I know I would want to know if my insurance company is holding me hostage…those insurance companies are always trying to make a buck!

Case # 3 Explained

And again, in the last article the writer has hit on an emotional chord and then gives away only enough information to disturb the reader enough to click through.

The key in all three is CURIOSITY or DISTURBANCE.

Try getting a little of either (or both) into your next headline and see if it doesn’t make a big difference.

Obviously, there is much more involved in writing headlines that sell, but we’ll save that for the next article. For now, give this technique a try.

Share your thoughts in the comments area.

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10 Ways to Get Ideas for Your Blog Posts

SEO Writing: 10 Ways to Get Ideas for Your Blog PostsEvery writer knows there is going to come a time when you hit the wall or face the dreaded writers block.  If it hasn’t happened to you yet, chances are it will at some point.  The trick is not avoiding these less inspired times; the trick is finding your way out.

In order to be both creative and productive you will need a few tips to help get the creative juices flowing.  Here are a few to consider:

1. Watch the News or a Talk Show

Often we get inspired to write by something completely unrelated to our niche or topic.  One pattern of thinking leads to another and suddenly you have that “AHA!” moment.

2. Listen to a Podcast in Your Niche

Even if you can find podcasts in a related niche or a subject line very similar it may help to inspire some ideas.  Perhaps they will mention a product or a way of doing something that is a bit different and gets you thinking.

3. Turn to your News Aggregator or Feed

Sometimes headlines alone can trigger an idea for a great blog post.  It could even be from something completely off topic.  Read through your feed headlines and see if you get any ideas.

4. Read Someone Else’s Blog

Visit your favorite blog or, even better, a competitor’s blog, and read their last few posts. Maybe they have thought about something you haven’t or perhaps you can bring a fresh approach to something they have written in the past.

5. Automatic Writing

If you have never tried this, it can be both enlightening and entertaining.  Pick a topic you are interested in writing in and just start jotting down information about that topic.  If doesn’t have to be good, it can be bad, silly, out of context, just write!  Don’t stop to think, just keep writing for about 2-3 minutes.  If all you can think of is one word, write it…a whole sentence, write it.  The key is to get it out of your head and on paper.  The results can often lead to a barrage of great ideas.

6. Read Your Blog Comments

Your readers will provide some of the best inspiration for your blog posts.  See what questions they are asking or which posts got them talking the most. This usually leads to highly read posts since your readers have asked for it.

7. Read Quotes

I have been inspired a number of times just by reading famous quotes.  It lets your mind focus on some things that you may not think of regularly.

8. Keep an Inspiration File

Whenever you are reading a magazine or surfing the net, jott down ideas or tear out pages of content that inspire you.  Keep them in a file to review when you need a little extra kick in the butt creatively.  You can also keep a list of potential post titles in this file.  Write them down during those times when you seem to have an overflow of ideas and keep them for later.

9. Visit a Q&A Site

This is one of my favorite ways to come up with ideas for writing.  I will go to a site like Yahoo Answers and search a keyword in my niche.  I’ll breeze through some of the Questions and Answers to see if there is anything I could maybe touch on.  I often get great ideas just from this process.

10. Walk Away

OK, sometimes there is nothing you can do right then and there. You can’t force creativity and even if you try, the end result is generally less than desirable.  Really great writing just flows so, if you can’t get moving, just walk away for a bit. Distract yourself with other projects for awhile and give your brain a break.  Just don’t wait too long or you may start giving yourself permission to just give up.

Try a few of these next time your blog post ideas run dry and see if they don’t help to get you moving again.

I know this is not a complete list. What inspires you to write? Please share your ideas in the comments area.

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How to Write Inspiring Content for Your Blogs

SEO Writing: How to Write Inspiring Content for Your Blogs

Every blogger knows that readership is king when blogging.  The whole point is to have people read your blog, otherwise, why write.  If you have been blogging for some time now, but have not experienced a growing interest, then your content may need a slight revamp.

Writing interesting and inspiring content for your readers is necessary to keep them coming back and to make them want to share your writing with others.

Why Inspiring Content?

There are a few things to consider when you are writing, in order to gain interest and keep it, keeping it being the key because you want to create loyalty.  Loyal visitors will not only follow you regularly, they will tell others, they will make reference to your writing, they will share your information.  You want to always keep this in mind when you are creating your posts.  Don’t write for you, write for them.

How To Create Inspiring Content?

Look, we all want to feel important to someone.  It is human nature to be part of a group or belong.  Your readers are looking for the same thing.  If you want to write truly inspiring content, involve your readers.  They want to be an active participant and not just a reader, so wrap your proverbial arm around their shoulder and really relate to them.

  • Ask them questions about your topic, get them talking.
  • Give them something to do, ask for ideas and advice.
  • Have a contest to create a buzz.

Your goal is to make them feel as if they are part of the clique, not just observing.  You don’t need to do this with every post.  Just dabble it on lightly here and there to keep them checking in.

Consistency and Authority

Another secret of really inspiring content is consistency and accuracy. You need to establish yourself as an authority on your topic and in order to do this you have to make sure the information you are relaying is both informative and correct.  You need to do this consistently so that you gain trust from your visitors. Your readers will then look to you for the information and not the other guy.

Once you have your reader’s trust you need to be sure to keep it.  Slipping up in one or two posts because you got lazy on the research or not posting regularly will cause your readers to question your grasp of the content and that will quickly kill your blog.

How do you know which content is inspiring?

Inspiring content is content that makes people want to act.  Be it by sharing or participating, they have to want to do some ‘thing’ after they read your writing, but remember this is a two part process.  They are not going to act if they don’t believe what your saying holds any value so be sure to combine the participation with trust.

Give this a try as you write your next few blog posts and note the effects on the readers.  Make adjustments as needed and just keep refining the process. Before you know it your blog will soon attract and keep the audience you desperately seek.

What is your inspiration?  What kind of content you find inspiring? Please share in the comments area.

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20 Common Elements of All the Good Content on the Web

SEO Writing:  Common Elements of All the Good Content on the Web
Writing good content requires a combination of many things.  You want to enchant your readers while offering valuable information that is both entertaining and engaging.
If you have been struggling to create content which is well-rounded and attracts more readers review these 20 common elements of all good content on the web and see how you stack up.
1. Unique – You want to be original or be first.
2. Short and to the Point – Learn how to pack a lot of information in a little space.
3. Write for the Reader – SEO is great, but if your content is garbage, it won’t mean a thing. People can click off as fast as they arrived.
4. Readability – Make sure the grammar and spelling is always correct.
5. Entertaining – Keep the reader entertained or at the very least interested.
6. Asks a Question – This engages your readers and includes them.
7. Links – People love to get more then they came for.  Give them links to read further on your topic or to a great application, service, or product.
8. Solves A Problem – You will be doing a service to your visitors by solving their most common problems.  People need an authority.
9. Stays on Point – It is fine to write with emotion, just avoid tangents.
10. Accuracy – Research, check and double check.  No one wants to read garbage.
11. Consistency – This means post regularly and stay on topic.
12. Has Multi-Media – Pictures and video add and enhance.
13. Effective Titles – Make sure they make sense and are in line with your point.
14. Keeps the Audience in Mind – Always remember who your audience is and write to them.
15. Conversational – Good content is usually done best when it is in this casual style.
16. Engages – Anything that brings the audience in and makes them feel like they are part of something.
17. Is Useful – Make your post or article serve a purpose.
18. Good Formatting – Bullet points and subheadings are in line, easy to scan and follow a pattern.
19. Answers a Question – This could be from a reader comment or a question in the media.
20.Provokes Action – Do something that makes your visitor want to take action when they leave.  What do you want them to do after they read your content?
Keep these points in mind when writing your next article or blog post and see if it doesn’t make for richer content and increased interest from your visitors.

Why do you like to visit a website again and again?  Would you like to add anything to the list above? Please share in the comments section.

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10 Tips for Writing Effective Web Content

10 Tips for Writing Effective Web Content

Do you know how to write a good web content? There are a few things that you must know before writing a blog post otherwise, it’s only going to turn out to be another failed attempt at gaining an audience that was never interested in the first place.  If you want to write effective blog posts, try following these 10 quick tips.

1. Get an idea and stick to it

What are you going to write about? Choose one or two topics that you will constantly write about in order to maintain an audience. By writing on set topics your visitors will know what to expect each time they visit.  Your traffic will become more targeted and much easier to market to.

2. Find the audience

Once you’ve decided on an idea or two, you need to figure out who you are targeting. It could be teens, adults, or even more specifically, people who are overweight, people who love cats, and so on. Set a goal for yourself; who do you want reading your blog posts?

3. Research

Research is a must when posting blogs unless you are an expert on everything you are writing. If you don’t know about the topic you are writing about, you will only be speaking out of opinion, and not fact. You need to know your stuff, and in order to do so, you must do some research.

4. Draft

It’s always good to make drafts or take notes in terms of the topic that you are going to write about. By doing this, you have something to refer to in order to see where you did well, and where you did badly. You can also find out which information needs to be removed, and which should definitely stay.

5. Write Creatively

Once you finally start writing your blog post, be sure to be creative!  Add interesting links and write as if you are speaking to one visitor, not a group.

6. Be yourself

When writing a blog post, you always have to be yourself. Don’t write to your audience as if you were giving a speech in front of a bunch of people. You need to establish a connection with your visitors and once you do, your visitors will expect to see more of the same.

7. Don’t wander off topic

If you’re going to talk about a certain topic, be sure that you don’t wander off and start talking about something else. When writing one blog post, keep it on one topic, instead of two or more. You can always write more blog posts about your other topics later on.

8. Don’t Over advertise

Advertisements mean money, yes, but they can also be distracting at times.  When there is an overflow of ads, people tend to get annoyed and your post gets lost.  If you’re going to have advertisements, keep them to a minimum on each page.

9. Use Multi-Media

It’s always a good thing to use pictures or even videos in your blog posts to make them more interesting. When talking about a certain event like a dirt bike racing tournament, it would be more entertaining if you added a clip of the tournament in your blog post along with the rest of your content. Another good example would be to add one or two images related to your content, for example, if you’re writing about cooking, you may want to add a picture of the final result.

10. Make sure your topics are interesting

If a lot of people are interested in a certain topic, be sure to write about it because that way you can easily increase the overall website traffic that you receive.  Look to your visitor comments often to be sure they find your topics interesting.  If they are suggesting topics they would like to see more of, start writing on those topics.

Writing blog posts may seem like an easy task, but there are many things to consider before actually posting on a blog. If you want a successful blog post, you need to go over some of the tips listed above and once you take action upon them, you will surely create a blog post that will be read, enjoyed, and shared.

The list mentioned above is not complete. Can you think of any other tips to write great posts? Please share with us in the comments.

Photo Credit: Vicki’s Nature

Summary

10 Tips for Writing Effective Web Content


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