Content is Currency

Developing Powerful Content
for Web and Mobile

by Jon Wuebben - Founder and CEO of Content Launch

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Google has again made changes to its algorithm in a shakeup that has already hit tens of thousands of websites, demoting them it in its rankings. The latest update comes just over a year since the notorious Panda update, implemented to weed out content farms and spam websites, which Google hoped would improve the search experience for its users. However, many websites have become so adept at SEO (search engine optimization) that while they offer poor or inadequate content, through link building and page design, are able to rank highly, despite Panda.

The latest change, dubbed the “Penguin Update” is intended to address this and penalize those websites that have poor content, but currently appear higher up in the search engine results pages (SERPS) because they have optimized their website.

Penguin

While the websites and blogs that have found themselves demoted in SERPs will bemoan the new change, with regards to improving search quality, Penguin is a good thing. The update will mean that those websites and blogs that produce good quality content, which is actually worth reading, but have found themselves constantly losing traffic to poorer websites and blogs in the past just because they are good at playing the SEO game, will now rank better. The update also means that many of the search engine optimization (SEO) techniques websites employed as a means of ranking well will no longer be effective. In particular, this will affect websites and blogs that:

  • Have excessive links, with little regard to the quality of the pages where those links come from.
  • Excessive keywords, especially pages where keywords are stuffed into content without any attention to whether it fits the context or where the quality of the content is poor.
  • Excessive and meaningless content that doesn’t offer a reader a quality experience and is aimed at just attracting search engine traffic.
  • Deceptive doorway pages, aimed at luring in traffic from search engines but offer little or no quality content.
  • Websites that duplicate copy but change keywords to attract different searches and don’t offer a unique and quality experience.

As defined by the bold text, one thing Google is after is quality. This means for content producers, quality content is going to rule.

Poor quality content

For far too long, the internet has been awash with poorly written, low quality content, churned out purely to improve search engine rankings. Of course, there is nothing wrong in trying to improve the search engine rankings of a website or blog. However, in the past, content has been produced purely for that purpose, which has resulted in vast swathes of poor quality content.

With this latest update, Google is trying to reward content that is rich, useful and provides a service to people. If you have been guilty in the past of churning out poor quality, SEO-orientated content, then stop. It is time to start implementing good quality and effective content.

Producing quality content

Creating quality content is not difficult, but it means a change of approach, Instead of producing content that you think will appeal to a search engine, you need to produce content that will appeal to people. The first thing is to stop trying to wedge keywords into content unnecessarily. Of course, keywords have their uses, but they should only ever be placed in content if they fit the context and are included in a natural way. This means not overusing them, and even forgetting about using them altogether. Quite often the context of the content will naturally attract searches, regardless of keyword density. This is because Google is now getting extremely proficient at identifying the subject of articles, even though it may not contain the exact keyword phrase.

For example, suppose a website sells insurance. In the past, it may have worked to produce lots of content with the phrase “buy insurance” stuffed throughout the articles. However, by creating good quality content that is about different aspects of insurance, such as the difference between business insurance and home insurance, how to make claims, the hidden charges like insurance excesses to look out for etc, will automatically, by its context, rank well when somebody enters a “buy insurance” keyword search.

As a consequence, the Penguin update means, no matter what the website, by producing content that is designed to teach, communicate, and address issues that readers will be interested in, will mean your content will also naturally appeal to search engines too.

This post came courtesy of Lucy Faraday, a full-time professional writer and researcher for over five years.

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When we talk about creating compelling web content, it’s easy to get stuck with a focus on blog posts, SEO articles and main page content. But the term ‘content’ covers lots of other things, too – including landing pages. Whether these are ‘squeeze’ pages designed to get the visitor to submit their details, or a page that outlines a specific feature for a certain web query, landing pages are often the bread and butter of web promotion. So how come no one really talks about them? Well, we’re putting a stop to that. Let’s take a look at some top tips for creating a landing page that really sells.

Make your call to action as accessible as possible

Whether your landing page will be where visitors arrive from PPC ads (think Google Adwords), or where they’ll come to as a result of your own SEO efforts, your aim will often be the same: get them to do something. Now, this ‘something’ could be submitting their email address and name for more info, or it could be them actually opening their wallets and buying something. Whatever the end game, the content on your landing page needs to make the process quick and easy for the visitor – and that means an accessible call to action that doesn’t require too much on the part of the user. When you’re writing the content for your landing page, always keep in mind where your call to action will be. For some it’ll be right at the end after you’ve delivered your pitch, for others it could be at the top or on the sidebar. Whatever the case, your copy needs to be informed by your design – and simplicity is the name of the game.

Talk to the reader as a human being, not a walking wallet

While your objective may be to extract money from your visitors, your landing page needs to treat them as the human beings they are. If they’re going to spend money on you or your service, they’ll only do it if they feel you’re answering a concern of theirs or fixing a problem. Your copy needs to be sympathetic to this concern, so try to put yourself in the shoes of your intended audience whenever you write landing page copy. In this way, you’ll never write anything that misses the mark.

Imagine the objections and address them

Writing a landing page is much like giving a sales pitch, but unlike that scenario you can’t respond to objections. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to imagine where people may have questions and address them in the copy. For example, if you’re writing a landing page for a HGV insurance service, you may want to imagine the questions that HGV drivers may ask (which types of cars are covered, what are the terms, and so on), and then answer them in the copy. You could even include a small FAQ section if your design allows it.

Be pushy, but not too pushy

This point really represents the ‘fine art’ of the landing page: writing copy which is compelling enough to generate real results, but not so compelling that it scares people off. The best landing page copy is that which makes readers realize how much they ‘need’ the product or service. This can be achieved through the use of strategically placed questions: ‘Are you tired of paying too much for your insurance?’ Alternatively, you could provide mini case studies that show how others have benefited from the product or service. The latter tend to be very effective, provided they’re believable (yes, that means you can’t just invent them).

Follow the above pointers and you’ll end up with a landing page – or a squeeze page – that will be highly effective and should bring some success. As with other aspects of online content marketing, it’s very often a game of trial and error, so if your first landing page doesn’t cut the mustard, rework it as per the points above and try again. Eventually you’ll strike the magic formula that makes your product or service truly irresistible – and all thanks to some cleverly written web content.

This post came courtesy of Lucy Faraday, a full-time professional writer and researcher for over five years.

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As a copywriter, chances are you are working with a hired graphic designer on a daily basis. It is important that you build a solid and smart relationship with your graphic designer. The reason why this is important is that not one, but two creative minds come together to produce a quality and effective piece of work. Communication and teamwork is imperative to get the best results. Graphic designers are your eyes and you are their words. To produce a seamless and a complimented piece, follow some of these suggestions:

Meetings: Depending on the project, set meetings that accommodate the amount of work that is needed and the due date. You may need to set daily meetings or weekly meetings. Start your meetings with your goals and then have the graphic designer prepare their goals for the project/meeting. Set the meeting in a creative environment that both of you can bounce off ideas on each other and have fun with it. Most likely the graphic designer will need to use his or her computer to complete the meetings because of special design programs, so bring your own laptop and have your copy ready.

Be open to their ideas and criticism: Always have an open mind to the graphic designers ideas. They have experience in making things aesthetically pleasing to the human eye and will have input on whether or not your copy fits their image. In return the graphic designer should be open to your ideas. When it comes to critiques and criticism you know as a copywriter, not everyone is going to like your work. This is something that you have in common with a graphic designer. So find respect and solace in knowing that you can’t always please people.

Have fun: Remember to always have fun. This is why you got into the business in the first place right? Creating copy and putting it with an image can be very fun. Use your creative brain and throw around different ideas and themes.

Whether you are writing a brochure or working on an email marketing campaign, you and your partner in crime (the graphic designer) have a lot sitting on the table. You both rely on each other to get the job done and the job done well. So have fun with it and be creative!

Kate Croston is a freelance writer, holds a bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She writes guest posts for different sites and loves contributing home internet service related topics. Questions or comments can be sent to:  katecroston.croston09 @ gmail.com.

 

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Google is releasing another update to their algorithm shortly and according to Matt Cutts, a senior Google engineer, it is all about high quality websites. Google are actively targeting sites with what they class as spam links and for a website to grow and evolve into a viable internet business today, content marketing is now undoubtedly the best way forward. Below, I underline ten ways content marketing can help your website grow

1. Content Creation – The creation of unique, quality content in itself has some very positive benefits for a website. Google is now more focused than ever as a “relevancy engine” rather than as a “search engine” and if you are constantly creating content, Google will detect this and rank you higher. The more relevant and recent the content you provide for a specific subject, Google will reward you.

2. Spark debate and engage users – Good content marketing is excellent for user engagement. Whether you are reviewing something, adding your commentary to a news item or just providing your own insights, you are providing your website with an outlet to reach out to visitors. Comments will be left below your posts, and as a writer you can do your best to interact and debate with users.

3. Social Media – Spreading this content across social media will mean it has the possibility of a lot more people picking up your post, reading and sharing it. The better the content, the greater the likelihood you will get more visitors and the ability to get potential leads. It’s a snowball effect which can only be triggered by the creation of a good blog post in the first place.

4. Utilization of different mediums – Content doesn’t stop at the written word. You can repackage a very popular blog post into a podcast, a video or an infographic, all different mediums allowing your content to spread to larger audiences on different websites.

5. SEO – All of this content creation has even bigger consequences for SEO or Search Engine Optimization for your sites. Google and other search engines now use “social factors” in their ranking algorithm meaning if your content is spread far and wide, your website will be well ranked on search engine result pages.

6. Build a community – Your content and social media sharing allows you the opportunity to build a loyal following. People who like your content will continue to return to your site. This leads to them being more open to sales pitches and promotions.

7. Become an authority – The consequence of all this content creation is that people begin to trust you as a reliable source of information and knowledge within your market. It is a type of trust which can’t be developed through any other type of marketing.

8. People will more likely take action – Once you have developed a rapport, you can write content tailored a lot more towards your own products and services. It is not wise to ever do blatant sales pitches but talking to a community which is your own and then being able to offer recommendations to them is the best type of marketing possible.

9. Users are likely to return for more – An authority is always the most trusted source of information. Visitors will likely return to your site in the future not only because you have a supply of good quality content but also for advice on what they need to buy.

10. Content Marketing is only going to become more powerful – Google is moving towards a more social platform with G+, Facebook and Twitter are still growing but traditional marketing techniques fail on these social networking sites. People visit them to socialize and not to be subjected to a sales pitch. Content marketing solves the solution by giving users what they want.

This Content is Currency blog post is from David Tully, who has written many articles on content marketing, many of which can be found at Bright Authority.

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The five-year growth of eBook sales on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, et al has been staggering. Popularized in 2007 with the release of the Amazon Kindle eReader device, eBooks now account for more than 20% of all book sales by some estimates and more than that at some publishers.

One of the reasons is the relative ease of getting one’s book distributed into a major store, like Amazon.com. Another factor is the shear volume of written content available, often in the form of accumulated blog posts.

If you are one of those companies or individuals who have been diligently posting high-value, high-quality content maybe you are asking yourself how to give it a second life as an eBook. Makes sense, but first you should ask yourself a few questions to evaluate whether it is worth the effort.

Question 1: Do you have enough posts to create something of value?

First create an outline of the book you are thinking about. Spend some time on Amazon looking at books similar to what you have in mind. Refer back to your blog for ideas but do not create the outline based on what you have. Create the outline based on the need the book fulfills.

When complete, you’ll have a good idea just how much new content you may need.

By the way, adding extra content to differentiate the book from your blog is smart, especially if your blog is popular. Your regular readers are your best prospects and that means they will have read much of your book in your posts. Delight them with some fresh material.

Question 2: Will you sell it or use it as a lead generation tool?

While many dream of riches from passive income, selling your book may not make sense. The eBook file formats can be downloaded like a PDF and then transferred to the reader’s eReading device. It all depends on your goals. I think it also depends on the quality of your information since charging something raises expectations.

Question 3: How much editing does it need?

Unless you created a formal editorial plan, and then followed that plan when writing your posts, it is doubtful that you can grab a series of posts and expect to assemble them into chapters without editing. But don’t despair, few bloggers are this disciplined and some editing is to be expected. Here is a checklist of things to do:

  1. Organize the posts according to your book outline.
  2. Look for duplicate or repetitive material. As an expert blogger you have probably written more than a couple posts that address the same issue with only a variation on the title and content focus.
  3. Add context where needed. If you refer to “last week” you’ll need to replace that with a date. If it is 2008 and you refer to “the election” you should clarify that to say “the 2008 presidential election”.
  4. Be consistent in all things. Not just formatting and typefaces but your “voice”. Are you speaking in first person or third?
  5. Add some content that has not been featured in a blog post. Round out existing pieces. Add a FAQ, checklist, photos, infographics, etc.
  6. Hire a good copyeditor. Your book writing will be held to a different standard than your blog post writing.

Question 4: Do you have the necessary permissions?

Did you “borrow” any photos? What about graphics? You will have to get permission, properly attribute them, or find a suitable replacement. Double-check all rights to make sure you comply. If in doubt, replace or drop it. Don’t skip over this.

Question 5: How will you market it?

This really should be the number one question but I’m assuming you would not have started without some type of plan. Regardless, now is the time to put it in writing. It should include the launch date and a list of promotional tasks. It’s a big job and it depends greatly on the type of audience you are targeting and your resources. We will spend more time on this topic in a future post.

Some final advice

If you take your book seriously, so will your audience. Don’t skimp on quality and value. Make sure you have the best cover you can afford. Get as many people as possible to help you promote it, especially during the first six weeks after release.

Got a question or would you like me to look at your blog? Drop a note in the comments section or send me an email.

About the Author: David Wogahn is managing partner of eBook publishing agency Sellbox based in Carlsbad, Calif. David (@Wogahn) lives at the intersection of technology and publishing by helping companies, associations and author-publishers navigate and profit from eBook and print book publishing.

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Why You Should De-Jargonize – Avoiding Corporate Jargon with Content

Industry jargon and corporate gobbledygook are the not-so-silent killers of company websites and blogs. Everybody in the world seems to know this … except, seemingly, people responsible for publishing content.

If you want people to read your content and more importantly relate to it and act on it, you must speak their language, not yours. Jargon has an extremely negative impact on how content is received:

  • Jargon obscures your message.
  • Jargon makes your company seem aloof and unapproachable.

It follows, then, that getting rid of jargon will help your firm:

  • Clarify and strengthen your brand identity and value proposition.
  • Appear approachable and thereby increase leads and sales.

7 Ways to De-Jargonize

1. Have customers critique your content. Jargon results from too much inward thinking during the creative process. For creative shock therapy have clients scrutinize content on your home page, service pages and other key site content. Ask them what’s clear and what isn’t. You’ll receive excellent editorial guidance you can use to tune up these pages as well as many others. (It’s surprising how seldom firms actually do this.)

2. Have your sales team critique your content. If approaching customers for content review is too bold or impractical for your organization, getting input from your sales team works as well or better. Outstanding sales people have a superb feel for what type of messaging customers will respond to. Again, firms usually overlook this wonderful editorial resource that is right under their nose!

3. Add customers or sales reps to your content creation team. Perhaps the best de-jargonizing technique is to never let gobbledygook creep into your content to begin with. Customer and sales input help firms break the inward-focus hypnotic spell that tends to afflict marketers and executives.

4. Centralize and empower the editing function. A preponderance of jargon comes about (along with many other evils) when firms edit by committee. Having a single, strong editor with relentless customer focus is the best way to prevent wild corporate-speak pitches.

5. Create an editorial guidelines document. To an extent, jargon is hard to avoid when content is written in-house by people who are used to speaking in those terms. Help them break free by building a document that lists technical phrases and the preferred English translations. Over time this document will not only be an invaluable document for creative talent – it will make a fantastically effective web page as well!

6. Outsource content creation. One sure way to avoid jargon is to employ outside writers who have no familiarity with your technical language. The downside to this approach is when writers don’t understand the fundamentals of your business; making it work requires extensive communication and diligent editing.

7. Shift editorial focus from features to benefits. Shifting the entire focus of your website and blog from features to benefits is a sure way to cut jargon off at the knees: content focused on features is highly vulnerable to jargon-creep; content focused on benefits is naturally written from the customer’s point of view, in plain English. And by the way – doing a major edit of your web content in this spirit will yield significant sales and marketing benefits than go far beyond taking out the gobbledygook garbage!

Further Reading

This Content is Currency blog post was written by Brad Shorr, Director of Content & Social Media for Straight North, one of Chicago’s top SEO firms. They work with small and middle market firms in a variety of specialized niches, including payment gateways and safety hand gloves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When working on any form of content – be it promoting a new line of mascara, or televisions – remember this: your audience is probably smarter than you initially give them credit for. We now live in a world which is full of advertising – TV, magazines, billboards, bus stops, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. It’s everywhere we go. We’re so bombarded with it that people are becoming more and more sensitive to gimmicks and cheap tricks. Customers are developing more discerning eyes and ears, and can effectively see through advertising which is trying to blind them with heaps of style while lacking in the substance department. Because of the sheer amount of content out there, many of us tune out the majority of it. As content writers, to have any chance of being heard, we need to keep this in mind, and make sure not to write copy which is patronizing to our reader’s intelligence.

Selling a Lifestyle

For quite some time now, advertising has used the promotion of a particular lifestyle to sell their product. You’ll often see car ads which say very little about the actual vehicle, but a lot about the type of person who’ll want to drive it leading some to take out instant decision payday loans.  That lifestyle might be adventurous, family-orientated or fashionable. This approach is used in advertising across the board. While a little of this can add a sense of passion to your product, and can give your audience something they can relate to, too much of it can leave your audience feeling manipulated. Most people will see through the ideals, knowing that a new car won’t really make their family more bonded, or their potential girlfriends better looking. People want to know the essence, or soul, of your business or product, but they don’t want to be hit round the head with it.

Being Realistic Doesn’t Mean Lowering Your Standards

There’s nothing wrong with being down-to-earth and telling it like it is. Somewhere along the way we forgot the art of simplicity, and instead favored more outlandish language and psychological tactics, filling our content with indecipherable jargon to try and sound like experts. But we don’t need to do this.

Selling your service or product using plain English makes you sound stronger, not weaker. If your product is top quality, you don’t need fancy gimmicks. If you can present it clearly and simply, your audience will see the value of what you’re selling. The only time this more humble approach may be a problem is when your product is sub-standard, in which case you should spend more time improving it before thinking about how to sell it.

Don’t Push Too Hard

With so much content out there, it might seem like we have to shout evermore loudly to be heard. But the real trick is to speak more personally to your audience, rather than with increased volume.

Imagine you’re trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak any English. Raising your voice and speaking more slowly won’t necessarily help them understand what you’re trying to say. If anything they’ll probably end up feeling patronized and they’ll start to think you’re an arrogant fool. Not only will they think you a fool, but they might then imagine that your foolishness is a character trait of your nationality. However, if you can use your imagination, think intuitively and make them smile, communication becomes much easier, even with a language barrier. If you can connect, they’ll want to listen to you.

The same is true for content. Pushy advertising puts people’s defenses up and they switch off. The worst case scenario is that they not only switch off listening to one of your products, but to your business or brand as a whole.

Write With a Clear Mind

Knowing what you want to say, and who you want to say it to, will help enormously. It’s tempting to try and write content which will be appealing to everyone, but this can lead us into the style-over-substance trap. We’re so eager to interest everyone that we forget what our product is really about, and forget the people we should be focusing on.

The truth is it’s impossible to please all the people all the time. That’s a not a failing, it’s an inevitable fact, and the time you take initially to think about who you’re writing for will benefit you in the future. Customers who feel that their intelligence is being respected will be more willing to listen.

When reviewing your content, ask yourself these three questions: Is it simple? Will those who need this product feel excited by it? And does it sound human?

This post came courtesy of Lucy Faraday, a full-time professional writer and researcher for over five years.

 

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Creating online content has never been easier. At the same time the importance of creating valuable content for your business is the price of admission in the online marketing world. Startups need to act like media companies. These upstarts need to create content such as ebooks and video courses in order to build goodwill with their user base. This goodwill leads to word of mouth marketing which leads to traffic and sales.

Here are the 5 tools you need to master to be a content creation guru:

1) ScreenFlow

ScreenFlow is my new favorite software tool. It allows you to make HD quality screencasts for ANYTHING. Are you a Powerpoint master? Develop a 60-minute video course called “Powerpoint for Business” using ScreenFlow. Do you know the ins-and-outs of Google Analytics? Make a video course on GA. Give this video course away to your email list. Post weekly videos on YouTube. Share these videos via your social networks. Post and embed the videos on your site. Mainly just get this awesome content out into the universe.

The reason ScreenFlow rocks is because it is so easy to produce these HD video courses. You can chop and crop the video with ease.  By leveraging ScreenFlow you will have an unlimited number of HD video training courses at your disposal. These courses are your marketing ammunition.

PRO TIP: Use StealthSeminar.com to execute pre-recorded webinars. You basically create a video webinar using ScreenFlow. Then you use StealthSeminar.com to setup and execute your pre-recorded webinars for you. The whole system is completely automated and provides immense value to your users.

2) iMovie

iMovie is the standard video editing software. For non-pros iMovie is better than Final Cut Pro because it is much much easier to use. Combining ScreenFlow and iMovie will allow you make some seriously awesome video products.

If you become a ScreenFlow guru you may never have to use iMovie if your videos are mainly screencasts.

Both iMovie and ScreenFlow allow you to export directly to YouTube. I recommend pushing at least one video per week to YouTube. Make sure to add your full URL in the description so you can drive some traffic to your site.

3) Keynote

Keynote is legit! Keynote is basically PowerPoint for Mac. You can do so much badass stuff with Keynote. With so many practical applications you need to know how to leverage Keynote.

The big difference between Keynote and Powerpoint is that Keynote is much better on the design front. If you can’t use Photoshop, learning Keynote is the next best thing. With Keynote you can create posters, sales videos, clickable prototypes, and infographics.

4) WordPress

Ever heard of blogging? 🙂 Every online company needs to blog. WordPress is the standard. Don’t waste your time learning any other content management system. Learn to love blogging. Learn to love WordPress.

I recommend blogging 3 times a week. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to research relevant keywords you are trying to rank for. The Keyword Tool ensures that you are creating content that people are actually searching for.

5) MS Word

Use MS Word to create ebooks. Save the document as a PDF. And BOOM you have an ebook!

I’d say ebooks should be around 10 pages in length. The ebook should have pictures and some graphical elements.

You can create the graphical elements using Keynote and import them into the Word document.

Creating this content is pretty darn easy. Just master these 5 tools and the amount of content you can create will only be limited by the time you invest.

Good luck. Have fun! And I look forward to consuming your content 🙂

This is a guest post by Matt Smith. Matt (@MattASmitty) is an online sales and marketing dude. Currently Matt runs BusinessPirate.com. Business Pirate teaches you how to build your own video course business.

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Search engines like Google and Bing follow a certain set of rules to crawl your sites looking for duplicate content. Understanding these rules is not an easy task. At a recent presentation by industry experts, they explained the ways search engines read content and the methods that can be adopted to avoid penalization of the content.

Here are some of their valuable suggestions:

Google Knows? Or Not?

Peter van der Graff came up with some good suggestions. He was of the view that the general perception of Google knowing everything is not true. In his words, finding a formula that “works always” is rather impossible. Peter quoted an interesting example to explain his point of view. He said that in the case where you have a 301 redirect and expect Google to go left, it will probably go right. This will mess up things and one can end up implementing a 301 redirect. To make the matter more complicated, when the location is requested, a cached version of the site may appear instead of the redirect you had originally intended.

Google Panda

Jenny Halasz, another industry expert shed light on the ways Google Panda works. Additionally, she also shared the working mechanism of Pagerank:

Pagerank essentially is a quality and quantity indicator and measures qualitatively and quantitatively the links to a website and ensures that updates are in place, based on this information. Further deliberating on the topic, Jenny added that updating the content is of not much use, unless the Panda rank is updated. The changes will not be reflected by Google until you update the Panda rank.

Complications Explained

With a host of industry experts sharing a common platform, a wide range of issues got discussed. One such issue was the difference between 301 and 302. In case you notice a 301 sign, the clear message is that the website has moved to a new location. 301 is considered a clear indication that the website has moved but also notifies the user of the new location. In comparison, a 302 sign confuses a user. Though having a 302 sign means that the website will be back at the same location soon, it does not indicate the current location of the website, which sends confusing signs to the user.

Multi Site Solutions

You may be devising content for multiple sites. To ensure your distinct web presence on each of the web networks, you need to have separate content for each site. You need to be clear on the focus of each site and have the content devised for the focus area. Keep in mind the target audience while framing the content. This will not only help you come up with a distinct approach but will also help you get established as a niche writer.

Having duplicate content on a number of websites may propel your growth initially but will have negative ramifications in the long run.

About the author: Diana Maria is a blogger and a writer. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gadgets. Recently an article on steampunk keyboard attracted her attention. These days she is busy writing articles on Sergio Rossi.

 

 

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The sheer number of blogs on the Internet and the competition for readership still hasn’t stopped people from wanting to get in on the game. If you’re considering starting your own blog but don’t know where to begin, choosing your blog’s topic can be the hardest – but most important – first step:

  • Determine your Motivation for Blogging – Before choosing a topic for your blog, you need to clarify in your own mind what your motivation is for blogging. Are you a businessperson who wants to use your blog as a vehicle for selling a product or service? Are you an aspiring writer who wants to gain experience and exposure? Or maybe you want to start a movement or simply connect with people worldwide.
  • Check Your Bookmarks – Scan through the bookmark tabs on your browser and you’ll see the topics you already read about on a regular basis. Chances are you’re already an expert on one or more of these topics without even knowing it. You can also mine ebooks you’ve read or courses from online universities you’ve taken for an idea of potential topics you already have some interest and knowledge in.
  • Scan a Blog Directory – Websites such as Technorati organize blog content by category and act as a directory for blogs on the web. Check out a blog directory to get a feel for all of the different categories and sub-categories of potential topics for your blog and zero in on what peaks your interest first.
  • Research Similar Blogs – Before you finalize your blog topic, research other blogs focused on similar topics to size up the competition and get an idea of what business model they’ve used. This preliminary research stage can help you narrow down your idea for a topic even further by ruling out topics that have already been done-to-death on the Internet.

If you’re not sure you can keep up with the constant content requirements of maintaining a blog, considering outsourcing content from an article writing service like Content Launch. 😉

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