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Chicago Freelance Copywriter

Tag: Website

Why Your SEO Campaign Isn’t Working

why-your-seo-campaign-isn't-workingI’ve had a lot of conversations lately with new bloggers who want their posts to resonate with the SEO gods, but aren’t quite sure what their keywords are. Unless you have prior SEO experience, you’re going to need to hire someone to determine those for you.

Here’s why: if you are a dry cleaners in Chicago, that does not automatically make your keyword Chicago dry cleaner. It seems like it should, but it doesn’t.

The reason is there might be 500 other dry cleaners trying to optimize that key word. Meaning, there is intense competition and no way you can dominate that key word without spending thousands of dollars a month on an SEO campaign.

However, maybe there are 50 people a day searching for – best dry cleaner in Chicago. And there aren’t any dry cleaners trying to be number one for that phrase. That means there is low SEO competition, and you could easily dominate that key phrase.

Which is where a professional comes in. Determining your key words is an art and a science and is more than brainstorming a few words that describes your business. It’s determining what people are actually searching for vs. how hard it is to dominate that key word. Just because you think most people would search for dry cleaner in Chicago doesn’t meant they are. It just means you think they are.

SEO is extremely important to small businesses, and I strongly suggest everyone run an SEO campaign. However, unless you’re certain of your keywords, there really isn’t a point.

If you are thinking of starting an SEO campaign and need an SEO expert referral, I’d be happy to give you one.

I understand SEO is confusing so please leave any questions in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.

Do you know your keywords? How did you figure them out?

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blogging-successToday I’m very excited to have a guest post from  Kiesha at We Blog Better.  I hope you enjoy, and without further ado….

I’ve been blogging for about two years now and during that time I’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter who you are, who you don’t know, how old you are, whether or not you’re a strong writer, what niche you blog in, etc. I could go on and add to this list, but none of those details matter – if you want to be a successful blogger, there’s only one thing standing in your way.

When I started blogging in the Christian inspiration niche, I think I had to choose one of the hardest niches to get noticed in. After all talking about God isn’t the most popular thing to most of the world. But it was my passion, so I blogged every day, diligently.

To build my knowledge, I started visiting blogging tips blogs. I wanted to build my traffic and gain more exposure – so I started commenting, I started engaging people on Twitter. Then I started guest posting and it literally changed everything.

One day I wrote a guest post for a blog and the next day I got an offer to take over WeBlogBetter.com. It was an offer that I could not refuse!

I discovered that the power of guest posting and networking with other bloggers far outweighed any other traffic building method I had ever tried.

Once I started networking and getting to know other bloggers, I came to realize that the more you help others, the more they’ll help you back – and when you least expect it, in greater ways than you could ever imagine.

The only thing standing between you and succes is: ACTION.

Anything really is possible if you just stop procrastinating and get to it. I had a blogger friend tell me that I should submit my blog to be featured by Lisa Irby – it’s something I had been planning on doing, but I just didn’t feel like I was good enough, but his encouragement gave me the confidence I needed, and just a few weeks later, my site was finally featured – completely polverizing previous traffic records on my blog.

So, it really only matters how willing you are to put all of your ideas and planning, into action. It’s easy to quit after failing at one or two things. I’ve had many opportunities to quit, but I’ve decided, I’m just going to have to do whatever takes to reach the top.

My advice to new bloggers:

Post every day
To make it easier, create a schedule of recurring series.

Comment on other blogs
On as many and as often as you can. Don’t be bound by niches – variety is a great thing.

Guest post
As much as you can without sacrificing your own posting schedule.

Build your community
Reply to comments, visit the blogs of your commentators, tweet their posts and just be as helpful as you can be.

Be patient
There is no such thing as overnight success, it’s usually the result of years of hard work that have finally come to fruition. It only appears like overnight success to those of us who didn’t have to put in the work.

So what’s standing between you and your success? Will today be the day you finally take action?

Kiesha blogs at WeBlogBetter.com, offering blogging tips and tricks. Sheís a writer, writing instructor, and blog consultant for small business owners. Connect with her on Twitter @weblogbetter.

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5 Tips for Writing a Successful About Page

5-tips-for-writing-a-successful-about-pageI bet you never thought about the fact that an About Page could be unsuccessful. It was just some facts about you, your business, and what you do. No big deal, nothing to stress out about.

The thing is, humans are naturally curious creatures. That’s why there’s such a gapers delay on the highway when we see flashing lights ahead. It’s why I know things about my next-door neighbor’s grandchild that I don’t care about, but asked about anyway.

Which brings me to the point that when someone is visiting your website they are going to your About page not just for your credentials, but to learn more about you, to assuage their curiosity.

With that in mind, I give you 5 tips for writing a successful About Page:

1. Find the right mix of business and personal

As a small business you want to talk about your business, but you also want to give readers a taste of the personality behind the business. An About Page isn’t business writing 101, give the cold, hard facts with personality.

2. Tell a story

Explaining how you, or your company, got to where it is today is very important. If you give this information in story form, people are going to connect to it more and stick around for longer because they’re interested. Make it the difference between reading a textbook and reading a creative non-fiction book.

3. Lead with the interesting parts

Start out your About Page with the personal stuff, the story, and the interesting tidbits. Even if you have a ton of awards and qualifications you want to mention, don’t start with those, push them to the end so that a.) you don’t look arrogant and b.) people stick with you for longer because you’re entertaining them at the beginning.

4. Make it about your customer

Sure it’s an About Page, and that means it’s about you, but if you can make it so it’s also about your potential and current customers, you’re going to really wow. Writing the page in a way that connects what you do, your skills and talents with what customers need from you is a great way to up the ante.

5. Be relevant

This kind of goes against some of the above, but it’s really just an addendum to the first 4 steps. Tell a story, but make sure it’s relevant to your business. Put in the personal stuff, as long as it has some sort of connection to what you do. If you sell paper, don’t go on a fly-fishing tangent, but you can tell a story about the first time you saw The Office (since they sell paper at Dunder Mifflin).

An About Page is a tricky thing to write. It needs to walk a fine line between being too personal and too business-minded.

What is your About Page like? Does it follow any of these rules? Are you going to re-write it?

If you realize it does need a re-write, feel free to contact me for some help. I’d love to make your About Page shine.

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don't-bore-your-blog-readersToday I’m very excited to have my first guest post!  Kiesha from We Blog Better is here to tell us how, as blogger, we can stop boring our visitors.  I hope you enjoy, and without further ado….

Don’t Bore your Blog Visitors – Give them What they’re looking for!

Just because your blog supports your business doesn’t mean it has to be full of dry information, facts and product specs.

A lot of times business owners make the mistake of using their blog as an online advertising platform. After all, business owners want to reduce their ad expense account – why pay for what you can get for free?

So, they end up using their blogs as an extended brochure that no one really wants to look at.

That’s not what potential customers or clients are looking for.

They come to your blog to fulfill a need or solve a problem.

Here’s what they are looking for:

Insider information

They want to know how a particular product or service works. They want to see it in action. They want to play with it and try it out before they make a financial commitment. They want to see if it’s worth their money.

So why not create some engaging videos that do just that?

My husband is an RC Airplane hobbyist, and when he’s looking to buy a new expensive model plane, he goes to BananaHobby.com because they always have great videos that enable him to see the plane outside of the box. It gives him a real life view of the product and its components. It makes it easy for him to make a purchasing decision.

How to use a product or service more efficiently

People are looking for tutorials that will teach them how to do things on their own. Blogs that show people how to get more out of the product or service in question perform better because it shows customers that you really care about them. The purchase is not the end of the story – it shows that your company is really there to help people.

When I had to purchase a part for my dryer, I was happy to find a “how to” video for installation right there on the same page. It made the decision to purchase the part, instead of hiring a repairman, so much easier. It saved me money and generated a sale at the same time.

Again, videos or step-by-step tutorials are a great way to show your readers how to get even more value you out of what you’re offering.

A Personal Connection

People get tired of feeling like a number. They actually want to know the people they are giving their business to. Back in the day, local business owners knew all of their customers by name and they went out of their way to help. Once they established a personal connection, it made it easier to trade, barter, and develop mutually beneficial relationships that went beyond a single sale.

People are more likely to purchase from people they know and trust. Why not use your blog to show your potential customers that you are a real human being with a real life? They will grow to care about you and will value what you value. When you make a recommendation, they’ll listen.

Plain Old Entertainment

Sometimes, people are just looking for something to capture their attention for a few moments. That’s why Facebook’s games are so popular – while people are waiting for more friends to come online, rather than log out as a result of boredom, they can hang out and see how big they can grow a virtual cabbage. I don’t condone wasting time playing games, but the truth of the matter is that people are looking for entertainment.

So why not entertain them with funny stories or anedotes, or post niche related videos that they can watch on your blog? Why not make a picture gallery available for them to browse?

Organize some fun contests or giveaways to keep them enagaged and coming back to your blog. The longer you keep them there, the better chance you have of turning them into a stronger lead in the future.

So you see, there’s more to blogging for business than product or service announcements. People are tired of looking at brochures and are growing more and more immune to blatant advertising. So it’s time to create a more customer-centered blog – one that gives them what they want.

So what else could you do to reduce the boredom factor on your blog? What can you do to give your potential customers what they want?

Kiesha blogs at WeBlogBetter.com, offering blogging tips and tricks. Sheís a writer, writing instructor, and blog consultant for small business owners. Connect with her on Twitter @weblogbetter.

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Proud-of-my-bio-pageAs a bonus afternoon post, I thought we could discuss a topic that is very important but doesn’t often get a lot of recognition.  Your About page.

As I’ve mentioned before, personality is a big draw when using social media, and your About page is the perfect place to put as much personality into your website as possible.  You can write all about you in your voice and put your picture and make everyone who reads it love you.

But there’s more to the About/Bio page than personality.  This is also the page where you are going to advertise your skills and what makes you more qualified than your competitors.  This is where you’re going to sell your business.

Let’s just say you own a yoga studio.  It’s great, you have a nice groove going in your local community, sometimes on Sundays you offer a free class.  You do the baby yoga thing, you make sure the community knows about baby yoga through a blog and Twitter.  It’s on your Facebook page.

A lady has just had a baby boy.  We’ll call him Oscar.  Oscar is now six months old and this mom is ready to try some new things with Oscar.  She wants to meet other moms and also do some yoga.  She sees your baby yoga class on some various form of social media (because after all, you are a social media champion) and clicks on your website.  Where’s the first place she’s going on your website?  Maybe it’s classes and she reads the description of baby yoga.  It sounds great and it’s at the perfect time for her schedule.  And then she’s curious about the studio so she clicks on your About page.  Instead of finding a long list of qualifications and how much you love yoga, she finds a sentence or two proclaiming you’ve studied yoga for four years.  And that’s it.  Will it matter?

Sometimes she’ll go to the class anyway because man alive does she need to get out of the house.  Sometimes she’ll look at other yoga studio’s websites to see their baby yoga classes and read about their qualifications.  Will it always matter there isn’t a bio?  No.  Will it sometimes? Yes.  And it’s the entire point to get as many clients as possible?

I’ll tell you again and again, but you need to put in the work to make sure your bios are up to date and impressive.

So back to Oscar and his mommy.  This time when she clicks on your About page, there is an entertaining and comprehensive review of your yoga teaching history.  There’s a picture of you in an advanced yoga move, and a little blurb about how much you love yoga and how it has changed your life, and you truly hope it helps bring a little bit of joy to your client’s lives.  Probably there is now a better chance of a sale.  Yes?

Do you use your About page and bio to sell yourself and your brand?  I think I do.  Check it out.  Do you think it helps?  Or is everything I just told you poppycock?

Here are a few examples of some great About pages:

Green Heart Chicago

Doggy Style Pet Shop

Cattails Flower Shop

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