Creativity includes process and technical ability. Below are some recent posts from Content For Biz that explore the process on how to create (not copy) quality content.
Six Things You Can You Learn from B-2-B Publishers
You’ve heard that everyone is a publisher now, so what can you learn from successful publishers.
B2B publishers have made a living off their ability to deliver audiences, initially through print and now online. Long before there was SEO, publications knew that great content would bring them loyal readership. Publishers continue to be go-to sources for information on industry trends, news, leaders, research and best practices. And with more competition for a reader’s time from all sorts of sources, today’s leading publishers are working harder than ever . The draw is still great content. However, many magazine websites have been transformed from online versions of the print product, into rich sites that fully embrace multimedia and social networks.
Now that you are trying to win over your own audience online with content, it makes sense to try and learn what you can from the pros.
1) Keep the needs of the customer/reader first and foremost.
It’s not about you and your company, it’s about your customer. What are their problems and how can you solve them.
2)Be fair and factual.
Your audience knows you are trying to sell something, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a credible, reliable, source of information. Stick to the facts and avoid “ad-like” promises and sales jargon.
3)Hire professional writers.
Subject matter experts who can also write are few and far between. They are usually too busy with other jobs to write. Instead of trying to rely on them, hire a professional writer who knows how to pull the information from your sources and present it in a useful, usable and interesting format.
4)Keep a schedule.
As a reader, I know when my favorite industry publication will arrive each month, and I look forward to it. The same is true of my InBox. Whether you decide to publish content on a daily, weekly or monthly frequency, stick to a schedule. Be aware that there’s a direct correlation between frequency of content and website visits.
5) Look for the best way to tell a story.
Does the story lend itself to video, radio or text? PMQ’s Pizza TV is used to demonstrate a technique for rolling a pizza crust over the shoulder. It just wouldn’t be the same in print.
6)Add value with social sharing.
Today’s publishing websites include more ways for audiences to connect and share ideas with each other. PMQ Pizza Think Thank forum is a reminder that your customers and prospects can create your content. On techrepublic.com, social stats are front and center, helping the audience find useful content fast.
As a content marketer you need to know how to succeed in publishing. Examine your favorite industry magazine websites with a fresh eye. What do you like about them? How can you use that information to engage your audience? What do you see on consumer magazine websites that could translate to B2B?
Save Time and Make Blogging Easier
Most companies understand the benefits of a B-2-B blog. But when it comes to writing blog posts week after week, they falter. While a lack of ideas, enthusiasm, and ability may be the problem, more often, it is a lack of time that sabotages their efforts. Writing is time consuming. Here are some ways to streamline the blogging process.
Decide on a topic. This often involves research. After you have read what is written on a topic, you need time to figure out how you can create your unique viewpoint. Finally, there is the actual writing and editing time, which can vary considerably, depending on the degree to which your efforts are interrupted by other responsibilities. If time constraints are keeping you from producing a better blog, consider how hiring a professional writer can help you.
1) A professional writer can help you organize your B-2-B blog content using an editorial calendar.
Take a cue from B-2-B editors who find they deliver better content when they follow an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar includes a brief description of what you will publish and when. Instead of letting things fall to chance, you might decide to feature a case study on Wednesdays and a Q&A with a company expert on Fridays. You may have six key topic areas to plan around. Stop scrambling to find a topic the day the blog post is due.
2) A professional writer can research a blog topic for you.
Much of a professional writer’s job involves finding credible sources of information—weeding through a multitude of sources and conversations on the Internet. While your company experts are likely to be the No. 1 source of information for your blog, following other experts in the field, competitors, keywords, relevant research and news can be extremely valuable. Consider hiring a professional writer to research a topic or customize and organize market intelligence for you. With everything at your fingertips the writing process becomes more efficient.
3) A professional writer can edit your blog posts.
If you or your team have great ideas but don’t have the time to give your writing professional polish, you can hire a writer to review and edit your work. With an editor’s thorough review process you will avoid embarrassing misspellings and grammatical errors. A good editor will help you communicate clearly and concisely, without losing your “voice.” A writer knowledgeable in search engine optimization can also edit your blog copy to integrate important keywords that will drive traffic to your site.
4) A professional writer can develop and write blog posts for you.
People often wonder how someone can write about an industry or topic they are not familiar with. However, professional writers successfully do this every day by thoroughly researching topics and formulating the right questions to ask company experts and industry insiders. In contrast, those who are so close to a topic often overlook the obvious questions that potential customers might have.
If time is keeping you from fully realizing the benefits of a blog, consider hiring a content writer to handle a portion or all of your writing-related tasks. Content for Biz offers all of these writing, editing and content development services. Check out the “Work with Us” tab to learn more or give us a call.
Worst Sentences Fixed
Professional writers can deliver more with less. I reduced the confusion in the following sentence by using 20 words rather than 40.
BEFORE: “Figure what type of product you are going to store, what type of crate are going to be used, and then you can determine how strong of pallet racks you want to install and use in your own storage areas.”
AFTER: Identify the types of products and crates used in your storage area before determining what pallet rack strength you need.
The following sentence is reduced from 15 to 8 words.
BEFORE: “Expanding business can be difficult, but does not mean that it has to be impossible.”
AFTER: Expanding business can be difficult, but not impossible.
Should 24 words be used when 5 can get the meaning across?
BEFORE: “Firstly, one must always remember that the sole purpose of writing the article is to inform people not to promote their business or products.”
AFTER: Articles should inform, not promote.
Do you have an example of when fewer words created a better understanding?
Fun Friday Worst Sentence
Here is this week’s worst sentence found on the web and a revision.
“Now, it is also important when you read that answer that you realize that if you have an Upsell process and/or a “BACK END” or call center, you MUST take into considersation [sic] the effects your FRONT END offer and conversions play on your BACK END to see the NET RESULT of your campaign.”
To see the net result of your campaign, measure the effects your front end offer and conversions have on your back end.