The Importance of Visual Content For Your Website

The Importance of Visual Content For Your Website

The visual content on your website plays an important role in keeping your customers engaged, and moving them through the buying process. Your readers are making decisions on whether or not they will read or take action on your post within a matter of seconds. If the topic doesn’t immediately appeal, they are likely to move on. This makes crafting a concise message important. It means keeping your website content on topic. But there is another way that you can get your story across. The use of powerful visual content can take your website to the next level. Sometimes, a visual element can be used to explain a concept better than words. Ideas to Improve Your Visual Content Compelling photos – We’ve all seen the stock photo of the suits sitting around a business table at a very important meeting. It’s trite and overdone. Stop using the same boring photos from the same places. There are some great stock photo sites out there now. Try sites like Unsplash or Pixabay. But whatever you do, try to avoid the stock photo clichés. They bore people, and they don’t do anything to help you stand out over the competition. Photos to support your products – If you are in the business of selling products, make sure your photos represent your products in the best possible light. This is true from real estate professionals to Amazon store websites. Your photos are creating first impressions of what you sell. Out of focus will turn people away. Even good enough might not work here. They need to be sharp, professional-looking photos to sell your product. Infographics...
21 Simple Ways to Improve Your Blog Post in Minutes

21 Simple Ways to Improve Your Blog Post in Minutes

Take the time to improve your blog post before you hit publish. The web is a crowded place. You can’t open up your browser without tripping over the same kinds of content written by multiple businesses and websites. It’s easy to find yourself stuck in a factory churn of boring, stale posts without offering anything new or insightful. So how do you differentiate yourself in this kind of environment? How do you get people to not only choose your blog post, but also read it, and follow whatever call to action you include? You need to take the time to step out of that factory churn – that’s how. That means taking a few minutes to improve your blog post. The Internet is filled with stale, boring lists. What the Internet is missing is quality, informative content that is unique to your experience. So don’t just be an industry typist looking to churn out the same stuff that everyone else has. Add a little extra to the world. This is how.   Use These Tips to Improve Your Blog Post in Minutes Add Something Personal – For years I’ve been a Cubs fan. A hopeless, bitter, cursed fan of the game, even though the prospects of a reward seemed delusional. I made it known to those around me that I knew the Cubs sucked, and how futile the whole exercise felt. But… Then things changed. 2016 became the year of the impossible in so many more ways than one. Where the Cubs had a century-long streak of folding like a lawn chair in crucial moments, it didn’t happen this...
How Long Should a Blog Post Be?

How Long Should a Blog Post Be?

The answer to the question “How long should a blog post be?” can vary depending on your business, and the topics that you choose to write about. A lot can depend on individual styles from author to author, or business to business. Generally speaking, a blog post should be something that a reader can manage within one sitting. I’ve seen excellent blog posts come in anywhere between 100 words and 2,500 words. That is quite a range, so let’s unpack what each might look like. A short post (100 – 300 words) A quality post in this range is generally trying to get an idea out. It is concise, and recapping something of value for the audience. This can be extremely effective if the thought or idea conveyed within the post is of high value. One word of caution on writing a post of this length is to not leave out any needed context. If the reader gets through a post this length, and has more questions about your topic than answers, your post is probably too short. When I worked in the journalism industry, I had an editor who used to love to tell reporters to let the story dictate the length. That’s good advice for a blog post, too. Make sure you’re including everything. Medium length (300 – 600 words)  This is probably the most common length for a blog post. One advantage to a post this length, is that it is the minimum length requirement for Google to index the content. Google typically doesn’t index content shorter than 300 words for its search engine rankings. So...
What are you doing to appeal to your audience?

What are you doing to appeal to your audience?

As you write your business blog, it’s tempting to take shortcuts. It’s tempting to write for yourself, and in a way that only industry insiders may understand. That’s fine if that’s your target audience, but if you are writing to your customer base, you may need to do things a little different. In that case you need to write for the people who you’re trying to entice to pull out their purse or wallet. It’s important to keep them in mind. When you blog, you need to step out of your own shoes. You need to figure out what your customers want to know. You need to think about how much they know about your industry. You’ll also want to add a little personality into the mix. These are all things you can focus on as you work on appealing to your audience. What do they want to know? Think back to all of the sales meetings you’ve had. Think back to all of the interactions that have taken place between you and your customers. What are the most common questions that they ask you? What’s the first thing that someone wants to know about your industry? Chances are that there’s people online who want to know the same thing. This is always a great place to start. If you’re short on answers, you can always ask people. Do you have a handful of really strong customers? You can flat out ask them what they want to know about your industry, and they’ll probably tell you. In general terms, people are always looking for information. They want things to...
Turn down the volume and turn up the engagement

Turn down the volume and turn up the engagement

I have a secret that can benefit business bloggers everywhere. It’s pretty simple, actually. Here goes: Volume is not the answer. You know a lot about your business and want more people to pay attention to what you have to say? Don’t worry, people can hear you. The problem is that they might not care. You have to give them a reason to read your work. Put down the megaphone. You don’t need to scream and shout. You need to refine what you’re saying. Sometimes you write your heart out. You promote your post in every way that you know how. You know your work is good, but there are no takers. Here’s a simple checklist of ways to turn down the volume and turn up the engagement, so that you draw people in: Emphasize the benefit People are selfish creatures. It’s true. The first question we use to determine whether we’re going to invest in a click online is a simple one: What’s in it for me? That’s it. That’s what we want to know. So spend some time on your headlines. Spend some time on your opening paragraphs. Be as direct as possible with your audience, and let them know what they can expect. Be personable People are often just looking to connect. They want to identify with someone before they commit to doing business with them. You don’t want to endlessly drone on about yourself in your post. But what you do want to do, is give them something to connect with. Are you a die hard sports fan, movie junkie or love to read books? Let people...
7 Headline Tips For Expanding Your Audience

7 Headline Tips For Expanding Your Audience

By now, you should understand that your readers’ loyalty is not unconditional. You owe it to them to be direct. After all, it’s not their fault that the average Internet user has the attention span of a gnat. It starts with an intriguing headline. Think about it this way. The majority of your readers are probably going to find your post one of two ways: 1) A social newsfeed or stream. There’s literally hundreds of options vying for their attention at once. Your headline is what jumps up and down screaming “Pick me!” Don’t let this be a repeat of gym class basketball. Your business won’t last long if you’re picked last again. 2) A search results page. Congratulations, your reader wants to find you! It’s up to you to be compelling. At best, you need to stick out and be relevant on a page with 10 results. At worst (if the search is a thorough one) you’re up against hundreds or thousands of results. Your headline plays an important role in grabbing your readers’ attention. That small handful of words is what they’ll base their decision to continue reading on. I know headlines are the shortest part of the post. It’s tempting to skimp on them, treating them like an afterthought. But given that they play such an important role, you need to pay a little more attention and care, if you want to truly grab people’s attention. Follow these seven headline tips for expanding your audience. After all, you put thought and care into the rest of your message. You want people to read it and act, right? Make...