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Advantages Of Using An Editorial Calendar For Your Blog

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There are two types of people in this world, those who blog and those who don’t. The former are further sorted into two kinds, those that keep an editorial calendar, and those that sit down to write while they are inspired.

Nothing wrong with the occasional sip of inspiration and penning down a post.

Problem is, you could occasionally end up staring in front of a blank document, on your designated blogging day, trying to figure out a good topic. For professional and business bloggers, this is wasting time and potential.

This is where you could use an editorial calendar — which is, essentially, a list of blog posts that you are going to write and when you are going to write them. Here are the benefits:

You get a nice balance of posts

Regularly churning out content means that it is all too easy to write the same type of content week in week out, without even noticing. A calendar lets you plan things out in advance, while at the same time produce more variety in content.

You stay on top of blogging

Perhaps the biggest advantage is that instead of rushing through a post at the last minute, or worse, skipping blog posts, you get to stay in control. Come up with a bunch of different ideas for a month, and plan your days around it. If you have a big, important post, you can give it more research time too.

You collaborate with others better

Others in this case being either guest bloggers, or people that help you with your company blog. Using a calendar means that people will be aware of when you are posting and what you are posting about, and this helps keep things running much more smoothly.

A point worth noting here is you do not need anything fancy to maintain an editorial calendar. Sure, there are WordPress plugins that help, like the aptly named Editorial Calendar, but you can just as easily use a document, spreadsheet, even a physical calendar or a diary.

Do you use a calendar? How long ahead do you plan? A week or a month? Let it be known below!

Melanie Russell is a seasoned online business reporter and has been writing about the web for as long as she can remember.

2 Comments
  • CaptainJack

    Great advice! I think you make a lot of compelling points for adding an editorial calendar. The only thing I would argue against an editorial calendar is that some people don’t have the structured schedule to be able to pull that off.

  • BeckyMouse

    Overall, you just stay more organized. This benefits you as well as the customer. I think the editorial calendar is a imperative for all bloggers.

Web Content

How to test a copywriter

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How to test a copywriter

How to test a copywriter.

There are two areas that are really difficult when I think about building an online business from scratch or creating a website.

Deciding on a good logo and finding a good copywriter.

What is a copywriter?

Well when you get technical, a copywriter is a professional specializing in creating a compelling description of the value of your product or service in order to drive a lead or customer conversion.

Basically someone you hire to make your skills or product POP with words.

In module 6 of the Online Business Roadmap course, I describe in detail all the benefits of a good copywriter and how to safely and responsibly hire one.

I will tell you though, while a good copywriter is worth their weight in GOLD plutonium, it’s not easy to find one.

This is primarily because all a mediocre or amateur writer needs to do in order to pretend they have some skills is send you someone else’s copy or content.

It’s hard to know whether the person presenting a sample to actually wrote it.

Here are my suggestions for testing any copywriter you want to hire.

Obviously ask for a sample

Not rocket science – get them to send you something they have written.

Ask for references

Ask for people they have worked for before and CALL them. Most customers never make the follow up call. Make sure you do.

Next, ask for a custom sample

Give them less than 24 hours to write something YOU ask for (pay a small fee if you have to – less than $100). This doesn’t have to be a full article – maybe even a few paragraphs – just so you can get a feel for the writing style.

Finally, give them the edit test

This one is simple – ask a copywriter or someone you respect to find an article that is badly written. Take (internal) notes about all the reasons why it is badly  written. Once you have that, send the article (without the notes obviously) to the new copywriter.

Ask them to tell them what is wrong with the article in less than one hour (be willing to pay a small fee for this too).

If they come back with good edits and suggestions and everything else works out – you have a good faith confirmation to go on. If they start to give you excuses and are not willing to be tested, tell them to go jump in a lake.

Over the past 15 years, I have tested over 100 copywriters this way and less than 10 have passed. All of the candidates who passed did great work for me so I’m pretty sure this process works.

What do you think? What has been your experience with hiring copywriters?

Use the comments below and let me know.

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Marketing

Infographic: Why People Hate Your Content

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Content is king. We all have heard this phrase before. But not everyone stops to think why content is king. And why it has to be treated like one. The web is, now, the most important resource of information for people.

With nearly 3 billion already using the Internet in one way or another, and millions joining in daily, the audience is huge. But it’s important to deliver information to these people that is effective.

Effective and impactful.

The digital revolution is demanding, if nothing else. Online businesses need to deliver unique, relevant and fresh content — something that immediately engages the reader. But most importantly, your content needs to be sharp, clear and compelling.

With the intense competition, you have to be one step ahead, not simply keep up.

But people have different needs, and to deliver, you absolutely have find out what your customers and audience want. No one content strategy works for all, or every type of online business. It has to be custom designed for each niche and specific audiences.

Want to see how varied the landscape is?

This infographic from Stratton Craig sheds a little light on what good and bad content looks like. It makes for a rather interesting read, with some surprising statistics.

The survey was conducted on 712 people, aged 18 to 65 (and beyond), and they were asked to define what they enjoy online, what they don’t enjoy, what type of content they like and what they dislike on the web. Online shopping, as you can see, is not high on this list.

Equally surprising are the bit about blogs, with a shocking 0% of the 18-to-24 year old respondents enjoying reading them. Video, on the other hand, is key for younger demographics.

It’s a pretty illuminating read, surprising even in some sense, but should provide a few pointers for you to chart out your content or content marketing strategy.

Click the infographic below to view the full high-resolution version.

Infographic: Why People Hate Your Content

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Marketing

Infographic: The Power Of Visual Content

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Infographics are effective. Highly effective. People much prefer to look at pretty pictures or amazing videos, than read plain text. And the reason for that is simple.

The brain has to do less work to digest information when it’s presented visually.

This makes infographics and visual content a lot compelling — this type of content drives more traffic and brings more results than plain text material. Brands and businesses are benefiting from using infographics in their marketing.

The infographic below illustrates the power of visual content:

“It is no secret that consumers respond better to visual marketing, and this is one reason that infographics have become such a popular and effective form of online marketing. They allow you to present information in a way that your audience will actually absorb your message, instead of just skimming through blocks of text and only retaining a very small percentage of the information.”

Some interesting highlights here.

But the most pushing one is the fact that the brain process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Going to have to do a little digging on this one to locate the source. Seems too good to be true!

Other than that, there are several appealing pointers here, including how an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a text article. Sounds about fair, particularly for people on mobile devices. Not everyone wants to read lengthy text on smartphones or tablets.

The sales and infographic marketing statistics are also fascinating, including the popularity of infographics on Google. Quite a few important takeaways overall.

Click the infographic below to view the full high-resolution version.

Power of Visual Content

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