Category Archives: Blogging
As someone who needs quality content, you’ve been told to check out online job marketplaces that offer “cheap but excellent services.” But the truth is, these marketplaces have reached their saturation point that it has become difficult to find writers who can actually write.
Take it from other clients. At a popular site for freelancers, one client said he was given a bad rating when he rejected an article for having too many grammar issues. Another client said he missed a deadline because his writer had poor work ethics. They never used that site again.
So we searched the stars, scoured some planets, asked a few aliens, and found EpicWrite. Here’s our detailed review.
EpicWrite is a gem amongst rocks, to say the least. For only $0.6 per 100 words, you’ll be surprised to get more than what you expect. Just when you thought quality and affordability don’t go together, this company proves you wrong.
Here are the top reasons why this content writing team is highly recommended.
1. Very affordable plans
If you sign up for EpicWrite, you can choose from three budget plans: Basic ($0.6 / 100 words), Premium ($0.8 / 100 words), and Professional ($1.0 / 100 words).
Which of these plans should you choose?
It can be tempting to try the cheapest rate, but you are strongly suggested to opt for the Professional plan. For only $1 per 100 words, your content will be written by top-rated native English writers. Other perks includes unlimited revision and a fast turnaround.
2. Efficient support
One of the qualities of a good company is the presence of an efficient support system. With EpicWrite, you won’t get an idle Contact Us page. In fact, a team is dedicated to handle all your concerns and questions – from revisions to clarifications. To get in touch with the team, you can do any of the following: login in your account and click on Support, or use the support widget on the bottom of every page of the website.
3. Easy-to-use and simple interface
We simply find it easy to use. I think they do understand the importance of a good user experience. That’s why it has an easy-to-use interface, a simple registration process, and an organized dashboard. Once registered, you will have access to your personal dashboard. This is where you can view your profile, feedback from other clients, and projects that you have created. This is also the place where you can buy credits and create feedback of your own.
4. Convenient payment methods
You can buy credits anytime through PayPal or Skrill. Rest assured that these options are secure.
5. “Update-proof” articles
Best of all, EpicWrite has a pool of tried-and-tested writers. Don’t be fooled by the rankings shown on the plans (Basic – 3 stars, Premium – 4 stars, Professional – 5 stars) because according to our account manager Sarah, these writers have been handpicked to deliver quality content. Quality here is defined as SEO-friendly, unique, and fluff-free.
The importance of quality content cannot be overly emphasized especially with the release of newer and smarter search algorithms and updates (Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird).
6. 100% work back guarantee
They’re not perfect. We do have some past projects with them that needs a bit of revision.
If you’re not satisfied with your order, you can always have it revised. They have a 100% work-back guarantee and will be able to send you the revision within a matter of hours (Depends on the volume of the project).
Finding the right web host for your needs can be a real nightmare at the best of times. There can be hidden fees, long term contracts and for the beginners out there there can be a lot of technical jargon to wade through and work out. In this review we’re going to give you the low down on Bluehost’s web hosting.
They’re one of the top hosts out there in terms of popularity. They were founded back in the 90s, in 1996 to be precise, which means approaching two decades in the business they’re one of the oldest still operating. This loyal customer base must surely then count for something.
So what then are the features that make Bluehost so popular?
- Web Mail feature allowing email addresses and mailboxes.
- Support for international domains as well as regional.
- Unlimited disk storage
- Unlimited subdomains (this would be for instance bluehost.dollarsperday.net)
- Add on websites to your account for multiple sites.
- MySQL databases (these drive wordpress)
- Free Domain with hosting packages.
- Outstanding support
- SimpleScript allowing quick install for a number of apps and website features
- Free site builder to allow anyone to create their own website with ease.
The features of bluehost are such that an advanced web user or an absolute beginner can pick up a package and get started. Whether you’re going to build the next big social network or worldwide music blog or you’re a beginner who wants a simple website to promote a trade, you’ll be equally at home with Bluehost. Their fair prices and excellent servers are among the reasons they are just so popular.
Thus concludes my Bluehost review. To be honest it is tough to find a downside with their service and though some competitors do offer similar, this is a wise choice for the majority of users.
The evolution of digital marketing is currently at its peak. Now, more than ever, there is stiff competition for search engine and social media presence. Only those who harbor great digital content creation ideas can make it. This is because inappropriate digital content can be destructive to any business, person or institution.
The search engines nowadays use complex algorithms which extract data from social signals and link profiles. This means that the reputation and influence of any business or establishment that depends on digital marketing is inferred from the quality of the content on the web. If you use the right content strategy, you will get better visibility as well as online engagement with prospects and potential customers.
In this post, you are going to learn ten specific tips and tricks regarding digital content creation. These will help anyone who wishes to maximize their online marketing.
Tip 1: Words are great but not enough
Words are necessary in digital content creation but definitely not enough. This is because words will educate and inform your audience. However, you need to engage then too. The only way to do this is to add engaging content such as videos, audios, photos, animations as well as infographics. Including things like video tutorials, webinars and an image gallery of events or products will go a long way towards helping you engage your audience.
Tip 2: Maintain uniqueness
One of the things that discourages potential customers is generic content that does not serve to add value to their knowledge or does not offer new information regarding their search. You have to keep in mind that consumers are looking for information they are not privy to about the products they are seeking. Try as much as you can to give them this information and share it in a manner that can be easily accessed.
Tip 3: Provide answers to people’s questions
Nobody searches for information on a product or service for fun. They have questions or problems they want addressed. Your content must be able to solve most, if not all, of these problems. You can do this by providing “how to” guides, product comparisons and reviews, FAQs as well as video tutorials with tons of information.
Tip 4: Broaden your marketing spectrum
Previously before the start of the social networks, content was only being published on websites. Today, social platforms have become people’s lifestyles. This means that your content must be optimized for community sharing. Publish on your website then share it in your social networks to reach as many people as possible.
Tip 5: Deliver current content
The world is changing fast and so do the search engines. Google, the most popular search engine regularly updates its algorithms to filter out redundant content. They put more emphasis on freshness and only those sites with the latest news get favorable ranking. Update your blog posts, web contents and social network platforms as regularly as possible.
Tip 6: Ensure user friendliness
Gone are the days when everything was official. Consumers no longer care about the official way of doing things as long as they can access whatever they are looking for. They need content that they can personalize and interact with two-way and in real time. Let your content speak to them in a human-like fashion.
Tip 7: Be very creative and imaginative
Creativeness is a gift but can also be learned. Customers are looking for something informative, relevant and interesting to read or to talk about. Many interesting things exist about your business or brand that your audience still does not know. Research extensively, be creative and highly imaginative and you will generate some of the best digital contents ever to be present in the internet.
Tip 8: Be ready to learn
Website designers, software developers as well as computer designers are coming up with new technologies every day. The fastest growing industry is the social network. New software programs as well as tutorials are being released every day. You may not be able to totally keep up with this evolution but the best way is to keep up with the best practices currently in the digital market as much as you can.
Tip 9: Put your content into context
Seasons do change. Make sure that the content you are generating for your digital marketing needs is contextualized to the current season. For example, if it is the holiday season such as Christmas and New Year, let your content have a holiday tone within it. Your content will capture the mood of your clients and spark engagement.
Tip 10: Quicken the understanding of your audience
The internet is abuzz with information, some of it decidedly complex and yet the audience has little time to read this information. If you want your digital marketing efforts to bear fruit, you need to create content that is not only relevant but very easy to understand. They will spend less time to understand and this will make them love your website, blog or social media channels. Make sure the website content you create helps keep your audience up to speed.
I’m sure I’m not the only website owner who has a love/hate relationship with backlinks. Sometimes they’re your best friend, you may have a solid link profile and know that google holds your site in high esteem, or you may have a relatively new site or one that it is hard to get links to, and thus be struggling with your rankings. Backlinks are a huge part of SEO and the marketing of your website and thus are not to be ignored, here I’m going to look at how many backlinks you really need for your site.
Backlinks Are Not Your Number One Priority
Where a lot of people seem to trip up is thinking that SEO is the main aspect of internet marketing. It isn’t. You can have a thousand brilliant backlinks but if there’s nothing worth seeing on your site and nothing to hook viewers in then you just wont succeed, not to mention the fact that you won’t get the links in the first place! The point of links being a key factor in SEO is that you usually only get the high quality ones by posting great content, the BBC don’t link to rubbish sites, NASA wont link to you if you aren’t a real authority in your field, and nobody will want to link to you if your site is poor. The flip side of that is that if you make a great quality site you are much more likely to get links from people who find it.
Links are needed, especially in certain niches, but CONTENT should always be your priority. Your content is the linchpin holding your site (and possibly business) together.
Ranking Without Links
Because Google knows that links can be manipulated, and aren’t always the most accurate representation of a website’s quality, it isn’t the only ranking factor, and you can get your site to the top of google in certain niches without a single backlink. People like the adsense flippers make a living out of this method. Choose the right keywords and as they put it the “low-hanging fruit” and you can rank without links, taking a big job off your hands. You can bet that the sites that rank in this way have good quality content on them and follow all of the other key areas of SEO to get to the top of the SERPs.
Ranking With Links
Most of us aren’t lucky enough to get to the top with no linking, and though it should ideally take care of itself (eventually), sometimes your link profile needs a helping hand. It isn’t as simple as putting a good site online and waiting for it to rank, and links pointing to it can be extremely powerful. A good way to gauge is to look at the QUALITY links pointing to the top ranking sites (especially if they are niche sites built in the same way as yours rather than a wikipedia, eHow or Squidoo article). Unfortunately there is no yardstick by which to measure, and you have to play it by ear, but my main advice to you would be to focus on quality in links. One link from a Nasa or a BBC could be worth thousands of links on directories, social profiles or other average to poor sources. Keep your links relevant and from authority sources and you can get your site to the top of the rankings without slaving away on tons of links. Find good quality guest posting opportunities and get your site featured in the best places and watch it soar to the top. Quality trumps quantity in this game, especially after the penguin, panda and EMD updates.
When I first learned about making money online, I thought that blogging was the main way people turned their hours spent online into cash. It is true that people have made good money blogging, look at Darren Rowse over at Problogger or Pat Flynn’s blog (though he does make a lot of his money from other sources). Knowing what I do now, I would not recommend blogging as one of the easier ways to make money online, and in fact it is probably among the most difficult. So why is it so hard to make a living blogging?
Blog Vs Authority Site
Before we go much further I’m just going to set the paramaters for what I’m talking about. A blog and an authority site are not the exact same thing. The two can intertwine but in my opinion, a blog is a fast-evolving site with a lot of articles about current news in a certain area, for example a football blog will talk a lot about the current issues in football. An authority site focuses on more evergreen content and information that covers a long period of time, sticking with the football analogy, a football authority site would focus more on the techniques or information that will not become outdated after the next set of fixtures.
Why so Difficult?
So what is so tough about blogging, let’s break it down.
- If you’re writing about things that change a lot, or relying on current events, you can’t count on search engine traffic. A subject like “how to make pancakes” will always be the same, and will always be searched for, but “music to look forward to in 2013″ will eventually die down, and won’t bring you visitors from google.
- It requires a lot of commitment and passion, you need to be on it with your blog and write new content all the time to keep people engaged. An authority site can have content that stays the same for years and is still relevant, but on a blog, although you will probably have some authority content, you need to be current.
- You probably don’t have a product. The best websites for profits have something to sell, either their own or on somebody else’s behalf. You’ll probably find it tough to shoe-horn a product into certain topics and blog subjects so you may be relying heavily on advertising, meaning you need a huge amount of traffic in order to make any sizeable sum of money.
The best blogs are not “blogs for blogs’ sake”. They’re there to help you promote a product or a service and to make money in a more intelligent way. Putting content online and expecting it to make you a living by magic is not likely, and though you can make good money out of a blog if you do it right, most people do it completely wrong. Your blog should be an offshoot of something bigger, that is going to convert into better cash for you, whether that’s through something you sell yourself, an affiliate program or some other means. Adsense and other ad networks are great, but expect to spend years building up enough traffic on your blog for them to make you rich.
Be clever about your blogging if you want to see results.
As any experienced Internet Marketer will tell you, making a living online is an art that is constantly changing and evolving. When I got into the game, micro niche sites were popular, and having an “exact match domain” for the keyword you were targeting could help to propel you to the top spots in Google even with a small site. This is becoming more and more difficult to do, and though you do find these kind of sites in the top spots of Google, it might not be the wisest business model, so are micro niche sites dying?
What is a Micro Niche Site?
So that we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet, I’m going to lay down my definition. Micro Niche Sites are 1-5 page sites that target an extremely specific keyword. These kind of sites will target a keyword such as “red shoes for men”, buy a domain that matches the topic and build out a small site with that keyword heavily targeted. A niche site or authority site is more likely to be about shoes, or men’s fashion, and to target the keyword with an article instead of a whole site.
The EMD Update
Google has released a series of updates that target smaller sites, lower quality sites and sites with fewer pages, which have served to kill off a LOT of smaller sites. Not all of them, but a lot. It was called the EMD update because the exact match domains were a lot less powerful after it, and having “redshoesformen.org” for example would probably not be enough to get you to page one. Of course, there are some sites that only ever need one page, as the search query can be answered with one page, such as “what is the time?”. Google will never completely ignore one page sites but that doesn’t mean it isn’t more beneficial to have multiple pages.
Why I Err On The Side of Authority Sites
An Authority site is pretty much what it says on the tin, a big resource of authoritative information on a website. A lot of internet marketers who would once upon a time have focused on smaller sites are now focusing on these larger authority sites. They are still within a niche, they just cover a broader range of subjects. So what are the benefits?
- More likely to be linked to. People see a big authority site with loads of great info, they’re more likely to link to it than a one page site.
- Google holds it in higher esteem. Google loves content, new content, lots of content and content that interlinks. A 100 page site about Pianos will often hold more weight than a 10 page site about pianos.
- More profit. It makes sense that if you cover a big range of topics you can achieve higher traffic and make more money out of your website.
- Mailing Lists and Social Networks. Have you ever signed up to the mailing list of a one page site? No? Me neither. If I see a huge site with loads of new articles added regularly, though, I will sign up so that I don’t miss out or follow on social networks. The holy grail of niche sites is not to have to rely on search engine traffic, and this allows you to build an audience outside of the big G.
- You can establish yourself as an expert. It stands to reason that people will trust the opinion of somebody providing 100 great articles than just one. Become the one person in your niche providing huge amounts of great info and you will be the expert, which will increase not only reputation but affiliate sales (due to a more trusted opinion), more back links and recommendations. Set out to be the best.
- It’s cheaper. If you set up 1,000 sites with three pages on each you are going to have to shell out a fortune. One site with 3,000 pages is still only one site and will cost you a LOT less. If you don’t have a lot of capital to invest then this should definitely play a part in your decision.
I’m not going to go so far as to say that micro niche sites aren’t worth making, as I have some that are ranking and making money, but my focus is now definitely on authority sites with dozens and even hundreds of pages of quality, relevant content. In the modern age of Google, it just makes a lot more sense.
I’ve been experimenting with digital products recently. As many of you will already know I am always keen to find new ways to monetize my blogs and niche sites and there is certainly a strong argument for digital products being the most effective way to do so. I remember listening to an interview on Yaro Starak’s podcast with a guy who made $300,000 on a website about model trains, because he had made a guide and sold it on his site, which was getting huge amounts of organic traffic. This is a business model that certainly can work extremely well and you might not need a high percentage of your viewers to buy something for it to make you a nice chunk of money. So what are my tips for selling a digital product?
Make it QUALITY and UNIQUE
This is oh so important but unfortunately some people completely bypass this crucial step. When you’re creating your product you need to make sure it isn’t slapdash and that it offers real value, the same set of morals you should have when it comes to building any blogs or niche websites too. If your product isn’t good enough then you’re not going to succeed, it is as simple as that. It doesn’t matter what you make, a video course, an eBook, a set of instructional audio clips, anything, just so long as it helps and does what you’ve advertised.
Find your pricing point
This is a tough one, people are becoming more accepting of digital products in the 21st century, which has been aided by the introduction of the tablet and the kindle. In fact a lot of the books and other forms of media consumed are consumed digitally, which is great for the independent publisher or content producer, but it can also mean that finding how much people are willing to pay is tough. It depends a lot on how specialist the knowledge you are imparting is, and what the competition is selling its products for. I have bought digital products for $100 and for $1, and been happy with both. You need to pay close attention to what others are doing and decide just how valuable your product is.
Sell to an existing audience
You don’t have to do this, but it definitely will make your path a lot easier. What I mean by selling a digital product to an already existing audience is that you should create a product to market to traffic you already have coming to a website or other online presence rather than simply creating a product and then trying to build an audience. If you already run a site about dogs, make your dog training guide and stick it online, don’t make the product first and then try to market it, the road will be a lot longer.
Let other people sell it for you
Affiliate schemes are an amazing way for you to sell your products. People like Clickbank will let you sell your digital product on their marketplace, which means that not only will you get eyeballs looking at your product on there, people will be able to sell it on their own websites for a percentage. You’ll cut into your profit margin but you will be getting sales you never would have otherwise.
You’ve probably heard the saying “content is king”. It’s no joke, content really is the most important part of internet marketing, it is the linchpin holding together everything else you are trying to achieve. Sales, SEO, blogging, niche sites, it all boils down to content, and the task of creating good quality content on a regular basis falls to us, the website owners, bloggers, writers and entrepreneurs.
So what do I class as quality content?
- Blog posts that offer value. I don’t care if that value is offered in 100 words or 1500, and think it is a shame that a lot of people drag out blog posts just for SEO purposes. Sometimes 100 words is all that is needed to provide the information or inspiration that people need. Don’t write for the sake of it, write because you have something to say. Whether a blog post or article is worthwhile depends 100% on the audience. If they get something out of it then it has been worth it.
- Videos. Video offers us an amazing way to connect in the 21st century. I don’t take advantage of video as much as I could but I am very much aware of it’s importance. Videos can come in many formats including interviews, documentaries, tutorials and even funny promotional videos. Again, if it is enjoyed and valuable information is transferred then it constitutes quality.
- Podcasts. Ah, the power of a podcast! I love podcasts and subscribe to loads in the internet marketing space. Having a regular opportunity to present a show and address your audience directly allows you to provide them with tons of information and your personality can shine through.
- Photographs. This works better for some niches than others, but photos can add another dimension to your website.
The area that a lot of people struggle with is regularly putting content out. It is the whole point of a blog and what your audience (not to mention the search engines) are expecting. So why should you focus on creating content above all other areas?
Well, the truth is that your content is probably your product, or at least one of your products. Without it you have nothing to sell. It is easy to get bogged down in doing SEO or social networking and trying to drive traffic, but without the content to boot you’re just a shopkeeper advertising an empty shop. Regular content is 100% necessary for your success.
Don’t fear, though, you can definitely put out three or four posts a week by combining the methods above. My advice is to combine two main methods of creating content, for instance text and a podcast or videos and text.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If you’re struggling with regularity of content, create a schedule of say three or four posts a week, share it, pin it up, and be accountable for it. You can stray from it a bit here and there but in general your goal should be laid out in front of you to avoid straying and making excuses to put off the all important task of content creation.
Just Ship It
So many of us fall foul of trying to be perfect. Perfectionism is a curse and a lot of the time you’ll get away with not worrying about perfection. I’m not contradicting myself, and I do stand by my comments about quality content, but you are allowed imperfections, nobody is going to judge you for a slightly shaky video or a tiny bit of bad grammar. Yes it is best avoided but it is better to put something out and try to improve as time goes on than to constantly stay in the shadows out of fear of not being amazing. Just ship it!