Getting on the blogging bandwagon: How to create interesting blog content

Getting on the blogging bandwagon: How to create interesting blog content

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Every business from start-up to multinational has a blog. You need to get on the blogging bandwagon, or feel its wheels rolling over the top of you! The challenge with blogging often isn’t the budget constraints, it’s coming up with engaging ideas that are going to resonate with your audience.

Everyone has a unique perspective and insights to share

The great thing about blogging is that everyone has many stories to share. Bring together a bunch of people with similar interests and challenges in life and you can build a supportive online community.

Create and Curate

No matter your blog topic – you can bet that somebody somewhere has already laid the groundwork, with an abundance of content written any topic under the sun. So take inspiration from this content, and then write your own story.

Curating lists is also a great idea. You could recommended blog posts, sites, books, podcasts or videos. This helps other people in the community and adds depth to your blog posts. People are more likely to stick around and read when the content is interesting, relevant and informative to them.

Guest Blogging

If you’ve enjoyed reading articles by certain bloggers then ask to interview them for our blog.  Most bloggers or subject matter experts will relish the opportunity for exposure. Firstly, make some editorial guidelines clear.

Don’t allow them to directly promote a specific product or service. Also, in many cases, you can avoid having to pay for a guest post, unless the blogger is enormously famous. Their pay-off comes at the end of the guest post, with an included brief about themselves, their expertise and a link to their own website.

A guest blogger’s writing can be like a breath of fresh air to a business blog. The guest blogger automatically becomes a powerful brand advocate, sharing the post all over social media. It’s a powerful way to immediately increase the reach and virality of the post.

Repurpose Your Existing Content

Use your existing collection of content to create a video tutorial, slideshare presentation, infographic, magazine article or any other type of new content. Most of the work will have already been done, it’s just a matter of tweaking the content for the new format.

Industry round-ups

Collect all of the interesting and industry-relevant research, quotes, and insights you can find from other popular blogs and websites. Then combine this with your own content that’s created in-house as well as industry research nuggets. When combined together this can be turned into long-form content for your blog.  and other little golden nuggets of information that you find elsewhere on the web. Posting this in a steady, uninterrupted flow onto social media is going to keep up the momentum of interest.

Think Telephone Not Loudspeaker

Make sure that your social media communication is like a telephone and not a loudspeaker or PA system. Social media is about engagement and getting people involved and interested in your story. People want to see you as a friend on social media, not a brand or business. So keep the content entertaining, light-hearted and amusing – as you would to your friends.  And don’t sell to your followers and fans, they will abandon you quicker than you can say ‘Sign Up Now’.

Quality content is the door, ingenuity and creativity is the key.  Speak with me today about how I can bring your blog to life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion

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By Athena Dennis 

No matter what kind of business you’re in, your website needs to effectively sell your offerings.

Organisations that deliberately and consciously invest in conversion optimisation are twice as likely to see a boost in sales.

However the reason many businesses don’t, is that they are far too focused on BAU – the business as usual syndrome.

When more pressing tasks need to be addressed right now, then optimising the home page of your website takes a backseat. Although what could be more important than ensuring your website visitors convert into sales?

In this article we will explore research into conversion optimisation and UX and how your business can implement some fixes to increase customer conversion. 

1. Use product videos on your landing page

Recent research by HubSpot found that using a self-explanatory product video on your landing page can increase conversion of 144%. 

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion

2. Create multiple landing pages for your products and services

Landing pages can be tailored and customised to your Pay Per Click advertising. Put yourself in the website visitor’s shoes.

If a website visitor clicks on a Google Ad and gets forwarded to your home page, not to a page that directly relates to the ad – will this visit convert? Most likely no.

That’s because when someone clicks on an ad, they are after a specific product or service on your website. They don’t want to read all about your other offerings or your staff or blog posts – that’s irrelevant to them. Instead they want to be taken to a page that will give them pricing and everything they need to purchase, with the minimal effort, if they don’t get this information easily – they leave. 

Tailoring your landing pages to have the same content as your PPC ads is really important. 

3. Keep the headline simple and related to your USP

You only get 0-8 seconds to tell a compelling story with website visitors. If your headline isn’t good enough, people will abandon their session.  

A great way of ensuring you have the best headline is to split test your landing page’s headline for different visitors, to see which one works best.

Headlines should be short, make an impression quickly and tap into the pain points of the customer and how the product or service alleviates these pain points. 

Here are some examples

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion
Airbnb
Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion
Treehouse

4. Keep your call to action above the fold

Whether you decide to use an opt-in form or a button to gain conversion, keep this prominently placed. 

‘Above the fold’ means that the content is visible to website visitors before they have to scroll down the page. This technique is obvious for the brand landing pages mentioned in the previous section. 

5. Make sure that your images and graphics mean something

Using stock photos on your home page without any context and direct relationship to your products or services isn’t good enough anymore. 

So how do you correlate stock images to your own brand? You could superimpose a customer testimonial or short quote from a customer over the top of your stock image to make it relevant. 

When I advised one of our clients how to optimise their landing page, this resulted in highly relevant and engaging landing page at very little additional expense.  

6. Use the landing page to overcome common obstacles to purchase

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion

Firstly, do a bit of market research into the kinds of reasons why prospective customers may be turned off from purchasing from your business. 

These reasons may be manifold, but if you can resolve some of these doubts on the home page, then you should use this opportunity to do so. 

If your product is largely unknown and also highly priced, in your headline, you should allay website visitor’s concerns by clearly mentioning the 30 day money back guarantee in your headline. 

If your product is in a controversial vertical, such as clothing made in Bangladesh, you could have a video on your home page showcasing the production process. You could use the homepage as an opportunity to allay customers’ concerns about the ethical standards of this workplace and the workers’ rights. 

7. Make opt-in forms easy and breezy to complete

As a web user yourself, you will understand the frustration of completing an opt-in form that seems to have a thousand fields. 

So make it easier for your website visitors by only asking them for the very bare minimum of information. Their name, email and telephone will do. 

8. Use a ‘chat now’ pop-up plug-in

According to the VWO blog adding a chat now plugin is estimated to increase customer signups by 31%! A simple pop-up can be answered by a chat-bot initially and then forwarded for human interaction to the website content manager. 

Ten Great Ways to Optimise your Landing Page for Conversion

9. Add testimonials to your home page

Testimonials and customer recommendations are worth their weight in gold for gaining more customers. Ensure that you use these prominently on your landing page in an interactive or automatic slider. 

​ 10. Make your CTA button the most prominent and obvious element on the page

Split test the copy for your call to action button and also the colour of the button itself. One study showed that simply changing the button colour to red increased conversion. 

There are many factors that impact the conversion rate for a website. You can get a comprehensive assessment of your brand messaging, marketing and communications needs for your landing page by getting in touch with me on +61 3 9028 7745 or hello@athenacreativeweb.com

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Stuck for blog post ideas? Here are 54 questions to loosen up your brain cells and blog posts!

Stuck for blog post ideas? Here are 52 questions to loosen up your brain cells and blog posts!

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Sometimes the ideas for blog posts just need some coaxing to come out. Then when they do…prepare for a biblical flood of content ideas. Here are some great questions to answer in your blog posts. These questions should help to get your creative juices flowing. They are ultra compelling and help you to grasp what’s important to you as a business owner/operator, as well as to your customers.

  1. What are the most frequently asked questions your customers ask?
  2. What is the biggest misconception people make about your business or line of work?
  3. What do your customers need to know to make good purchasing decisions?
  4. What is the story behind the founding of your business?
  5. How did your business get its name?
  6. What is a complete ‘how to’ that will guide customers through an important lesson?
  7. What is the story behind your new product or service?
  8. What is a hard truth your customers need to hear?
  9. Who are the people that you work with. How did they come to work with you?
  10. What are the first three things someone needs to become an expert in your field?
  11. Do you have a customer success story that you can share?
  12. Describe a day in the life of your company.
  13. Do a survey of your customers. Then run through some key insights and data about your customer base.
  14. What are your thoughts about where your industry is headed?
  15. How do you hire your staff? What do you look for?
  16. What are the unique selling propositions that makes your business distinct from all others?
  17. Recall and write about a daily process in your business.
  18. What are the most common mistakes you see people frequently make in your industry?
  19. Can you summarise some key pieces of news/advice/tutorials/opinions from the last week in your industry?
  20. Write an open letter to someone in your industry about a topic with broad industry relevance.
  21. Write about legislation changes that might impact your industry.
  22. What do your customers have a hard time doing?
  23. What is the biggest news in your industry – and what does it mean for your customer?
  24. What do you recommend customers read or watch?
  25. What are the lessons you have learned in the last year?
  26. Provide a checklist that’s relevant to something your customers might do.
  27. Create a printable/template to help customers to achieve something
  28. What were some key takeaways from a conference or industry event that you attended?
  29. What are the latest trends that are emerging in your industry?
  30. Who is an industry leader that you could profile/interview?
  31. Can you profile a key member of your team?
  32. What is the best suggestion you’ve had from a customer?
  33. What quote do you think applies most to your business/industry?
  34. What is the most innovative use you’ve seen for one of your products?
  35. Who is a customer you could profile/interview?
  36. Write up a talk or presentation you previously gave into bullet points or a summary.
  37. What was the biggest challenge your business has had in the past year?
  38. Ask 10 customers, peers and staff a single question. Then wrap an article around that.
  39. What two products could you compare and contrast?
  40. What two strategies could you compare and contrast?
  41. What is a hot discussion/debate that happened in your business recently that you could recap or involve your readers in?
  42. What is the history of your industry – from inception to today.
  43. Project forward – where will your industry be in 5 years? Make a prediction.
  44. Sum up your year just gone.
  45. Review a book that you believe your customers should read.
  46. Review a tool, product or service relevant to your customers.
  47. What things have you done in business that you regretted and learned the most from?
  48. What are the biggest secrets about your industry?
  49. Record a conversation your team is having (podcast or video).
  50. What amusing moment happened in your business this week?
  51. What is your biggest passion and how does this align with your professional life?
  52. What mistakes have you made and what did you learn?

Would you like a hand with ideas for your blog posts along with sorting through your existing content assets? Get a free content audit today by getting in touch below…

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Eight sassy design principles that underpin great web design projects

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Here are eight core fundamentals that tend to underpin website design and development work. Although take these with a grain of salt. Perhaps, if you’re in the mood, add some lemon and vodka which tends to add further creative fuel to design projects.

1. Be innovative

The best graphic design pushes the boundaries and involves critical thinking about approach and UI. It’s always a good idea to stay abreast of changes to industry standards and then know when to break the rules too.

2. Start with a problem

All design from graphic design to web design to industrial design, should take a problem and solve it. Think in terms of UX and the presentation of information. Make sure that the content on the site is useful to human visitors. And also useful to robots parsing the site. SEO and exceptional content are equally important to good design and should work hand in glove.

3. Be unobtrusive

Keep the design as simple, clean, unobtrusive as possible. Create systems and navigation that are transparent and simple to use. The best design doesn’t scream out for attention, but is subtly beautiful. It announces itself with a whisper and a murmur.

4. Understand aesthetics

Space and Grid: Information on websites should be ordered in a logical way for the eyes of visitors. Work the white space really carefully.

Typography: Keep it tight with only three different types in a maximum of six sizes used throughout the site.

Colour Choices: Keep in mind colour choice, along with integration of an overall brand identity. There’s an intricate psychology to colour choice in design. It’s important to be aware of that.

5. Keep the end goal in mind

Don’t obfuscate the website or design by adding too many elements. Have one call to action. Then neatly and simply guide the user towards this through the design.

6. Design for a long shelf life

Great web design and graphic design employs classic design principles and isn’t faddish or fashionable. You should use a flexible template that can be changed or modified with new content, images and other small modular iterations. It should be mobile-first and driven by the user experience, rather than pushing an obvious agenda. Future-proofed design looks beautiful on all devices. It uses HTML and CSS that’s easy to read and change as required.

7. Build integrity

The purpose of design is to be open, honest and provide everything that a user needs. A great user experience provides all of the sign posts, guidance and help that is required for the user to achieve clearly defined conversion goals on the website. The purpose of design isn’t just about creating the ‘wow’ factor. It’s also practical and helps visitors to reach a specific goal (or conversion) or to gain a deeper understanding into a subject.

8. Aim to fail fast, and pick yourself up

In order to completely capitalise on your skills, you need to fail fast and early on. Sounds rather counter-intuitive but it’s really not.

James Dyson of the bagless vacuuming empire failed with his prototype vacuum 5,127 times before perfecting his bagless model. Through an iterative process of trial and error he eventually made it. This required some grit, perseverance, determination on his part. In order to succeed, one needs to fail over and over again.

Agile Project Management 101 teaches us that failing fast and early on is a low-risk strategy. This means a project may be more likely to ‘break on through to the other side’ and succeed.


Did you enjoy this journey into inspiring design? Then find out if your content assets are working as well as they should, with a FREE CONTENT AUDIT for your business!

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Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

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There’s not much involved in writing 150-160 character sentences for metadescriptions, right?  Well actually these descriptions appearing in search engine result pages (SERPS) are critical for engaging with potential site visitors. So here are some tips on crafting compelling and engaging 150 to 160 character selling points.

1. Write for Users First

In order to dominate search engine rankings, it’s crucial to write for the user first and the search engine second. So that means no badly formed sentences of tautologies, including multiple keywords crammed uncomfortably into the short sentences.

It’s also important to keep that human element to your metadescriptions. Try injecting some personality or localised phrases into the wording, however steer clear of using jargon or cliches.

Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

2. Inject Some Personality Into It

People are less likely to respond to ”Game of Thrones. DVD and merchandise here. Game of Thrones Merch. Visit us”.  However, they could be likely to engage with ”Game of Thrones: Summer is over, winter is coming. Game of Thrones Sale On Now.”

Write in a personalised way as though speaking to a friend, in a warm and welcoming tone. It’s like holding up a sign in the airport arrivals lounge, smiling at everybody’s approach saying ”Here I am, this way Mr. Jones…Mrs. Smith, etc.”

3. Stick to the Value Proposition

Write from the users’ perspective. This means articulating your offer in a way that answers the question: ”What’s in it for me?”.  When you position the metadescription in this way, the results will be immediately positive. If you’re stuck for words, take the time to evaluate competitors’ metadescriptions.  Then try to create a more punchy and powerful value proposition.

Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

4. Keep it Short and Simple

Keep the metadescription to a limit of 150 to 160 characters. This can be really challenging, particularly for complex web pages that require more explanation. Although it’s an absolute necessity, otherwise the SERP will cut off the description mid-sentence. This tends to obfuscate the meaning and rarely encourages visitors to click through to the web page.

5. Use a Strong Call to Action

It’s important to use a call to action in the metadescription. There should be a clear purpose to the ad and a reason to click on the ad. So isolate this reason and think about the benefit of the offer to your potential visitor. Then ask for their cooperation. It’s amazing how actually asking and requesting an action from a user gets better results. A short call to action at the end of a metadescription can really boost click-through rates.

6. Bring in the Big Guns

If your business has some big names, brands, certifications or celebrity endorsements behind it, then add this into your metadescription. This may be difficult in the allotted 150-160 characters, but if you’re clever enough, by all means do it!

Metadescriptions are the bread and butter of search engine optimisation. They combine the best of both worlds, SEO and copywriting. With these tips on writing excellent metadescriptions you will be on your way to high volume click-throughs in no time.


Did you enjoy this brief foray into the weird and wonderful world of metadescription writing? Then pull up a pew and talk to me. I would love to help you with your marketing. Straight off the bat I can offer you a FREE CONTENT AUDIT of your existing marketing assets. Let me at it!

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