Connect with us

Blogging

My Favorite Writing Assignments

Published

on

wct-logo

Kevin’s recent post about how long a blog post should be reminded me of a pair of writing assignments I was handed when I was in school, both of which changed my perspective on writing forever.

You see, when I was in high school and college, I spent a great deal of time studying journalism and creative writing, my two great passions. I was hoping at the time to get a job for a major newspaper working in their Web division, helping grow and promote online journalism.

It didn’t exactly pan out that way, I came out of college just in time to find the news industry already in steep decline, perhaps already past the turning point. Still, my education taught me a great deal, but on the point of post or story length, there were two lessons, both of which were equally valuable in teaching me about writing and how people read.

The First Assignment

In high school it was common for the teacher to assign mock news articles to the class. The rules were straight forward write a news story on a certain topic and it had to be a certain length, usually 1,000 words. We could pull quotes from other newspapers and sources, but they had to be accurate and up to journalistic standards.

Then one day the teacher told us to take our 1,000 word story and quickly turn it into a 500 word one. Worst of all, we only had 20 minutes to do it in.

But while it sounds stressful it was actually fairly easy. Twenty minutes was plenty of time to get through the story several times over and editing it down was more a matter of removing a few nice, but unnecessary, details and tightening up existing writing. At the end of the time frame, most of us had stories that were less detailed, but still largely the same as the ones we walked in with.

In short, I learned you could take out half the worlds of most stories and remove only a fraction of the information, including almost none of the important details.

I received a similar assignment in a creative writing class two years later. However, this time the process we were working with short stories. We were asked to remove 25% of the words without touching the plot. Once again, it was more than possible and, in general, it made the stories quicker-paced and tighter, while sometimes sacrificing some of the warmth and detail.

From these assignments, I learned that cutting words does not mean cutting a story. If you can tell something in 500 words, there is little reason to use 1,000. However, as I later learned was not always the case.

The Second Assignment

Later on, I switched majors. I wanted to study graphic/Web design and was convinced to change my major to advertising. However, when it came to copywriting, I had walked into a whole new world.

In journalism, brevity is valued highly. Getting information across quickly and accurately is the most important thing. However, in advertising long copy is often more heavily prized. In fact, David Ogilvy, one of advertising’s most respected figures, favored long copy strongly in his ads, even writing ads with more than 10,000 words and still receiving a strong response.

The mentality in the advertising world is that if you have a lot to say, you should say it, if you don’t have much to offer, you shouldn’t feel bad about being brief. Selling candy is different from selling power tools, which in turn is different from selling cars.

It was in that spirit we were asked to design a series of ads, starting with roughly a quarter of a page in a magazine and ranging to a full newspaper page, all using the same visuals. But even if we increased the size of the images we used, which was allowed, we still had to be flexible with the body copy, adding and subtracting from it to fit the different sizes.

Quickly it became obvious that, for this particular product, the ads with less copy were not merely more concise, but were worse ads. We had a lot to say and forcing us to be shorter with our words made us harder-sounding and less friendly.

The journalism style of “get in and get out” didn’t work in advertising. As a result, neither I nor the others I was working with were ever happy with my shorter advertisements and neither was the professor.

Bottom Line

So to get back to Kevin’s question of how long a post should be, I agree with his conclusion, that there is no rule.

I would say that you should take all of the time you need but no longer. In the end, it is more important that you write compelling copy than keep it under X number of words. Ten thousand words can feel like a hundred if your writing is good. On the other hand, 500 words can feel like torture if it isn’t.

Your topic and your writing should determine your length, not some arbitrary rule. If you write well and on topics that interest people, they will read it, no matter how long your posts are. If you write poorly and on topics with no interest, no one will bother, no matter how short you keep it.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Blogging

Landing Page Optimization Tips for Better Conversion

Published

on

Properly designed and optimized landing pages often generate more leads than those that are poorly built. Overall layout and design of a landing page should support your compelling copy and also work great with other elements to persuade landing users to take an action you want. Whether you want to build a landing page for your next digital marketing campaign or simply want to optimize an existing one for better conversion, you can make use of the following landing page optimization tips to generate more leads.

Be Sure to Craft Convincing & Catchy Headlines

A perfect landing page always has a headline that describes an offer or product clearly. You can make a headline compelling and catchy too by adding some strong and convincing words in it. By doing so, you will successfully be able to persuade your audience to read the full copy. You can also test different headlines to find out which one works well for you.

Design Makes the Difference

A landing page sounds like a virtual shopping window for each your visitors, and if it is appealing enough to grab the attention, it will make your service, product or offer look great too for them. Simple yet creative and pleasing to eye design and a well-written copy are the most important elements of a winning landing page. These both should work together in order to encourage visitors to take action. After choosing a perfect design, you need to make sure that content is also placed in the right order to make sense. You can also visit https://landingi.com/blog/create-landing-pages-that-convert to create landing pages for better conversions.

Choose Typography Prudently

Typography can make a huge difference between an appealing and ugly landing page. That is the reason you should choose the typography for your landing pages carefully to make the content more logical to the visitors. A well formatted and easy to read copy keeps the visitors focused and also reduce the efforts required to read.

Compelling & Scannable Copy

Clean and crisp tone should be used to create a compelling copy for a landing page, in order to convey the value of your offer or product. Majority of the web users usually scan the web content to find exactly what they need to know. That’s why the copy create for a landing page should also be scannable for the visitors. Use of the different font sizes is a superb idea to differentiate between the more and less important contents of a landing page.

Optimize for Search Engines

Make your landing page appear in top search engine results by using different on-page SEO tactics. Optimizing your landing page for search engines is the best way to get a huge amount of organic visits. Creative use of target keywords in the content, personalized URL, meta tags, meta description and image alt tags are some best-known SEO practices to increase the visibility of your landing page in search engines.

An attention-grabbing CTA

You have to be careful while making and placing CTA (call to action) on your landing page because the design and location of the CTA matters a lot. The core purpose of a call to action is to get visitors excited about the offer by letting them know what they are going to get. Adding it on the page too early can irritate and even scare your visitors. So, find out the best time and location to add CTA ingeniously into the page.

A/B Test

A/B testing is the way to compare two different designs or pages in order to find out which one is more effective and fertile as well. After getting the test results, optimize each and every element of your landing page to make it work the best for you.

If you want to improve your blogging or affiliate marketing earnings and conversions, be sure to start implementing each of these methods above into your content creation and marketing strategies.

  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1
Continue Reading

Blogging

How to Do Blogger Outreach Right

Published

on

Blogger outreach confuses most bloggers.

People reach out in desperation.

Or bloggers reach out trying to get something from influential bloggers.

I either block or ignore most blogger outreach emails because people want to use me for my blogging platform. Sure I am promised a rich link, a valuable post or some other enticement, but most bloggers using crappy outreach tactics:

  • are unknown
  • offer little value
  • want to use me and my blog for their gain
  • are not connected
  • are not influential
  • have no clout
  • have not paid their dues
  • have not helped people freely
  • have not earned the right to appear on my blog

Observe Bubbie Gunter. Follow him. He does outreach right.

He reaches out to me by helping me. He is generous. He focuses on me. What does this prove? He wanted to befriend me because he was interested in me, NOT in what I could do for him. Naturally, I happily promoted him, we became friends and one neat benefit is we keep helping each other. Bubbie also purchased some of my stuff; bonus points, my Young Blogging Padawans, if you want to stand out in my mind.

I get emails from bloggers all the time who want to appear on my blog but who complain about spending money for sponsored posts. Other bloggers complain about spending money for a freaking 4 dollar eBook. Other bloggers complain about spending money on my 350 dollar blogger course. How in God’s name do you expect to impress me if you complain about what I offer? Thousands of people complain. I ignore these thousands of people. A handful of generous, kind bloggers like Bubbie promote me and buy my stuff. Can you see why he gets a link on Blogging Tips?

I trust him because he did blogger outreach right. He helped me. He did not reach out, to manipulate me to help him. He did not reach out cold. He did not reach out as a stranger. He reached out generously, warmly and genuinely. He did blogger outreach right.

Picture break; check out my current street in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Blogger Outreach Is Helping and Hugging Not Asking for Hand Outs

Most bloggers reach out to bloggers, asking for a hand out. Hey, can you help me out? Hey, I need a link on your blog. Hey, I need a link to my business but even though I love your blog SO much, your rate does not fit into my budget. Lame.

A few bloggers reach out to help me and hug me. Warm and generous, these wise bloggers retweet my post, buy an eBook and email me to connect deeper. Help and a hug. Meanwhile, all other bloggers find my spam folder or simply give up after I ignore their 3 follow up emails.

Strangers fade away. Friends thrive.

Strangers vanish. Friends prosper.

Self-serving, greedy or desperate bloggers fail. Generous, connected bloggers succeed.

Watch my recent live video from Thailand:

Alonzo Pichardo, Jan Verhoeff and Monna Ellithorpe watched my video and chatted with me. No agendas. Not trying to GET anything. Doing what friends do. I take care of my friends. I love giving my friends oodles of links on my blog and via my guest posts. I love helping them. Organic, pure, powerful blogger outreach in action. Help people, make friends, have fun, prosper.

The alternative; try blog on your own, as a stranger. Reach out cold. Get pissed off when you only deal with strangers pitching you, said strangers not respecting you because they do not know you.

You can be on the outside looking in. Or you can do blogger outreach right and be connected.

Your choice.

Before we go, you can grab my blogger outreach eBook here:

13 Tips to Make Your Blogger Outreach Campaign Sizzle

  • 28
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1
Continue Reading

Blogging

1 Uncomfortable But Necessary Step to Making More Money through Your Blog

Published

on

10 years ago I relied on 1 prospering stream.

Today I rely on no income streams.

I figured out; helping people for free and being detached about 5 to 10 to 15 income streams helped me make more money through my blog.

Making this journey from attachment to one stream, to detachment from many streams, felt incredibly uncomfortable. I felt terrified to gradually release different income streams on the journey too. I loved freelance writing. Made some nice coin through the income channel. But intuitively, I knew I had to let it go to move toward eBooks, courses and a 100% passive income model because going passive helps me focus exclusively on creating content and earning money around the clock as I traveled the globe.

Heck yeah I enjoyed trading time for money many years ago because doing so felt comfortable and familiar. Heck yeah I feared trusting that my passive income would grow if I added many passive streams to my blogging portfolio and if I focused on creating content.

But here I am. Living in Thailand for months.

The Step

Eventually, to make more money through your blog, you need to add a passive or semi-passive income model and get incredibly busy helping people for free, because few folks on earth charge $50,000 or more per hour. I have no idea about Tony Robbin’s hourly coaching rates. But I know he ain’t charging only $1000 per hour. He is the most famous coach on earth. He coaches former presidents and the best athletes on earth. Outside of being the most famous or most skilled human on earth in your niche, you WILL hit an earnings ceiling trading time for money solely via an active income model.

But if you add 1, 2 then 10 passive income elements to your blog, earnings potential has no ceiling. Someone can buy my blogging course in the next hour. $350. 10 people can buy my eBooks, priced at about 4 smackers. Someone may advertise on my blog. Another blogger buys 3 of my audio books. All buys occur while I write this post or perhaps fall within a window where I write 3 posts for my blog.

Passive income can increase exponentially through as many channels as you open, at any time, from all over the globe.

Photo break; me by the roof top pool here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Owners do not trade time for money. Owners invest money and energy, and build a fortune passively. Why? Owners know passive income potential has no limits, with exponential growth over time. Every one of the top 1,000 wealthiest people on earth worked for FREE for many years to set up passive income that made them the wealthiest people on earth. Although some of these icons may make coin through sky high hourly consulting rates, the billions of their net worth flowed in passively, due to their free service, free help and generous value shared.

Leave the employee mindset of trading time for money behind.

Embrace the owner mindset of opening 1, 2 or 15 passive income streams. Give 99% of your time and energy to creating helpful content and building bonds with top bloggers like Kulwant Nagi. He teaches you how to make money blogging through passive income models and is a fabulous dude too. Follow him.

Feel free to keep an active income model open. Coaching, freelance writing or consulting can be lucrative streams, for sure. But every hour you spend trading time for money, I am creating free content that expands my reach and helps me earn money through 15 passive income streams.

I learned from the great Bob Proctor that multiple sources of passive income can help you live a life of freedom. Years ago, Bob had already opened and earned through 220 passive income streams. No; that is not a typo.

Are you trading time for money, solely?

You better open passive streams and get busy helping people for free.

  • 8
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1
Continue Reading










Trending