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Why a Professional Content Writer is Essential to Your Business’s Online Presence

Content writer using laptop

Every good business strategy should incorporate blogging and well-written website content. Although great writing doesn’t necessarily come cheap, it’s not an area where you want to skimp. When you go the cheap route, you risk your reputation, your customers’ opinions, your website’s rank, and more. Here are some of the biggest problems you might encounter if you settle for a cheap content writer.

Cheap Writing is Less Readable

One of the main goals of your website should be readability. You aren’t going to get bonus points for using SAT words and long, flowery sentences. In fact, this will deter website visitors and ultimately harm your conversation rate. Your content needs to be readable by a wide group of people to attract the most customers.

Readability isn’t just important for clarity. It’s also important for your website’s rank. Readability has actually become an essential part of how Google ranks you. When your website ranks highly, more people will be visiting your website. Your conversion rate will also go up. On the other hand, if you’re relying on someone who isn’t a very experienced writer to create content, you’re harming your bottom line.

Writing clear, concise content is second nature to a professional writer. Although you can argue that readability is subjective, there are some benchmarks for readable content. One time-tested tool is the Flesch reading ease score. This tool shows how readable the content is based on the average number of syllables in the words and the average length of the sentences. It scores the content on a scale of 0 to 100 with 100 being the easiest to read.

Ideally, content from a professional writer should fall in the 90 to 100 range. This means the content can be easily understood by someone as young as 11-years-old. In contrast, a writer who overcomplicates content is limiting your audience.

Web content in particular needs to be easy to read. People who are looking for products or services online don’t want to read a graduate thesis. They want compelling content that’s easy to read and will hold their attention. That’s exactly what they’ll get when they hire a professional writer!

A Native English Content Writer is Worth Paying For

The internet can be so useful for hiring service providers, including professional writes. But, unfortunately, this can make it more difficult to spot writers who aren’t actually as great as they claim to be. Sometimes you may hire a person that you think is a formally-trained native English writer, but the content they produce is poorly-written English content.

If the writer you’ve hired delivers poorly-written content, you’ll have to edit it to ensure it make sense to customers. In the end, you’ll have lost money in addition to the time you spent editing by hiring the amateur writer.

When your website isn’t written in clear English, it obviously hurts readability. Once again, that makes your customers have a harder time understanding your content and damages the SEO rank. But it also makes you unprofessional. If you want to present yourself as an authority on whatever it is you’re selling, you must hire a native English writer.

SEO-Optimized Content Improves Your Website’s Rank

If you’re paying someone to create content for your website, it better be SEO-optimized! Incorporating SEO keywords into your website is one of the most important things you can do to improve your website’s rank. Make sure that whoever you hire to write your content has a firm understanding of SEO.

A good copywriter will also know how to avoid over-stuffing your content with keywords, a.k.a. “keyword stuffing.” Using too many keywords can actually be a problem that harms your search rank. A professional writer will strike the ideal balance of just enough keywords without it being overkill.

SEO isn’t just about keywords. A good professional writer knows how to properly format a blog with headings and concise paragraphs. This will also help your site rank better on Google.

Professional Writers Deliver 100% Duplication-Free Content 

Perhaps the worst outcome of buying cheap writing is plagiarism. It may shock you to know that plagiarism isn’t just something students do when they’ve slacked off in class. It’s something that writers will deliver to their paying clients. If you aren’t careful about the writer you hire, this could happen to you!

This video demonstrates the kind of poor (and duplicated!) content you could end up with from an amateur writer—and the quality you can expect from a pro!

Plagiarism makes you look bad. You need to make yourself look credible. Your content should position you as a subject matter expert that your clients can trust for high-quality service or products. If you’re stealing content from other sources, you’ll look like the opposite: a fraud.

Plagiarism is, of course, illegal. You shouldn’t be doing it period, and the writer you might hire to work on your website definitely shouldn’t be doing it. But you might be thinking, “Who cares?” No one will know if you’ve copied someone else’s content. But the truth is Google knows, and it will penalize you for having duplicate content by lowering your SEO rank.

A quality professional writer will be able to give you 100% duplication-free content. You should be able to verify this using the site Copyscape. This is the industry standard for checking on whether or not the content has been duplicated. Plagiarism may be an easy way to get content on your website, but it’s not worth the risks you’re taking to put it up. Duplicate-free copy is worth paying for!

Choose Your Content Writer Wisely—Or Suffer the Consequences

Clearly, quality writing is essential to your business, and it’s worth paying for! Does your website need content? Make sure you invest in an experienced content writer who knows what they’re doing!

We would love to create website content for your business or help you refresh your website if it’s in need of a facelift. No matter what you’re looking for, we promise to deliver content that’s readable, SEO-optimized, and duplication-free. Because we’re native English writers, you’ll also never have to worry about us delivering copy that doesn’t quite make sense.

5 Elements of a Marketing Plan You Should Understand Now to Launch Your Online Business

This is a guest post from Emerson De Oliveira, the founder and president of Negotium Concepts, LLC. We are thrilled to feature him on our blog.

With so many companies moving online, there’s never been a better time to seize the opportunity and launch your own online business. However, building a business from the ground up is no walk in the park. As an aspiring entrepreneur you should focus on efficient planning, but as a business owner, producing results is the ultimate goal. You should work smart and hard when building a brand.

An effective marketing plan will help your company understand the market that it targets and the competition in that space. It will help you understand the impact and the results of your marketing decisions and provide direction for future initiatives. Although marketing plans can vary depending on the industry, type of products, services, and the goals you want to achieve, there are certain essential elements that most plans include. So, here are my top five elements of a marketing plan you should understand now when launching your online business.

1. Target Audience

Who are you targeting? Your target market should consist of consumers that exhibit similar characteristics such as: age, location, income or lifestyle. Consumers that are most likely to buy your products and services, are likely to be the most profitable segment(s) for your business to service.

Once your target market(s) have been identified, you can focus your efforts on tailoring your marketing mix with the needs and expectations of the audience in mind. This may involve carrying out additional consumer research in order to gain deeper insights into consumers’ motivation, purchasing habits, and technology usage patterns.

2. Unique Selling and Value Proposition

The goal of any great business model is to have a high-profit product that customers want to buy. A highly marketable product is traditionally described as having a unique selling proposition.

For example, Whole Foods offers wholesome, organic choices in its stores. Domino’s Pizza grew rapidly because of its super-fast delivery. UGG boots are not only fashionable but also allow you to walk comfortably without socks. These are all unique selling propositions.

Your product also needs a unique value proposition. Value is what the product does for customers that they’re prepared to pay you for. A product can have unique features, but do they benefit the customer, and is the customer prepared to pay for your product?

3. Leverage on Solid Analysis

Ask yourself, “What are my company’s strengths and weaknesses? What are the external opportunities and threats in my industry?” Leverage on a SWOT and competitive analysis to help answer these questions.

  • SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis helps you understand internal and external factors that can make or break your success. The SWOT analysis process is a brainstorming technique. It’s designed to help you understand what might differentiate you from your competition and what resources you have to execute that opportunity. In the same breath, the SWOT framework helps you understand what might prevent you from capitalizing on those opportunities.
  • A competitive analysis is an analysis of your competitors and how your business compares. By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, you can begin to formulate how to give your company an advantage. A comprehensive competitive analysis helps you determine potential advantages and barriers within a target market around a product or service. It generally helps brands monitor how direct (and indirect) competitors are executing strategies like pricing, promotions, and distribution.
  • Narrow down who your top three competitors are. What are they doing well? What are they lacking? What can you do better? A competitive analysis will help you answer these questions. In addition to recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, keeping an eye on your competitors helps you anticipate shifts in the market, spot new trends, successful tactics, and stay on the cutting edge of what’s working within your niche.

4. Marketing Budget

How much are you planning to spend on marketing per month? Do you have a budget in place to hire additional marketing resources? Determine how big or small your marketing budget will be.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending seven to eight percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million per year in sales and your net profit margin—after all expenses—is in the 10 to 12 percent range. You should plan to spend two to five percent of your sales revenue on your marketing budget. 

5. Monitor Key Performance indicators

At the end of the day, the best way to judge your marketing’s success is by measuring its growth in sales revenue. Measuring your sales growth is vital to the long-term health of your company. Not only does it serve as a good indicator when it comes to strategic planning, it also allows for identification of growth trends.

Tracking your marketing KPIs helps validate your marketing plan. Thanks to the countless tracking tools available today, businesses have more opportunity for transparency in their marketing efforts than ever before. Get to know your marketing failures and fix them by tracking your performance indicators. Get to know your marketing successes and share them with your team.

Finally, your choices for marketing avenues are vast and include email, social media, advertising, guest blogging, direct mail, advanced software, etc. With so many marketing choices, you need a plan to determine the best course of action for your business. Many business owners create a marketing plan and then set it aside.

Your marketing plan is a road map providing you with direction toward reaching your business objectives. It needs to be referred to and assessed for results often. Now you have a better understanding of the five elements of your marketing plan. Get energized and get your business going!

7 Inexpensive But Effective Ways to Market Your Small Business

If you read our blog about investments for online startups, you know that marketing is one of the best places to invest. But if you’re a small business, you don’t necessarily have the capital to afford a clever, large-scale marketing campaign. You have to stretch those precious dollars and make every penny count! Here are seven ways to market your small business that won’t break the bank.

1. Reward Referred Customers with a Discount

Your customers will definitely start referring their friends if it means they get a discount. Any kind of referral program is smart. But the most effective way to create a referral program is to partner with another business.

You should choose a business that operates either online or is in close proximity to yours. They shouldn’t be one of your competitors but instead offer products or services that complement yours. Build a relationship with them that’s mutually beneficial. Whenever you successfully refer one of your customers to their business, that customer will get a discount and vice versa. This is convenient for buyers and incentivizes them to use your services. You’ll likely gain many new loyal customers.

For example, if you’re a professional photographer, you deal with a lot of clients who want their makeup professionally done, especially for special occasions like weddings. Find a local makeup artist whose work you believe in and form a relationship with them. Clients who use your referral to a makeup artist can receive a discount.

2. Apply for Awards

Some businesses are fortunate enough to be nominated for small business awards or titles like “Best Cup of Coffee in the Midwest” or “Most Fashionable Independent Clothing Boutique.” But did you know that sometimes you can apply for these kinds of awards? If you end up winning, you could be recognized online, in a print publication, or on social media. Either way, if you’re able to win an award—or even announce that you’re nominated—you’ll definitely turn some heads.

Any award is something to brag about! Add the award to your website and all your social media channels. If there’s a write-up somewhere, get a copy and hang it up in your shop with pride. This is great advertising that will take you nothing apart from a little time.

3. Invest Some Time in Email Marketing

If you’re like many businesses, you probably have some kind of email list (and if you don’t, start collecting them ASAP)! This is a great way to inform customers about special discounts and promotions.

Turn your emails into a marketing campaign. Send out a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletter with exclusive content that will excite your readers. You can even have two separate email lists: one made of current customers and one of people who simply subscribe to your emails. This will help you be even more effective with your marketing strategies.

4. Participate in Guest Blog Posting

Blogging is an easy, effective way to market your business and get found online. Another way to use blogging to your advantage is guest posting. Find another business that offers complementary services to yours or that you have some other connection with. They just need to have a blog! Then trade a featured blog post on their site for a featured post of theirs on your site.

This is the perfect way to get people who may not otherwise read your blog to check out your website. And this could lead to new people buying your products or services. If you don’t have the time or the expertise to write one of these blogs yourself, hire a professional writer! It’s the best way to ensure you’re putting out consistent, high-quality writing that readers will value.

5. Enhance Your Blog with Eye-Catching Visuals

Although having good writing on your blog is important, it’s not necessarily enough to gain new customers. You need great visuals to truly capture your audience and make them want to purchase your services. Photos don’t need to cost a lot. You can find them on stock photo websites like Pexels and Unsplash if you’re not willing to spend the money on professional photos.

One of the best ways to add visuals to your blog is to insert an infographic. This is a way to give your customers valuable, in-depth information. You could try your hand at making your own infographic or if you can afford to pay extra, hire someone else to do it.

6. Increase Your Exposure on Social Media

Social media is one of the easiest ways to create a marketing campaign nowadays. But not every business is utilizing these platforms in the most effective way possible. You should be targeting consumers where they are most active on your social media.

Choose a platform that is the best fit for your industry. If you’re not getting a lot of engagement, you should consider switching to a different social media platform and focus your efforts there. Make sure you’re utilizing your social media accounts as much as you can. Post valuable content for your followers and engage with those who comment on and share your posts.

7. Participate in Speaking Engagements

Is there a local event where you could share some wisdom with an audience? It’s a great way to market your small business! Look for speaking opportunities at benefits and other events. You don’t have to necessarily need to have a Ted Talk worthy speech prepared. You can simply speak on a topic related to your business.

You may even get the opportunity to network while you’re at the event. Make connections with the people there and pass out some business cards. You never know what could lead to a valuable relationship down the line! All you need is a little time to make it happen!

An Effective Marketing Strategy Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive!

Marketing isn’t always one of the most fun aspects of owning a business, but it is one of the most important. All of these ideas prove that it doesn’t have to take a lot of money to showcase the benefits of your business. If you go about it strategically, there are lots of ways to effectively market on a budget.

7 Smart Investments for Your Online Startup

startup investments

When you’re building an online startup, you need to be careful about where you’re investing money. Your funds are finite. Protect them. It’s smart to DIY where you can to save money, but you should also expect to spend money in some areas to make money. Here are some of the best places to invest your funds when you’re just getting started.

1.    G Suite

Every online startup communicates largely via email. You should own the email address you’re using for those communications. It makes you look professional and prevents people from thinking your messages are spam. It’s also good advertising for your business.

But G Suite is about more than just email. You get more apps and features than you would with a free Google account. For example, the business plan includes an application for app development. You can use it to make your own apps for your business. In addition, when you’re paying for G Suite you own the contents of your Google Drive and get even more storage space. A business account also includes unlimited cloud storage.


2.    Graphic Design Software

Advertising is the perfect place to spend your money because you can usually see a clear return on investment. You’re spending money to get noticed, and getting noticed brings you business. Make sure you have some high-quality visuals that represent your business well online.

You don’t necessarily need to hire a graphic designer to do this work for you. With the online service Canva, you can create logos, infographics, flyers, and more. You can design based on templates or start from scratch.

If you have a little more design experience, you might consider investing in the Adobe Creative Cloud. With a monthly subscription, you can access one app of your choice or all the Creative Cloud applications like InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. You’ll also get 100 GB of cloud storage to keep all your files safe.

But, Beware of Subscription Services!

It’s easy to see subscription services as great deals on critical tools you need, but don’t go overboard. Services like G Suite and the Creative Cloud are smart investments, but be careful they aren’t a drag on your precious cash flow. Don’t over-commit to subscription services. If you’re finding yourself not using a certain subscription to justify its cost, make sure you cancel the service.

3.    Professional Images

Another way to appeal to your customers/clients visually is through high-quality images. You could do this in a few different ways. The cheapest option is using eye-catching stock photos from websites like Pexels, Flickr, and Unsplash.

If you subscribe to the Creative Cloud, you can also get Adobe Stock photos, including 10 free images for your first month. But don’t underestimate the power of paying for personalized photos as well. At a bare minimum, make sure you have some professional headshots of you and your team (if applicable) for your website and your professional email accounts.

4.    Marketing

Marketing is always a worthwhile investment, but especially when you’re first starting out and no one knows who you are. If you offer a professional service, Fiverr is a great platform where you can easily be found by people all over the world who need your services. Facebook ads are also a great way to target social media users, and they are more effective than Google Ads at focusing on a narrow audience. Figure out who can use your services and target them with your ads. You can use your Canva or Creative Cloud chops to create aesthetically-pleasing ads.

5.    A High-Quality Website

Spend money on your website. As an online startup, your website is your storefront and can do a TON of heavy-lifting for you. If you want your customers to come inside, you need your storefront to be inviting. Not only should it draw customers in, but it should also convince them to invest.

For an online business, the website’s effectiveness is also a huge part of customer service. Your website should be fast, efficient, and safe. Hire a reputable web designer or use a company like Squarespace or WordPress to build your website using templates.

Don’t forget about the writing. Your website should have plenty of content, but not so much text that it overwhelms users. Make sure you balance the text with images to keep users interested. The content should be engaging; from the home page to the product descriptions to the about page. You may need to hire a professional writer to fill your website with high-quality content – but it’s worth the investment.

6.    Reliable, Powerful Technology

As an entrepreneur, you’re going to spend a lot of time on your laptop. Make sure you get a reliable laptop but don’t go overboard with the price. Something too cheap won’t last you long, but something too expensive will drain your funds quickly. Remember, you can always upgrade in a couple years after you start making more money. Lenovo’s Yoga and Apple’s Mac are two brands of laptops that have all the capabilities you’ll need.

You need to be connected to the internet as much as possible so you can see orders and address customer questions. When you can’t get to your computer, you need to be able to get to your smartphone. You probably already have a smartphone, but is it good enough? Invest in the smartest smartphone you can find, but try to keep it as long as possible. Upgrading too quickly can also drain your funds without a lot of benefits to justify the expense.

But, Stay Away from Tablets

What you do not need for your online startup is a tablet. Don’t waste your money. A laptop will be able to do everything a tablet does and more. Many laptops also double as tablets. Between your smartphone and laptop, there is absolutely no need for a tablet.

7.    Microsoft Word

Some businesses will have a need for software and applications that others won’t. But most online startups involve some kind of writing. Microsoft Word is the industry standard, and it’s worth investing in the latest version – don’t try to work around this. Although you can do a lot with Google Docs, it will not have all the same capabilities as Microsoft Word. You’ll look much more professional with Microsoft Word.

The Right Tools Set You Up for Success!

Some of these investments might be subject to what industry you’re working in. But these are all great places to invest funds for your online startup. With these tools at your side, your startup is set up for success!

Artificial Intelligence Won’t Take Over the Copywriting Space. Here’s Why.

artificial intelligence copywriting

People all over the world are worried about AI taking their jobs. As content creators and copywriters, we’re no different! We see the technologies that are starting to generate content with minimal human input. Granted, AI writing technologies still have a long way to go, as you can see from the AI-generated Harry Potter books… but as the technology is evoloving, should we be concerned?

The verdict: Although AI will definitely make some sort of impact on the copywriting/content creating profession, we’re not intending to switch professions anytime soon. Here’s why.

Repetitive Jobs Are Easy to Automate, but Creative Jobs Are Still Very Difficult for AI.

First of all, it’s important to understand how AI is taking jobs. Repetitive, routine-based jobs like truck drivers and fast food workers are the first jobs to go. You’ve probably already seen evidence of this at your local fast food restaurant where you can order through a machine rather than a cashier. AI has by no means wiped out all these jobs yet, but they are disappearing at an increased rate.

They will continue to disappear before jobs that require more critical thinking and creativity (like copywriting jobs) become vulnerable to automation. Creating content is not repetitive. It’s subject to the needs of each individual client. So, automation is going to have a harder time taking over the field.

AI Writers Aren’t Very Reliable (Yet).

One current example of an AI writer is called GPT-2 from OpenAI, which is supposedly one of the most powerful and accurate AI writers currently available. OpenAI has produced several examples of AI-written content, including writing based on The Lord of the Rings, the Civil War, and more. The GPT-2 is only able to generate “reasonable” pieces of writing half the time. A copywriter that only writes “reasonable” content half the time wouldn’t be able to stay in business for very long. Copywriters are prone to mistakes, but, at this point, copywriters are much more consistent and reliable than their AI counterparts.

Artificial Intelligence Doesn’t Create. It Replicates.

One of the major problems with using AI as a copywriter is that AI can only replicate what already exists. It’s unable to create truly original content. All the AI writers that exist so far must be “fed” articles and content that a human wrote. They mix up and rewrite the existing content to create something new—or something that at least seems new. This is how GPT-2 works.

Other automated writing software like AI Writer and Word Ai are all about researching and rewriting human-written content. They are incapable of creating cutting-edge content on brand new information. This means that currently, AI writers are incapable of writing content for a brand-new company’s website or releasing breaking news for the first time. AI may be cutting-edge technology but when it comes to producing new and interesting content, AI writers will automatically fall behind.

AI Can’t Relate to Human Emotion.

One of the first things we were taught as writers was to engage with readers. Typically, this means appealing to a person’s emotions. This type of writing is effective for advertisements, website content, blog posts, and more. AI will have a disadvantage in any of these circumstances because artificial intelligence is obviously incapable of human emotion.

Copywriters are storytellers. Even if their writing takes the form of web content or a social media post, it’s grounded in some type of story. These stories could be from customers or company founders. Artificial intelligence can’t create personal, engaging content because it doesn’t have any personal stories to share. That makes it more difficult for AI to engage with consumers.

AI Writing Doesn’t Stand Out.

AI cannot make sense of human nuance. For example, the common everyday expressions that you and I take for granted are completely lost on artificial intelligence. Things like “Don’t put your eggs in one basket” or “Out of the frying pan, into the fire” are nonsensical to machines. Research scientist Janelle Shane even proved this when she asked a neural network to write new idioms based on 2,000 classic proverbs. The results? Hilarious expressions that don’t even make grammatical sense such as “A fox smells it better than a fool’s for a day” and “A good face is a letter like a dog.”

This also points to AI’s inability to take a nuanced approach to pretty much any topic. They will always want to write about things in black and white. And humor? AI has yet to master making writing funny. Ultimately, all of this points to the same thing: AI writing is boring.

AI Can Write Data-Heavy Text.

Although AI won’t replace copywriting jobs, it does have the ability to change the job. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Certain types of writing lend themselves to AI more than others. For instance, artificial intelligence is able to handle the kind of dense, technical writing that many writers might be intimated by. And AI can do it with better accuracy than a person. This could even serve as a good starting point for a writer who is struggling with a topic. The AI could write the more difficult, factual aspects of the text, and the copywriter could add in story and emotion to make it more engaging.

Acritical Intelligence Saves Copywriters Time.

AI can also help save copywriters time. Copywriters and professional writers in the future can use AI to do mundane tasks like help with business reports and even some journalism. For example, The Washington Post has utilized the artificial intelligence robot Heliograf to write simple sports coverage, including tweets and some articles. Even The Post admitted that Heliograf will not be replacing journalists on the staff any time soon. Rather, it frees up journalists to concentrate their efforts on more “in-depth reporting.”

Copywriters Will Have to Adapt.

Although AI may not be able to replace copywriters, it will still make a major impact on the industry. Copywriters who want to keep their jobs can’t get married to the old ways of doing things simply because they are tradition. Just like copywriters today have had to adapt as the advertising world has become increasingly digital, copywriters in the future will have to adapt by integrating artificial intelligence.

Of course, we’re more than a little biased in saying all of this. At Strong Estate, we do believe copywriting in the future will likely be done with the assistance of AI… not done completely by AI. We look forward to seeing how it could help us out and change our field for the better! As always, if you’re in need of creative copywriting for your business, you can order your content today.

7 Ways Blog Writing Helps Your Business Succeed

professional blog writing - strong estate marketingHave you thought about adding a blog section to your business’s website? If you haven’t, you should! No matter what type of industry you’re in, blog writing can benefit your business in ways you can’t afford to miss out on. Not convinced yet? Here are 7 ways a business blog can help your company thrive.

Blog Writing Drives Traffic to Your Website

Blogging increases your website’s SEO (search engine optimization). If your blog is producing consistent, relevant content, Google will reward your website by ranking it higher in the search results. This takes time, but if you stick with it, you’ll start to see positive results. You’ll get more traffic on your website and start making more sales!

people with laptops - strong estate marketingIt Builds Your Following

If you’re ranking well for SEO, some people will find your blog without ever having heard of your company. Take advantage of this opportunity. Don’t just post something and move on. Engage with the people who are commenting on your blogs. You can even encourage people to comment on your blog by posing a question or two at the end of every post. Just keep it relevant to the topic at hand. If there are times when you get negative feedback, you should still reply back. Consumers appreciate businesses that show an active interest in them as individuals. So, like and reply to their comments whenever you can.

It Helps You Learn About Your Customers

You can also use the comment section of your blog posts as a way to glean information about your consumer base. How old are the people commenting? Where are they from? How did they hear about your company? All of this information gives you a better idea of who is using your products and what demographics you might be missing. If you run an e-commerce-only business, blogging is one of your few opportunities to engage with customers. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste. Act on the information you learn by continuing to do what you do well and adjusting in the areas where you might be weak.

woman reading blog post - strong estate marketingBlog Writing Provides Valuable Information

Sometimes what you want to say about a product doesn’t neatly fit into a product description. Blogging gives you a bigger platform where you can get more in-depth about how your products can benefit others. You can even share some personal stories about how your products have helped you or the people you know. Maybe you have some tips and tricks on how to effectively use your products. Why not blog about them? Blog writing also gives you the opportunity to capitalize on trends and current events and tie them back to your products. If you’re noticing any patterns with customer concerns, your blog is a place where you can effectively address those concerns.

It Brings Your Social Media to Life

Having a strong social media presence is a must for all businesses today. Whether you own a restaurant, sell your artwork, or design dog toys, you need to be utilizing social media as a marketing tool. If you’re not really sure what to post, creating a business blog will instantly increase your content across social media platforms. And it will give people a new reason to follow your business’s social media accounts.

Interesting content gets shared on social media, even if people aren’t familiar with the company who’s writing it. This will not only increase traffic to your blog but also your website. Many of the people who check out your blog will want to learn more about your business. Ultimately, this will lead to more sales.

social media icons on phone - strong estate marketingIt Helps You Become a Memorable Brand

If you’re regularly posting high-quality content to your blog, people will have a hard time forgetting about your business. Your posts will be showing up on their social media and in their inbox. If they’re seeing more from your business, they’ll be thinking about your business. And if they’re thinking about your business, there’s a greater likelihood that they will buy your products or use your services.

And, It Makes You an Authority in Your Field

Blogging helps you show off a little. When you’re frequently blogging about topics that are relevant to your industry, you can show people that you’re knowledgeable and experienced. Your readers will start to see you as an authority in your industry. If you’re ranking well for SEO, people will also be more likely to trust your business. Consumers tend to see the top search results as the most credible ones. When people see you and your business as credible, you’ll start seeing more dollar signs.

Trust Your Blog to a Professional Blog Writer!

If your blog doesn’t have high-quality and consistent content, you won’t experience any of these great benefits. By hiring a professional blog writer, you can rest assured that your blog is in good hands! A professional blog writer won’t make the punctuation or grammar mistakes that will cause you to look unprofessional. They’ll look at your business with a fresh perspective, come up with interesting topics, and keep customers engaged.

Your blog represents your business. Make sure you’re presenting your business to the public the right way. Hire a professional blog writer to ensure your business blog is the best it can be!

strong estate marketing logoYou can get in touch with us or order your content right now if you’re interested in blog writing—we work with a wide variety of clients all over the world, and we can’t wait to learn more about your business!

How to Boost Your Social Media Presence

boost your social media presenceYour business needs to have a social media presence. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, if you’re a brick and mortar store or an ecommerce business. Customers expect to see you on social media. Here are 7 ways to boost your business’s social media!

Use Platforms Appropriately

You should create accounts for your business across multiple social media platforms to reach the widest and most diverse audience. But each of those platforms is different and shouldn’t be treated the same. For instance, you obviously can’t write very much on Twitter since there’s a 280-character limit. But that doesn’t mean you should simply copy and paste a tweet onto a Facebook post. You have the ability to expand your message, and your audience will expect you to do so.

Engage Your Business’s Social Media Followers

Use your business’s social media accounts as a way of creating a dialogue between you and your potential customers. Like and reply to the comments you receive on your posts. Enable direct messaging so your customers can easily contact you, and check those messages regularly.

Update Your About Section

A lot of people visiting your social media accounts will be trying to learn about your business, maybe for the very first time. If they can’t easily find the information they’re looking for, don’t expect them to give your business. Make sure the information in your bio or about section is up-to-date. On Facebook, include your business’s hours and always provide a link to your website.

Be Consistent

If you’re not regularly creating content and engaging your followers, you’re going to be forgotten. Having social media accounts is useless if you’re not consistently using them and putting your business out there. Social media users have short memories. If they don’t see your business’s posts regularly coming up on their feeds, don’t expect them to remember your business.

Stay Relevant

The best way to grab the attention of followers is to stay current. Use hashtags, make references to pop culture, and stay informed about current trends. This will help your content appeal to a wider range of people, not necessarily just the customers you already have.

Set Goals

Be intentional with your social media. Think about who the people you want to reach are and how you’re going to measure whether or not you’re successful in reaching them. Make goals for yourself. These can be both goals of what you want to gain in a certain amount of time and goals of what you want to do over a length of time. For example, you could have the goal that you want to gain 50 followers in a month and a goal to make 2 tweets a day, 5 days a week. You’ll have something to work towards and be more motivated to keep posting.

Monitor Your Progress

Don’t just post to your business’s social media accounts. Collect data on your posts. What posts are getting the most likes? What about comments and shares? Experiment a little and find out what the best way to maximize the impact of your posts is.

Social media is an easy way to help your business! By improving your business’s social media, you’ll reach more people, and that will turn into more sales!

7 Signs Your Website Is Outdated

signs your website is outdatedWhether you like it or not, your website is a huge part of your company’s reputation. Having an attractive, easy-to-use, helpful website is essential! Outdated sites can give the wrong impression of your company or brand. Here are some of the signs your website is outdated.

It’s Not Mobile-Friendly

Over 52% of website traffic comes from a mobile device. All those people are potential clients! This might be their first and only impression of your company, so make it a good one. If your website doesn’t look good on a cell phone, then you know it’s time to give it an update. Test it by looking it up on your phone: Can you understand how it works? Is it clear? Does it look good? If not, you need to work with your web developer to optimize your site for phones and tablets.

There Isn’t Enough White Space

Using color can capture a reader and draw in attention, but overdoing it can have the opposite effect. Dark blue, brown, and black backgrounds were popular in the early days of the Internet, but now, they just look extremely dated. And, while it may seem fun to use trendy colors, trends change quickly and drastically and show how outdated the site is. It’s better to use your brand or company colors in small amounts. If you want to use bright colors, use a muted overlay and break up the space with white areas to give your reader a breath.

Your Readers Have to Wade Through Lots of Text

Always assume your readers have a short attention span. You must capture your reader’s interest right away.  By capturing your reader’s attention right away, they’re more likely to stay on the website and purchase your products or services. Make your point at the beginning.

Your Photos Are Dated and Low Quality

Are your photos small and low resolution? Or do the people in the picture wear shoulder pads and rock a perm? 🙂 The quickest way to know a website is outdated is by looking at the pictures. It’s time to change out the images when they no longer reflect what the brand or company represents.

There Isn’t A Blog

Do you have a blog? You should! They’re a marketing tool to drive more traffic your way. Search engines love fresh content.  Using keywords, internal links, and backlinks, you’ll get more traffic and a higher retention rate. You’ll also establish yourself as an authority in your field. And, the helpful information you offer is a great bonus to your customers.

You’re Not Integrating Social Media

I’ve been to websites where I couldn’t find their Facebook or Instagram links, and I found it quite annoying! Not having social media attached to your website means you’re missing out on opportunities. Tying in your social media is not only helpful to customers who are looking for your social accounts, but if they follow you, it reminds them to come back again and remain your customer. Having a digital presence is important and social media is key. Make sure you have yours attached to your site!

Your Site Loads Slowly

40% of people will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Using outdated software can slow your website down, causing people to leave before they’ve even checked the content. Test your website to check its speed. And, if you want to use videos, try using an off-service site like YouTube. If your site is loading slowly, work with your web developer to speed it up.

What’s wrong with this website?

With your newfound knowledge, you can see that this is an example of an outdated website. With more white space and a new, modern design, it would be much more successful!

outdated website example

Should I Add Clickbait To My Website?

clickbait is bad for your businessClickbait can be a lot of things: profitable, useful… and downright weird. Website owners can use it to make money and generate more traffic. We all like to earn some easy cash and draw more attention to our online presence! So should you use it on your website? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Clickbait?

According to Dictionary.com, it is:

A sensationalized headline or piece of text on the Internet designed to entice people to follow a link to an article on another web page.

Due to the vast amount of clickbait on the Internet, it’s clear that it works. And the more outrageous it is, the better! Most clickbait articles center around “shocking” news or celebrity gossip, making bold claims to grab peoples’ attention and make them feel like they are missing out. You’ve probably seen the “Dermatologists Hate Him!” or “This One Weird Trick Will Help You Lose Weight.” Or maybe you’ve seen articles like

“Celebs You Didn’t Know Sadly Passed Away,”

“Why Hollywood Won’t Cast These Child Stars,”

“False Facts About Quinoa You Always Thought Were True.”

Yes, those are all real clickbait articles, and no, I’m not going to link to them. Basically, clickbait is an article with a really compelling title, but it doesn’t usually deliver on its promise.

So, Should You Use Clickbait?

Clickbait companies really want you to add their widgets to your site. They’ll even pay you to do this. Just check out this compelling argument by a major clickbait company. They promise to: “Grow your audience and revenue without compromising quality,” delivering “100% pure editorial content” and more! Sounds good, right? But there’s a catch.

Let’s say you add one of these widgets to your site.  You’re successfully click-baiting clientele to your site, but despite Zergnet’s claims, you generally will be compromising quality.

You’ll lose your readers’ trust

Using clickbait can cause your audience to lose trust. Once you lose that, well, gaining it back is nearly impossible. Often, you see clickbait along the headlines of “Can’t believe they died!” with a picture of Tom Hanks and once you click the link he’s nowhere on the list. A lot of the times the title is filled with an empty promise, “How to lose 10lbs in a day!” and then selling a diet program that takes months.

People will become cautious to click

Clickbait lingers on the line of dishonesty and it exaggerates (or even fabricates) topics to the point of lies. If you fool people too frequently with false clickbait titles, they’re less likely to click in the future.

Irrelevant topics fail to attract your desired audience

Clickbait can also attract the wrong sort of audience. While political clickbait about Kanye West and Donald Trump might seem like a great way to funnel traffic to your site, angry blog and social media comments left behind might detract from any traffic gains you’ve made. Chances are, this clickbait will have absolutely nothing to do with your business or blog. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t be using it.

Clickbait traffic will muddle your data

Clickbait is likely to muddle your site’s analytical data. Say, you’re getting over half a million hits on one link. While you might be getting some high numbers, analytics could be useless when looking for advertising demographic data.

The Verdict

While clickbait can draw attention and a new audience to your site, most website owners should not be using it. Running a celebrity gossip site? Go for it! Otherwise, stick to your own topics and grow your audience organically. That extra revenue from the clickbait companies just isn’t worth it.

 

 

15 Real Estate Marketing Tips

real estate marketing tipsAs a real estate agent, you’re an expert at marketing… marketing properties, that is. Marketing yourself is entirely different. Real estate is highly competitive, and if you don’t snag your clients’ attention, another realtor will! Here are several tips to help you establish credibility, gain new clients, and create strong connections.

1. Stay Consistent with Social Media

Social media is essential! And you can’t just post once a month. You need to be on a regular schedule. Get familiar with the popular social media platforms and create content that your clients will appreciate. Share blogs and articles with tips and tricks. Post photos of the homes you’ve sold, complete with the happy, smiling new homeowners (of course, get their permission first!). You can also share great new listings in your area and share your own website or blog.

2. Market Yourself on Zillow

90% of buyer will house hunt online. Zillow is the largest real estate website and gets over 160 million hits per month! Zillow Premier Agent allows you to advertise on local Zillow and Trulia listings, and in addition to posting new listings, you can also create a profile for yourself. Make sure to share a little bit about yourself to catch peoples’ attention and get them to call you up. Here’s how to create your free agent profile on Zillow.

3. Be a Part of Local Events

Online profiles are great, but nothing beats face-to-face engagement. Being a part of local events will you meet people. It’ll also help you showcase your knowledge and expertise as a realtor. You could have a booth at a local festival, sponsor an event in your town, or have a float in a parade. There are so many ways to connect and engage with the community if you put in a little effort!

4. Offer Less-Common Services, Like Video Walkthroughs

If you have an edge over your competition, you can market that to your advantage. For example, if you offer video walkthroughs on listings and most other realtors don’t offer videos, you have an immediate edge. You just have to advertise the fact that you offer these services and explain to clients why they are so valuable.

5. Create an Eyecatching Logo

This is one of the most important elements of your brand. A good, attractive logo will help you attract customers. They’ll see your logo all over town and recognize it as your brand. A bad logo can be confusing, it can look outdated, and it can make you look unprofessional.

6. Consider Livestreaming/Taking Video on the Job

People are naturally curious. They also spend a lot of time on social media! Use this to your advantage and let people see some of the behind-the-scenes work of being a realtor. Facebook Live and Instagram Stories are a great way to do this. You could livestream during an open house or other public event, explaining to viewers what you’re doing and why. Or you could videotape yourself while you’re staging a home, giving helpful tips at the same time.

7. Make Sure Your Website is Up to Date

Be sure to have an easy-to-use, aesthetically-pleasing website to showcase yourself and your work. Clients should be able to find your current and previous listings, reviews, and your blog on this site. It should be branded with your logo and include high-quality professional photos of yourself and the homes you’re selling.

8. Use High-Quality Photos

Whether on listings, social media, your website, or your print marketing, your photos need to be appealing and eyecatching. To accomplish this, you need a professional photographer. If your photos are better than other local agents’ photos, you automatically have a great advantage over them.

9. Write Blog Posts on Your Website

Build your audience by regular posting on your website’s blog. Give people helpful hints and tools for homebuyers and homesellers. You can even add some content about your day to day life to create a better relationship with consumers.

10. Install Google Analytics and Check it Frequently

Google Analytics helps website owners keep up to date with all sorts of metrics and information as it relates to the content and your website visitors. If the vast majority of people are leaving your site without contacting you, Analytics may be able to help you figure out why. If you suddenly have tons of people visiting your website, you can figure out where they came from. And if you post blogs, you can find out which ones are more popular than others. This can help you plan your blogs for the future.

11. Make Yourself Easy to Get Ahold of

Have your business contact information on every page of your website. Print it on every card or brochure. Let any potential clientele know how to reach you and make it easy for them! As soon as you have them on the line, you can personally speak with them to convince them of why they need your services.

12. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly

As stated before, 90% of buyers house hunt online. Make your site mobile friendly and easy to use. In addition, consider creating your own app for more convenience.

13. Consider a Niche

If there’s a lot of competition in your area, then find a niche. Maybe you could target families with young children, pet owners, or real estate investors—just to name a few. You could focus on a specific price point (lower end or higher end) or you could zero in on a certain neighborhood that no one else seems to be targeting.

 14. Get Branded Items

Keep your name in people’s minds by having some branded freebies. This helps you spread the word all over town! Magnets, pens, and other items make good freebies to hand out to clients and to give away at local events.

15. Ask For (And Use) Testimonials from Past Clients

If your past clients are really happy with your services, they’ll be glad to provide a short testimonial. Amp it up even further by asking them specific questions and by including a photo with the testimonial. Use these testimonials on brochures, mailings, social media, and your website.

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