September 8, 2010
From CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to the Average Joe from the Starbucks down the street, more and more people nowadays are finding their voices online through the use of blogs. This post is dedicated specifically to the authors of the world, but also provides useful information for everyone else writing for the web. Without any more introductions, here we go.
Balance the lengths of your articles. Not every post to your website/blog needs to be a chapter of a book. There are certain lengths of articles that are more acceptable for about 75% of the articles you’ll produce; most of these are less than a standard typed page. You will have some longer articles, but for the most part, know that even the most dedicated of audiences aren’t willing to read pages and pages of the same article on the web. For me, if the website doesn’t offer a “view entire article” option and has more than say 3 pages, I will skip the article altogether. When writing for the web, keep in mind the attention span of your audience. Shorter, concise, and straight to the point articles keep audiences happier and make you look like a better author.
Write it like you mean it. Everything that you post to your site should have intention to it. Whether it’s intended to promote an upcoming event where you’ll be at, a press release detailing a new product or simply a light-hearted post about something intriguing that happened this week to you, have a purpose for everything that you post online. If you want people to take you seriously as an author, show that you know what you’re doing. I’m not saying that you can’t write rants or show your personality online, you need to do that to set yourself apart from the rest, but what I am saying is have a purpose behind everything that you publish online.
The last thing to keep in mind when writing for the web is making sure to write it well. Whether or not you have journalism training, keep in mind that a poorly written article can kill your credibility even amidst a sea of well written articles. The simple techniques and practices to writing that you learned back in school still apply today and should be used effectively in your writing. It doesn’t matter if you’re Stephen King with thousands of followers hanging on your every word, to a random journalist with a free blog and a handful of friends who sometimes follow your posts. Well written articles sell your credibility.
In conclusion, keep it short, make it meaningful and write well. Writing for the web is different than writing in print. Sure, there are overlapping features in both settings, but in general they are different and need to be treated that way.
August 12, 2010
Does anyone have any suggestions for new articles? Is there something you’ve been waiting for a blog to cover, but it hasn’t shown up yet? The best way to have a topic written about (or more in depth) is to share it. Leave me a comment with topic suggestions if you want to see an article written about it.
July 26, 2010
Everybody wants to bring more traffic to their site, whether its a personal blog or a corporate company, but it can be difficult to know exactly what you need to achieve this. In this article, I describe 5 ideas to help you realize why your website needs to be updated consistently.
- Your services, rates and content will change over time.
If you have the same content on your website that you’ve had since you started, it’s probably time to freshen up your website. If your website text only changes when you add a new page, visitors won’t want to return. People want to know when the products and services will change so that they can do what is necessary on their end. If you suddenly increase your rates or add a new service but never tell your customers then you will end up missing out on more business. People can’t utilize your new addition if they don’t know about it. Keep your content updated and your clients will be happier. And it will also be less trouble to update in the future.
- Design changes.
Look at fashion, hair styles and even art from ten years ago. I can guarantee that the styles of then do not match up with the current trends of today, unless they are some of the select that coming back into style for a little while. Design is no different. The way that websites appealed to people in the 1990’s does not work today. People want to see things change and evolve; your website is no different. It should reflect the look and feel of your company of today, not who you were ten years ago.
- More traffic to your site.
The more you update your site, the better it will be indexed and ranked on search engines. Everyone wants to have better placement and rankings in search engines, so the more you update your site with good content, the more it will be noticed by search engine robots. With better placement and getting your content out there it will further extend your brand’s reach which will in turn open up the possibility for more people to come back to your site.
- More relevant keywords = better specific traffic.
Deriving from the last point, the more you update your content, the more keyword optimization you are able to use. The main thing to keep in mind in here is that you could simply fill all your pages with just keywords, internal links and not have any real content, but that practice is called keyword stuffing and it’s not recommended. Sites that keyword stuff are more likely to be lowered in search engine rankings, flagged as spam sites and then your credibility is shot, which results in lower traffic, if any at all. At that point it is very difficult to gain your credibility back. But if you have fresh content being added to your site consistently there are more keywords added into each page which will bring in more detail-specific traffic; the people are often going to stay longer as well because the content on your site is relevant to their searches.
- More links add traffic.
The more you update your site with fresh content, the more links you create. Each of these links are potential bridges that connect your website to the world. The best way for these new links to receive traffic is to promote them. The most efficient way that I have found to implement your new content is publishing it on other sites, or at least link to them. Some of the most prominent sites for linking your content are: Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, DesignBump, etc. On that note, when you are on those sites, share links and contribute to others links. If you are on Twitter and tweeting only your links you won’t get as much traffic (at first) until you start contributing too, respond with your followers, keep it business oriented and follow some of your followers so that you can keep the circle of information going. Find others with the same industry, follow them, learn and give your two cents and you will start receiving more traffic.
In conclusion, there are many different ways to receive more traffic to your website. And ultimately that’s what a website is for. Further, the best way to bring in more traffic is to keep your content updated, your website looking good and keep the people reading interested. Without updating the content and design regularly you are only hurting yourself and your business.
July 15, 2010
This is a shameless plug. I started a twitter account recently, @JulianoWebpages, for the sole purpose of providing useful business, freelance and design tips and tricks. If you’re on twitter, come follow me.