Dedicated content writer to keep track of your personal branding

The more content you have on the Internet, the stronger presence you enjoy. You need constant content for your website, for various blogs you might be maintaining and multiple social media and social networking profiles that you would like to keep abuzz with latest updates. You can either live a busy, productive life, or you can focus on generating content for your personal brand; you can’t achieve both.

Gary Vaynerchuk, a well-known entrepreneur has hired a dedicated content writer who will constantly follow him, record his conversations and comments and then turn them into blog posts and social media updates

Although I’m not as busy as Gary might be, this seems to be a good idea. Even if you don’t hire a dedicated content writer to track your every conversation, it would be nice, while working on articles and blog posts, you can choose some portions, preferably sentences, that you can post on your social networking profiles. There might be lots of knowledge encapsulated within one blog post. Simply sharing the links along with the title of the blog post doesn’t do justice, especially when most of the people what even click the link unless you are a celebrity. Of course you should post your link, but even after you have posted it, you can selectively pick sentences that you like and republish them as updates. This way you don’t have to look for content. You can save lots of time and effort this way.

How I handle repetitive revision requests from content writing clients

I normally don’t charge extra from my clients for multiple revisions. Whenever I undertake a new content writing assignment I let it be known to my clients that although I charge an hourly rate, once I have submitted a document in its complete form from my side, I stop tracking the time and afterwards, if there are some revisions, I don’t charge for that time.

This can be a bit tricky and counterproductive and you have to draw a line somewhere. Why in the first place a document needs to be revised?

  • It carries lots of errors in terms of wrong data, misspelled words, typos and grammar mistakes
  • The brief sent by the client is not fully used or is completely ignored
  • Something more needs to be added to the initial brief sent by the client
  • Some features need to be added or removed as the client has had a rethink
  • The copy doesn’t carry the needed punch and the client thinks that it won’t make the desired impact

Most of the reasons mentioned above are not unusual and they happen (first reason being an aberration rather than a reason in its true sense) with almost every content writing and copywriting project. It’s fair enough. It rarely happens that the first draft itself is accepted by the client.

The problem arises when, just because I’m not charging, the client thinks that revisions can go on and on and he or she wants to change the document every second day simply because he or she cannot make up his or her mind. This means the client neither respects his or her own time nor mine. Even if you have to change a single word, 5 minutes is the minimum amount of time it takes to make sense of what the client is trying to convey, open the document, make appropriate changes and then send the revised document again to the client. I don’t charge because I assume that if a document needs to be revised, something goes wrong on my side and hence, I shouldn’t charge.

When do I charge for revising the document?

I normally charge for revisions when a document is completely changed. For instance, I have prepared a document according to the brief sent by the client. I have submitted the document for review and while reviewing the document, the client thinks that he or she sent me wrong information and this was not what he or she intended to say. It means I may have to rewrite the document from scratch. I charge for that time.

I also charge if I need to do extra research. Sometimes the clients says, “simply look up the information on the Internet,” but often it is not as easy as it may sound (or conveniently assumed). Searching the right, verifiable information can take up lots of time. That is why, if the client cannot provide me the right information and I have to look it up myself, I charge for that time, and I convey this to my client.

When do I put a stop?

I have been providing content writing services since 2004 so I have enough experience to know whether a client is non-serious or not. You are not gaining anything by making me revise the document again and again. It either means that you have lots of time on your hand or you are not clear about exactly what you want to communicate, and this is not my problem. You provide me information and according to that information I write your content. If there are some writing mistakes, if the content is not compelling enough, point that out and I will try to rectify it to my utmost capacity. But if you’re simply making me change and revise because you want to view things from different angles, then sorry, it takes lots of my time and I need to put a stop.

Have I ever lost a project because I refused to revise multiple times? I don’t remember actually. I rarely work with senseless clients. I will be frank. The most senseless clients I have encountered are the ones I worked for when I used to develop and design websites. Big time wasters.

Content writing clients are more professional. Maybe this is because it is a newly-emerging field and people who want to hire content writers are anyway serious about their business. They know exactly what they want.

Anyway, would I abandon a project midway just because I don’t want to revise again and again and again? Yes, I would. Instead of wasting my time, I prefer to lose money.

Why it’s important to search engine optimize your content

Lee Odden in a blog post titled The Truth About Content Marketing and SEO aptly says:

What good is great content if no one can find it? How useful is findable content when it doesn’t engage and persuade?

and then he says:

The only thing worse than no SEO at all, is ALL SEO.

This is where we have to be very careful. Most content writers and content marketers don’t know where to draw the line.

My main point of interest is the first highlight, that what’s the use of writing and publishing great content if nobody knows of its existence, if nobody is able to find it?

If you are popular, no matter how lousy and senseless your content is, it’s going to rank well; I’ve seen it myself. Being popular means more people link to you, more people talk about you and more people are going to share and forward your updates.

But what if you are not popular? What if nobody knows you and nobody even cares what you write and publish? You need to build your presence from ground up, and this you do by not only creating great content, but also creating it in such manner that search engines can easily crawl it and rank it for the right keywords. This is where search engine optimization helps you.

Of course you shouldn’t obsess about it. Excess is always bad and the same goes for SEO. You may like to go through the following links on the same topic:

Does your business need a regular dose of content writing and content marketing?

Should you regularly write and publish content on your website just for the sake of content marketing? Joost de Valk mulls over this question in his recent blog post.

Being a content writer who makes a living off encouraging people to publish as much content as possible I would say yes. Otherwise, I would say, it depends.

I repeatedly write on my website as well as on my blog that don’t write content merely for generating traffic, unless you earn revenue from advertisements (even then relevancy is very important). But I slightly disagree with Joost, and his friend whose post he has referred to. These guys get good traffic on their websites, and they have done their share of content marketing before they can coolly say, “Oh I hate terms like content marketing and content publishing!”

This is precisely the reason I tell my clients not to take rampant advise on the Internet too seriously, and literally. If you need traffic, you need content, and you keep on writing and publishing content until you have traffic, and then, if you think you have had enough content (on your own website as well as other websites) to get web traffic for a couple of years, may be you too one day can say, “Please spare me your ‘content’.”

Fundamentally I’m not disagreeing with the central theme these two gentlemen are talking about. Useless content is, well, useless. Write something meaningful, and if you are really involved in your work, when you really confront problems and work on solutions, you have something or the other to write about.

So does your business need regular content writing to keep the engine of your content marketing running, or at least humming? In order to understand this you have to understand why you need regular content writing for your website in the first place?

  • You need search engine traffic that actually converts
  • You need to establish your expertise
  • You need to engage with your audience
  • You want people to link to your content

There can be umpteen reasons why you may require regular content writing (just as some people and business may not require this much regularity). The unavoidable truth is, if your business doesn’t enjoy a strong presence on the web (search engine and social media) you need to publish regularly. You need to write content for recognition, in order to cover all your keywords, in order to generate longtail traffic and if nothing else, then just to keep your visitors engaged with fresh, thought-provoking content. If you say your business doesn’t require content, so be it. There are some businesses that don’t require the Internet and websites.

Search Engine Optimization with Better Content Writing

search engine optimization and content writing

Yesterday Business2Community posted my blog post, “Search Engine Optimization with Content Writing” in which I talk about how you can organically improve your search engine rankings by creating better, useful content rather than resorting to unreliable, the so-called, “SEO tactics”. Although there is nothing wrong in making your website SEO-friendly in terms of layout and source code, eventually it is your content writing, at least right now and in the foreseeable future, it is your textual content that ultimately impacts your search engine optimization results.

Should you write content merely for search engine optimization?

Why not? And not necessarily. There is nothing wrong in writing content that helps you improve your search engine rankings. The problem arises when you’re creating content merely for that purpose. That’s when things begin to go wrong. Then you lose your priority and you end up alienating your core audience. Search engine optimization and consequently, rankings become more important to you than providing the right, useful information to your visitors. Getting massive traffic from search engines doesn’t help you much if there is very low or no conversion rate. This, whether you realize it sooner or later, negatively affects your search engine rankings. This is because…

  • You need people to link back to you
  • You need to establish your authority
  • People should feel encouraged to share your content on their social media and social networking timelines

Since all these are voluntary acts, they won’t happen unless you create quality content. Why would people link to you (unless you pay them, and this no longer works) unless they find your information useful and unless it adds value to their own website or blog?

Similarly, you establish your authority by sharing expert advice people can actually use to take their businesses, their personal lives, and even their experiences, to the next level. Building your personal brand these days is a big part of search engine optimization and this can only happen with sustained content writing. Now, when I mention “sharing expert advice” it doesn’t mean that you metamorphose into an expert overnight. It is an ongoing process. You gain knowledge and you grow intellectually as you share more and more with your readers. It doesn’t always have to be advice, you just need to remain in touch, and whenever inspiration hits you, you share something worthy with your readers.

Regarding content writing for search engine optimization, aside from being useful, it helps if you organize your content structure in such a manner that it is easier for the search engine crawlers and ranking algorithms to figure out what you are talking about. It entails using your keywords – both your main keywords as well as longtail keywords – strategically, at proper locations. As I have mentioned in the guest blog post, your primary keyword should appear in the title of your webpage or blog post. If possible, it should also appear in the first paragraph and within the headline tags. If you can manage, while writing content, you can also use your primary keywords as well as longtail keywords in a bulleted list.

Anyway, you can head to the Business2Community link to read my blog post over there and don’t forget to share it.