Content Writing for the Non Writer

Writing ContentGoogle’s move away from old school link building as the cornerstone of search engine optimization, to a more content friendly algorithm, places the importance of content creation front and center for many companies. If you are a marketing consultant, work in a marketing department, or own a small business you must understand how to create the types of content that your clients will benefit from and continue to support. Here are some ideas that may help you.

Where do I start?

Blogging: Before you begin formulating your content, you must have a publishing platform that matches your goals. For people tasked with writing for their brand, a well positioned blog sitting on your website’s domain is the ultimate place to begin. Blogging software, most notably WordPress, provides marketers with the platform to begin creating messages (posts) that will support your product(s) and service(s).

Where do I create my content?

Setting: Many people will disagree with this statement but the fact is there is no correct setting, place, library, office, or dungeon that fits every person. If you need total silence and privacy you know a place that works best for you. On the other hand, if you thrive on social noise and chaos a local coffee house may suit your needs. Think about the most comfortable place you enjoy thinking; that may be your spot.

How do I get my ideas?

Dreaming: One of the best places I find ideas for content is while dreaming during a restful night’s sleep. I have  dreamed about writing ideas and acted upon them the next day. If you are passionate about your company, sleep is the perfect launching pad for ideas. An important tip is to keep a pad of paper and pen on your nightstand. If you awaken with an idea write down notes documenting your ideas.

Niche: Another place to research is your business niche. What is the latest news? Who are the most influential players? Why has the niche moved in a certain direction? Where is the next trend coming from in your niche? Look for evidence of something new or developing.

Experience: Detail your experience(s) that have an impact on your business. Tell a customer story that illustrates the impact your product or service plays in their life. Testimonials are great but you don’t necessarily need a testimonial to write a great piece of content

Social Media: Twitter is my leading idea engine! The shear volume of content I can tap into at any given moment is amazing. Whether mining my real time stream, my lists containing tweets from niche specific accounts, competitor’s lists, trending subjects, or hashtags, Twitter is the mainstay of fresh breaking news and information.

Events: Networking events, conferences, lunch and learns, business trips, and client meetings are some of the live in-person events you attend each year. Look for great stories to tell from your experiences.

3 Year deansguide Anniversary: Blogging a Life Changing Platform

Dean Guadagni Business Director Inner Architect

Today, March 31, 2010, marks the 3 year anniversary of blogging for me aka deansguide. My initial idea was to create a publication platform to support my real estate related business, provide valuable information on the San Francisco Bay Area, and publish content that would help others adopt blogging.

Evolution

With the revolution of Web 2.0 social media, my blogging has taken on a more diverse scope of content. From my initial beginnings as a real estate blog, I moved the focus to a more broad based do it yourself- how to format.

$160,000,000 Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group Embezzlement

Every blogger hopes for a break, that untold story, the one chance to make a difference. My break came with the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group case. My contact at a well known title insurance company in San Jose tipped me to a local 1031 provider who stole investor monies and ran out of town. This initial tip resulted in:

  • #1 ranked blog on Ed Okun in the blogosphere (2008-2009)
  • Only blogger authorized by the Department of Justice to publish breaking news information on the Ed Okun case
  • Developed source in Miami with Okun inner circle
  • Received death threat as a result of articles published about Okun and his legal council

BlogBurst Publishing Platform to Mass Media

My thanks go to Blogburst my syndicated publishing partner that has placed 233 deansguide articles on such prominent media site as:

  • Reuters.com with 205,685 page views
  • Nielsen.com
  • Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Sun-Times News Group
  • Ziff Davis Enterprise
  • Computer Shopper
  • IBC
  • FoxNews
  • AnswerBag 2010
  • Livestrong
  • BBQ Report
  • AnswerBag

Total Page Views

Total page views from deansguide articles, published articles, innerarchitect blog, guest posts, & 2 unrelated blogging assignments: 752,320

Thanks and Acknowledgements

My thanks and heart felt gratitude goes to my mentor Pat Kitano. Pat, principle at Domus Consulting Group LLC, was the inspiration behind me beginning to blog and the first person to make the assertion: “Dean you need to start a blog.” Pat is one of the brightest new thought leaders in the social media breaking news space. A former Wall St. Investment banking executive, Kitano brings the analytical intelligence of a financial principle infused with the future casting foresight of a Tim O’Reilly. I am truly blessed to have been mentored by this man.

My thanks and heart felt gratitude goes to my business partner and life partner, Inner Architect Founder and CEO, Susan Hanshaw. Susan was a critical part of my development as a blogger, as a social media consultant, and as an effective writer seeking a voice and audience. I appreciate her dominant skills as a writer, direct marketer, analyst, strategist, and mentor.

Finally a huge thank you to WordPress.com for hosting this blog, providing an instant audience, for providing a free plug n play platform for publishing my writing. Thank You!

To all who have read, commented, criticized, complemented, and made your feelings know here on this blog~ I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I only hope you can feel the exhileration and excitement of publishing solid thoughts, helpful content, and worthwhile efforts everyday. Thank you all!

Blogburst.com: Syndicating Dreams One Blog at a Time

blogburst-30-day-activity

Blogburst.com is a blog content syndication service that helps bloggers create more exposure for their blogs, helps legitimize their writing, and it provides the opportunity for mass media awareness of your message. You have to be chosen for membership into blogburst; I am happy that I was lucky enough for selection.

Recognition and Reality

The graphic above is a screenshot of my blogburst dashboard which shows my Top 10 Publishers for the Past 60 Days. The real takeaways to consider:

  • I am not part of the mass media in the traditional sense
  • I want to be recognized by the traditional mass media
  • I want to partner with the traditional mass media
  • I want the traditional mass media to survive with my help
  • I would like the traditional mass media to embrace bloggers
  • I want the traditional mass media to embrace the paradigm shift to Internet as Platform
  • I would like the traditional mass media to embrace my friends, colleagues, and partners in the blogosphere

Wall Street Journal: Pen Envy?

For all of the page views, click throughs, comments, accolades, brush back sniper shots, and brushes with fame, I would trade them all for the chance to appear in the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ to me is the Yankee Stadium, the Gawden, and the Golden Dome in Indiana icon of all mass media outlets. I have my 1 (one) page view for an article that never provided me with a link–just a nice visual

WordPress App For Linkedin: Blogging Legitimized As Powerful Tool To Employment

The partnership between WordPress and Linkedin on a WordPress Application for Linkedin signals another turning point for the adoption of blogging in America. Linkedin is the #1 business networking site in the world right now with 28 million registered users and counting. The fact that Linkedin now supports a WordPress application places WordPress, and blogging, at the forefront in the public eye.

WordPress-Linkedin App

This tool allows you “to sync your WordPress.com blog posts with your LinkedIn profile, keeping everyone you know in the know.” Your blog articles have a place in your public profile and provide you a delivery system for your value.

The Benefits

1. Deliver your value directly to 28+million Linkedin.com Membership

2. Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise directly to consumers, investors, and competitors

3. Create your writing platform and branding campaign that supports your business

4. Differentiate yourself from Realtors competing for the same limited customer base

Blog Your Way to Employment, Branding, and Your Differentiating Factor With Inner Architect

Susan Dean

I am very happy to announce the first of two Inner Architect workshops titled “Blogging to Employment” November 18 and 19. The workshop is a detailed basic course on how to create an employment campaign utilizing your blog as the delivery system for your message. The goal is to provide people a plan on how to create their differentiating factor in order to stand apart from the estimated 1.1 million Americans who will lose their job in 2008.

Call to Action: If you know anyone who is unemployed, and I know I do at this time, please consider informing them of this valuable workshop.

Benefits for Attendees

1. Your own Blog: We will help you register and set up your first blog

2. Employment Campaign: Learn how to action plan an employment campaign so that you can answer the age old hiring manager’s question “So Bob what have you been doing the past 6 months to find a job?”

3. New Skill Sets: You will add to your skill sets-blogging, navigating blog software, Web 2.0 tools, and networking

Workshop 1:

Date: Tuesday November 18, 2008

Place: Silicon Valley Holiday Inn Express San Jose Airport

Time: 6:30-9:00pm

Workshop Fee: $75

Workshop 2:

Date: November 19, 2008

Place: San Rafael, CA Ace Conference Room

Time: 6:30-9:00pm

Workshop Fee: $75

Value Comparison: Blog Set-Up fees, as advertised on the internet, run from $200-$300 which only covers the registration and setup without any coaching. Blog Coaching and Training fees run from $70 to as much as $500 per hour

Class Size: We will limit classes to 20 so that each student is provided hands on personalized instruction.

Come find out why you need to establish your brand, discover your differentiating factor, and add to your skill sets the latest Web 2.0 information.

SEO Mistakes Bloggers Make Presentation Highlights WordCamp 2008

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article August 19, 2008

WordPress WordCamp 2008 in San Francisco was broken down into two separate programs one for users (User Track) and one for developers (Developer Track). Since the only code I have written was on a old “Get Smart” decoder ring, I was upstairs with the users. The programs were broken up into 20-30-60 minute sessions; the first significant session was Stephan Spencer’s “SEO Mistakes Most Bloggers Make.”

The following is a very abbreviated version of the ppt presentation provided for you. Take your time and absorb as much as possible using this post as an “appetizer” to the main course

SEO Mistakes Most Bloggers Make by Stephan Spencer

With the fondest of memories, Stephan Spencer’s session was a full blast steam roller of terminology, technical strategies, and examples. It was like trying to follow that once famous T.V. pitchman the “Fast Talker” through the backroom of the SEO underworld. Spencer is obviously a brilliant man with expertise at the highest level in the SEO world–no arguing the source, this guy is a Babe Ruth in his field

The full ppt of Stephan’s presentation is here for those who are looking for incredible detail and great strategies.

A Few Mistakes Not To Make

1. Allowing Title Tags to be “auto-generated” by your blogging software is a mistake

Solution: Handcraft your title tags and never allow your blog’s name to be attached to the beginning of your post title or category tag

2. Multiple Homes for your blog is a huge mistake

Solution: You do not want to your pages attached to multiple urls-only one url. Make sure each page has one url that the search engines recognize as the place to go for that particular page or you will be fragmenting your SEO power for that page

3. Date Based Archive reliance hurts your SEO and most blog platform software organizes your pages by date

Solution: Internal organization of your blog content into categories as well as “implementing tagging and tag clouds across your blog is a much more search engine optimal approach.”

4. Only One RSS Feed for your blog and it is not optimized

Solution: Each category on your blog should have it’s own RSS feed so that people only interested in a certain topic can subscribe to that topic and get only the information they want rather than the entire blog. If you utilize tag pages then you should have an RSS tag specific feeds

5. Placing Your Blog url or RSS Feed url on a blog domain you do not own. This one is especially painful because I am on a wordpress.com subdomain rather than my own domain I own. Eventually I will have to abandon my deansguide.wordpress.com so that I can control my adsense or advertising revenue

Solution: Bite the bullet and start a stand alone blog with a domain you own. Anything less means you don’t control your possible income or rules of engagement

For a complete list of the mistakes and fixes, please reference Stephan’s ppt presentation

Realtors Choose Your Blogging Platform By Performing Due Diligence: TopTenReviews.com

Reuters.com published this deansguide article August 3, 2008

Who is this man and how will he change your life? For the answer go to the bottom under “Recommendation”

The following is a blog services review with a rich variety of information reviewed so that you can evaluate which blogging platform is best for your blog. The review is done by TopTenreviews.com a site with massive traffic and the page views to it back up. I provide a quick Analysis and My Recommendation at the end of the article.

Top Ten Review’s Categories

1. Software

2. Electronics

3. Web Services

4. Movies

5. Music

6. Video Games

Top Ten Review’s Blogging Platform Review

Platforms: WordPress; Type Pad-Blogger; Yahoo 360; AOL Journals; Windows Live Spaces; Xanga; Live Journal; Vax; and Myspace

Reviewer Comments: In this section you can read user reviews good and bad

Rank: Gold, Silver, Bronze are awarded the top 3 Services

Block Rating System: Excellent = 4 blks; Very Good = 3 blks; Good = 2 blks; Fair = 1 blk; and Poor gets a 0

Note: The systems is similar to Consumer Reports with a matrix of features rated and benefits provided. It is very through and complete

Additional Information

As if this was not enough, Top Ten provides you with two sections to consider:

1. Why Blog?: A featured section on the benefits of blogging and why you should be doing it

2. What to Look for in a Blog Service: This is a great place to begin and is located at the bottom of the review page here

Analysis

This is one of the best formatted reviews I have seen of Blog Services aka Platforms. It addresses most everything you need to consider before establishing your blog.

Recommendation

I like WordPress and I would not use any other blog platform. I am also biased because I have utilized WordPress for nearly a year and a half. It is the simplest services to utilize in regards to the technology learning curve and it also supports rich back end traffic analytics for your blog

Question under the picture at the beginning of this article: Who is this man and how will he change your life?

Answer: WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg