How Often Should You Review Your Content Plan and Analytics?

There are a number of different schools of thought regarding how often a business owner with a website or blog should review their content plan and their analytics. The truth is, you need to do it every time you publish something new. The biggest mistakes new small business owners make are:

a) They don’t have a content plan
b) They don’t track and test their results

A Content Plan

All marketing on the internet is content marketing. No matter what you are trying to sell, you need traffic. And you can only get traffic if you have a web page with content of some type on it. It could be a post, top tips, embedded video, graphic, PowerPoint presentation and so on. Your content should be based on what you know your target audience struggles with and needs more information about.

In addition, it should be keyworded. If it is written content on the page, important keywords and phrases the people in your niche would be likely to search for should be in the title, description, on the page itself, and in the tags. If it is a graphical item, name the file using keywords. Then use keywords in the title, description and so on. This process is known as search engine optimization (SEO).

These keywords can also help with search engine marketing (SEM) – in particular pay per click (PPC) marketing. With PPC, you run content ads based on keywords to drive traffic to your best content. Top places to run PPC ads include Google AdWords, Bing/Yahoo!, Facebook and Twitter. All of these networks match your content to the right people interested in your niche, so you can get traffic very quickly.

With Google and Bing, you will get qualified traffic which has been selected through the keywords they type in, resulting in your ad being shown and them clicking on it. With Facebook and Twitter, they will have already indicated their interests, so all you have to do is create your ad and set your audience.

Running ads can start to become expensive if you don’t track your results, which brings us to the importance of analytics.

Analytics

Once you have published any piece of content, it is important to look at:

  • How much traffic it has received
  • How much of that traffic has obeyed your call to action (CTA)

Your traffic can come from SEO, PPC and also social media. But how many obey your CTA? Imagine you create a 7-part ecourse on SEO. You would create a sign-up page and tell people about it. Then you would track the traffic and number of subscribers. You would also check the social media response, such as likes, shares and comments.

You would then look at the traffic logs of your site, such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics is free. Register for an account and add a small amount of tracking code to your site or blog. You will start to see traffic reports for your site. The Audience tab will tell you how many visitors you had, as well as age, gender and so on. The Acquisitions tab will show you where they came from – Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Keeping a close eye on the success (or not) of the content you publish is one of the best ways to keep on creating exactly the kind of information that your target audience is most interested in, which should lead to more traffic and greater profits.

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How to Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines

More people read the headlines than read what’s inside the headline. Therefore, if you want people to click through to read your content, you need to learn to write headlines that get attention. Your headline matters more than almost anything if you want people to consume your content.

Your headline should be original and specific, stress urgency, and be valuable. But, most of all, the headline should never be misleading or “clickbait” – your audience will not appreciate clickbait-type of headlines and will lose trust for you. While you may increase click-through rates initially, over time your audience will stop clicking through due to being tricked. This brings us to the five rules of effective attention-grabbing headlines.

Your headline should be:

1. Original – Make each headline stand out so that you can give your audience a reason to click through and want to know more about your company. Remember that your audience is super smart and want to see something new from you. Make your business and content stand out with your choice of words and phrasing. For example, if you’re irreverent in your copy, be that way in your headlines too.

2. Specific – Rather than being mysterious and clever, it’s best to be direct and give specific information to your readers to get them to click through and hopefully read at least the first line of the content you are providing to them. If you can identify a benefit to the reader for clicking through and reading, that’s even better. For example, if you can improve your audience’s weight loss success by 15 percent with the information in the content, say so.

3. Urgent – By conveying a sense of urgency in the headline, it will make the reader want to read the content now rather than later. You don’t have to say things like “click now” or give a date or anything; just make the headline express something that might signify loss if they don’t read it. For example, if your audience consists of dieters, they might like to read about how they can “Eat More & Still Lose Weight” or “Start Eating This One Thing to Lose More Weight Fast.”

4. Valuable – Making the value and usefulness of the content behind the headline apparent is a great way to get your audience to click through. In the examples above the audience immediately sees that they can lose more weight eating, which is what ever dieter wants to hear. The second headline is going to provide the secret food that the dieter can eat to lose more weight. These headlines express value to the reader.

5. Honest – We mentioned clickbait. You may have even practiced a little of this trickery on your own due to the seeming popularity of doing so. You see clickbait strongly on YouTube and many different types of blogs and email subject lines. Do they work? Well, yes, they do actually work, but only short term. You want your audience to trust you; therefore don’t be drawn into this because ultimately clickbait headlines don’t serve your main purpose, which is to increase sales.

Following these tips for writing attention-grabbing headlines will improve your click-through rate exponentially. Using these five rules for writing headlines will work. Make a sticky note to help you remember.

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How Improving Your Content Can Grow Your List

If you’re getting a lot of clicks on your content but your list isn’t growing, there are many ways to deal with this. Let’s look at how improving your content can grow your list.

Add Multiple CTAs – Don’t just put a box on the right side-bar asking for people to sign up for your newsletter. That isn’t enough. Now you need to add CTAs in numerous areas to get their attention and increase sign-up rates. Put one under each post, on the right side-bar, in a lightbox and inside content with content upgrades.

Create Content Upgrades – A terrific and effective way to get more sign-ups is to be more specific by adding content upgrades to the content you offer free. You can do this within a blog post, within articles you publish on LinkedIn, and as a guest writer. A content upgrade is information that helps clarify and make the content the audience is reading more useful. For example, a free MS Excel chore chart template with an article on how to get your family to share chores would make an excellent upgrade.

Cross-Promote Your Content – When you publish content anywhere, have a plan on how you’ll promote the content across all channels. This makes your content better because it looks more cohesive. For example, if you write a blog about eating less sugar, you might share recipes on Pinterest that use less sugar, and videos of recipes on Facebook that use less sugar too.

Tweak Titles – If your content is not getting clicked on, you can’t get sign-ups. So, make sure your titles are compelling enough to get people to click through. Don’t trick them, though; be straightforward but clear about what’s inside the content with the titles.

Remember to Add Appropriate Headers – When people read online, they need a lot more white space than when reading on paper. Add headers that tell them what’s inside the next paragraph so that they can be propelled to keep reading more.

Use the Right Keywords – If you’re not sure what good keywords are, study more about the proper use of keywords so that you can improve SEO. Search engine optimization is important for building your list because that’s how people will find your content in a search.

Use a Lightbox Pop-Up to Gate Your Content – You don’t want to turn readers away, but you do want to maximize the potential of the viewer signing up. Add a lightbox pop-up to your website so that it waits a bit, then pops up asking for a sign-up to continue reading. Make it optional so that they can X out of it if they don’t want to sign up.

Deliver on Your Promises – When people do sign up, remind them of where they signed up, why they signed up, and what you will be sending them. Then deliver on those promises. More people will want to open your email messages if they find them valuable.

Improving your content can grow your list, because it gives more opportunities for your audience to sign up. Plus, you will be giving them a reason to sign up by delivering excellent content that’s targeted toward their needs.

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Evoking Emotion That Leads to Taking Action

One tip for good copywriting and persuasive writing is to use the right words to evoke emotion in your readers. Evoking emotion requires that you know your audience, understand the benefits of your product, and know the right type of words to use to help your readers learn to trust you enough to feel those emotions.

Understanding Emotions

There are different types of emotion that you should seek to understand, and then relate to your products and services in a way that makes your prospects feel the emotions that will make them act. It takes knowing your audience well to know which triggers will work with them.

Anger

It might seem strange to want your prospects to be angry. But, you can evoke anger in your sales copy by making them angry about what is happening to them regarding their problem. You can do this via a blog rant, a YouTube rant, and by showing your own emotions about the topic. You can help fuel and then target the anger they feel toward the situation to drive them to purchase your solutions.

For example, if you market a meal plan to help people stay or get healthier, you can direct your anger at the food companies, the FDA, pesticide companies and even doctors and dieticians that don’t pay attention to the research you have uncovered.

Fear

Evoking fear in your prospects is a time-honored marketing tradition. It’s time-honored because it gets results. There are numerous ways to evoke feelings of fear. One of them is fear of missing out. Another way to deal with it is to gain an understanding of your buyer’s journey and recognize when they begin to feel fear and then provide information to calm their fear with your solution.

Focus on the danger of not buying your offer. For example, the price is going to go up, or you’re only allowing ten customers to buy the product or service. You can talk about all the bad things that may happen if your prospect doesn’t buy. This works well with different types of products if there are consequences for not buying them.

Disgust

When you use the copy to evoke feelings of disgust, it might backfire if you don’t do it right. You want your audience to feel disgusted about the problem and not the solution. Get to know what types of issues disgust them. For example, if you sell vitamins, you can make your audience disgusted at the misinformation out there about how severely vitamin deficiency can affect people and the lack of information available.

Then, you can lead them toward your solution and the information you provide to lift the disgust and make a big difference in their lives. There are many ways to use this emotion in your copy if you are very careful about the words you use, ensuring that their feelings of disgust aren’t misdirected and are quickly solved.

Contempt

Usually, this is reserved for political ads. A politician will make you dislike the opponent by using facts to make you realize how wrong that person is for the job – and due to the opponent’s wrongness, how right they are. Using contempt in your descriptions and marketing can cause some controversy. But, sometimes controversy can be a viral component that gets people talking.

If you know your audience hates something, and you have the power to eliminate that thing that they hate (lack of time, false advertising, not delivering on promises, etc.), that brings the feeling of contempt. Often people don’t know that they’re feeling this emotion, but it is a significant component that can make a big difference in your copy for the right product.

Joy

What is joy? Joy is an over-the-top emotion past regular happiness. When you sell joy, you will want to use some hyperbole – but don’t lie. You can do this by focusing on the benefits of your products as much as you can. Focus on not only the product’s benefits now but also on the joy your buyer will feel later.

Use descriptive words (avoiding clichés) to pull your audience toward the feelings you want them to feel. If you’re selling software that will give your client the ability to have two or more hours in their day, evoke the joy by describing the things they can do during those extra two hours.

Sadness

There are many businesses that deal in sadness every single day. Funeral homes, hospices, fundraising during tragedies and so forth are all times when sadness is used to get people to spend more money.

You can use sadness in many ways. Connect the reader/buyer to the sad situation of the victim. For example, this is used with fundraising for pets. They show you pictures of a lot of sad pets and then, of course, you have to get out your credit card to help those animals. You can use sadness by showing the sadness of people before they bought your product or used your service too.

Surprise

It’s hard to use surprise in copywriting but surprise can get the attention of your audience, which will help keep them engaged. For example, it’s hard to keep people’s attention. They have advertising blindness, they skip through ads online, and they speed through ads on their DVRs and basically ignore them.

But, if you add in something surprising, you’ll catch their attention to ensure that they stick to your sales page so that they can read your offering. One way to surprise people is to deliver what you promised, plus slightly more. In this way, they’ll recommend you to others because it so often doesn’t happen that it will elicit a feeling of surprise in them.

Of course, there are more emotions than these, but all the others flow from these seven main emotions that humans display. Using the right words makes all the difference in how your readers feel as they read your content.

 

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Choosing the Right Brand Image

One of the first steps in creating an effective advertising strategy is to choose the right brand image for your business. It doesn’t matter if your business is large or small; branding is an important part of advertising and marketing your business effectively. Your brand is the way other people identify your business. It needs to denote your values, identity, and the type of customers you want to work with.

Define Your Brand – The very first thing you need to do is look at your products, services, and the customers you want to work with to help you express your branding. This branding information should be used to promote your business to your ideal audience. The best course of action is to find the emotions in your brand that matter to your audience.

Determine Your Business’s Value – One way to build your branding image is to think of your brand as a human being. What individual characteristics make up your business? Put values on your business that you put on yourself if they’ll attract your audience.

Know What Your Business Stands For – Get some paper and write down what your business believes in. Write down your business’s purpose and how your brand does something that means something to your audience. What is the defining thing that your business does? It doesn’t make widgets and it doesn’t do transcription. It solves problems such as making it easier to get noodles out of a pot of boiling water, or it saves time.

Work on Building Long-Term Relationships – One way to come to the right branding image for your business is to get to know your customers more. Your audience knows what they want, and the more you can get to know them and their values, the better you’ll be at creating the right brand image.

Find Your Business’s Voice – Just like people, a business has a voice. It speaks to its audience and customers with a specific tone. The tone you speak to your audience with should remain consistent regardless of the channels you’re using to communicate with them.

Create Key Messaging – It’s important to have specific messaging developed that you can use again and again. But say it differently each time. There are many ways to say the same thing to your audience using different terms and examples. You can use email messages, blog posts, videos, and more. Use a variety to ensure that you get the message out.

Be Unique to Your Business – You don’t want to copy and be like every other business out there. Of course, there are certain norms that your audience will expect, but you want to stand out and be different. Differentiating yourself from your audience will make you stand out from the crowd.

Stand for Something You Believe In – One thing that’s great about having a small business that focuses on an audience is that you don’t have to worry about the type of bureaucracy that a huge business deals with. You can stand for something big and awesome that your audience will relate to.

Never Dilute Your Brand Positioning – Keeping your brand distinctive is an important part of creating your brand image. Don’t allow outside pressures to cause you to dilute your brand’s voice.

Today, branding is more than a logo. It’s more than the image you put on your banner on your website. It’s a feeling that your audience and customers take with them from the moment they view your marketing materials.

 

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New Rules of Publishing Frequency

Blogging was hugely popular when it first started in around 2007. It was a means for people to express themselves online freely, and without the need to know a lot about building websites, HTML and so forth. They could publish whatever they felt like whenever the mood struck them.

Some kept it up on a regular schedule. Most ran out of steam and gave up. Running a blog is a test of endurance and marketing skills, not just writing skills.

Fast forward to the present, and it has never been easier to start a professional-looking blog using software like WordPress. But just because you can start a blog does not mean you should. It is a serious commitment in terms of time and effort, and money too if you buy hosting for your blog – that is, register your own domain name (URL). Having said that, the profits can be considerable for people who don’t just consider their blog to be art, but a real business they can make money from.

How Often Should You Publish?

There are two schools of thought. Frequency is the scattershot approach, with the more posts you have, the more chances you have to attract the search engines and connect with your target audience in order to get traffic, subscribers and sales.

On the other hand, quality content that is 600 to around 2,500 words also has a place in blogging. In fact, longer articles tend to take the top three spots on the search engine results pages. However, longer article like this mean you probably won’t be able to publish as often.

The New Rules of Blogging

Huffington Post has become one of the most successful blogs in the world. However, its success is an exception rather than the rule. It has become so large, with so many contributors, that it can be all things to all people. But for the average blogger or small business, niche is better, focusing on a topic that is known to be a paying market.

Niche Content Marketing

A niche approach is good, but sometimes the niche can still be too broad, and needs to be focused with an even more laser-like precision. Think of pets, versus dogs. You might even be able to get enough blog content for a site about a specific breed, such as cocker spaniels.

With dogs, you might have training issues, and within training, you might have potty training, agility, obedience, guard dog training, and so on.

Mastery of Subject Matter

One of the biggest trends is creating an “authority site” for your niche. This means publishing high-quality content on a fairly regular editorial schedule, with each post contributing to the overall impression that you are someone in the know in your niche, and therefore worth paying attention to.

Offering Different Forms of Content

It is true that posts with words are important when building your blog. However, under the new rules of the game, you should publish a variety of posts, including audio, video, infographics and more.

In terms of the writing, try articles, lists, question and answer formats, and more. Consistency is key, and will result in steady growth and profits for your blog.

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How to Leverage a Creative Dry Spell

It probably happens to all creative personality types. One day you wake up and feel as if you cannot think of one more creative thing. Some people call this a “creative dry spell.” Writers may call it “writer’s block.” In any case, it means that you’re having trouble becoming creative when you need to be. Take heart; you can overcome and even leverage a creative dry spell and come out on top.

  • Disconnect for a While – If you use a lot of technology, watch TV a lot, or are otherwise using screens a lot, the best thing to do while you’re having a creative dry spell is to disconnect. Turn off the notifications, turn off the TV, and don’t answer your phone. Sometimes being bored is a huge catalyst for creativity.
  • Change Your Scenery – If you’re indoors, get outdoors. If you’re outdoors, go indoors. If you have to, get on a plane to a whole new location. Not only will you fill your mind with new and exciting information that can spark creativity; you’ll also enjoy the change.
  • Listen to Your Favorite Music – Music can help you feel more positive and more creative. If your old music doesn’t work, try listening to an entirely new type of music you’ve not listened to before. Maybe classical music or other types of music will trigger your brain into creative mode.
  • Get Moving – If your creative space requires you to sit, such as with writing, you want to get up and get moving. Go for a long walk. Jump rope. Dance. Get your blood pumping and get away from the computer.
  • Read – Find something positive to read so that you can just think of something new for a while. Reading is always good if you find something helpful to read, because you will be learning at the same time.
  • Go Through the Motions – Sometimes you have deadlines and you don’t want to be creative, or you feel like you can’t. It’s important to believe in the process and start from the beginning and just do it from point A to point B. You may surprise yourself.
  • Just Do Anything – Don’t worry about whether what you do is good or bad. Just do something, anything, even if it’s totally silly. That will help you trigger your creativity. Right in the middle, it might help you more than you think.
  • Hire Someone to Do It for You – You can always find someone else to do whatever it is you need. Can’t come up with a good book cover design for that client you wanted so badly? Find someone to outsource to and work with them to come up with new ideas.
  • Try a Different Creative Endeavor – Sometimes, simply switching to a new creative activity can help. If you’re a writer, try painting or knitting. These activities can trigger more creative sparks and help you overcome it, while also adding something new to your life.
  • Take Care of You – Eating right, staying hydrated, moving enough, and sleeping right all add to your ability to be creative when you need to be. If you really want to be creative, take care of yourself as well as you can.

While most creatives cannot get away with allowing a dry spell to keep going on indefinitely, you can get out of the dry spell simply by trying these ideas. Often, just stopping the internal pressure you have on yourself can unleash your creativity again. Anytime you can incorporate a chance of pace into your life, you’ll grow from it – even during a creative dry spell.

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How to Improve the Readability of Your Content

There are a number of ways to make your content more readable, for a better customer experience and more chance to convert visitors into buyers.

Font Type

There are two classes of font – serifed and sans serif. Serifs are the little curls on letters, such as on Times New Roman. Sans serif lacks these curls. Good examples would include Arial and Verdana.

Studies have shown that serifed fonts make readers read more slowly, as compared with sans serif fonts, which are better for scanning text (such as on a web page). Choose your font depending on how quickly or slowly you wish them to read your content.

Font Size

Font size will depend on several factors, including which type of font you choose, serif or sans serif. It will also depend on the font itself. A Calibri 12 will be a lot smaller than a Verdana 12. Think about readability issues for your audience, such as if you cater to an older audience that might have vision issues.

Headlines should usually be larger than the main body of the text. Make sure the text is not too small.

Bold, Italics and Underlining

Use these strategically. If you overuse them, they will tend to lose their impact.

Font Color

Font color should most often be black on white. Use accent colors sparingly. Red usually means to stop and pay attention to something, so it can be used strategically on your pages, such as when you want people to buy now or pay attention to the price.

Color Contrast

To call attention to text and break up the monotony of an all-white page, try black writing on a pale canary background (hex code #fffbc4). This is a good color for adding extra information such as reviews and testimonials on a sales landing page.

Kerning and White Space

A lot of people create very crowded-looking web pages because they don’t leave enough space between lines, known as line height or kerning. Try to make your page crisp and clean looking.

Avoid Very Long Lines

Every computer screen is different in size, and varies from the tiny smartphone to a huge panorama. However, most of are used to a “page” no bigger than around 8.5 x 11. With responsive design, the page will “snap” to suit the size of a person’s screen or browser, but this could mean lines 20 inches wide or more. Limit the text area of each page.

Use Shorter Paragraphs

Shorter paragraphs means more white space on the page, which makes the page easier to read.

Use Subheadings to Break Up the Text

Subheadings help people scan the text more quickly, for greater readability.

Watch Ad Placement

Ads can make a page very clunky and slow. Keep them to a minimum unless they are the main revenue earner for your site, such as through the AdSense program.

Embed Videos

Videos are very large files and won’t stream well directly from your site. Upload to YouTube and then embed the code.

Pop-Ups and Other Promotional Content

Pop-ups tend to run on JavaScript, which can often break. This could mean your page will load very slowly, in which case your visitor might get impatient and click away from your page. Pop-ups can be annoying for users. They will be even more irritating if they are broken and cover the content that they really want to get at. Make sure there is a big X to help people get rid of the promo content.

Follow these simple tips and you should be able to create a professional-looking and highly readable site.

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How to Create Better Content for Your Readers

A great way to become an expert in your niche is to become an author. Writing a book requires that you know something about your topic, and are able to communicate it in a cohesive way that makes sense to your audience. It’s one of the most tried and true ways of building up expertise status. It was an effective way to do it even before the internet, and the ease of publishing eBooks on Kindle and your website.

You Can Prove What You Know

Writing a book is a great little selling tool that consist of an easy to give away (or sell) package of information that you know. It’s just all there; you put your knowledge in the book, and then you can prove that you have that knowledge because you were able to put that together for your audience.

You Have Something to Show for Your Efforts

Nothing is more satisfying than having that book with the cover showing your name bold on the front. It’s one reason people who are involved a great deal in education are encouraged and in some cases required to become published to prove what they know. Nothing works better than the process of writing a book to clarify what you know and believe.

Builds Your Credibility

You can shout from the rooftops that you’re an expert, and you may very well be. But, the book is proof that you have that knowledge. People respect it, and when they see that you’re published they will believe that you have credibility, even if you self-publish. This is because you are willing to put that book out there, and take the criticism that goes with putting your ideas out into the public for comment.

You Can’t Hide behind a Curtain as an Author

So many people want to hide behind their computers when working online or owning a digital business. But, as an author you need to come out of the closet and show who you really are. That’s the real key to becoming an expert: being who you are, owning what you know, and showing the world.

A Book Will Increase Your Value

If you provide services, want to speak in public, or have great products, a book will increase your value exponentially. When people see you as an expert – and a book will help you accomplish that – they are willing to pay more money for your products, services and information. As your value increases you’ll work less, and have more time to study more, write more and boost your expertise even more.

You’ll Learn More Than You Know Now

As you write a book, you will collect a lot of information from other experts and from your own studies, and that will help you learn even more. You might even change your mind about something as you write your book. That’s okay because that’s what experts do. As they learn more, you know more, and you increase your expertise even more.

A Book Teaches You Communication

When you write a book, you have to put your audience first in your mind as you disseminate the information to them. This will give you a lot of practice thinking in terms of how your audience perceives what you write. You always have to write with your audience in mind so that they get what you’re saying. It’s always about them and how they communicate best.

A Book Gives You a Platform for All Your Other Offers

If you want a great platform in which to offer your services, expertise and ideas to others, then a book is the best way to do it. The book gives you an actual thing – whether it’s digital or physical – to point your audience to when questions arise that are answered in the book.

Writing a book takes a lot of thought and planning. And if you put your best foot forward with writing it, direct it to your audience, and write what they need to know, you will advance yourself to expert status with every word.

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Top Ten Writing Mistakes Most People Make

Writing mistakes are easy to make. Even the most expert of writers makes them. And even if you proofread religiously, you’re likely to miss something. Everyone gets things wrong – that’s a fact. No one is immune from making writing mistakes.

1. Spelling Errors – Even though most people use spell check within their word processing document, sometimes errors sneak in because they’re actually words. One way to edit your document is to use a program like Grammarly.com, which can detect this type of problem.

2. Comma Misuse – People either use too many commas, or not enough. There isn’t really an in-between. People also fight about the proper use of commas. This article by Christina Sterbenz from 2013 is still a great read, though. You’ll learn a lot about commas, but remember – some people will still disagree. Learn more about commas .

3. Subject-Verb Agreement – Often people get mixed up when they use plural or singular and more when it comes to subject-verb agreement. Purdue OWL has a great subject-verb guide that you can learn a lot from to avoid this problem.

4. Avoiding Outlines and Structure – There aren’t too many people who actually like making outlines. Well, maybe some of the more linear thinkers out there. But, time and again writers who learn how to make outlines improve their writing many times over just by having an outline, to ensure that from start to finish all points are covered and the manuscript or article makes sense. The University of Washington has a great resource if you want to learn more about outlines.

5. Using Passive Voice – The cool thing about this is that using passive voice isn’t really grammatically incorrect. It’s really all about style. If you avoid passive voice when you write you’ll be more likely to write something understandable. The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill has a great page all about passive voice that will help.

6. Overwriting – Using too many flowery words can take away from the meaning of your prose. When you catch yourself using too many superlatives, stand back and then use the delete key. One or two superlatives are enough, and zero is better. Don’t go crazy.

7. Using the Wrong Words – You know about these words: Two, to, too, they’re, their, there and so forth are words that are easily mistaken for each other. The college writing center at Meramec has a great handout of misused and confused words.

8. Using Qualifiers – Often qualifiers are needed (“very”, “extremely”, etc.), but sometimes they’re not. People tend to add too many qualifiers to their sentences, making reading clunky. When you put in a qualifier at editing time, if you can delete it and the sentence still works then you don’t need it.

9. Not Breaking Up Paragraphs – This is especially true when your work will be read online. Longer than five lines looks like a big wall of text. It’s hard to read. It’s hard on the eyes and the mind. If you find any reason to have super-long paragraphs, you’re probably over-writing.

10. Lack of Focus – This happens to the best of writers. You’re writing along just fine and then you lose your train of thought, or your article goes off into an entirely new direction. This is the entire reason for rough drafts. But, using outlines will help you remain focused. Research, make the outline, and fill out the introduction, paragraph transitions, and closing. Then fill in each point on the outline and your articles will be more focused.

If you have read though these ten writing mistakes that most people make, you’ve likely even identified some mistakes in this article. But, no one is perfect. You don’t have to be either. However, if you want to improve your writing, tackle one thing you do at a time until you’ve unlearned the behavior. Before you know it, you’ll be right up there with the best.

Get More Content Like This:

If you found this advice helpful, you’ll find more of it in our Elite Writer’s Lab, and the good news is, you can join and get instant access to a huge library of content, just for writers, by clicking here. And you can get in for just $1.

Quick Start Success Kit
Our Exclusive Quick Start Success Kit

 

You’ll also have access to a huge library of other expert interviews, courses and resources for turning your writing skills into a living.  You’ll love our Quick Start Success Kit that will you publish and market your first book or information product quickly!