What to Look for in a Professional Content Writer

Every business needs content. Not the bland, me-too nonsense that frequently clutters up our inboxes and feeds, but genuinely useful, interesting content.
Content that helps a business stand out amid the clutter and noise. Content that moves prospects closer to a sale. Content that can become a powerful differentiator for your company.
And businesses often have a tough time finding the writers who know how to create that type of content over time.
One of the reasons I think organizations struggle is that they don’t always know what qualities will make for a genuinely productive, profitable hire. And as you might guess, I have a few strong opinions about that.
So, here’s what I think you should look for when you need to hire a content professional to create the marketing that will move your business forward.
A professional content writer has a strong, confident writing voice
A strong, confident writing voice is essential.
Strategy, marketing, and persuasion techniques can be taught (that’s what we’re here for). Voice, on the other hand, develops over time and needs to come from within a creative, intelligent, sensitive human being.
While a solid writing voice can be developed over time (here’s how), your writer won’t ever get there without a lot of passion and commitment. Talent doesn’t hurt, either.
Look for a writer whose work is interesting, funny, smart, perceptive, and convincing. Look for someone whose writing you just like to read.
Some have it and some don’t. Insist on hiring the one who does.
A

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Last Day to Save Big on Digital Commerce Summit

Today is the last day to get your tickets to Digital Commerce Summit, happening October 13-14, 2016, in Denver, CO.
The last day unless you want to pay much more, that is.
We’ve got great speakers, including Rand Fishkin, Tara Gentile, Jeff Walker, Laura Roeder of Edgar, Kevan Lee of Buffer, and Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers, plus Jerod, Pamela, Chris, Sonia, and me.
We’ve also got great networking parties, plus an exclusive performance by the band CAKE.
Digital Commerce Summit is an integrated single-track experience that will send you back home with dozens of actionable ideas, and many new friends and potential business partners.
But let’s face it … you don’t want to pay $995 for the experience if you don’t have to.
And you don’t have to if you register today.
Sign up here, and I’ll see you in Denver!
The post Last Day to Save Big on Digital Commerce Summit appeared first on Copyblogger.

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4 Places Writers Leave Money on the Table

Sales copy, web copy, de-jargonized annual reports, useful blog posts, engaging email newsletters, podcast scripts, ghost-written business books … when it comes to content that writers are paid money for these days, the list is long.
But is no one knocking down your door asking for your expertise? Are prospects unaware of how you’re able to help them clearly and concisely communicate their thoughts? Why would that be the case?
Most likely it’s because your online presence doesn’t actually sell your writing services.
If potential clients don’t know you’re a “pen for hire,” or the type of “pen for hire” you are, how can they purchase your services?
Let’s look at four places writers tend to leave money on the table and how to fix these common mistakes.
1. Your website
When a prospect visits your website for the first time, here’s what he’s looking for:
Whether you provide the services he needs
As highlighted in the first line of this article, there are many different services writers can offer. The person visiting your website, however, is looking for a very specific type of writing help.
Does your home page or services page directly state the type of writing you specialize in?
Copywriter Kate Toon’s home page spells out the exact writing services she provides and how her work helps her clients:

The services page on Trudi Roth’s site does the same.
Does your website take away the guesswork for your prospective client?
Your writing voice
Your writing voice distinguishes you from other writers. I know for

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7-Eleven, Slurpee Drones, and What It Means to Turn Your Company Around

For years, I stopped going to 7-Eleven. I’m guessing it was likely almost a decade. Heck, once I realized how much sugar a Slurpee had in it, and what it was doing to my waistline, I literally had no reason to go to the convenience store, especially with newer, better options like Sheetz, WaWa, and…
The post 7-Eleven, Slurpee Drones, and What It Means to Turn Your Company Around appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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Explore the Content Editor Cosmos to Produce Out-of-This-World Writing [Infographic]

“Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup. They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.” – The Beatles, “Across the Universe”
So, who’s responsible for taming wild words and presenting them in a straightforward format that’s engaging and educational?
Content editors, of course.
A content editor aids in the effortless comprehension of a writer’s message, and in today’s infographic, we’ll explore the content editor’s universe to discover key takeaways you can use the next time you review and refine a piece of writing.
Free cosmic goodness to share
Make sure to scroll to the end of the post to get the code to share this beautiful infographic on your own site for free. We have a SlideShare presentation following the infographic that you can embed as well.

Embed this content editor infographic
Want to publish this infographic on your own site?
Copy and paste the following code into your blog post or web page:
Like this infographic? Get more from Copyblogger in our new, free WORD ebook that features our best advice for writers.
The Content Editor Cosmos is also available to view as a SlideShare presentation:

The post Explore the Content Editor Cosmos to Produce Out-of-This-World Writing [Infographic] appeared first on Copyblogger.

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3 Simple Ways to Bust Stereotypes and Craft a Remarkable Message

On the snowy, northeastern Christmas of my 11th year, our parents gathered all five kids around the kitchen table to deliver the news.
We were moving to San Antonio, Texas.
I was devastated. Texas? I imagined what our new home would look like.
We’d be miles from any neighbors — who would all look like they walked straight off the “Hee Haw” set — with a dusty, rock-filled front yard punctuated by the occasional tumbleweed rolling by.
If only I had access to online content back in those days, I wouldn’t have been terrified at all by the silly stereotypes I believed to be true.
Here’s the thing — our customers are terrified, too. They’re operating based on stereotypes, fears, and misconceptions.
But every day, the internet makes it easier to inform and educate them so we can bust through stereotypes and really connect.
Their false assumptions don’t stand a chance when you use the three techniques below to create a remarkable message that engages your prospects.
1. Showcase your product
Video is ideal for showing exactly how your product works and why it’s the best on the market.
One company that does this well is OtterBox, whose YouTube channel features lighthearted product demos and user-submitted stories that show customers putting OtterBox technology cases to the test.
Your video doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s more important to:

Take the time to develop a compelling story
Write a script; don’t wing it
Edit carefully so your video comes in under three minutes — bonus points if it’s under

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The Hubcast 102: Human Sales & Marketing, #Inbound16 Agenda, & HubSpot Notifications

Welcome back to The Hubcast, folks: A weekly podcast all about HubSpot news, tips, and tricks. Please also note the extensive show notes below, including some new HubSpot video tutorials …
The post The Hubcast 102: Human Sales & Marketing, #Inbound16 Agenda, & HubSpot Notifications appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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Rainmaker Rewind: Launching Your First (or Next) Digital Product

This week on Rainmaker Rewind, Sonia Simone explains the value of launching a digital product and the steps you should take to get moving.
Listen to Confessions of a Pink-haired Marketer to discover how digital products can help boost your income and the nitty-gritty of designing your first digital product with your audience in mind.
And, as always, be sure to check out the other great episodes that recently aired on Rainmaker FM.

Confessions of a Pink-haired Marketer. Sonia Simone talks about why you should consider launching a digital product and what it can do for your business: Launching Your First (or Next) Digital Product
The Digital Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur and Rainmaker FM host Chris Ducker joins Jerod Morris to discuss going after what you want and building your business: How to Market Like a Magnet and Build Your Personal Brand
Copyblogger FM. Sonia Simone tackles this week’s hottest trend, Pokémon Go, and the growing world of augmented reality: Pokémon Go: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Elsewhere. Glenn Leibowitz of Write With Impact welcomed Brian Clark to his show to chat about the entrepreneur’s journey and building a successful business: Brian Clark on Write With Impact
Hack the Entrepreneur. Jon Nastor interviews Nathan Hirsch about setting goals and organizing priorities when it comes to your business: Prioritizing and Getting Things Done
The Missing Link. Jabez LeBret answers your burning questions about all things LinkedIn: Ask Us Anything (LinkedIn Edition), Part One
The Writer Files. Kelton Reid is back with part

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Profitable Writers Demonstrate How to Prosper from Your Words

If you aspire to make a comfortable income from your writing, you’ll find inspiration in the stories of the three people we’re featuring in today’s Certified Stories article.
This group comes direct from our Certified Content Marketer page here on Copyblogger.
You know what I liked best about their answers? That they were pleasantly surprised that writers can indeed make a healthy living doing what they do best.
I love hearing stories like that — they make our efforts here at Copyblogger worthwhile.
By the way, don’t miss the WORD ebook we developed specifically for writers — you’ll get instant access when you register at the bottom of this article.
Here’s who’s joined us today:

Aaron Wrixon specializes in white-label writing and content marketing services for web designers and their clients. Contact Aaron
Trudi Roth creates site copy, blog posts, video, and social media strategy that converts passive bystanders into active, engaged fans. Contact Trudi
Carin Kilby Clark writes conversational copy and content that demonstrates authentic thought leadership and builds authority. Contact Carin

Read on as Aaron, Trudi, and Carin share their hard-earned wisdom.
What do you wish you knew about writing when you first started out?
There’s perception and then there’s reality. Sometimes we perceive our dream careers through rose-colored glasses. Once we’re in them, though, the day-to-day reality doesn’t live up to the image.
But for our three writers, reality was better than perception.
Trudi had to first lose the notion that she couldn’t make a good living as a writer:
“I believed that writing was

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Top 3 Reasons to Get Your Digital Commerce Summit Tickets Now

Digital Commerce Summit is three months away, and we’re all very excited about this inaugural event. It’s happening in Denver, CO on October 13-14, 2016.
If you’re a digital entrepreneur, or are interested in getting into the business of creating and selling digital products, this is right up your alley.
But you’re going to want to act fast, because the price is going up this month. Let’s quickly run through the most compelling reasons to sign up before that happens.
1. The Speakers
Regardless of other factors, the quality of a business conference is determined by the speakers and what useful insight they bring you. Our agenda is stacked with actual entrepreneurs who walk the talk.
The fact that they’re also great teachers is an amazing benefit as well. You won’t get lost in jargon and “inside baseball” references.
You’ll learn from people like Rand Fishkin of Moz, Joanna Weibe of Copy Hackers, Laura Roeder of Edgar, and Chris Ducker of Youpreneur … plus many more high profile entrepreneurs.
Also, your favorites from Rainmaker Digital will be presenting as well — Jerod Morris, Pamela Wilson, Sonia Simone, and Chris Garrett. I’ll be there too, but don’t let that deter you.
Our integrated agenda assures that you’ll depart from Denver with a clear picture of your path forward. While one great idea is worth the investment, you’ll do much better than that.
2. The Entertainment
We’re known for throwing great parties. The networking, relationships, and deals that happen thanks to like-minded people enjoying themselves

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