8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content

Your precious words. You know they’ve got to be right to attract the audience you want.
You’ve slaved over them, carefully crafting each phrase. You finally hit “publish,” and what happens?
Nobody reads them. No comments, no tweets, no sharing on Facebook.
It’s enough to send a writer into deep depression and wipe out motivation to keep producing great content.
Think you need to spend another 10,000 hours perfecting your writing skills? Probably not.
Actually, the solution may be a lot easier than you expect. Writing less and styling your text so it’s easy to read could be all you need to do to attract and hold attention.
Impatient searchers
Jakob Nielsen’s seminal web usability study from 1997 showed that 79 percent of web users scan rather than read.
Think about how you use the web. You’re in search of information. And if you don’t find it on the page you’re visiting, you click away and look elsewhere.
The web is a “lean forward and participate” medium. Television, by contrast, is a “lean back and let it wash over me” medium.
What can you do to engage your readers so they lean into your content, stay on your pages, and interact with your information?
Make it snappy
To write successfully for the web, you need to forget some of what you learned in English composition class.
Accept that people scan web pages, rather than reading them in detail, and work with this reality rather than fighting it.
If you want to cover a complex topic, consider breaking

Original Source

The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living

If you’re a writer, you might have heard this most of your life:
People don’t make a living writing. You should find something practical to do with your life.
Smart, capable writers grimly pass around war stories on Facebook. Penny-a-word assignments, clients who don’t pay, disdain for our craft, and disrespect for our profession.
And yet, look around at this digital world so many of us spend our lives in — it’s made of words. The technology to produce digital content exists because we create words worth sharing.
Text, video, audio — it all needs great writing if it’s going to be worth spending our time on.
If writing is your profession and your passion, you can accept crap assignments for crap money and crap treatment.
Or, you can choose something better. Because there is something better.
In the time I’ve been writing professionally, I’ve noticed some necessary traits, abilities, and strengths that make the difference between life as a well-paid writer and life as someone who likes to write but can’t seem to get paid for it.
Here are seven of the most important.
#1: Love
This might seem squishy, but if you’re meant to be a writer, you know what I mean.
There is no substitute for the love of writing. For the passion of getting the words right: the head-scratching and the pacing around the house and the endless drafts that aren’t quite right yet.
If you don’t love language and your topic and the act of putting words together, none of

Original Source

The #1 Conversion Killer in Your Copy (and How to Beat It)

What makes people almost buy?
What makes them get most of the way there and then drop out of your shopping cart at the last second?
What makes them stare at your landing page, wanting what you have to offer, and yet, ultimately, close the page and move on to something else?
It turns out there’s a hideous troll hiding under the bridge. Every time you get close to making a sale, the troll springs out and scares your prospect away. Get rid of the troll and your copy will start converting better than it ever has before.
The ugly, smelly, dirty, bad-mannered troll is prospect fear.
And it’s sitting there right now, stinking up your landing page and scaring good customers away.
Fear of wasting money
Remember when you were a kid and you went to that rinky-dink carnival that came through town? After eating all the cotton candy you could manage — and throwing it all back up again on the Tilt-a-Whirl — you checked out something called the midway.
Remember that persuasive fellow who convinced you to spend a whole month’s allowance throwing softballs at those damned milk bottles?
It looked so easy. He showed you exactly how to do it. Toss the softball, knock over the milk bottle, win a cool stuffed animal for a prize. Simple.
You spent quarter after quarter trying to do it yourself.
When all your quarters were gone, you got an inkling. It looked easy, but if you were actually standing at the

Original Source

10 Ways to Build Authority as an Online Writer

Picture the set of a late-night talk show, circa 1983.
Allen Ginsberg is fat, bearded, and sitting in the interview chair. Long hair grows in unruly patches from the side of his otherwise bald head. His eyebrows sprout from his forehead like wild hawthorn in bloom.
He’s wearing a tie-dye t-shirt with a hole in it. His fingers are stained from nicotine resin.
Ginsberg, a former marketing researcher, wanted to talk about the generation gap, and what he said about the challenges youth had to face actually made a lot of sense.
But although he certainly looked the part of “legendary poet,” this audience didn’t take him seriously. He simply didn’t appear to be a credible expert who they could know, like, and trust.
What was missing?
Another type of expert
Fast-forward to 2003. There he is: completely bald, with a black, long-sleeved shirt tucked into blue jeans. This time, it’s Seth Godin presenting at TED — one of the most prestigious speaking gigs.
In a fluid and flawless presentation, Seth explains how to get your ideas to spread. He obviously knows what he’s talking about or he wouldn’t have been invited to speak. This audience wanted a credible expert — and they got one.
Godin wrote the manifesto for modern advertising: Permission Marketing. He can break 7 of the 12 so-called rules of blogging — and get away with it.
Why? Because he’s earned a tremendous amount of authority by showing up day after day for years, delivering something remarkable —

Original Source

The Right Way to Think About Google

Oops, they did it again.
Our friend Google caused a panicked rumble through the tech world late Monday afternoon, when they announced they’d be restructuring under a new holding company called Alphabet.
Never mind that this is something companies do all the time. Never mind that there’s no reason to think it will change what’s happening with search in any way. Never mind the weird, April-Fools-looking new domain.
Google can’t really do “normal things,” because every time they make even a small visible change, most of us wonder,
What will this do to my rankings?
Why the collective jumping at shadows? Well, because if your business depends on your search rankings — and we’ll talk about that in a minute — you probably have a certain amount of Google-induced stress disorder.
Key elements change. Abruptly. And secretly. And you’re left scrambling to pick up the mess.
And to be honest, it can get right on your last nerve.
But if it causes you more than a few moments of irritation, you may benefit from shifting the way you think about the web’s favorite 800-pound gorilla.
Here’s how I’ve learned to think about Google (courtesy of advice from Copyblogger’s founder, Brian Clark). Which means when they pull stunts like this — and they do, with some regularity — my pain is limited to a few curse words and some moderate tweaking.
I have five rules for keeping my sanity when dealing with Google.
Rule 1: “What’s my plan if this goes away

Original Source