There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Business-Savvy Writer

One of the most annoying things to me is the way writing is devalued, both by those who can do it, and those who seek to purchase the fruits of a writer’s labor. Of course, that’s just the way of the marketplace, right?

Well, at this point, I’d say the “marketplace” is suffering a case of retardation. Most clients will still hugely devalue excellent content, while if you can write with the right business angle, you can clean up all on your own at this particular point in history.

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Let Cicero Build You a Sticky Blog

Build a Sticky BlogIf you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words.

– Roman Statesman Cicero

More than simply speaking to our audience, we need to connect with them. Roman orator and attorney Cicero knew that connecting at both a mental and emotional level with an audience, using their own language and lingo, was imperative.

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Are You Leaving Your Readers Out of the Conversation?

Build a Sticky BlogWe know that one of the most important words we can use in blogging is you, so our copy should be squarely focused on the reader. And we also know we need to identify just who exactly our prospective readers actually are.

Wouldn’t it be a shame to go through all of that and end up not speaking to those people after all? It sounds crazy, but speaking to the wrong “you” is a common problem throughout business communications, and blogging makes it an incredibly easy mistake to make.

The Danger of the Wrong “You”

Even when people know exactly who they are supposed to be speaking to, they often fail to tailor the message to match the audience. A great example comes from the book Presenting to Win by presentation coach Jerry Weissman.

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Link Baiting Goes Mainstream

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Here’s a new catchphrase in search-engine optimization these days: Link baiting.

The term may sound shady, but link baiting is an aboveboard tactic that calls for generating new or particularly interesting content on a Web site in hopes that a popular Web site links to it. Having well-ranked Web sites link to yours boosts your site’s search-engine results, because most major search engines — including Google and Yahoo — consider the number and “quality” of links when generating their rankings. And, having your site linked to a popular site likely will prompt other sites to link to your site as well.

Suppose, for instance, you’d love to have a blogger who’s well-known in your industry link to your Web site. You notice this blogger frequently highlights interesting strategies for funding a start-up business. So in hopes of piquing that blogger’s interest, you add well-written, interesting content to your site about new trends in start-up financing. Then you conveniently shoot an email to that blogger with a link to the post.

Good for the WSJ for actually getting it right. More than just great content, it’s strategic content that is also of very high quality.

And these days, it has very little to do with trolling and flame wars. Authority sites won’t squander reader equity to link to that garbage.

Via Marketing Pilgrim.

Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?

Build a Sticky BlogA classic business mistake is failing to understand who your prospect is, especially now that niche marketing is critical to success in an overly competitive environment. The same is true for commercial blogging when it comes to developing a unique content strategy.

Under the classical approach to developing a unique selling proposition, you would start by examining your product/service for a unique element that would separate you from the competition. And while differentiating your offer from what others are providing is the goal, it’s no longer the starting point.

When it comes to business blogging, you are seeking an audience before you seek the sale, and frankly, starting with the needs of the audience is essential to all forms of modern marketing. Assuming that what you offer, or even what your competitors offer, is in tune with the current needs of the audience is an invitation for disaster and an adversary of innovation.

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I’ll be on Rush Hour Later Today with Cameron and Neil of Pronet Advertising

In case you haven’t heard, Cameron Olthius and Neil Patel of Pronet Advertising have launched a new show on Webmaster Radio called Rush Hour. The program is dedicated to social media marketing and traffic strategies.

We’ll be discussing how copywriting figures into social media and viral marketing campaigns: writing good content, headlines, descriptions, calls to action and more.

The podcast airs live every Wednesday at 1 P.M. PST (4 P.M. EST) and is usually available for download shortly after. So check it out!

UPDATE: You can listen to the podcast here. Please pardon my cold… I felt lucky to be able to string sentences together.