Is it Time to Upgrade From Freelance Writer to LLC?

When I made the move from freelancer to starting a content development agency, the decision of which type of business to form was an easy one. I went from being a sole proprietor to being the co-owner of a limited liability corporation (LLC).
Why we chose to go with an LLC had a lot to do with the state where we’re based — Texas. Say what you will about the state, but Texas is one of the most small-business friendly states. [...]

SEO Copywriting Top 10: May 28 to June 3, 2014

Was that a penguin you just saw?
Major traffic changes to sites hit by the Google Penguin link-spamming update had some SEOs crying Penguin.
The ever-on-top-of-it Google update guru Barry Schwartz found out otherwise straight from the search giant’s mouth in this week’s top post.
Also, more on Google Hummingbird and how to create an update-proof SEO strategy.
1. Barry Schwartz writes No, Google Says There’s Been No Penguin Update for Search Engine Land.
2. Kathy Klotz-Guest writes 7 Ways to Lighten Up Your Marketing and Generate [...]

5 SEO copywriting tips for B2B companies

I love working with B2B companies. Many times, they have scads of unique content opportunities – they just need someone to point them out and send them in the right direction.
If you work for a B2B company and you’ve been wondering, “Why are people bouncing out of our site so fast” or “Why don’t we position for X keyterm,” read on. You may benefit from one (or all) of these five SEO copy tips.:

Do you know who you’re writing for? [...]

SEO Copywriting Top 10: May 21 to May 27

Google rolled out the Panda 4.0 and Payday Loan 2.0 updates. Find out what Dr. Pete has to say about that  – and the consequences for eBay.
Is your CTA MIA? Discover how to use calls to action where they’re hot right now: social media and blogging.
Also, find out how to stand out as a freelance writer.
Get that information and more in this week’s SEO Copywriting Top 10.
Enjoy!
1. Vincent Barr writes The Deceptively Simple A/B Testing Mistake Quietly Killing Your Conversion Rates [...]

Raison d’etre: 8 Ways to Excel at Brand Storytelling

From bedtime stories to a friend’s crazy weekend story to the greatest novels of all time, people love to hear stories. They want to connect to others and experience new or even familiar emotions through characters.
This is what brand storytelling is all about, making emotional connections with your consumers. These don’t always have to be sappy or heartfelt connections. Think back to the Snickers/Betty White Super Bowl ad of 2010. When you’re tired and hungry, a Snickers bar will take [...]

SEO Copywriting Top 10: May 14 to 20, 2014

There’s much ado about links this week as Osanda Cooray runs you step-by-step through conducting a backlink analysis in Excel to improve your own site and to scope out the competition, and Elisa Gabbert gives you the expert scoop on link value.
You’ll also find conversion-rate boosters in Hayley Mullen’s science of CTAs and James Scherer’s landing page content techniques.
Have you encountered “the mullet master” client yet? Don’t miss Heather’s post on which clients you need to avoid!
1. Sally Ormond writes Writing Copy is Easy. [...]

SEO Copywriting Top 10: May 7 to 13, 2014

First, social media scared brands when consumers could share information about them publicly. Well, that’s old news.
Now, there’s a whole new fearsome trend – letting customers create content for you!
As Matt points out in the first post below, “Fan-generated content creation can yield big increases in the metrics marketers are most obsessed with: time on site, followers or page views, SEO, and bounce rates.”
It might be time to hand over them content keys, folks. Hey, you’re not selling ‘em to [...]

20 Copywriting Blind Spots All Web Writers Should Avoid

Do you ever read a blog post and cringe? “I don’t know how they missed that,” you think. “It’s such an obvious mistake!”
The truth is, we all suffer from copywriting blind spots. We’re so close to our own writing that it’s hard to see the mistakes.
It’s important to get a handle on your blind spots, and do it fast. We may not see these boo-boos, but our readers will. Depending on the severity of the mistake, it can cost us [...]

SEO Copywriting Top 10: April 30 to May 6, 2014

This week’s SEO Copywriting Top 10 includes SEO myths and mistakes, seeing your site through Googley eyes, a comprehensive link-audit guide and more.
Have you heard of Google Helpouts? Find out what it is and how it can help your business.
Also, stay focused long enough to discover how mindfulness can optimize your attention as a writer.
1. Modestos Siotos writes Link Audit Guide for Effective Link Removals and Risk Mitigation for Moz.
2. Jennifer Slegg writes 4 SEO Myths & Conspiracy Theories Google’s [...]

How to Explain Conversational Writing to a Clueless Client

Figuring out what a client wants their content to sound like isn’t always easy. This is especially true when clients don’t know what they want or worse, don’t know how to explain their vision and rely on buzzwords or terms that they’ve heard, but don’t fully understand.
One of the most commonly used and misunderstood directions that clients rely on is, “make it sound conversational.”
Because clients know the phrase but don’t always know what it means, it can lead to a first [...]