Up To Date Media Terms Need To Be A Part Of Your On-Site Content Strategy

When was the last time you suggested to a client that they update the content on their website?  Did they actually follow through and take your advice?  In this post, I’ll discuss why industry specific, up to date media terms are a good idea to incorporate into on-site content.

Sure, fresh content can influence search rankings.  And that’s important.  However, once visitors get to the site, will they see updated industry terms they hear in the media and want to know more about?  Or will they see content with lots of generalities and terms from years ago?

Here are a few examples of up to date media terms:

Healthcare – single-payer medical insurance, health reform

Auto Sales – hybrids, electric vehicles, 40mpg

Dentistry – same day dentures

Implementing new language is not an attempt to take advantage of “buzz-terms.” Americans genuinely absorb what our mainstream media broadcasts.  Proof?  You can match anything being talked about on television with the top searches on Google Trends.  If a client’s website doesn’t fall into a definite niche, use Google Trends to find current industry language.

If you’ve been trying to get a client to understand this, then show them this article to prove you’re not the only one saying  it’s a smart investment to update their on-site content.

What updated industry terms do you know that your clients would benefit from having on their websites?

photo credit: stevendepolo

Save

5 Blogging Tips Straight From The Student Experts’ Style Guide

blog writing tipsWhen new writers and editors begin work at Student Experts, reading and absorbing the Style Guide is the first item on their training agenda. This 56 page document is an evolving tome that covers every step of our writing and editing process.

The Style Guide includes resources on SEO, linking to authoritative sources, conducting online research, and editing for grammar and syntax.

If you’re looking for a few blogging best practices, then review five of our Style Guide writing tips below:

1. Craft A Snappy Intro
Like a good lede in a news story, open each blog with a clear and informative introduction. Other than the blog headline, the first two sentences are your best chance to grab the reader’s attention and keep them hooked. Instead of starting a dental blog with “Many people have gum disease,” incorporate a statistic for a more active and engaging first sentence, such as, “More than 80 percent of American adults have a form of gum disease.”

2. Make It Scannable
When searching for information online, most people have a limited attention span. Use lists, bullet points, sub-headlines, and short paragraphs to make your blog scannable and reader-friendly. A series of brief, topical paragraphs or bullet points is more inviting to a reader than a block of uninterrupted text.

3. Create A Clear Structure
To maintain a coherent structure after the blog introduction, tell readers precisely what you’re about to tell them. For example, “Below we’ll review the main benefits of air duct cleaning.” Include an introductory sentence before lists or bullet points, describing the list and why it’s important to readers. Throughout list headings or subheadings, use parallel verb tenses and similar parts of speech. The numbered list in this blog post is an example of parallel construction.

4.  Use Active, Positive Language
Front-load your sentences and stick with active (not passive) constructions. Put the most important information at the beginning of a sentence so that even scanning readers will see and absorb the main points. Keep your subjects and verbs close together and stick with basic verb forms such as infinitives, imperatives, the simple present, simple past, and future tense.  Maintain a positive tone by avoiding words such as don’t, can’t, shouldn’t and not.

5. Form Simple Sentences and Paragraphs
Think Ernest Hemingway and not Marcel Proust. Keep sentences short and focused on one idea. Each new paragraph should focus on a single topic, with the most important point mentioned early in the first sentence of the paragraph. If a reader scans the blog introduction, first sentence of each paragraph, and your conclusion, they should get the point.

Student Experts creates custom content that internet marketing and SEO firms can white-label and deliver to their SMB clients. Stay tuned to our blog for more writing, editing, and content marketing tips. Learn more about our services or set up a free content trial to get a taste of our truly high-quality content!

Photo credit: ItDan

What We Look For in Our Writers

content writingWe are always looking for new writers and editors to join our growing ranks. Working for Student Experts entails crafting blog content, guest posts, web copy, and PPC ad headlines for small and medium-sized business clients.

Here are three traits that we look for in potential content writers during the recruiting process:

1. A Writing Background

The best content writers tend to have backgrounds in English literature, creative writing, linguistics, journalism, philosophy, and other writing-intensive areas of study. When an applicant has excelled throughout years of reading difficult texts and writing grueling papers, he or she will likely be a good fit for a job that involves researching, writing, and thinking critically all day long. As much as we love English and journalism majors, we do hire outside of these areas of study—especially when we see a pre-law or pre-med candidate who has a real way with words.

2. A Marketing Mindset

A content writer’s main function is to create engaging copy that ultimately “sells” or “markets” a business’ products and services. Even though a blog or guest post is not overt advertising copy, it should leave the reader with a positive feeling about the company. When we read writers’ applications, we gravitate toward the candidates who do a wonderful job of marketing themselves. If you can’t convince us of why we should hire you, then how are you going to write blogs that convince customers to work with one of our small business clients?

3. A Confident Voice

A confident writer uses active sentences and incorporates facts and information with gusto! When reading an applicant’s writing sample, we look for red flags such as vague sentences, overuse of a particular structure (like the em dash), or redundancy. Overall, we’re looking for applicants who can write with the utmost clarity and efficiency.

If you think you might be a good fit for one of our open positions, then apply today. We’re always looking for talented wordsmiths to join the Student Experts team.

Photo credit: Photosteve101

Writing For Your Audience: A Simple Exercise

Your readership can flourish or flounder based on how well you “speak” to your audience with online content.  Here’s an exercise to discover how people write within your industry and learn what gets your target audience engaged.Writing For Your Audience

1) Visit three thought leaders’ websites in your niche.  The idea is to find out how thought-leaders in your industry are already connecting with the audience. Make sure the websites you check have consistent blog and social media content with signs of engagement, such as comments, retweets and shares.

2) Spend 10 minutes looking at each author. Review each author’s recent blog posts, tweets, and other social media posts.  Take note of their writing style. Is it informal and conversational or more formal and businesslike? How lengthy are their blog posts?  You should see a pattern developing about the kind of writing that works in your industry.

3) Evaluate your natural writing style. Everyone has a natural tone or voice when they write. Gauge whether your style is  similar to what you’re seeing online in your industry.  If not,  you may want to consider adapting to the tone and style of the conversation.

If you do try this exercise, please share what you learned in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: statelibraryofnsw

Why Engage In A Free Content Trial?

As Google continues to update its algorithms, “Quality Content” is becoming vital to SEO and internet marketing success. That’s why Student Experts offers a free content trial for firms looking to provide their clients with custom blogs and quality guest posts.

When creating a new business partnership, it’s important for both parties to be sure of the fit. If you’re an internet marketer or SEO sourcing content for your clients, there’s no better way to make a decision, then to engage in a free trial period. Below we’ll share the three reasons why we feel it’s important to offer a free content trial:

1. Get A Taste of the Content

Would you recommend a restaurant to a friend without eating there first?  Similarly, the content you provide to your clients is a representation of your firm and ultimately, a representation of your client’s brand. The best way to find out if a blogging service is going to meet yours (and your client’s) high expectations, is to get a taste for free. A free content trial can give you a sense of the turnaround time and quality level. With a free trial, you’ll know if the writing has that  je ne sais quoi you’ve been looking for.

2. Zero Risk and Zero Setup

SEOs and internet marketers are increasingly expected to do more with less resources. With a free content trial, you can get the client blogs or guest blogs that you need quickly, at no cost and with zero long-term commitment.  You’ll only need to invest a few short minutes to share the scope of your content needs with your free trial provider. Leading content providers will have streamlined processes in place for collecting information, writing, editing, and delivering your trial content within days. This makes the entire process quick and hassle-free.

3. Test out the Relationship

During a free content trial, both the SEO or internet marekting firm and the content provider should be looking for mutual benefits and longterm potential. This is often an overlooked courtesy. A free content trial is a great opportunity for SEOs to ask questions about how the content provider can grow with their business and remain flexible to meet their changing needs.  With no money exchanged nor time wasted, if the fit is not there for either party, then it’s easy to shake hands and walk away.

How does your company handle writing quality blog posts and guest blogs for clients? At Student Experts we specialize in producing white-label content for internet marketing and SEO firms. Get started with a free content trial today, and see if we’re the right fit for you!

Photo Credit:  Stefan Baudy

Save

60 Business Blog Headlines for Inspiration

business bloggingWhether you write blogs yourself or work in conjunction with an internet marketing firm or content creation service, headlines are a vital component of the overall blog strategy.

Headlines have a big impact on search-ability and should include keywords representing your business products, services, and locations whenever possible. Blog headlines that communicate relevancy with keywords and phrases let visitors know they are “in the right place” to get the information they were searching for online.

There are a lot of websites out there with advice about effective headline writing and with sample headlines that you can adapt for your own business blogs.  However, not many sites go the extra mile and fill in the blanks with real sample headlines for all kinds of industries.

Looking at a list of blank blog headline templates is one thing, but seeing how those headlines might be used by home repair businesses, retail businesses, and even highly regulated businesses, like law offices or medical practices, can really inspire some quality business blog posts.

So here’s our list of 20 killer business blog headlines, diced 60 different ways:

1. Who Can Benefit from _____?
Who Can Benefit from Tire Rotation? (Automotive Repair)
Who Can Benefit from Life Insurance? (Insurance Agent)
Who Can Benefit from Window Replacement? (Window Installation Company)

2. Questions to Ask Your _____ (When) _____
Questions to Ask Your Hair Stylist When Getting A New Color (Hair Salon)
Questions to Ask Your Orthopedic Surgeon Prior to Knee Surgery (Orthopedic Surgeon)
Questions to Ask Your Limo Rental Company Before Your Wedding (Limousine Rentals)

3. 3 _____ Risks of _____
3 Financial Risks of Selling Your Home Yourself (Real Estate Agent)
3 Health Risks of A Sedentary Lifestyle (Fitness Club)
3 Security Risks of an Unprotected Home (Alarm Security Company)

 4. What’s (_____ )? A Quick Introductory Guide
What’s An Annuity? A Quick Introductory Guide (Financial Planner)
What’s A Slip and Fall Settlement? A Quick Introductory Guide (Personal Injury Lawyer)
What’s A Diamond Cut? A Quick Introductory Guide (Jeweler)

5. Top Qualities To Look For in _____
Top Qualities to Look For In an Assisted Living Community (Assisted Living)
Top Qualities to Look for In a Chicago Dog Walker (Pet Sitting Business)
Top Qualities to Look For in a New Home Theater System (Audio Visual Company)

6. Best Practices for _____
Best Practices for Keeping Your Pet Healthy (Veterinarian)
Best Practices for Creating A Monthly Budget (Credit Union)
Best Practices for Improving Your Golf Swing (Golf Club)

7. Comparing _____ and _____ (Optional: How to Know Which is Right for You)
Comparing Front-loading and Top Loading Washers and Dryers (Appliance Retailer)
Comparing Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: How to Know Which is Right for You (Bankruptcy Lawyer)
Comparing Botox and Juvederm: How to Know Which is Right for You (Cosmetic Spa)

8. _____: What it Means for _____
Health Care Reform: What it Means for Employers (Insurance Agent)
The Energy Tax Credit And What it Means for Home Upgrades  (Home Repair)
A Criminal Record: What it Means for Repeat Offenders in Georgia (Criminal Defense Attorney)

9. _____: A Buyer’s Guide
Certified Pre-Owned Hondas: A Buyer’s Guide (Car Dealer)
Tankless Water Heaters: A Buyer’s Guide (Plumber)
Hardwood Floors: A Buyer’s Guide (Flooring Showroom)

10. Celebrity Trends in _____
Celebrity Trends in Engagement Rings (Jeweler)
Celebrity Trends in Men’s Hair Styles (Hair Salon)
Celebrity Trends in Interior Design (Furniture Store)

11. Debunking Common Myths About _____
Debunking Common Myths About Acne (Dermatologist)
Debunking Common Myths About Child Custody in California (Family Law)
Debunking Common Myths About Retirement (Financial Planner)

12. The Future of _____
The Future of Emergency Care (Urgent Care Center)
The Future of Home Solar Power (Solar Power Installation Company)
The Future of San Jose Real Estate (Realty Company)

13. 4 Signs You Should _____
4 Signs You Should Consult a Divorce Attorney (Divorce Attorney)
4 Signs You Should Seek Varicose Vein Treatment (Cosmetic Laser Center)
4 Signs You Should Get a Home Energy Evaluation (Heating and Cooling Company)

14. A Behind the Scenes Look at _____
A Behind the Scenes Look at A Skylight Installation (Home Repair Company)
A Behind the Scenes Look at Our Kitchen During the Lunch Rush (Restaurant)
A Behind the Scenes Look at Our Hiring Process (Day Care Center or Private School)

15. Common _____ Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Common Rug Care Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (Rug Cleaning Company)
Common Tax Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (Accountant)
Common Pawn Shop Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (Pawn Brokers)

16. A Roundup Of Links About _____
A Roundup of Links about Choosing a Mattress (Furniture or Mattress store)
A Roundup Of Links About Diabetic Foot Care (Podiatrist)
A Roundup of Links About Green Pest Control (Exterminator)

17. The Expert Guide to _____
The Expert Guide to Eating Wings (Sports Bar)
The Expert Guide to Event Planning (Tent Rental Company or Caterer)
The Expert Guide to Out of State Moves (Moving and Storage Company)

18. How to Finance _____
How to Finance Your Loved One’s Funeral (Funeral Home)
How to Finance A Cosmetic Surgery Procedure (Plastic Surgeon)
How to Finance A New Roof (Roofing Company)

19. The Science Behind _____
The Science Behind Invisalign Tooth Straightening (Orthodontics)
The Science Behind The Perfect Cupcake (Bakery)
The Science Behind Emergency Defibrillation (Urgent Care Center)

20. What to Expect During _____
What to Expect During Your Custom Closet Installation (Closet Store)
What to Expect After Your Breast Augmentation Procedure (Plastic Surgeon)
What to Expect During a Personal Training Session (Fitness Club)

We hope this list illustrates how it is possible to come up with tons of dynamic headlines for just about any industry. Don’t see your industry represented here or think your business is too difficult to blog for? Leave us a comment below about what you do, and we’ll tailor some headlines just for you!

Photo credit: Laineys Repertoire