Category Archives: Business Development

How I’m using my old content to grow my business

upgrade-existing-content-to-grow-business

Your old content can be a treasure trove of opportunities. I have been adding webpages and blog posts to my website, credible-content.com, for years now. There was a time when I was just adding pages paying scant regard to their SEO. All I wanted to do was, cover as many topics as possible. These days I’m using my old content to improve my SEO and consequently, grow my business.

I manage my website with WordPress. Both the main website and the blog are powered by WordPress. There is a plug-in in WordPress that allows you to create a list of all the posts and pages you have published so far.

After generating the list from my main website (credible-content.com) and the blog (credible-content.com/blog) I copied the list in a text file.

Then I do the following:

  1. Open the URL
  2. Check its appearance on Google for the selected keywords and search terms
  3. If it doesn’t appear on the first page I start making changes to the text and the images
  4. After making the changes I run it through the SEOPressor WordPress plug-in
  5. In SEOPressor I normally aim for a score of 85-90.
  6. Submit the URL to Google and wait for it to appear in the search results with updated information
  7. Check the ranking again
  8. If the ranking has improved I delete this URL from the list and move onto the next URL
  9. If the ranking hasn’t improved I save the URL in another file to be followed on later on and then move onto the next URL
  10. I repeat these steps with all the URLs

There are two things though.

Being the only person managing my website, I know that it is a job that cannot be performed in a hurry. It may take me close to 6 months to analyze and improve all the links and I’m fine with that.

About SEOPressor and its score. I find it better than Yoast SEO. Call it superstition, my rankings have considerably improved ever since I started using SEOPressor.

Getting a score of 80-90 in SEOPressor doesn’t guarantee an appearance on the first page on Google. Despite this score sometimes the link doesn’t even appear among top 30 results or even top 40 results. It’s understandable. Your rankings depend on lot of factors, not just on-site SEO.

What I prefer in SEOPressor is that if you are over-optimizing, it tells you that. If you are over-using your keywords (when I am in the flow, I tend to do that) it tells you that. Then I make changes to make sure that the number of times a keyword appears in the text comes down.

I don’t like its LSI keyword alternatives which it appears to take directly from AdWords. Anyway, enough of SEOPressor.

Why do I save the URL whose rankings haven’t improved, for later?

This is my way of working on the website. Of course, when you are working on a client’s website you have to stick to a particular URL until you have done everything possible.

Have my rankings improved due to this exercise?

They certainly have. Over the past week itself my rankings have improved and I have gotten three business queries more than usual, just in the past week.

You can too use your old content to grow your business

This is, assuming that you have old content.

Whether you want to improve your search engine rankings or not, you should update your old content anyway. The things that you mentioned in your old content 4-5 years ago, may not be relevant now.

But the biggest benefit of updating your old content is that you can actually improve your search engine rankings for the keywords and search terms you were trying to aim at, initially.

Maybe at that time you were not experienced enough or you were not working with a trained content writer, but now you are (if you are).

I provide content auditing services. These services involve

  • Going through your existing content
  • Making a list of changes and improvements that can be made
  • Making those changes and improvements

Let me know if you would like me to have a look at your website. Contact me here.

A message to content writers I’m contacting these days

a-message-to-content-writers

Dear content writers:

In case I contacted you recently, and you responded, and I didn’t respond, there is a reason. My father passed away on August 31, 2017. We still can’t believe he is not there.

One has to make a living though, so here I am.

For many years I have been writing content on my own. Once or twice a year I do work with other writers but mostly I work by myself.

This traps me in an inescapable loop: I am marketing my services, getting work, completing work, and then marketing my services again, and so on.

My weakness is, I cannot do both. Either I can try getting work, or I can do work. Most of the time I’m doing one thing at the cost of the other. When I am marketing, I’m ignoring the work that I already have. When I’m busy doing my work, I ignore marketing.

Over the years I have realized I enjoy getting work. When I’m constantly blogging to increase my search engine traffic, when I publish my newsletter, when I’m tweaking my website, when I am interacting with prospective clients, I don’t feel tired. It means I enjoy doing this.

So, a few weeks ago, I thought, why shouldn’t I do something that I enjoy? I like writing, but I like journalistic writing. I’m comfortable writing professional content for my clients, but it tires me out. This means although, by habit, I’m able to complete my projects, my soul is somewhere else. Why not get work, enough work, and then hand it over to capable content writers, and then go on getting more work?

It isn’t that I haven’t tried working with other writers. It hasn’t worked so far. But then, I haven’t tried hard, this much I accept. I have had some bad experiences and then I have given up. I haven’t worked hard at building a solid team, which I’m going to do now.

Hence, using various means available to me, I have been contacting different content writers. If you are one of the content writers who have submitted their samples or requested further details, kindly be patient, I will be responding very soon.

What I’m looking for in content writers

I know you’re going to have this expression when you read this, but I like to work with people who can stick their necks out, otherwise I’d take that they are not committed and they cannot be relied upon.

disgruntled content writer

After all, I will also be sticking my neck out by giving you work. What if you turn your back on me? What if you don’t turn in the assignments on time? What if you suddenly increase your rates in the middle of the project knowing quite well that I’m totally relying on you?

You see, when my clients give me work, they can see my presence all over the Internet. Search for Amrit Hallan and you will find plenty of writing by me. I have a blog that I regularly update. I have my own content writing and content marketing website. I have a LinkedIn presence. I have a Twitter presence. I write on Medium. I’m on Instagram. Clients have written testimonials for me. They can find me everywhere.

What I mean to say is, I have been consistently there. Whether my clients are happy with me or not is another matter, they at least know I’m going to stick around and I’m going to respond. It means, my stakes are high. My clients know this. When they give me work they know that it’s my livelihood and I have put in effort.

I know it’s unreasonable to expect content writers working with me to create a similar presence, but they can show that they are really into content writing by writing for my blog. I don’t want people want to content writing just because they have got nothing else to do. I want passionate content writers.

Yes, now refer to the eyes-rolling GIF above.

I’m going to work with content writers who regularly write for my content writing and content marketing blog. I’m not saying they need to write every day, but at least once a week to show that they really want to collaborate.

I don’t want to arm twist you into doing this. If you don’t, someone else will. I’m cool with that. And I’m in no hurry.

Why I want my content writers to write for my blog?

  1. They will develop a writing style.
  2. It will show that they have abundant talent and they are not so desperate that they can write only when paid.
  3. We will be working as a team to get more work.
  4. I know my content writers are dedicated, driven and ready to put in at least an hour every week extra in order to get assignments.
  5. Most importantly, they will have a stake.

committed content writer

I have experienced that content writers who don’t have a stake act quite irresponsibly. They disappear suddenly and they change their terms and conditions haphazardly. If they continuously write for my blog they will know that they have put in effort and it is due to that effort that they are getting work and if they don’t do the work, all the effort will go waste.

So, this is how I’m going to select content writers for my upcoming projects.

Update: Faith (LinkedIn profile) asked some pertinent questions:

  1. Will I be given a byline?
  2. What are the guidelines for writing on your blog?
  3. When can I start?

These are very good questions and I should have addressed them before someone having to ask these questions. I’m thankful that she asked. Here are the replies:

Will the contributing content writers be given by lines?

Yes. With every post will appear the author bio. I’m also planning to put up a “Our Content Writers And Contributors” section where profiles of all the content writers will appear. They may also have their dedicated author pages.

You see, once they start contributing I would also like to provide them the right opportunity to get work from my website, directly.

What are the guidelines for contributing content writers?

Well, the only guideline is, be true to yourself. No plagiarism please. I’m not looking for a Salman Rushdie, although that would not be a negative.

Stick to a word length of not less than 400 words. As I said, express yourself.

This will also give me a chance to see how creatively you can create headlines that draw attention.
Of course the topics will have to do something with

  • Content writing
  • Content marketing
  • Online copywriting
  • SEO

When can you start submitting posts?

Whenever you feel like.

Guest blogging opportunity on the Credible Content Writing blog

guest-blogging-opportunity-at-my-content-writing-blog
I’m offering guest blogging opportunity at my Credible Content Writing blog. If you are a content writer and you want to promote your skill on my blog you can do it by writing a guest blog post on the suitable topic along with your resource box. Suitable topics are:

  • Content writing
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Web copywriting
  • Search engine optimization with content writing
  • Content marketing strategy

Basically, anything related to the above topics. Writing should be crisp, error-free and non-promotional. You can promote yourself or your link in the resource box, but kindly refrain within the blog body unless it is a part of what you are writing. Try to use the keywords of your main theme and try to follow the following convention (flow, organisation, or whatever) while letting the guest blog post:

  • Use the main keywords in the title of your guest blog post
  • Use subheadings and use keywords and alternatives in the subheadings
  • Use bulleted points

I will be very pleased if you can also link to one of my blog posts from your guest blog post (search for  site:credible-content.com and the keyword on Google.com). For example, if you want to be convinced about the benefits of guest blogging, you may want to read 5 ways to generate more business with guest blogging. You can also read How to pitch for a guest blogging assignment.

You may already be having your own content writing and content marketing business or you may be promoting yourself as a content writer – I don’t mind as long as  the writing is good and delivers value to my visitors.

What are the benefits of  guest blogging for  my content writing blog?

Exposure. Association with  an already established content writing and content marketing blog. Back links to your own website. Making good use of your spare time by honing your writing skills. There can be plenty of reasons for guest blogging on my content writing blog.

I also have a history of giving content writing assignments to content writers who avail the guest blogging opportunity on my blog. This is because I’m more comfortable  working with content writers  who are already working with me and I have experienced their writing style rather than working with total strangers. Besides, I’m biased towards content writers who help me promote my content writing service which in turn, gets me more work, which in turn, enables me to give freelance content writing assignments to my guest blogging content writers.

A guest blogging opportunity also allows you to sore in the skies of creativity without worrying about meeting a particular client’s requirements. In that sense I would like you to be a free bird. Write with an open heart. You can even write poetry if you want, as long as it is about content writing and content marketing.

Why am I offering a guest blogging opportunity on my blog if I can write on the topics of content writing myself?

Frankly, when it comes to writing content for your blog, there is never enough (I don’t mean you should spam). Although I do write, occasionally, on my blog, these days I’m quite busy on other assignments. So, instead of leaving the blog as it is,  I thought, well, why not offer guest blogging opportunity to other content writers? Who knows, we can build a solid network of content writers and in the process help each other get more work? The guest blogging opportunity is not a temporary one. I will keep on accepting guest blog posts for my content writing blog even when I can actively contribute myself.

Do I pay for the guest blogging opportunity?

I’m afraid I don’t . Guest blogging means, well, guest blogging. You get to promote yourself. You get to showcase your writing skills to a wider audience and possibly even my newsletter (more than 1700 subscribers). Though, when I give content writing assignments to my guest bloggers then of course I pay, that goes without saying .

So, if you have confidence in your content writing skills and if you think that guest blogging opportunity on this blog can help you further your cause, do get in touch using the Contact link above .

What do you choose? Digital advertising or content marketing?

There was a time when digital marketing was avant-garde. People swore by PPC and retargeting. These advertising campaigns use software algorithms to decide, according to your net browsing habits, what sort of advertising you should be exposed to when you visit various websites, even social networking websites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Small bits of information like some ad that you recently clicked or some article that you recently read, or something that you purchased on an e-commerce website, are used to calculate and predict you’re buying pattern.

According to this Bloomberg Business article, such PPC and retargeting campaigns are nothing but click frauds. Below I’m publishing a small portion of the article, you can read the entire article in the original link above.

Increasingly, digital ad viewers aren’t human. A study done last year in conjunction with the Association of National Advertisers embedded billions of digital ads with code designed to determine who or what was seeing them. Eleven percent of display ads and almost a quarter of video ads were “viewed” by software, not people. According to the ANA study, which was conducted by the security firm White Ops and is titled The Bot Baseline: Fraud In Digital Advertising, fake traffic will cost advertisers $6.3 billion this year.

One ad tracked in the study was a video spot for Chrysler that ran last year on Saveur.tv, a site based on the food and travel lifestyle magazine. Only 2 percent of the ad views registered as human, according to a person who was briefed on data provided to the study’s participants. Chrysler, which doesn’t dispute the data, ceased buying ads on the site once it became aware of the “fraudulent activity,” says Eileen Wunderlich, the automaker’s spokeswoman. White Ops, which left out the names of the advertiser and website in its published study, declined to comment. Executives at Bonnier, the publishing company behind Saveur.tv, say they screen every impression and that the White Ops study looked at 5,700 ads, a very small number. They also say there are multiple methods for detecting nonhuman traffic, and that there’s no single standard used by the industry. “We weren’t aware of any problem or complaint. If it had been brought to our attention we would have fixed it,” says Perri Dorset, a Bonnier spokeswoman.

Fake traffic has become a commodity. There’s malware for generating it and brokers who sell it. Some companies pay for it intentionally, some accidentally, and some prefer not to ask where their traffic comes from. It’s given rise to an industry of countermeasures, which inspire counter-countermeasures. “It’s like a game of whack-a-mole,” says Fernando Arriola, vice president for media and integration at ConAgra Foods. Consumers, meanwhile, to the extent they pay attention to targeted ads at all, hate them: The top paid iPhone app on Apple’s App Store is an ad blocker.

The revelations are quite startling considering the fact that even big companies like Google depend on pay per click traffic.

The so-called revolutionary technology that drives digital advertising is turning out to be as ineffective as native advertising like TV and print. At least when it comes to advertising on TV and print it’s not the boards that are watching your ads – people are either watching them or not watching them. On the Internet, the views and clicks can be easily faked. If you are advertising on the Internet, you might be paying for bots clicking your ads. This is sad, but this is also a reality.

So what do you do if you want to promote your business online? It may seem like blowing my own horn, but when it comes to promoting your business online, nothing can beat, at least for the time being, content marketing. You cannot fake high quality content and the response it generates. Of course there is spamming and there are automatic content aggregators but such spurious content generation tactics never work or rarely work. It’s the original, relevant and valuable content that always does the trick.

25 reasons your business needs content marketing

Business needs content

Content marketing is one of the biggest advantages the Internet has brought to small and medium-sized businesses, but it also has a drawback – very few people understand it, and it takes time, effort and strategy to actually experience its true power. Another problem with content marketing is that it is mostly related to writing and there are very few who take writing seriously.

On the other hand, people take SEO very seriously because they think getting higher search engine rankings is a big deal. Sure, it is a big deal, but getting higher rankings doesn’t guarantee success in terms of increasing your sales or getting more leads.

I often say that the need to implement a well-defined content marketing strategy is same as actually recognising the impact of global warming and taking corrective measures. Very few individuals in this world take global warming as seriously as it should be because they think it is some distant problem. Since content marketing takes time to show some real results and a great amount of consistency, one, people are unable to understand it and two, even those who can understand it, find it quite overwhelming, despite the fact that there isn’t more effective way of marketing your business than content marketing.

Why your business needs content marketing

Here are 25 reasons:

  1. It is cheaper compared to traditional advertising and marketing (sometimes even free if you don’t count time as money)
  2. It is much more effective than traditional advertising and marketing
  3. It helps you consolidate your online presence
  4. It makes your brand relatable and recognisable
  5. It encourages people to do business with you rather than convincing them to do business with you
  6. It organically improves your search engine rankings
  7. It gets you more qualified traffic from social networking websites
  8. It helps you engage your prospective customers and clients meaningfully
  9. You get repeat traffic to your website
  10. Your online presence becomes more authoritative if you continuously write about a particular subject and people can use your writing to improve their life or their business
  11. Content marketing is self-sustaining – a web page or blog post that crosses a particular threshold level brings you business for months and even years without you having to spend any money
  12. As your content marketing succeeds, its cost moves towards zero
  13. It increases your sales as, the more people read your content the more they are eager to do business with you
  14. Content marketing generates more leads for you
  15. As more and more people link to your content you generate multiple traffic sources and consequently, you have to depend less on search engine whims
  16. With content marketing, as a small business you can compete with big business by making your content more approachable and personal
  17. It helps you build long-term relationships with your existing and future customers and clients
  18. It helps you create a helpful resource on your website or blog continuously drawing people to your business
  19. Content marketing gives you an edge because most of your competitors don’t have the needed patience to succeed at it
  20. It encourages your customers to reach out to you and share your content on their own social networking timelines
  21. When you encourage your employees to create content for your business website it improves their confidence and makes them more productive
  22. As an independent consultant or service provider, as your authority increases due to content marketing, you can charge more for your services
  23. As your audience feels more educated, they will be more inclined towards doing business with you rather than another website that doesn’t publish helpful content
  24. Every piece of content you create and distribute is an invaluable business asset
  25. Sustained content marketing builds you a broadcasting channel with your own dedicated audience through which you can carry out PR campaigns and product promotion campaigns without having to depend on third-party broadcasting channels

For medium-sized and big businesses, I personally believe that the 25th point is the most important. Content marketing helps you build a broadcasting channel which very few businesses have.