12 Content Tips To Make Consumers Love You

I’m a product marketing manager by day, which means I spend a considerable portion of my time reading, writing, reviewing, editing, and giving feedback on content (judgment-free!). As such, I have regular opportunities to witness great – and not so great – ways of presenting written content to consumers. Sometimes of my own creation.

Here are twelve items that might help you with your content strategy, whether you’re marketing your book or a widget you sell. I originally assembled this list four years ago, and these tips are as true today as they were then.


1. Is your content bragging about your abilities and services?

  • Consumers want to trust you. But people are turned off by content that’s mostly sales pitch or just talks about how great your book is.
  • Quality content shows that you understand your audience’s needs, not just your own abilities.

2. Did you focus more on SEO keywords than quality content?

keyword stuffing, keyword stuffing and yes, keyword stuffing

  • As a writer and someone in the online marketing biz, this content stands out to me like Waldo in a penguin colony. It’s repetitive and reads like the writer just bought a thesaurus: Do you like to travel to exotic places? How would you like a vacation to an unexplored world? Here at Journeyman Travel, we can jet you off to distant lands! You’ll voyage to foreign countries in one of our exclusive Exotic Vacation Destination packages! That is a content turkey stuffed with artificially-flavored keywords.
  • To avoid unnatural-sounding sentences, write for humans, not computers. Quality content that engages people will build authority and trust, something that search engines reward. Learn more about Semantic Search.

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Is This Blog Still On?

This quick post will take about a minute to read. It’s an attempt to return to a regular posting schedule.

There are, and will be, many recurring themes on this blog, among them: my love the English language, character development, human rights, and varying posts about writing, of course. These are all important to me and I love writing about them. But there’s another recurring theme that keeps turning up, like that pesky garbage-eating scrut that follows your caravan on a long journey to Evereign.

Neglecting the blog.

It’s a long recurring issue, going back ten years or so into other blogs I’ve managed. It’s not unique to me, either. Many blogs I’ve followed go through similar dry patches. Those who survive – and create large followings – always get back into it, devoting enough effort to assure subscribers they aren’t wasting their reading time.

My current neglect is two or three months.

The usual excuses abound: family, life, work, beautiful weather, the writing – all of these things take priority, as they do with most people. I think I also put too much effort into writing my posts, transforming the work into a chore. It appears I simply need to remove the ‘business writer’ hat to don the ‘social media writer’ one. Sigh.

I don’t expect this post to garner much interest. It’s more of a ‘Dear Diary’ kind of thing for Future Me to read as a cautionary tale. It’s also something I could kick out quickly over morning coffee while a sales report generates.

Tl;dr: Keep writing. Shoo, scrut!

–Michael


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© Michael Wallevand, July 2017

My Wagon Is Draggin’

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This post is approximately 400 words. Weirdly written, stream-of-consciousness words.

The title is a synonym for being exhausted. Not to be confused with a dragon wagon, which is a concept I’ve been trying to fit into a story for years. But I digress before I’ve begun.

The household was restless last night. My wife caught whatever cold our youngest has. Our big dog, Atticus, seemed to be rotating his body on our bed in time with the hands of the clock. The smaller dog, Scout, scratched her bed regularly, looking for comfort. I’d moved 800 pounds of retaining wall bricks, so I had some complaining muscles that I forgotten were muscles.

This morning, I was in a fog. Honestly, it lasted most of the day. I buried myself in reporting at work, which meant minimal human interaction (i.e. fewer people to question whether I’d been replaced by a malfunctioning mandroid).

Can you tell I’m a bit punchy and sleep-deprived?

So, the point of this post is this: when your brain’s in a fog and you’re in the middle of writing a book, how does a person put forth the creative energy to work on the manuscript? Continue reading

Social Foundations

This post is about 400 words.

If you’ve done any amount of writing – and you probably have, even if it was just for school – you’ve experienced that point where you run out of steam. Or inspiration. If you’re like me, you want to keep going, but you need a change in virtual scenery.

Draft One.png

Pay no attention to all those red squiggly lines. I made up those words.

I’m about 70,000 words into the first draft of the first book, and I have maybe another 10,000 to go. I need to fill in some gaps and layer in some detail, but sometimes, it’s uninspiring work. Yet I still want to do something else that advances the writing journey I’ve undertaken.

Enter social media and online marketing, two things that are actually key components of my day job. I can write all I want, but even if I get published, a flashy cover and snazzy title aren’t enough anymore, are they? A writer needs to drive awareness and engage people who are interested in the genre. And nowadays, it seems like that often has to happen before the book is even finished.

So, I’m building some of the infrastructure of an online marketing plan, centered around this website and a diverse social media presence. Want progress updates or to participate in conversations about writing? Visit our Facebook page or this website. Want to see photos that capture the scenery in my head or inspire my writing? Check out our Tumblr or Instagram. I might even leverage that business juggernaut, LinkedIn. Heck, you could go to our Google+ page, but frankly, that’s just an SEO play.

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Eventually, I’ll be asking you to take a journey with me. A couple journeys, actually. We’ll walk through the lands of Empyrelia with our heroes, fighting slither-withers and trolls or riding dragons and flying on fairy wings. But our journey together – yours and mine – starts here, virtually, if you’re so inclined. For now, I’ll play it cool, and by ‘cool’, I mean quietly. I’ll slowly be adding content to all the sites so I’ll have a robust library of information by the time I’m ready to dip my big calloused toe into the social waters. For now, this will keep me busy whilst my muse takes a coffee break. She looks a lot like this.

If you’re the first person here, cheers! We’re in for one heck of a journey, faithful travelling companion.

–Michael

Enjoy what you read? Leave a comment or like the post and we’ll ensure that you see more like this from Michael!

© Michael Wallevand, April 2016