Talking about the importance of quality web content with Ken McGaffin of Wordtracker. [VIDEO]

I have known Ken for a long time, but this is the first time we have got together to create a video interview.

As you can see, we touch on a few of the most important and pressing issues facing web content creators, and the connection between quality web content and link-building.

To hear more from us on this topic, you can sign up for a free,1-hour webinar we are delivering live on Tuesday, September 13th at 12:00PM EST.

Sign up for our “How to Build Quality Content and Links” webinar here…

Beating my drum again about Dead End Content.

young drummer boyIf I look back over the years and try to identify the recommendations I have shared over and over again, ad nauseam, I bet #1 on the list would be my rant about dead end content.

What is dead end content? It’s when you write a page of content for your site, or a post for your blog, and fail to provide links to further reading at the end of the article, review, guide or post.

Some webmasters and writers shrug this suggestion away, confident that their readers will scroll back up the page and find a new link to click on.

Good luck with that. Not going to happen.

If you want to keep your readers on your site for longer – and you do – you need to maximize the number of readers who visit more than one page.

Read the full post…

When creating web content, be sure to accommodate different learning styles.

address different learning styles with web content

The science of learning styles is based on the presumption that not all of us learn in the same way.

There are various systems or models out there, including David Kolb’s model, Honey and Mumford’s model, Anthony Gregorc’s model, the Sudbury model, and Fleming’s VAK/VARK model…and more.

Each model breaks down the ways in which we learn into different learning styles. Some models were created to address the needs of the educational system, while others are better suited to business.

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The key to writing anything well is to look your reader in the eye.

always maintain eye contact with your audience

always maintain eye contact with your audienceLet’s start with an analogy.

You are giving a presentation to a group of people in a meeting room. You have a PowerPoint presentation on the screen.

During the course of that presentation, part of the time you will be facing your audience, looking them in the eye, and talking directly to them.

At other points, you will turn your back on the audience and speak to a slide on the screen. You might be pointing to some figures, a chart, or some bullet points.

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Are your freelance copywriting services perceived as an expense, or as an investment?

cash registerMaybe you don’t think about your services in this way.

But your clients and prospects do.

As a prospective client looks at your estimate, she will perceive it in one of two ways.

“This is going to take a chunk out of my budget for this quarter. I wonder if this is really the best use of my dollars.”


“This is going to cost me a few bucks, but it’s going to generate a truck load of extra sales.”

Read the full post…

Websites are looking more and more like children’s books.

Maybe you remember the first time you picked up a book and – oh my – there were no pictures!

Maybe you put it right back down. Or perhaps you bit the bullet and read your first text-only book, and discovered that a good story helps your imagination create its own pictures.

Switching over to the web, we seem to seeing that process in reverse.

Fifteen years ago most site pages were all text. The images that were included tended to be small, primarily to accommodate slow dial-up connections.

Then broadband came along and we discovered we could not only add more and bigger images to each page, but we could also include multimedia.

There is an important point there: we COULD include more images and multimedia. There is no requirement, it’s just something we can choose to do.

But if you look at today’s websites and blogs, you might be excused for thinking that it was a requirement. No blog post seems to be complete without an image, even if the image in boring and barely relevant.

You know the kind of image I mean. Someone writes a post about working from home, and then they go to an image bank and grab a photo of someone sitting on a beach with a laptop, jumping ecstatically into the air with a blue sky background, or holding wads of cash with a stupid grin on their face.

These images don’t add any real value or meaning to the post. They are visual clichés, and merely decorative.

If an image doesn’t work for you, how about a chart or, even better, an infographic?

Yes, sometimes charts and infographics can add real value. But often they don’t. They are added to the page as eye candy.

Or how about forgetting the text altogether, and shooting a 7-minute video?

Again, for some topics a video can communicate your point more effectively than text. But very often they are used for the wrong reasons, and are either too amateur, or too slick and over-produced.

We can argue about the relative benefits of text versus multimedia, and we probably should.

But regardless, am I alone in seeing a dumbing down of web content?

I’m guilty of this myself, in so far as I deliberately write online content in a way that makes it easy to read.

But are we perhaps going too far?

In our attempts to attract and hold readers, are we making everything too simple and too easy? Are we underestimating the intelligence and attention span of our readers?

I ask, because, as I noted at the beginning of this article, websites are becoming more and more like children’s books.

Lots of images and multimedia, and not too much text.

After all, we can’t expect the poor dears to stay focused if we fill the pages with too many words.

BTW – Before you respond, I do know that images, infographics and video can add enormous value when done well, and used in the right circumstances. And I do know that adding other elements to a text-only page can give you some SEO brownie points. And I do know that multimedia can be a big draw when promoting your pages through social media. I know that stuff.

But even so, I resent having to search far and wide to find a quality writer who has taken the trouble to write a high-quality page.

As with that first book without pictures, a well written text-only web page can stimulate your brain into making all the necessary connections without any extra help.

No pictures of happy, leaping people required.