SEO in 2020: Easy Tricks to Start Conquering Now

When I started writing copy and content in 2017, SEO was relatively new to me and it seemed like a magical locked box of tricks. The fact is, though, SEO doesn’t have to be super complicated: it takes a little ingenuity in the way you think about your structure and word-choice, but the New Google, especially, wants you to be real. Real human, that is. See, packing in the keywords nonsensically is going to lose you points, but being authentic, natural and genuine in your approach–with a little keyword savvy research–will be the ultimate winner in your web copy and content strategy.

You may ask, is SEO even worth the investment in 2020? The answer is definitely yes, and I suggest you check out that link to learn more about exactly how and why SEO in 2020 is changing and evolving, and you don’t want to be left behind.

How do you become an SEO writing guru? You research stuff, stay aware of trends, and look for places to contribute your work. Networking and being part of the communities that matter to you and your business are incredibly important, and if you’re really invested in what you do because you enjoy the work, the networking won’t feel tedious (hopefully).

I’ll cover a few tips, derived from the SEO Master himself, Neil Patel, and what he has to say about SEO in 2020.

Be People Focused

I feel like one of the main goals of Moonphase Creative is to always be people focused. Google agrees this is a hugely important aspect of conquering SEO. But, beyond SEO writing, being people focused is simply the best thing you can do for your business, brand, or company. Building a brand that is focused on the stories of your clients is a brand that will ultimately connect more authentically and this leads to the kind of real engagement you need to grow.

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Being engaged with the community around you, listening, and taking notes will pay off in the end as you build your business as a writer (or as any kind of freelance creative).

Finding ways to connect and engage in 2020 kind of through us all for a loop. In some ways, I think the flexible savvy of freelancers saved the day for a lot of companies, especially small and medium companies. I know I, as a small-time freelancer, focused on offering social media help to some local folks who owned impacted businesses like Genesis Dance Conservatory in our hometown.

But I also saw freelancers everywhere scrambling to replenish their losses when retainer clients disappeared, and the whole market shifted to a strange and unsettled place of cautious evolution. This brings me to my (or to Neil’s) next point:

Stay on Top of Trends

Staying on top of SEO trends involves a few of the points further down on Neil’s list of ten things to consider for SEO in 2020. But, basically, research and networking to stay actively connected and engaged with conversations about your niche topic. The thing about writing is, it isn’t about writing. Writing is never (rarely) about writing… this blog post is sort of an example, and, really, this entire blog/website is a strange exception. Usually, writers find themselves writing about anything but writing. I’m remembering the time I wrote all about septic tanks and also the time I wrote about auto restoration.

See, trends matter, and knowing how to research your topics and plug in the top writing trends will be absolutely key in crafting killer blog posts that help gain organic traffic and get you leads to the next thing, and the next thing, and the…

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Follow your passion. Whatever you’re writing about, make sure it’s relevant. Research the topic, research the trend, and–as every writing teacher will tell you–write what you know.

Constantly research, dig and search for content ideas that will speak to the trends but also authentically speak to the heart of your brand and brand messaging. Building your brand identity while also answering to the trends can seem like tricky terrain, but I promise as you gain experience in crafting your brand message, you’ll figure out the best way to tell your brand story, stay relevant to trends, and turn your messaging into engagement.

Contribute More Places & Plan Strategically

I’m combining a couple of SEO 2020 tips in this article, because I think building your content plan out strategically is an awesome tip. It takes some foresight and *actual planning* but it is a great way to encourage long-term engagement, and the perfect opportunity to strategically reach out to more places to guest post and contribute your knowledge elsewhere.

Planning strategically can help fill your social media calendar with links and cross-sharing opportunities to really boost your social media reach. Once I began writing web copy, then blogs, I realized how simple and smart it would be to add social media management into our offerings. Strategically building a social media plan that involves a month of curated content that moves seamlessly across platforms takes some intentional thinking, planning, and knowledge about market and trends–but the overall polish this next-level brand communication and presence adds to your company is priceless.

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Consider the trends, then go beyond to create an arc of strategic content that tells a story, pitches the sale, and connects with the audience all at once. It take a little out-of-the box thinking, but you can totally do it with a little foresight, SEO, and creative elbow grease!

My final tip is specifically for the writers, and yeah, it also comes off that list by Neil Patel about writing for SEO in 2020. But this is the one I personally love most, and is truly the bread-and-butter of Moonphase Creative:

Master the Long Form

You have probably heard me talk about writing the ideal blog post, which basically requires you to master the long form. A blog post should have a minimum of 1,000 words, contain a few great images, and some external and internal links to help your site both algorithmically and organically. I’m not a super tech-focused sort, so organic SEO is more my style. This requires that special attention be given to the long form, and I always start with my monthly blog topic ideas, and build my shorter-form social media strategy around those larger blog articles. The long form will help you assert your authority, share your value, and overall connect with your audience. So, even though the long form can be tedious, it’s one of the best ways to get your brand going.

I hope these tips helped, and I’ll be talking more about writing for the web in future posts. Moonphase Creative offers copy and content, strategy and consulting for your social media and website/blogging needs, as well as social media management. If you’re looking for a little help in those departments, please connect to see what we can do for you.

Until next time,

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Raise Your Voice: Write Louder

Writing for the web can feel like shouting off a cliff into a strong wind that carries your words absolutely nowhere. So I thought I would offer a little class on Blog Writing in an intentional way that can help boost your visibility, credibility, and overall staying-power in the world of web marketing relevance.

If that “shouting off of a cliff into a strong wind sort of feeling” sounds familiar, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what you’re doing to put your website’s blogging endeavors out there. Increasing your visibility on the web and within social media is crucial–and one of the best ways to do that is by sharing weekly or regularly  updated blog posts.

Why?

Because Blogging Boosts your Credibility

Writing a blog gives you a chance to share on the topics you know most about. It’s a great way to share your expertise and show that you know what you’re talking about to potential customers and clients.

 

Hiring a writer to do the writing for you can save a lot of time, and a good copywriter can research and write on topics you provide with a little fact-checking and approval from you before it goes live. So, though it seems daunting and impossible, it is actually really doable if you outsource the time-consuming task of writing a great post that’s over a thousand words long on a weekly basis.

Plus, you’ll…

Have the Perfect Shareable Content

If you have a blog post that is fresh and new on a weekly basis, you have a whole new thing to share every week: the perfect shareable content created by you. Plus, you can also talk about the topic more on social media, direct people to your blog, and create more traffic and interest this way.

Especially if you feel the topic has buzzworthy interest status or will be really useful to your clients and audience, feel free to share and boost your social media posts to keep climbing that ladder of visibility, encouraging more engagement, and reaching out for more authentic connections that lead to sales and conversions.

Two Blog Posts a Week Give you Powerful Social Media Opportunities

If you can aim for two blog posts a week, that’s great. I honestly miss that mark pretty much every week, but I do have my calendar “soft-scheduled” for Monday and Wednesday. I aim for Monday and Wednesday, and having it on my calendar helps me stay committed and aware of those deadlines. Missing a day won’t be the end of it all. The end is when you decide you’ve missed three posts, so what’s the point? And you give up. That is the end, but only because you decided it is the end.

If you are having trouble coming up with content, think about your industry and what kinds of things your clients are often asking about? Do you notice certain aspects of your job that clients seem often confused by? Take blog posts as an opportunity to educate and inform. It definitely helps your business to increase your authority and trust on the subject you work with–and it will encourage people to reach out with more questions and even inspire them to hire you if it seems like your take on the matter seems particularly perfect.

Write Louder with Better Headers

Writing with strong headlines and titles is really important, and it can be an art unto itself. While I’m a creative person, I admit this is honestly not my strong suit. However, you can do as I say and not as I do (though I sometimes try), and follow these easy tips for making headlines and titles that stick:

  1. Use numbers and lists. Think of headlines you’ve seen…. “5 Tips to…” or “This List of 3 Things…”
  2. Use blazing words that spark interest. And, yeah, I know–we all know that “amazing” post is clickbait. But sometimes not…. Using buzz words like these still play well with humans and algorithms. Make sure your info and writing is on-point and true to your vision, but don’t avoid those catchy titles just because you feel a little silly.
  3. Include tight phrasing that include keywords. My keywords include writing/write/writer, so I am going to use the word write pretty often in my titles. But not always, because I do have other keywords I want to rank for as well–and sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.

Blog Posts are: Time Consuming. Fun. Necessary.

So, Class, which best describes the act of writing blog posts:

A. Time Consuming

B. Fun

C. Necessary

D. All of the Above

 

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Answer: All of the Above. Image via Pexels

Answer: All of the Above

 

Or, possibly A & C if you’re not a writer who enjoys coming up with topics, research, and ideas for blog posts. As a small business, a solopreneur, or any business model that benefits from social media marketing–you should be considering blogging one of your top five tools to boost your social media marketing.

If you’re looking for more tips on blog writing, check out these resources or contact us to find out how Moonphase Creative can help you develop a blogging schedule, a strategy, and solutions for sticking to it.

Get Your Blog On

If you aren’t sure where to start, feel free to reach out and start a conversation with Moonphase Creative. We offer blog writing services and consultation to help you meet your web marketing and communication goals. Have a story but not sure how to tell it? Have ideas but not sure how to organize it? Need blog posts but don’t have the time?

We’ve got you.

Until next time,

Angi

AngiBaker-4
Angi, Owner of Moonphase Creative.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Solopreneurs! Are you ready to rise up?

When this morning hit, I really thought I was going to slay the day. By 9.30, I was my third diaper change, so hey–no one could say I wasn’t being productive! But I was so ready for naptime, so I could get to the keyboard and tell you all about this latest thing Moonphase Creative is offering.

Custom Package with Special Pricing for Black Owned/Female Owned Small-Business Owners

I’m offering customized writing/service packages and special pricing for black-owned and/or female owned small-business owners and solopreneurs. See, when I left my ex-husband three years ago, I was knee-deep in oppression and struggling to make my way. In a world where childcare is the cost of a mortgage and employers are more concerned about their bottomline than employee health, getting to a point of freelance freedom was absolutely crucial to the survival of me and my three girls.

So with all this political uprising and an uncomfortable zoom-in on the unjust ways of our world, I’m here to be part of the solution and extend help however I can. If you happen to be a solopreneur and happen to be black and/or female, please contact me. First consultation is always free, but I want to talk to you about how you CAN become a successful small business owner. I want to help you find a path that works for you. As a copywriter/editor and illustrator with some knowledge of content creation and strategy, I’m confident we can figure out the blueprints of a career that can grow.

LGBTQ+ Crowd Welcome, Too

Not to be exclusive, and definitely welcoming all rainbow fam–I want to welcome the LGBTQ+ crowd into this offer, too. See, when you’re struggling on the peripheral of society, you can get so caught up in daily survival, trying to make it through the trauma and societal norm navigating just to avoid panic attacks–strategizing your business can seem like an afterthought.

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Moonphase Creative is focusing on the LGBTQ Community to help LGBTQ solopreneurs slay the day. Image found at Pexels

I’m here to connect and use my skills as a solopreneur in the freelance world to help you develop your ideas, define your path, and execute a plan. Our first consultation is always free, and I know a lot can be accomplished in that initial meeting. If you’re ready for more, we have plans and packaging that can be engineered to fit your budget because right now, I’m giving back to the world that has so graciously given to me.

 

Others Lifted Me Up… Now it is MY Turn

When I left my situation a little over three years ago, I was emotionally battered, physically exhausted, and mentally stretched thin. Traditional employment quickly showed itself to be an impossibility for many reasons. I was a single mom of three, and all three were already needing tons of therapy due to the trauma we were all escaping and navigating.

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This was me holding my beautiful girls after a fruitless shift in retail. Shortly after leaving my abusive marriage, I worked for not a lot of money and it mostly complicated my situation, rather than adding value. Enter: Freelance Freedom.

Beyond that, there was a police investigation and lawyer-stuff happening on the daily… I was in no shape to be dropping my kids off at daycare and going off to work in retail or wherever else. Jumping back into teaching after a five year absence while my ex-husband degraded me and convinced me I wasn’t able or worthy wasn’t going to be so easy, either.

But I could write and I could draw/design. I held an MFA in Writing; I had studied art and animation. I had a few skills, and I knew I could sail my own ship. This was how it all began, and I registered Moonphase Creative as a writing and illustration sole proprietorship, and did my best to jump in and build my empire.

It Takes Time… but you CAN

Building your freelance career takes time, but you can definitely do it. I want to avoid telling you it’s easy and you’ll have a great income in six-months, because that wasn’t my personal experience and I’m all about transparency. I was lucky to meet a few great mentors and learn a few hard lessons right at the starting line, and this definitely helped me shape my path and achieve eventual success.

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Let’s figure out where you are and where you’re going–and if Moonphase Creative can help. Image: Andrea Piacquadio

Every day is a learning experience, and some days will be more productive, more successful than others. Due diligence will reveal results, though, and I want to help others work on the plan to get you where you want to be.

Let’s Find Your Niche

Let’s talk about your goals and interest and find your niche if you’re still wandering in search of it. And let’s see how you can start building your plan. Please contact me to get chatting, and I’m so excited to talk about what we can do for you. Or keep an eye on our website to see new posts rolling out about being a small business in the land of niches.

I’m a writer and illustrator and I’ve often said the beauty of my job is that I’m not limited to any single subject or sector. But if I’m honest, I love working with fitness peeps: exercise, bodybuilding, nutrition, and more. I also love working with woman-owned businesses that somehow relate to the service industry, motherhood, or female-centric products and services. I felt weird saying that for a while, but it’s true. And I also love working with creative out-of-the-box niches that have a place and a purpose but are sometimes hard to nail down. One of my very favorite projects to have helped launched into the world? This Sex Positive Education website.

If this sounds like we would be a good fit, let’s get together and talk about what your options might be. I can hand you some resources and ideas, and we can have a coffee chat by Zoom or by phone to go over the details of what you’re doing, where you’re headed, and how Moonphase Creative can help.

A Thoughtful Response to Schessa Garbutt’s “Black Lives Matter is Not a Design Challenge”

 

The article shared on Medium’s Design Toast at the beginning of June made a lot of great points about virtue signaling and how garnering likes for social justice sketches is a less than okay way to respond to the Black Lives Movement. To be honest, I was sitting in my cozy seat of white privilege doing exactly nothing because I felt it was my place to do nothing when I got a message from my friend that catapulted me into action. I agreed with all the points of Garbutt’s article, and I still do agree with the points—but I wanted to respond in case the article might shut-down some actually on-point actions and responses to BLM for fear of being the wrong kind of help.

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I was sitting cozy in my white privilege until a friend reached out. Image: Adobe Stock

 

The message I received was a tearful, exhausted confessional of emotions and maybe a decade or more worth of her personal and silent struggle to pretend it’s all okay and race issues in America aren’t all that bad. She and her family have been living the struggle on the daily, but her public persona would never let you in on that fact.

“I’ve been up all night. I fear for the lives of my kids—my husband could have lost his last night.”

You see, her (black) husband had been peacefully protesting the day before, and before he could come home, Columbus, OH police kettled the protesters for six hours before letting people leave. People tried to get in their cars and leave, but police were forcibly removing them from vehicles and “beating their faces off,” my friend related to me.

It was at this point I decided I couldn’t sit by and say this isn’t my fight because I’m white and I don’t belong. Being intentional about purchasing take-out from black-owned local restaurants suddenly seemed like a paltry contribution. Reaching out to say, “you okay?” to my black friends seemed hardly enough. And now, I had a friend reaching out to me in fear saying very blatantly, we need your help.

We need your voices right now because when black people speak up here, it doesn’t mean as much. We need white voices to help lift up the black voices.”

So, if you are white/privileged/otherwise leading a comfortably entitled existence but wanting to contribute in some way for the right reasons, let’s have a look at some ways to do this productively–and some of these do completely echo Garbutt’s suggestions. Her words are what I, as a white writer/illustrator/communicator, need to be listening to first before responding. If you haven’t read her article, please do click on this link.

 

  1. Defer to the black community about what is needed.
  2. If you are a white person, be cognizant of the racism embedded in your community. Talk about it. Educate your community. Be an ambassador.
  3. Be really aware of what your goals and intentions are with your work.
  4. Find ways to give back to the black community through your work.
  5. Feature black-owned businesses, connect and collaborate with black creatives, and find ways to utilize the works and voices of the black community.

 

 

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Image from Adobe Stock

 

After this article was published over at Medium, I heard a few creatives discussing it in various forums. I digested the message and double-checked my actions, and truly felt my work was coming from the right place—but I decided to keep evaluating and adjusting the way I approached things.

 

But then I got an email from a local designer friend whom I know is genuinely, deeply committed to the causes of social justice and change. She had been working on some truly beautiful works for our print efforts, but she said, “well, as per this article, maybe I shouldn’t even put these out there.”

 

I responded, “no I think you should keep doing the work—let’s just be mindful how and when and where we put stuff out there.”

Because, you see, this friend has experience with oppression and missed opportunities, judgment, and assumptions because of being differently abled. She is deaf and has experienced audism (which I did not know about and she educated me to understand this term used to describe a negative, ableist attitude toward deafness and the deaf community). She has also dealt with sexism and religious oppression, and she has developed her worldview through her unique experience.

Her experience aligns her empathy with Black Lives Matter in a way I can’t even fully fathom. Just as, in other ways, my own experience aligns me empathetically with the cause in ways others may not realize and I don’t feel the need to explain or justify, because right now my story doesn’t matter: but the ways it has prepared me can at least be useful to Black Lives Matter.

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I did my own design work with all the right intentions, but the names overwhelmed. It seemed trite and ridiculous to even attempt. Besides, the issue goes so much deeper than police fatalities and systemic racism. Image is mine.

We all probably have a story or an experience that in some way helps us empathetically align to the cause. To say we have no point of reference is to minimize the collective human experience and how we are all uniquely equipped to be first responders to the Black Lives Matter issue. Whatever your positional point of reference may be, I think the important point of consideration remains: consider your white fragility, your place of privilege, and what you truly have to offer the world on behalf of Black Lives everywhere.

I decided to double-check my intentions, re-examine my privilege, and make sure my actions are going to help further the cause rather than pollute the social media sludge scroll. I encourage others to do the same, and if someone asks, “are we being white saviors?” or “is this really going to help?” I think that measuring your output against this list is a worthwhile litmus test.

If you have engaged with black thought, read about current events, white privilege, virtue signaling, divisive thinking, and you have done the internal work to check yourself—by all means, continue on with your crusade. Be mindful and definitely defer to number five on Garbutt’s list of how to direct your energy for the greater good and cause of Black Lives Matter.

 

“If you must make art, here’s a challenge: figure out how it can benefit the movement without benefitting you.” Schessa Garbutt, from “Black Lives Matter is not a Design Challenge”

 

I truly believe art is often the most powerful and effective tool for change. Writing and art can educate and empower in both an immediate and lasting way. Art persists when protests end in violence. Writing remains when the words of angry rioters are lost into the elbows of their oppressors. Powerful writing can lift up a cause and become a voice for the oppressed, and powerful art can spread a message that transcends language and meets us on another level where our emotional conscience fights to raise our awareness to another level.

So while I ask that everyone check their intentions and do the necessary navel-gazing work in the shower where it belongs, I also encourage everyone to do their part—even if that means it falls on the creative spectrum and you are not yourself a person of color.

 

Not everyone is able to protest.

Not everyone is able to donate.

Not everyone is able to write.

Not everyone is able to draw/paint/sculpt/sketch.

 

For the Cause

Take up the cause however you can while carefully listening to the black community, deferring to the voice of the unheard in order to amplify the cause rather than to virtue signal.

If you are unsure where you fall in this category, you’re probably at least asking the right questions to keep self-aware. Keep going. But remain open to criticism and questions. Be ready to have that hard look in the mirror and carefully reflect on why you’re doing what you’re doing, and if it’s going to make a difference.

Brand Communication: Writing with Vision

I’ve been delving into branding and strategy more and more lately, simply because writing for social media is kind of inseparable from the fascinating land of Branding and Marketing. Here are a few thoughts to get you on your own path to better brand communication, on-point messaging, and a more mindful approach to tone and story.

Communicating Your Story

When you’re writing for social media, you are communicating the arc of your brand’s story over the course of social media. The catch is, though, you aren’t the hero. You are the answer to the hero’s struggle, and your mission is to show them all the ways your business, your products and/or services, make their struggle all better.

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Make your communication clear so the crowd hears you loud and clear. Image: AdobeStock

So communicating your brand’s story should be authentic and engaging, but it should also be incredibly intentional. It should focus on your client persona and really achieve a specific conversation leveraged to gain their interest and trust. This intentional appeal to your perfect client is what will ultimately win you more conversions. Because–as we’ve said before: engagements are great, but conversions are better.

Brand Communication is a Thing

I promise you, brand communication is a thing: if you ignore this important fact, your messaging will be significantly less effective. Operating within your company’s brand and vision can be an entirely different thing from communicating well and communicating effectively. You can communicate well and effectively, but if it isn’t in-line with your brand’s vision, mission, and overall image, then it is counterproductive and can damage your marketing endeavors.

Developing your branding takes time, and there are tons of creatives who dedicate their professional careers to developing brands, cultivating the looks, style, and messaging of a company. For my peeps in Colorado Springs, are just a few places to connect with if you want amazing, professional, and personal attention to brand your professional outfit.

Neon Pig Creative

Ren Creative

Copywriting & Voice

Copywriting can seem like such a stiff and boring aspect of branding and marketing, but the voice of your brand ultimately belongs in the hands of the writer. Finding the right tone and style for your brand’s professional communication pieces, blog posts, general website copy, and social media can be more challenging than you first assume. Considering written tone is harder to decipher with certainty, finding a writer who is a good fit for your brand’s voice is incredibly important.

The nuance of written communication, along with brevity and clarity, are some of the most important elements you need to consider when developing your brand’s written communication. Beyond these things, it should be consistent. When people see an Instagram post, Facebook post, or blog post from your company, the copy should read with a similar enough tone, message, and personality that your audience doesn’t feel jarred, or as though a dozen different people are talking at them through different social media platforms.

These points of consideration should be on your checklist when you set to the tasks of defining and improving your brand communication where necessary.

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Don’t get your wires crossed!    Photo: Alex Andrews

Deliver on What You Say

Consistency is key, so if you can deliver on what you’re saying–then of course your business is solid and gold. I make mention of this because when we work within the structure of Marketing, it can be easy to start making lucrative promises and painting pictures beyond what we can deliver.

Dream big, but dream realistically. Carefully consider your messaging and what you offer, to be sure you set yourself up for a successful delivery of any products, goods, or services. Charge fairly–charge enough that you can take on a comfortable load and make a comfortable living. This factor alone will give you the power to politely decline jobs that sound like they’re not a good fit. If this happens often, it may be time to revisit your strategy and take a look at your ideal client persona vs. what your business is actually attracting.

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Every part of your brand’s communication realized on words and visual cohesion. Image:AdobeStock

Communication is Key

Written communication becomes the binding thread between all of your print and web publications. Every single marketing campaign, social media platform presence, and newsletter publication will boil down to the message you send through writing.

Visual content is also important, but without strong writing to carry and lift, everything will fall flat. Poor communication and sub-par writing will leave your readers doubting you, and eventually they will move on to the more polished shop with shinier words and better communication.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your writing, or would like to outsource your writing, please contact us. And if you’re not sure where to begin as you set sail through social media, please feel free to reach out with questions or shoot me an email at

angi.baker.saunders@gmail.com

 

Until next time,

 

 

Angi

Social Media Building Blocks

Copywriting can provide the building blocks for a great social media marketing plan. For all the components of social media that can seem really intimidating, writing is one of the most straightforward aspects that can take up a lot of time but can provide the biggest, most solid foundation for your small business strategy to conquer social media.

 

Which social media platforms should I use?

If your business isn’t currently utilizing online social media, I strongly recommend a Facebook business page and a business Instagram account to closely follow. These are two of the most widely used platforms, and they’re also owned by the same company and this means there is a lot of ways to use these two platforms together to increase your effective use of Facebook and Instagram.

After you feel comfortable with Facebook and Instagram, feel free to add other social media platforms that you would like to use and that make sense for your professional niche. Twitter can be a great platform for bite-sized conversations, link sharing, and finding conversations to be a part of to increase your connection and visibility.

Tumblr is often the forgotten platform, but it focuses a lot on a merging of visual and writing, making it a great place for visual-based solopreneurs to share their work, projects, and passions while having space to talk about your vision at length.

If you’re struggling with knowing where to start, feel free to shoot us an email–Moonphase Creative offer Social Media Onboarding packages and consultation to help connect people with platforms. And of course, there are so many amazing resources online to help sort your first steps in social media.

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Using Facebook to connect, educate, and communicate with your audience is a valuable move. Photo: Pixabay

 

Facebook is your Friend

Having a business page for your business is easy to set up and offers you an almost immediate connection to the world of social media. Posting several times a week with posts that are useful to your audience is a great way to start your social media strategy. Creating strong, useful posts can be intimidating–but scheduling your posts ahead of time can allow you to create your strategy ahead of time and get a leg up on your content creation.

There are numerous resources and pros offering the perfect strategy–so I encourage you to check out some of these great resources for learning the basics of utilizing Facebook as a business page strategy.

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Eye-Candy and interactive! Pinterest offers an opportunity for marketing strategy at its finest. Photo: Pixabay

Learning to use Pinterest

Learning to use Pinterest as an effective marketing tool can be slightly intimidating, and Pinterest won’t be the right social platform for every business–but it can be a fantastic tool for many industries to generate interest and attract clicks to their website. If you have a blog, let your anchor images and body images become the images for Pinterest posts that will entice people to click and learn more on your site.

Some great niches for Pinterest include fashion, visual art and illustration, and foodies–but it certainly isn’t limited to these groups. There are so many ways to use Pinterest as an innovative, effective marketing tool and if this is something you’re looking for more information about check out these folks who have some great things to say about developing your Pinterest marketing strategy.

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Photo by Omkar Patyane from Pexels

Instagram: Conquering the Beast

Instagram can be an absolute beast to effectively use, and conquering the Insta strategy can seem a bit elusive–especially with the constantly changing algorithms. Instagram is easy to use in its most basic sense, but building your following organically can be extremely challenging. Check out this quicksprouts guide to making effective Instagram posts and boosting your Instagram account.

Strong visuals, high-impact designs, and visual messaging that prompts the scrolling IG user to pause is a great goal. A longer caption that relates a compelling story, interesting nugget of education or trivia, or a really helpful how-to is a great way to create authenticity, engagement, and establish your credibility and authority. These points of consideration can help you approach your social media strategy with the right visual-to-copy ration. It is easy to think of IG as a totally visual platform, but considering lengthy captions as an important component of your successful IG strategy, it is extremely important to give attention to those strongly written captions.

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Tackle your social media strategy from anywhere, at any time. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

 

Tackle your Social Media with confidence and consistency. Consistency is really key. Nothing will be built overnight, but your persistence will show results with the right strategy over the course of a few months. If you’re looking to be in touch for more information or consultation, Moonphase Creative is always here to help–feel free to contact us!

 

Until next time,

 

Angi

 

 

Developing Your Content Strategy

There are a lot of ways to streamline your social media marketing and blog post outreach, and a dozen people will tell you a dozen different ways to do it the best. However, if they’re worth their salt, you will hear a few resounding repeats in the advice thrown your way. I’d like to cover some ideas about developing your content strategy in  in short-form.

Firstly, though…

What is Content Strategy?

In short, Content Strategy is how your brand chooses to use social media content (blog posts, Facebook posts, Instagram, Twitter, and so on) in order to strategically appeal to the audience and make connections that become conversions.

Content strategy is kind of like the Ad Man job of the 20th century, in a way. People got really tired of kitschy commercials and two-page print ads in magazines they didn’t want to subscribe to once 2001 arrived. Print advertising isn’t dead, but it has changed. Just like content strategy isn’t new–it’s just been evolving for a while and we’re finally seeing how this little component of online marketing and social media outreach can be a hugely important part to any small business or solopreneur’s strategy.

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Develop your content strategy with authenticity, accuracy, and your audience in mind.

The thing is, content strategy isn’t hard, per se, but it takes a little time to develop and the skillset is an elusive mix of knowledge, common sense, and social savvy. The idea is to develop content that appeals to your crowd in an authentic way–because no one likes a sales pitch that feels smarmy, out-of-touch or too thirsty. I prefer to coach clients when possible to develop their own brand strategy and give them the tools to implement it themselves. I do provide content and social media designs, but largely I truly believe most small businesses and solo professionals can be successfully coached to take the reigns of most of their own social media campaign with the right information and toolset.

Being an Authority & Expert in Your Field

The reason I believe most small businesses and professionals have the potential to arm their own social media is because the biggest piece of the puzzle is being an authentically engaged, dedicated expert in your field. You can learn how to wrangle your social media; but your expertise is exactly why you do what you do. That being said, a successful and well-done content strategy plan can be time-consuming–which is why some choose to outsource the job to freelancers like myself who invest their time and unique toolsets into this as a full-time career.

But–time and toolsets aside–

People want knowledge and answers to their questions. That’s the big thing to remember when piecing together your brand’s social media strategy. People want to hear from an authority on topics of concern. This is where a small business has the chance to give followers and potential followers a clear idea of who your company is and what knowledge and expertise you offer. The internet is a scary place filled with misinformation and scammy back-alleys. So, if you can prove you’re a genuine, authentic person with actual authority and knowledge on your topic–you’re golden.

Because content strategy is developing ideas about how you can communicate your knowledge and know-how to your audience in an authentic way that keeps them coming back for more. That’s it. In a nutshell, that’s what you need to do in order to grow the right kind of following that will turn into sales/loyal clients/returning patrons (and so on).

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A successful plan for your content strategy is possible with a little planning and consideration.

How Do I Create a Plan for Content?

You might be asking where to begin and wondering how to create a plan for your content.

Forget the strategy, how do I even make good content?!

I’ll talk more about the particulars of content in a future post–but simply put Content is simply the stuff you are talking about, promoting, and showing across your social media platforms. Are you talking about the hot new homes for sale in your area? That’s your content: the real estate market is the subject you’re discussing. Are you sharing a DIY post on how to mend a hole in your shirt? Then your content is craft and DIY related, and your mending a shirt blog post is probably going to appeal for people searching DIY methods for fashion, or “clothing hacks” for everyday people.

Knowing your audience is absolutely key in planning your content. But before that, even, you must know your brand. This seems insanely obvious, but it is painfully true that many solopreneurs and small businesses do not know their own business well enough to be generating the right kind of content.

Often times, my clients know their industry really well, but they’re failing to see how valuable and indispensable they are within the industry they serve. Know your own worth, trust your authority, and make lists about what you do and why. Once you have explored what you do and how you serve people with expertise and authority–write down your plan.

Content Strategy: The Authority Plan

Develop a two-week plan that covers a certain topic in part. You can cover this over the course of two or three blog posts, and then promote these posts across other social media platforms. Talk about your current blog posts that are offering an “in-depth look at the industry (fill in your niche)” or share resources related to your two-week campaign in addition to the blog post you wrote on the topic.

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Create a sense of authority and expertise while also remaining relatable to your audience.          Photo by Christina Morillo

This is a reinforcement of your expertise and authority, which highlights what you can do for your clients and why you’re worth hiring. The best part is? Your how-to and information campaigns can honestly help people and you never had to pitch an awkward, weird sales-pitch to someone who didn’t want to hear it in the first place.

Content Strategy: The Launch

Gear your social media toward a launch. Maybe it will be the launch of a new product or a new class you’re teaching. It’s up for you to decide, but if this is a good fit for your small biz and what’s happening in your brand’s world, The Launch is a fantastic way to operate on a couple of marketing techniques that can really motivate people to jump on board your train of awesomeness.

The launch strategy capitalizes on a few things for your readers/viewers. First of all, since the launch happens at the end of a timeline, there is a countdown and a sense of scarcity as tickets/availability/time dwindles as the launch date draws closer. The “get it before it’s gone” mentality makes it hard to pass by if it is something that intrigues your readership or viewers.

Content Strategy: The Evergreen

I know I’ve talked about evergreen content before, but evergreen content really is that valuable. It’s the kind of stuff that, over time, stays relevant in the Google rankings because it remains relevant. If you write a really fantastic and informative, helpful post on a common problem in your field, people searching for a common solution to this common problem will be thankful you shared the answer.

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Demonstrate your expertise and show what you do as a form of content strategy.                     Photo by Andrea Piacquadio 

It’s the perfect chance to flout your authority and help some people out–who, in turn, might just poke around the rest of your website/channel/social media account and decide you’re pretty much the bee’s knees. At this point, at the very least you have the chance of earning a new follower. And, best case scenario, this evergreen content could earn you a converted client because they have found you–and your information–to be tried-and-true.

 

 

 

 

What Can Digital Marketing Do For You?

“But wait!”

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What if I told you Content Writing has EVERYTHING to do with Digital Marketing?

 

“You’re a writer.

Oh. Okay.

But what if I told you that a lot of what I offer as a Copy and Content Writer has everything to do with marketing? And, since I primarily write for web, my writing really has everything to do with digital marketing–though, no, I am definitely not a digital marketer.

What is Digital Marketing?

So, first off, what is digital marketing, actually?

HubSpot gives this definition:

Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

And that is exactly why my job as a copy and content writer has everything to do with digital marketing. I write for every single one of these platforms. As Donald Miller, author, speaker, and creator of the StoryBrand concept says, words are the ultimate tool in storytelling.

Visual storytelling is awesome. Having clean, crisp images and a color palette that ties in a brand’s identity and helps sell a brand image and further their story is awesome. But at the end of the day, folks, it comes down to words.

What Can You Do to Tackle Digital Marketing?

Since Digital Marketing really is an umbrella term encompassing all the many ways we target, connect, and engage audiences online, tackling digital marketing can have a lot of steps. I recommend setting some doable, bite-sized goals for yourself and starting small. Perhaps this means setting up a website for your small business, and then committing to writing blog posts regularly to help boost your SEO organically.

Then, after you’ve mastered that, perhaps your next step is tackling Facebook and Instagram. Make business accounts for both of these social media powerhouses and start sharing those blog posts you’re publishing regularly, and commit to several weekly posts on Instagram showing relevant content rather than just pictures of your adorable dog cuddling a parakeet.

 

Develop Your Digital Marketing Plan

Developing your digital marketing plan can be a process that evolves overtime. But, basically, you should commit to three or four strategies and then prioritize following through. Trust me, this will be the hardest part.

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Outsourcing your digital marketing implementation might end up being a really great option for you, or you might find that utilizing a suite of nifty tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are the answers to your side-hustle prayers.

Learning about different ways to digitize your marketing and diversifying your strategy will be key to your success. Check out some of these ideas to keep growing your digital marketing strategy.

Whatever route you choose, remember that the follow-through is most important. Especially in organic SEO: consistency is key, as results can easily take six months to become noticeable.

Familiarize Yourself with Writing Techniques

In addition to learning the basics of digital marketing, familiarize yourself with writing techniques. Learn how writing for web and digital marketing works, and make an effort to identify your strengths weaknesses as a writer. This really will help your professional communication in every aspect, from emails to blog posts, to social media blurbs and bylines.

Check out my post about writing a blog post for some really basic ideas on getting started, or read up on SEO strategies in 2020.

And beyond trade-specific writing info, check out resources like Grammar Girl’s guide to writing properly (her blog is full of fascinating word-nerd info), or take a quick course to freshen your business and casual writing skills. Top-level writing will definitely help you pull of you DIY digital marketing endeavors with greater success. If that isn’t your skillset and you’re not eager to make time for it yourself, outsourcing copy and content is a viable solution that many small businesses find a huge time-saver and value-booster.

Stay Committed

Stay committed to digital marketing strategies and implementations. I’ll reiterate what I said throughout previous paragraphs about that exact thing.

Stay committed to your digital marketing plan.

Stay committed to developing your understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Stay committed to content planning and strategic posting schedules.

And if you can’t, then commit to outsourcing the work to someone who does it for a living because it really can be that much of a game-changer for any company.

What’s your plan going to be?

So now that you know what digital marketing is, and a little bit about what it might entail, what is your plan going to be?

As always, feel free to be in touch. Email me or find us on Facebook. Moonphase Creative is always excited to help you in whatever phase you’re orbiting.

 

Until next time,

 

Angi

 

Writing for Connection: 3 Content Strategy Tips

Building an engaging web presence for your business can be a total game-changer for you business. Even if your business doesn’t operate online, building a strong web presence can help you reach new potential customers and engage with current loyal clients in a way that goes beyond plain old marketing.

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Creating engagement goes beyond analytics and requires marketing strategy and sincere, customer-centered stories that invite conversation, participation, and loyalty.

The Right Engagement Should Lead to Conversions

If you are getting engagement with the right kind of people, your social media strategy should lead to successful conversions. Engagement, in the world of SEO and Social Media Marketing, means all those comments, likes, shares and follows that make your social media presence ping with delight. But all the likes and shares in the world can’t pay your utilities bill… so how can you make sure you’re getting the right kind of engagement?

This requires a defined client that you know you’re hoping to connect with. Forget demographics–focus on the very specific individual you hope to connect with. Because, honestly, which of these following snippets describe the ideal client you desire?

Ideal Client #1

  • 18-24 demographic
  • student
  • single/casually dating
  • under $25 target budget
  • female
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What do your ideal clients look like? Image credit: mentatdgt

Ideal Client Description #2

Twenty-two year old female college student named Rachel. She majors in psychology and volunteers with her hometown chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of America on weekends, about a 45 minute drive from her college campus in the Midwest. She enjoys hanging out with her friends at local eateries and enjoys dating adventures at off the beaten path, locally-owned businesses. Rachel is all about trying out new places and attending entertainment venues when it fits in her budget (under 100 for the month, so she loves to scour for deals!), especially concerts and anything music related.

Which of these descriptions tells us more about a potential client?

When we are honing our marketing strategy, it’s important to understand your ideal client in such detail that they can be described as an actual person like Client Description #2. The more you know about who you are selling your products and services to, the more effectively you can sell them what they want and need.

This brings me to the three quick tips to keep in mind when you are putting together your content strategy.

Three Tips to Keep your Content Strategy On-Point

  1. Keep your message simple and make sure it addresses what your client wants. It’s less about you, and more about them.
  2. Invite a Conversation. Listening to your audience and letting them discuss your social media posts can be a great way to learn more about your ideal clients–it can also lead you to better marketing strategies on future posts, and those conversations can lead to genuinely loyal and invested customers who return to your brand because you are real and you listen.
  3. Small businesses are cornerstones of the community. If you are a small business, local business, or a solopreneur, capitalize on this fact and recognize that very valuable piece of truth. You are a part of your customer’s community. This sense of “we’re in this together, neighbor” is a genuine statement, but it can also increase a customer’s sense of brand loyalty and interest and commitment to following you and purchasing in the now as well as in the future.

A Simple Message with a Strong Call to Action

A message should be extremely easy to decipher, and the call to action should be clear enough that a potential client doesn’t have to pause for long to figure out what your content is talking about. See if you can distill your message into ten words, keeping your total word-count under 50, and follow that up with a clear command. This could be, “Let your wedding be a cozy, memorable event with meaning. Our wedding venue is perfect for your small crowd of besties, without overwhelming excess. Call today to book your tour and see how we can be part of your best day ever.”

The message is simple, and it asks the viewer to initiate contact in a clear and direct way, with the specific goal of scheduling a wedding venue tour. It does a couple other things I mention in the list above, too, and we’ll continue to talk about why this has potential as a strong base for social media messaging.

Invite Conversation

When you’re posting on social media, the conversation is one-sided until the potential client chooses to respond. In our example piece, the call to action is essentially an invitation to start the conversation. Once you can have a conversation with potential clients, the likelihood of making a conversion is much greater.

Inviting conversation could be something like drumming up interesting conversations and comments within the social media platform. This is useful because it raises public awareness, and you have a chance to manage and curate the image your brand has with direct customer relations.

And, of course, inviting clients to contact you directly is the most straightforward method–and it can be completely successful time after time.

Be a Cornerstone in Your Community

Be a genuinely involved leader in your community and don’t be afraid to join the conversation. React to current events, be present within local forums, and offer support and encouragement to others. There are, of course, a lot more strategies but this seems like a really simple approach to life as a small business owner or solopreneur. I’m a huge advocate of this kind of genuine marketing because, at the end of the day, we are all people serving other people. We are connecting and growing constantly, and being a well-reputed, respected, and genuine professional in your local and online communities can definitely take you farther than you might imagine.

In Summary: The Three ‘C’s of Content Creation

  1. Call to Action: Call your reader to action, and/or give them actionable items.
  2. Conversation: encourage engaging, genuine issues.
  3. Community: Whether it’s physical community or a virtual community, be an involved and visible member of the world around you.

I hope these quick tips help you if you are putting together your own social media strategy and building your online presence. Consistency and perseverance are key, always, and this can be time-consuming, but the long-term benefits are many!

Until next time,

 

Angi

 

Writing a Blog Post 101

If you’re reading this, you may be wondering how to build more exciting, engaging content for your blog. You probably know that a blog is super important for your website. And you probably understand that frequent posting (at least weekly!) is key. But what you may not be so sure about is how do I create a blog post, especially one that is interesting?!

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Be Relevant

Relevant content is an absolute must to keep your rankings up and connecting with the right crowd. Be authentic in the topics you choose, which is hopefully an easy task if you have a website and blog you’re passionate about. No sense starting a blog about airplanes if the most you know about airplanes is how to navigate the security line, stow your carry on in the overhead compartment, and nap politely until landing.

If you have a blog and website you’re truly invested in because you are super knowledgeable about your field, relevant content will be a breeze. I would say, your biggest grinding chore will be avoiding that sense of repetition. When you’re truly in your element, you’ll beItem sharing content that can truly help others. As a writer, I’m writing about–well–writing. But if your blog is about beauty, review your favorite new releases for the upcoming Summer collections. If you’re a real estate agent, make posts that are relevant to your favorite kind of client; that might mean a post about preparing your house for sale, or a checklist blog post going over the To-Do’s for buying a home.

Content creation doesn’t have to be a chore, but it can be time consuming. Picking the topic, structuring the post, and fine-tuning those paragraphs to achieve your word count and hit all the keywords can definitely eat up a couple hours. But at the end of the day, that relevant content will help your lead generation… which brings me to my next point:

Be Irresistible

Blog posts should be informative and/or entertaining. Depending on your topic and brand, the “entertaining” part could be flexibly subjective. Engaging might be a better word for it. But whatever you are writing, make it irresistibly useful and needed to your audience. How-Tos, Tips & Tricks, and other kinds of “guides” are very useful types of content that can easily be tailored to fit your niche audience.

Actionable Items

Offer your readers actionable items to apply in their own lives. One of the most successful types of blogs are recipe/cooking/baking blogs (like this one, which I discovered almost a decade ago because Google rankings had my old fiction writing name, AM Baker right there with the blog). Recipe blogs are insanely successful because they have useful recipes that people are willing to scroll through in order to carry out a useful, desirable action. When you offer how-to’s and DIY posts, it’s great to offer useful knowledge. It’s even better if you can include a specific project, recipe, or even a freebie printable for you readers to have a useful takeaway.

Photos and & Video

Finding relevant photos can be time-consuming, though I have a few go-to spots like Pexels to find free stock photos that can make my site look fresh and relevant with pictures. I use my own photography or images on occasion, but my goal is always two to three images with relevant, descriptive captions for every blog post.

Pre-Plan Your Post

Plan your post before you begin writing. Think of your topic and make some notes. Consider what points you’d like to include, and this is a really good time to remember what your English teacher taught you about Topic Sentences, Main Ideas, and Supporting Sentences. I know, you never thought you’d have to revisit that boring, tedious essay structure again…

If using a graphic organizer helps, or taking notes by hand is your thing, go for it. Blog posts will become an easier task with time, but especially at first, a little organization and time dedicated to brainstorming is a great idea.

BlogPostChecklist
Download and Print in the link below!

 

I am including this BlogPostChecklist for you. It includes reminders of important marks to hit–like a minimum of one-thousand words–and includes some space to name your blog post topic, take some notes, and define the actionable items you can include. Graphic organizers like these can be really helpful for simply getting the work done. It’s easy to stare at a blank screen when you don’t have a clear vision of what you need to write.

 

Write Your Post!

Once you’ve written your post, make sure to preview it in whatever platform you are using. I currently use WordPress, and am familiar with the way Preview works and I usually save my drafts, then schedule them ahead so that I have to edit and revise, or simply avoid the procrastinating monster.

Let me know how your blog post writing process goes. I’m curious to hear about your own process, or comments and suggestions you may have. I hope this tutorial of sorts was helpful and possibly helped you understand that writing a blog post isn’t hard–it’s just a matter of making an outline, sticking to it, and giving the audience something they can really use.

Contact Us!

We would love to hear about your process. A lot of my clients could write their own blog posts, but their businesses don’t leave a lot of time for putting together those posts once a week. This is where we can definitely help you! If you’re looking for great content written with organic SEO in mind, please contact us to find out more about our blog writing services. We offer blog writing services for many industries and can craft tailor-made posts that are meant for your audience.

I look forward to hearing about your journey in blog writing!

 

Until next time,

AngiBaker-4
Owner of Moonphase Creative, a company all about writing and design.

Angi

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