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5 Ways to Develop your Brand Image with FAQs

When creating content for a website, I often recommend that clients create a Frequently Asked Questions page or FAQs blog article. Why are FAQ pages so valuable?

FAQs develop brand image

Rich in Keywords

First, FAQ pages are rich in keywords. By asking and answering questions related to your business, you use keywords specific to your industry. These keywords help a website rank higher on Google and other search engine results pages.

Resonate with Your Audience

Second, FAQs let your brand speak for itself. By incorporating your company’s authentic personality and voice, you create messaging that resonates with the audience. Not every question/answer needs to be serious. People love a good laugh. Don’t be afraid to add a couple of fun or offbeat questions and answers, if you think your audience is open to them.

Build Credibility

Third, FAQs show the audience that you’re a knowledgeable authority in your industry. Credibility is important when clients make purchasing decisions.

Differentiate Your Brand

Fourth, FAQs differentiate your brand from your competition. By emphasizing what sets you apart, you describe the value of working with you, not someone else.

Save Time

Fifth, FAQs save you time. Once clients sign a contract, schedule an initial consultation, or register for your services, you can refer them to your FAQs page. Here they’ll learn more about you and what to expect as your client, thus saving you the time answering the same questions over and over.

FAQs in Action

Lastly, let me show you how this works – by creating an FAQ page about FAQs!

Q: How many FAQs to a page?

I suggest that clients pick 6 or 7 questions to answer. What do people really want to know about your business? Include questions that clients are actually asking.

Q: How do I arrange FAQs?

When arranging your questions, group similar topics together. This arrangement creates natural transitions between questions and improves the flow of information. As a result, readers are more likely to engage in the content, which is just what you want because engagement leads to action. You may even want to add subtitles to divide questions and answers into scannable content.

Q: How do I write FAQs?

Questions and answers should be written in language that your clients will understand, so avoid jargon or complex information that leads to more questions. Keep the FAQs simple and straight-forward, with answers written from your client’s perspective. Try to answer questions in a positive way, telling the audience what to do, not what to avoid. When feasible, add images to help explain your words.

Q: How do I format FAQs?

Make them reader-friendly. Don’t make your readers work to find the information they want by scrolling through long paragraphs. Instead, I recommend a jump feature or an accordion design. The questions are visible, and when a user clicks on a question, an answer appears. The FAQs expand and contract like an accordion. Additionally, questions can be formatted in bold or underlined to separate them from the answers.

Q: How do I promote engagement?

Promote engagement by linking the questions and answers to articles or web pages related to your topic. You’ll also want to end the page or post with a Call to Action that encourages visitors to take the next step. Be sure to update the page or post regularly to keep your content fresh and emphasize what’s new at your business.

Q: How can Writer to the Rescue help with FAQs?

By working with Writer to the Rescue, you receive professionally written and formatted FAQs that are ready for publication. FAQs are an important part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Contact the Wonder Writer at 920-639-1865 to get started.

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gathering information for a blog

Gathering information for a blog

When I begin blogging for a client, we review three main points. First, we talk about what the client wants to accomplish by blogging. Second, we talk about the logistics of gathering information for a blog, writing, and publishing the articles and images. Lastly, we discuss ways to market the blog. Let’s take a closer look at gathering information for a blog.

gathering information for a blog

Gathering information for a blog

As a ghost writer, I often blog in first-person, so each article has to reflect a client’s personality. A conversation over the phone or in person lets me capture my client’s individuality. I translate his or her ideas into a credible, readable article. We discuss the tone to strike with the audience. Formal or casual? First person (as if they’re writing it themselves) or second person (from an outside observer).

To make the best use of my clients’ time when gathering information for a blog, I often cover 2-3 topics in one phone interview. Additionally, we connect during their downtime, not their busy time.

Identifying specific keywords

We talk about keywords for their industry, and specifically, for their business. For example, I blog for an asphalt company that provides four services: paving, striping, seal coating, and crack repair. I work those four keywords (and other keywords) into their blogs. Keywords help a website rank better on Google and other search engine results pages. Users who type in a query like “Seal coating companies in Green Bay” can connect with companies that offer this service.

Furthermore, keywords are my guide to optimization techniques. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) includes links, images, tags, page titles, and page descriptions. I use the keywords I gather from a client to complete this behind-the-scenes optimization.

Giving clients control over content marketing

Once I’m done gathering information for a blog, I begin writing. After a blog is written, it’s time to get the client’s seal of approval. Thereby, my client maintains control over the message, which is so important when defining and maintaining a brand image. The first set of revisions is included in my base price.

Working together to tell a story

Gathering information for a blog is just part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. By working with a professional blogger, my clients develop marketing and branding strategies that get results. A content marketing expert like Writer to the Rescue skillfully tells each client’s story.

Contact the Wonder Writer at 920-639-1865 to discuss how we can work together on blogs, website content, news releases, or magazine articles.

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written content

How good content builds your customer base

content writing

I previously worked with a client who needed fresh content for his revamped website. As it turns out, the text on his old website had been “borrowed” from another company. Needless to say, it didn’t reflect my client’s products, brand identity, or way of doing business. It was just a quick way to fill a page. Copycat content certainly is never a good idea.

Website pages are more likely to engage the audience by being authentic, original, and conversational. Above all, this is what builds customer trust. The audience will be pulled into the message as a result. They’ll see the company as a solution-focused adviser and expert.

Emotionally connect with the audience

The goal of good content writing is to emotionally connect with the audience. This involves sharing useful information that answers the customers’ basic questions. Furthermore, the focus needs to be on the consumer’s desire to learn “What will this product/service mean to me?” and “How does this make me feel?”

Focus on your customer’s success

Here’s an example of a shift in focus, from company-focused to consumer-focused. The first example is written from the perspective of the marketing company, working for a manufacturing firm.

“Company X is a team of marketing and branding professionals based in Janesville, Wisconsin. We help manufacturers tell their story and build their brand. Our customer-focused, proven strategies allow manufacturers to develop a comprehensive marketing campaign at a small price.”

Write from the customer’s perspective

In contrast, the second is written from a customer-focused angle. It describes what the marketing services will mean to the client (growth and success). This example also spikes an emotion: anxiety. It also provides a solution (simple, understandable strategies).

“Company X, Janesville, helps manufacturers grow and succeed through smart marketing and branding strategies. We understand the marketing anxiety manufacturers face. That’s why we offer a full scope of simple, understandable strategies. We provide everything a small manufacturer needs to present a “big company” presence.”

Most importantly, the second example shows a concern for the client’s success. It has a “We’re in this together” feel of a partnership rather than a top-down approach.

Build relationships via written content

Essentially, relationships are at the heart of sales conversions. Building these relationships through clear and compelling content is the key to developing loyal customers. Certainly, original content that tells a company’s unique story is a good place to start.

Work with a marketing professional

For website content that builds a loyal customer base, contact the Wonder Writer, 920-639-1865 or Joan@WriterToTheRescue.com.

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blogging

Bloggers’ Bible: 10 Tips to Get You Rolling

First time blogger? Blogging is an effective way to define your niche and interact with others online. Blogging fosters your relationship with your audience and sets you apart as an industry expert. Bloggers who capture the attention of their audience reap the benefits, becoming well-respected sources of products and services.

Here are 10 tips to get you started as a blogger.

  1. Brainstorm ideas. Consider what people want to know. I chose this topic after talking with a business owner at a banquet. He wanted to start blogging and didn’t know how. What questions did you answer today?
  2. Consider your brand image. The content you create and share is a reflection of your company. Make sure your messaging style is consistent with your overall marketing plan.
  3. Write an outline. Consider your key points and put them in order.
  4. Share your expertise. You’d be surprised by how much knowledge you have of your industry.
  5. Keep it interesting. Write in a conversational style that fits your audience. Use transition words (in addition, because, seems like, etc.) so people read it start to finish. Make it a readable length (300-350 words), and use subheadings, lists or bullet points to break up the copy.
  6. Write an introduction and a conclusion. Begin with a sentence that draws people into the blog, and end with a sentence that leaves them satisfied.
  7. Read it aloud, slowly. Look at every word individually and how it fits in a sentence. Remove or rework awkward phrases. Divide lengthy sentences (20 words or more) into shorter sentences.
  8. Use spell check. Save yourself the embarrassment of typos and misspellings. If your blog is peppered with errors, you undermine your authority as an expert.
  9. Create a list of headlines. Incorporate attention-getting phrases, like “How to…, Why you should…, The future of…, 5 ways to…” Take your time and write a winner.
  10. Promote your blog. Share it on Facebook and LinkedIn. Link to it in your company’s eNewsletter. Send it to media outlets as a feature article or letter to the editor.

Every blogger begins somewhere. I hope you use these tips to start blogging.

If you’re still gun shy, contact Writer to the Rescue at 920-639-1865 to discuss how we can work together on blogs, website content, news releases, magazine articles, and more.

blogging
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blogging

The Secret to Blogging Success

As an experienced professional blogger, I have discovered the secret to blogging success. Commitment. Blogging isn’t a flash-in-the-pan experience. Instead, it’s an ongoing campaign that takes time, energy, and resources. Simply put, a successful blog takes work. That’s why it helps to partner with a professional like Writer to the Rescue. We are your accountability buddy, motivating you to stay on track.

Envisioning the outcome

There are lots of good reasons to blog. For example, blogging is a great way to express your brand’s identity through images and storytelling. Blogs help you separate yourself from the competition by explaining what’s uniquely you. Plus, you can share your company culture. Give readers insight into how and why you do what you do. This helps you attract good employees.

blogging

Increasing traffic

If your company is active on social media, it’s smart to amplify the reach of your blog by posting it to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You share your original content while building relationships with your social media fans. Fans go from your social media networks to your website. In this way, blogging increases traffic to your website where visitors are converted to customers.

Striking the right chord

You want fans to think: “How interesting.” “What a great read.” Then you’re hitting on the right cylinders. Your blogs are readable and informative. Plus, they demonstrate your authority on a topic of interest. Who doesn’t want to be known as an expert in their field? As a go-to resource when a person needs your product or service? In a blog, you can announce changes to your location or services, promote upcoming events, introduce new products, or celebrate milestones.

Getting noticed online

Surprisingly, blogs aren’t written just for the human eye. They also get the attention of search bots on the web. Blogs add depth to a website, further cementing your company’s authority and digital presence. If optimized properly, blogs can be rich in keywords, links, and images, thereby helping to improve a website’s organic ranking. Bottom line: Blogs help you get found on the internet as an essential part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Trusting a blogging professional

Interested in learning more about blogging? Ready to sign on with the professional blogging services of Writer to the Rescue? Give us a call today, 920-639-1865.

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inbound marketing

Why Inbound Marketing Fits Today’s Advertising Landscape by Being Attuned to Your Clients

inbound marketingAt Writer to the Rescue I interact with a lot of savvy entrepreneurs who know how to generate leads and make sales. One of my newest clients mentioned “inbound marketing” when he contacted me about blog writing, e-newsletters, and website content. What exactly is inbound marketing, and how can it help me grow my business?

Inbound marketing is less about transactions and more about relationships.

Gone are the days of selling products by touting their advantages. People today shy away from the overt advertising and hard-sell techniques of outbound marketing. Instead of using direct tactics, you want to blend in. You don’t want to look salesy.

Inbound marketing relies on creating valuable experiences and making positive impressions.

The foundation of inbound marketing is content that provides value to customers, builds relationships, and forms connections. For example, when blogging for a wedding venue, my message needs to answer the questions the bride is asking. A blog about decorating explains who’s responsible for set up and clean up, what decorations come with the venue, when the venue is open for decorating, how many decorations are needed, and other information specific to the wedding. The bride isn’t looking for general tips–she’s probably pinned tons of ideas from Pinterest. She’s looking for a personalized guide to one, specific venue. You want a blog article geared to brides who are detail-oriented and motivated to organize as much as possible before their big day. When choosing a venue, the bride wants to know the venue is attuned to details large and small.

Inbound marketing can be modified to fit your business and target market.

So, now it’s time to consider your own business. What will provide value to the clients you serve? Do you have insider tips to share? Concepts that seem ordinary to you may be something new and interesting to your clients. They visited to your website or read your blog post because they have questions, and they leave with answers. More importantly, they leave with a fuller understanding of how you do business. Create content that addresses their questions, and you build credibility and trust for your company while attracting interested prospects.

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Story in American Funeral Director

Is your company effectively telling its story?

Story in American Funeral DirectorI know a great story idea when I hear one. After all, I worked at a newspaper for nearly 10 years. I knew one of my clients had a great story to tell, and I was the one to tell it. I pitched the story of East Coast-native-turned-Wisconsin-mayor to “American Funeral Director,” a trade magazine that reaches over 10,000 funeral professionals in the U.S. The magazine editor was interested in the story from the start. In addition to industry news, the print/online magazine shines the spotlight on funeral directors making a difference in their communities.

Storytelling starts with an interview

I sat down to a bowl of chili at O.J.s Midtown Diner in Gillett to interview James Beaton, Legacy Funeral Chapels funeral director and Gillett mayor. I learned about the twists and turns in life that led James to relocate from New Hampshire to Wisconsin and eventually become mayor of Gillett. After the interview we went to Zippel Park where the fire department was conducting a training exercise. I wanted to snap photos of James in action as mayor.

Story of Gillett Mayor James Beaton Storytelling requires images

Orange cones were set out, and firefighters were taking turns driving the engines through the course. Little did I know, James has a commercial driver’s license, and he maneuvered the course with no trouble. The photo of him giving a thumbs up from the cab of the fire truck was published with the article in “American Funeral Director.” (Red fire engines make great photos!) The article also shows photos I took of James on Main Street in Gillett and at his funeral home in Green Bay. If you’d like to see the article, visit “American Funeral Director.”

The story needs to be shared

Now that the story has reached the eyes of funeral professionals around the U.S., it was time to share the story with the local audience. I returned to Gillett to snap photos of James with city leaders at City Hall. I wrote and distributed a news releases to local media outlets and posted an article to the Legacy Funeral Chapels blog, city website, and Facebook. James’ story is a feel-good account that generated buzz in the community and effectively sets him apart from his competition.

My fingerprints are on every detail of this project, and I count it among my best work. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to tell James’ story.

A good story is the foundation of Content Marketing

What story are you aching to tell the world? Content marketing has its foundation in good storytelling, and Writer to the Rescue is ready to get started. Contact Writer to the Rescue today.

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Ghostwriting for blogs, website content

5 Reasons why you should hire a ghostwriter

Writer to the Rescue is a ghostwriter for blogs, website content, articlesI often hear this comment from clients: “I’m not a writer. Can you help?” That’s when I become their ghostwriter. I take their thoughts and ideas, organize them, and write them down. Ghostwriting is a well-established and well-accepted practice in the age of digital marketing.

Why hire a ghostwriter?

Here are five reasons why you should hire a ghostwriter:

  1. It saves you time. Managing a business requires time and attention, and outsourcing some of the work to a ghostwriter lets you focus on your core business. Businesses have hired marketing professionals for years, and today’s digital marketing material includes website content, blog articles, and social media posts.
  2. You don’t have to be a talented writer. The business owners I write for are great communicators, but they don’t always have confidence in their writing. As a ghostwriter, I am the bridge between ideas and words.
  3. You don’t have to be a techie. Clients rely on Writer to the Rescue to post their blogs, upload their website content, and do other techie work. I work with a “league of superheroes” at Packerland Websites who are digital media professionals helping you get found on the internet.
  4. You have input from start to finish. Before I write for you, we will meet at your business (if possible) and have a long talk. Collaboration helps the content ring true. In my writing, I will try to convey your voice, attitude, and style, so the content is authentically yours. Before posting or distributing, I will send you a draft to review and revise.
  5. No more procrastinating. A key to increasing business revenue is to create a compelling marketing message that addresses your prospects’ needs. Business owners know this, but they don’t always set aside the time for regular follow-through. When you work with a ghostwriter, your blog will get done. Your website content will get done. After years in journalism, I am good at meeting deadlines.

End goal is conversions

The job of a ghostwriter is to engage the audience, convey your brand, and build your authority and expertise in your industry. The end goal is conversions. Contact me to get started as your ghostwriter for articles, press releases, website content, blogs, and marketing materials.

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Writing professionals and freelancers at Untitled Town

10 Tips for Freelancers: Writing Is A Lucrative Business

Writing professionals and freelancers at Untitled Town
As room host at the Untitled Town Book and Author Festival, I had the pleasure of introducing this panel of writers.

At the Untitled Town Book and Author Festival last weekend I gained inspiration from the writing professionals who told their stories of success. Writing can be a lucrative business. Here’s what they recommended:

  1. Have confidence in your writing abilities: Writers have a marketable skill. Everyone can write, but not everyone can write well.
  2. Be inquisitive: Always be looking for good topic ideas to pitch to clients. Pitch ideas based on what you know, who you know, what’s trendy, and what deserves attention. Find something from your background that relates to the topic.
  3. Match styles of writing: Read the blog or publication before you write your articles to get a feel for their content.
  4. Value your time: Charge what you think you’re worth, not what you think the customer expects to pay.
  5. Set your price: Narrow down the scope of the job and estimate the time it’s going to take before you set a price. Offer to revise your content twice before charging an additional fee.
  6. Build your reputation: Pay-per-click ads on Facebook can be effective, but nothing compares to word-of-mouth referrals. When you complete a project, ask your customers to leave a review.
  7. Meet deadlines: Writers who miss deadlines frustrate their clients. Plan ahead, set a schedule, and use your time wisely. Hit your deadlines every time.
  8. Set goals: Have a target in mind to reach, like quarterly sales or the number of projects completed in a month. Goals give you something to work toward.
  9. Develop an effective website: Your website is your storefront, so make sure it represents you well.
  10. Get entrenched in a niche: By specializing, you can have a longstanding and profitable relationship with a client.

Try out some of these ideas to earn some money for your writing.

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NWTC student success

From the check-out counter to the research lab

NWTC student successNote: Here’s an inspiring story I wrote for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, where I earned my marketing degree.

NWTC student Natasha Clark has come a long way from her days working at the check-out counter of a Lakewood grocery store. After graduating from Laona High School she tried a semester of college, but it wasn’t a good fit. At age 23, she wanted to return to college. She wasn’t sure how, but she knew she wanted something better for herself and her 2-year-old daughter. Going online one night she came across the NWTC Lab Science Technician program, and it changed her life. She enrolled in the introductory year of the LST program in 2016 and will be one of the first graduates of the college program this spring.

“I drive an hour and 20 minutes every day to school, but I love it.”

An Associate Degree is just the first step toward Natasha’s goal of becoming a research scientist. “Since I started taking classes I really fell in love with research, and I’ve decided to go on and earn my bachelor’s degree and hopefully, eventually earn a Ph.D.,” she said.

She is steadily moving toward this goal. For the past year, she’s interned in the physical testing lab at Nature’s Way in Green Bay and will soon transfer to the microbiology lab. She is wrapping up an independent research project at NWTC and plans to study cellular molecular biology at UW-Green Bay next fall. NWTC biology instructor Angelo Kolokithas has witnessed Natasha’s transformation from a shy student to a confident, hardcore scientist.

“She’s like a sponge in every class, and she’s a good thinker.”

“She’s the one always asking the thought-provoking, ethical questions,” he said. Angelo and his colleagues developed the LST curriculum with a two-fold mission, to be rigorous enough to transfer to a bachelor’s degree and practical enough to teach skills for the workplace. Students in the program experience how research is done in real research science labs.

“Students can actually perform their own scientific research, which is unheard of at most tech colleges,” Angelo said.
Natasha said her interest in science is what keeps her motivated to learn more. The hands-on lab experiences, small class sizes, and personalized attention from her instructors made her learning experience even better.

“I gained a lot of practical knowledge regarding the tools and the procedures used in labs.”

She hopes that someday her research will lead to a significant break-through or discovery. “This program really helped my self-confidence. I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to do it, but I got here and everyone was so helpful and nice. They really gave me the boost of self-confidence I needed to go on to school,” she said.

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