Content Writer sports a fresh new look

As of 17 April 2015, this website has a new look. My first redesign in more than 7 years. I’ve adopted a new set of colours and have finally transferred all my old, static pages onto WordPress. My website and blog are now also tied in together much better.

Screenshot of my old HTML website (2007-2015)

This is what my HTML website looked like from late 2007 to early 2015.

From HTML to WordPress

I built my first Content Writer website all by myself, using HTML and Dreamweaver, back in 2007.

Only one or two very minor make-overs followed in the next few years, plus the addition of a WordPress blog – a platform I chose in late 2008 when the choice of platform wasn’t as easy as it is now.

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Why I don’t want to grow my business bigger

We’ve all seen articles with headlines like this:

10 Ways to Grow Your Business

Things to Consider when Growing Your Business

How to Grow Your Business and Dominate the World!

Twitter is often filled with such headlines, linking to stories that promise to teach you how to make your business bigger.

Well, guess what? I’m not interested, thank you very much.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better.

I run a small business. It’s successful. I’m happy. My clients are happy. And I wouldn’t want to change a thing.

7 Reasons I like my business to stay small:

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What’s wrong with my website?

Are you frustrated with your website and how it performs? You’re not alone. Many website owners (often people running a small business) are disappointed that their website isn’t very successful.

Even if your website was created by a professional web designer, there are still countless things that can be wrong with it. But perhaps they’re easily fixed – as long as you know what is actually causing the problems.

Let’s do some troubleshooting!

Here are some typical website problems with possible reasons & solutions:

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Learn SEO content writing – Online SEO & writing courses

Want to learn more about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Writing for the Web (Content Writing)?

Here are some SEO and Web Copywriting courses I recommend. These courses can be taken online, in your own time and at your own pace, making it very convenient.

I have taken courses myself in the past with both Search Engine College and Sydney Writers’ Centre, and I personally vouch for the standards of these course providers, while SEO Book is a known leader in the SEO industry.

All organisations are run professionally by experts and you’ll get true value for your money.

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SEO / SEM – The difference between organic search optimisation and paid search marketing

People often mix up the terms SEO and SEM.  They are actually two entirely different things. so I will clarify both terms below. We are basically talking about organic search engine optimisation (SEO) versus paid search engine marketing (SEM/PPC).

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation

SEM, PPC and SEO explainedWhen you do SEO for your website, you optimise it for the search terms (SEO keywords) you want to rank for in the search engines, so that people will be able to find your site better in the ‘normal’ (organic) search results.

If you know how to optimise your website and do it yourself, SEO doesn’t need to cost any money, only time and knowledge are needed.

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Local Businesses: Get more exposure in Google for free

Is your small business easy to find in Google? No, I don’t mean by typing in your exact business name, that’s easy.

Does your business come up on the first search results page when you type in the kinds of products or services you offer, perhaps in combination with the town or city you’re located in or your service area?

Not only are more people going online (via computer, tablet or smartphone) to search for certain products, services, shops and restaurants, Google is also increasingly moving towards a more locally oriented search engine.

You may have noticed getting more and more search results targeted at your local area, lately often even without entering your location in the search box. Google seems to recognise that many people are actually searching for a business or service in their local area.

What do people type into the search box?

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Writing for the web – 10 basic tips

Writing for websites is different from any other kind of writing.

Visitors to websites don’t spend a lot of time reading text on a website. They quickly scan the page with their eyes and will leave in just seconds if they don’t see anything that interests them or that answers the question they had.

Web content has to ensure people quickly find what they’re looking for. They have to know immediately that they’ve come to the right page, otherwise you my have lost them forever.

Here are some important web writing tips to start with:

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5 Years On: Insights from a Successful SEO Web Copywriter

Five years ago, before the whole world was talking about content marketing and the importance of quality, well-written, valuable web content, I had an idea. I acted upon it. And became successful.

This post explains why I became a dedicated web copywriter 5 years ago, and why I believe I will still be doing this 5 years from now.

This is what I had identified back in 2008:

Celebrating my 5th web copywriting business anniversary

  • The internet was filled with fantastically designed websites – most of which had really crappy content
  • Many businesses were still copying their brochure text straight onto their website, with no usability in mind
  • Very few website owners understood SEO and were at a loss as to how to get people onto their website
  • SEO was still mostly seen as a technical skill and not many copywriters knew anything about it

My conclusion:

  • There was a need for good copywriters with sound knowledge of writing for the web, PR/marketing, website usability and SEO.
    And that was me!
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10 Reasons I Won’t Follow You Back on Twitter

Of all the social media networks, Twitter is my favourite. 

Whenever I’m at my computer, I have Tweetdeck open with column after column of categorised lists of people I follow and saved keyword searches for easy reference. Not just for myself, but also for a number of clients I tweet for. I also regularly check Twitter on my phone.

Personally, I use it mostly to discover interesting content, read breaking news and talk to my peers. That’s what I am getting from it. Because I work alone, Twitter has become my virtual water cooler. A place where I love to hang out.

Twitter egghead profile - why would I follow you back?I’m also giving back in the form of sharing interesting blog posts, developments and other little tidbits and anecdotes some of my followers may find interesting, as well as interacting with my favourite tweeps, responding to their tweets and sharing their posts.

I’m slightly fascinated by the number of followers I’ve built up over the years, but numbers are just that – numbers – and I would never do anything to try to artificially inflate them.

I don’t believe in following everyone back who follows me. That simply makes no sense to me. I only follow people whose tweets I tend to find interesting or useful.

Here are 10 reasons I won’t follow you back on Twitter:

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Effective SEO for accommodation providers

Over the years, I have helped plenty of businesses improve their online presence. I’ve reviewed websites, done keyword research, edited and optimised web content and helped businesses with links, listings and social media.

Local businesses often need the most help, and I am happy to be of assistance where I can – regardless of what the business or organisation does or sells. Funnily enough, when I look back at my list of clients since 2008, some industries seem over-represented in the wide cross-section of businesses that have come to me for help.

I have had multiple accommodation providers, dentists (such as this Coffs Harbour dentist), accountants and physiotherapists as clients, for instance.

Accommodation websites are among my favourites.

I love working on these websites and improving them – making changes that help real potential guests find the site more easily in Google. The basis for any such SEO work is finding specific keyword phrases that potential customers may use and optimising the site for those keywords.

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Celebrating 4 years as a full-time SEO / Web Copywriter and Consultant

It’s the 8th of the 8th – Content Writer’s business birthday!

I officially launched by copywriting and web/SEO consulting business on 08/08/08 so today it’s turning 4.

Triple W Communications Pty Ltd, which it’s a part of, is much older than that, but I started working for myself full-time on the 8th of August 2008.

Some stats and observations

In last year’s blog post celebrating my 3rd business birthday, I noted I had worked for 54 different clients that past year.

That stat has remained almost the same this year (August 2011 – August 2012). A quick count shows I’ve worked for 55 different clients, but it’s worth noting that I have had more repeat work from clients this year than in the year before.

Also, I feel I have been able to strike a better work-life balance in my fourth year. I’ve travelled more (yay!) and spent fewer weekends holed up in my office (yay again!).

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