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:
- 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
- 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!
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.
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:
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.
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!).
We’ve all seen articles with headlines like this:
Top 5 Tips to Grow Your Business
or: Things to Consider when Growing Your Business
or: How to Grow Your Business and Dominate the World!
Twitter is usually 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.
Here are some reasons why I prefer my business to stay small:
Is your website optimised for search engines? That’s great. The big question, however, is which keyword phrases your pages are optimised for – and do people actually type those terms into search engines?
Many websites obviously rank well for their own business name, brand or product names. Unless your branded names are incredibly common, it’s not hard at all to rank well for these, particularly if they are in your domain name or page URLs.
It’s the more generic keyword phrases your target market may be using that you want to know about, so you can optimise your pages for them and get new people (potential customers) who don’t yet know about you to find your website. You want to find the search terms people use when looking for the type of products/services you offer and target those.
Keyword density. That’s a term that refers to how many times you use a certain keyword phrase on a web page as a percentage of the total number of words on that page.
Some people offering SEO services hammer on about making sure your text has a certain keyword density (e.g. that 3% or 10% or whatever of your text should consist of your targeted keywords).
Well, guess what? That’s nonsense. (And don’t just take it from me, listen to Google. See Matt Cutt’s webmaster video below.)
There is NO magic number when it comes to keyword density in SEO.
I have just become aware of the impending launch of Short Sharp Digital, a new industry group/creative hub for “digital screen media producers” on the Mid North Coast of NSW.
Because at the time of writing (30 November 2011), not much information is out there yet about this group, I decided to write this blog post about it, so maybe a few more people on the Coffs Coast will become aware of it.