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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) vs Search Engine Optimization (SEO): What's the Difference?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) vs Search Engine Optimization (SEO): What's the Difference? | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Free whitepaper explains the difference between Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Which practice should your small business focus on? Or is it both? Download your free copy today!
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17 Words to Stop Using on Your Landing Pages - Unbounce

17 Words to Stop Using on Your Landing Pages - Unbounce | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Sleazy sales talk turns off prospects and dampens conversion rates. Here are 17 common phrases you should avoid using in your landing page copy.
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Here’s a list of words that you might want to ban from your web copy because they’re overused, meaningless or a tad sleazy.

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Seven Bad Writing Habits You Learned in School - Copyblogger

Seven Bad Writing Habits You Learned in School - Copyblogger | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
What is good writing?

Ask an English teacher, and they'll tell you good writing is grammatically correct. They'll tell you it makes a point and supports it with evidence. Maybe, if they're really honest, they'll admit it has a scholarly tone -- prose that sounds like Jane Austen earns an A, while a paper that could've been written by Willie Nelson scores a B (or worse).

Not all English teachers abide by this system, but the vast majority do. Just look at the writing of most graduates, and you'll see what I mean. It's proper, polite, and just polished enough not to embarrass anyone. Mission accomplished, as far as our schools are concerned.

But let me ask you something:

Is that really good writing?

I think most good writers listen to the way English teachers want them to write and think, "This isn't real. It has no feeling, no distinctiveness, no oomph. You're the only person in the world who would willingly read it. Everyone else would rather chew off their own eyelids than read more than three pages of this boring crap." And they're right.

Compare an award-winning essay to a best-selling novel, and you'll notice that they are written in almost completely different languages. Some of it has to do with the audience, sure. It's natural to write differently for academics than you would for everyday people. But my question is: who are you going to spend more time writing for?

My guess: everyday people -- your family and friends, your blog audience, your boss at work, maybe even a Letter to the Editor every now and again. None of them are academics. None of them want to read an essay.

Personally, I think good writing doesn't have to be educated or well supported or even grammatically correct. It does have to be interesting enough that other people want to read it. Much of what comes out of high schools and universities fails this test, not because our students are incapable of saying anything interesting, but because a well-meaning but flawed academic system has taught them a lot of bad habits.

Let's go through some of them.

1. Trying to sound like dead people

It's a sad state of affairs when the youngest writer on your reading list has been dead 100 years, but that's the way it is in school.

I don't know who exactly decides what's worth reading and what's not, but they (whoever "they" are) believe in reading the "classics," and most of those classics are centuries old. What's worse is that many teachers hold up the classics as examples of what good writing is, and they expect you to mimic those writers with your essays.

Sure, Chaucer and Thomas More and Shakespeare were the stud muffins of their day, but you don't see them on the New York Times Bestseller List now.

Not because they aren't good (they were freaking great), but because people can't connect with them. By mimicking their style, you might make a few teachers happy, but you're essentially handicapping your writing in the eyes of the public.

If you want to make a connection, you're much better off studying the hot writers of today -- like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Seth Godin. Watch what they do, and play with using some of their techniques in your own writing.

Yes, you'll still be mimicking the work of another writer, but at least you'll be mimicking something people want to read.

2. Expecting someone to hand you a writing prompt

Looking through the eyes of an educator, I can see why telling students what to write about would be useful. You have a bunch of students who couldn't care less about your curriculum, and making them write a paper about the assigned readings is a great way to force them to read the material.

Makes sense . . . but it doesn't make it any less damaging.

One of the biggest challenges of writing is figuring out what to write. Whether you're writing a memo, an article, or a letter to your mother, the process is always the same: you start out with a blank page, and you decide what to put on it.

Sure, that involves considering what your audience will want to read, but no one but you makes the final decision of what to put on the page. That act of deciding is what writing is all about.

3. Writing long paragraphs

Once upon a time, it was acceptable to write paragraphs long enough to fill multiple pages with big blocks of text.

Not surprisingly, that's the way most of us were taught to write: long paragraphs, topic sentences neatly organized, lots of supporting evidence in between assertions. It was the "correct" way to write.

Not.

Any.

More.

Nowadays, most paragraphs should be a maximum of three sentences. It's also a good idea to include some shorter paragraphs with only one or two sentences, using them to punctuate powerful ideas.

It's not so much about having a "correct" length as using paragraphs to give your writing rhythm.

4. Avoiding profanity at all costs

I admit it; this is a controversial one. Many excellent writers still hold that profanity has no place in a professional publication, while others curse like a lovable two-dollar, er, paid companion.

The rest of us sit around feeling uncomfortable and wondering whether it's okay to express ourselves "that way" or not.

So who's right? Well, I think Stephen King says it best:

Make yourself a promise right now that you'll never use "emolument" when you mean "tip" and you'll never say John stopped long enough to perform an act of excretion when you mean John stopped long enough to take a shit. If you believe "take a shit" would be considered offensive or inappropriate by your audience, feel free to say John stopped long enough to move his bowels (or perhaps John stopped long enough to "push"). I'm not trying to get you to talk dirty, only plain and direct.

‘Nough said.

5. Leaning on sources

Most kids I knew hated digging up sources and quoting them in their papers, but not me. No, the sneaky little bugger that I was (and still am), I realized that sources were an escape route from creativity. With enough quotations from other writers, I could fill up an entire paper without coming up with a single original thought of my own.

And I was rewarded for it. From kindergarten to getting my degree in English Literature, I got an A on all but like five papers.

Here's why: a lot of teachers care more about solid research than original ideas. They don't want to see daring and inventive arguments, challenging the foundation of everything we hold to be true and arguing boldly for a new worldview. To them, it's much more important that you understand the ideas of others and be able to cite them in MLA format.

But real life is the opposite.

Go around citing the sources of all of your ideas and people will start avoiding you, because it's boring as hell.

They don't care who said what, and they aren’t interested in hearing the chronology of an idea. What they want to hear is a new perspective on a favorite topic.

If it comes from you, that's fine. If it doesn't, that's fine too.

6. Staying detached

We are taught that good writing puts the focus on the subject, not the writer. It's unemotional. It gives equal attention to opposing points of view, presenting them all without singling out one as best.

And sometimes, it's true. If you're a scientist, engineer, or a doctor, then maintaining your role as a detached observer is a great idea.

For everyone else though, it's a disaster.

Have you ever read the stuff scientists, engineers, and other so-called "detached observers" write? It's boring! Outside of their exclusive circles, you couldn't pay people to read it.

If you want people to want to read what you write, then you should do the opposite. Be more like Oprah Winfrey, Howard Stern, Gary Vaynerchuk. They are opinionated, have a unique style, and are prone to emotional outbursts.

It's no coincidence. That's what makes them interesting.

7. Listening to "authorities" more than yourself

Who am I to criticize the writing habits you learned in school?

Well . . . nobody.

Yes, I'm a professional writer. Yes, I have a literature degree. Yes, other writers have paid me up to $200 an hour to edit their work, and they've been amazed when all I did was correct the above mistakes.

But that doesn't mean I'm right. In fact, that's probably the most important lesson you can learn about writing:

No one but you is an authority on your writing.

Not me. Not your English teachers. Not Strunk and White and their highfalutin Elements of Style.

The longer you write, the more you'll realize that other writers can't tell you what to do. You should listen to more experienced writers, sure, but never more than you listen to yourself.

Great writers don't learn how to write by sitting in writing courses, reading writing blogs, or browsing Barnes & Noble for yet more books on writing.

They learn how to write by coming to a blank page, writing something down, and then asking themselves if it works.

If it does, they keep it. If it doesn't, they don't. Then they repeat the process until they finish something they feel is worth publishing.

Sadly, most writers don't know this

They labor under the mistaken assumption that there is an invisible standard of good and bad. And they worry that the Writing Police are going to show up at their door any minute, handcuff them, and haul them off to jail for failing to measure up.

If that was true, you wouldn't see a single writer walking the street without one of those blinking bracelets around their ankle.

The truth is that you're in charge. You. The blank page is sitting there, and you can fill it up with whatever the hell you want.

So stop sitting there, silly.

Go for it.

About the Author: Jon Morrow is Associate Editor of Copyblogger and Cofounder of Partnering Profits. Get more from Jon on twitter.
Torus Digital Marketing's insight:

Good article - This is not Victoriana Britain! Remember though  - the customer is always right. Even if that means their website will rarely be read by their target audience. Ok, I've said my piece. Now I'm off to spend the evening with Jack (on the rocks).

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6 random social media tips to help improve your marketing today

6 random social media tips to help improve your marketing today | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
This post originally appeared on the Buffer blog and was republished with permission.



When it comes to helping you out with Social Media, we often like to categorize things. ...
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like this? 

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Inbound Marketing Is a Complete Waste of Money When...

Inbound Marketing Is a Complete Waste of Money When... | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
There's one thing that will make your marketing a complete waste of money until you fix it. Most business owners overlook it because they don't know.
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There are 2 ways of looking at online reputation:

Online reviews (Google+, Yelp, CitySearch, TripAdvisor, etc.)Online mentions (articles, blog posts, videos, reports, etc.)
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The Death of Keyword Ranking Reports? 10 Superior SEO Stats - Moz

The Death of Keyword Ranking Reports? 10 Superior SEO Stats - Moz | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
That goes to the point that these keyword ranking reports may not be reflecting metrics that are important to either your SEO campaign or your business objectives. The big problem is anytime you rank a keyword, you don't ...
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SEO news

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The surprising history of the to-do list and how to design one that actually works - - The Buffer Blog

The surprising history of the to-do list and how to design one that actually works - - The Buffer Blog | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Where do to do lists come from? We've uncovered the surprising history of the to do list and how you can design a to do list that actually works:
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I often use the notepad and calendar on my iphone and ipad for note taking. This way I've instantly have a brief working digital copy for articles and can organise my workload.

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SEO Copywriting Tips, Secrets, and Strategies

SEO Copywriting Tips, Secrets, and Strategies | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
SEO copywriting goes well beyond web page copy with targeted keyword phrases. This free report reveals the tips, secrets, and strategies of writing for search engine optimization.
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This free ebook reveals the tips, secrets, and strategies of writing for search engine optimization.

 
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Torus Digital Marketing - "Be part of the Click"

Torus Digital Marketing - "Be part of the Click" | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it

Digital Content Marketing Social Media Strategies

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Torus Digital Marketing's insight:

http://www.torusdigitalmarketing.com/torus-blog/how-to-improve-your-seo-or-how-to-begin-to-write

 

Maintaining a website can be a time consuming and soul destroying task for business owners. Many small business owners I've spoken to, quickly become disillusioned with the whole concept of online marketing.  

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Torus Digital Marketing's curator insight, January 21, 3:14 PM

http://www.torusdigitalmarketing.com/torus-blog/how-to-improve-your-seo-or-how-to-begin-to-write

 

Maintaining a website can be a time consuming and soul destroying task for business owners. Many small business owners I've spoken to, quickly become disillusioned with the whole concept of online marketing.  

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Why it pays to hire a copywriter

Why it pays to hire a copywriter | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
It may seem like the writing on something as innocuous as a box of hotel soap might not matter, but you never know who might notice.
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TORUS DIGITAL MARKETING creates quality content for all your online requirements. We manage Websites, Social Media, Blogs, PR, Advertising and SEO. We promise you more visibility, more visitors and more sales. - See more at: http://www.torusdigitalmarketing.com/digital-content-marketing/web-content#sthash.E9J8Mg4l.dpuf

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8 Video Types to Add to Your Content Marketing

8 Video Types to Add to Your Content Marketing | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
With so many different ways to incorporate video into your content marketing, there's no excuse not to. Here are eight video production types and how they can be used to increase awareness, build lead generation, and establish trust with customers.
Torus Digital Marketing's insight:

In 2013 you made a decision to use video to connect with your customers. But now the year is almost through and you're still staring at your coworkers trying to understand what that means.

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Google and the Keywords Conundrum - Business 2 Community

Google and the Keywords Conundrum - Business 2 Community | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it

TORUS DIGITAL MARKETING - Welcome to our world

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Has the lack of keyword information impacted your SEO or web efforts?
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/google-keywords-conundrum-0680826#eyGfgK2V4qjERm40.99

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Friends Of Redcar: Birse Inspection of Redcar Beach Rubble

Friends Of Redcar: Birse Inspection of Redcar Beach Rubble | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Birse Civil inspection of the Redcar beach masonry problem
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We made it clear from the off that we were under no illusion that the rubble that is turning up along the coastal defences is debris buried by Birse and now re-emerging due to the movement of the sea and the dissipation of the sand. - See more at: http://friendsofredcar.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/birse-inspection-of-redcar-beach-rubble.html#sthash.33lc3rTH.dpuf

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How Google's Search Changes Affect Small Businesses

How Google's Search Changes Affect Small Businesses | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Google is making it harder for business owners to track how someone gets to a Web site. But there are things an owner can do.
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4 Common Copywriting Mistakes Everyone Makes

4 Common Copywriting Mistakes Everyone Makes | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Seasoned copywriter gives you the heads-up on 4 common writing mistakes and how to spot them
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4. Poor content layout

Remember bullets, paragraph headers, content insets, tabs, etc. These things are available for a reason. Online, people scan. To be frank, long paragraphs are daunting. If you have sentences that drag into three lines or more, forget about it. They aren't going to read.

Use headlines, paragraph headers, bullets and other content goodies to lead the reader down the page.Give them the most important points in the headers and bullets, because this is what they read first.Use bullets with short, to-the-point sentences for important information.Paragraph headers should aptly describe the information they'll read in that section. No more, no less.Sentences should be no longer than 2.5 – 3 lines long. Period.Paragraphs should be no longer than 4 – 5 lines long.



Read more: http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/common-copywriting-errors.html#ixzz32Fus0PQa

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Jobs drive at expanding Redcar manufacturer ElringKlinger (GB)

Jobs drive at expanding Redcar manufacturer ElringKlinger (GB) | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Automotive parts manufacturer ElringKlinger (GB) is on track to double its turnover to £26m and swell headcount by more than 50% by 2016
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Marvellous

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Saving Money on Copywriting and Sales Pages

Saving Money on Copywriting and Sales Pages | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Another great read from Birds on the Blog : I know everyone wants to save a buck or pound, and I get it. I certainly price shop when I have to.

But beating up on your preferred writ[..]
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Whether or not your copywriter ends up using what you write, it is always helpful for the writer to know what you are thinking - See more at: http://birdsontheblog.co.uk/saving-money-on-copywriting-and-sales-pages/#sthash.BmQeCULd.dpuf

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How to Tailor Conversational Keyword Searches Into Your SEO Strategy - Business 2 Community

How to Tailor Conversational Keyword Searches Into Your SEO Strategy - Business 2 Community | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it

Google is constantly changing its algorithms to enhance the results that users’ searches bring.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/seo/tailor-conversational-keyword-searches-seo-strategy-0771221#PMc7OlYKS0s0rlqz.99

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What is a Conversational Keyword Search?

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Three Outstanding Tools to Help Online Students Be Successful

Three Outstanding Tools to Help Online Students Be Successful | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
This post reviews three stellar tools available online for free that help students [online and face-to-face] study individually or in groups, organize course notes and materials, focus on key conte...
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Review on Video No.tes, Evernote and Google Docs

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8 link building strategies that destroy search rankings

8 link building strategies that destroy search rankings | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Learn 8 ways bad link building strategies destroy search rankings, and how to build effective link building strategies to drive organic search traffic.
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A variety of link building strategies to not find your website a victim of. 

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Proof Reading and Copy-Editing

Proof Reading and Copy-Editing | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Torus Digital Marketing uses Flesch to measure readability when proof reading and copy-editing – Be Part of the Click
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Torus Digital Marketing's insight:

Proof Reading your correspondence can mean the difference between winning a contract, passing a qualification or having a profitable website - OR NOT. Be the authority over your work with strong and accurate grammar. 

Proof Reading is more than just a spell check!

 

http://www.torusdigitalmarketing.com/digital-content-marketing/proof-reading

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Torus Digital Marketing's curator insight, January 10, 9:52 AM

Proof Reading your correspondence can mean the difference between winning a contract, passing a qualification or having a profitable website - OR NOT. Be the authority over your work with strong and accurate grammar. 

Proof Reading is more than just a spell check!

 

http://www.torusdigitalmarketing.com/digital-content-marketing/proof-reading

McKenna Welch's curator insight, March 13, 2:09 PM

This article explains what the definition of proof reading is. It says that it is not simply using spell check but actually reading over what you wrote. It also goes into detail about a scale created by the US military to measure the readability of a sentence. I found this article to be sort of challenging to read because there were a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. 

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Torus Digital Marketing - "Be part of the Click"

Torus Digital Marketing - "Be part of the Click" | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it

Torus Digital Marketing based in Teesside - We write Copy for your website, social media, brochures, flyers and tender bids. 

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Torus Digital Marketing's insight:

Struggling to promote your business? Need perspective?

 

From taglines to online marketing campaigns - We make the difference.

 

http://www.torusdigitalmarketing.com/

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Torus Digital Marketing's curator insight, January 16, 9:18 AM

Struggling to promote your business? Need perspective?


From taglines to online marketing campaigns - We make the difference.


http://www.torusdigitalmarketing.com/

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6 Dead Link Building Tactics You Should Avoid - Search Engine Journal

6 Dead Link Building Tactics You Should Avoid - Search Engine Journal | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Thanks to Google’s Penguin algorithm, bad links are a dreaded reality these days. They can cause rankings to tank, along with website traffic and profits.
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Businesses need to understand that SEO is another cost of doing business, just like any other type of marketing. In the next article, I’ll discuss the types of links you should be getting as well as how to help your business thrive in this post-Penguin age.
Read more at http://www.searchenginejournal.com/6-dead-link-building-tactics-avoid/77099/#w3mj3cKQAD2mK457.99

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Enter Copyblogger’s First-Ever Essay Contest For a Chance to Win $7,000 in Content Marketing Prizes

Enter Copyblogger’s First-Ever Essay Contest For a Chance to Win $7,000 in Content Marketing Prizes | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it

TORUS DIGITAL MARKETING - Welcome to our world

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Great content creators demand attention. They grow audiences and influence thousands.

http://www.copyblogger.com/essay-contest-2013/

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Friends Of Redcar: Friends of Redcar Beach Action Group November 2013 at Zetland The Stray

Friends Of Redcar: Friends of Redcar Beach Action Group November 2013 at Zetland The Stray | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
Friends of Redcar Beach Action Group November 2013 at Zetland The Stray
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Well done to all involved :)

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3 Ways to Improve Your Site Evaluator Social Media Score - Fast Track

3 Ways to Improve Your Site Evaluator Social Media Score - Fast Track | SEO Copywriting | Scoop.it
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