Marketing

Should You Use a Content Site Like MySmartBlog?

Blog, Blogging, Content Marketing, Marketing

Should you use a content site like MySmartBlog?

Hell no.

Here’s why.

“In some cases, content is deliberately duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic. Deceptive practices like this can result in a poor user experience, when a visitor sees substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results.”

You know who said that?

Google did.

You know what they might do about it?

“In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.”

It is the cardinal rule of content marketing: ONLY USE ORIGINAL CONTENT THAT DOESN’T APPEAR ELSEWHERE.

Google Chooses Which of the Multiple Identical Articles to Show on the SERPs

Google’s algorithm isn’t stupid. In fact, it’s smarter than a lot of people are. It’s only going to rank one — or maybe two — of the multiple copies of the same, exact content that dozens (or more) of websites have.

What is MySmartBlog Doing? (And Why Isn’t it Actually Smart?)

MySmartBlog gives the same content to multiple people in the same industry… and they actually charge people for it.

They’re selling people the same article, and those people think they’re doing themselves a favor by posting it on their websites.

Here’s an example of an article pushed out by MySmartBlog. See, dozens of people have it on their websites, verbatim:

Duplicate Content is Bad - Unique Web Copy

 

Unfortunately, like I said, there’s no way Google is going to rank all those pages. When you type in an exact-match for a partial title, only two of the sites are ranked:

Duplicate Content BAD - Unique Web Copy, Angie Papple Johnston

What Can Happen if You Use MySmartBlog?

Each person who buys this content is flirting with a Google penalty. Even if Google never hits them with a manual penalty, nobody’s ever going to see those posts through the search engines (and that’s one of the points of setting up a blog: to capture traffic from the search engines).

Here’s Google’s own Matt Cutts on article marketing and snagging content that everyone else is snagging, too:

Even in 2011, Moz called out article marketing (the same stuff that MySmartBlog is doing):

Should You Use MySmartBlog?

Here’s the deal.

Even if your own blog posts suck, you’re better off doing it yourself than you are using MySmartBlog.

Seriously.

Even if they’re terrible.

Original content (even with grammatical errors and a few typos here and there) beats the crap out of putting up one copy of one post that other people already have.

Don’t waste your money. Their base package is something like $100 per month… if you take 15 minutes and put together a terrible, awful, horrible, no-good, rotten blog post, you’ll be doing better than the people who are scammed into buying content from MySmartBlog.

How Many Words Can Fit in a Tri-Fold Brochure?

Blog, Brochures, Content Marketing, Copywriting, How-To, Marketing

 

How Many Words Can Fit in a Tri-Fold Brochure?

If you’re creating a brochure for your business, it needs to reflect the professionalism and high quality of service you provide.

That means you need to hire a writer who knows exactly how many words can fit in a tri-fold brochure (and a bi-fold, and a single-page flyer… you get the picture).

At most, a tri-fold brochure can fit 350 words. On the low end, you’ll have about 200 words.

Why Only 350 Words?

Consider this: people who pick up brochures want to see photos, and they need the information to be “scannable” — just like it is on your website.

You’ll need headers, pictures, and text that’s large enough to read.

That means you really need hard-hitting copy. It needs to be clear, concise, and targeted toward your ideal audience so you get the most impact. Your graphic designer will help you with the layout once you have the right text; with a brochure, the layout and graphics are just as important as the copy is.

Brochure Copy - Hire a Brochure Writer

No, Seriously: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!

Blog, Email, Grammar, How-To, Marketing

I’ve written before about why businesses need to know their customers and write for them accordingly.

It just surprises me — a lot — when they don’t.

I got this email this morning with the subject Affordable Blog Writing Offer!:

Hi
I hope you are doing well.

I would like to present one our Blog posting package to you for your website boost in Search Engines and Social Media both. It has been noticed that businesses that blog regularly receive 60% more visitors to their website and better Google caching, crawling and indexing in Google.

We have an expert team of content writing who writes effective blogs with 100% uniqueness and originality with Copyscape checked. If you want to increase traffic to your website with custom and informative blog posting then we have Great Christmas super affordable packages for you starting at US $70 only.

Here are the contents of our Starter Blog Posting Package:

  • No. of Blogs: 10
  • No. of Words per Blog: 300
  • Search Engine Optimized
  • Copyscape Passed Blogs
  • 100% Originality
  • Well Researched Content
  • 100% Copyright Ownership

Let me know if you are interested and I would happy to send you more details on this.

Thanks & Regards,

Aarti Sani
Online Marketing Consultant

What’s Wrong With This Marketing Email?

Aside from the obvious fact that writing is what I do for a living, and despite the fact that this is a completely unsolicited marketing email, here’s what’s wrong, in red:

Hi (who, me?)
I hope you are doing well.

I would like to present one our Blog posting package to you for your website boost in Search Engines and Social Media both. It has been noticed (“it has been noticed” — really? Who noticed it? If you want me to take you seriously, don’t use crappy passive voice; write something like “In a 2014 study [link that text to the study], search engine optimization experts discovered that businesses that blog regularly…”) that businesses that blog regularly receive 60% more visitors to their website and better Google caching, crawling and indexing in Google. See, even if your email was pertinent to me — even if I would buy blog posts for my own website — your abuse of capital letters and your failure to write in the active voice , as well as your inability to form a coherent, easy-to-read sentence, I wouldn’t buy from you… because you can’t write.

We have an expert team of content writing who writes (expert team of content writing? Do you mean team of content-writing experts?) effective blogs with 100% uniqueness and originality with Copyscape checked (you mean that you check using Copyscape? Also, you only have to use Copyscape if you’re dealing with bottom-of-the-barrel writers who may plagiarize… so no, thanks.). If you want to increase traffic to your website with custom and informative blog posting then we have Great Christmas (last I checked, it was September 20) super affordable (super-affordable) packages for you starting at US $70 only (starting at only $70, you mean.).

Here are the contents of our Starter Blog Posting Package:

  • No. of Blogs: 10 (Seriously? $7 per post? That price certainly reflects the quality you’ll deliver.)
  • No. of Words per Blog: 300 (Let me just say this: a blog is an entire entity. A blog post is one post. One more time: a blog is the entire collection of posts; a blog post is just one document that belongs ON a blog.)
  • Search Engine Optimized
  • Copyscape Passed Blogs (Copyscape-passed, and it’s blog posts.)
  • 100% Originality (Isn’t that what you’re saying when you say the posts can pass Copyscape? You’re being redundant.)
  • Well Researched Content (Well-researched. And yeah, right… for $7 per post? Haha.)
  • 100% Copyright Ownership (Naturally, when you pay for something, you own it.)

Let me know if you are interested and I would happy to send you more details on this.

Thanks & Regards, (I hate the ampersand in professional communication. It makes you seem so lazy.)

Aarti Sani
Online Marketing Consultant

I’m really tired of getting marketing emails. Maybe if any of the emails I got actually pertained to me, I’d be interested… but that’s not the worst of it.

The worst is that these marketing emails are completely ineffective. When you’re selling writing, your talent has to be obvious — and you have to target your emails properly. This mass email isn’t targeted at anyone in particular, and they’ve wasted a colossal amount of time putting it together.

I sure hope they didn’t waste $7 on it.

Don’t make yourself look stupid. If you’re marketing, research what you’re doing or hire someone who knows how to do it correctly.

Why EVERY Business Needs to Know its Customers

Blog, Content Marketing, Marketing

Like me, you’re in business – and if you’re smart (like me), you know that you need to know your audience.

Why would you waste time barking up the wrong tree?

Every Business Needs to Know its Customers

I got an email from someone who was way off the mark. I don’t know why he was way off the mark; chances are that he bought an email list or hired an idiot as his content marketer.

Naturally, I took out the links to his website – but here’s the text in blue (and my take on what’s wrong with it in red):

Hi, (Hi, who? Me? You don’t even have the time or tools to automatically personalize your marketing materials?)

Successful entrepreneurs are infinitely fascinating to me. (Why is this all about you? That’s not how you market.) I find that they’re all courageous risk-takers balanced by good business sense, and I love learning what makes them tick. For my website, [his website], I’m starting to explore areas of entrepreneurship that are often overlooked. (You, you, YOU! You lost me – when you intrude on my inbox with a sales pitch, and this isn’t my throwaway email that I use to sign up for junk, you should make it all about me right off the bat. That’s how you connect with your customers.)

Because many real estate agents work for real estate companies, we don’t often think of them as entrepreneurs. But they certainly are. Needing the same mix of business sense, sales skills, and penchant for risk-taking to be successful as every other entrepreneur. (Yes, real estate agents are great. They’re hard-working, smart, and connected – but why are you telling me this?)

I was hoping you might be open to being interviewed for a guest article. (I’ve been interviewed for articles before, which was great, but what do you want me to talk about?) My hope (Why are you using the word hope again? Sounds weird and forced.) is that you would answer the questions below for me, then I’ll do a write up on you and your career achievements for you to post on your website. (On my site?!) I would just ask that I be able to include a link to [his website] in the bio I include with my article. (AHA! You want a free backlink from a strong website. Not a chance, home skillet! What he’s proposing is actually a badly orchestrated dance with Google, who says it’s one form of a link scheme.)

Here are the questions. If you have the time, please send me your responses, and I’ll get started on the piece:

-Why did you decide to go into real estate? (Wait, wut?)

-What do you love about being a real estate agent in your area? (Hang on – I’m not a real estate agent.)

-What’s your proudest career moment as a real estate agent? (I had a real estate license in Michigan for a year. Know how many homes I sold? None. I’m not a Realtor(R)… I’m a writer.)

-In your opinion, what’s the biggest challenge real estate agents face and what do you do in your own career to overcome it? (Dude, I’m not a Realtor. I write for Realtors.)

Of course, if you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you! (No, I don’t have any questions. None, because your email clearly does not apply to me. But you’d know that, and you wouldn’t have sent it, if you knew your audience.)

All the best,

Dean

[His website]

[His address]

Phoenix, AZ 85041
[His email address]

Why would any self-respecting business owner let that escape with their name on it?

This is terrible marketing. TERRIBLE. Swing and a miss! Not a regular miss, either. Like a serious miss.

Do everyone a favor: know your audience or hire someone who does. If you don’t, you look stupid and waste your resources at the same time.