Important skills to consider when hiring a website content writer

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8 top skills of a professional website content writer

A successful entrepreneur knows when to delegate roles and when not to. As a business owner, one key ingredient for success is giving your business an online presence. Building a website can help boost your marketing efforts as well as revenues. This is a process that requires a number of personnel working towards one common goal; making sure that your website is bringing customers.

Get yourself a simple starter website and start generating leads online now!

Apart from UX experts and website developers, you need to have a professional content team. Content development is what will take the bulk of time in any website development process. Actually, after settling on a design, it is important to start developing content right away so that the website development process can move faster and smoothly.

Here is a checklist of key skills every website content developer must have:

Professional content writer skill #1: Good grammar

The first skill you may want to look for in a content writer is good grammar. Writing is all about communication, and bad grammar puts your brand credibility on the line. In addition, it is important to ensure that your content writer understands your preferred writing style. Some words are, for instance, spelled differently in American English and British English. The type of English used to update your website content should appeal to the geographic location of your target audience. To ensure that the writer has used the right format, avail your company stylebook or let them know in advance the format you prefer for your website.

However, there are some universal grammar mistakes that cannot be forgiven. These include the improper usage of close words such as their vs there, your vs you’re, possessive ‘s and plural, as well as the wrong usage of tenses and consistent voice.

Professional content writer skill #2: Originality

Duplicate content affects your website visibility on search engines. This is why small business owners and professional writers invest in plagiarism checkers and content audit tools. It is hard to tell whether an article has been plagiarized or not by just skimming through. Even the most experienced Linguist can fail to detect a product of good spinning. You can use plagiarism checker such as Grammarly and Copyscape or other free online plagiarism checkers to check post originality.

However, some modern writers are experts at spinning content in order to produce a lot of content with minimal effort. Always ask for references and cross-check with the copy you are receiving to see if it is a product of unprofessional writing practices.

It is essential to also note that apart from outright duplicate content, generic content will also place you at the bottom of the search engine results page (SERP). This is because what you are offering is already being offered by more established competitors.

Professional content writer skill #3: Research skills

From establishing the purpose of the website to determining the website persona, research remains at the core of every content writing assignment. In addition, great research skills enable the writer to have a thorough understanding of the industry they are writing for. This will not only help them with critical phrases to use in their copy but also give them an easy time when developing the copy. If someone writes about an industry or niche they have limited knowledge about, they may end up writing things that do not make sense or are inaccurate.

Professional content writer skill #4: Creativity

Creativity is about looking at something from a different angle. In addition, a creative writer has the ability to write about a wide range of topics. And this is what differentiates your brand and eventually gives you an edge in an increasingly competitive world. A lot of people don’t know exactly what they want. In addition, creativity will help the writer to gauge the user intent and produce an enticing copy that everybody will want to click.

Think about your window shopping experiences. You visit a market then see something attractive in one of the shops but the shopkeeper is not interested to talk to you. Chances of buying that product are minimal. However, if the shopkeeper sees you looking at his/her wares and approaches you with a smile and ‘This one is imported from…’, ‘This shoe matches with your trouser …’, or This TV uses modern technology and comes with inbuilt free-to-air channels’, you are likely to become interested suddenly and even make a decision to buy immediately or later.  In the same way, a professional website content writer is creative enough to know how to phrase and place calls to action to entice visitors to take action.

Professional content writer skill #5: SEO skills

Think about the entire search experience. You need to buy essential oils for aromatherapy. What would be the related results? This could be scented candles and aromatherapy oil diffuser.  When you open the Google search box and start typing, it is possible that these other related searches will show up. Related keywords are no longer what they used to be. SEO writers should be able to travel through the mind of the target website visitor and find all the keywords they may use to search for the products or services a website is marketing. Good SEO skills ensure that your website is found by the people you are targeting with your products.

Professional content writer skill #6: Persuasion skills

The main goal of having a website is to sell. Even if you don’t intend to gain financially from it, what you are doing at the end of the day is selling. You can be selling your brand, your services, products, a concept or information. As such, the presentation of such a brand, service, product or concept should be persuasive enough to prompt action from the target audience.

The first sales tool in any online business is the content. A well-written piece of content attracts people to your website, product or service and also persuades website visitors to perform some specified task. These could include signing up for a newsletter, downloading a file, buying, asking for a quote on your website or even sharing with friends. Your website content writer should have enough persuasion skills to help you to achieve this goal.

Professional content writer skill #7: Team player

Content writers don’t work in isolation. At best, a medium to large company has an SEO team, developers, sales and marketing and finance teams. He/she should be able to work within the given timeframe and budget, and according to the requirements given as well as the overall website theme. If the SEO team has provided a keyword map for each page, the content must be properly optimized for the right keywords without any cases of keyword cannibalization. The graphics designers and marketers may want copies written for their projects and campaigns. The writer should be able to step in ad provide the right copy. And in case they want graphics to go with the content written, or a page requires an infographic, they should be able to communicate clearly with the relevant team for the best result.

Professional content writer skill #8: Editing skills

Readability is very important in online writing. It is one thing to write in good grammar, and it is another to write in a clear manner. A good website content writer knows which words to use, where to put pauses and stops. The length of sentences and paragraphs, as well as the overall flow of ideas and harmony between sentences and paragraphs, contribute to readability. Every page, article or status update should be able to appeal to a novice as well as an expert in your industry.

The content should be progressive, starting from one point, building curiosity and ending at the right point. In addition, the content should be clear enough to ensure that the website visitor gets the intended message when they go through the write-up.

In conclusion, a content writer is a professional who wears many hats. He/she is first a good writer, an editor, a researcher, a good communicator, a team player, a salesperson and also someone who can see past the seen. They can see the motivations of every target website visitor as well as changing trends and prepare that content not only for current needs but also for future needs.

 

How to create your own website for free

How do I create a free website for my business?

Top 10 free website builders that I can use to create a website free of charge

The ability to create a free website enables you to brand yourself or market your brand at no cost at all. It is a great opportunity for small business owners and fresh graduates to market their products and services online for free. No initial financial investment is required at all as long as you are available to build and maintain the website yourself.

WooCommerceThe best way to get a free website is by using free website builders. Wordpress and Blogger are among the most popular free hosting platforms in the market. However, there are other website builders in the market offering different solutions for different users.

The problem with free website builders is that they offer limited functionality and may not be flexible enough to allow you to own your files, customise your website address or generate revenue through online ads. Such websites often have the format  ‘urbanacle.wix.com.’

According to Website Builder Expert, these are the top 10 free website builders in the market today:

  1. Wix free website builder comes with a drag-and-drop editing tool and hundreds of customizable templates for any type of website.
  2. Weebly website builder also has a drag-and-drop editing tool and customizable templates that you can use to create your online portfolio or free website for your small business.
  3. Strikingly website builder offers flexible designs for basic e-commerce sites and blogs.
  4. Site123 website builder comes with responsive templates and 24/7 live chat support and can be upgraded to support e-commerce.
  5. Jimdo gives you the opportunity to embed videos and contact forms on to your free e-commerce or blog, and also grow your social following through the easy social media integration functionality.
  6. IM Creator has free templates for simple e-commerce and blogging platforms.
  7. WordPress is famous for blogging and comes with free themes and flexible designs that you can change anytime. You can also use its woocommerce tools to build a professional e-commerce store.
  8. Webnode offers simple templates for free blogging and business websites.
  9. Webs.com is good for first-time websites and comes with integrated membership function, app store and e-commerce features.
  10. Mozello is best for simple multilingual blogs and e-commerce website.

Read Also: WordPress tips for new bloggers

In order to build your own professional website using free website builders, you need to upgrade to the premium version which gives you the flexibility to come up with a custom website address and more hosting space. You can also hire Urbanacle developers to create you a custom website for you.

This guide will take you through the steps of building your new website the easy way.

WordPress tips for new bloggers

WordPress is one of the leading CMS’s in the market, commanding about 50 per cent of the CMS market share. WordPress is followed closely by Joomla and Drupal.

Famous companies using WordPress include:
1. Nairobi News
2. Bata
3. TechCrunch
4. The New York Times
5. Star Wars Blog
6. Sony Music
7. Microsoft News
8. Usain Bolt
9. Walt Disney
10. Facebook Newsroom

Below are the top 10 popular CMS’s according to whatcms statistics:

What makes WordPress so popular?

1. Cost. WordPress is one of the free blogging platforms available on the planet. This is a very good way to market yourself and build your online portfolio. Even when building complex websites for e-commerce, you do not pay to use the WordPress CMS. You only pay to use premium WordPress themes and plugins.

Need help setting up your online portfolio page? Get in touch for assistance

2. Variety of features. Whether you are interested in a simple blog or a transactional website, WordPress has enough tools for your needs.

3. Security. WJetpackordpress offers inbuilt security features to protect you from breaches and attacks. They also have a team committed to ensuring that your data is safe. You can also install more plugins to lock out hackers and DDos attackers.

4. Usability. WordPress is very easy to use. Whether you are a novice or a techie, you can always find your way around. You do not need previous experience or a tech background to install or manage content on WordPress.

5. Searchability. WordPress blogs and websites are already searchable on the major search engines. WordPress also comes with premium SEO tools such as Yoast to help write SEO-friendly content.

6. Flexibility. You can always change your WordPress blog design any time without losing content.

How to start a WordPress Blog

WordPress.com

  1. Register your domain name
  2. Buy hosting space for your new blog
  3. Log into the cpanel
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Select a suitable theme
  6. Customise your theme
  7. Link your social accounts
  8. Remove metadata
  9. Install basic plugins
  10. Write the static pages such as About, Contacts, Private policy etc
  11. Post your first article
  12. Share your post on Social Media

 

How to start a blog the easy way

Start your own professional blog with these easy steps…

Blogging is the modern day journal, as well as a marketing tool for your business. As an individual, you need to have a blog where you express your thoughts and also share your world with the rest of the world.

Below are the reasons you need a blog:

Benefits of blogging

  1. what is a blog?

    What is a blog?

    A blog defines who you are. Are you a fresh graduate looking for a career? Nobody will know your capabilities until they interact with you. Blogging gives you the opportunity to interact with the world, hence giving them a preview of what is in your mind. If you don’t have any other work qualifications, make yourself known through a blog.

  2. Blogging is a powerful marketing tool. Whether you own a business or are employed, people can gauge your level of expertise through your blog. If people realise that you are an authority in your industry, they will want to engage you at a more professional level Show people what you can do for them and why it matters, and the job will be yours.

How to start a professional blog

Starting a blog is as easy as abc. All you require is a domain name, hosting, and content. Here are the steps you need to follow to get started blogging:

1. Select your blog name and a tag line or blog description. Your blog must have a name which can eventually be converted to an online address.

brand name

The purpose of a brand name

For instance, this blog is called urbanacle. Come up with several name variations and write them down. Draft a slogan also that best describes what your blog is about.

Read Also: How to choose an ideal domain name

2. Register your domain name. Once you come up with a name you like, you can now secure your online address using the name. You need to find out if your desired name is available. Have a favourite blog address that you want to register? Email us on [email protected] for assistance with domain name registration today.

3. Buy hosting space. The content you publish on your blog needs to be stored somewhere, and so the next step is to determine where your blog will be hosted. A simple blog can share server resources with other bloggers to keep your costs down.
WordPress.com
We can help you secure server space at a cheap price; email us on [email protected] for assistance.

4. Install a Content Management System. Once you get your unique blog address and hosting access, you need to log into the back-end and install a suitable content management system (CMS). This can be WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger among others. Select one and follow the prompts. WordPress is the easiest to use and the most popular CMS by market share so you can start with WordPress.

5. Start publishing. Now that your blog is set up, write your first post!

Why is my website slow?

Slow websites could cause you to lose visitors and eventually customers. One of the reasons for abandoned cart is a slow website. If your website is taking longer than 7 seconds to load, then read on…

Images not properly optimised for web

Images are important on a website as they make it look appealing. Adding an image to a post increases its clickability rate by 94 per cent. And this is pretty understandable. Imagine buying a shirt online based on a description. You need a white cotton shirt. There is a website with such a listing, but no image to show how it looks like! This is why every online business owner needs to invest in good images. However, adding images to your website needs to be done well so as to avoid slow website issues.

Easy ways to optimise images for the web

Large images take a lot of bandwidth to load, and this is why it is important to optimise images before uploading. WordPress has image optimisers such as EWWW image optimiser which is free. You can also optimise for the web using tools such as Photoshop. Another hustle free way to optimise images is by using the tinypng.com online image resizer.

Too many plugins

If you are using WordPress, you certainly need some plugins in order for your website to work efficiently. However, installing too many plugins on your website can slow it down. Using outdated plugins is also said to increase security risks to your website, in addition to conflicting with your scripts. Plugins can also crash and hence affect the website performance.

It is advisable to stick to less than 5 plugins especially if you are on shared hosting. Run regular updates and remove all outdated plugins, as well as test your site speed regularly. Remove or limit the use of plugins that slow down your website such as related posts plugins, jetpack, broken link checker, contact form 7, and Disqus.

Bulky codes

Unnecessary elements on your code make it bulky, slowing down your website. You may be tempted to think that adding page breaks and white spaces on your code will make it neat, but such codes are actually considered unclean!

Clean up your code by removing the unnecessary elements mentioned above. There are various minifying tools that can help you with this.

Hosting issues

When you buy hosting for your websites, there are resources that you are allocated that may affect the performance of your website. If your website visitors are more than the allocated bandwidth, your website could slow down. Do not use shared resources if your website is essential for your business operations. Finally, do not host videos on your server.

Is your website slowing down? Get experts help now.

How to choose an ideal domain name

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Get an ideal domain name for your new website

So you have decided to make a new website? The first step in building a website is getting an appropriate domain name for it. This is the permanent address where visitors who are looking for your products will land. The question that bothers most website owners is; how do I get an ideal domain name?

Two features of a great domain name

When selecting a name for your website, consider the following:

Read more