Tips, Tricks, & How-Tos
I have started to put a database together of things I have learned over the years that I hope will help other people seeking the same answers.
Most of these will be in the form of either Question > Answer or How-To.
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, contact me here.
Copywriting & Editing.
What Is The Best Resources For Copywriting & Editing?
This question is really two in one.
The first is what are the best resources for grammar and syntax. For these, I highly recommend the following websites:
- Purdue Owl – This is THE resource for official grammar, syntax, and formatting information. If it’s on this site, you can trust it’s correct and up to date.
- Quick and Dirty Tips – Specifically Grammar Girls posts. She used to have her own website where she provided tips, tricks, and tons of high-quality information about grammar and syntax.
The second question is which resource is best to keep up with the copywriting/editing industry, and there is no better source than Copyblogger. They are my go-to resource for everything copywriting.
What Are Some Useful Tools For Copywriters & Editors?
There are a lot of great tools out there for writers and editors. For organization, I highly recommend either Scrivener or Google Drive.
If you’re looking for tools to help you with your grammar, syntax, word choice, etc., I think there is no better than a combination of Grammar.ly and Hemingway App.
Utilizing these tools together can help to set yo up for success as both a copywriter and editor.
What Makes Good Content?
This question could easily have thousands of answers, but for me a good piece of content does two things. It informs or teaches and it tells a story.
Storytelling isn’t just for fiction and using your content to inform or teach isn’t just for non-fiction. I would argue that the best fiction novels out there do both of these things well, just as a non-fiction book can benefit greatly from telling a story.
If your writing misses on either of these, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad piece of content, but it could probably be improved.
Search Engine Optimization.
What Is Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process to optimize your website so that search engines like Google can find you. The process has changed a lot over the years and we have recently seen a huge leap in what it actually takes to get ranked.
SEO is not a single thing, but more a category of many different things you can do, including your web pages content, titles, descriptions, and images. By optimizing all of these things, you will see more organic traffic to your website from not only Google and Yahoo, but also social networks such as Facebook.
What Are SEO Tags?
SEO Tags are a piece of code on your website that search engines use to help determine what the page is about. In most modern website builders, these tags are easily set, but if you build your own website (either from scratch or using a CMS like WordPress), this isn’t always the case.
The most common SEO Tags are:
- Title Tag
- Meta Description Tag
- Image Alt Tag
- Formatting Tags
I Heard SEO Is Dead, Is That True?
SEO is far from dead. In fact, it’s stronger than ever!
The reason many people have claimed SEO is dead is because Google and other search engines are constantly reworking the way their algorithms work. Each time they make a change, the way SEO impacts your website will also change. Sometimes this is small and unnoticeable, while other times it is major and cuts your traffic in half, or worse.
However, most of the time those numbers bounce back, as long as you continue SEO best practices.
How Do You Start Your Own Website?
Starting your own website doesn’t have to be expensive or
If your aim is to create a personal blog or informational site, using a website like WordPress.Com is your best bet. You get a lot of great tools to get you started.
However, if you’re aimed at a more professional or business website, you’ll want your own domain and possibly your own hosting.
Who Has The Best Website Hosting?
When it comes to hosting, there are a lot of options out there. You’ve probably heard of GoDaddy, who is arguably the biggest of them all, but not the best.
The truth is, the “best” is subjective and can change from year to year. However, if you’re just going for a single site, you can’t go wrong with GoDaddy, HostGator, or BlueHost.
Where Should I Buy My Domain From?
If you’re in the market for your first domain (or 100th, as is the case with many of us!), you might wonder which service offers the best deals and reliability.
Most companies that offer domains provide the same guarantees, prices, and services after the first year, so it’s often best to get your domain from wherever you get your hosting from.
However, if you manage multiple domains, buying from a dedicated domain service might be a better route to take.
What Is A Podcast and How Do I Get Started?
You can think of a podcast as an online, pre-recorded radio show. You record them with your phone, computer, or even an old fashion recorder and then upload them to the internet for others to listen to.
It’s easier than ever to get started podcasting since most smartphones have an audio recorder built in and there’s plenty of free cloud storage out there. With that said, going this route is only going to work for your first few episodes, or if you never plan to grow a large audience.
When it comes to a good podcast, you’ll need the following:
- A computer or laptop to record and edit on
- A microphone
- Podcast hosting and/or a website for the podcast
I’m a firm believer in just getting started, so don’t let not having one of these things hold you back, but do keep in mind you’ll need them sooner or later.
Where Do I Host My Podcast?
When it comes to podcast hosting, you generally have three options.
- Self-hosted in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)
- Dedicated Hosting (Libsyn, Blubrry, PodBean)
- Podcasting Services (Spreaker, Mixlr)
Each of these have their pros and cons, but all three work for just getting started.
As you gain an audience, you’ll quickly outgrow self-hosted options and podcasting services may become too expensive, unless you are interested in using other services they offer (such as live streaming).
For most podcasts, having a dedicated host is the best long-term solution.
How Do I Get Listeners For My Podcast?
The very first thing you’ll want to do is get your podcast listed in as many locations as possible. While each of these platforms have different requirements, they are all important for any podcast hoping to grow even a small audience.
The three most popular platforms currently are:
- Google Play Podcasts
It also might be a good idea to leverage your social media following (or create one just for the show). As you grow, you’ll realize how important it is for your audience to be able to reach out to you.
Social Media Marketing.
Which Social Network Is Right For Me?
There is no one answer to which social network is best for you, and this is true no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. Each network has pros and cons in why you’d want to spend your time there.
If you’re just starting out and trying to get the word out about your website, business, or service, you should probably start with one of the three major casual networks:
- Facebook (Especially Facebook Groups)
However, if you’re looking for a place to grow your business and find others in your industry to either sell to or connect with, you’ll need to do your research on which one is best.
How Do I get 1,000,000 Followers Fast?
The simple answer is: You Don’t! At least not a quality following.
The only true way to gain a following that can translate into growing a brand or business is by taking the time to cultivate that following by interacting with others and posting high-quality, relevant content.
Never. Buy. Followers.
What Is The Best Way To Create Original Content?
I get this question a lot, “I have a ton of great ideas, but no skills in creating images/videos/etc.!”
The good news is there are tools out there that make the process relatively easy.
If you’re looking to create an image of pretty much any kind, not just limited to social media, Canva is the way to go.
For video, if you plan on uploading to YouTube, the built-in editor can usually do the trick.
And for audio, Audacity is a free tool that keeps editing pretty simple.