Blogging

Comment Section: Keep or Kiss Goodbye?

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cms-265128_1920

The original intention of the comment section was pure and without malice; it was simply to allow any Internet user to add to the public discourse and engage with the content being posted by unreachable brands, media sources and influencers. There used to be two simple roles: the content creators and the audience. The content creators would generate content, whether opinion-based or unbiased, and the audience would use the comment section to create meaningful discussion. The comment section was purely a more accessible, short form of the letter to the editor. But, we all know that the comment section has evolved. Let’s take a look at some of the most notorious culprits who have changed the original intention of the comment section.

Spammers

Spammers saw the comment section as an open door to sell their useless product, inject their links, or inject malware into a website. Most webmasters that still have a comment section, which they moderate, are used to getting the age old Buy Luis Vitton purses today for low low $$ of $9.99. Click here to shop now. These comments are easy to spot, riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, unrecognizable links and a hard sales pitch for products that no one really wants like knock-off purses and Viagra.

Trolls

You do not have to travel too far to find trolling commenters. I frequently read comment sections in pop culture websites like Entertainment Weekly or TVLine.com to put my finger on the pulse of what fans think of a particular episode of a television show or a new casting decision. One person will always come in with the far out point of view and completely irrelevant logic, and he or she will throw off the course of the entire discussion by pissing people off. The true tragedy of this entire roadblock is that people feed the trolls. The number one rule of dealing with trolls is DO NOT FEED THE TROLL. If you’ve not experienced a troll before, just visit ANY Justin Bieber music video on YouTube and you will be provided the full trolling experience.

Self-Promoters

Some business owners find the comment section of a website the perfect place to promote their own product or service. Unfortunately, this may compete with the message you’re trying to sell OR it could derail the conversation.

Now, how do you decide whether or not to keep the comment section of your blog? It depends. Let’s point out some scenarios that can help you decide.

  • If your comment section has a serious troll infestation that derails every single conversation, it’s probably best to discover some subscription-based comment platforms like Disqus or Facebook. If that still doesn’t work, get rid of your comment section.
  • If absolutely no one is commenting on your blogs due to the subject matter or lack of traffic, then it may be wise to remove it altogether so it doesn’t appear as if your blog comment section is a ghost town.
  • Moderating discussion helps to keep the shown comments on the right track, as well as engage new comments to enter this discussion. As a moderator, it’s also good practice to join the conversation yourself and respond to commenters as they engage with your blog. The conversation shouldn’t stop from your end when you post a blog.
  • If you’re getting a lot of spammers, try to add a captcha or some sort of comment filter that would reduce the amount of spammy comments you’re receiving.
  • If you get a lot of great engagement and conversation on social media when you share your blogs, a comment section may divert meaningful discussion to too many points. Drive all of your engaged users to your social media accounts to join the conversation and get rid of your comment section.

Comment sections can either make or break a content marketing strategy, as they are an extension of the conversation you’ve started in your blog. Each case is different, but comment sections can still be advantageous to some content marketers. I must say the comment section has become so synonymous with trolling and disengaged conversation that it inspired a short-lived E! television show, which only highlighted content from online comment sections. Take a look at some of the more humorous comments about baby pandas.

7 Secrets of Writing that Scores

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laptop-820274_1920

Whether we write a cover letter, a blog post, or a sales pitch to win the hearts of clients, we can all agree that we need to write in a way that brings us closer to our readers. Writing should be engaging, riveting, and unique. Does your content seem to be lacking in any of these? Fear not, for content marketing experts, the Contentinators™, has come up with seven tips to help you score amazing content.

Avoid Hedging: “Hedging” is when you are excessive with content by trying to cover every little detail in an argument. Let’s consider the following example: “These days, students have at least some affinity for vampires.” Although the sentence does make sense, the phrase “at least some affinity” lacks the firm punch needed. A better sentence would be, “these days, students love vampires.”

Repetition is Key: It may not seem like it, but repeating certain phrases secures structure and rhythm in your writing. Repetition attracts the reader and pulls them into the flow of your content. Still, be careful not to have adverse effects by overusing it.

Shorten Your Sentences: Simply, shorter sentences are easier to read and take in. Your argument is more clearly presented as well. However, if longer sentences are needed, using dashes to divide the sentences is a great tool to take advantage of.

Lose the Passive Voice: Passive voice is when you switch the positions of the subject and the subject’s object. Your goal should be to use active voices, such as the following sentence: “The girl threw the first pitch.” Passive voices add unnecessary words, such as, “the first pitch was thrown by the girl.” See how much the same sentence got lengthened?

Eliminate Useless Adjectives: Unlike what most think, most adjectives don’t give more value. Consider the following sentence: “I’m very interested in quickly scheduling an in-person interview.” Removing all of the junk in this sentence can give you a shorter, yet sharper message: “I’m interested in scheduling an interview.”

Write Informally: Most of the times when it comes to writing the word “professional” doesn’t match up with “informal”. And sure, the phrase and sure isn’t suitable in most content. However, with the right techniques, writing informally gives readers the confirmation that you’re real. We all say first impressions are everything, and that definitely applies to your writing as well.

Be Direct: Excuse me, dear reader, but would it be an inconvenience and a disruption to your schedule if I requested you to do me the favor of just getting to the point? Going overboard on respectful and fancy words should be avoided when it comes to persuasive writing.

As you can see, writing should have a clear and simple flow to it. Regardless of what the reason for writing is, you should bring your true colors out through it. Getting your message across to the readers shouldn’t be burdensome or dreadful. Now that content marketing experts, The Contentinators™, have revealed these secrets, you’ll be on your way to creating epic content! Do you think you need more help? Check out more tips by following us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Miriam Park

Captain Content Loses It

Captain Standing-01
Captain Standing-01

As a superhero, it’s imperative that I keep my act together. I tend to be on the receiving end of scrutiny simply because I’m in a leadership position--it’s sometimes exhausting, but that’s just the way it goes. Lately, something has been eating away at me. I’ve been tucking it deep down inside and letting it fester. Something so terribly troubling that I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it contained. So, before I go all HULK on the situation, I’ve got to get it off of my chest. It is time. To all of those who over-scrutinize me, I’m sorry, but this has to be said.

How it all began.

It started with an unsolicited email. I get millions of them, as I’m sure you do as well, but this one…this one stabbed at my core. This particular email cut through my superhero defenses within a minute. This was a sign of pure evil:

It read… “Dear Captain Content, I am Joe Davis. I write content so you can get the Google to like your websites. I wish partnership with you so that you don’t have to be writing the content for SEO no longer. I writes content starting at $4.00 US per the articles. Please partner with me today and send me the assignment.”

Joe, I’M FREAKING OUT OVER THIS. I’m over crap content. I’m over your spam, I’m over the pollution of the digital universe with nonsensical garbage content that’s only built to game a system. I’m over poorly worded spammy emails. I’m over the abuse of the English language. I’m over SHIT content.

Pure evil in an email.

Not only was half of the email poorly worded, it was the whole idea. The whole concept of simply churning out digital garbage to ONLY help with Google rankings. The whole idea of trying to game a system by spewing nonsense. The whole idea of even putting a word salad on a client’s website with the objective of only trying to appease a search engine.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

There are millions of folks out there just like Joe. Yes, Joe means well. He does. He, like the rest of us, needs to make a buck. Joe simply doesn’t know he’s part of a larger problem, an insidious problem that’s been plaguing the digital planet for quite some time. Writing nonsense in order to hyper-inflate search engine rankings is the beginning of the end. The nonsense is ignored by HUMANS and Superheroes alike. This digital nonsense is cluttering up the Internet and shielding us from reading the real, amazing, solid content that we, as users, are craving.

The struggle is real.

My mission is simply this. Create amazing content, all day long. Create content that gets shared. Create content designed and built for human consumption. Create blogs, infographics, videos, and gifographics that get people’s attention. Once we have the attention of our prospects, they do the work for us. They share our content. They love our content. They tell their friends about it. They engage with it. They are getting what they want. Would you rather have a piece of crappy, uninteresting, non-engaging, grammatically horrendous content show up as number one when you perform a Google search, or would you rather find something amazing, something brilliant, something that feeds your quest for knowledge? The struggle is real my friends, but have no fear, The Contentinators® are here to create that amazing ‘stuff’ that humans love and that Google pays attention to.

How you can help fight the good fight.

Don’t EVER settle for crappy content. Don’t ever let your website visitors be exposed to digital nonsense on your website or social media channels. Don’t ever let the lure of Google rankings get in your way of producing AMAZING stuff that your audience, prospects, and website visitors will love. Stay focused on why you’re on the Internet to begin with: to attract new prospects, to educate existing customers, to change lives, to be unique, to stand out, to get more appointments, to drive more sales. You aren’t (I HOPE) on the Internet to spew out nonsense that no one will ever read, that no one will ever share, and that no one will ever talk about. Fight the good fight by being dedicated to amazing. Create amazing everyday. Create amazing infographics that educate. Create videos that inspire and move people. Create blog content that is epic. When you create amazing, people will find you. When you create crap, people will hit the back button and go to your competitor. If you need help creating amazing content, you know who to call, but please, whatever you do, don’t call Joe.

Therapy session is over.

Thanks for hearing me out friends. I’m glad I got this off my chest, and I hope that this piece has helped you reframe how you view content. I don’t wish harm or anything negative upon good ole Joe, but I do hope that he sees the light and embraces creating great stuff as opposed to spewing out crap. I’m off to slam down a few Appletinis with some superhero friends. Rant over.

If you or someone you know needs epic content marketing for their digital presence, please call me. It’s never too late to start creating amazing. 866-471-4748.

Until next time,

@CaptContent.

A Tale Of Two Content Marketers.

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contentmarketingtale

Meet Mark. Mark has been employed as a content marketer for the GIZMO corporation for 6 months. Mark loves his family, his dog Rufus, Samuel Adam Octoberfest beer, music and writing.

Meet Sally. Sally recently graduated with a degree in digital marketing and works for the WIDGET corporation. She loves her cat fluffy, she loves the beach and she loves to delegate.

Mark's mission at the GIZMO corporation is simple. Drive targeted traffic to all of the digital GIZMO entities and help improve the online sales bottom line. Sally's mission is the same. She's tasked with improving traffic and making certain that WIDGET grows its online presence.

Last week was a big week for both companies and for both Mark & Sally. Their bosses both wanted some detailed analysis on their online sales and wanted to see some sample content ideas and a concise ongoing plan to reach a new market segment. Mark killed it. His sales were up. His content was getting shared, his social media strategy was crushing it. New followers, more engagement, more shares. Mark got a raise, a pat on the back and a 12 pack of Octoberfest. Sally, on the other hand got the riot act read to her. Sally's numbers sucked. They were down. Social media metrics were flat, content was not getting shared, SEO rankings were dropping. Sally was put on notice. She went home to seek consolation from Fluffy. Mark kicked a few back, listened to some tunes and sat down to create some more amazing blog content.

Both companies offer a very similar product. Both companies have a very similar demographic, so what happened? How did Mark manage to kill it, why is Sally floundering? Both of our marketers are very talented, both are driven, but one is doing something way different than the other. Can you guess what it is?

Can you?

Anything?

Nothing?

Here it is. Mark is all about quality and planning. He thought it all out. He took the time to diagram out who GIZMO's target consumer is, he took the time to analyze quarterly sales for GIZMO and then created a content plan that complemented that sales cycle. He then, realized that he can't himself be a steady stream of content creation, partnered with a content creation / blogging company that listens, learns and creates engaging, shareable content. Mark found the best partners in the industry and they make him look good on a daily basis.

Sally didn't plan. She has a gut feeling about who reads content. She has a gut feeling about where to share content and she is more focused on cranking out a ton of articles at random intervals and seeing what sticks rather than following a solid content calendar / plan. Like Mark, Sally subs her blog and content creation out. She, wanting to look like a budgeting rock-star, subbed her content creation overseas. She gets 350 words of content for under 10 bucks from her vendor.

What's working? Mark's quality content is driving traffic. It's getting shared. It's getting talked about. It's educating and entertaining GIZMO's target consumers. Sally's, not so much. Not only is her content thin, it's drab, boring, not exciting, not vibrant. Sally is simply going through the motions and not creating the good stuff that the WIDGET company and its customers want and deserve. Sally isn't creating anything worth talking about.

So here's a big Good Job Buddy to Mark and here's a bit of a warning for Sally: Creating cheap, shoddy content can have the adverse affect on your marketing plan. Go home, give Fluffy a hug and get serious about creating amazing. Amazing, unique, rich content in many varieties can and will move the needle for the WIDGET corporation.

How to be more like Mark:

- Be A Planner. Map out your content based on what your consumers buy and when.

- Know Your Audience. Who are they? What do they like? What do they read? Where do they hang out? What do they want?

- CREATE Quality. NEVER settle when it comes to content and quality. If you want your business to kill it online, create amazing.

- Find A High Quality Partner. Call a professional, USA based Content Marketing company like The Contentinators® to partner with you and help you to create an amazing Content marketing program. Seek a partner, NOT a vendor.

Blogging To Win : A Business Blogging Strategy.

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captaincontenthomepage

Greetings Digital Citizens. I've spoken to hundreds of marketing managers and business owners over the years. We've laughed, we've cried, we've solved the problems of the digital universe together, most of them anyway. One of the most common questions I hear from folks wanting to grow their digital presence is "WHY Blogging?" "How is blogging going to get me more business?" A very valid question indeed and here's the not-so-quick answer to those questions.

Trust. 81% of U.S. consumers shopping online trust info and expert advice from blogs. (Source: NM Incite)

As business owners and superheros in spandex, we need consumers to trust us. Once we've established that trust by feeding them with rich and educational information via a blog, we have a connection. We have established brand trust.

Acquisition. 92% of companies who are blogging multiple times a week have acquired a customer from their efforts. (Source: HubSpot.)

Here's the simple answer as to why blogging works. Activity creates activity. If your website is simply sitting stagnant waiting for something happen, NOTHING will happen. Blogging is a great opportunity to create activity and to keep flowing with what customers are actively searching for.

Traffic. Sweet, Sweet Traffic. - Once you've generated between 21-54 blogs, your blog traffic rises up to 30%. (Source: TrafficGenerationCafe.) - On Average, companies that blog get 434% MORE indexed pages in the search engine results pages. (Source: HubSpot.)

These stats should blow your mind. In the digital marketing world, it's all about eyeballs on digital pages. The more traffic that your website can generate, the more likely you are to generate sales / leads / inquiries, etc.. Blogging creates that activity that can drive quality, pre-qualified consumers to your website, social media channels, etc..

Quality Content Is Key. One of the main reasons that The Contentinators® exist is to squash evil blog content. You read it right. Evil blog content. It's a thing. After being in the SEO business for over 15 years, I got fed-up with trashy blog content being used to game the search engines to inflate rankings. Gaming the search engine system with non-digestable digital blog nonsense is NOT the way to grow a business and an online presence.

Multiple Species. While words are a huge part of what drives search engine results for your business, visual good stuff can also really help to move the needle. When you blog, be certain to create content in multiple species. |

Infographics help tell an amazing story and are very easily shared around the web.

Videos can get circulated rapidly and help to put a face / personality to your business.

What We Do For Businesses. We create quality, EPIC blog content. Blog content that gets shared, liked, written about and commented on. Our blogs help move needles, increase sales, increase visibility and helps to put a personality on your brand. When it's time to boost the presence of your digital marketing, it's time to call one of my content specialists. We can create a monthly content creation solution to move your needle.

Write On, @CaptContent.