Digital Upstart 2015-08-21 15:47:32

I love the summer, but wish September would hurry up…

I’ve always found it to be one of the most productive months.

It’s that ‘back to school’ time of year when you start new projects, or re-invigorate flailing plans that fell by the wayside over summer.

In the spirit of the season, the September issue of Digital Upstart is going to be a really special one, focussed on kickstarting your online business.

I can guarantee the information I’ve put together will apply to your situation, whether you’re running a business, setting one up, or wondering how in the heck you can possibly get started from scratch.

I won’t give it all away, but it’s going to crack the great problems any online entrepreneur faces…

How do you get people to look at your website every day?

How do you get enough qualified traffic so that you can build a decent email list or make enough sales to turn a profit?

There are ways of launching and growing your website for free, and that’s what September’s Digital Upstart is going to help you do.

And no, this doesn’t involve driving yourself made trying to work out the latest SEO (search engine optimisation) formula, or having to write text for your website rammed full of endless keywords.

Look I’ll be honest with you (and this might upset some of my colleagues in the online marketing world)….

This whole SEO-obsessed internet marketing industry drives me mad.

It feeds people the idea that it’s all about magically hacking Google’s algorithm to make your website seem like a quality site.

I don’t know about you, but when I see many of these ‘search engine optimised’ sites I feel the opposite.

They seem like they’re written by a malfunctioning android (my bold):

“Here’s a great tip for growing lemons on your lemon tree for lemon remedies. Lemons are a great health remedy andlemon trees are one of the best ways to get lemon health remedies from a natural lemon. Read on for lemon tips,lemon recipes, lemon health remedies and lemon tree health tonic remedy tips.”

Aaaaargh, someone reboot this robot before it goes on the rampage and kills us all!

To give you an insight, here’s what one SEO copywriter once admitted in a rant.

“SEO copy isn’t some invisible force. It’s content that’s frequently read by prospective customers, often when they’re ready to buy. So crap content may – MAY – help your search ranking, but it’s only ever going to harm your conversion rate.”

That probably lost him a few clients but I can imagine he was at the end of his tether writing SEO copy that was clearly awful.

And here’s an inspirational example of why you might not really need it at all.

Meet the world’s worst digital marketer

There’s a blogger known as ‘JD’, who started in 2006.

He became a TIME Magazine Top 25 Blogger, with over one million visitors coming to his site every month.

Yet JD calls himself the “worst marketer in the World“.

He admits that he pays absolutely no attention to SEO.

All he does is post regular blog content that’s interesting, useful and relevant.

In other words, he helps people solve problems and achieve goals.

And this is enough to get him up the Google rankings and keep traffic flowing to his website.

So don’t be fooled into paying for SEO specialist software or optimised posts by SEO copywriters.

You don’t need it.

To draw traffic to your website – and by that I mean qualified traffic, the kind of people who will sign up to your emails and buy your products – you don’t need require magic mathematical formulas or jamming the system with keywords and repeated phrases.

It’s about being HUMAN, not a robot

It’s about coming across as a passionate person who wants to help, not as a slick marketer or a demented SEO copywriting android.

If your website is genuinely helpful, Google will trust it.

More importantly, your website visitors will trust it.

And trust is the beginning of a relationship that will end in a sale.

Here are some tips for giving your website the human element.

  • Write for your ideal reader NOT Google. Forget worrying about what you think (or are told) that the search engines like to see. Always talk directly to the sort of person you want to read your blogs, emails and social media. Think of problems they might have and how you can solve them.

  • Be flawed! Ensure that some your quirks, flaws and weakness come across. Perhaps you’re undereducated, bad at spelling, short-tempered, cynical, over-enthusiastic, naïve, inexperienced. Perhaps you can never take anything seriously, or perhaps you have zero sense of humour. Be honest about these. They make you human.
  • Write as you would talk. Ignore the keyword gobbledegook. Instead use the same language and phrasing as you’d talk to a friend sitting in front of you in an informal setting (imagine you’re in a café, pub or living room). When you write a sentence, say it out loud. Would you say it like that to a friend you were talking to? If not, change the phrasing.
  • Include details from your personal life. Think of something that you’re willing to share that that relates somehow to your niche. It could be family members, past jobs, or physical problems and attributes, For instance, you’re a homebrewer with two noisy children who keep messing with the equipment, a gardener with sciatic pain who grows her own medicine, or an asthma sufferer with a wife who is a nurse.
  • Battle against a common enemy. Think of something that annoys you, stops you succeeding, or which you rail against or complain about.  Make it a common thread in your blog posts. Make sure it’s something that your prospects feel the same about. Examples could include corporations, legislation, big government, banks, scamsters, pharmaceutical companies, prejudicial attitudes, media misinformation.
  • Use your own photos. As much as possible make sure there’s a photo of you or your team on your website, and add photos to your post that are taken by you rather than relying on stock photos.

As for SEO, I’m putting together a blueprint you can use to make sure your website is Google friendly without having to learn SEO copywriting techniques or worry too much about algorithms.

All will be revealed in September’s issue.

I’ll be back with more soon.

This article first appeared on Digital Upstart. Read more and comment here