By Joe Wallace
The Daily Beast ran a fasciating little piece entitled, “How MySpace Blew It” with the accompanying AP photo of Rupert Murdoch, who can’t seem to get a break these days. That’s due in part because the old guard seems almost genetically inclined to get new media wrong even when they try to embrace it.
Remember when MySpace seemed unstoppable? That was, of course, before all those goofy ads of people on webcams with low-cut halter tops bending over suggestively and nonstop barrages of other intrusive ads. Once upon a time, a writer without MySpace was deemed to be hopelessly married to old-school PR.
Today, MySpace isn’t good for much unless you have a band, and some are questioning even that usefulness. Continue reading What Freelancers Can Learn From The Daily Beast →
You might not consider an investment website like The Motley Fool to be a place to learn how to blog effectively, but think again. Learn by example by taking a good, long look at their great article This Week’s 5 Dumbest Stock Moves. Let’s break it down–why is this piece so excellent? How can you learn from this post? It’s simple, really:
1. An eye-grabbing headline makes you want to read more. Why are these stock moves so dumb? What makes the writer think these companies are wrongheaded and silly? You’ve already got a million questions and you’ve only just read the headline. Brilliant.
2. The use of “Top Ten” and other numbered lists ala David Letterman is a proven winner when it comes to getting your attention quickly.
3. Each entry in the top five gets its own goofy, but still clever subhead. Corny as they often are, you get an idea of what’s to come without duplicating the content in the first paragraph. Well done, Motley Fool!
4. The meat of the writing under each subhead is easy to understand–OR is explained in layman’s terms to help the uninitiated. ThisFool.com blog post is a very good example of writing clear, concise material for an audience of varying levels of understanding of a complicated topic. The subhead teases you, but the paragraphs themselves give you plenty to chew on without choking on the finer points of investing.
5. The article is chock full of relevant outbound links to help you further understand the piece. Note that some of the most relevant outbound links are very close to those clever subheads. Coincidence? Perhaps not.
Take a lesson from Fool.com and watch interest in your next blog post rise.
If you have a writing resume site, freelance blog, or any other kind of online destination, you owe it to yourself to install Google Analytics to properly track and measure your success on the web.
Once you’ve got Google Analytics up and running, one of the first things you will notice is a statistic called the Bounce Rate. For seasoned bloggers, this is a very well-known term, but if you are just getting started, the Bounce Rate is something you need to get literate on, with speed. Aren’t you glad we’re here to help? I’ll try to wipe the self-satisfied grin off my face.
The Bounce Rate in GA is used to identify how long your visitors actually stay on your website. This metric is probably the only one you can rely on as an across-the-board way to view how well you do on the web. Why? It’s simple. Bounce rate determines what some call the “customer experience”. If you land on a website and see that it’s not what you wanted and leave quickly, you’ve BOUNCED. Continue reading Google Analytics 101 for Bloggers: What’s a Bounce Rate? →