Thursday, 16 June 2016

Tips to Extend Your Content’s Lifespan & Get Rid of Orphan Content

orphan content - writercommitsMost of us believe when we say that CONTENT IS THE KING!

That’s the reason why most of the organizations today, whether big or small, are under tremendous pressure to create more and more content than ever before. Instead of maximizing each content effort, marketers and businesses focus more on one-off content efforts catering to their current needs rather than looking for a long-term content ROI. Being stuck on a non-stop content generation treadmill, organizations tend to lose the wisdom, time, and resources to focus on existing content, which can be put to better use by re-purposing.

The flip side of all this labor that we don’t recognize is – generation of copious amounts of ORPHAN CONTENT!

So what is Orphan Content?

To put it into simple words, any piece of content left unused and unnoticed after its initial publication and promotion (may or may not) is known as Orphan content. Here are few characteristics of orphan content:

  • Like an orphan, your orphan content doesn’t have any internal or external links that can support it in the time of need

  • Like an orphan, your content doesn’t get any regular updates, making people forget its existence

  • Like an orphan, your orphan content isn’t invited to any social gatherings! Being not promoted or curated through social media, it soon becomes out of sight and out of mind


7 Tips to Get Rid of Orphan Content and Expand Your Content’s lifespan

All marketers, writers, and business owners will unanimously agree that reusing and repurposing an old content is far easier than generating an equally appealing fresh piece of content. If you believe that you had written a wonderful piece of content which worked wonders when it was first published, it’s time to ensure that it doesn’t become orphan, and is reused to increase its longevity and further generate ROI.

  1. Reschedule social media and newsletter promotions for any content you publish. Also, add it to your content promotion calendar to republish the link after few weeks so that the audience don’t forget about it. In case of email newsletters, suppress recipients who already opened it.



  1. Conduct regular content audit and update your content at regular intervals by adding most recent and relevant information.



  1. Use diverse media channels and platforms to infuse new life into the Orphan content. Republish your existing content by turning it into an infographic, PPT, Slideshare, image, video, etc. to generate eyeballs.



  1. Republish your blog post / content for appropriate audience at regular intervals. If you publish loads of content on a daily basis and your website has recently witnessed an upswing in online traffic, it’s the right time to republish your orphan content, so that new visitors who haven’t seen the old stuff can see it afresh. Also, it will be a great refresher for the existing clients.



  1. Hire a content curator who knows how to promote existing content, and different ways in which it can be done. Additionally, the person should have sound understanding of the market, audience type and their requirements, and content positioning.



  1. Repackage, curate, re-envision your existing content to transform it into something new by adding new text, process diagrams, workflow, statistics, charts, video, audio, and images, etc.



  1. Translate your existing orphan content to different global languages to expand its reach


Like children, your content also needs constant care and support to ensure that it exceeds expectations and brings in its true ROI. Try these 7 tips to give a new life to your orphan content and extend its lifespan.

Live and love,

Neha Agrawal

 

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Innovate Your Content Marketing Strategy with 4 R's Principle

[caption id="attachment_171" align="alignleft" width="300"]4 R's Principle-Writercommits Innovate Your Content Marketing Strategy![/caption]

"Content is the king", is something we all keep hearing lately; and to be honest, no content marketer or writer ever complains when someone repeats this fact to them! Content creators and not merely writers, they are the marketers turning brands into revenue generating machines with beautifully woven pearls of wisdom.

Like every marketer in the business, content marketers also need to constantly innovate their content strategy, which means creating new content. However, always remember that 'old is gold', and it makes more sense to infuse some freshness into the old content and give it a new lease of life, rather than working from scratch on an entirely new idea, which may take more time and efforts!

The trick lies in following 4 R's principle (this principle doesn't exist in the books, but is something I believe in, and follow, in short, coined by me)

4 R's Principle

Rebrand - I am sure you have heard of the phrase, "Old wine in new bottle", and that's exactly what you have to do! Stay updated, connect with the Gen Z, learn about their likes and dislikes, this will help you address your content to the newer audience and make your rebranding efforts a success.

Reuse – Ever wondered that your old whitepaper can be split into 4-5 distinct articles? Reuse your old content by rephrasing and repackaging it, and publish it across diverse platforms and social media.

Remodel – Are you inspired by a brand and their style, and wished you could do something like that? Here you go! Remodel your old content on the lines of something you fancy, you will get a brand new content flow that's an extension of your own style.

Relax - This is the last resort, when nothing seems to work. Take a break, go on a ride, do painting, fishing, or anything you are passionate about. This will give you a chance to unwind, and let your creative juices resurface. Then you will be able to plan for a complete overhaul or revamp of your content strategy from the square one.

Live and love,

Neha Agrawal

Friday, 6 February 2015

Writing Lessons from Steve Jobs

writing lessons from Steve Jobs

I really admire Mr. Steve Jobs. He was a man with a vision, who had the courage to think out-of-the-box, fight against all odds, and work towards realizing his dreams no matter how hard or unrealistic they seemed in the beginning.

I was reading about a man with one of the most creative minds in the history, and his one of the sayings left me intrigued -

“Your model for business should be ‘The Beatles’. They balanced each other beautifully, and the output in totality was better than the sum of the parts individually. That’s how a business should be.” – Steve Jobs

It made me realize how cleverly he explained us something that marketing books have been screaming all this long – “Great things in business are never done by an individual; they are done by a team!”

But, what fascinated me was his choice of the words to explain something that we already knew. His marketing genius can be understood by the fact that he related a boring marketing concept to Beatles, what people love, and instantly got his readers/listeners hooked.

That’s the power of words.

It’s time you stop calling yourself a ‘writer’. As, all we writers are essentially marketers having the power to sell even the most boring or uninspired ideas/products to the world. The only thing you need to do is choose the right words to make a difference.

Single alphabet means nothing; it’s standing in isolation seeking a purpose in life.

An alphabet gains significance only when it meets other insignificant alphabets, and together they have the capability to create History. Remember the age old saying - United We Stand, Divided We Fall?

So, what are you waiting for? You have it in you to give birth to an idea that can change the future of brands, and in turn change your lives as well.

Happy Writing.

Neha Agrawal

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

6 Common Misconceptions about Copywriters

6-common-misconceptions-about-copywriters

What People Think Copywriters Do

  1. Copywriting is only about writing, and copywriters just write



  1. Copywriters write for websites, brochures, newspapers, magazines, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Billboards, etc.



  1. Ability to advertise even the most boring product is the most important quality a copywriter can have



  1. Copywriters need to talk to diverse groups of people



  1. Copywriters use words to sell



  1. Copywriters create advertisements


What Copywriters Actually Do

  1. Copywriters use words, to make an idea come alive.



  1. Copywriters just need a medium to convey their thoughts, but they are not bound by any of those mediums!

  2. Understanding people and their emotions, is the most important quality that a copywriter has!



  1. Copywriters know how to find the right words that strike a chord among different ethnicities. It’s a different thing that they may not know how to speak different languages!



  1. Copywriters use words to create brands, and make people feel good about them!



  1. Copywriters create advertisements that connect with people; make them smile, cry, laugh, and beam with pride!


Words become potent in the hands of people who know how to use them. Use your words wisely.

Happy Writing!

Neha Agrawal.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Winners Never Quit. Really?

[caption id="attachment_140" align="alignleft" width="192"]Winners never quit Winners Quit, but they QUIT the WRONG STUFF at the RIGHT TIME![/caption]

I was fumbling through the pages, when I came across a headline, “Winners Don’t Quit”.

I was into this hibernation, where I had not posted anything on my blog for a long time, and if anyone asked me the reason, I had an excuse ready – “My hectic schedules are keeping me totally occupied, leaving me with no time to sleep, forget writing, life is tough, you know!!” And, trust me I used to say it with such a conviction that most of the people would fall for it.

And somehow, I had started believing in my own statement! I guess people rightly say that if you repeat a lie 99 times, at 100th instance you somehow start believing in it yourself!

So, this headline made me ponder.

Am I a LOSER? Am I more than busy than the busiest of the people in the world? Or am I being plain lazy? After all, I love writing, and how long can it take to write a few lines?

That’s when I determined that no matter what, I have to follow my passion, and shine above the cloud of laziness encircling my life. I decided to quit my laziness and become a winner again…

This thought made me realize something else as well. It’s not that winners never quit, they are humans and can fall at times. But, they know how and when to bounce back again by quitting the very reason that led to their fall.

Quit the very reason, person, or situation that is pushing you back and making you quit your dreams. Always remember, that nothing in the word is worth your dreams!

WHO SAYS QUITTING IS EVIL OR BAD?

If someone says Winners Never Quit, they are LYING.

Winners Quit, but they QUIT the WRONG STUFF at the RIGHT TIME!

Love and live,

Neha Agrawal.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Dream! Dream Big! And Believe in Angels!

Believe in angels

I believe in angels, I truly do, and I always have…

Else how is it possible that your dreams suddenly turn into a reality, without you even blinking an eye for it?

Angels move their magic wand, and change your life in a moment. For me, any person who does a good deed is an angel, and I feel blessed to have quite a few angels in my life…

One such angel in my life is Sona… I met her at my job in Delhi… After completing MCA, I had worked as a software engineer in Jaipur for some time, and was now working as a networking expert in Delhi, but somehow in my heart I always wanted to be a writer, who would need just a pen and a piece of paper to feel happy. Though, I must admit that my laptop has filled that space now!

I was looking for a job change, and so was she. But, I had given up, as every other company wanted me to keep writing codes and fixing their networks, and I had succumbed to my fate. Till one fine day, when she told about a job opening for a content writer in Noida, and commanded me to pack my bags, and go with her for an interview!

I was excited and nervous at the same time. I had an excellent opportunity ahead, one that I was dreaming of for a long time, but I was not sure whether to give it a shot or not… I was scared as hell. What if I don’t make it, after all, it was my long cherished dream, and one failed interview would shatter it in no time.

But, Sona’s words gave me strength, “What if we don’t make it? Anyways, we are not doing anything that we love right now; let’s give a shot to something that we really want to do.” Needless to say, we went, cracked the interview, and got the offer letter, the same day (We are genius, and I knew it!). The salary was much less compared to what I was getting, but I jumped at the offer, as nothing materialistic could stop me from pursuing my dreams, thankfully my family supported me in my cost cutting decision. Pun intended!

Sona, I wanted to write this since 2009, and now, after almost 5 years, here I am… I always wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart, as if it were not you, I would still be doing a job that I was not interested in, and would have never got the courage to follow my heart. You are an angel who changed the course of my life, and I can’t thank you enough.

I believe that I became successful the day Sona pushed me for that job interview, and I discovered the joy of writing. I haven’t looked back ever since. I am not successful because I have (or don’t have) money, these things don’t count anyway. I feel satisfied, as I get a great pleasure penning down my thoughts, hoping it would encourage someone else to pursue his/her dreams, and make big in life.

My angel changed my life, and now I want to become that angel for someone! Look for signs; recognize good people when they walk into your life, as you never know; your angel might be round the corner!

But, don’t just wait for others or luck to do you a favor. Make your good deeds count, help others, look for inspiration and inspire a few, read good books and preach a little.

Share a little, care a little, this is all what it takes to make life better.  Believe in angels, and become one too!

Love and live,

Neha Agrawal.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Writing lessons from the Indian Festival of Colors

 

Writercommits - Writing lessons from the Indian Festival of ColorsAs soon as we hear the word “festival”, our heart gets filled with joy and profound happiness, as festivals signify celebration and family time. Festivals give us the much-needed break from our monotonous hectic schedules and mundane tasks, and allow us to be with our near and dear ones, and do the things we love to do, or are rather longing to do.

There is a popular Indian festival of colors, called HOLI, which is celebrated every year around February or March with great fervor. It’s quite similar to the Spain’s “La Tomatina Festival”, with the difference that it’s played using organic / artificial colors in India, rather than tomatoes!

We can learn a lesson or two from everything in life, and Holi is one such festival that not only spreads happiness but can also help us become a better writer.

5 Things to Learn from Holi:

1. Embrace unity - Holi soaks everyone in the colors of life; be it children or adults, and unites people irrespective of their caste, creed or financial status. Write a content that is universal in appeal and unites people, rather than creating boundaries or anguish among communities (stay clear of cultural stereotypes while writing).

2. Use all possible colors – Imagine wearing one color all your life! Life becomes boring if it is monotonous, and so does writing. Add different colors to your writing by displaying different emotions in the written word. Be informative, add suspense, sprinkle a touch of humor, preach a little, and be silly sometimes.

3. Organic is the way to go – Artificial colors ruin your skin, and that’s what plagiarized content does to your reputation. Be organic in your thoughts, though you can seek inspiration for writing.

4. Be unpredictable – The charm of holi lies in its unpredictability. You never know when someone is going to splash color on your face, throw water or give you an impromptu hug. Similarly in writing, you started losing it the moment your readers start making predictions about your next topic. Surprise your readers, and offer them content they were not expecting out of you.

5. Have Fun – Last but not the least, have fun while writing just like you enjoy celebrating festivals. Don’t write just because you have to, but because you love doing it, and you will end up creating your best work!

Happy writing,

Neha Agrawal.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

15 Tips To Become A Better Writer in 45 Days

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="290"]Image 15 DIY tips to become better writer[/caption]

Even as a child, I was intrigued by the written word, so much so that it looks as if I have been reading and writing since ages now. While growing up, I remember reading stories that transcended me to a dream land where fairies & flowers were my friends, and stars lit up my room. Books soon became my best friends, as they answered everything I was searching for. They made me smile, feel sad, anxious, joyous all at once, and helped me learn life’s most important lessons while familiarizing me with the world and worldly manners.

Since then, I have realized the beauty of words and the power they command, and harbored a secret desire to be able to write like one of the several writers I cherished reading. I am not sure if I am there yet, but certainly over the years my writing has tremendously improved. I am better with words now, and know what it takes to polish ones writing skills. So, if you aspire to do wonders with your pen, you have landed up at the right place.

Why reinvent the wheel when I have already figured out 15 tips that can help you improvise your writing skills in 45 days.

1. Read – You are what you read! Everyone needs inspiration for writing, including you. Read work of writers you admire, and over the time, their excellent writing style will rub off onto you

2. Write What You Read - In the beginning you may have difficulty in starting off. So, start writing in long hand, what you read from your favorite writer. It will help you get into the flow and develop your own unique writing style

3. Get Started - Quoting Mark Twain, “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Just take a pen and paper or your laptop and start scribbling for at least 30 minutes daily; you will find noticeable difference in your writing and new found confidence with words in less than 20 days

4. Meet the Deadline - Writing every day is a must to achieve your dream. Make a realistic deadline (say, 500 words by 3.00 PM) and make sure the deadline is met

5. Experiment – Keep a writing pad ever ready, and put down your thoughts on paper as soon as you get an idea. Then experiment by presenting your idea in different styles, voices, and words

6. Avoid Repetition - Learn different words and their usages, and try using those words while writing. You can even edit your previous articles by using new words

7. Learn the Rules - Good writing follows pre-determined rules. Learn those rules, and then learn when and how to break them

8. Avoid Loquacity – Follow Professor Stunk’s golden words: “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”

9. Use Vocabulary - Make the best use of your vocabulary, and use thesaurus to learn new words and their meanings

10. Don’t Edit the First Draft - Creating and editing are two separate processes that use different grey cells, so don’t mix the two. Never edit while creating your first draft, and feel free to express your thoughts without someone (including you) judging what you are writing. Better, switch off your monitor while typing, as you can’t edit what you can’t see

11. Ctrl S and F7 – Make a habit of pressing Ctrl S (save) as soon as you finish a line or paragraph to make sure your hours of work is saved. Also, don’t forget to hit F7 (spell-check tool) to auto-detect grammatical and language errors

12. Read out Aloud – Errors and awkward sentences come to life when you read them aloud. It even highlights the errors that slipped out of your mind in the initial edit or spell check

13. Grammar - Punctuation, correct use of commas, and periods is essential. Remember, Let’s Eat Mom? Punctuations regulate your thought flow, and can leave your text confusing when not used judiciously

14. Relax – You may be ignoring obvious errors if you are used to editing your written text just after writing. Set aside your write-up for a day or two before editing. Trust me, you will be able to look at the write-up with a fresh pair of eyes, and find errors that earlier seemed non-existent

15. Take Criticism in Your Stride – You can’t become a Stephen King or Jeffery Archer in a month or so. They too had to labor a lot to develop a distinct style of their own. While you will certainly better your writing if you write regularly for 45 days and follow mentioned above tips, but do seek opinions of fellow writers or friends on what they think about your writing. Don’t get upset or offended if the criticism is harsh, but use it constructively to amend your mistakes. Trust me, it works

Making mistakes is not always bad, as, to err is human. But you need to at least get started to commit those errors. So, start writing and commit mistakes, because even they will teach you a lesson or two!

Happy Writing,

Neha Agrawal.