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Posts Tagged ‘content marketing’

Hi Everyone:

I moved to http://www.landscapewriter.com. So, if you like to keep reading how to use content marketing in your lawn care, landscape, or outdoor living business, please visit me.

And you can email me at wendy@landscapewriter.com with any questions that you may have.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog!

Best,
Wendy Komancheck

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Happy New Year! This is my second attempt at being a transparent writer. Here are five FAQs that green businesses ask me about content writing:

Question: How do I find a writer who understands my industry and my locale?

Answer: I used to get this question a lot. It’s not easy finding a content writer who specializes in the green industry. But we’re out there. You can find green content writers on Linked In’s many green business groups: World of Landscape, World of Hardscape, PLANET, GreenMark, etc.). Of course, Google, Bing, and Yahoo are great places to search using terms like “landscape writer,” “lawn care writer,” “hardscape writer,” or “garden writer.” You can also find writers through the Garden Writers Association (www.gardenwriters.org) or through the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (www.toca.org).

Question: Why should I have a regular blog, e-newsletter, or a podcast? If I put too much information out there, my prospects will end up doing their own land care and won’t need to hire my company.

Answer: Those are valid concerns, and I’m sure that there may be some folks who’ll regularly read your wisdom for their personal gain. However, here are four counter-arguments to your concern:

  • There’s a plethora of information out there for people glean from. The purpose of your blog is to get your business on the virtual map and establish yourself as a trustworthy lawn care or landscape professional in your region. Think of it this way: Your competitors, who regularly use social media and regularly update their web content, are more of a “threat” to your business’s success than the guy, two towns over, who reads your blog to help him build a deck or fertilize his lawn.
  • In addition to the above, remember that the DIYer may have a neighbor, an adult child, or an elderly relative who could use your services, and he may provide a referral for you.
  • By regularly blogging and updating your web content, you can establish yourself as a localized business and put yourself on Google’s map. You also can address lawn care or landscape issues that directly affect your region’s property owners.
  • Finally, and probably most importantly, you blog can be used to help your clients maintain their properties in-between service appointments. You’ll enable your clients to take an active role in maintaining their lawns, as well as develop credibility for your business.

Question: Why do I need to update my web content or regularly post updates to my blog when I’m happy with what’s already on there?

Answer: Fresh and updated content helps your Google ranking, as well as continues to bring prospects to your door. Besides, would you trust someone whose website information was two years old? Some of you may say, “Yes, I’d trust them.” Yet, you need to think about your customers and the verdict is that they won’t trust old, outdated information.

Question: What topics should I cover on my blog?

Answer: The topics that matter most to your clients and prospects. You can ask your sales team what they see as your clients’ needs. You can also analyze which programs and products are popular with your clientele. Think about your region and its particular needs, such as xeriscaping and irrigation during the summer. These ideas can get you started, and once you have a following, you can ask your readers what they’d like to read about on your blogs.

Question: How much do writers typically charge for writing web content?

Answer: Writer rates vary. Some writers like to be paid hourly or on a quarterly basis. Plus, writers base their rates on projects. You may be able to get a deal if you’re willing to commit to your writer for six months to a year versus hiring them on a piece-meal basis. Also, don’t be afraid to shop around and interview a couple of writers. See how much they know about your niche, read some of their samples, and compare and contrast their fee schedules.

What questions do you have about hiring a writer to keep your web content fresh and relevant? Drop me an email at wendy@landscapewriter.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Blog Machine

Blog Machine (Photo credit: digitalrob70)

Yesterday, I read an interesting blog post called “The Purple Cow that’s Right Underneath Your Business’ Nose,” by Marcus Sheridan of the Sales Lion (http://www.thesaleslion.com/purple-cow-business-nose/).
I appreciated Sheridan’s take on individual businesses standing out in the crowd by being transparent. So, I’m dedicating my next three blog posts to transparency by sharing the good and the bad of my industry as a writer: I’ll try answering FAQs about hiring writers; and how my writing services for the landscape/lawn care niches stand out from my competitors.
Today’s blog focuses on content market writers’ strengths and weaknesses:
1. Strength: There are outstanding writers out there who charge a fair price and give you an exceptional product.
2. Strength: Good content writers understand the need to write original content in the year of Google’s Hummingbird platform.
3. Strength: Good content writers want to establish good relationships with their clients for the long-term.
4. Strength: Good content writers write for you to succeed in the ever-changing Google landscape.
5. Strength: Good content writers seek to understand your business and your industry. They don’t promise something that they can’t deliver, but will do their darndest to provide you with exceptional copy (writer-speak for the written piece) on time, every time.
6. Strength: Good content writers will ask questions when they’re not sure if they’ve gotten a term or concept down correctly.
7. Weakness: Every industry has hacks. Just because XYZ writer from one of those content mills can write blogs for $5 a piece doesn’t mean that you’re getting top-quality copy.
8. Weakness: Some writers think they can write for every industry. And while that may be true for some, specialist writers can deliver a more targeted copy that’ll resonate with your readers.
9. Weakness: Not all writers are well-versed in Google’s changing algorithms.
10. Weakness: Not all writers understand the concept of good business writing skills. They’re unable to walk in your shoes, much less walk in your prospect’s shoes. And they won’t write copy that’ll bring readers to your blog.
As a landscape or lawn care service provider, you know that some of your competitors make big promises, but can’t or won’t fulfill them. When you decide to outsource your writing jobs to a professional, make sure that you take the time to talk with her, read her other works, and contact others who’ve used her services in the past. That way, you can be sure that you get the best bang for your buck.
What have been your experiences with a content marketing writer? Please share in the comments section.

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A picture is worth a 1,000 words, but does that mean that words aren’t important to your site if you’re a land care professional? Won’t your uploaded project portfolio and your impressive client list do the trick to get people knocking down your door for their summer landscaping needs?

Not necessarily.

Here are 10 reasons why you should hire a professional writer to write the content for your website, your press releases, and other communication needs:

  1. A writer makes you look professional and sound like an expert in your field.
  2. A writer helps you develop trust and credibility with existing and potential clients.
  3. A writer creates content that will help your search rankings on Google and other search engines.
  4. A writer conveys your message through words. A writer tells and sells your brand to the public.
  5. A writer saves you time and frustration. If writing isn’t your thing, hire a writer to do the work for you.
  6. A writer can update your blog at regular intervals, so you can educate customers about landscape and gardening issues that THEY care about—you become the expert that they turn to with their green questions.
  7. There’s a trade magazine where you’d like to share your expertise, but you don’t have time to write the article. A writer puts the trade article together with your voice and your name on it.
  8. Press releases alert industry members and clientele of any news about your company. A release needs to be written in the correct format that includes a catchy title and a hook to get an editor’s attention. A writer knows what it takes to put those elements together so that you’ll get noticed.
  9. A writer puts together your quarterly newsletter to keep employees and customers updated on what’s happening within your company. It’s also a project that can contain gardening tips, land care reminders, and when customers need to schedule with you for their fall cleanup appointments.
  10. A writer is a silent assistant who proofreads and edits your communications before they go out to the public. Consider a freelance writer to be your “right-hand man (or woman).”

Good writers are like you—they know their customers, they deliver excellent work on time, and they want to help you.  We’re landscapers, but we work with words and pixels while you work with soil and plant media.

 

 

 

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