Blog Archive

10 Tips To Get Past The Writer’s Block

Jan 6, 2016 | Payel Mukherjee

10 Tips To Get Past The Writer’s Block

 

Do you sometimes wish that you had a magical wand that could cast a self-writing spell on your computer screen? Well maybe you are suffering from a bloggers block; a temporary writing block suffered by bloggers. It’s just one of those times when everything except from the task at hand (i.e. writing) seems appealing and the words won’t come, no matter how hard you try!
It would comfort you to know that almost all bloggers have experienced this at one time or another. After all your brain does need a break from all the creative thinking it has to do to put a piece together. Luckily there are some simple things you can follow to skip and hop past this hurdle:

 

TAKE A BREAK

Do something other than writing for a bit. It may be any activity that rejuvenates you and is easy on the mind. Even a short break can do wonders sometimes. 

 

 

READ UP

Reading always gives you a fresh perspective on things. It may spark up some new ideas related to the topic at hand and also widen your knowledge base.

 

 

JOT IDEAS ON THE GO

Great ideas may strike you anywhere and at anytime, and when they do, just make a quick note somewhere. Trust us, ideas and thoughts have a weird way of disappearing in some far corner of the brain when you wish to revive them.

 

WRITE REGULARLY

Doing so will help your brain become accustomed to writing and will help your thoughts flow in an organized manner. Besides, practice makes perfect right?

 

QUALITY RATHER THAN QUANTITY

Its best to take up limited amount of work as it helps you focus better. Taking up crazy amounts of work just saps your creative energies and robs your work of exclusivity and uniqueness.

 

 

TITLE IS THE KEY

A title for your post should be the first step towards writing a blog. Having a title gives a direction to the brain and prevents it from wandering. It will also ensure that your blog is coherent and covers the important aspects.

 

VERBAL VOMIT

Simply jot down anything that comes to your mind, no matter how silly it may sound. This will help energize your brain and get it rolling.

 

FIND A COZY PLACE

Having your own comfortable place for writing can help prevent a writer’s block as it eases your brain and puts it at ease. Anyplace that makes you happy and calm can be used to pen down your thoughts.

 

 

BREAK THE TOPIC

Some topics can be hard to write and may seem ‘heavy’. In such cases it is best to break the topic into smaller and more manageable content.

 

START AT THE BOTTOM

Sometimes it is okay to write the main body first and weave in the introduction later. This bottom up approach works well as you can draw inspiration for the intro from the main text.

There you go, some simple stuff to follow the next time you can’t seem to tame your brain.Happy writing!


Author

Payel Mukherjee

Payel Mukherjee is the founder of Justwords. She is passionate about making good content accessible to everyone and talking about the endless possibilities of content to anyone who cares to listen.


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Start with these 7 tips to make your content go viral

Jan 5, 2016 | Payel Mukherjee

Start with these 7 tips to make your content go viral

No you don’t really need an agency to make your content go viral in its reach. Just pay attention to these simple tips and keep them in mind while churning out content.

How does one measure the success of their content today? On the “Viral” yardstick of course! Ain’t no real content today if it hasn’t gone viral and crossed boundaries. And let us tell you, it isn’t a mere coincidence that makes a content score big on popularity, there’s more to it.
It is possible to make content go viral deliberately by following some simple tips. Keep in mind though that there is no set formula for viral content and nothing can guarantee 100% success. But that shouldn’t deter us from trying right?
So here you go, our list of carefully compiled tips and tricks to make your content go viral:

MYSTERIOUS HEADLINES

A simple and traditional headline will seldom prompt the user to click on the news as they will not feel the need to explore further. However a headline that builds suspense and does not give away the content is sure to get clicks. After all curiosity kills the cat!

UNIVERSAL EMOTIONS
If the content is funny or connected to universal issues, it is more likely to go viral as it will carry global appeal that transcends boundaries. Both negative and positive emotions may be used although the latter is a safer bet. This helps people connect to the content and encourages them to share it.

WEAVE A STORY
Weaving a story into your post makes it more relatable and triggers an emotional response in the reader. So try to build a story into your content and watch it being shared like hot cakes!

USEFULNESS
Any content that users find practical usage for or can use in their daily lives has more chances of going viral. It could be a simple ‘how to’ article or posts that enlist tips and tricks to get things done.

IN VOGUE
The chances of content going viral increase if the content is related to a current happening or the latest news as it prompts the user to hit the share button more.

SIZE MATTERS
In this case, the shorter the better. Users like to read and share bite-sized frames information that they can easily download on their mobiles and read on the go.

RESONANCE
It simply means that the content posted by you should find a connection with the reader. If the reader can relate to it and feel that it portrays what is happening in their life, then they are more likely to read/share it.

 

These simple tips can help you polish your content and give it that edge over the thousands of other contents that are squabbling for attention of the net user.

Did we miss something? Tell us in the comment below.


Author

Payel Mukherjee

Payel Mukherjee is the founder of Justwords. She is passionate about making good content accessible to everyone and talking about the endless possibilities of content to anyone who cares to listen.


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10 Websites that give stunning free images

Jan 5, 2016 | Payel Mukherjee

10 Websites that give stunning free images

Here is a list of 10 websites that give you stunning images and photographs absolutely free for use on website, blogs, PDFs, slideshows and wherever you want!

If you have been a digital or content marketer for some time, you know this problem only too well – there isn’t much free stuff when it comes to visuals or photographs for your precious content. And as you might be fully aware by now – you just can’t substitute having visuals with texts.

Visuals give your text – be it website content, blog, social media posts, e-papers, presentations and books, researches –a powerful reach that changes the way the content is received by your target audience. And that’s because the brain processes images faster than the written text – 60,000 times faster. Here’s a great infographic by Leo Gomez to demonstrate this fact visually.

Source: Leap Agency

Now, it’s not that there aren’t any free images on the Internet. Oh yes, there is stuff available – but whatever comes for free isn’t without its share of pain. In the free domain, you are unlikely to get the good stuff in high resolution – which means that if you try to make them bigger in the size that you most need, the picture will start showing lots of grains and lose its beautiful clarity.

Hence you either have to suffer the pain of using an out-of-size pixelated picture on your website/blog/social media/presentation, wherever you need it, or be happy with not putting up a visual at all.

The ones that I happened to like always seemed to be from Shutterstock, and always had watermarks in places you can never rub off and still keep the picture as it is. The ones that they send you for free for registering with them are usually the ones you are not likely to use anywhere. Of course, Shutterstock has a business to run and doesn’t want people like us to take its pictures for free. But what about marketers like us?

Image Source: Shutterstock

From our endless search on the net for finding pictures, we found that there were companies that understood our pain and had started giving out pictures for free for use – YES, nice, high resolution pictures for free. Bless them Lord! So here, for the benefit of thousands of fellow marketers like us, we have compiled a list of top 10 website which give you absolutely free images that actually are brilliant.

But before that, a few words regarding the licences and creative commons.

 

Licenses and Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that works to assist people in sharing their creative work with the help of their legal tools. All the websites listed below allow you to download their images and use them however you like. But there are two types of creative commons licenses you should be aware of. Creative Commons Zero is a license that allows you to use an image in whichever way you want, without any legal requirements. On the other hand, creative commons with attribution means that you can use an image according to your requirement, but you have to credit the creator of the image.

Now, let’s move on to the stuff you have been waiting to hear about. Here is our grand list.

 

1) Pixabay

This site is famous for its simple and brilliant search feature and its stock of incredible images. All of the images are licensed while most of them do not require attribution.

 

2) Unsplash

Ever since our team stumbled onto Unsplash, they can’t seem to get enough of it. The pictures here are so cool and hip that people like me just cant stop looking and thinking which one to download. Launched in 2013, on Tumblr, Unsplash was actually an in-house side project where the founders wanted to share extra pictures they had from projects, turned out to be a hit when eager photographers started posting in order to be known and featured. Unsplash is considered the best website for high-resolution stock images on the internet. The website releases ten new and incredible photos every ten days, and is licensed under the Creative Commons. The best part – you can use these pictures anywhere like you could even print them on T-shirts or mugs or wherever and make money out it. Not too good thing for the creative artist but we are not complaining at the moment.

 

3) Public Domain Archive

This website stuns you with its collection of landscape and featurish pictures. There is a mix of vintage and uber-modern pictures but not that many of objects. Available in high resolution, most of these images contain breathtaking symmetry and muted colours. They are licensed under the creative commons and do not require an attribution. There is a page which also asks you to share the final piece where you have used. One problem is that there is no search button here so the pictures need to be seen page by page.

 

4) StockSnap.io

This website is well known for its pretty huge collection of high-resolution free stock photos. Added to that is the site’s search feature that makes browsing through thousands of pictures feel like child’s play. The site also tracks the downloads and views, so you can find out the most popular pictures. The images are licensed under the creative commons and do not need an attribution.

 

5) Getrefe

This one has a nice navigation where pictures have been stacked as per categories. Pictures available here are natural pictures captured on a mobile. There are some incredible pictures that have been taken by photographers all across Europe. Attribution for these images is not needed. Not all is free here though but the free category has quite a robust range of pictures.

 

6) Splitshire

This one was started as a side project by Italian photographer Daniel Nanescu and soon has caught the interest of photo-hungry marketers as well as designers. The website gives you pictures taken by Nanescu ever since he was 23. A graphic designer by profession, this guy shows you that he is also a photographer par excellence. The pictures are hauntingly beautiful and nicely classified for us to use. You could practically use it everywhere you want – from covers, to websites, blogs, artwork, and even in your paid products. You can even request for a picture which you don’t see there but want. Could things be better than this?

 

7) Death to Stock Photos

Well the name says it all and am darn glad it does. Founders and photographers Allie and David started mailing image packs, shot by them, to writers, freelancers, bloggers, designers after noticing the need for such images. For people like us who have been spent hours searching for good photographs, Death to Stock Photos seemed to have been sent from heaven. All they need you to do is sign up and you start getting sets of 10 images every month from the category you have chosen. You also get a pack of free pictures the minute you join. How good is that? Death to Stock Photos has its own licence available on their website. For those who like scrummaging through the website before downloading the pictures, this might not be the place for you. There are pictures that even have stories. There is a premium membership associated with those who want to access 400 photos and more. The profits, according to the founders, will fund creative projects across the globe. Worth checking out for sure!

 

8) Little Visuals

If you are looking for abstract images, then Little Visuals could be it. Similar to Unsplash, this website, after a free sign up, sends you seven high quality zipped images every week. They are registered under the creative commons licence public domain. The website has stopped uploading images for over a year after the sudden death of its creator Nic.

9) Picjumbo

As a designer himself, Victor Hanacek created this site to solve the problem of finding good quality pictures. This has a lot of useful pictures which can be used for blogs, websites, projects, whitepapers, slideshows etc. As per Hanacek, if you don’t want to attribute the pictures, that’s ok. Cool!

 

10) Startupstockphotos

This website stands out immediately with its large collection photographs of people at work, offices, and work objects. It has a startup focus to it, probably because it was created by people (Sculpt, an Iowa-based social media marketing agency) carrying the startup spirit. The best part is there are loads of usable images for technology entrepreneurs, web designers and writers. All high-resolution pictures are covered under the Creative Commons Zero license, which means you pay nothing to use the pictures. Neat right!

 

Conclusion

Using visuals is no longer an option but an important part of content marketing since it help break up the text and also explain what you are trying to tell the audience a lot better.

Hopefully, this list will help your team use more and better pictures in your blogs and websites than you were previously doing. And that should transform into more traffic to your website or content, which is always the goal.

Have you been using any of the above websites? Do you know of other websites which are not in this list? We would love to hear.


Author

Payel Mukherjee

Payel Mukherjee is the founder of Justwords. She is passionate about making good content accessible to everyone and talking about the endless possibilities of content to anyone who cares to listen.


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Are You Doing These 5 Mistakes While Choosing Your SEO Keywords?

Jan 5, 2016 | Payel Mukherjee

Are You Doing These 5 Mistakes While Choosing Your SEO Keywords?

The keywords are the nuts and bolts of your SEO campaign. The first step is get these ducks in the right row. Here are a few things you might be doing wrong while choosing your keywords.

Keywords are what makes the SEO world go around, so it’s obviously crucial to get those darn things right. With the wrong set of keywords, you would just be trying out various ways to catch the Google crawlers and yet not show up where you want to be. So here are five ‘mistakes’ that you should avoid while choosing your keywords, no matter how right they sound. You might not be an SEO expert or want to be one, but make sure you know what is right for your business.

 

CHOOSING SHORT KEYWORDS
It seems like a better idea to choose shorter keywords but the truth is that phrases or multi-word keywords are more likely to fetch you an audience. So from an SEO standpoint, more keywords equals more potential.

 

LACK OF CREATIVITY
We are often tempted to use general keywords that define our business as it is. Suppose you are a seller of graphic tees in Delhi, the first reaction is to “graphic tees seller Delhi” as keywords. This is where you get burrowed under the competition. Instead of the above, use a term like “Funky graphic tees seller Delhi” or “Cotton graphic tees seller Delhi”. This is likely to bring more visitors.


NO IDEA OF TARGET AUDIENCE
It is common to design keywords based on our understanding of our product or business, like fitting technical terms or terms that the target segment is unfamiliar with. What you need to do is to get into the mind of your audience and think from their point of view. This doesn’t mean that you give up jargons totally, but balance them with some familiar words too.

 

 

USING PLURALS
Never make the mistake of choosing plurals as keywords. This is because people seldom search for plurals, and since the search engine is very sensitive it may bury your website.


IGNORING GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
A very important but frequently overlooked fact is taking the geographical considerations into account when designing key keywords. The locally used lingo in a country varies across the world. Therefore, it is important to carry out appropriate research to incorporate keywords significant to a geographical location.


OVERLOOKING TRENDS
The world is constantly evolving, there is increased awareness and the media is constantly feeding new trends to the audience. In such a dynamic environment it is essential that keywords follow the trends. Old fashioned words that are no longer in use will not attract people to your site. So keep up with the time and make sure your keywords do too.


UNEVEN KEYWORD DISTRIBUTION
In trying to use popular keywords, there is a tendency to forget keywords that are less used but have less competition. Therefore, it is important to strike the right balance between the two to maximize your results.

 

There you go, with an extensive research and avoiding the above-listed mistakes, you are sure to find the right keywords that will open the door to your success.


Author

Payel Mukherjee

Payel Mukherjee is the founder of Justwords. She is passionate about making good content accessible to everyone and talking about the endless possibilities of content to anyone who cares to listen.


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A Fail-Proof 10-Step Guide to Good Content

Jan 5, 2016 | Payel Mukherjee

A Fail-Proof 10-Step Guide to Good Content

You get it! Content is extremely important for anything that has to remotely do with online marketing or its newer sibling content marketing. It’s the bait that the buyer is eventually going to bite! Yes you got it. And so you sit to write. That’s when you quickly realize, like many many people in the world do, that producing great content ain’t easy. So you turn to the luminaries in the industry and see what these cool guys have to say.

This is, in short, what you find –

 

 

OK you get it…but how the hell is this going to happen. Well the good news is that there is process to every good thing.

Process, well you cannot just set up a process and expect good content, what crap, you think.

But hey, listen to this – a process always makes things simpler and clearer in your head. And that helps you think better.

It’s sort of a way through which you walk to reach the goal of good content.

So here it is – a simple 10-step guide to get you started on your good-content journey.

 

  

 

Share this Image On Your Site

 

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list?

We would love to read your views in the comments sections.


Author

Payel Mukherjee

Payel Mukherjee is the founder of Justwords. She is passionate about making good content accessible to everyone and talking about the endless possibilities of content to anyone who cares to listen.


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Tips to increase social engagement on your blog

Jan 5, 2016 | Payel Mukherjee

Tips to increase social engagement on your blog

You may have thousands of readers visiting your blog, but if they aren’t commenting or sharing they aren’t intrigued enough! Participation of the reader is extremely crucial to a blog’s success. The lack of participation or action on the part of your audience belies the entire content marketing exercise.

Social engagement, therefore, is an essential ingredient in increasing traffic and making your blog successful. Studies have revealed that if people comment or share a content they are more likely to also utilize the product or services provided by the website.

So spruce up your content with these tips to optimize the social engagement quotient of your blog.

  • Choose interesting and relatable topics. A good way to do this would be to pick something from the latest happenings that is relevant to your website. Everyone has opinions and views to express on trending news. Utilize this desire of the audience to get comments on your blog.

 

  • Make sharing/commenting an easy task. No one has the time to search for the share button, no matter how good the content is. You can either place it on both the top and bottom of the page or have it scroll along with the content. This way people are more likely to share the blog.

  • Post the first comment. A good way to attract users is to post the first comment yourself. This acts like an invitation and draws the user to post their opinion. Always reply to comments. This helps in two ways: the people who have posted feel heard and important and it also paves the way for more people to share what they feel.

 

  • You can even end blogs with sentences asking the reader to respond with their views. Make sure the comment request is customized to the content rather than being a generic statement like – “write your comments below”.

 

  • Charity begins at home. Encourage your employees to share/like/comment on the company’ blogs. This way people will feel that that the blog is important and are more likely to share it themselves.

 

  • Add some visual elements to the blog to catch the reader’s eye. The chances of sharing or commenting increase if the user actually reads the entire blog.

So get into action with these killer tactics and watch your blog swell in size!


Author

Payel Mukherjee

Payel Mukherjee is the founder of Justwords. She is passionate about making good content accessible to everyone and talking about the endless possibilities of content to anyone who cares to listen.


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The freshness factor for a successful website

Jan 5, 2016 | Payel Mukherjee

The freshness factor for a successful website

Sparkling website + Amazing content = A Business.
Sparkling website + Amazing content + Frequent Fresh Content = A Great Business.

That was the simple math of the difference between a website that is just occupying virtual space and a great website that invites traffic and spells success. Apparently, ‘fresh’ is not just the patent of the food industry anymore, it has spilled over into other arenas as well, website content being one of them.

You can no longer revel in the blissful knowledge of owning a website and putting it up for people to see, constantly updating it is the key to attracting more audience. And given the thriving content writing agencies around, a lot of people seem to have realized its importance!

If you are still among the skeptics, we give you 10 fantastic reasons to breathe life into your website with regular fresh content:

 

1. Up Your Search Engine Ranking​
If you don’t figure in the first three pages of a search engine you are as good as extinct in the virtual world. Most search engines, like Google, score website content based on freshness and only display sites with the freshest content.
You can hire a reputed content writing agency to further optimize your website’s ranking on Google.

 

 

2. Vibrancy is Sign of Development​
If the last update on your website display 2011 as the year then people are likely to think you are out of business! Daily and regular updates imply that you take your work seriously and are deeply involved.

 

3. Freshness is Contagious​
Fresh content will attract more people to your website; these people in turn will talk about your site on social media and even share links leading to publicity. Like we always hear, any publicity is good publicity.

 

 

4. Brands You As An Expert​
The fact that your website is abreast with all the latest trends and innovations implies that your company has knowledge and expertise on the latest buzz. And when it comes to doing business, everyone looks for the experts, right?

 

 

5. Creates a Communication Channel​
An updated website is able to establish a close link with its audience and even make them feel involved. This translates into strengthening of the brand-consumer relationship and builds the brand image.

 

6. Gets More Followers​
If your website constantly features new content, it is most likely to convert casual visitors into loyal followers. No one likes to re-visit a webpage that looks like it was done up in the Jurassic Era and never has anything new to offer.

 

 

7. Employee Involvement​
A good company is one in which the employees take active interest in the working of the organization and are made to feel involved. By encouraging employees to write blogs and other content regularly for the website, you make them feel like are a part of the company.

 

8. Covering the Keywords​
Rather than fit all keywords into a few blog posts, you can create content around each keyword. This way you not only feature new content regularly, even the search engine optimization will increase.

 

9. Reason to Explore​
The fact that your website is updated regularly and features new content will make people return to it. This gives them more chances to explore your website and get to understand you better. Reason enough to do business with you!

 

10. Target Multiple Groups​
Often it is not possible to target all types of audience with a single content. With regular fresh content you can overcome this problem by targeting multiple audiences with different versions of the same content.


Author

Payel Mukherjee

Payel Mukherjee is the founder of Justwords. She is passionate about making good content accessible to everyone and talking about the endless possibilities of content to anyone who cares to listen.


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Preparing for the Mobilegeddon

Jan 5, 2016 | Payel Mukherjee

Preparing for the Mobilegeddon

Oops Google has done it again! It has brought about another mega revolution in internet affairs with its 21st April deadline of a major algorithm update. Simply translated, Google will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for websites. This means its high time website owners pull up their socks and get their sites mobile-friendly to face the Mobilegeddon if they want to stay in the run.
So does this mean that we all create of our websites to fit the mobile screen?

 

 

The answer is NO.
Mobile optimization is much more than that. Simply creating a mobile friendly site will not do, the CONTENT needs to match up too.
Very often we make the mistake of using the same content for the mobile friendly sites as we do for the desktop sites. And herein lays the mistake. Like the Smashing Magazine points out “you may be losing users if responsive web design is your only mobile strategy.” In other words, you need to know how to write the content for your mobile site too.
In case you are wondering how, here are a few tips for some rocking mobile friendly content:

 

Be Precise and Concise
Precision of content to suit the target audience is extremely important. You need to identify your target segment and tailor content accordingly.
Unlike computers, even the biggest of mobiles have comparatively smaller screens. Which is why using verbose content isn’t a great idea. Stick to short and crisp sentences that drive home the point without being bulky.


Picture Perfect
People love pictures. Period. Make use of interesting and catchy images to adorn your mobile site. Pair them with short and catchy captions and we guarantee you an increase in visitors.
Remember to keep away from heavy graphics that take eons to load!


Headline Alert
Do away with long and boring headlines and switch to short, catchy ones to keep the audience glued. No one is going to click on the content if your headline gives it all away. Retain the mystery.


No Pregnant Paragraphs
When writing content for mobiles, always remember to stick to short paragraphs. As the U.S. News explains, “Reading long paragraphs on your mobile device requires concentration – something people using a mobile device generally don’t have.”
So break up your content into small readable chunks that maintain the flow of the article.


Better Not Less
While keeping it crisp, short and simple is recommended, it does not mean that you wring all the meaning out of the content. Users on the go will read articles and will browse sites. You just need to insure that all the text is presented in a readable format.


With almost every website ready to join the mobile-friendly wagon, you need to do something different and creative. And this difference will come from quality content, so don’t lose focus on that.


Author

Payel Mukherjee

Payel Mukherjee is the founder of Justwords. She is passionate about making good content accessible to everyone and talking about the endless possibilities of content to anyone who cares to listen.


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Download our free case study to know how you can increase your business via content marketing. Download our free case study content marketing.

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