Inspirational Quote by Lao Tzu. Handmade Ideal Gift

Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Quote by Lao Tzu hand-typed on a vintage Olympia SM9 manual typewriter. For sale today on eBay UK. Ideal gift for inspiration and motivation. Typed onto recycled quality paper and wavy-cut edges ready to frame.

21 Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

This post first appeared on Business Insider on 25th March 2017.  Grammar rules can seem like a nuisance. Honestly, do you really need to check every single document for appropriate hyphenation? According to CUNY Journalism Press editor and writing coach Timothy Harper, the answer is a resounding “YES.” “The whole point of grammar and punctuation is… Continue reading 21 Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

10 Powerful Tips to Write and Sell Your First eBook (SBO)

A big thank you to the writers and designers at Start Blogging Online for this guest post-Infographic and kindly asking to post on the Virtuadmin website. The most important thing in writing an e-book is that you inspire people to do something or to take a positive step forward. This is the theme of most… Continue reading 10 Powerful Tips to Write and Sell Your First eBook (SBO)

23 Free Blogging Tools That Will Make You a Better Blogger

Whether you blog to share your experiences or to promote your business, blogging is the best way to connect with the outer world. But blogging is definitely much more than writing.The work does not end when you hit publish. You should be able to attract your readers time and time again to your site, and… Continue reading 23 Free Blogging Tools That Will Make You a Better Blogger

7 Surprising Places to Find Your Virtual Assistant

7 Surprising Places to Find Your Virtual Assistant

Welcome to Whose Business Is This, Anyway? Where the tasks are unending and your stress level doesn’t matter: Sound familiar?

If it also sounds like your life as an entrepreneur, until this point every little milestone of that life has probably been a celebrated victory. But the novelty is probably starting to wear off.

Related: The Virtual Assistant: A Startup’s Secret Weapon

 There’s content to be edited and updates to be made to your website. You’ve missed two meetings and can’t remember who the contacts are to reschedule them. And your inbox count looks like the GDP of a small country.

There’s a lot to be said about optimizing your own daily routine to get the most out of your days, but that can only take you so far. While you may have aspirations of a tremendously profitable quarter, it’s probably time to compose yourself and admit that you’re not going to be able to do it all alone. You can’t continue growing a business if you’re tethered to your desk.

Traditional hiring processes take far too long when you need someone immediately who can take the load off your shoulders. Ideally, you want someone who can materialize, quickly get up to speed on what’s happening, handle the workload, and disappear until needed again.

I’m referring to a VA (virtual assistant).

This is where a lot of entrepreneurs will cringe. Sure, it’s hard to give up control, and you may find it a challenge to find someone who is reliable and whom you can trust with private company intel. But those someones are out there: You just have to know where to look.

Here are seven surprising places to start your search.

1. Twitter

I am absolutely advocating that you search social media to find a stranger to trust with your business. Start talking about the need for a virtual assistant on Twitter, and you’ll be surprised just how fast VA businesses will respond and start following you. Some of the best VA companies have listening posts set up with alerts to find people just like you.

The best part is that if you’ve got a social-savvy VA, Twitter is just one more task he or she can help you with.

2. Your network

If your contact list includes other business owners, mentors, influencers, professionals or any combination thereof, then it’s time to make calls and let them know you need help. Chances are, they know someone, or can recommend a service they may have used in the past. Don’t ever forget about the power of referrals and word of mouth.

Inspired by Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek, New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt decided it was time to pick up a virtual assistant when he began to focus on his writing and saw his blog traffic (and workload) spike. He has had the same virtual assistant for years now and swears by her.

“I found that I was so much more productive that it was well worth the additional investment,” Hyatt says of his assistant. “She’s just one of my teammates — and a very valuable one at that.”

Related: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Startup Success

3. VANetworking

If you’ve never worked with a virtual assistant and you came up short on referrals, VANetworking is a good place to start. VAs often network and come together here as a means of finding work, as well as solutions. Not only do they provide information for clients who want to work with a virtual assistant, they also have a hiring section where you can post in search of a VA.

4. Craigslist

This one might be as surprising as Twitter. While the go-to classifieds site has its share of scammers, it’s very possible to find a top-notch virtual assistant on Craigslist. You can also look on Craigslist sites elsewhere in the world and choose your desired location, though the local aspect can be a huge benefit. Even though your assistant will be working remotely, you’ll have the advantage of setting up a face-to-face interview as if you were hiring an in-house employee.

Just make sure you do your legwork, like verifying work history and checking references.

5. Zirtual

Zirtual is a great choice for startups and entrepreneurs as the site specializes in providing dedicated virtual assistants to entrepreneurs, professionals and small teams. One of the biggest perks is that it works only with college-educated VAs who are based in the United States, so you don’t need to worry about the vetting process. Zirtual boasts that fewer than 2 percent of applicants get hired on to their service.

Pat Flynn, the founder of Smart Passive Income, often shares the benefits of working with virtual assistants on his podcast. In his tutorial on delegation, he writes, “I know just how valuable my time is and where my time should be invested to give me the most return.”

6. Workshops and events

Hopefully, you’re consciously aware that you’ll need help down the road and that you have time to be on the lookout. If that’s the case, then always keep the VA search in the back of your mind as you travel to industry events, workshops, and lectures. Those are great places for industry professionals to gather. If you find a VA at an event like this, you know he or she already has at least one foot inside the door of your industry.

Related: Hiring a Virtual Assistant Grew My Business, and Changed My Life

7. College campuses

A local college, or any college for that matter, can be a great place to locate a VA. Talk with career counselors or professors, or post-hiring ads on-campus job boards to try to locate a student studying in your industry. You may find a student chomping at the bit for a paid internship, willing to act as a virtual assistant as a means of learning the industry and gaining experience in his or her chosen career track.

*  This post first appeared on Entrepreneur.com on 17th October 2016 and is written by SUJAN PATEL

**  Header Image courtesy of Pixabay.com and edited by Virtuadmin.uk

100 Power Words to Improve Blog Writing

To improve blog writing skills, one of the things you need to know are powerful words that can evoke emotions that you want. Here are some of those words.

Are you trying to take your blog to the next level by improving your writing skills? This is a great idea! Good writing is the foundation of a great blog. If you don’t have that, all of the videos and infographics in the world cannot help you.

One way to increase the effectiveness of your writing is to use power words. These are words and phrases that grab the reader’s attention and evoke an emotional reaction or a desire to take some kind of action. Here are 100 power words that you can begin incorporating into your blog, and some notes on how and why they are effective.

Improve Your Blog Writing

Power Words that Encourage

These words are words that create a sense of encouragement. When readers see these words they feel courageous, ready to take on a difficult task, and empowered. These are great words to use when you want readers to be certain that they are not limited by personal difficulties. These power words are perfect when you wish to provide assurance that a difficult event or period of time is not insurmountable. Many of these power words can be used to lead into a call for action. This is because your readers will feel energized and more motivated to take action. Here are a few power words that encourage:

  1. Triumph
  2. Bravery
  3. Mind-blowing
  4. Magical
  5. Sensational
  6. Fearless
  7. Courage
  8. Hope

These are by no means the only power words that bring people encouragement, but they are quite powerful. Hopefully, knowing these words will help you to identify other power words that you can use when you want people reading your blog to feel encouraged and empowered. If you are posting on a subject that is heartbreaking or upsetting, you may find that these power words provide a needed balance to the news you are delivering.

Power Words that Make People Angry

Why would you want to make your readers angry? Actually, there are many reasons. Are you blogging about social issues? Are you trying to make your readers passionate about doing something to eradicate some horrible disease? Is there an injustice somewhere that you want to motivate your readers to address? Well, you do that by using power words that make them angry about the issue and ready to take meaningful action. Is your blog something that you use to market your products and services?

If so, do not skip this section. You too can benefit from using power words that make readers angry. Shouldn’t they be angry if they have been receiving poor customer service from your competitors? Shouldn’t they be angry if they have been overcharged all this time? Take a look at these power words that evoke a healthy sense of anger:

  1. Arrogant
  2. Bully
  3. Underhanded
  4. Disrespectful
  5. Loathsome
  6. Crooked
  7. Foul
  8. Deceitful
  9. Lying
  10. Taken advantage of
  11. Misleading

Hopefully, when people see these words in your blog they feel the kind of anger that motivates them to get out and make changes. Try using these words in your blog posts, and you can motivate your readership to do anything from donating to a cause, writing a letter to the editor, or converting to your products and services.

Related: Tips That Will Get You in Your Writing Zone

You may wish to combine these power words with some power words that cause encouragement. After all, who is more effective than a person who is justifiably angry and who believes that they are capable of making a difference?

Power Words that Tempt People

Everybody wants to be in on a secret. They want to access to information that others do not have. They want to do things that are ‘forbidden’. They want to see themselves as insiders, and as part of an elite, exclusive group.

Power words that tempt people evoke curiosity. It makes them want to find out more. It encourages them to find out what it is that they might be missing out on. These are some of the strongest call-to-action words that any blogger can use. Here are the power words that tempt:

  1. Unauthorized
  2. What they don’t want you to know
  3. Off limits
  4. Limited Access
  5. Elite
  6. Behind the Scenes
  7. Secret
  8. Banned
  9. Black market
  10. Insider
  11. Controversial
  12. Concealed
  13. Locked Away
  14. Cover up
  15. Confidential
  16. Limited Edition
  17. Insiders Only
  18. Forbidden

These power words are very effective if you want to attract more readers to your content, to create viral content, and to publish content that starts conversations. Have you ever played with the idea of using special rewards and the promise of access to premium content in order to get new subscribers and followers?

These power words do an amazing job of sending out a call to action to those who crave VIP status, and who love being the first among their friends to get the insider information. Of course, if you promise insider deals, special access, or to reveal secrets, you have to follow through.

Power Words that Evoke a Love of Money

Who doesn’t like getting something for free, or at least at a deep discount? People love feeling as if they are getting a great deal, or as if they will be getting something for nothing. Power words that manipulate people’s desire for freebies and special deals have been in use for years.

In fact, you will probably recognize many of these words from advertisements that you watched your entire life. Some of them may seem a bit corny, but they do work. Check out these greed inducing power words that you can use on your next blog:

  1. Skyrocket
  2. Freebie
  3. Giveaway
  4. BOGO
  5. Rewards
  6. Discount
  7. Free
  8. Jackpot
  9. Markdown
  10. Savings
  11. Rock Bottom
  12. Barely Used
  13. Employee Discount
  14. Insider Discount
  15. Special
  16. Pennies
  17. Dollar
  18. Cheap
  19. Slashed
  20. Limited Time
  21. One Time Only
  22. Just for Loyal Customers
  23. Inexpensive
  24. Gift
  25. Fortune
  26. Advantage
  27. Triple
  28. Double
  29. Prize
  30. Gift

People love sales, free offers, door prizes, deep discounts, and coupons. Use these power words and you’ll keep your sales staff busy for days as they field calls and inquiries. If you are creating a post announcing a future sales event, you will gain significant traction with your audience if you incorporate just a few of these words in your posts.

Power Words that Evoke Feelings of Fear and Terror

Fear words are extremely effective in grabbing and keeping the attention of your readers. After all, fear words are what many media outlets use to keep people watching. Fear can be used as a call to action. It can be used to convince people that something deserves their attention. Fear can also be used to convince people that they will miss out on something if they do not continue reading.

There is definitely a danger of abusing these words and using them to unfairly manipulate your audience. But, as long as they are used judiciously and you are honest with any facts that you present, these words can really make your blog ‘pop’. Here are some fear mongering power words that you may be able to use when writing blogs in the future:

  1. Refugee
  2. Banished
  3. Backlash
  4. Abuse
  5. Hurricane
  6. Gullible
  7. Revenge
  8. Victimized
  9. Crime
  10. Assault
  11. Prison
  12. Horrific
  13. Scream
  14. Risky
  15. Tainted
  16. Prison
  17. Jail
  18. Taxes
  19. Debt
  20. Lurking
  21. Terrorists
  22. Shadowy
  23. Instability
  24. Lawsuit
  25. IRS
  26. Nightmare
  27. Devastating
  28. Virus
  29. Infectious
  30. Inflicted
  31. Heinous
  32. Shocking
  33. Toxic

These words don’t just evoke fear. They evoke a desire to learn more, to stay tuned, and to get more information. Fear words may be initially shocking to read, but eventually shock will turn into a desire to take action. You can use these words to create a formula that moves your readers from shock and fear to action. Then, your job is to simply guide them to the action that you would like them to take.

A Final Note on Power Words

It may be difficult to imagine how 100 words and phrases can have such an emotional impact, but the truth is these words create responses in ways that other words don’t. If you combine the use of power words with other marketing techniques that are used to promote and market blogs/websites online, increase user engagement and make content viral (SEO, mobile friendly, social media, right keywords, etc.), you will be well on your way to increasing your readership and your internet presence.

So, why not give a few of these words a try on your next few blog posts. Then, take a few measurements. You will likely find that shares and comments increase. If you don’t see results right away, don’t be discouraged. It can take time to get into the groove when it comes to using power words effectively.

3 Examples of How Semicolons Strengthen a Sentence & 3 Cases of Overkill

Semicolons help clarify construction of sentences. Using the punctuation mark, employed as either a comma on steroids or a strategically flexible period, is usually just one of two or more possible solutions, but though it has a stuffy reputation and many writers are confused about its applications, it often is the best choice.

1. This issue is not cut and dried, it’s actually fairly complicated.

This sentence demonstrates the simplest and perhaps most common error related to the role of the semicolon: the failure to use it when needed in the weak period function. This pair of independent clauses must be separated by a semicolon: “This issue is not cut and dried; it’s actually fairly complicated.”

Replacing the comma with a dash or beginning a new sentence with it’s are alternative strategies, though the

statement does not include a sharp break in thought (which a dash is intended to signal) and does not constitute two distinct ideas meriting separate sentences, so the semicolon is the most suitable solution.

2. For breakfast, he had eggs the way he liked them, over easy, bacon, locally raised, of course, toast, and coffee, which he always stirred exactly 10 times to blend in the milk.

This sentence requires semicolons to clearly organize a rambling list of words and phrases that constitute a menu: “For breakfast, he had eggs the way he liked them, over easy; bacon, locally raised, of course; toast; and coffee, which he always stirred exactly 10 times to blend in the milk.”

However, the preparation details can also be presented enclosed in parentheses, which renders semicolons unnecessary: “For breakfast, he had eggs the way he liked them (over easy), bacon (locally raised, of course), toast, and coffee (which he always stirred exactly 10 times to blend in the milk).” For consistency and to enhance sentence balance and rhythm, better yet, a corresponding detail about the toast should be inserted.

3. The act offers protection from lawsuits arising from monitoring information systems, including employee email, cyberthreat-related disclosures, and sharing of that information with other companies.

This sentence requires semicolons because even though “including employee email” seems obviously related to the preceding phrase, the sentence can also be read as if employee email, cyberthreats-related disclosures, and sharing of that information with other companies are being offered as examples of information systems. Use the stronger punctuation mark in such sentences so that the sentence organization is unambiguous: “The act offers protection from lawsuits arising from monitoring information systems, including employee email; cyberthreat-related disclosures; and sharing of that information with other companies.”

Cases of Semicolon Overkill

Semicolons serve a useful function in helping distinguish between elements of complex sentences, but lengthy sentences with long phrases do not necessarily require the support semicolons provide. These three sentences demonstrate an unnecessary application of the semicolon as a comma on steroids.

1. Electrical shock may cause serious burns; injuries to internal organs, such as your heart; and even death.

Semicolons should generally be employed as strong commas when elements of a list themselves include lists or otherwise include commas of their own. Here, however, the sentence construction is clear and simple; “such as your heart” is obviously part of the list element pertaining to injuries to internal organs (and doesn’t necessarily need to be set off from the rest of the phrase anyway): “Electrical shock may cause serious burns, injuries to internal organs, such as your heart, and even death.”

2. Examples of enhancements might include reporting on the status of critical enterprise risks; changes in key external variables impacting the validity of the organization’s strategic assumptions; significant emerging risks; the capabilities for managing other important business risks; and the status of initiatives to improve capabilities.

The elements of this list are wordy but not complex, so “super coma” semicolons are an excessive measure: “Examples of enhancements might include reporting on the status of critical enterprise risks, changes in key external variables impacting the validity of the organization’s strategic assumptions, significant emerging risks, the capabilities for managing other important business risks, and the status of initiatives to improve capabilities.”

3. The basketball star’s legendary moves—aerial assaults; triple-clutch reverse layups; facials on seven-footers; one-handed rebounds or ball fakes; opposing shots stolen from the sky; big-game buzzer beaters at any time—couldn’t be replicated.

As in the previous example, the use of semicolons in this sentence is overkill: “The basketball star’s legendary moves—aerial assaults, triple-clutch reverse layups, facials on seven-footers, one-handed rebounds or ball fakes, opposing shots stolen from the sky, big-game buzzer beaters at any time—couldn’t be replicated.”

*This post first appeared on Daily Writing Tips by By Mark Nichol

5 Tools That Will Make You A Better Writer

I love writing. To me, there is nothing more cathartic or soothing than turning off the rest of the world and putting my thoughts to paper. This passion has made it easy for me to create content for Duct Tape… I love writing. To me, there is nothing more cathartic or soothing than turning off… Continue reading 5 Tools That Will Make You A Better Writer

The Value of an Audio or Video Transcript

Today, in May 2016 advancements in technology have progressed very rapidly over the last 10 – 20 years.  Being from a time before computers and mobile phones, I am very glad for the progression of the internet. For me it has meant I no longer travel out to work in an office transcribing, I can… Continue reading The Value of an Audio or Video Transcript

Writer’s block? Try typing one-handed: Slowing down how fast you type can boost the quality of your writing By Sophie Freeman

By Sophie Freeman For Mailonline Published: 05:43 EST, 7 March 2016

Researchers from Canada used text-analysis software to analyse essays  The vocabulary became more sophisticated when typed with one hand Experts said slowing our writing down allows us more time to think.

Whether you have ambitions to be the next J.K. Rowling, or just want to send more impressive emails to your boss, try typing the words with one hand. The quality of our writing improves when we type single-handedly, according to a study.

Using text-analysis software, researchers found that the vocabulary used by study participants as they wrote essays became more sophisticated when they typed with one hand rather than two. The quality of our writing improves when we type single-handedly, according to a study. Using text-analysis software, researchers found that the vocabulary used by study participants as they wrote essays became more sophisticated when they typed with one hand rather than two.  ‘Typing can be too fluent or too fast, and can actually impair the writing process,’ said lead author of the study, Srdan Medimorec, from the University of Waterloo, Canada. ‘It seems that what we write is a product of the interactions between our thoughts and the tools we use to express them.’

The research team said that by slowing our writing down, typing one-handed allows more time for an internal word search, resulting in a larger variety of words. However, it is important not to slow typing down too much, they said – as previous research has found this can impair our writing.

The one-handed typers in the current study only slowed down to about the speed of handwriting.

The research team said that by slowing our writing down, typing one-handed allows more time for an internal word search, resulting in a larger variety of words. The one-handed typers in the current study only slowed down to about the speed of handwriting.

‘This is the first study to show that when you interfere with people’s typing, their writing can get better,’ said senior author of the study, Professor Evan Risko. The researchers suggest that speed could affect writing quality regardless of the tools, whether they are text-to-speech programs, computers, or a pen and paper, but future research is required to confirm this theory they said.

For the study, which was published in the British Journal of Psychology, the researchers carried out three separate experiments.  Participants were asked to write an essay describing a memorable day at school or an event that had a positive effect on them, or one in which they defended their position on banning mobile phones in schools.

TYPING PATTERNS MAY REVEAL BRAIN DISORDERS

Scientists claim the computer keyboard could be a powerful new tool in their battle against Parkinson’s disease. Researchers at MIT believe a person’s keystrokes may reveal a huge amount of information about their motor skills.

Now they’re working on creating a keyboard that can tell doctors if someone has the neuron impairment, simply by analysing the way they type. They have written an algorithm that can tell how effectively someone is striking a keypad. For instance, it can distinguish between typing done in the middle of the night, when sleep deprivation impairs motor skills, and typing performed when fully rested.

It does this by analysing something known as ‘key hold time’ – a measure of how long a key is pressed before being released. While the study focused on the effects of fatigue, the researchers say they could diagnose conditions that impair motor function, such as Parkinson’s disease, much earlier than is now possible.

Preliminary results from a study of about two dozen Parkinson’s patients suggest that the researchers’ algorithm for analysing keystrokes can distinguish people who have the disease from those who don’t. The team is now planning a larger study of Parkinson’s patients.

[This post originally appeared here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3480177/Writer-s-block-Try-typing-one-handed-Slowing-fast-type-boost-quality-writing.html]

195+ Perfectly Optimized Design Templates for Email, Social Media & More [Free Templates]

We all know visual marketing works. Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Not to mention, infographics are Liked or shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content.  The problem is, it can be hard to actually create these visuals — especially when… Continue reading 195+ Perfectly Optimized Design Templates for Email, Social Media & More [Free Templates]

Freelancing – Two Popular Freelance Sites Analysed

Freelancing and procuring work on a regular basis to keep the cash-flow circulating in on the context of submitting proposals, quotes, or setting up gigs or services is hard to do. I’ve been freelancing as Virtuadmin on a variety of sites for the past few years but work has suddenly come to a halt and… Continue reading Freelancing – Two Popular Freelance Sites Analysed

2016 Forecast: Top 12 Great-Paying Freelance Writing Gigs

Top 12 Freelance Writing Gigs for 2016

If you think there are no great-paying freelance writing gigs out there anymore and it’s all $5 blog posts, I’m here to spread some sunshine.

I have the advantage of chatting with hundreds of freelance writers on a regular basis in Freelance Writers Den. That’s allowed me to get a strong sense of what the trends are, and where writers are finding opportunities.

I’m hearing more and more reports of rising rates in some specific writing niches, and of growing demand for some emerging assignments.

If you’re hoping to up your game and find great-paying freelance writing gigs this year, check out my list of a dozen top niches.

All of these niches have two things in common, so let me call out those two key items first:

Look for complex topics

This one cuts across all the categories below. If you want to earn well, stop writing about parenting/travel/yourself/pets/books and all the other things everyone on earth can easily write about, and tackle difficult topics few writers can manage.

That continues to be where all the money is. If you can write about surety bonds, advanced washing machine technology, trends in shower-curtain materials, new energy efficiency technology, that sort of thing? You can name your price.

Bigger is better

Most starving writers I know write for solopreneurs, local publications, small nonprofits, or local small businesses in their town.

Want to earn more? You need to start pitching bigger clients who have bigger budgets. Yes, I know you’re scared. But writing for bigger clients is actually easier and more fun. Successful enterprises tend to be less dysfunctional, better planners, and more focused — and they’ve got experience working with freelancers that can make your job easier.

Start going after bigger fish to bring home bigger paychecks.

Now that I’ve got you thinking niche topics and bigger prospects, what types of writing are set to earn well this year? Here are my predictions (in no particular order), and a break-in tip for how to get going in each market:

1. Case studies

Wherever companies sell a complex product or service, they need customer success stories to help describe why their solution is the best one in the marketplace.

I’ve seen writers get $1,000 for their first paid case study, after writing a single sample.

Break-in Tip: Nonprofits and small businesses would always love to have case studies, but can’t afford to hire a writer — volunteer to do one to get a sample.

2. White papers

Anywhere you find a business with a complex product or service they sell to other businesses, there are white papers. A study conducted by The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs reported 68 percent of B2B marketers used white papers last year.

If you’re not familiar with this format, which often runs 5-10 pages or more, it’s worth learning how white papers give buyers useful info while positioning the sponsoring business as the go-to source for a particular solution. Rates range from $.50 a word to $500 a page and up. (Steve Slaunwhite taught a nifty bootcamp we’ve got stashed in Freelance Writers Den on this topic.)

Break-In Tip: Look for tech startups that couldn’t afford a pro, and propose a brief white paper to help them gain visibility. Then, you’re set with a white paper sample.

3. Longform blogging 

Have you noticed blog posts are getting longer and more detailed? Yes, marketers have learned Google hates short posts, and rewards sites that have more in-depth information.

Fortunately, that means a great opportunity for writers to earn more in blogging, as blog posts increasingly become more like articles.

Google hastes short posts and rewards sites that have more in-depth information.

The secret of good longform blogging is not to simply take longer to say the same thing (which I’m seeing a lot of). Great long posts are packed with useful information, and often use screenshots, infographics, fresh interviews, and unique research. I’m seeing $200-$400 and more for these, and I believe we’ll see many more markets up their game in the coming year.

My biggest blogging prediction for 2016 is that it’s the year that recycling stuff you found on other sites will simply no longer cut it. To win these clients, start digging for the new angle that will get their blog noticed.

Break-In Tip: You can write a longform blog post on your own blog or as a guest post to show what you’ve got.

4. Brand journalism

What smells like a sophisticated, online magazine but is run by a company — and pays like copywriting? Brand journalism projects. These articles are usually overseen by an experienced editor, and you report the story like you would for any magazine or newspaper. The catch is the ezine content is there to get the brand name in front of consumers.

I’ve earned $2,000 an article writing these, and was able to pitch my own topics and write some fun stories.

Break-In Tip: Watch for brands that feature article-quality content. Many blue-chip brands are into this — I’ve worked on projects for SunTrust Bank, Dun & Bradstreet, American Express, and was recently approached by Intuit.

You may need to sleuth a little, because many outsource the editorial management to an agency. Try searching on LinkedIn or Twitter to see who’s connected to their content project, and reach out.

5. Annual reports

Along with their cousin the corporate social responsibility report, annual reports continue to be fat projects that can pay $5,000-$10,000. I’ve seen annual reports that easily top 100 pages — and if they like your work, this can be a nice repeat gig, every year.

More and more companies are feeling the need to do social responsibility reports to document their sustainability, human rights record, and more, particularly at public companies, so this is a growing niche.

Break-In Tip: Small nonprofits need annual reports, too — volunteer and claim a sample.

6. Big national consumer magazines

Reports of the demise of print have been widely exaggerated. Yes, there’s a lot of change going on, but some magazines are still going great guns and paying over $1 a word. I did a 1,200-word feature assignment this summer that paid $2,800 plus every dime of my travel expenses, for instance.

New magazines also continue to be born, though fewer than in the past — there were nearly 100 launches last year, and closures slowed — and new pubs are often more open to new writers than established rags. Crack that Writer’s Market online, dial their search tool up to five dollar signs (signifying highest paying markets), and see who you could pitch!

Break-In Tip: Start with those newer magazines, or your local ones, but don’t get stuck there. Keep pitching up to the next rung — and if you’re not getting responses, learn more about how to write queries and perfect your pitch.

7. Trade publications

These low-glamour industry-news pubs don’t get pitched a lot, and are usually desperate to find someone who can help pharmacists, restaurant operators, or convenience store owners wring another dollar of profit from their business.

As a result, pay tends to be good — $.30-$.50 a word at the low end, up to $1 a word or so. Trade pubs have survived the magazine fallout fairly well, as each has a niche audience advertisers who sell into that industry are dying to reach.

Go to tradepub.com and browse for topics you know or are interested in, scan some issues, and write a strong introduction letter that plays up your knowledge of the sector.

Break-In Tip: Play on your life experience here. Used to be a lawyer? Try one of the state lawyer magazines put out by the state Bar Association. This is a real use-what-you-know situation.

8. Video scripts

You’ve probably noticed that video is booming, from internal company announcements to welcome videos on blogs to video sales letters. It’s a great opportunity for you former TV and radio journalists, playwrights, screenwriters, and anyone else who writes for aural media to cash in.

Break in tip: Make a video for your website that shows your writing skill, or perhaps find a nonprofit that needs to promote one of their programs, write a script, and collaborate with a videographer.

9. Web content

If you can write an online sales page that gets your clients more revenue, you will earn well. I know writers who charge $2,000 for a long sales page.

But if salesy stuff isn’t for you, no worries — there’s plenty of earning opportunity in other static Web content.

Some of the best projects out there are revamps of big websites with 35-100 informational Web pages or more. I once worked on one of these projects for well over two years, billing $2,000 a month and up, every month.

As online presence becomes ever more important for companies, and changes like mobile require rethinking, I expect to see steady demand for Web content writing and rewriting. Remember my caveat about complex information — things like writing up hotel descriptions continue to pay poorly, but if you need to explain something like insurance consulting services or environmental engineering projects, pay should be at professional rates (at least $100 a page for under 300 words of copy, $300 and more for longer pages).

Break-In Tip: Finding starter clients for your Web content writing services is like shooting fish in a barrel. Get a list of prospects together in a particular industry, and then take a look at their websites. Contact the ones that look dated or lack basic info like a strong About page, team bios, or testimonials.

10. Marketing emails

All those people who predicted email would die are looking dumb about now, because email marketing continues to be one of the top ways blogs and brands reach customers and sell products and services.

Maybe at some point they’ll project these messages straight into our brains, but for now, building an email list and sending marketing emails continues to be a key marketing strategy. As with writing online sales pages, if your writing is connected directly to sales, you are golden.

I know writers getting $250 per email and more for autoresponder sequences or marketing campaigns.

Break-In Tip: Subscribe to a bunch of email newsletters in niches that interest you. Watch for brands where news turns up only sporadically, or sales angles seem weak — then reach out and offer to help.

11. Book ghosting for CEOs

Forget the regular folks who’re hoping you’ll write their life story, or the people advertising on Craigslist that they want an e-book written for $200. There’s real money in ghostwriting for busy, successful CEOs, coaches, motivational speakers, and other thought leaders.

I auditioned in the past year for several projects in the $15,000-$35,000 range, and $50,000 is not uncommon. If anything, the drumbeat of marketers telling thought leaders they need to build their authority by putting out a book under their byline is only growing — which means the audience that might pay well for a book is, too.

Break-in tip: Write an e-book yourself, so you’ve got a sample! Then start networking and connecting with the kind of coaches/CEOs who might do a major book.

12. Online Courses / E-Learning

This niche is huge — $107 billion globally, plus another $50 billion in self-paced e-learning courses, according to an elearningIndustry.com report. And talk about a global opportunity in every language — the three fastest-growing country markets for online education are India, China, and Malaysia. Much of this work is done by agencies or freelanced directly to writers and designers.

We’re not just talking online, universities, either — most clients are major corporations with the budgets to pay handsomely. From how to fill out your time sheet on up, companies are saving money and (wo)man-hours by turning trainings into online modules.

There’s a bottom line that putting training online instead of teaching it in person saves travel expenses for companies, standardizes learning, and creates convenience for learners. Interactivity is making online ed ever more efficient and valuable. Online ed is going to keep growing, as more companies discover the benefits — estimated growth is over 9 percent annually.

The opportunity for freelance writers in this niche, as Donald Trump would say, is huuuge.

Break-In Tip: There are a few moving parts to getting into this niche — but it’s easier to get started than you might think. If you’re interested, it’s worth taking the time to find out more about writing for e-learning.

To sum up, don’t believe the negativity out there, that all freelance rates are through the floor. There are still great-paying freelance writing gigs — if you know the types of writing that are in demand, and the clients that want you.

What writing niches do you think will pay well this year?  Leave a comment and add it to my list.

Source: 2016 Forecast: Top 12 Great-Paying Freelance Writing Gigs

How to Structure a Perfect SEO Optimized Page

  This Infographic was created by Neil Patel at Quick Sprout and introduces his Infographic by stating that (when this article was first published in November 2014 to help get your head around Search Engine Optimization) that Google looks at over 200 factors when ranking a website and that was in 2014!Today Cent Muruganandam has… Continue reading How to Structure a Perfect SEO Optimized Page

30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

Do you ever wonder how the best content marketers get so much done in such little time?

Sure, they have a team of people helping out, but that’s not all.

They use tools that help them plan content, manage content, and improve the performance of their websites.

These tools save content marketers hours of time and provide valuable information that you just can’t find with a Google search.

The following are 30 of the best content marketing tools available, including the tools we use for our business and our clients.

Content Planning Tools

1. SEMRush

 

What it does: SEMRush tracks over 95,000,000 keywords and over 56,000,000 domains to provide a complete competitive analysis of websites in your industry. You can find out how they rank for keywords and get an estimate of their traffic.

What it costs: Starts at $69.95 per month.

2. Ahrefs Content Explorer

What it does: A simple tool that helps you find the most shared content for any topic.

What it costs: Free with limited searches; plans start at $79 per month.

3. Google Trends

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What it does: Helps you find trends based on topics, location, and other variables. You can see historical trends and trends happening in real-time.

What it costs: Free

4. Content Strategy Helper Tool

What it does: This tool consolidates trending news from across the internet to provide inspiration for content topics.

What it costs: Free

5. BuzzSumo

What it does: BuzzSumo lets you find what content performs best for any topic or competitor website.

What it costs: Free with limited data; plans start at $99 per month

6. Tweak Your Biz Title Generator

What it does: Type in your topic, hit enter, and then this tool spits out hundreds of share-worthy blog titles for you to choose from.

What it costs: Free

7. Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator

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What it does: This tool is slightly different than the previous one. It randomly shows you a blog title idea where you can fill in your topic. You keep clicking to see more ideas, until you find the one that grabs your attention.

What it costs: Free

Content Management Tools

9. HubSpot

What it does: HubSpot is the best end-to-end Inbound Marketing platform that allows you to manage your blog, social media, email marketing, list segmentation, lead generation and scoring, landing pages, and more.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $200 per month

8. DivvyHQ

What it does: DivvyHQ is an entire platform that helps you plan, schedule, and publish content, as well as manage the entire workflow.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $1,000 per month

10. Kapost

What it does: Kapost is a content management framework that allows you to create content, distribute it on social media, and view analytics.

What it costs: Plans start at $1,000 per month

11. Siege Media Content Marketing Checklist

What it does: This is a helpful checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you can to create the best piece of content.

What it costs: Free

12. WordPress Editorial Calendar

What it does: Allows you to easily manage your blog posts with a drag-and-drop interface and schedule publishing.

What it costs: Free

13. Trello

What it does: Trello is a visual-based organization tool that allows you to manage separate projects or “boards” at once.

What it costs: Free

15. Google Drive

What it does: Google drive is a cloud storage software that allows you to create and collaborate on word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings.

What it costs: Free

14. Evernote

What it does: Evernote is like Trello and Google Drive combined.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $24.99 per year

Tools to Improve Your Content Marketing

16. Inkybee

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What it does: Provides insights about websites to help you identify influencers for outreach and PR.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $79 per month

17. BuzzStream

What it does: Research influencers, manage your relationships, and conduct outreach that’s personalized and efficient.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $29 per month

18. SocialOomph

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What it does: Allows you to schedule social media posts, track keywords, manage multiple accounts, and more.

What it costs: 7-day free trial; plans start at $6.97 every two weeks

19. Outbrain

What it does: A service that lists your blog posts under “relevant articles” or “promoted stories” on major websites such as CNN, TechCrunch, and ESPN.

What it costs: Minimum daily budget of $10

20. GetResponse

What it does: It’s a more advanced version of Aweber or MailChimp for email marketing.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $12.75 per month

Measuring Progress and Tracking Metrics

21. Google Analytics

What it does: Measures your web traffic and provides insights into traffic sources, demographics, user behavior, and more.

What it costs: Free with premium options for big websites

22. Advanced Web Ranking

What it does: Provides SEO audits, tracks rankings, keyword research, content optimization, and more.

What it costs: Licenses start at $199

23. Moz

What it does: Moz is a comprehensive tool that provides analytics, competitor research, and tracking for a variety of metrics.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $99 per month

24. Share Tally

What it does: You type in a URL and this tool shows you where it’s been shared and how many times.

What it costs: Free

25. ShareMetric Chrome Extension

What it does: A Chrome extension that compiles link data and organic search visibility from several popular marketing tools.

What it costs: Free on Google Chrome

Tools to Increase Conversions

26. OptimizePress

What it does: Allows you to easily build landing pages to drive sales of your product or service.

What it costs: Packages start at $97

27. Visual Website Optimizer

What it does: Run split tests, track user behavior, and optimize pages with minimal technical knowledge.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $49 per month

28. Optimizely

What it does: A simple tool for running A/B tests and tracking user behavior without using code.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $17 per month

29. Crazy Egg

What it does: Creates heat maps of your website that let you visually analyze user behavior.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $9 per month

30. Leadin

What it does: A free tool from HubSpot that lets you track user behaviors, convert visitors into email subscribers or leads, and provides detailed contact information.

What it costs: Free

Bob Ruffolo

Bob is the founder and CEO of IMPACT, an agency he formed in 2009 to help people and their organizations succeed by changing the way they market themselves online. Since its founding, IMPACT has achieved its status as one of HubSpot’s first Platinum Partners in less than 2 years, and secured its place as one of the top inbound marketing agencies in the country.

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