Avoid Web Content Chaos: Map Your Editorial Workflow

by Momoko Price

One of the biggest misconceptions about web writing is the belief that great copy is the product of a single person: the writer.

Not true. From print ads to magazines to full-blown novels, high-quality, high-volume copy has always been the product of a multi-person production line — an editorial workflow.

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Reviving Your Dead Blog: The Setup

by Momoko Price in ,

This short tutorial is designed to help small business owners write properly targeted blog posts their customers will actually appreciate (instead of those all-too-common sporadic, shot-in-the-dark company blog posts no one reads).

In the midst of reviving your own business blog? Before you dive back into it, take 30 minutes and work through the following exercise. It's worth it.


1. List 1 or 2 Skills or Tasks You’d Love to Help Your Customers With.
If you sell a product or service, chances are the skills you pick will be related to it. But maybe not. Just make sure to choose stuff you’re genuinely passionate about.

For example  …

I like helping people:

  • Organize & plan unmanageable tsunamis of web content
  • Write & edit web content more effectively and enjoyably

2. List 3 Types of Customers That Would Benefit From Your Help.
If you’re a carpenter, you might write content for DIY-spirited homeowners, or other carpenters, or furniture designers.

If you’re an accountant, you might cater to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers.

Take a moment and identify exactly who will want to listen to what you have to say. Once you’ve identified these people, ask yourself: What’s in it for them to read my content? How has this post made their life easier? Put yourself in their shoes.

For example  …

As a content strategist and copywriter, people who would appreciate my skills would be:

  • Marketing managers
  • UX designers
  • Startup and small-Business CEOs

3. List 5 Influencers Who Already Target These Customers.
I hate marketing buzzwords like ‘influencers’, but you know what I mean. List 5 people within your field of expertise who have a vibrant online presence and are already engaging with your target audience.

For example  …

Five kick-ass online personalities in the field of web content that I might list:

4. List 5 Content-Rich Sites That Are Already “Doing it Right”.
Finally, identify 5 web publications that provide great, useful content to your target audience. You should check these sites regularly, for a number of reasons:

1. They give you a sense of the kind of content your readers are interested in
2. They provide great, topical material to learn from and follow up on in your own posts
3. They help you get a sense of what’s already out there, so you can brainstorm ways to cultivate your own voice/brand
4. Eventually you’ll be familiar enough with these publications that you might successfully guest-blog for them later on

For example  …

My list of 5 web content & copy-focused sites would probably be:

Keep these lists on hand whenever you’re brainstorming ideas for good content. Scan through them whenever you’re stuck and listen to what these people and publications are saying. Before long great, relevant ideas will start popping into your head and you’ll be pumped to get your next post ready.

A tough-love test for web content

by Momoko Price in , ,

D Bnonn Tennant recently wrote a fantastic blog post called Why Don’t Most Web Designers Know Anything About Business? that I just had to share.

Why don't most web designers know anything about business?

Why don't most web designers know anything about business?

According to Tennant, every web page you create should have 1 (one!) central, revenue-generating (or at the very least supporting) objective in mind, or the page shouldn't even exist. In other words, each page on your website should play a clear, unique role in helping a new visitor make a decision about whether to engage further with you and your business.

If this role isn't 100% clear to a website visitor within about 5 seconds of them landing on the page — ie:, if they can't figure out a) where they are b) what they're supposed to do there and c) why they should bother doing it —  the web content & design of that page is failing. (Talk about a tough-love assessment, no?)

Haven't read Tennant's article yet? Seriously, check it out. It may change your whole perspective on page layout, web content planning, and the importance of oh-so-critical calls-to-action.

How to blog (for small businesses)

by Momoko Price in ,

Has anyone noticed how, despite a ton of hype about Google Penguin & Panda ‘changing the SEO landscape,’ blogging and marketing tips for small businesses really haven’t changed all that much?

Small business blogging tips: Then vs. Now

A few years ago, ‘how to blog’ articles went something like this:

“SEO is critical for getting your page seen on the Web today. Here are some tips you can use to get the traffic you want …”

  1. Think of some keywords related to your business
  2. Verify your keywords using a keyword tool
  3. Create / write your content 
  4. Add keywords and metatags to your content
  5. Publish.

Today, ‘how to blog’ articles say some variation of:

“These days, SEO is only part of the equation when it comes to creating shareable / viral / high-traffic content that will accelerate growth for your business and drive revenue. The key to online marketing today is creating awesome, engaging, high-value content that matters to your customers. Here are 5 Tips to Help You Create Incredible Content:”

  1. Think of some keywords
  2. Verify your keywords using a keyword tool
  3. Create / write some awesome content your customers will love
  4. Add keywords to your content
  5. Share on as many social channels as you can manage without losing your sanity.

Apparently the content marketing game has changed, but content marketing tips for small businesses still sound pretty much the same (with the exception of appending some variation of ‘oh and remember to make your content awesome and valuable.’)

So how do you create awesome, valuable content on a limited budget?

Great blog posts come from your customers, not you

Here’s probably the most common-sense, cost-effective content marketing strategy for small businesses that I can think of:

Create content that solves a problem (or answers a question) that your customers are actually talking about.

So many startups and small businesses are perpetually at a loss when it comes to brainstorming topics to write about for their blogs, when in fact, the hands-down best topics are literally spilling out of their customers' mouths, 24/7.

Your customers have problems they need to solve, and they’re talking about them online ALL THE TIME. They talk about them everywhere: in LinkedIn groups, on Quora, on Twitter, in Amazon reviews, in blog comment threads, and through their Google search queries.

Instead of sitting around trying to brainstorm ‘cool topics’ to write about for your business blog — and then invariably being discouraged because it’s not nearly as ‘cool’ as the high-budget campaign some Silicon Valley superstar put out last week —spend time brainstorming places where your customers are talking online instead. Then spend 30 minutes every morning listening. Not promoting yourself, not spamming people; just listening to what your customers are saying.

Before you know it, you’ll invariably hear someone complaining about something that you feel really passionate about, that you know you can help them with, that you realize so many people in your industry — customers and competitors — are getting dead-wrong.

That is the topic of your next ‘high-value’ business blog article. And the next one. And the next one.

Got it? Good. Now, go find those keywords and get writing!