All posts by Elizabeth Haran

The Content Strategy Toolkit


The Content Strategy Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right

by Meghan Casey

4.12  ·

In this essential guide, Meghan Casey outlines a step-by-step approach for doing content strategy, from planning and creating your content to delivering and managing it. Armed with this book, you can confidently tackle difficult activities like telling your boss or client what s wrong with their content, getting the budget to do content work, and aligning stakeholders on a common vision. Reading The Content Strategy Toolkit is like having your own personal consulting firm on retainer with a complete array of tools and tips for every challenge you’ll face. In this practical and relevant guide, you will learn how to: Identify problems with your content and persuade your bosses it’s worth the time and resources to do it right Make sense of your business environment and understand your audience. Get stakeholders aligned on business goals and user needs Set your content strategy and decide how to measure success Create, maintain, and govern on-strategy content You will learn to control your content and not have it control you.”
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st, 2015 by New Riders Publishing (first published May 25th, 2015)
ISBN
0134105109 (ISBN13: 9780134105109)
Edition Language
English

GOODREADS COMMUNITY REVIEWS

Steph MyersSep 04, 2015 Steph Meyers
rated it. 5 Stars    It was amazing   
This is pretty much another required for the content strategy reference collection. It makes content strategy understandable and doable for small businesses and nonprofits that might not yet have the budget to pay a strategy firm. It also makes this a little less scary. I would love to sit down and talk with both Megan and Kristina Halvorson. They are pretty much strategy geniuses as far as I can tell.

Moniek

 Sep 03, 2015 Moniek

rated it 5 Stars  it was amazing

Shelves: content-management
Iedere content manager moet dit boek hebben. Fijn, helder en toegankelijke schrijfstijl. Bovendien staat het boek vol tips, formats & spreadsheets (die je allemaal kunt downloaden) en die het leven van een content manager écht makkelijker maken 😉

Misty

 Oct 24, 2015, Misty
rated it 3 Stars liked it
Worth a heavy skim, it’s great to get beyond theory to the nuts and bolts of actual implementation. I imagine the real value will come when I’m actually in a position to use the tools. As someone who used to work in a small nonprofit, I’m still struggling to see how these content strategy practices scale down.

David

Sep 03, 2015 David
rated it 3 Stars  liked it  · 

Got this book as a reading assignment on my job. It’s loaded with valuable tools for the modern content strategist, in fact, the toolkit alone (a Zip file containing a bunch of docs and templates) is worth the price of the book.

I skipped a few sections since they’re pretty specific to the tools being discussed but I’m pretty sure I’ll get back to them soon as I’ll need to implement some of he tools in the toolkit.

Recommended reference for content managers/strategists.

Bart De Pelsmaeker

Dec 22, 2015, Bart De Pelsmaeker
rated it 4 Stars really liked it
The book provides a solid framework and templates allowing you to start implementing and (internally) selling a content-focussed strategy. For part-time content marketers, the last chapters will be quite interesting.

Justyna Berzowska

Aug 30, 2015, Justyna Berzowska
rated it 4 Stars  really liked it
The Content Strategy Toolkit breaks content strategy down into a clear sequence and addresses key points you’ll want to pay attention to. It comes with a great set of templates and work samples you can use in your content strategy practice. These pieces will be really helpful to someone starting out or working as the sole content strategist in their organization. The keen analysis and insight will also be useful to those looking to refresh their practice or grow their consulting skills.

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 Stars

By Tracey on July 20, 2015

Format: Paperback

This is a really cool book. It’s useful for both newer content strategists who are looking for an overall roadmap of the process of a project, and also for more seasoned professionals who’d like to dip in to specific chapters for new ideas, tips, or tools. The tools that come with the book are awesome, too – I recently used the plan for the Objective Alignment Session in a large project kickoff, and the results were great.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone working in content strategy (or even with content strategists). It’s comprehensive, written in an easy, conversational tone, and chock full of great ideas.

5 Stars

By Russ on October 26, 2015

Format: Paperback

The Content Strategy Toolkit illustrates in easy to understand terms how to write better content, and how to get people to engage more with the content that you write.

The book takes you from the beginning to end of how to write content. From evaluating what is wrong with your original content, to how to structure your content so that it illustrates effectively the point you are trying to get across so that your content stands above others.

Each chapter is laid out with a clear objective, and the relevant tools that are required are shown, along with clear instructions on how to use the tools.

Meghan is a real world practitioner of content writing and so the skills and experience she imparts are taken from real world examples and examples that are proven to work This is shown in the way the book is written with the depth of understanding and the tools and techniques used.

This book will benefit a wide range of people from those who are seasoned content writers to those who are just setting out on writing content by introducing the skills required for content writing, and helping improve the skill set of existing content writers.

The skills I have gained from reading this book can also be turned to other areas of my profession, as the methods for evaluating and reasoning why content is not reaching it’s intended audience can be turned to pretty much any area where users have to interact with something. The toolkits can also be modified and used to help out too.

This book is a breath of fresh air. It’s not often a highly skilled content writer will impart their knowledge and ‘best secrets’ to help to improve the game of others. In this case, this is exactly what Meghan does.

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Meghan Casey’s The Content Strategy Toolkit delivers what it promises: a well-structured, content-rich set of tools for content strategy practitioners both novice and advanced. I appreciate the practicality of this book. The author organizes her thoughts into a linear, logical flow, communicated in useful bullet-points, making it easy to browse and read.

Casey packs her book with a workshop full of well-crafted and useful content strategy tools, including a stakeholder matrix, project kick-off email, project team matrix, session plan and even a sample agenda.

In addition to these many tools, Casey offers clear directions for mapping out stakeholders processes, artifacts and deliverables; project management guidance, including timeline, material, reporting and rhythms and a strong overview of the content inventory, auditing, and mapping process.

Casey also pays close attention to the stakeholder interview process, including questions and documentation review process notes. These notes culminate in building a discovery inside workbook incorporating best practices from UX design, market research, and general business consulting.
While this may seem like an overwhelming amount of material to keep under control, Casey does a good job of aligning all the parts into a strategic framework that ties everything together, from the beginning of the process through the resulting outputs and actions.

Casey offers a nod to Sara Wachter-Boettcher’s book Content Everywhere in her overview of structured content and entering content into the CMS.
Her content types and components tend to be large, chunky, and high-level — so it’s at this level a high level introduction to modelling.

Format: Paperback

If you are or want to be a content strategist, this thorough reference book will support you through all project phases. It’s brilliantly navigable, attractively laid out, and organized to a tee. Casey’s knowledgeable, friendly voice talks you through the whole process, pointing all along the way to downloadable resources—audit spreadsheet, super simple user test, making-the-case presentation starter deck, stakeholder matrix, communications-management plan, objective-alignment session plan, project-kickoff email, project-preparation checklist, detailed timeline, stakeholder-interview guide … you get the idea. Wherever you are in your content strategy career, this book helps you get to the next level.
4 Stars

By Anne on August 17, 2015

Format: Paperback

Well structured and thorough. A good ‘go to’ book if you’re handling a specific aspect of content strategy, looking for sins of omission, or structuring an overarching approach. I think it would also be useful as a way of benchmarking organisational competencies and therefore when structuring a programme of skills acquisition and continuous professional development (not just for those for whom content sits at the core of their job).
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Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi


 

Please read by blog on Book Reviews  before reading the following reviews about:

Content, Inc.

How entrepreneurs use content to build massive audiences and create radically successful businesses.

by Joe Pulizzi

 Click on the book icon to order.

Good Reviewing!!!

The Reviews below Comes From

GoodReads.com

The traditional “Shark Tank” model for start-ups is taking an amazing idea, product, or service, funding it, and bringing it to market. One expert in the start-up space declares this is entirely the wrong way to launch a business – and backward to boot.

If you build an audience first, using content – whether a blog, podcast, website, resource guide, newsletter among examples – you then have the opportunity to monetize to an already loyal following. It’s the smartest, most risk-averse way to go to market, and there are dozens of successful examples, from The HuffingtonPost and Game Theory to Goop and Kraft Recipes.com

Ann Janzer.com

Reading Joe Pulizzi’s new book Content Inc is a welcome shock for someone who lives in the engineering-driven, growth-hacking Silicon Valley. The book’s message: start your business by building an audience with content, before you write a line of code. Once you own the loyal audience, figure out what that community wants and build it.

Wait – what? Content first, not product?

If you build an audience first, using content – whether a blog, podcast, website, resource guide, newsletter among examples – you then have the opportunity to monetize to an already loyal following. It’s the smartest, most risk-averse way to go to market, and there are dozens of successful examples, from The HuffingtonPost and Game Theory to Goop and KraftRecipes.com.

Instead of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of the lean startup, Joe proposes a  Content Incstartup built on Maximally Valuable Content. (Can we make MVC a thing?)

If you’re involved in content marketing, you’ll enjoy the examples of building a business on the strength of great, differentiating content.

From a subscription marketing perspective, I love the idea of building and nurturing a subscriber base before selling anything. A company founded on this premise will develop a corporate culture based on adding value through content and aligning with customers’ values – both core value nurturing practices described in Subscription Marketing.

Even if you’re not involved in a startup, the book builds a cogent argument for finding your content niche (or executing your content tilt) and developing it to build your business.

Finally, I sense that Joe could be falling down a flight of stairs and he’d still reach out a hand to help someone else. The relentlessly helpful trend continues in this book. Even as it builds the main narrative arc on the Content Inc strategy, the book offers tons of useful resources, examples, and even one-line suggestions that are incredibly helpful.

I’m going to be keeping this one around and referring to it, time and again.

In CONTENT, INC., content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi shows you how to position yourself as an informational leader in your niche and develop content that is as beloved as that coming from any traditional media company. Using this model, entrepreneurs with limited resources can build a massive online audience as the engine that drives their entire businesses. Using simple recommendations, any small business owner can use to dominate the market without initially selling anything at all.

In selling, I am all about product reviews. Nothing is better in determining the quality of a product you desire to buy than word of mouth reviews. Below, I have shared with you many reviews from those who have read Content, Inc. These are people who, it seems, have no monetary connection with the author of the book himself. They are looking to find solutions to their problem of learning to write quality content for their own products. That is why I have shared these comments with you.

To join a wonderful community of people who are willing and happy to review your product or content and leave that review on your website take a look at Wealthy Affiliates

But for now, take a look at the book reviews of  Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

An idea whose time has come,startup marketing through content rich, audience following first, on-line business building. I’ve included the good and the bad reviews for your previewing pleasure.

Hope they help you to know whether-or-not this product might be a good fit for you.  Enjoy.

Good Reads Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 271)

Yodamom

Sept. 16, 2015, Yodamom
4.4
Very thorough look at how to develop your product, service or information. The information was well planned and even had methods to keep on track and focused. I loved that I tend to get side tracked and loose focus on where I am going. Easy to follow steps and advice. Fast and furious, get on board and soak up the knowledge.

Bianca Smith

Dec 07, 2015 Bianca Smith rated it liked it

Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi is like the latest James Bond movie. I’ve finished it, but I’m not sure if I like it.

Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute thus the source of many of my Tweets, so I eagerly pounced on a review copy of his latest book. Unfortunately, grad school pounced on me, so apologies for this late review.

In CONTENT, INC., content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi shows you how to position yourself as an informational leader in your niche and develop content that is as beloved as that coming from any traditional media company.

And I think that’s where I’m a little out. Content Inc tries to be a lot of things. It starts with two chapters explaining why being an entrepreneur is the best career ever. Then we learn what content is. The last few chapters focus on personal branding, linking back to the book’s promise. While reading it, I felt the book could have been several smaller books, much like the blog.

There were some great parts to Content Inc. I loved the concept of Content Tilt: using a Venn diagram to find your content sweet spot. The resource list was extensive and having it at the end of each chapter makes it practical. It was also very honest, with Joe using many of his own experiences, and not all were successful. Yes, he supplemented it with other case studies and examples, but Content Inc has a very personal feel to it.

Who Is Content Inc For?
Despite the sales pitch in the first two chapters, I think existing entrepreneurs who need a boost in their brand would get the most from Content Inc. It gives some great ideas to help position themselves and their business. The focus is all on content, so it may be hard to translate the advice to your business. The very vast majority of the cases are of people making money directly from the content. Even the swimming pool guy has positioned himself as a pool expert, despite never installing a single pool.

Content Inc was a gift from NetGalley and the publisher, McGraw-Hill.

Penny Sansevieri

Sep 16, Penny Sansevieri rated it really liked it
Good book, very solid content and well presented — the only reason I didn’t give it a 5 star was because I was fortunate to have experienced one of Joe’s speaking gigs and his energy is off the charts, this book wasn’t that. It was more subdued which was a tad disappointing. Many times you can really feel the author’s energy jump off the pages. The information was great though, I highly recommend it and if you get a chance to see Joe speak, run don’t walk. Fab presenter!

Julia Doherty

Oct 18, 2015 Julia Doherty rated it really liked it

I’m a fan of the Content Inc podcast and the book has been on my to-read list for a while. If marketing is your remit then this book is a must read. It’s modern, well written and is full of clear action plans.

I had two light bulb moments for my business when digesting this book (I was listening to the audio version).

Takeaway 1:- Find your tilt
You need to figure out what it is that you do differently. What is it that tilts people to use your services or buy your products over all the rest? I fo I’m a fan of the Content Inc podcast and the book has been on my to-read list for a while. If marketing is your remit then this book is a must read. It’s modern, well written and is full of clear action plans.

I had two light bulb moments for my business wh

Takeaway 2:- Remember print matters!
Even though I own a print business I do not fully utilise it to market my own business, which is crazy! We are so busy dealing with our own clients that we tend to put our stuff to the bottom of the list. Thanks to this book, I had another lightbulb moment to produce something in print that will not involve any further work.

I’m keen to get my new processes into action and watch my business flourish!

Thanks Joe!

Brittney

Sept 22, 2015 Brittney rated it really liked it

Wow. Just Wow. So jam packed with information, case-studies, guides, resources, links, wisdom and encouragement.

This is a resource that I took eight pages of notes on.

That’s right. I have eight pages of regular spiral notebook, old school notes that affirm the track I’m on, remind me of areas to tweak and notes for when I’m ready to scale up.

This is a great, linear resource that clearly articulates a big picture of business, especially online business, while giving detailed information on how Wow. Just Wow. So jam packed with information, case-studies, guides, resources, links, wisdom and encouragement.

This is a resource that I took eight pages of notes on.

That’s right. I have eight pages of regular spiral notebook, old school notes that affirm the track I’m on, remind me of areas to tweak and notes for when I’m ready to scale up.

This is a great, linear resource that clearly articulates a big picture of business, especially online business, while giving detailed information on how to achieve the big picture through content marketing.

I’ve seen a lot of these methods having success, although folks don’t necessarily realize that they are using the content inc method, the PRINCIPLES ARE THERE.

I too have been using the Content Inc method without even realizing it. I was naturally picking up on trends but now I have names and understanding for why they work. I’m affirmed and inspired to keep hustling, having patience, and hopefully, I too, can be a success story case study for Content, Inc.

Jane

Aug 20, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it

The first half of this book deserves 5 stars for practical advice and great examples of how to create worthwhile content that can market your expertise. There are good questions and tips for getting started and staying on track. The second half of the book, while still providing sound advice, moves very quickly from one-person shop to full enterprise, with little in-between. That lessened its impact on my thinking, deserving perhaps 3 stars. All in all this book will be helpful in understanding The first half of this book deserves 5 stars for practical advice and great examples of how to create worthwhile content that can market your expertise. There are good questions and tips for getting started and staying on track. The second half of the book, while still providing sound advice, moves very quickly from one-person shop to full enterprise, with little in-between. That lessened its impact on my thinking, deserving perhaps 3 stars. All in all this book will be helpful in understanding and shaping effective content market strategy.

Scott WozniakDec 15, 2015 Scott Wozniak rated it it was amazing

This is a practical, step by step guide to starting a content marketing program from scratch. It’s got examples, links to tools, and warnings of traps to avoid.

Content marketing isn’t just a fad or for a few types of organizations. It is a core need for pool companies just as much as it is for inner city non-profits.

This book is especially good for those who are starting with few resources. And while there’s overlap with his other book in theme, the specifics are new.

Mohammad GabrDec 15, 2015 Mohammad Gabr rated it liked it

It is not my interest to find out blogging and content writing business so it didn’t Attract me so much.
But in general it is collection of blog posts or articles not a coherent book.
It opens my mind to a new world of business and new tricks and tips
Another cons , that it depends on mentioning software tools and websites by names which may lead to make this book outdated in short time as technology changes faster. I would like to focus on the concepts not current technologies

Rebecca

  Nov 10, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it

This is not the kind of thing you read unless you’re really, really into content marketing. But it’s a pretty good guide. Not every part is generally applicable, and he’s got a definite bias in favor of building a machine to generate content and then monetize off of that (rather than starting with an actual product). But there are a lot of good points, and if you’re looking to build a platform to later make money off of, this is a blueprint.

Anne Janzer

Nov 09, 2015 Anne Janzer rated it it was amazing

Even if you’re not involved in a startup, Joe Pulizzi builds a cogent argument for finding your content niche (or executing your content tilt) and developing it to build your business. Even as it builds the main narrative arc on the Content Inc strategy, the book offers tons of useful resources, examples, and even one-line suggestions that are incredibly helpful. It’s a keeper, particularly for entrepreneurs and content marketers.

Cezar Halmagean

Sep 19, Cezar Halmagean added it  

It’s ok

It’s good info but I felt like there wasn’t anything new. The same things that you can find in “Epic Contentent Marketing”.

Josh Steimle

Sep 29, Josh Steimle rated it really liked it
Awesome! If you’re an entrepreneur, activist, or just someone who wants to get a message out, this is your manual.

Angelo

Oct 06, 2015 Angelo rated it. It was amazing
6 stars if I could

Saretta

Oct 10, 2015 Saretta rated it really liked it

So, I’m not recommending this book based on what I’ve read in it, but what I have read about it. I have taken the time to find a legitimate book reviewer in GoodReads.com. So, on the basis of all the reviews above from independent marketers to graduate students, if you want to learn more about the world of ‘content marketing’, ’tilt marketing’ or just how to write a better article for your readers, I would recommend reading this book.  Click on the icon to purchase the book from me. And join me and my great community at Wealthy Affiliates

But for now, take a look at the book reviews of Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

Please visit my website at www.writingqualitycontent.com

Also, please comment on my post in the comment section below.

Contact me at www.beth@writingqualityconent.com with anything you’d like to share.

All the best,

Beth

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Scam or Legit Reviews – On Product Research For Quality Content

In my last blog, How To Know What People Want – Customer Motivation in Stop SignWriting Content – Customer motivation In deciding what you want to put into writing product content, I shared with you, the STOPS that researchers claim just about every human being makes on the road to purchasing a product, service or information they are interested in.

The customer is putting out their hard earned cash and they want to be really happy with the product and services they are spending their money on. They want to know if what they are being advertised is a scam or legitimate in the case of information and services and an actual product in the case of a product purchase. 

These stops may or may not be unconscious and may make up the sum total of a customer’s motivational reason for the purchases they make. The stops we went over in the last blog were:

  1. Personal Motivation
  2. Psychological Motivation
  3. Social Motivation
  4. Product Motivation

Ease of Research and Purchase Motivations or Product Motivation, the fourth stop along the road map to a customer’s decision to purchase a product where they ask ‘is it a scam or is it legit?’ is the subject of this post and the following is an outline of the process of deciding what to put into the content of a post in which you are reviewing a product, that every should go through with every product you want to promote on your website.

Product Research Needs

Putting yourself in the place of your customer you might want to ask yourself the following. (1.)How comfortable would the consumer need to be with the purchase process?

(2.)How easy does it need to be for them to find quality reviews and accurate descriptions of the product they want to purchase?

( 2a.) Is there a warranty on the product?

(2.b) How easy is it to find that warranty?

(3.)Is there a trial offer on the use of the product.

(4.) Are they offering a benefit for trying the product and reporting back to them, or are they just offering a reward for trying it?

(5.) Do they wait until after the trial period is over before they send you your reward, denying you the reward if you cancel the product after the trial period is up?

(6.) Are there any disturbing manipulations concerning the product that you are not comfortable with?

(7.) Are there questions about the product that their own research has not been able to answer? (8.) Is it easy (possible?) to find a live, knowledgeable customer service rep to answer all those question you need to have answered?

Has your customer ever given up on a purchase simply because the process of verifying  the quality of a product was too complicated or difficult or they couldn’t be confident that this product was of good quality?

These are the questions that most smart shoppers will ask themselves in an effort to double check the features, reliability and durability of the products they want to purchase.

Your review of the product will give you the information you need to make a quality content review of the product you are promoting, and it will give your potential customer the confidence to know that the product you are promoting has the features he wants in this product and that it is of the best quality product out there for the price they are looking for.

So How Do We Know If We Are Doing Quality Research?

Again, we ask ourselves what would I want if it were me purchasing the product.

  • Answer:

I would want to know if there are descriptions of the product out there on the internet by people who have no motivation to give it a good review except that they like it, have used it, know how it was made and what it is made of and are, un-rewarded and unsolicited, willing to give an objective review of the product.

Question: How would I find those reviews?

  1. Go to internet enter product description, info description, service description into the search-engine window.
  2. Look for one or two or more products with the qualities and features you like and want.
  3. Understand the process that your consumer uses to make their purchase decisions.
    • He probably knows he must do the research to get the best quality for his dollar, but wishes he could trust someone else to do that for him.
    • One of the best sites to find honest, unbiased, unpaid for reviews fo products and services available especially to affiliates is            www.scamxposer.com
      1. It’s free to research products and businesses that scamxposer has already purchased and reviewed. There is a fee, however, if you want to submit to them a business that you would like reviewed. The fee covers scamxposer’s cost for subscribing to your desired business or website, but I don’t think the fee to scamxposer is anywhere near the costs in time and money to purchase programs yourself to see if they are legit or scams.

4. Lastly and I think this is one of the most important, can you contact an actual customer support person within a reasonable amount of time. Is that support as knowledgeable as thy need to be in answering your questions? Can you escalate your question or concern to a higher level support person? You should always be able to get your questions answered about this product.

Though the following review is not about a product I have reviewed, Click here to see what I have done in reviewing a book for those in my niche who want to make a living writing quality content for themselves and or others.

 

Evaluating Alternatives

  1. What were the results of your own search?
  2. Were you able to find good product reviews before you bought?
  3. How did you find those product reviews and how did you decide they were good and valid reviews before you purchased the product?
  4. Were you able to find good customer service support to answer ALL those questions you could not find in your research?

 

Answer:  Go to google again and type in:

  • (a)compare (brand name of a product you would like to purchase) with (second brand name of a product you would like to research) There are websites out there that do nothing but compare and detail contrast brand name consumer products.
  • While you can’t be 100% sure the person writing the comparison isn’t getting a kickback from one or both of the company’s whose brands he is comparing, he is probably getting income in some other way and the comparison he is doing is the service he provides in order to get traffic that purchases other products he may be promoting.
  • So you can be pretty sure he isn’t going to mess with his source of bread and butter and the brand comparisons are pretty accurate.-You do this so that you can get a side by side comparison of the product you want to potentially purchase.

Writing That Review

The full-page, comprehensive review:

Product reviews are one of the big mainstays of the affiliate site:

  • Can you remember purchasing a product in the past after doing the research above and were you more satisfied with the quality of your purchase than you were with products that you didn’t research?
  • Writing ContentWhat specific benefits is the customer looking for in this product? You will need to include these in your product descriptions, explaining how the features and functions help provide those benefits.

Don’t copy the manufacturers description word for word as the customer can get that himself by going to the manufacturer’s site. What the customer is looking for from you is a kind of mini-portal that brings together, comparisons, features, stories of the product they are looking to buy along-side reviews about competitive products. Customers want to know that what you are promoting is the best or at least among the best that is out there.

I’ve been to sites where manufacturer descriptions are transferred directly to the product review site. I click away from those almost immediately and try to find something that explains that information for me.

A review is usually a more effective promotional tool for affiliates than a full-blown sales page because it gets past your readers natural defenses – with a review you’re no longer a salesperson, you’re a friend who is looking out for the reader’s interests, recommending particular products or warning them away from bad products.

  • Is there a return policy on the product, include that.
  • Is there a warranty? Include that.
  • Any trial period offers? Include those. And if there is anything in those offers that might be difficult to fulfill, let your customer know that.
  • Give them the best contact information you can find for the product.
  • Be sure to put some of the customer reviews that you found to be authentic in your review as well and if there is a chart or table that outlines customer satisfaction with the product put that in too. You can’t simply copy the Customer Review Chartreview you read from your research, but you can use it heavily in your review, as always using your own words. Remember, if you have a story to tell about the product or can find one, use it!
  • As you can see there is a lot of information above to gather and analyze. It would probably be easiest to put all of your research for each of the areas of consumer STOPs along the way to a purchase in an excel spreadsheet, every question and answer, every research process taken, every decision made. All should go into a form that puts it all together for you to look at, analyze and consider the best way to review your product. Taking into consideration of course, what motivates you to like this product in the first place. Remember to tell that story.

This may seem like an awful lot of work to go through to get someone to purchase your product. After while if you follow through with the steps I outlined above, each research will take less and less time as you will know what you are looking for and it will jump right up at you that these are the quality reviews I am looking to share. I think commerce should be about service. If I do you the service of providing quality research, put it out there in a clear, well-written manner and tell a story about why you want to promote the product to me, the I may just be more inclined to reciprocate by purchasing the product from you, because trust has been built.

  1. Reviews tend to follow a particular formula on affiliate sites: generally, you will take one or more affiliate products in your market and write a bit about the product from a “critical” perspective. Once you’ve imparted your honest opinion to your visitors you then invite them to learn more by clicking through to the merchant site – through your affiliate link, of course! When they purchase anything at that merchant site, you will get paid a commission for their purchase for sending them there.
  2. You may also wish to try to promote two products on your review pages by claiming that the number 2 product is the best value for money, or the best at some other category that you could create for it, or by saying that it is an essential companion to go with the number 1 product that you recommended. You may even consider testing promoting both products as first equal and giving them the freedom to choose the one that suites their specific needs best. Wit due respect to giving you the truth about his kind of review, I have been told that the downsides of this method is that it can confuse the reader and they may not purchase either product as a result. I personally think that the truth is always the best way to build trust. If there are two products out there of the same quality, let your reader know and let them decide. They will realize that you are more interested in giving them a solution to their problem and providing them with quality products than you are at taking their money. This is something you need to test for yourself.
  3. This is the kind of review a lot of us enjoy reading. This review goes into all the details: all the features, all the benefits, the good points and the bad points, complete with oodles of product photos or screenshots.These types of reviews can be successful in certain circumstances. They can be great as landing pages for pay-per-click, and for grabbing targeted natural search engine traffic that is specifically looking for reviews of a particular product.
  4. This is good for you if your review is written so well that it outperforms the current sales page that the merchant has – in this case, you may even be able to request that the merchant allows you to link directly to the payment page as there is no need for the reader to read through the merchant’s sales page after reading your in-depth review

One place where you can get quality reviews on any post or review that you write before you publish is a wonderful internet community that I belong to and just love. It’s a site that mentors you step by step into and through the choosing and creating of a niche website the seeds of which begin with your passion for life and ends up through the Wealthy Affiliates Community as an expression of the creativity, discipline and aspirations of your finest self.

Go, right now, to Wealthy Affiliates and become part of a community that will help you to express your inner passions with quality content that will draw people to come back again and again to see what you have to offer.

You’ll be glad that you did.

Please comment on my post.

Visit my website at www.writingqualitycontent.com

Email me at beth@writingqualitycontent.com

All the best.

Beth

 

 

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How To Know What People Want – Customer Motivation In Writing Product Content

The title of this post is How To Know What People Want – Customer Motivation In Writing Product Content. I want to be up front by saying that this is an article about how to define your quality customer when considering how to write content that will attract them to purchase a product. My main focus in this article entails what motivates people to purchase products and the reasons they are motivated to make those purchases.

However, and this might interest you the non-consumer viewers of this Story Idea Sprout Lightbulbpost, I have found in researching the ideas below that what motivates people to purchase a product or some information or service is much the same as that which motivates them in any avenue of life they may be looking for motivation in: career to follow, skills to learn, where to work, who to work for, who to marry, how many children to have, where to live, hobbies to get involved with, political party to join, religion to believe in, everything that gets us out of bed in the morning and moving toward some kind of achievement for the day, big or small.

All of these motivations are based on the same underlying motivation that compels or inspires our desire to purchase a hat, or buy a car, or pay to have the house cleaned, or what insurance policy to buy or investment to purchase.  Every motivation under the sun is based on finding a solution to a problem.

The Human Spirit Requires Solutions

The Human SpiritThe human spirit keeps us moving forward, we die in many ways if we do not keep trying to figure out what the world and universe are made of, what people are made of, what makes us happy, joyful, sad, sick. What makes us want to love one another as well as hurt one another. We spend years and fortunes on acquiring educations that help us understand the world we live in and the people we live with better. The world of our social lives is going through an epic shift with the advent and use of the Internet. One that will be known throughout History as the Information Age.

We want information. We want to know. We want the exchange of ideas. We want to participate in and help to make better the world we live in and the lives we touch and if there were some way in our Western culture to make that happen without having to buy into complicated economic systems we would.

However, we have too often seen how gadgets and commerce have been the motivation and inspiration for the solutions to so many of the problems that keep our spirits from moving forward toward the discoveries we were created for. We believe in gadgets, we believe in services, we believe in information and we believe that the exchange of those things whether for free or for purchase is the thing that fuels the engines of creativity, discovery and progress and most of all we believe that we do all this for the people we love whether those people are our spouses, or our friends, our children or our countries, or even ourselves (we are human too after all.) We learn about our world, our lives and the people we love through the gadgets and books and movies all the stuff  we play with. All the stuff of our creativity and all the stuff of commerce.

So even those of you viewing this post who are not necessarily interested in what motivates customers to purchase, but just in what motivates people for whatever reason, might find something of interest here too. I would like to know in the comments section below this post if you do. Thanks.

Who Is Your Customer?

Quality content writing depends on what motivates your customer. To know this, you will need to develop a deep understanding of who your ideal customer is, what they’re looking for, how they go about making purchase decisions.

Your customer will know if this level of understanding is there when they come to view and read your content.

You Are That Customer – I believe that the most important thing you can consider as you try to understand your potential customer is their motivation for purchasing your product. This doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. As a person who has chosen the niche your customer is looking at to purchase in, to promote, if you have not already realized it, you are also a customer of that product or service too. So, how would you define the following product features if you desired the product for yourself?

  • The following outline takes into consideration a well-defined map that researchers have Road Mapdetermined that potential buyers use in the process of motivating themselves to purchase a product. I like to define each of the criteria as stops along the road to making that important or even not-so-important purchase. If more of us took responsibility for understanding ourselves what these stops mean in our own purchasing process, I think we would be less inclined to impulse purchase and more inclined to purchase and use products for not only the personal solutions they provide, but the social good they can help us produce. The good we can do to help ourselves be healthy so that we can help the earth and the people in it to thrive.
  • The outline below puts “motivation” under psychological factors, but I think motivation, as I said before, is the thing that influences everything we do and the outline below influences our motivations. Go on a little mind meld, shopping strategy, shopping spree with your potential customer. You two could be exactly alike, or you could be alike in some ways and not in others. Consider each of the following aspects and of motivation as you try and shop with your ideal customer.

1.) Personal. These are some of the personal factors that motivate purchase behavior.

  • Demographics – Age? How old are you and your customer? Does it matter? Could a person of any age appreciate this product? Gender? Are you male, female? Does it Personal Adventurematter? Could either gender desire to use this product, or is it gender specific?  income, location
    • Behaviors – Hobbies, & Interests – movies, books, plays, woodwork, sewing, needlepoint, gardening, games? Motivations: Why do we like what we like? What relevant buzzwords, values, turns you and your buyer on and off? Why do they turn you on or off?
    • Learning patterns – where do you and your customer spend your time online to learn about new topics? Why do you go there and not somewhere else?

2.) Psychological. These motivational features include:psychology

  • Personality – Do I like to engage people more than things?
  • Attitudes – Am I a conservative spender, a shopaholic?
  • Lifestyle – Do I live a rich life, moderate life, frugal life, poor life? What decisions have I made to get me to living this life? Do I value quality or price, or both?
  • Motivations – Why do I like people more than things or vice versa? Why am I a conservative spender and not a shopaholic or vice versa? Why do I live frugally? Why do I live opulently?  How do I use the stuff I have?

3.) Social. These influences include:

  • Friends and Family – How much do I depend on my friends and family for emotional Socialsupport and guidance? How much do they depend on me for those things? How important is it that I show them my love and support with gifts of products and information?
  • Opinion Leaders – Am I political? Do I participate in political debates at home, school, office, party headquarters? Do I purchase logo identifying paraphernalia to show my support?
  • Role Models – Who are my role models? Family members, friends, teachers, political and opinion leaders, pastors and priests, bosses, T.V. and movie personalities, sports figures? and similar factors.

I’ve asked a lot of Why? motivations in the map above. That is because people are primarily motivated by solutions: Will that help me finish my project? Will this get the person to fall in love with me? Will that Questionmark 2get the person to forgive me? Will this help me get a better position at work? Will this ingratiate me to this group of people? Will that adequately show my love for this person or group of people. Will this make me a better person, more kind, generous, compassionate?

Review the motivations and emotions that drove you to want to promote your product and chances are they will be the same things that will drive consumers to purchase them too.

That seems pretty straightforward. What are you (your customer) stuck at? What is keeping them and Stuckyou from finishing that hobby you’ve started, or the work project you’ve undertaken? What solution do you need? Do you need a gadget or a widget to keep going? Do you need inspiration or motivation to renew your interest? What is going to make your life easier by completing this task and whatever goes with completing it? What relationships are you going to heal or promote with this purchase?

All Is Gift

GiftNow that you understand how to discern your customer’s motivation behind what drives their  purchase choice, whether that purchase is to provide themselves or someone else with something they need or want or are just curious about, all is gift and you recognize that you still have a need to choose the appropriate brand or style of product you wish to purchase and ask yourself, “How would I go about Researching the product I and my customer wish to purchase.”

In light of that important need, I would like to add one more criteria to the motivation of consumers and that is:

  • Product Quality and Acquisition – How comfortable is the consumer with the purchase process? Have they given up a purchase simply because the process was too complicated or difficult or they couldn’t be confident that this product was of good quality?
    • Understand the process that your consumer uses to make their purchase decisions. How much confidence in the product do you (your customer) need to have in order to purchase this product?
    • Customer ReviewSearching for information – Where would you search for information to try and find this product. Have you ever done so?
    • Evaluating alternatives. What were the results of your own search? Were you able to find good product reviews before you bought? How did you find those product reviews and how did you decide they were good and valid reviews before you purchased the product?
    • Deciding to purchase. Can you remember purchasing a product in the past after doing the research above and were you more satisfied with the quality of your purchase than you were with products that you didn’t research?
    • What specific benefits is the customer looking for in this product? You will need to include these in your product descriptions, explaining how the features and functions help provide those benefits.

cropped-Track_near_Upton_-_geograph_org_uk_-_403186-1.jpg

Looking down the road a bit, I will be going into the above stops on the map in more depth in future posts. Please come back periodically to see if I have found my way there.

So, whether you are trying to decide on a niche, or to communicate with the customers in a niche you have chosen. I think it is important to always keep their motivation and the things that can influence their motivation in mind.

It might even be wise to keep an excel spreadsheet or journal of what might motivate your customer: when that might motivate them, where they would be when motivated to buy your product, who would motivate them at that time and in that place.Estimating_Spreadsheet

Because motivations change from time to time, season to season, year to year, relationship to relationship, as a product promoter, if you are concerned about the quality of life of your customer at every turn of the events and people that effect their motivations for finding solutions to their problems, and you should be, you can:

1.) Give them quality solutions

2.) Help them feel that someone is thinking about them and their changing life needs. I know it seems counter-intuitive to think that the salesman can be a support person like a family or friend would be, but Only the Bestin some small way, product promoters like ourselves can be just that. As long as we value our customers and promote only the best quality products with proven records of filling the needs our customers have, we will be doing just that, giving them a service that can be almost if not as supportive as the emotional support a friend or family member would give. People are looking for solutions in every aspect of their lives. And in most cases those solutions have to do with relationship, whether those solutions are emotional or material.

I don’t like to equate emotional solutions with material solutions, but there have been a number of times when a simple thing like a friendship that could be enriched by taking a turn at paying for or hosting a meal shared together, or by giving a gift that ‘wasn’t much’ but spoke the words that needed to be spokenHeart was facilitated by material things.

Again, I hate to say it, but sometimes people really do need to give and receive material things in order to heal some emotional scars. We are all human beings and human beings like all living creatures with eyes to see, ‘like shiny things,’ whether those things are to keep for our own use as we use them to understand ourselves, our abilities or our preferences better, or to learn about the people and the world we live with and in or to give them away for the use and healing of others. Things, the right things, in appropriate measure, quality, value, meaning and motivation can help our emotions to heal and our human spirit to soar.

I would like to share with you what has motivated me and supported me to write this article on motivation and get it out to you. I have found a wonderfully supportive community of people who have guided me step by step technically and emotionally to get this out of my head heart and into yours.

As I said before, people want to learn and share ideas with one another in the hope that this sharing can make a better world. Wealthy Affiliates has created the structure to teach people just like you and me how to communicate with others like ourselves, our ideas, hopes, wishes and the products of our creativity. Just about everything that they do to get you going and the support is free except for the hosting of your website which is under $50. They put milestones and takeaways in their lessons so that the process of putting yourself out to the world can be absorbed by you in more comfortable and digestible steps and steps, and without as much shell – shock as when you try to go it alone. There are so many details that need to be taken care of every day when you start this blogging journey and the only way you will be successful is by taking care of those details when they need to be taken care of.  That is what Wealthy Affiliates does best.
Check us out for free for 7 days then only $19 for the first month. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

Please leave me a comment below: Yeah 🙂 or Ney 🙁

and please visit my website if you have a mind to at                www.writingqualitycontent.com

Email me at beth@writingqualitycontent.com

Thank you for journeying to the end with me.

All the best.

Beth

 

 

 

 

 

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The Basics of Writing Fiction

Basically – Writing Fiction is an Art Form –

Form of ArtThe very basics of writing fiction are that it is an art form. It is a form of art that always ends up as a story.  That story may express what you the author may or may not have actually experienced. And there is no guarantee that what  you have written is factual. It may be, but it doesn’t have to be. It uses the symbols of language to put your experience or thought into a form  that can be communicated to others and it has structure and form. Every word that is written in fiction is part of a pattern. A pattern you create.

What is the seed of the story?

It is very important, to realize that though life experience is the seed you plant as the essence of your story, in real life events follow one another for no apparent reason. Very seldom can a life event become a self-supporting PLOT and your story can spill into many different beginnings without ever finishing a complete thought.

That is why it is important to learn the techniques and structure of fiction writing so that you can help your life events complete a pattern that makes sense and are understandable to the reader.

The techniques of the art of fiction can help you control your imagination and life experiences and form them into a story that can help yourself and others to change, to evolve, to heal. And so,

  • events in a novel do not happen by chance (even when the plot brings characters together by chance, the author has a reason for bringing them together, even by chance.)
  • every event must logically follow another
  • there is a reason for everything that happens
  • you as the author are responsible for assigning that reason to those events

Choosing the seed to plantStory Idea Sprout Lightbulb

There are a couple of ways to decide which idea you want to use as your experience (from life) or event (from your imagination) that will be the basis for your story.

The first is called the “Daydream Technique:”

  • Before you write a scene daydream it.
  • Focus on making your daydream as vivid as possible
  • What exactly is there?
  • What happens?
  • Pay attention to all of your senses. What do things sound, smell and feel like?
  • Focus on improving the daydream. Take as much time as you need to do this.
  1. Now, start to write, describing the daydream as clearly as possible.
  2. It is important not to focus on words that sound good or on writing technique.
  3. Concentrate on expressing the daydream as accurately and specifically as you can.
  4. Focus on the daydream and not the writing.
  5. You can go back and improve the writing later by developing the characters, character traits, plot, etc.
  6. Right now you must concentrate on writing down as clearly as you can what you saw in your daydream so that someone else reading about your daydream will be able to know what you saw.

A second technique is to take a real experience from your life events.

  • Recall the feelings that were associated with that event.
  • Stay with those feelings, playing with them, being healed by or because of them.
  • Whom do you associate with those feelings?
  • Even if it is a negative or bad feeling, know that feelings can’t hurt you. They exist to help us learn from our experiences.
  • So, let the feelings be what they are and begin focusing on how you feel about the person with whom you associate this feeling.
  • What do you feel about that person? Write it all down. Every detail.
  • If for some reason this is painful for you or challenges you, know that it is a good pain, a good challenge.
  • Now, try to understand what a possible healthy resolution for your feelings might be. Try to make it a feeling resolution and not a head one, even if that feeling ends in punching someone in the belly. Wouldn’t it be great if you could use a little humor to resolve the situation, but that’s actually for a specific genre we will be talking about later. Right now just get the situation resolved so that your feelings are healed. Just get them expressed.
  • Do not worry that this resolution has actually taken place in the real world. Just imagine a resolution if you never got one.

Now, as clearly and in as much detail as you can write down how you imagined that feeling, person, conflict and the resolution that you imagined.

  • Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation or writing techniques.
  • Just write the story so that someone else can understand what you experienced.

Now, at this point, a lot of potential writers get stuck in their telling of their feelings and their stories, because they are afraid to disclose something about someone who has not given them permission to do so.

  1. First of all. You don’t have to identify anyone by name. Nor do you have to represent this as a first person story. You can eventually write the story as having happened to someone not remotely related to you.
  2. And secondly. This is your experience. You can own this. It happened to you and you have every right and even obligation to make sense of it for yourself and if in the process you help others with their possible struggle with the same issue or experience then that is what you are meant to do. We do have a responsibility to learn from our own life experiences teach one another from those lessons.

Once you realize that you are working within an art form, it is important to become knowledgeable with each of the basic fiction components:

  1. Characters (main characters and secondary characters)
  2. character traits
  3. setting
  4. conflict
  5. plot or story

I would encourage you to begin learning as much as you can about each of the above components of fiction writing. I will be giving you my take on each of them as I build out my blog but please read and research all the wonderful stuff that is out there in Google, on Youtube, different teacher forums, etc.

Please try the techniques above and let me know what you think of them. How can I make the instruction of them clearer and how did they work for you. Help you? Hinder you from wanting to continue pursuing the writing of fiction?

Please comment on my post below.Elizabeth

Visit my website www.writingqualitycontent.com

Email me at beth@writingqualitycontent.com

Elizabeth

 

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