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How content writing saves you time and money

moneyThere’s a lot more to copywriting than just paying someone to write stuff for you. The benefits of content writing are many and varied. Before we go into specifics, just remember this: content writing frees up your time, cuts your costs, and improves the performance of your marketing.

Want to know how? Just read on.

SEO

If your business has any sort of online presence then you know what SEO is. Fresh, high-quality content is vital in ensuring that your website gets ranked highly on search engine results. The higher up you are, the more potential customers will come your way. Getting your content written by professional, experienced writers ensures that perfect balance between what the search engine needs to read and what your target audience needs to read.

Money

When people think of copywriting, they often think of money going out. What they tend to overlook is the money coming back in. A professional writer crafts better copy, with stronger messages, that will attract more readers, and convert more customers. With copywriting you don’t get what you pay for – you get a lot, lot more.

Time

What business owner has the time spare to sit down and write quality, engaging content on a regular basis? Let’s face it, there are a lot of other tasks you need to be doing and content writing isn’t the kind of job you want to rush. With experienced writers, and keen eyed proof readers, all you need to do is hand over a brief and put the content you receive to good use. In the meantime, you can get on with whatever it is you need to be doing. Simple.

Better content

Everyone can write to some degree. When it comes to promoting your business and attracting new customers you want to make sure you’re doing it properly. You’d choose the best graphic designer, the highest quality web developer, and the most professional suppliers. Getting a professional writer to craft bespoke content will get you much better results, and therefore make you more money.

The perfect writer matched to your company with no work required from you

Finding the right writer for you can be a time-consuming process.We already have a large team of flexible writers with whom we have a strong relationship. We look after them, because we know that writers who are cared for care about you. Instead of you having to trawl the internet, reading reviews and finding recommendations, we can match you with the perfect writer for your job.

We don’t mass-produce we craft

Virtual Global is not a content farm. When you come to us you are accessing the skills of a well-paid writer at the top of their game. They work with us because we understand the power and the value of the written word, and we work with them because they have the skills to grow your business, attract your customers, and increase your sales. Our flexible pool of talented writers means that we will have the right person for your industry. Get in touch today to see exactly how content writing can grow your business.

Where do you find interesting data for articles and blogs?

world-cupFinding interesting data and statistics is always a challenge when writing content. You have to search through hundreds of websites and pages to find just a few useful bit of information. Google offer some advance search features to help filter search results, but you still have to work your way through the pages to collate just a few bits of content gems for use in an article or infographic.

However, I did come across an interesting site and thought I would share it in the hope it might help a few people out there looking for some interesting data for their content.


Yougov
is an international, full service online market research agency. They claim a 350,00 member strong database of volunteers who offer opinions on a variety of subjects from social media to politics. These results are searchable and they position it as a “giant review website”.

They collate a lot of the results and publish them under Public Opinion. I decided to run a quick search for social media related to Brazil or the World Cup 2014. It’s an interesting search as we can look back in hindsight at the opinions of those taking part in the surveys and see how their thought panned out. I found it easier to search the YouGove website using Google search and use their advance search command for searching a specific site like this-

Site:www.yougov.co.uk/ “world cup” twitter

Here is what I found in the first few pages of results.

yougov-logoA survey on Wednesday, June 18, reports that Children are more optimistic than adults about England’s World Cup prospects with 45% of 8-10 year olds believing they will win.

Although young children might not make great football pundits or be more accurate than an octopus, the British public did come close to foreseeing the final scores of the world cup final between Germany and Argentina and side the day before the match predicted a 2-1 win for the German.

A poll conducted for the Sunday Times revealed that British fans didn’t really want Germany or Argentina to win the World Cup at all, but in the end 38% rooted for Germany to triumph.

For my last fascinating statistic I had to go off the YouGov site and into Google for a quick search on Twitter and the World Cup. The Guardian came out top of the results with a news story on Twitter and Facebook breaking new records during the World Cup.

Facebook said that 88 million global users made a record 280m interactions – posts, likes and comments – during the World Cup final, easily breaking the previous record held by the Super Bowl in 2013 that only managed a paltry 245 million interaction.

So, YouGov has some nice opinions that you can cite, but any articles or content you write might need to be augmented with data from other sources.

Google Search Commands List

Google search has some great commands that you can use to refine your search results. This is very useful if you are looking for information, data or quotes to use in articles or content. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to want to share them any longer and instead spoonfeed us with their version of what they think we want to use to search for information. You can find their version of refined searching here on Google search tips and tricks.

For a more defined list of search commands go to Google’s Search Operators.

cache: Show the cached snapshot of a page
link: List pages which link to a page
related: List pages which Google consider to be related to another
info: Find one specific URL in the search database
define: Show Google’s glossary definition for a term
stocks: Show American stockmarket information for a given ticker symbol
site: Restrict a search to a single site
allintitle: Restrict a search so that all the keywords must appear in the title
intitle: Restrict a search so that some of the keywords must appear in the title
allintext: Restrict a search so that all of the keywords must appear in the body text
allinurl: Restrict a search so that all of the keywords must appear in the page address
inurl: Restrict a search so that some keywords must appear in the page address
OR List pages which have at least some of the keywords
+ Insist that the search engine includes a given keyword in the search results
Insist that the search engine omits pages which match a given keyword in the search results
~ Enhance a search to include synonyms for a given keyword
* Include a wildcard match in your search results
[#]…[#] Search a range of numbers as a keyword
daterange: Restrict a search to any timeframe
“” Restrict a search so that the keywords must appear consecutively in a phrase
date: Restrict a search to a recent timeframe
safesearch: Restrict a search to exclude adult-content
filetype: Restrict a search to a given type of file

How to find data and statistics to write great articles

google-searchWriting fantastic articles is difficult enough as it is, but I find the most difficult part is finding the relevant data that goes into them the biggest and most time consuming issue.

Not only are statistics, quotes and facts important to add credibility and meaning to the article, but they are the key elements that make content interesting and share-worthy. Plus, Google are now getting cleverer with their search algorithms and position pages in their search results based on the quality of the content. Citations from authority organisations, websites and reports will be what Google are looking for as part of their campaign to deliver meaningful results. Matt Cutts talks a bit about quality content.

So, this leaves us with the question of where to get the “golden nuggets” of data to begin with. There are a lot of dedicated tools that crawl the websites, social media channels forums, news channels and any other online digital medium. You can use content aggregators, social media listening tools, RSS feeds, content curators or just plain old Google search.

I have to say, what annoys me is Google want us to provide valuable data for our readers and yet then makes their search engine so “unfriendly” for finding any real data in the first place. Perform a search on Google for a statistic and you will have to wade your way through hundreds of pages of waffle to discover just a few useful bits of fact or data.

However, there are some features you can use in Google to find data and statistics to add to your articles. Why they don’t make these tips and tricks a little easier to discover remains a mystery and adds weight to my previous point.

Google Search Settings

First, we have Google’s Search Settings which you will find in a drop down menu when you click on the little cog looking icon in the top right of the search home page, ONLY ONCE you have performed your initial search.

google-search

You can set the results page to display up to 100 articles per page here which saves having to click on to the next page all the time. It also allows you to do a quick search for a word or phrase on all 100 results in the display by clicking [CTRL + F], which is the hotkey for “find”.

Where results open – Open each selected result in a new browser window”

This useful to have checked when doing research. It is much easier to open and keep open multiple tabs when you are clicking and searching so many pages and then want to find a bit of data again. Much easier than trying to go into your history and wade through all the pages again.

Further down the dropdown menu attached to the little cog you will see “Advanced Search”. This is a visual version of advanced search to help filter results and refine your search terms. You’ll see under “site or domain” there is an option to add a site name or even the extension to organisations like universities or the government use, such as .edu or .gov. You have to remember that these are specific to the country, but you will learn another way of performing searches like this straight from the main search box using quick codes that Google doesn’t seem to like to share with people that much.

One last function in advanced search that is really useful for any SMEs and webmasters who don’t have a lot of money to spend on images and graphics is the “Usage Rights” setting. You can filter results here to show images that are “free to use, share or modify, even commercially”. This normally means they are in the “Public Domain” and have very open licences for usage. Always check the licence terms and when using the image make a note somewhere of where you found it, just in case you are later pursued by a company stating you have used their image without paying them. At least then you can show them where you obtained it and the licence terms.

For a full list of shortcuts for Google search go to our list on Google Advanced Search Commands.

Search by site

One of my favourite shortcuts to use is [site:] to bring back a list of results only from a site I then include in the search. This is great if I know on which site the data is or would only trust the data from a particular, authority site and don’t want to include results from any other site that may appear in the search results for the same term.

Search by domain extension – .org, .gov.uk, .ac.uk. nhs.uk

Just type the search term you are looking for and then if you only want to search education related pages such as universities add [.ac.uk] to the end of the search. Google will then only return searches from education sites. The same goes for government with [gov.uk] and [.org.uk]. Just remember these are country specific.

If you want to add credibility to the article you are writing then citing government and education sources is always a good idea. They give instant credibility to your content.

Inside Speech Marks

Another useful term to remember to refine your results is to enclose your search term in speech marks. Normally people search for multiple keywords and the problem with this is Google can look at each of these words separately and return results based on each individual word rather than the whole term. This makes the plethora of pages usually returned even vaguer. Instead, if you put your search inside speech marks like, “how to write great articles”, you will only receive pages that have that exact term written somewhere on the webpage. A quick test in Google shows that searching for that term without the speech marks returns 405,000,000 results and with the speech marks only 1,080,000.

I really wish there were better search engines out there for searching for valuable data, statistics and quotes for article writing projects. Maybe one day there will be.