Author Archive

Meet the people behind our blog

Posted by on Oct 31 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

Be it a book author or a blogger or for that matter any kind of writer, what connects them with the reader is the words they write. The reader creates an image of the writer through his/her columns, blog posts, books and articles and tends to perceive the likes and dislikes of the writer from what he/she writes.

As the festivities come to an end in the office and we all get back into work mode, I thought it would be interesting to interview some of our writers, so that you get to know the people behind this blog. Read on to know about three people from our team of young and enthusiastic writers.

Isha has been with us for 7 months and believes chocolates help her fight writer’s block. Full of mischief, you’ll always see a smile on her face.

CWI: How do you manage to come up with interesting content even when the project is not very inspiring?

Isha: Although I can never make out if the content written will be able to please or interest the reader but I make sure that I’m not bored while writing on the topic. That’s the only way I keep myself going. Creating a milieu of various notions and incorporating different perspectives into a topic makes it writable and readable. Well, I too after a point surrender in front of the failing-to-cease and not-so-happening projects and just plain write.

CWI: Okay, now a non-work question – What would you prefer: A shopping spree or an evening out with friends?

Isha: Oh! It’s like asking a mother to choose her favorite child among her children… I can’t let go of any of them, since the happiness quotient attached with both of them are different. Going by my past track record I will say ‘ an evening out with friends’. Woohooo… Where’s the party tonight?

Our next writer Shrey is from Goa (one of the biggest reasons we like him!). He is the motor-mouth of our office and is known for coming up with witty articles consistently.

CWI: Before you start off with a new project, do you play around with different ideas or follow a similar format every time?

Shrey: It depends on the deadline. If it’s tight then I usually follow a simple and common format. But if I have some time on my hands then I usually try something new and different. To tell you the truth, I generally just copy a nice format from my colleagues, saves a lot of time. I hope you edit out that last part. (Sorry Shrey!)

CWI: Apart from playing computer games nonstop, what is your idea of relaxing on a weekend?

Shrey: I usually just sleep all day or read books and play video games, but every now and then I am surrounded by a couple of friends with a bottle of beer in one hand and something to eat on the other one. Sitting in a bar or on the terrace watching the sun drop down into the city, talking about absolutely nothing in particular. Though following Monday becomes a nightmare!

Sid is one of the most versatile writers we have in our team. From a travel writer to a tech expert, he can churn up interesting content even under the tightest of deadlines.

CWI: Sid, we all know that ‘content creation’ is about creativity. What is your take – is the creative process exciting for you or plain hard work?

Sid: I dare say it is ‘plain hard work’. Creativity is the major player in content creation. Hard work is just a part of it, but you just can’t do away with that also!! However, deadlines are the ghosts. Creativity may go away for a vacation if deadlines are there to haunt you.

CWI: You’ve written a lot on gadgets, what is the most must-have gadget for you?

Sid: Undoubtedly the iPad. It’s the coolest gadget I ever saw. Though I am not as tech savvy as Shrey, but I would definitely go for an iPad. The features are just awesome!

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Life as an Onsite Content Writer

Posted by on Oct 18 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

The day my senior told me that I’d be working on an onsite project, the only thing I was glad about back then was that the client’s office was closer to home. I had no notion that there would be so much more in store for me.

Before my onsite tenure was to begin, I had to go to the client’s office and meet the person I was supposed to work with. While on the way to his office, I get to know that it is hardly a meeting, but more of an interview! Now, no matter what job it is, when someone tells you that it’s an interview, you certainly get a little edgy. As it was too late for me to ‘prepare’ anything, I just took along the experience and the knowledge I had gathered working as a content writer.

The so called interview was a breeze and my work commenced in a week. As far as work was concerned, it wasn’t much different from what I did back in my office, so I got accustomed to the project quite easily. But then there were many other differences that started to emerge slowly. Now my own office consists of a group of talkative, imaginative, creative (and ever hungry) writers and we have the freedom to explore, discover and share ideas among each other. A writer’s block, whenever that does happen – does not last for long, as there’s always a co-writer next to you or your seniors who help out readily whenever you get stuck. Everyone is in the same age group, so we all share a similar sense of humor (which can vary from crass to childish) and come lunch time, you would never get to hear a minute’s silence in all of those 45 minutes break!

So when I started working onsite, it was a whole new environment. For one, I am the sole writer there, so if a writer’s block does strike, I’ll have to manage it all on my own. Earlier I was so used to working with a constant (and comforting) brouhaha (of intense discussions and keyboard clatter and pigeons chatter) in the background, that it took a while adjusting to the quietness of the quiet room (oh yes, that’s what the room is called where I sit!).

A couple of days passed and I slowly realized the benefits of working client side. If you have read the old posts on this blog, you’d know that how it irks us writers when a client does not brief us well on the kind of content he needs. Luckily, I am now saved from that annoyance. Working onsite, the level of communication with the client gets hugely improved. When one has the facility to walk over to the person’s desk, share ideas and opinions and get immediate feedback, it is of great help. It is so much easier than talking to a client over the phone or instant messaging or a video call. Another thing which I’ve realized is that while onsite I am my company’s sole representative, while this does put a lot of pressure on me, it also makes me perform better.

So if you ever get a chance to work onsite, I’d say go for it. You definitely get to learn a lot and not just in terms of the work you do. You get to experience a new work environment, get to interact with people from different industries, and get to boast that content writing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!

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Time for a change

Posted by on Sep 20 2011 | Uncategorized

A company website should be a reflection of your company. It is a company’s calling card, and I don’t think anyone hands out old and dirty calling cards. Doesn’t matter if your website was designed in the 90’s or the early 2000’s, it’s time to spice things up.

If you created your website a couple of years back and feel that you don’t need to redesign it, think again. These days, technology and fashion become outdated faster than you can think. Don’t believe it? Go to any website and check out the current price of your mobile phone (warning, you may not like the result).

Depending on the age of your website, your decision to redesign could mean a complete over haul, or a few minor tweaks.

  1. If you have an e-commerce website, then the least you can do is keep updating it. If you still advertise a 6 month old item as new, then you are not doing any good to your online reputation, and in the world of retail, reputation is everything.
  2. Sometimes, even a small change can bring about a world of difference. Like for instance, a change of logo, or even a change of the colour scheme of your website can create a whole world of difference, but remember to be subtle about it. A garish logo and a seizure inducing colour scheme can turn your prospective customers into an angry mob of haters in no time.
  3. When redesigning your website, remember to not lose focus. Your website’s primary goal is to convey information, not to look pretty. This isn’t a beauty pageant; there are no awards for best looking website. As the saying goes, ‘don’t lose the forest for the trees’.
  4. If your website is from the time when CD ROMs were still the preferred means of exchanging data, then you will require a major over haul. It is recommended that you do it in many phases rather than a single swoop. A sudden change may cause your old customers to doubt the page they have visited and cause them to leave. Take your time to make the changes and let them know what all you are planning to change. Who knows? They may even give you some pretty useful tips.

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Resurrecting your old blog posts

Posted by on Sep 16 2011 | Content Writing

At some point in a bloggers life, we write something that we aren’t proud of.  It could be because of a tight deadline, you could have been very tired, or maybe because you had a severe case of writers block. As a result of this, the blog post looked like something that was written by hyper active 5 year old. But don’t lose hope, there is a chance that the topic was right, but only lacked the content and execution.

Re-writing old blog posts is a great way to garner more traffic to your blog. It also improves the quality of your blog as the old and (let’s be honest here) rubbish blog posts are replaced by better ones. But before you go about playing Frankenstein with your blog posts, you need to keep a few things in mind.

Make sure that the blog post is actually worth being brought back again. There are some topics which are dreary to begin with. If you wrote a blog post about ‘how to clean your kitchen stove’, then there is absolutely no point in trying to beat a dead horse.

Try to see if there is any way to add more content to your old post to make it more up to date. Maybe there was something you missed or something new and exciting has happened since you wrote that blog. Think of that blog as a rough draft that needs to be edited.

There is a chance that the post was quite well written, but it doesn’t show up on search results. In that case, you could try and optimise the whole thing. You could even add an image or two to try and improve its SEO. Who knows? Your ‘kitchen stove’ post could be really awesome, but only problem is that people can’t find it.

You could try and push your old posts on your social networking site if they are still relevant. Maybe there are some people who are really interested, but don’t know about it. Maybe bringing that post back into the limelight is all that you need to do.

Resurrecting an old blog post is a really satisfying thing to do, especially when it becomes really popular. When that happens, you have all the right in the world to throw your head back and exclaim, “It’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!” while assuming your best Frankenstein impression.

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The 3 SEO forget-me-not’s

Posted by on Sep 13 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

You might have implemented every technique mentioned in the ‘Best SEO guide ever’ [that was a from-top-of-my-head name for a book], but something is lacking to make your site well and truly user friendly and appealing till the very last link. You wonder what is missing after strenuously executing content optimization, search engine friendly keywords, unique URLs, designing an internal linking structure and the links.

No matter how much time and effort you put in, it is natural to forget a couple of things when your site is made up of hundreds of pages. This short reminder of online SEO techniques will help you to remember the 3 essentials that can really enhance a website’s features.

Incorporating Image tags

Images when optimized properly can boost your rank on search engines and increase traffic on your website. Image tags are considered a significant aspect of branding, thus ensure that your company logo and other images on the website have been tagged.

Friendly footer

Footer provides strong internal linking as it allows visitors to click through different website pages without scrolling back to the top of the page. Not an obligatory but a rewarding feature, adding footers to your website can make it more user-friendly. Links are important but need not be present in the high level navigation can go here. To save out on space, integrate links to social profiles in the footer as well.

Reiterate call-to-actions

If you are selling something on your website or asking for a donation, a website would be ineffective if you use call-to-actions like ‘Call Now’, ‘Click Here’, etc. like a miser. This does not mean you have to act pushy and pester visitors, but a gentle reminder or an encouragement never hurts, does it? Try to create an optimum balance between the content and call-to-actions.

These techniques are not very difficult to implement when you have already mastered meta keywords, keyword density, URL creation, etc. The above three practices help you in SEO’ing your website to its optimum level.

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Make the best of leads for online marketing

Posted by on Sep 08 2011 | Internet Marketing

Gone are the days when one had to sit for hours at a table in trade fair, putting up a display and waiting for consumers to come up to you, enquire, complete forms, so that you can earn some leads for your business. Today, lead generation has become as easy as it can be, all thanks to the internet.

For those who are not familiar, with the term ‘Lead Generation’, let me elaborate. It is an internet marketing tool devised with the intent of generating consumer interest or inquiry of products and services of any business. Leads are basically required for list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for gaining customers.

The process of lead generation (or gen) consists of developing a website or partnering with several websites which will promote and advertise your service or product and when a customer comes across these directories and finds something relevant to his needs, he completes an online request form. This form is submitted to the agency where the buyers’ information is checked and matched with the suitable provider. The matching leads are then e-mail to potential businesses with complete contact details and purchasing needs.

Other methods which may fall under lead gen include organic search engine results and referrals from existing buyers. Every business tries to generate quality leads, leads which are determined by the inclination of the inquirer to take the next action towards making a purchase.

The benefits of lead generation are not limited to businesses/sellers only, utilizing leads a buyer can request information from a number of businesses that offer what he is looking for. Lead gen also offers the chance to sellers to pitch his services and products.

Lead generation is slowly becoming popular tool for businesses as it allows them to those the products and services they want to offer to potential customers, they can select the geographical area they wish to target, they can limit the number of leads to receive in a month. Another reason why businesses prefer this method is its affordability. One has to pay only for the leads that are received

Why would one assume that lead gen would always be profitable? Well, every one of us uses the internet for research. We research for prices of automobiles, we research gadgets, we continuously research for information – the reason why lead gen came into being.

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Why is an online presence important?

Posted by on Sep 07 2011 | Internet Marketing

I got the idea for this blog post from an old colleague. When I was new to the company and was learning the ropes around the world of content writing, he has asked me, how strong was my online presence? Back then, it wasn’t much except for a Facebook profile, a redundant account on LinkedIn, an even more redundant account on Twitter and a long forgotten blog. You could say my online presence was anything but impressive.

With the advent of social media networking, online presence has become an important tool to help us create our own identity on the internet, improve networking with people around the world and provide career opportunities.

Social networking is no more restricted to maintaining contact with family and friends who are far away. It has become a tool for career building. Whether you are hunting for a job or not, widening your online presence and developing valuable relationships is important.

People who have an active online presence have a better chance of attracting opportunities and growing professionally, compared to those whose online identity is a sluggish case. CEOs are known to meet with a potential candidate, only after they have Googled their name, searched for them on LinkedIn and other such online networking resources.

Businesses, big as well as small, have started using social media for advertising their brand and marketing themselves. Individuals too, need to create their online brand to establish their visibility in their respective field. An impressive online credibility goes a long way in leveraging your professional life, not only in terms of job prospects but also in terms of client servicing.

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Affiliate marketing – Get ingenious. Earn money.

Posted by on Sep 05 2011 | Internet Marketing

When it comes to the wondrous World Wide Web, there is a myriad of possibilities available for you. From passing time browsing through photos of strangers on Facebook to talking with your far away girlfriend, from spreading public awareness to advertising your products, there’s something for each and everyone for us (employed or unemployed).

An internet practice that has gained significant popularity in the past few years is affiliate marketing. It is like conventional marketing but in a more convenient way. Companies continuously look for ways to promote their products and services in a cost effective way, something that would keep the common man interested. Affiliate marketing does just that. These companies’ websites reward their affiliates (or visitors or members or customers, you get the drift) for every new visitor they bring to the website. This reward can be in the form of cash or gifts. The affiliates have to come up with their own marketing skills to promote the website/product.

Nowadays, affiliate marketing is fast becoming a means to get easy cash. Though it is an uncomplicated means to earn money, one does need to make a bit of effort before their bank account can get fatter.  Websites also require you to invest in some money before you can begin earning. When you start off, you’d be required to write for the affiliate links in order to promote them. This can include blogging, writing reviews, participating for forums, and the likes.

Once you learn the nitty-gritty associated with affiliate marketing, it can be a smooth sail. Be open to new ideas and constantly innovate your marketing strategies to earn attention and promotion.

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Fancy up your online image through Online Reputation Management

Posted by on Sep 01 2011 | Online Reputation, SEO

You have incorporated every trick from the book of SEO on your website, but when you type the keywords in the search tab, apart from showing organic results to your website, the search engine also displays a few websites and forums that are bad-mouthing your product. That can be such a bummer!

Today, solely implementing search engine optimization techniques to create a wider reader draw to your website cannot help in building a company’s brand over the internet.  With hoards of online communities, review platforms and forums available, reputation management is very much pivotal in enhancing one’s brand power. The functioning of a business is proportional to its brand identity and a positive identity can lead to increased efficiency as well as revenue. Online reputation management (or ORM) helps companies and businesses to prioritize and position the good over the bad by pushing them lower on search engine page results with the purpose of decreasing their visibility.

The main aspects of ORM are publishing positive content on the web and wiping away or at least covering the negative and misleading details with a thick dark blanket so that any user when searching for a company cannot see the detrimental results. Through extensive involvement in the social media (which includes blogs, Facebook, forums, Twitter, etc.), creation of positive content and promotion of existing content, companies are able to improve their online identity to a great extent.  At times companies also make formal ‘take down’ requests to site managers to remove negative or inappropriate content, and if that does not work the last option is to file a lawsuit.

Realizing the importance of ORM several companies have sprung up to help businesses and individuals manage their online reputatio. It seems Google (I have a new moniker for them – The Trailblazer!) might help companies (specifically the big ones) in doing away with ORM needs entirely. Its latest roll-out is huge site-links that take up almost half of the first page, pushing the organic links down and the bad links way further down.

Come to think of it, these monster-sized links can make generating online traffic through keywords quite tricky. Do SEO specialists need to worry? Well that’s a topic for another blog post!

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Netnography – A marketer’s secret (and probably the cheapest!) weapon

Posted by on Aug 26 2011 | Internet Marketing

The rage of social media might have calmed down a bit, but the possibilities and opportunities associated with it are still being explored. Companies are scuttling towards social media sites to advertise and announce their products and services and as consumers, we are gladly accepting this marketing trend! Apart from marketing, social media gives us a chance to discuss and share with fellow users (sometimes mockingly), our opinions and experiences on a wide range of issues, from books to movies, from sports to food, from automobiles to software, from clothes to things that are too explicit to be put on a public blog!

When I was planning to get a new cellphone, the first choice for getting opinions was to ask my friends but then common sense prevailed (along with a reminder of past regrets) and I browsed through a couple of forums that talked about which cellphones are popular and which ones are a fail!

Social groups like these, where we get to learn and criticize, are not only beneficial for us but also for marketing researchers, as they help them study and analyze the tastes, opinions, needs and desires of consumers. This method of qualitative research that utilizes social media data is known as internet ethnography or ‘netnography’. Market analysts and researchers get to peek into online social groups to identify and understand the behavior of consumers. The reasons why it is becoming popular are that it is far less time consuming compared to conventional ethnography and at the same time, it is unobtrusive for consumers (After my share of bad experiences with pestering marketing analysts asking for my ‘valuable’ feedback, I am thankful for netnography!).

Marketing researchers have started realizing the contingencies associated with social media techniques and are making the most of it through blogosphere, micro-blogging, podcasting, social networking sites and the likes. Netnography provides them a chance to learn about the likes and dislikes of consumers and get unbiased opinions and reviews about their products and services. Moreover, it provides them with an uninterrupted connection with customers without spending heaps of money.

The pace at which internet seems to be developing, it has made necessary for marketing researchers to identify and use new tools and techniques to understand their customers. Netnography presents them with a clandestine approach to obtain deep strategic insights, invent innovative ideas to enhance their brand image, performance and campaign management. So the next time you are grumbling on a public forum about a gadget that disappointed you, maybe the makers are listening!

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