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An Editor's Insights by Melissa Fach - #Pubcon Las Vegas 2017

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An Editor’s Perspective:
Insights You Can Use
Melissa Fach - @SEOAware

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Melissa Fach - @SEOAware
• Blog Editor at SEMrush
• Social & Community Manager Pubcon
• Consultant
• Like cats, Star Wars ...

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More About Me (not just making stuff up)
Editing Experience
• 2011-13 Editor of SEJ
• 2013-15 Co-Editor at Moz
• 2012-16 E...

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An Editor's Insights by Melissa Fach - #Pubcon Las Vegas 2017

  1. 1. An Editor’s Perspective: Insights You Can Use Melissa Fach - @SEOAware
  2. 2. Melissa Fach - @SEOAware • Blog Editor at SEMrush • Social & Community Manager Pubcon • Consultant • Like cats, Star Wars & super heroes. #Pubcon
  3. 3. More About Me (not just making stuff up) Editing Experience • 2011-13 Editor of SEJ • 2013-15 Co-Editor at Moz • 2012-16 Editor at AuthorityLabs • 2017 Editor at SEMrush Education • B.A in Psychology • M.A. Mental Health Counseling Writing Experience • Paid Writer since 2005 • Blogging since 2006
  4. 4. In this industry, writing well is a good way to make a name for yourself. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  5. 5. And, writing badly is a great way to destroy your reputation. @SEOAware
  6. 6. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-tips-for-newbies/219899/
  7. 7. There is a TON of competition out there. @SEOAware
  8. 8. But honestly, there is not a lot of GOOD competition out there. #Pubcon
  9. 9. Why? Their reasons of writing are often flawed. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  10. 10. Most Important Fact of the Day Writing useless content will do NOTHING for you! (unless your goal is to destroy your rep) @SEOAware
  11. 11. Useless Content Does NOT… Help your image. Help your brand. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  12. 12. SO PLEASE…. Don’t submit articles of no value to anyone. And stop mass producing content no one needs. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  13. 13. So what do editors look for? @SEOAware#Pubcon
  14. 14. Each publication has different goals. @SEOAware#Pubcon
  15. 15. Determine Why They Are Publishing • Ad revenue? • To be a resource? • To increase sales? • Build community? @SEOAware
  16. 16. Determine Why They Are Publishing The why determines what is published. @SEOAware
  17. 17. Example: One SEMrush Goal To be a resource. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  18. 18. • To offer how-to, actionable content readers can replicate. • Make sure each tip, concept or suggestion is accurate. • Should meet a need by offering a valid solution(s). #Pubcon @SEOAware
  19. 19. To get published YOU SHOULD know, and follow, the publication’s guidelines. They put a lot of work into them for a reason. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  20. 20. “Forbes Contributor Guidelines” @SEOAware #Pubcon
  21. 21. ALL Editors Know If You Read the Guidelines It is painfully obvious when a writer doesn’t follow them. When you don’t read them, you irritate the editor. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  22. 22. They have wasted their time and mine. FYI, I don’t have time to waste. @SEOAware
  23. 23. Some Truths… We remember who you are. And, editors across publications talk – often. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  24. 24. Over 50% of the articles I reject are because the writers didn’t read the guidelines. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  25. 25. It is EXTREMELY obvious when you did not bother to read /study the publication. #Pubcon Did You Know? @SEOAware
  26. 26. Learn a publication’s patterns, know the subjects covered, and observe their grammar style. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  27. 27. Chaitanya Patel @patelchaitanya http://bit.ly/2A4w6BW
  28. 28. Headline Capitalization • Capitalize main words – subjects, verbs, first and last. Don’t Capitalize • Articles – a, an, the • Coordinate conjunction – for, but, nor, or, and. • Capitalize some prepositions, but not all – https://grammarsherpa.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/capital-letters-in-titles-headline-styling/
  29. 29. Chaitanya Patel @patelchaitanya
  30. 30. Personal Pet Peeves: Contractions Too many contractions will make an article sound casual and not authoritative. And, people don’t read in their heads the way that they speak. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  31. 31. Many Writers Use WAY Too Many Contractions Like… • How’d • It’s • You’ll • We’ll @SEOAware#Pubcon • You’ve • What’s • I’d • Would’ve
  32. 32. Why “It’s”? • It stops the flow of reading. • The reader has to figure out if it makes sense… • Too often people use “it’s” when it should be “its”. @SEOAware#Pubcon
  33. 33. More on Why “It’s”? • People use It’s for “It has” instead of “It is”. • You are forcing people to read a sentence over and over to determine if it makes sense! @SEOAware#Pubcon
  34. 34. Most Irritating Contraction @SEOAware#Pubcon There’re
  35. 35. Another reason to forget them? The fewer contractions you have, the more words you have. @SEOAware
  36. 36. Learn More About the Editor – Use the Info What does Melissa Fach like? #Pubcon @SEOAware
  37. 37. Want to Stand Out? Whether you are pitching or submitting an article… • Know the guidelines. • Know the site / blog subject matter. • Know what puts you on friendly terms with the editor. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  38. 38. What I Look For In a Writer @SEOAware
  39. 39. It is not this! @SEOAware
  40. 40. It IS this! @SEOAware
  41. 41. WOW Me With Your Expertise!!! Editors know if you are just a “writer”. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  42. 42. This Industry Needs Beyond the Basics Snippets offer the basics. I want my readers to be able to learn something new and useful. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  43. 43. I want my readers to learn a new skill or technique they can use and replicate. In this industry, that is where the value lies. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  44. 44. This is what I am used to seeing.
  45. 45. Show Me Something Different!
  46. 46. #Pubcon @SEOAware YOU need to be better than the last article I published on the same subject!
  47. 47. The Content Itself
  48. 48. #1 - Easy to read flow. If readers have to work to understand your article, you have lost them (and the editor as well). @SEOAware #Pubcon
  49. 49. Easy to read flow. A good article should be a pleasure to read. (It should NOT take effort!) @SEOAware #Pubcon
  50. 50. Easy to read flow. The reader should not have to stop reading to try and figure out what you mean. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  51. 51. Avoid Choppiness “SEO is an important skill to have. I do SEO everyday at work for clients. Your website needs SEO to compete in the SERPs.” #Pubcon @SEOAware
  52. 52. This is me when reading choppy content. Don’t do this to me!
  53. 53. Don’t tell me things everyone knows! “Mobile is huge!” @SEOAware #Pubcon
  54. 54. I Know… I read it like 900 times already!
  55. 55. Empty Promises..grrrr. DO NOT promise me something in your title that you don’t deliver in the article. “If you do “X” you will be successful!” Bull. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  56. 56. Focus on being outstanding!
  57. 57. Outstanding makes you memorable! @SEOAware
  58. 58. Write LESS And write better. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  59. 59. Things to Ask Yourself When You Are Finished Writing #Pubcon @SEOAware
  60. 60. What Words Are Not Needed? PLEASE - remove unnecessary wording. Keep it simple, clean & easy to read! @SEOAware #Pubcon
  61. 61. Does the Structure Make Sense? Go paragraph to paragraph. Does one feed off of the other? @SEOAware #Pubcon
  62. 62. What is Repetitive? Don’t repeat yourself. Words Concepts (Grammarly) @SEOAware #Pubcon
  63. 63. Do the Images/Graphics Support the Text? If they are confusing in anyway, you lose them. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  64. 64. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR READERS
  65. 65. Creating Content for Learning Styles @SEOAware #Pubcon • Seeing • Hearing • Touching Make it easy for everyone. Diversity helps you with people, social shares and search engines!
  66. 66. Tactile Learners • Hands on. • Learn by doing. Use video, graphics, presentations. • Detailed tutorials. • Show them how.
  67. 67. Who is Reading? What Do You Need to Say? • Noobs – 101 • Intermediate • Advanced • Assistant • The Boss • Decision Makers • Analytical Thinker • Hippie • Perfectionists How do you reach them all with one piece of content? @SEOAware
  68. 68. Readability For All Audiences • Make it simple – 8th grade reading levels. • College educated audience – aim for 12th grade reading level. • Easy to read sentences - length. • Words people can understand. @SEOAware HemmingwayApp
  69. 69. What Makes Editors Angry @SEOAware
  70. 70. • Badly written text. • Numerous grammar errors. Just use Grammarly! • Choppy paragraphs. • Too many spelling errors. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  71. 71. • Obvious Laziness. • Badly translated articles. • Text that needs to be rewritten by the editor to make sense. #Pubcon @SEOAware
  72. 72. I should NOT have to work hard to make your article acceptable. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  73. 73. When we laugh at you… “I will write a good article for you and in exchange you will give me a link.” @SEOAware #Pubcon
  74. 74. Yeah, Right… @SEOAware
  75. 75. What Enrages Editors? @SEOAware
  76. 76. • Stolen content. (this is where editors talk) • Disrespect. • Repeatedly submitting content that never improves. • Stolen images (give credit). @SEOAware #Pubcon
  77. 77. Don’t do this…or anything like it! #Pubcon
  78. 78. Rejected? Really READ Their Feedback!!! @SEOAware #Pubcon
  79. 79. How You Pitch It isn’t my job to do your job. @SEOAware #Pubcon
  80. 80. Melissa Fach @SEOAware Thanks for coming!

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