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SpinWeb is an Indianapolis-based digital agency, specializing in enterprise website design & digital marketing

[Quick Tip] How to Get Higher Quality Blog Contributions

By Stephanie Fisher | 02.22.2016

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Consistent quality is important. Imagine going to a gourmet bakery and seeing 25 beautifully decorated cupcakes. And in the middle of the rows of perfection, you notice one ugly, sad little cupcake. The frosting is uneven. No sprinkles. It doesn't fit in. 

Same goes with a consistently high quality blog. Every post should maintain a standard.

Do you have freelancers, employees, partners, or leaders in your company who contribute to your daily or weekly blog? If so, it's important to establish blog guidelines and standards.

Here are a few quick tips for putting together a document that helps get everyone on the same page.

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The Content Type That Works for Every Learning Style Is ...

By Stephanie Fisher | 02.02.2016

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Content comes in all shapes and sizes. Individual learning styles are much the same.

What can we learn about content marketing by studying learning styles? 

First, what is a learning style? A learning style is the preferred way that a person learns best.

As marketers, we should be tailoring our content to fit different learning styles. If we want to communicate our message effectively and engage our audience, we must adapt our content so that people can easily absorb the information.

Here are the 7 learning styles I'm talking about. And at the end, I will reveal the kind of content device that I think matches best with almost all 7 learning styles.

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[Quick Tip] 5 Writing Apps for Marketers

By Stephanie Fisher | 01.25.2016
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Improve your web copy, blog posts, email subject lines and more with these writing apps and tools.

1. Grammarly

Run your blog post, email, or other marketing copy through the Grammarly editor to catch more than just spelling errors. This app will offer word choice suggestions for making your prose more engaging, as well as grammatical corrections that most word processors don't catch. And, you can upgrade it for special features, like a plagiarism checker.

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Writing Tips I Actually Use From The Six Appeal Process

By Stephanie Fisher | 01.07.2016

In 2015, I had the good fortune to take an online writing class taught by Ash Ambirge. She's the creative force behind The Middle Finger Project, a blog that we here at SpinWeb follow religiously. In this post, I want to offer a review of the class and pass along a few writing tips you may find useful.

The particular class I took is called The Six Appeal Process™. Ash hosts a weekly online training session for six weeks, walking through her "step-by-step process for creating emotional appeal with anything you write."

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My Review: 5 out of 5 stars

If I had a formal rating system for such things, this class would get 5 out of 5 stars.

If nothing else, you should take this class just to learn from a master how to do online training.

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8 Tips for Writing Effective Website Copy

By Stephanie Fisher | 11.24.2015

What is the point of your website content?

If you said things like attracting new customers, convincing people to buy our product, converting visitors to leads, then you have been paying attention.

Writing great content for the web is more complicated than just knowing how to write (which isn't so simple in itself). Work hard to create winning content and your content will work hard for your business.

Writing Effective Copy

Here are a few tips for creating winning content for your website and inbound marketing.

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6 Easy Steps to Writing a Business Blog Post

By Serena Acker | 08.12.2014

Writing is fun. It's a way for me to express opinions and thoughts, a way to help our clients educate their audiences. I would even go so far as saying that I love writing. (I realize I just lost some street cred with that statement.) 

But I know that writing isn't fun for everyone. In fact, there are people on our team that loathe writing and would rather stab a fork in their eye than produce a blog post. (Okay, that might be a slight exagerration, but the point remains: they don't like it at all.)

Maybe you're in the same boat: writing isn't your thing. But somehow you got your arm twisted into crafting a blog post for your company - or maybe a guest post for another business. Or maybe you're realizing that nobody's reading your corporate blog. If so, you've come to the right spot: I've compiled 6 easy steps to writing a blog post.

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1. Create a compelling title

The title of your blog will help people determine whether or not to click in to read more, so you want it to be a good one. 

Here are a few guidelines for writing engaging titles:

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Word and Grammar Nerds Unite: 5 Tools for Your Writing Toolbox

By Serena Acker | 03.20.2014

As a writer, there are days that words just flow. I'll get "in the writing zone" and knock out drafts of a few blogs or - on a really good day - an entire ebook. 

On the other hand, there are days I stare at my laptop screen for hours, struggling to form a few meaningful sentences (which I may or may not delete when I go back to proofread later). It's days like this that I question my grammar and sometimes my basic spelling. I'm ashamed to admit that there was one day a few years ago that I literally stumbled my way through typing out the word "who." (Can anyone relate?) 

So, what's a struggling writer to do? It's during these trying times of writer's block - and doubt - that I turn to some of my trusty online writing and grammar resources (or go run a few miles, which usually clears my head). Whether you're a full-time content developer like me or a marketing specialist hoping to brush up on your writing skills - here are a few tools to add to your toolbox.

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8 Things You Don't Want to Do in Web Content

By Serena Acker | 07.20.2013

content-hoorayWriting and recreating content for our clients is one of my favorite things to do. (I’m totally a word nerd.) After all, content is one of the most critical aspects of a webpage. At least, that’s what I tell myself as a Content Developer. :) 

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Writing Content for the Web

By Michael Reynolds | 03.10.2009

pencil_and_paperWriting content for the web is different than writing for a magazine or other media. So much of the time I see websites that are filled with pages and pages of dry, long-winded, boring text that is doing nothing to help connect with the site visitor. There are plenty of websites that contain beautiful imagery and great design work but then fail to complete the package with good content. Here are some guidelines for writing good website content.

Less is more. People reading a magazine have time to read articles and stories. They are sitting down with a paper publication and are expecting to invest 15 minutes into a reading session. On the web, attention spans are measured in seconds. For this reason, web content must get to the point very quickly and directly. When someone is visiting a website, it’s usually because that person is looking for a solution, getting a question answered, buying a product, or trying to achieve some other specific goal. This means that most people will have very little patience with web pages that ramble and take more than a few seconds to digest.

Use bullet points. Since web content needs to be action-oriented and get straight to the point, bullets points often help your readers scan and digest text very quickly.

Break paragraphs with a double line break and no indentation. In a book or paper publication, indented paragraphs are the norm. In web pages (and in emails, as well), paragraphs should not be indented and should be separated by a double line break. This improves readability.

Use polished grammar. While this seems obvious, I continue to see websites riddled with grammar mistakes, typos, and broken sentences. Content on the web should be written with the same care that would go into a magazine article or a book. Polished, professionally-written website content will dramatically boost the credibility of your organization.

Keep it constituent-focused. A constituent is a customer, a donor, a member, or some other type person with an interest in your organization. That person is taking the time to read the content on your website. The content on your website should connect with that person and show him or her the value gained from your solution, product, service, or mission. Some amount of self-promotion is acceptable but should not become the focus of your message. Instead, keep the majority of your content focused on the benefits to your constituents. Another great direction for your website content is to tell stories about how your organization helped other customers solve a problem. Case studies like this take the focus off of self-promotion and place it onto your constituents. This gives your content higher perceived value, which builds trust.

Content is often the most neglected piece of a website. Be sure to present a complete package to your site visitors with effective professional content. Crafting your message carefully can dramatically improve trust with your constituents which leads to greater success for your organization.

Create Web Content That Converts

 

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