Home for the Holidays

remote work memeThere’s no way to sugarcoat it: The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us — and that means that the winter holidays this year are going to be somewhat different than we’ve all come to expect.

Profound Changes to the 2020 Winter Holidays

 

Financial uncertainties, the move to remote work by so many, and the demands of social distancing are a trifecta of influences that are changing how we celebrate the season. Annual office parties are canceled, holiday attractions are closed, and nobody dares risk a kiss under the mistletoe.

 

Remote workers may, in particular, start to feel more pressure from their situation than ever before. Those who have abruptly (and unwillingly) moved to remote work this year for the first time have never had to cope with the holiday isolation remote workers can feel. Those who have worked remotely for a while may also be struggling to find ways to adapt to the sense that they no longer have any other option. 

 

Either way, stress, and loneliness can pile up during a period when we are simultaneously bombarded with images of happy people doing happy holiday things together.

Self-Care During the Holidays Amid a Pandemic

 

How can you cope with everything without losing your holiday spirit? Self-care is a critical component of remote work. Without it, you can lose your drive, lower your productivity, and begin to feel overwhelmed. Start with these steps:

 

  • Identify Your Feelings: The shifts in your working environment, the Zoom fatigue, the abrupt changes in your work environment. and the breaks in your social structure can all leave you feeling out-of-control and confused. Take the time to assess your emotional state so that you can start to address those feelings.
  • Grieve Your Losses: The changes to the holiday traditions may be necessary, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t profoundly disappointing. Don’t romanticize holidays past, but do let yourself mourn the visits with your extended family members or the Black Friday madness you had to forgo. Give yourself permission to be a little nostalgic.
  • Create More Balance: Juggling your work-home life is always a challenge, but the lines get really blurry when you’re working on the couch or at your kitchen table. The demands of the holiday season can make it worse. Whether you live alone or with your family, adhering to a schedule can keep you from either getting distracted or overwhelmed.
  • Find New Ways to Celebrate: You can’t go to your grandparent’s house this year, but you can Skype with them over the holiday dinner. You can bake cookies and mail them to your friends or participate in a long-distance gift exchange. Even if you’re all by yourself, put up a tree, pour the hot cocoa, and flip on the holiday movies for some well-earned relaxation.

 

Essentially, the best way to cope with all the changes is to embrace them. Treasure your memories of holidays past, but don’t stop actively looking for new ways to celebrate.

Looking Forward to a New Year With Optimism and Hope

 

As 2020 winds down and 2021 approaches, we know that nobody expected to start the new year this way, but we’ve all learned a lot. Creatives Scale is growing fast. Our beta team is active, and we look forward to inviting hundreds of new content writers and marketing specialists into our freelance marketplace very soon. Change is always unsettling and hard, but it’s also the process that can ultimately create opportunities for growth — both professional and personal.

 

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Maggie Black November 30, 2020 0 Comments

Content Writing: The Difference Between Blog Posts, Guest Articles, & Web Copy

You’re ready to put your writing skills into action as a freelancer, but there’s a dizzying array of terms out there for the work your clients want. When you don’t understand what you’re being asked to produce, you (and your clients) will end up feeling frustrated and wasting time. That’s never good for business.

 

Blog posts, guest articles, web copy: What’s the difference? Here is the breakdown of what you need to know about each type of content:

Blog Posts

 

The more content a company publishes that’s relevant to their customers, the more traffic they can ultimately attract to their website. SEO Writing is about more than traffic, however.  Writing for SEO means the searchable content you have created matches the expectation of the user.  In other words, when they find your blog post – they want to stay!  Readers will not just visit your site.  Readers will stick around, read, and read more!  Great SEO Content Creators go behind simply stuffing keywords into a blog post.  They take the time to be informative, share accurate information, and ensure the blog post is easy to read.  Great writers know just where and when to add a little personality!

Since gaining organic search traffic is the goal, blog posts need to be both informative and interesting; the kind of material that people search for on the web when they have a question, are trying to solve a problem, or just want to learn something new about a specific topic.

Engage the readers and fulfill a need. Keep the content clear and concise, but always emulate the tone of your client’s voice. Look to their existing website for clues about the language they use, whether it’s formal or informal, in first person or third, and what approach they seem to take to their business. 

Guest Articles

 

Guest blogging helps a client build awareness and credibility within their industry. These articles are published on third-party sites and generally talk about a client and what that client does. Proper Guest Articles are written with a more professional, journalistic flair.  Often the content comes across more like a magazine article or an interview.  Guest Articles are more like news reports and less like personal blog posts.

While the goal is still to provide engaging content that captures the reader’s attention, this type of writing is more journalistic and professional overall.  Guest Articles are never written in first-person or stylized with personality. Use direct quotes from your clients by researching existing content, find and quote statistics that support your point. When quoting the client or sharing a hard statistic from the client’s website, make sure that the article links back to the client’s homepage. This ensures that the link will always be live and exist.  Specific links, such as blog posts, may change over time resulting in the loss of a link-credit for the client.

Some best practices for Guest Articles include minimum linking.  Such as with any SEO Writing, there should never be a link in the first paragraph, in header text, or more than one link within a paragraph section.  However, Guest Articles also do not include hard call-to-action text that comes across as self-promoting or sales-oriented like a blog post or web copy would.  Guest Articles remain informative and share only one or two links throughout the entire article, both to the client’s homepage.

Website Copy

 

These are the words that actually appear on your client’s website, so they always need to be professional, informative, and easy to follow. You want readers to find exactly what they need with just a glance. This is an element of writing that coincides with user-experience.  Writing for web copy is short, sweet, and to the point.  Writing for web copy includes button text and directions for call-to-action statements.

 

Since a website has mere seconds to capture a visitor’s interest, the content needs to be as scannable as possible. Put the most important information first, add bullet points to deliver information quickly, pay attention to your keywords, and use subheadings that communicate exactly what information the reader will find in each section. Make sure that you include a clear call-to-action on each page that tells people what to do next.

 

Now that you know where to start, it’s time to start writing. Check out CreativesScale.com to learn more.

 

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Maggie Black September 10, 2020 1 Comment

Put A Little Sass Into It! Creating A Voice For Your Brand

Are you looking for a way to help your brand stand out from the crowd? Sometimes, the best thing you can do is relax and get real with your customers.  A lot of brands use their social media accounts to offer discounts or sales. Others tell stories that tug on their follower’s heartstrings. Some send […]

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Maggie Black July 30, 2019 0 Comments

Social Media Agency Trends, Pricing, And More

Social media agency trends change frequently, but they’re important to analyze and adapt to. As a social media agency, how do you meet the modern challenges of packaging and pitching your services? How do you finding the right fit with clients and meet their needs – all at a fair price?

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Maggie Black February 8, 2019 0 Comments

User Experience And SEO: Making Them Work Together

User experience and SEO are two things that need to work together. You’ve already optimized the keywords your website is using, updated your meta descriptions, got your social sites in good operating order, and learned how to provide authoritative, interesting content that’s relevant to today’s consumers. So, why aren’t you getting those click-throughs and conversions? […]

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Maggie Black February 1, 2019 0 Comments

Getting It Right: The Dos And Don’ts Of Influencer Marketing

Whether you love it or hate it, influencer marketing really works. Some people say that for 2019, influencer marketing is set to fall flat and become yesterday’s news.  What do you think? Hopefully, after reading this post you’ll have an understanding of the do’s and don’ts that will inspire you (and others) to keep influencer […]

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Maggie Black January 17, 2019 0 Comments