The Good and Bad of Blog Post Templates

Web design templates have been around for years. Some business owners (and even a few professional designers) use them to save time while creating WordPress sites, landing pages, and other common tools. Lately, content writing services have been getting in on the act. They have started offering blog post templates that are designed to help you pump out articles with less time and stress than ever before.

We are seeing these blog post templates everywhere, which means you’re probably coming across them as well. But should you be using them for content marketing?

To find the answer, let’s look at the good and the bad of blog post templates.

The Positives of Blog Post Templates

As with web design templates, starting with an article outline offers some advantages.

  • Blog post templates get you writing quickly so you don’t have to worry about creative blocks or staring at an empty screen.
  • Using a writing template gives you a structure you can follow, which can be important for those who have trouble organizing their ideas.
  • Often, blog post templates start with a simple idea that you can duplicate or adapt to virtually any industry.
  • The templates are based on popular article styles so the resulting post should theoretically be something readers will be interested in.

To sum these up cleanly, you would say that when you start with a blog post template, the hard work of writing is done. That’s a huge positive, especially if you’re the sort of person who has trouble being focused or motivated enough to sit down at your keyboard. However, there are a few downsides.

The Negatives of Blog Post Templates

In our business we often note that web design templates can be constraining. Blog post templates have some of the same drawbacks.

  • The topics and outlines you find in blog post templates are all very similar and generic. That makes it easy to crank out content, but hard to write something that stands out.
  • In some ways working with a template can stifle your creativity. It’s hard to generate an original portrait when you’re painting by numbers, and the same holds true when you’re writing from a list of predefined bullet points.
  • If you don’t do enough with your blog post templates, then you could end up with duplicate content on your website, causing Google to ignore the content you’re creating (which sort of defeats the purpose).

Those are some pretty big downsides. That brings us back to our original question.

So, Should You Use Blog Post Templates?

Blog post templates are kind of like training wheels for content marketers. There is nothing essentially wrong with using them, but you shouldn’t expect to compete with the leaders in your industry by filling in blanks, either.

Our advice? Give them a shot and see what kind of results you get—particularly if you’re someone who has struggled to create written content in the past. Over time, as you develop your own voice and rhythm, you can stop using them and move on to more effective content marketing habits.

Why You Want Web Hosting Through Your Web Designer

Did you go looking for the cheapest hosting you could find after you had someone design a website for your business? If so, you shouldn’t feel bad – experience tells us that’s the “normal” way for a small business owner to choose a place to park their new web presence.

However, a high-quality web design team (like the one we have) will recommend you host your site with the same company that designed it. That’s advice you should take, and today we are going to give you a few important reasons why.

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5 DIY Online Marketing Video Tips

Online videos can change the results you get from your internet marketing overnight. They can add more punch and persuasion to your landing pages, help you to get more views on your social feeds, and open you up to an entirely new audience on YouTube.

The best part of this might be that the cost and complexity associated with producing online videos has gone way down in the last couple of years. Now, virtually any business owner or marketer can release fantastic clips if they are willing to put a little bit of time and effort into the project.

So, how do you make sure your clips stand out for the right reason? Here are five DIY online marketing video tips you can put to use right away…

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Adding More Personality to Your Social Media Marketing

In many ways, social media marketing is the great equalizer. That’s because it puts small businesses—and even small business owners—on par with Fortune 500 brands.

In fact, we would argue that the little guys actually have an advantage. That’s because most people don’t want to see big-budget advertising when they go on Facebook and Twitter. Instead, they want to follow their passions, find interesting and offbeat stories, and connect with other people. Each of those is at odds with the mass-media approach bigger corporations follow.

Knowing that, how can you use your social media advantage in an effective way? The short answer is to add more personality to your profiles and feed. Here are a few reminders to help you do exactly that…

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The Second Most Important Sales Page on Your Website

At any given moment, the most important selling point on your website is likely to be your home page or landing page, depending on which one is attracting the highest number of views. What a lot of small business owners fail to realize, however, is that the second most important sales page is one that’s often looked over

Years of studying web analytics have shown us that a companies “About” page gets more traffic than marketers realize. Moreover, the impression that it leaves a reader with will go a long way towards determining what will happen next. That’s particularly true if there are team member bios, or a story about the history of the business.

There are probably a couple of reasons for this. The first is that, as humans, we like to know other humans. That is, we want to know a bit more about the men and women we are doing business with. Looking into their bios and stories is a good way to understand who they are and how we might work together with them.

At the same time, the About page on your website tells potential customers what it is that makes you different from all of your competitors. It’s a chance to show off your unique skills, talent, or perspective. It’s your shot to fill them in on what sets you apart.

Knowing that, how can you make the most of your About page? Here are a few good tips to help you get started…

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4 Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Website Today

Do you feel like your website could use a facelift, or perhaps a performance boost?

Often, we hear from business owners, managers, and executives who want to get more from their web presence, but they have been hesitant to give us a call. That’s because they are afraid that a short conversation will lead to a proposal for a brand-new website – one they might not need or be able to afford.

There certainly are times when it makes sense to build a new site from the ground up. However, if your pages were laid out in the last few years (and are mobile-compatible), you probably don’t need to start over.

Here are few steps you can take to make your website feel new without putting a major dent in your budget…

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Balancing Short vs. Long Term Internet Marketing Strategies

One of the fun things about the early days of internet marketing was that almost everything seemed to happen instantly. You put a website or ad online, promoted it, and could be assessing the results within hours.

There is still an aspect of instant gratification to working on the web, but the process of designing websites, planning campaigns, placing ads, and (especially) evaluating results has begun to stretch out. And so, we have reached a point where online marketing has come to represent traditional marketing, in that businesses need to balance short and long-term strategies if they want to get the best results.

With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways you can get the most out of both…

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