Author: Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is a content hacker (noun: growth-focused content marketer). She's the CEO of content writing agency Express Writers, 2x author, and teacher of two industry courses, including The Content Strategy & Marketing Course and The Expert SEO Writer. Named an industry thought leader by Forbes, Julia has used content marketing as the sole means of growing her self-started agency to over $4MM. She's launching Content Hacker, a new brand dedicated to growth-focused marketers, in late 2019. Follow her on Twitter @JuliaEMcCoy.

By julia-mccoy published April 25, 2019

Get Rid of These 25 Phrases and Words From Your Content

Editor’s note: Useless words abound in text. That’s why Julia updated this article originally published in 2017, adding more words that you should avoid. 

In online writing land, clarity is your best friend. The clearest prose is the type anyone can understand, learn from, and enjoy.

Stuffing your sentences and paragraphs with filler and fluff – words and phrases that add zero meaning to what you’re trying to say – is the opposite of clear writing.
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By julia-mccoy published January 14, 2019

Dump the Sales Funnel in Favor of Lifecycle Marketing

The sales funnel is obsolete.

In fact, it has been obsolete for a long time.

Bold statement? Yes, but when you look at the facts, it’s obvious.

The sales funnel doesn’t help predict anything about buyers: Not their mentality, not their movement through the buyer’s journey, and not when they might make a purchase.

Modern buyers are too unpredictable. They have way, WAY more information at their fingertips influencing how they shop and buy.

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By julia-mccoy published October 16, 2018

How to Make Your Content Powerful in Eyes of Searchers (and Google)

The value of building SEO content is second to none.

However, I’m not merely talking about properly optimized content that has the right meta information, links, keywords, and technical SEO.

Instead, I’m talking about honing powerful content that speaks to readers irresistibly. It’s optimized, sure, but it’s also constructed to be the ultimate read. This kind of content is the equivalent of a best-selling novel – people invest in it and gobble it up.

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By julia-mccoy published August 20, 2018

Get Your Readers to Stay Longer With These 4 Formats

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Getting people to click to read your content is hard, whether you’re trying to entice them in an email or tempt them in the search engine results.

But once you finally get them on your page, you must work even harder to keep them there.

Lots of technical ways can keep them from bouncing (faster load times, minimum pop-ups, clear site navigation, etc.).

But what about non-technical ways?

Which content formats are inherently readable, interesting, and absorbing? Which ones make your readers subconsciously stay focused, moving down your page?

Take these four formats for a spin.

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By julia-mccoy published June 7, 2018

How to Explain Content Marketing ROI to Win (or Keep) Buy-In

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Do you feel like you’re constantly explaining content marketing?

Whether you’re seeking initial buy-in or justifying an existing program to a new executive, you’re often asked to prove that content marketing is a worthy investment.

Explaining the nitty-gritty inner workings and ROI of content marketing to bosses or clients is difficult. But it’s necessary. If you can’t get support behind your content efforts, how can you be successful?

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By julia-mccoy published May 1, 2018

The Secrets of High-Performing Online Content

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Good content is one thing, but great online content is another.

How do you define great content? Yes, it should be well-written, addictively readable, and hit home for its intended audience.

But it should also convert like crazy. After all, that’s the point of content creation for us, the marketers.

The good news is that content that is high-performing for us is useful for them, our readers. To reach this win-win, let’s look at what you can do to take your content from good to great, from “just OK” to high-powered, high-performing, and massively successful.

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By julia-mccoy published December 13, 2017

How to Robot-Proof Your Job as a Content Creator

robot-proof-content-creationArtificial intelligence is all around us. As I shared in Content Creation Robots Are Here, billions of AI-created pieces of content are published yearly.

What does this mean for humans who create content? Are you in danger of losing a job?

Not quite. Despite the growth in artificial intelligence capabilities, the human content writer is needed more than ever.

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By julia-mccoy published November 12, 2017

Content Creation Robots Are Here [Examples]

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How much will the evolving landscape of AI impact content creation?

I had a conversation with BuzzSumo co-founder Steve Rayson who said writing algorithms are available for purchase, have been bought, and are in use by major platforms. And, they are creating well-written, data-backed articles, he said.

I was surprised. I knew the AI landscape was evolving in the industry: But just how much would it really affect content creation? I took a data-driven look at the reality.

How much has AI been implemented behind the scenes for content creation? And what does this technology cost?

The key phrases behind content-writing robots you’ll see a lot – intelligent narratives, natural language generation (NLG), and automated storytelling technology. Now, let’s meet the writing AIs behind three leading publications.

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By julia-mccoy published October 22, 2017

9 Stats That Will Make You Want to Invest in Content Marketing

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Editor’s note: Because proving the value of content marketing continues to be necessary, Julia McCoy updated her 2016 post with some fresh stats and perspective. 

Content marketing has been moving at the speed of light in recent years.

Why?

Consumers are fed up with in-your-face advertising and sales tactics that feel cheap, slimy, or underhanded. Instead, they’re attracted to authenticity, transparency, and friendliness in a brand.

The advent of the internet and social media has a lot to do with this. These channels help consumers pick and choose exactly which brands they interact with. If people don’t want to see your ads, they’ll click away – it’s as simple as that.

Consumers are fed up w/ in-your-face advertising & sales tactics that feel slimy. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

As such, marketers have discovered that they need to approach the consumer differently. We can’t serve up the same old ads anymore and expect results similar to 30 or 40 years ago. Instead, we must add value to consumers’ lives to make them want to give us the time of day.

Hence, the fundamentals behind content marketing – relationship-building, focusing on the customer versus the brand – were born in response.

This approach – oh boy, does it work.

For some excellent proof, let these nine statistics do the rest of the talking. They really do speak for themselves. Prepare to persuade.

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By julia-mccoy published October 2, 2017

4 Strategies to Earn Natural, High-Quality Links for Your Content

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The process of “building links” has long been touted as the key to ranking in search engines. After all, studies about the relationship between external links and rankings have shown it’s nearly impossible to rank without them.

In fact, a Moz study of over 15,000 keywords found that 99.2% of all websites at the top of the rankings had at least one external link.

But, while obtaining links is still crucial to SEO, the way in which those links are obtained has shifted.

Link-building tactics through spammy emails, article submissions, and trading links are strategies of the past. Today, if you want to generate links, you’ve got to put in the work to earn them.

If you want to generate backlinks, you have to earn them, says @JuliaEMcCoy. #SEO Click To Tweet

How? Let’s dive in and find out.

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