Content Series: Be a Better Writer

I’ve asked several people and professionals on how they’ve become a better writer. I sought for answers on how do you get to improve your content for your clients and your own brand? Their answers and advice were simple:

Read and write more. For yourself and for other people. 

It may sound easy but everything improves with practice just as how you prepare for a marathon, or how often you practice up until you achieve your personal bests. Write, write as often as you can. As you write, you get more confident and fluent. As  you self-edit yourself after writing your drafts, have others edit it and allow them to tell you on how to improve your ways. Ask them if the message were sent across. Allow them to mark your drafts with red marks, periods or lines – don’t take it too personally but take it seriously.

My Dad, a veteran in writing press releases, editorials and stories would constantly remind me to read your piece with fresh eyes and give yourself time to perfect your piece before you publish.  He’s been brutal with what I’ve written, edited every piece I’ve sent to the dailies and took his feedback seriously. Up until this day, I allow myself, and others to criticize my work. There’s no such thing as perfection, only progression.

If you’re feeling stuck and limited,  read through other contents and feel their voice. Make use of other content as inspiration and let it move you. Read more about the certain topic you’re assigned or you’ve given yourself to write about, test your writing and voice out your thoughts freely.

Your thoughts matter and then you become a better writer.

Content Series: Useful & Relevance

On this series, we’ve talked about the basics on Content curation. As we go along in digesting content writing, in this post, we’ll talk about how you’d make your posts relevant and useful to your readers. Remember, your writing should be easy to read and could spark interest. What should you do? What will you do?

1. You have to make sure the persona are brought into consideration. Ensure the needs and goals of the persona are met. Align that the writing is completely relevant to what the persona needs to get out of it.

2. Useful.  Here are few tips:

a. look for your competitors. Try to get a little bit better than them.

b. Have a think about of more research and understanding what users want what to get out of your content.

Well, that’s right but how do we find few ideas on making it relevant?

a. Have practical advice such as checklists. Phrase your content into some lists that will make them think of what they do.

b.  Display your content married to your search engine results. Make sure that words match in your content.  Go, check.

c. Have a look at the analytics. Social listening is important, this way, you can check if people are linking and checking on your site. Your content should lead and sparkle their interest – take this information from your site to another.

d. Look at your social media (facebook and twitter) and see what they’re talking about, if they’re talking about you in a positive way.   This is the best way to get traffic – by word of mouth and recommendation.

There are a lot of ways on sparkling interest for your readers but what matters is how you build content and ensure all of what you share relates to your persona, helpful to your readers and are in active voice.

There’s no turning back, just keep on going. Stay consistent.

Do you find these posts useful? Please do send it to a friend or share this link. You may also comment below on your thoughts. I would love to get to know you! 

Kassy Pajarillo is a woman of many hats. She used to contribute  actively for traditional dailies as well as other Digital content pages.   A passionate marketing professional continuously learning and hotelier. 

Content Series: Personify.

Writing is not an easy task. Just like giving birth, there are precautions and prepartions that needs to be attended to. In completion to the idea or concept, a content marketer should develop an understanding on who your readers are.

  • Are they Male or Female?
  • How young or old are they?
  • Do they have children or grand-kids?
  • What are their day-to-day lives like?

But most importantly ask yourself:

  • What would their key takeaway be like when they read your content.
  • Identify their educational level – How will you communicate your informative and educational posts?
  • Should it be corporate, personal or a touch of both?

In curating content, just like a person, you’d have marry the thought to how the site looks like. What is the persona or character of the site? Marry them together. You’re the voice of the posts, be the voice it needs to be. Go ahead and name that persona – either it’s  Ryan,  Ben, or Tina.

  • What are his or her goals?
  • What does s/he easily do?
  • Attitude and principles?
  • Goals?
  • Fashion lifestyle?

Live through that persona. Keep that persona in mind in all execution.

As content authors, we should make sure we don’t think like our users or readers but do write what we think our users or readers will understand because we understand.

These personas can help as you give birth to progressively grow your calendar especially in terms of discussing changes in the content.

Have you ever thought about the persona of your content?

Kassy Pajarillo is a woman of many hats. She contributes  actively for traditional dailies as well as other Digital content pages.  A freelance digital marketer and a passionate hotelier.

CONTENT SERIES: Writer’s Block!

“Write, just write. Let those thoughts flow. Worry about the grammar later” these were the encouraging words my Dad always tell me. I’m imparting the same advice to those of you who needs a little help if demons come haunting your conscience.

The best content marketers always think of their audience. It’s extending your knowledge to educate, entertain and inspire at the same time extending service to get to know who they are, introducing yourself (or your business) and relating to their needs or what they may need.

Just like our loyalty to specific brands, our content occasionally should be fun, useful and a good resource to supplement decision making.

Lead by Example, as what they always say. Having to share testimonials and experiences do help your audience on validating their thoughts. Wrap your story with guidelines and instructions, what turned out and what you’ve learned.

If you can’t seem to grasp everything in a post, you may divide the posts into chunks such as these: Series of Content, Q&A posts and Profiling or Get to Know kind of posts.

Don’t just list off points, but rather entice by being precise – teach, inform, share an expertise.

Do you find these posts useful? Please do send it to a friend or share this link. You may also comment below on your thoughts. I would love to get to know you!

#Indiawithluv Series: The Arrival

What is not to love in India? I’ve got so much stories to tell.

I spent incredible 10 days in India in November 2015 after missing my best friend’s wedding in Jaipur in 2014. India has always been on my bucket list yet I couldn’t find the right dates without feeling at guilt taking an off time from work. Traveling solo takes a lot of courage and I had yet to find time to research thoroughly but all the wondering met its end.  I was able to step foot India.

Are you going to India? You’ve heard about the crime rate and rape issues, right?!

You’re ridiculously flying alone! Why India?! Travel alone elsewhere!

Do you really trust your Indian friends? They spell (might be) trouble!

 

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Solo flight begins! Wore my well-travelled hoodie.

These are few reactions of those people whom I’ve shared excitedly that I’m going to India. It’s fair to say a lot of people did not understand my fondness but the right timing came along; a friend of ours whom I met in Myanmar was getting married; No one should ever miss an Indian wedding.  No, it’s not those usual walk on the aisle kind but an entire week long celebration where family and friends come together from different cities and countries, joining the union of a couple filled with dancing and colorful ensembles (and, sumptuous Indian vegan/vegetarian food!).

 

And rightly so, There were a lot of bad publicity about India, confusion, misinformation and stereotypes. If you haven’t read much of the good, you’ll be trapped in the realm of nothing but horrid stories missing out the rich culture of the country, preserved architecture and how much they value compassion towards others.

My itinerary: New Delhi, Agra, Lucknow and Jaipur.

 

Cheap Air Tickets

Ever since I discovered cheapoair during my flight to and back from Manila to Yangon, to Bangkok in 2014,  I have been a loyalist in finding possible airline tickets to different destinations. I had my supposed India trip in 2014 booked through their site and app. The customer service team are easy to talk to, my refund was taken cared off immediately without additional costs or penalties.

Their comparison rates are competitive, they’ve got the cheapest amongst my attempts whether it was a flight going to Viet Nam, New York,  Europe or India. They make sure you get to apply as much as $20 off additional discounts on your travels too.

From the usual trip ticket of +/- $1200,  My round trip ticket only cost me $400 (more or less Php 18,000) through China Southern Airlines. Best part, It’s refundable.

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Visa for India

For convenience, you will need to apply for your visa online . India’s visa-on-arrival has been replaced with the electronic application.  The validity is for 30-days.

A tourist visa depends on where you’re coming from, length of stay and how many entries you will need. As I was only going to be in India for a few days, I applied through e-visa for $48, it should be paid via credit or debit card.  Have an electronic 2×2 photo for your digital application.

You must, at least, apply for the e-visa 4 days prior to your trip.

Where to Stay?

 

 

First in agenda will always have to be a long comfortable sleep before I charge all my energy in full speed. I had to make sure I’m well hydrated, ate right and squeeze in some quiet time to reflect on what the days ahead are going to be, and to just enjoy the trip like a local without missing out the idea of being a tourist.

Ah, I’m sleeping within India’s timezone. 

In order for me not to miss a day in my travels, I always book the earliest flight, and choose whichever arrives before sunrise. That way, I get to wake up at around 9AM, just in time for breakfast or brunch.

At 3AM,  Luvkesh , one of my good friends in Delhi picked me up from  New Delhi International Airport and dropped me off at  ITC  WelcomHotel Dwarka, New Delhi booked through the ever-reliable booking.com app. Thanks for the recommendation, Bud!

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ITC WelcomHotel Dwarka, an upscale hotel, in a contemporary concrete and glass building is conveniently located 15-20 minutes away from the airport, 3-minutes walk from the nearest metro station and 8km from the Indian Air Force Museum.

It seems as if they’re cost-cutting, the lobby was shut down to pitch dark. The front office personnel spoke good English and was able to assist me in checking in but took way longer than usual standards of a hotel. For someone who’s dead tired and wanting to sleep, patience was not much of my friend but the Front Office staff did well with his courteous voice.

Being the hotelier that I am, somehow, I was expecting for the bellman to offer his services on accompanying me towards my room and transport my luggage.

Once I entered my room, all that welcoming was forgotten.  The room was squeaky clean, as welcoming as it pleases. The room temperature was just right, the scent of the room was balmy. The color combination of the interiors had a modern touch of both masculine and feminine with a hint of its culture.

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A Deluxe room cost me $76 (approximately around Php 3,425 ) with Breakfast in a comfortable King sized bed within a 33 sqm space with amenities you could lounge around: flat-screen TV with cable channels, laptop safe box, coffee/tea making facilities, work desk with business kit for your notes and the best part other than being situated in a comfortable bed was the toilet inclusive of a Bathtub and Shower to spoil you throughout your stay.

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Breakfast at the Pavilion75 located on the ground floor wasn’t how I envisioned it knowing I’ve had this thought about Indian breakfast where there is an abundant flow of different flavors of lassi, Indian pancakes, and desserts but the breakfast didn’t disappoint either. At least, they made me a glass of cold lassi to start my day right.

Service was good, the staff was attentive on who would need water and cleared out the empty plates politely.

Wish they were able to serve the published breakfast buffet: Chinese, Japanese, and International Cuisines fit for every traveler. They, however, had options for both vegan and vegetarian.

I was joined by my best friend, Vijay Dhayal, Vice President of a Business Development and International Trade in Yangon, Myanmar for Breakfast on a non-work mode, just be our silly selves for a trip away from the hustle and bustle of our usual grind.

The stay overall wasn’t so bad. The room was spacious, clean and has the amenities a traveler would need. The staff spoke good English and were helpful when I needed housekeeping’s help on stitching a patch on my bag. They even gave me a pocket sewing kit just in case.

For someone who wants to stay in-between luxury, comfort and budget, I will definitely give the hotel another chance and recommend to friends who has the same preference. The hotel also has a mall attached to its compound. It would’ve been nice to know what they have and get to enjoy the outdoor pool area.

Get to know more about the hotel through this FACT SHEET

The real trip commence. I will post more of the entire trip on my next article.

NOTE:

If you’re wondering if it’s safe in India. Yes, however, just like in any countries (including your home country) you should always take precautions and act appropriately without flashing off. Best if you can travel with a friend, not just to save money in your budget but also to get to hype the trip even more fun!

 

 

ITC WelcomHotel Dwarka

Plot, Janakpuri District Center, Dwarka,

New Delhi, Delhi 110075, India

Phone:+91 11 4222 9222