It’s that time again! After an endless series of whispers and all kinds of little leaks, it’s time for the much anticipated Google I/O 2013 Keynote.
We’re live on the scene in San Francisco to bring you all of the up-to-the second news through our realtime liveblog. Join us, won’t you?
The event is scheduled to begin at 9 AM Pacific, but we’ll be bringing you photos and commentary from the scene leading up to doors opening.
Have you ever taken your car to get an oil change, only to decide four hours and forty dollars later that you would have been a lot better off doing it yourself? Well, you can get the same feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hire a copywriter.
If you want to have a smooth sailing experience, below are seven questions I highly recommend you ask your prospective copywriter before signing on the dotted line.
7 Questions to Ask Your Copywriter
Can I call you?
As an online business owner that works with many (online) marketing agencies and SEO firms, I primarily help my customers through email. It’s fast and easy. What’s not to love?
But when there’s a serious problem or an issue that needs to be addressed immediately, that’s what a phone is for. Don’t hire an online copywriter if you can’t get them on the phone pronto.
Do you provide keyword research?
No joke – there are copywriters out there that don’t do keyword research. It’s kind of like a chef opening a restaurant and asking you to bring your own ingredients. If he’s a really, really good chef (or writer), then maybe you’re willing to “bring your own ingredients.” But that’s pretty rare.
Either way, you should know what you’re getting into.
Will you publish for me?
Again, no right or wrong answer here. But, if you aren’t the most tech-savvy cookie in the cookie jar, then you might want to see if your copywriter can upload content to your blog or website.
Most copywriters and agencies will do this for you at a nominal fee. It takes very little time, but is a huge convenience factor for you, the client.
What’s your opinion on character limits?
Your copywriter should be informed and up-to-date on the latest Google character limits. Ninety two character long titles and 204 character long meta descriptions are going to get cut off.
Make sure your copywriter knows what’s up. Remember, they call it search engine optimization for a reason.
Can I see examples of your work?
Hopefully, you already have seen some writing examples. If not, be sure to ask. Some writers may pull the “I-have-NDAs-card” (non-disclosure agreements). Fair enough.
So can they write you some custom content?
Will you write all of my content yourself?
Here’s a dirty little secret about the writing game: A lot of it gets outsourced without the end-client ever finding out, especially the optimization work that is more or less “keyword stuffing.”
If you’re paying Mr. or Ms. Top Writer with this award and that credential, then you want to know that they’re the one actually writing it.
What guarantee do you offer on delivery time?
First, you shouldn’t have to hound your copywriter to get content delivered at a decent time. Second, you should have a guaranteed delivery date. Third, you should have a guarantee about what you’ll receive (discount, free work, etc.) should that delivery date not be met.
Things happen; protect yourself.
Have you hired a copywriter before and, if so, what questions do you wish you had asked?
Copywriting Photo via Shutterstock
The post 7 Questions You Better Ask Your Copywriter appeared first on Small Business Trends.
If you’ve been using OpenTable to reserve tables at your favorite restaurants, the latest update for Android will help you discover new places to eat a little better and keep track of everything you have going on. It also got some of that Holo design lovin’.
The company announced the Android update today on its blog, noting a complete overhaul of its maps integration, fully leveraging Google Maps v2. The other major feature, that the company notes was a popular community request, is the ability to add a reservation directly to your Google Calendar. This feature is available for those using Android 4.0+. The plus here is that you can utilize Google Calendar to send out invites to your dinner, which is the best way to get those last reminders in. It’s pretty shocking that this hasn’t been available until now.
The new maps integration cuts down on clutter, OpenTable says, and you can now use the feature to explore areas away from where you are currently, which was a bit of an odd restraint in the previous version of the app.
Navigation is now much easier, allowing you to go back to the previous page or jump to your favorites, current reservations or a map view. The profile pages themselves got a facelift too, showing the overall rating for a restaurant immediately:
Some other quick tweaks include speedier menu and review loading and the ability to edit your reservation’s date, time and party size right on the restaurant page, rather than having to jump around. The company promises more Android-specific updates moving forward, after updating its iOS app last month to include a cool feature, Foodspotting dishes.
Though Foursquare is now busy trying to take on Yelp, one of its more rewarding, but personal, use cases (now that the fervor around badges and mayorships has died down), is its ability to add insight and data around your check-ins. Often after registering your location, the app rewards you with a little encouragement or commentary via a pop-up message. Today, the service is making these little moments shareable with a new button that lets you edit and post that message to Facebook, Twitter and more.
For example, you might learn that you hadn’t been at some airport since last December, or it’s your third day in a row at a favorite location. In Foursquare’s blog post about the feature, it gives the example of a user who wants to brag about hitting the gym three days in a row. (Though let’s get real, we’ll probably see more people posting about their ongoing bar streaks, don’t you think?)
The update may seem to be a minor one on the surface, but it’s one that could encourage more of Foursquare’s users to return to the app more regularly in order to post and share rather than try to win a mayorship crown or some other tired prize, like a badge. These things were fun at first, but the excitement has worn off. But Foursquare still needs a steady stream of data to keep its local recommendations current and accurate.
The feature also ties in nicely with the new movement in “quantified self” devices – where users are trying on items like the FitBit or Jawbone UP, for example, in order to track and learn more about their daily activities through data.
Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, in fact, expressed an interest in the quantified self space, during an interview he did with TechCrunch last week at Disrupt NY. Though he had dismissed the rumors about Foursquare developing wearables of its own, he did say that this is an area Foursquare would like to further explore.
Also of note, Crowley used an auto-checkin utility recently, when he ran the Boston Marathon (ahead of the attacks), which let him track his progress mile by mile – so he’s clearly a fan.
Foursquare is actually sitting on a goldmine of personal data through its historial check-ins, but prior to now, the messages taking advantage of that info have been ephemeral – you would see them and then hit close, nothing more. Today’s update is the first step towards letting users better interact with Foursquare’s data store, if only by posting it to social networks or saving images to their Camera Roll.
The new feature is available for iPhone and Android.
Google is bringing Debian to Google Compute Engine and is making it the default OS for developers using the service. Google will support both Debian 6.0 and 7.0, which was released this week.
There are some pretty clear reasons why Google is making Debian the default OS. First of all, it’s free, said Krishnan Subramanian, a cloud analyst and founder of Rishidot Research. “With Ubuntu and Red Hat, Google has to deal with the vendors who want to make money themselves,” he said. Further, Debian has a large customer base. And it fits with Google’s geeky culture.
In its blog post about the announcement, Google cites improvements in the Debian 7.0 “wheezy” release. It has hardened security, better 32- and 64-bit compatibility, and it addresses community feedback.
Google states that it will evaluate other operating systems that it can enable with Google Compute Engine.
It’s important to note that Google Compute Engine is only available for subscribers to the $400 Gold Support package.
This all looks like a tune up for next week’s Google I/O event where there are expected to be announcements about Google’s cloud computing strategy.
Debian competes with other Linux-based operating systems, such as Ubuntu, Mint and Fedora. According to DistroWatch, Debian ranks fifth in page hits. Mint is in the top spot.