Tag Archives: blogging

15 Blogging Tips from around the Web

Pencil-Editor-WriterBlogging is an important part of building a web presence, but it can be a bit intimidating. If staring at a blank screen seems to be more common than you would like, then use the tips below the next time yo are asked to write for the company blog.

  1. Brainstorm and organize your ideas. Start with your concept as the anchor, create a brief outline and write 2- sentences for each point.
  2. Include hard data such as facts and statistics, being sure to link to the original source.
  3. Have a title that is eye-catching. Men are typically drawn to titles with numbers (7 Ways to…) while women are prone to titles with “How to” or “Why”.
  4. Identify your audience, and determine what type of content appeals to them. This may take a bit of trial and error.
  5. Write with authority. Establish yourself as an industry expert.
  6. Check out other blogs within your industry and see what is trending.
  7. Be consistent. Whether you publish on the same day of the month/week, use the same format every time, etc. don’t change things up every time you post something.
  8. If you are part of a conference or webinar, blog about it.
  9. Don’t be afraid to create controversy.
  10. Write in your own voice.
  11. Use Spellcheck programs. Proofread multiple times. If possible, have 1-2 others proof your work before posting.
  12. Link to others, but never let someone pay you to do so.
  13. Your blog should include the following info:
    • Graphics that draw the eye. These can be images, infographics, bar graphs, etc. It is even better if the images are original to you.
    • Offer specials (when appropriate)
    • Answer questions
    • Teach people how to use your product/services
    • Have a point; don’t just ramble in order to reach a specific word count.
    • Always have a Call to Action
  14. Use keywords and phrases. Be sure to target the cities where you want to build a customer base.
  15. Formatting is important!
  • Use short paragraphs – no more than 75 to 100 words or 6 lines long.
  • Having white space between paragraphs makes it easier to read.
  • Use subheadings in bold that include keywords.
  • Use an easy to read font.
  • Lists with bullet points or numbers make it easy for readers to scan information quickly.
  • Shorter sentences are better.
  • Align to the left, rather than the center.
  • Keep posts to no more than 300 to 1,000 words long.

Blogging is a part of being found on the Web; and, with bit of planning, it doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Of course, if you would rather have someone else write the blog posts for you, contact Write Away and explain the types of post you need, and a few other elements and you can mark “write a blog post” off of your To Do list.

Social Media: Try it – You Just Might Like It!

pic from en.wikipedia.org
pic from en.wikipedia.org

Not long ago, I had the privilege of being a part of a educational event at a local university. It was my “job” to pretend to be suffering with pains similar to  having a bladder or kidney problem. It was up to the students to ask enough questions to determine the cause.  This was an activity far removed from my normal day, and one that I greeted with excitement, and even a bit of trepidation. After all, I am more of an observer, and prefer to avoid drama of any kind.

However, the day was actually quite enjoyable. I found that stepping outside of the box was more fun than anticipated and I got to meet some really great people.  And, even better, I found that with each new “doctor” I met, the more comfortable and easier the acting became.  I found I anticipated the questions, knew better how to answer and learned a bit about what it takes to train to be a physician.

My experience with acting is often how people feel about using social media or blogging about their company. Taking that first step and setting up a social media page might be intimidating. There are “all those” questions to answer, and the job of finding the right pictures. Then, you have to spend time each week posting things that are engaging and interesting. These tasks can seem daunting, so people often choose to merely observe other businesses on Facebook, Twitter or other platforms rather than get involved with the “drama” of social media.

But, just as I was a bit uncertain at the outset of my day of being a patient but later found it was actually a bit fun, those companies that take the plunge and set up a social media profile (or two….) usually find that while it may initially seem difficult, with practice it becomes a great way to engage with others. By using social media to promote who their company is and how others can benefit from using their products and services, they build up their customer base and develop a strong presence on the Web.

No,  the first few social media updates may not go viral (chances are, they won’t!) but with practice and perseverance, a social media page can be a strong tool in your marketing toolbox. So, don’t just sit back observe the social media scene, get out there and give it a go. You might just find that you like it.

 

8 Things Being Involved in Ministry Has Taught Me about Being a Business Owner

(image from dae-lee.com)

I have been involved in church ministry for over 2 decades. I have worked with preschool children,  elementary children, behind the scenes as an admin assistant, been involved with the music and currently work with the youth. And while the level of involvement, the responsibilities and the manner in which  communication is accomplished has changed over the years, much has stayed the same.

Recently, I was thinking about how often my ministry involvement and having my own business are alike. Here are my observations. If you have others to add to the list, I would love to see them!

  1. If you don’t have a plan for the day, the children/teens will. From time to time I get up and turn on my computer for the day expecting my workload to be light and thinking that I might take time to chill out. More often than not, those are the days that rather than simply working just a few hours, I end up with a full day’s work! (Not a complaint, just an observation.)
  2. You have to be flexible. Just because you have a plan, it doesn’t mean that the lesson prepared will be the lesson taught. In business, you have to be open to new approaches in getting a job done. After all, the Web and the way one does business is always changing.
  3. Mistakes happen; don’t dwell on them! Find a way to correct the problem and deal with it effectively and efficiently. Sometimes that great object lesson or game completely backfires and you have to be able to address the situation and move forward. In business, that idea that sounded so wonderful in your head might not be a great in practice. Be willing to step back, re-assess and move forward again.
  4. You can’t please everyone; sometimes you have to sign off on a project. This doesn’t mean failure, just the need to find a better way. Also keep in mind, that some people refuse to be pleased with a product/service. These people are always going to be there. Learn what you can in those situations and move forward.
  5. The client/customer must feel valued. Even if you cannot provide the exact service or product one might want, going out of your way to provide service with a smile is a great way to build repeat customers. In a ministry, you must make each person, from the team members to the people being served, feel like they matter…because they do!
  6. Everything eventually works out, It might not always be the way you envisioned it, but a solution can usually be found that pleases most of the people involved.
  7. It takes work. There is always something to be done. Whether it is planning the next meeting, writing another blog post, visiting with new clients or ministry team members, etc. Like in business, you can count on ministry taking time.
  8. There is always room for improvement. No business, regardless of its size, can’t be improved with more training, better procedures, etc. Ministry is no different. There will always be ways to make the space more inviting, help leaders to be stronger and attendees feel more welcomed and connected.

5 Ideas for Blog Posts

5 Blog post ideas for the tired blogger (pic from www.gapyear.com)

Having a blog on your website is a great way to boost your site’s SEO, but only if you take the time to post to it on a regular basis. In fact, many experts recommend posting at least once a week. But for many of us, that is a steep assignment as life and the daily needs of running a business can get in the way of blogging. For others, it might not be the time involved for blogging so much as having ideas for the posts.

If you fall into this latter category, then you are not alone. Write Away Copywriting has some ideas and tips for your next blog posts.

Be informed of the latest changes, new products, etc. in your industry so you can share that information with your readers.

Lessons learned about running your business are not only inspiring but lets others know that they can overcome obstacle, too. It also lends some credibility to you and your business.

Ongoing saga of what is going on at your company. Do you have a new product or service? Perhaps you have hired a new sales rep or expanded your service area. Letting your readers know what is going on helps them connect and builds loyalty.

Goals you are working towards also lets people know where your company is headed.

Surveys are a great way to get customer feedback or to ask leaders in your field for their input. Consider posting pictures with names and companies of the survey contributors, as way to boost link opportunities, as well.

Blog posts are a fun way to generate interest and excitement about what is happening at your company. They don’t have to be long, technical diatribes, just something that keeps site guests engaged and wanting to hire you or use your products. So, don’t let that blog page sit empty…write a blog post this week!

Choosing the Game Plan for Your Company Website

footballfieldI love football! The camaraderie in team spirit, the thinking and strategizing, the physicality and the competiveness all work to make it a great game. But, in order for a team to be a success, they must have a solid game plan. Your business is no different. To have a profitable business, you must have a game plan.

Your plan will be different from the company’s down the block, but you must put some intentionality into what you want you to accomplish. However, sometimes it can be difficult to determine what direction to take for your business, especially when it comes to building a website. You may struggle with whether to have an Events page versus a Blog spot, if you should have a Company History page or an Employee Bio page-or perhaps both.

If you need help in moving forward with your game plan for creating an online presence, then it’s time to talk to a web developer about what needs to be done. This is similar to when the coach lays out the approach for the upcoming game. Whether you enter the discussion with a web developer carrying your tablet or notebook, expect to get answers for the following:

  • How many pages your site must have to fully represent your company?
  • Will you have a blog or an events page? You should have at least one of these, as you don’t want your page to be static or Google is unlikely to notice its existence.
  • To what social media platforms will you link?
  • How much do you want to invest in building your website and its ongoing management?

These are but a few of the questions you will be asked as you craft your wining game plan, but they are very necessary to building an online presence. If you need direction in finding a trustworthy web developer, be sure to contact some of these web developers:

These are all friends of North Carolina copywriter, Write Away Copywriting. They will be happy to help you with the design and content of your website. And, if you should prefer to not do the writing for your website’s content, don’t hesitate to contact J. Slagell. Get started on your web presence game plan today so you can score a touchdown sooner and not later!

Breaking it Down: Managing Your Web Presence and Beyond

thJust having a website is no longer enough. Today’s savvy business owner must keep up with Web trends, use social media, write newsletters or blog posts, plus be in the know about the latest advances in your current field. With so many jobs to do, it can be easy to let things slide or to get overwhelmed. How can you manage everything? By breaking it down into bite size jobs, and delegating jobs you don’t have time for or interest in.

When it comes to time and job management, perhaps one of the most necessary, but still overlooked, aspects of promoting your business is through an online presence. But, like other elements in business, the challenges of building a Web presence can be handled by breaking the job into smaller steps. To help you begin building a Web presence, ask yourself these questions:

What do you want your website to look life?

  • Does it explain who you are or what you do?
  • What is it that makes your product/service stand out?
  • Are there pics of your product or services posted on your website?
  • Do you know what your site’s keywords are (or should be)?
  • Do you have employee bios, company history or other elements that lead to personality and credibility?

What are you doing about social media?

  • What platforms are you using? The top four are Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest, but LinkedIn, Foursquare, Tumblr, and Yelp should not be overlooked. However, not every one of these platforms is a perfect fit for every business, though it is safe to say that Facebook and Twitter should not be overlooked by any business.
  • If you do have social media pages, how often are you posting? Social media pages must be used –at the very least, 1-day a week to be of use. Your posts need to not just promote special events and services offered but also encourage engagement, build rapport with your customers and add personality.
  • Social media pages can be a big asset but only if managed. There will often be people who leave high praise on your page, but there can also be negative comments. Be sure to watch for the negatives so you can deal with the problem sooner, not later.

How are you getting the word out about your company? Do you…

  • Send out a newsletter?
  • Write link articles?
  • Write at least one blog post a month?
  • Have you ever held a lunch and learn event for local businesses?
  • Are you involved with local events where you can share what you do?
  • Take advantage social media advertising campaigns?

These are but a smattering of bite-size actions to consider as you build your Web presence. If you need help with social media, blog posts, articles or other writing elements, contact Write Away Copywriting, to learn how Jan can help.

Creativity: Writing is not for Everyone!

writing help

The writing process is more than merely having a good idea. It is time spent researching your topic and determining the best way to present your findings. For some people, the writing process is far more intimidating than the development aspect, but both portions are necessary in showcasing your new idea. If you have realized that you would much rather be on the design and developing side rather than the writing and advertising side, then don’t beat yourself up over it. After all, everyone had different skill sets.

And, even if your product is unlike anything that has ever been showcase, Write Away Copywriting can help you promote your product. Janet S. is happy to tour your facility to see what you can do, will take notes so that your product or services can be well represented and even get you set up on social media pages, so that you can get the word out about who you are and what you do. You don’t have to be a writer…just focus on the creativity and let Write Away do the rest. If you have questions about WAC can help, please contact Jan S. today.

 

Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

C & H resolute

 

How are those New Year’s Resolutions Coming? Did you make a long list of resolutions for 2013? Maybe they included getting into shape, starting a business blog or newsletter , getting involved with a community outreach group or perhaps saving more money. After all, those, and many other similar goals, are viable resolutions with great benefits. Unfortunately, they are also resolutions that can be hard to implement into an already busy schedule. Earlier this year, my pastor shared some reasons why New Year’s resolutions don’t always work and I thought I would pass them along.

We try to accomplish them in our own power.
Most are incremental and not immediately transforming.
Most of them are outcome based, rather than action based.

So, if you have begun working on those resolutions and are wondering if it they are really worth it, don’t despair.  Keep on working at it. In fact, whenever you start something new, researchers have found that it must be done 21 times to become a habit. Of course, if you are finding that the resolution to “Start a blog post or newsletter” really isn’t your thing then perhaps you will find that it is beneficial to hire a writer to do it for you.  If that is the case, contact Write Away, and before you know it, those writing resolutions will be taken care of.

Bacon and Business

bacon

 

Bacon is currently one of the most popular meat products in America. This is because it offers that extra flavor to nearly anything it is paired with.  I mean, what would filet mignon be without bacon or a BLT sandwich be like without the savory, salty addition of bacon? Bacon adds that little bit of extra flavor to so many foods.

But, “What” you may ask, “does bacon have to do with business?”  If you are not in the culinary business, then you may have never thought of bacon and business in the same sentence, but just as bacon complements many foods, the bacon below can spice up your business:

Blog posts– If you have a blog page on your website, then use it. Remember, Google notes websites that have new content on a regular basis. Either write the posts yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

Apps and advertisement-If you have a business where an app would be beneficial, then take the time to design one and make available to others. Or, if you would rather, set up a Google AdWords Campaign. Remember, you want to keep your business in the public, so take advantage of the tools available to you.

Connect with others through emails, phone calls, newsletters,social media and more. You never know when that 5-minute phone call or the time spent on Facebook or Pinterest will pay off in a big way.

Offline connections– Attend seminars, get involved with community events and organizations or go to conferences whenever possible.

Network– Don’t just attend the seminars, conferences, etc. get involved! This doesn’t have to be just within your field of business, but may be a group for a passion or hobby you have. Many times, you will get a new client based purely on the fact that “they know/knew you from….”

Yes, adding some bacon to your business is a great way to get the word out about what you have to offer. However, if jobs like social media, blog posts and other writing aspects are things that “burn your bacon” talk to Write Away Copywriting about taking care of those jobs for you. After all, just because bacon taste great doesn’t mean you have to cook it for yourself!