Tag Archives: blogging

3 Tips To Make Your Business Blog Work

Is your business blog making your company look bad? I’ve been working with a content marketing client, who asked me to look at business blogs across a range of industries, and create a report.

Yesterday, we looked at content marketing mistakes and how to fix them in a slide deck. Today, let’s look at some easy tips to make your blog work for your business.

Some companies do a fantastic job of integrating their blog with their overall marketing. They get it. A blog isn’t an obligation, or something “for the search engines”. It’s a publication. Consider blogging to be instant publishing, and think about your most recent blog post. Is that post something you’re proud to publish? Would it work as a brochure?

If publishing a blog post were as expensive as publishing a brochure, business blogs would get a lot more respect. Many companies blithely push blogging and social media onto their least experienced employee. Not a good idea.

Each and every blog post is a gateway to your website. It represents you, and every post, no matter how short, can work for you.

Let’s look at some tips.

1. Publish real content: forget junk content for “SEO”

If someone says to you: “a blog is good for SEO”, ignore them. The days when shoveling junk onto the Web in the hope of getting search engine rankings have LONG gone. In fact, those days never existed.

A lot of great companies have woeful blogs. They’re updated infrequently, with content which looks like placeholder text.

On the other hand, many companies have good blogs. Here’s one.

I enjoy shopping at The Good Guys, and their blog does them proud.

To repeat, your business blog is a publication. Integrate it with your website; The Good Guys’ blog does product reviews. You can too.

2. Get personality: blog for real people

Consider magazines. Next time you browse a magazine rack, pick several magazines devoted to the same topic — any topic you choose. Each of those magazines is slightly different. It has a vision — a personality, if you like.

Your blog should have a personality too. Consider this blog.

Rhodia Drive is a blog published by the Rhodia paper company, and promotes its products. The blog is for people who love paper, and buy and use paper notebooks. It’s got personality, and the blog appeals to people all over the world who love paper.

What could you do to give your blog a personality? Start by considering the people who buy your products. The Good Guys do this: they’ve got recipes and videos for people who love food and cooking — and those people are a part of The Good Guys’ market.

Years ago, Microsoft had major PR problems. Robert Scoble’s blogging went a long way towards showing that Microsoft, big as it was and is, is a company made up of real people.

You’re human. Your company’s made up of people. Relate to your customers as people via your blog, and you’ll reap the benefits.

3. Know what you want your blog to do

Again: your blog is a publication. You can publish anything you like instantly. Your blog’s a huge opportunity to humanize your company, and differentiate you from your competition.

If you’re not happy with your blog, start your blog’s makeover by checking out what your competitors are doing. Then check out the blogs of big companies. Check out the magazine rack too.

Consider your customers. Create customer personas, if you haven’t done so already. What magazines do your customers read? What movies and TV shows do they watch?

Your blog is a huge marketing opportunity. You can be one of those companies which does blogging, and content marketing, well.

Want some blogging inspiration? Contact me.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Desk, a Mac Desktop Blogging Editor

I have a serious addiction: Mac apps. As things go, it’s not a serious addiction, of course. However, it’s a nuisance. Just this week, I bought Typed, a Mac Markdown editor. Now there’s Desk, another blogging editor. (Sigh.)

Why, oh why yet another app? A couple of reasons. I like blogging as a break from serious writing — that is,  client projects. It’s my little reward, so I’m always working on a blog post. Also, Desk lets you use Markdown. I adore Markdown. So I couldn’t resist. Obviously I like playing with apps and blogging more than I like doing serious work. :-)

Desk, a desktop blog editor

 It’s not easy to find a GOOD desktop blog editor

WordPress is my blogging platform of choice, so I usually blog in the WordPress editor. However, that can be a royal pain, for various reasons. So, when I saw how many great reviews Desk received, I couldn’t resist.

Over the years, I’ve used many other Mac desktop blog editors. Most handle publishing to a blog reasonably well, except when they don’t. That’s when I give up in disgust and go back to blogging in WordPress.

There’s another reason I like to blog in the WordPress editor: SEO. I use the Yoast plugin, which reminds me of keywords, page titles, and the rest. When you use a desktop editor, you have to go back into WordPress, and add those things afterward. This can be a hassle, if you’ve got five other things to do in the next 60 minutes.

This is a test post for Desk: review to follow

I’m writing this post in Desk, and I’ll complete it once Desk has sent the post to WordPress.

I’ll write a proper review when I’m more familiar with the app, but I like the ability to drag images from the desktop right into a post.

My major quibble after 20 minutes playing with the app? No typewriter scrolling. Desk has a great community already, and someone has asked for that feature, so I added my voice.

Now to hit Publish, and see what happens. :-)

… and we’re live

I’m back in the WordPress editor, adding the meta data.

Desk has done an excellent job; I managed to add a few too many non-breaking spaces, but that’s OK, for a first attempt.

I’m really impressed that the image I dragged into Desk is right where it should be; that will save time.

My verdict on my first Desk post: the app’s fun to use, and it does what it says on the label. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

5 Blog Post Ideas You Can Use Today

5 Blog Post Ideas You Can Use Today

When I work with clients on their blogs, I make lists of blog post ideas they can use if they wish. By the time they work through the list, they know how to generate their own ideas.

Ideas are everywhere. For inspiration, check your email, and the news, and ask your colleagues to help you to brainstorm.

If you’ve still got nothing, try these ideas.

1. Create a list post

List posts are super-easy. Choose a topic, and think: why, what, why, when, where and how.

Examples:

  • 5 Reasons Yoghurt Is Good For You
  • 5 Simple And Trendy Yoghurt Desserts
  • 2 Ways To Make Yoghurt At Home
  • Simple Good Health: 4 Super-Foods To Include In Your Diet

You can often turn posts in your archives into list posts.

2. Post an image from your location

You’ll see these kinds of posts on social media: an image of what someone saw on his way to work, or the view from a poster’s living room window.

Make this theme your own. If you’ve got a bricks and mortar shop, you’ve got endless opportunities to snap images.

They don’t need to be pretty — they just need to be a slice of life.

If you’re a writer, post an image of your desk, or the cover of your book, or the unboxing of something or other. YouTube’s full of unboxing videos, because they’re popular.

3. Post the answer to a question (include WHY)

You get questions every day. If you’re stumped for a blog post idea, scroll through your email.

Tell your readers why you responded as you did. The reason will be evident to you, but for someone who’s new to your topic, it’s a mystery.

4. Create a post in a format you’ve never used before

Most bloggers get stuck using the same couple of formats. However, there are many different blog post formats. If you’re using WordPress, check your theme.

Here’s a selection of formats.

Blog post formats
Blog post formats

5. Just for giggles, use an idea generator

Sometimes your brain feels like mush, and ideas won’t come. Make yourself laugh. Humor makes you more creative.

Idea generators can come up with some weird ideas.

Here’s Hubspot’s. Enter three nouns.

Here’s what happened when I used it.

Blog post idea generator
Blog post idea generator

Collect blog post ideas

I’m a big Evernote user. I’ve got a notebook called Drafts, in which I collect ideas.

Here’s the key to collecting ideas so that they’re useable: jot down a couple of paragraphs, rather then just a phrase, an URL, or a title. The more you write about your idea now, the easier the blog post will be to write later.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Journal 73: Free Content Library Available Now

Writing Journal 73: Free Content Library Available Now

My writing journal for Friday, October 24, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The mystery novel went well, as usual, with 2,200 words. Then on to the two nonfiction books, with 1,800 words.

Honey’s breakfast, and my own, while catching up with email. It’s predicted to be warm today, with showers later, so I left for my walk.

As soon as I got back, I caught up with client phone calls and messages. Friday’s my day to update clients on their projects’ progress.

Next, I analyzed traffic, and brainstormed content for clients’ websites and blogs. This afternoon, I’ll need to fit in some more blog content research.

Julia and I left for an early lunch, just in case someone called and we got caught up again. We’ve missed our Friday lunches. Hummingbird cake for dessert, of course. :-)

Back again to work on the copywriting projects I developed concepts for, and brainstormed, yesterday. The drafting went quickly. I’ve learned never to worry about projects at the draft stage. It’s essential to get something written, no matter how useless the writing appears. Then you can work with what you have.

Writers tend to struggle with getting stuff down. The solution is to write something. Once you have something, you can revise it, or trash it completely. Even if you trash it, you’ll find that the effort you put in isn’t wasted. You may well come up with a brilliant idea, sparked by your rubbishy drafts.

Angela Booth's EASY-WRITE Process 4 for 2015

If you want more information on how all this works, I cover it in great detail — with exercises — in the Easy-Write Process.

I developed the strategies in the Easy-Write Process over many years, and of course, I use them myself.

Writers love the Easy-Write Process, because it helps you to write, rather than worry, and it eliminates procrastination completely.

 

 

 

 

Writing Genii launches, with the Free Content Library

Writing Genii

Writing Genii has finally launched. I hope you enjoy the Free Content Library. I wrote about the site relaunch on my freelance writing blog. I said:

Today, 30 MILLION pieces of content flow onto the Web, each and every day. That’s a LOT of content. You, I, and every other writer has to compete with that for attention. As we said in Professional Writing Going Forward to 2015, professional writing is changing. If you want to make a great income from your writing, you need to become much more entrepreneurial.

The Free Content Library helps new writers to get up to speed on the world of writing as it is in 2014, and in 2015 and beyond. Eventually, we’ll have many ebooks in the library for you to download, and put to use. You can download the first two ebooks now. My hope is that they’ll arm you to develop a real writing business.

Basically, Writing Genii is for anyone who wants to turn their creativity into a business.

Onward…

With the copywriting material drafted, I drafted some blog posts for clients’ blogs. I’ll complete the posts, and scheduled them for publication next week. I always like to have a collection of draft posts ready to go, otherwise you can fall behind on your blogging very easily.

And that’s it for the day. My daily review is done, and so’s the writing week.

Check out Writing Genii

Check out Writing Genii; we’ll be publishing more content to our Free Content Library. Enjoy the resource. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.