Tag Archives: business

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.

Pinterest Traffic: 4 FAST Sales Generators

Pinterest Traffic: 4 FAST Sales Generators According to Alexa, Pinterest has a global rank of 26, and a US rank of 16. (Alexa ranking is an estimate of popularity.) However, few companies are using Pinterest effectively. Look on it as both a social, and a sales tool. Pinterest traffic may well surprise you.

I encourage my copywriting clients to engage on Pinterest as well as on Facebook, for a couple of reasons:

Let’s look at some fast ways to promote on Pinterest.

1. Images Count: the More the Merrier

Look on Pinterest as the ideal showcase for your products. When you’re launching a new product, or service, create 20 images you can use on Pinterest. You won’t use them all at once, of course. However, combined with descriptions (see below), you can create interest, and increase traffic to your product pages.

Tip: it can be tempting to look on your Pinterest account as an online catalogue, but remember… SOCIAL. Create boards for entertainment, as well as business. Consider your customers’ interests, and create boards around those interests.

2. Create an Engaging Description: It’s an Ad, With a Call to Action

Pinterest gives you 500 characters (100 words) to use in your pin descriptions.

You have space for a tiny ad — make it engaging. Write for users, but remember keywords and hashtags — and a call to action. Include prices too; pins with prices get more repins than those without.

3. Create a Board for Your Blog (Your Blog’s Your Content Hub)

Your blog is your social media content hub. Create a board for your blog. This is on my own To Do list for 2015. Add a couple of images to each blog post; this gives you more pinning options.

Integrate Pinterest with other social media networks.

A workflow:

  • Create a blog post with two (or more) images;

  • Pin the post to two different boards (one image each board);

  • Promote the pins on your other social media networks: Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

4. SELL! Use Contests, and Pinterest-Only Offerings

To get more engagement, consider Pinterest contests, and Pinterest-only offerings. Promote them on your website, your blog, and your other social media accounts. Reach out to companies with complementary products to yours. Suggest a quid pro quo: they promote your contest, you do the same for them.

The more planning you do for your contests, the more you’ll get out of it. Pinterest has guidelines for contests, so keep them in mind in your planning.

When you’ve built an audience on Pinterest (even a small one) consider creating Pinterest-only offerings. Not only will you build your audience, as your customers learn to watch for your offerings, you can promote these Pinterest-only offerings on your other sales channels.

, 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.

Writing Journal 57: Creative Dreams to Creative Business

Writing Journal 57: Creative Dreams to Creative Business

My writing journal for Wednesday, October 8, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I’ve got a couple of meetings this morning, so I need to spend a little less time on fiction and nonfiction, so I can prepare for the meetings, and then be on my way.

Creative Dreams to Creative Business

We’ve had a wonderful response to our new Creative Business program. I’m glad, for two reasons.

Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into ProfitsThe first reason: I’ve always been aware that business is a challenge for creatives. My very first couple of blogs, way back in 1999, were about business for creatives. I published the “Creative Small Biz” ezine for several years, and it was hugely popular. I think it was ahead of its time however, because we focused on old-school marketing, and Internet marketing.

Internet marketing was painful in those days, right up to around 2004, when things got better. I have VERY painful memories of installing the first versions of WordPress, well over a decade ago — 2003? Can’t remember. I do remember uploading it to websites and messing around with the config files for several hours get it to work. When one-click installs came along they were a blessing.

Today, you can ignore tech; everything’s point and click. I’m thrilled to be helping creatives to do business, because everything is easy now. You can install an online store to sell your creative products, whatever they may be, with just a couple of clicks. Marketing’s a dream too — there are endless alternatives.

The second reason I’m glad is that truly creative people can lose their dreams when no one buys their books, listens to their music, or buys their art. To a creative person, not creating is like not eating. I used to say that while writing made me miserable (this hasn’t happened in years, I’ve learned a few tricks), I’m bereft and more miserable when I don’t write. The knowledge that I’m helping others to live their dreams is hugely satisfying.

Back to writing…

This morning I do a couple of timer sessions on the mystery novel, and on the two nonfiction books for my coaching client. I’m writing these two books in tandem; the print version will be an expanded version of the ebook, with many diagrams and images. I manage 1,300 words on the novel, and 800 words on the ebook.

I get Honey’s breakfast, and eat my toast while responding to email.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been procrastinating on the new website I’m setting up, so I do a little work on that. I choose a theme, and post the material I’ve written to the home page. I make a list of blog posts to get the site off the ground.

Then it’s time to rehearse my pitch for the pitch meeting. Next, I need to go back through the other client’s files, to see what I wrote for him, so I can create some suggestions for what he can do over the coming holiday sales period.

While I’m out, I’ll have lunch, and then I’ll pop into the library to do a little more research.

Back again…

The meetings ran long, as they always seem too. It’s late afternoon. Time to return phone calls before people leave their offices for the day. Then I write up the notes from the meetings, and add the tasks to my schedule.

I’ll need to do a few hours of work tonight, to catch up. With my daily review done, that’s it for the work day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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