Don’t Let Writer’s Block Derail Your Content Strategy

Writer’s block can strike the best of us; just ask James Caan’s character in Misery. And while it can certainly be a lethal affliction for fiction writers, it’s just as unsettling for content marketers. If you’ve ever found yourself on a tight deadline for a company blog post, press release, or email newsletter, you know just how little wiggle-room there is. The last thing you need is to waste precious time waiting for inspiration to strike.

There’s no magic formula for banishing writer’s block, but there are a few simple remedies that can help get your creative juices flowing. Here are a few tricks and tips from Grammar Chic’s writers.

How to Deal with Writer’s Block

  • Walk away for a little while. You won’t accomplish much by banging your head against the desk, or by staring at a blank screen. So why not go for a walk? Get your blood pumping a little bit. Step outside to soak up some sun or make a quick phone call. Spend 15 minutes playing a mindless iPhone game and see if that helps you clear your head. You can’t put off your deadline forever, but you can take short breaks.
  • Always be looking for inspiration. You never know when a billboard or a line in your favorite TV show will inspire a company blog post. Be ready to jot down these inspiration points on your Notes app and consult it when you feel low on ideas.
  • Work when you know you’re at your most focused and creative. Some of us have our best ideas early in the morning. Others tend to perk up toward the end of the day. If you’re the kind of person who just always feels blank first thing in the AM, then choose a different time to get your writing done.
  • Ask for ideas. You know who probably has some great ideas for your next company blog post or newsletter? Your sales reps, who talk to customers day in and day out and know what some of the common questions and pain points are. Don’t hesitate to go to them for inspiration.
  • Just start writing. You may have no idea what your next piece of content is going to look like… but you can always write something: A list of keywords, questions, or even a simple outline. Even if you’re just regurgitating a precious blog post, the act of writing can often inspire fresh ideas.
  • Outsource your efforts. If your writer’s block becomes chronic, you may want to hire someone who can help you shape some new ideas. The Grammar Chic team would be happy to step in as needed.

Reach Out to Grammar Chic, Inc.

Do you feel inspired to learn more about our content writing services? If so, then let’s set up a time to chat. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. by visiting www.grammarchic.net, or by calling our office at 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing, Content Writing

5 Ways to Repurpose Your Content

Your written assets are invaluable pieces of marketing collateral, often representing a significant investment of time and labor. And yet, all too often, we treat content as though it is disposable. A blog post that takes days of research, writing, and optimization may be heavily promoted for a month, but then it’s all but forgotten.

To ensure you’re getting the maximum benefit from each piece of content you develop, consider some methods of repurposing. Here are just a few tips to improve your content mileage.

Effective Ways to Repurpose Your Digital Content

1. Update your longform blog posts regularly. If you take the time to write 2,000 words about email marketing trends, then you should be prepared to update the post every six months or so, reflecting how those trends change. After all, long-form content can be invaluable, both in terms of SEO and brand authority, but you’ll squander all that value if you allow the content to become dated or obsolete.

2. Use video to tease your content. When you develop a new piece of content, consider making a short video to promote it. For example, you can make a YouTube video or even an Instagram clip to summarize some of the main points of your most recent blog post, and end by inviting your viewers to read the post (and then share it).

3. Summarize your blog posts in email newsletters. At Grammar Chic, our monthly newsletter includes a rundown of all our recent blog posts, along with some short summaries of each. You don’t need to rehash the entirety of each post, but you can definitely use your long-form content as fodder for future emails.

4. Turn bullet points into tweet storms. Sure: Tweets are by their nature fairly ephemeral. But if you have a blog post with plenty of stand-alone points, quotes, or observations, it’s pretty easy to convert them into short blasts to your social media followers, potentially shoring up your thought leadership credentials.

5. Combine shorter posts into an e-book or downloadable guide. One final option to consider: If you have a number of shorter posts on a related topic, work with an editor to combine them into a single document, which you can then promote as a downloadable resource.

Increase Your Content ROI

These are just a few ways to improve your content ROI, particularly for longer and more in-depth pieces. We’d love to talk to you further about how these repurposing methods can fit into your overall content strategy. To speak with one of our writer-editors, contact Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing

7 Questions to Ask About Your Web Content

How effective is the written content on your website? Is your site composed to attract leads, educate potential customers, and ultimately facilitate conversions? Has it been carefully developed to emanate authority and to instill trust? Or are the words on your site simply placeholders, scaffolding for your fancy design or your multimedia content?

These are important questions to ask, whether you’re considering a website relaunch or simply taking stock of your online marketing assets. To help you assess the quality of your written Web content, here are a few self-inventory questions to ask.

Assessing Your Website Content

  1. Is all of my website content unique? It can sometimes be tempting to plagiarize yourself, especially if your website has a lot of product or service listings. Using boilerplate language from one page to the next may be convenient, but it can also incur penalties from Google, diminishing your search engine visibility. Uniqueness is key to effective content.
  2. Who was my content written for? There’s not necessarily one right answer to this question… but if you can’t answer it at all, then that probably means your content was designed without a buyer persona or any kind of data about your target audience. And that, in turn, means you probably haven’t honed in on user questions or pain points. Writing for a more clearly defined audience can help you achieve your sales and marketing goals.
  3. How’s the formatting? Is it easy to read your content? Do you have spacing, bullet points, subheadings, and short sentences to facilitate skimming? And does your content look just as sharp on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer?
  4. Does my content have action-oriented language? We generally advise business owners to include at least one clear call to action on each page, whether that’s an invitation for the reader to call you, schedule an appointment, or shop in your online store. Make sure your content aligns with the sales funnel, and that you use strong action words to guide readers through next steps.
  5. Does your content answer common questions? The best content usually follows the consumer’s journey. What this means is, you begin with general concepts and definitions of terms, then move through common questions, objections, or pain points. Again, your website content provides you with a great opportunity to guide potential clients through their initial product research to a point where they are ready to buy.
  6. Does my content convey trust? The most effective content gives people a reason to trust you. This may mean listing your awards and accolades, outlining your experience, citing testimonials and reviews, or simply conveying your knowledge of the industry. In particular, bio and about us pages can be great places to highlight your expertise.
  7. How old is my content? If your content is full of references that might have been dated during the George Bush administration, or if it doesn’t capture the ways in which your value proposition has expanded or evolved, then you should probably spend some time updating it. (One good rule of thumb: Any statistics or studies you cite should be no more than three years old.)

If your answers to any of these questions leave you feeling dissatisfied with your website content, we’d love to hear from you. Our writers have ample experience writing business Web content that generates real results. To schedule a consultation with Grammar Chic, Inc., reach out via www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Web Content

How COVID-19 Changed Content Marketing

At this point, it feels like the height of cliché to talk about how COVID-19 has changed everything. As with most clichés, however, this one carries a kernel of truth. After all, virtually every aspect of our lives has been impacted by the pandemic. Content marketing is no different. Not only have marketing workflows had to adapt to life in lockdown, but consumer behaviors and preferences have changed, too. And as with many other COVID-related disruptions, this one may prove durable: For as much as we all hope to “return to normal” soon, the reality is that COVID will continue to echo through our lives for a long time to come.

So, even as most of us get vaccinated and shift back toward our pre-pandemic patterns, there are some significant ways in which content marketing will bear COVID’s imprint. Here are a few of the changes that marketers and small business owners should keep in mind.

Uplift Will Win the Day

Pretty much all of us would agree that 2020 was the year from hell. Thus far, its successor seems like it is moving in a much healthier direction (knock on wood), but the fact remains: There’s plenty of bad news to go around. Do not believe us? Just turn on the news or switch over to your Twitter feed.

There is so much bad news out there, in fact, that a lot of consumers are frankly numb to it. Content that is negative or pessimistic in tone is increasingly at risk of being tuned out, while content that’s more positive in its tone stands a greater chance of breaking through.

In short, consumers crave uplift, and that is something a good content marketing plan can deliver. Do not just focus on pain points. For your content marketing efforts to succeed, you may need to double down on problem-solving potential, on inspirational messages, and on anything that helps people feel good.

As you begin to feel a little optimism, a sense that COVID is finally beginning to fade, channel that optimism into your content marketing.

Honesty Will Be Rewarded

Pre-COVID, none of us had any experience navigating pandemics. We have all been doing the best we can, and as business owners have been forced to adapt, it has required a new level of transparent communication with their customers and clients.

In fact, the companies that have been the most honest and forthcoming with their customers, showing real candor about how they have been handling the pandemic, are the ones that have seen the greatest groundswells of support. As it turns out, consumers really value businesses and brands that are willing to shoot straight.

There is no reason that should end just because the pandemic does. Continue to make candor your policy, communicating with your audience in as direct and authentic way as you can. The alternative is to risk finding out just how little patience people have for content that obfuscates or beats around the bush.

SEO Will Be a Big Deal

To be fair, SEO has been a big deal for a while now. And yet, ever since the start of the pandemic, its importance in the marketing world has only grown. And we think that trend is likely to continue.

Why is this? For one thing, the pandemic led to a surge in e-commerce, for reasons that are probably obvious. And even now that people are feeling more comfortable in brick-and-mortar stores, a lot of consumers still prefer to do their research in advance, Googling around for local businesses to verify that they are still open, that they have good reviews, and that they seem reasonably safe.

As such, for any brand to succeed, it will need content that wins rankings in Google. To that end, we recommend a value-focused content marketing campaign that will provide something relevant and useful to search engine users, and thus find the favor of Google’s algorithms.

One Thing That Hasn’t Changed? Grammar Chic’s Commitment to Quality

As you consider what your content marketing endeavors might look like in a post-pandemic world, keep in mind that Grammar Chic has been creating authentic and original content campaigns on behalf of our clients throughoutthe COVID crisis. We would love to talk with you about developing quality content that meets the moment. Reach out any time at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing

6 Signs You Need to Rewrite Your Web Content

A good website is more than the sum of its parts. Certainly, you need logical navigation, clean graphic design, strong calls to action, and a robust internal linking strategy, among other considerations. And don’t forget about your written content! The written copy on your website is crucially important for educating and persuading customers, for gaining SEO traction, and for conveying the vision and values of your company.

Web content isn’t meant to last forever. On the contrary, it’s a good idea to revise your copywriting every two or three years. This gives you a chance to offer fresh content to the Google algorithms, and also to refine or update your company’s messaging.

Beyond that, there are a few telltale signs that your Web copy could stand an update… whether you rewrite it yourself, or enlist the expertise of Grammar Chic, Inc.

Signs You Need Fresh Web Copywriting

1) Your Google traction is slipping

One of the most important aspects of copywriting is that it signals to Google what your company is all about, and how your website should be categorized. If you’re not getting the kind of Google traffic you’d like, it’s possible that bad copy is to blame… and that a content refresh could put you back on Google’s radar.

2) You’re not getting calls or inquiries.

Ideally, your website is a 24/7 sales machine, directing interested consumers to call, text, or email you about your products and services. Make sure you track where your leads come from, and if you find that it’s seldom from your website, that should be a red flag: Your Web copy isn’t doing its job.

3) Your branding has changed.

It’s natural for companies to grow and evolve… and your website should grow and evolve with it. For example, say you started your company 10 years ago, with the intention of being an all-purpose plumbing service. But in the years since, your business has shifted to focus almost entirely on drain cleaning. This is something that should be reflected in your business messaging, and that starts with your website content.

4) Your customers are uneducated.

When customers call for a consultation, come in for an appointment, or show up to browse your retail store, they should have at least some idea of what you do. If you find that your customers are often confused about your products or services, or if you find yourself getting the same questions over and over again, it means your site isn’t educating consumers the way it should. It might be time for an update!

5) You’re having your website redesigned.

If you’re giving your website a facelift (and especially if you’re changing the layout or navigation), you’ll probably need to make some adjustments to the copy. Here we’ll note that Grammar Chic’s writers are uniquely experienced in partnering with Web design companies, ensuring you get a seamless final product.

6) You have a high bounce rate.

This is something you can check in your Google Analytics dashboard. Basically, a high bounce rate means people are coming to your site, but then immediately leaving. It suggests that, for whatever reason, the content on your website isn’t meeting their expectations. This could be a matter of poor layout or confusing navigation… but it could also be that your content isn’t as relevant or as helpful as it needs to be.

No matter your reason for wanting crisp new Web content, Grammar Chic is happy to deliver it. We’d love to book you for a no-obligation Web copywriting consultation. Reach out today: 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Writing, Web Content

Case Study: Grammar Chic Helps Crafting Scholars Achieve a Quick Boost in End-of-Year Sales

The team at Grammar Chic has had the privilege of working with Charlotte-based academic tutoring service, Crafting Scholars, for close to five years. In that time, we have created, managed, and administered everything from their email newsletters and their social media feeds to their ongoing blogging and other one-off content writing needs.

So, when Crafting Scholars President, Kris Harris, reached out to us in the middle of November with an urgent request, we didn’t hesitate.

Creating a Dedicated Marketing Campaign

Kris explained to us that they wanted to promote an ACT/SAT Diagnostic Testing Service designed for students who are trying to figure out just which test is right for them. With all of the craziness that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to students as they work to stay on track, and in order to hopefully boost year-end and early 2021 sales for Crafting Scholars, Kris believed that this promotion would be timely and beneficial to his company’s clients—as well as his business. Like many businesses, the time between Thanksgiving and New Years can be slow—and therefore, challenging.

Sitting down to strategize with him, we decided to create content for a series of social media posts, graphically design a direct mail piece, craft a press announcement, and also draft a series of email blasts that would go out to the Crafting Scholars’ client list as well as prospects.

Ultimately, because time was of the essence, we got right to work—and fed content to Kris for him to review and approve.  After a bit of tweaking and back and forth collaboration, we had the final products ready. Then, we subsequently got everything scheduled to be deployed at regular intervals during the first and second weeks of December.

The Results

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, Kris reached out to our office. Frankly, his elation was contagious as he communicated the results that had been achieved through this ASAP, at-a-moment’s notice marketing campaign.

“We have already closed five deals,” Kris said.  “Just in that short amount of time!  That’s worth $10K to our business. You guys are simply the best. Thank you so much!”

Indeed, while we were speaking with Kris on the phone, a sixth deal closed, bringing the return on his small investment with Grammar Chic to over $12K in revenue to his business.  That is an absolutely huge boost during any time of year to any small business—let alone the holiday season during a pandemic.

The team at Grammar Chic couldn’t be more pleased with the results that were achieved with this marketing campaign for Crafting Scholars. Their success, ultimately, is our success, and we could not be happier that Kris and the Crafting Scholars team placed their trust in us with this very important task.

Extra kudos go out to Grammar Chic Senior Writer, Megan Saylor, who crafted all of the content used in the campaign, and to Courtney Wright, our Business Manager, for expertly organizing and coordinating all social media posts, email blasts, press releases, and more to ensure everything was deployed seamlessly and without a hitch.

If you are considering a special marketing campaign or are even looking to boost your digital or traditional marketing presence in 2021, the Grammar Chic team would love to speak with you. Reach out to us and let’s start a conversation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Client Spotlight

7 Reasons to Hire a Content Writer in 2021

When you run a small business, you know more about it than anyone in the world. But just because you know your business inside and out, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best person to articulate its value proposition… especially not in writing.

That’s where a professional content writer can be invaluable: Translating your knowledge and your passion into messaging that crystallizes what you do and why customers should care.

Indeed, there are a number of reasons why business owners outsource their content writing needs… and, why enlisting a writer may be the best decision you make in the dawning days of 2021.

1) Bad writing will wreck your reputation.

Let’s be honest: Writing is a skill, and not everyone has it. If you’re not a natural-born writer, that’s totally okay! You obviously have plenty of other skills that have allowed you to launch a successful business.

But if you’re not a good writer, that’s something that’s important to acknowledge to yourself. See, if you do your own copywriting but it’s filled with circuitous grammar or sloppy mistakes, it could actually have a counterproductive effect.

For instance, it’s hard to say that your business stands for quality, consistency, or attention to detail if your writing is full of typos.

Hire a professional writer to make sure bad writing never tarnishes your good name.

2) Good writers will know how to connect.

It’s actually possible that you know your business or your industry a little too well.

This is a common issue among business owners, who get so excited talking about what they do that they load their language with jargon, technicalities, or sales-speak.

Sometimes, it takes an outsider to identify what really makes your company special, and to phrase it in a way that it connects with potential customers… not just explaining what you do, but what difference you can make in their lives.

3) Professional writers can help you get results.

Whether you’re writing a blog post, a press release, or an email newsletter, you’re probably not doing it just for kicks and giggles. In theory, your writing should always serve a specific purpose. You should be writing to generate leads, to close sales, to instill trust, or to build your reputation.

This requires more than just a knowledge of how your business works. It also requires knowing how to format your writing, how to build an argument, how to use persuasive language, and how to craft a perfect call to action.

These are tools in the professional writer’s toolbox, and they can ensure that your business writing actually accomplishes something.

4) Good writing is good SEO.

Which is more important: Writing content that appeals to human readers, or writing content that jibes with the Google search algorithms?

Trick question! Actually, by writing relevant and valuable content for your end user, you’ll be much better positioned to occupy prime search engine real estate.

The best writer will have the SEO knowledge it takes to draw the right kind of attention, from your target audience as well as from the search bots.

5) Hiring a writer will save you time.

Honest question: How long would it take you to write a really solid company blog post?

And what else could you do in that same amount of time?

One of the main reasons to outsource anything is to free yourself to focus on the essentials: Leading your team, strategizing for your business, or satisfying your customers.

Allow writers to take content creation off your hands.

6) A professional writer can address a range of content needs.

By forming a relationship with a professional writer, you can ensure you have someone you can call on for a range of needs, including developing new sales copy, composing tweets, and beyond.

As the writer gets to know your business better and better, they will become a trusted marketing partner, able to provide a range of marketing assets for use in your business.

7) Professional writers will work well with your other creative partners.

Believe us when we tell you that a professional writing company, like Grammar Chic, Inc., does a lot of collaborating with other agencies. These might include SEO consultants, web design houses, marketing firms, and beyond.

If you’re looking for a partner who can easily fold into that relationship, ensuring really optimal results across your different marketing activities, consider hiring a professional writer today.

We’d love to speak with you further about all the reasons it makes sense to outsource your writing needs. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today by calling 803-831-7444 or by visiting www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Writing, Uncategorized

Mindfulness: Not Just for Mental Health – Apply it to Content Marketing

Customers are inundated with content every time they go online. A simple Internet search can generate millions of results. There are pop-up ads on many websites. Social media is a never-ending cycle of information. But just because the content is there, doesn’t mean that customers connect with it. Being mindful about the information you put out and intentional in your marketing can pay off.

Focusing on Quality Over Quantity

Publishing articles and posting on social media just for the sake of pushing out content will garner limited results. Taking the time to offer information that is relevant and meaningful to your audience will produce a greater return. Consider what value they will get from what they read. What do you want them to do with the information?

  • Know your audience. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus on what is important to your audience and what affects their decision making. Take advantage of analytics tools to understand what customers are searching for, and what attracts them to your site. This should guide your planning process.
  • Be authentic. Let your audience know that you understand the challenges they face and are grounded in reality. Show them that you are listening and using their feedback to make meaningful changes and share information that they want. Keeping them in the loop will build loyalty and repeat business.
  • Look beyond sales. While you may use content marketing to drive sales, all of your copy shouldn’t be sales-focused. Offer a variety of data and information related to your brand, products, and services. Be genuine in offering solutions and action-oriented content rather than just being promotional. Once you gain their trust and build credibility, the sales will come.
  • Post with a purpose. Stop writing fluff pieces. Before you start, consider how your content will be different than everything that is already out there. What do you want the reader to take away from it? Why should they care about the topic? Go in with a plan and a focus on quality.

Be mindful about the content you are producing and the value it adds. Drive a connection with your customers so they want to engage with what you have to say, rather than keep scrolling by. Whether you’re focused on social media or blogging, Grammar Chic can help you get noticed for the right reasons with a solid content marketing plan.

Find out how we can help you and your business by contacting us today at www.grammarchic.net or (803) 831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content Marketing