Category Archives: Business Writing

Communicating in the Time of Coronavirus

What are you even supposed to say to someone in a time of unprecedented challenge, uncertainty, and loss? It’s not a rhetorical question; it’s something all of us have struggled with in recent days, fumbling for the right words, sifting meaningful reassurances from clichés and platitudes.

The reality is that none of our words are quite sufficient for the magnitude of a global pandemic. Nevertheless, they’ve never been more essential. We need words now as much as ever as we seek to convey our empathy, our need, our solidarity, and our hope.

We need meaningful, heartfelt words for the people we love. And, businesses and brands need clear, precise language to let their customers and employees know that they, too, are doing everything they can to foster connection and weather this storm.

No doubt you’ve already been flooded with emails from companies letting you know their COVID-19 policies, changes to normal operat

ion, perhaps even ways you can pitch in and help those who are truly struggling.

And if you are a business owner who hasn’t yet found the right words or the proper tone, there is still time. A simple newsletter, email blast, or Facebook post can go a long way toward letting your audience know you’re with them in this time of crisis.

Now’s the time to speak your heart, and what’s important isn’t eloquence so much as authenticity. With that said, we can offer just a few tips on wise, clear communication in the time of coronavirus.

Communicating Amidst Coronavirus

  • The most important thing is just showing that you care. If ever there was a time to just reach out to your customers and employees, without any underlying agenda, just to tell them you’re around and you’re feeling the confusion, too… well, now is that time.
  • Be proactive in articulating key information. Don’t leave your customers to guess about suspensions of your normal services, or abbreviations to your hours of operation. Keep in contact and let people know how your company is handling the coronavirus. Be proactive in communicating any changes as they arise.
  • Consider some options for sacrificial service. What can your company do to make your clients’ lives just a little easier? Whether it’s free shipping or flexible pricing, every gesture is welcome. Note, these gestures might also make it easier for your customers to support you and your business.
  • Inspire action. Something else you can do with your business communications: Provide links or suggestions for ways your clients can help those in need. Send out information about charities or causes that are making a positive impact during this scary season.
  • Audit your current content calendar. If you have any scheduled blog posts or tweets that might come across as glib or insensitive, now might be the time to pull them and hold them for better days.

And in all seriousness: We truly do believe better days are coming. Until then, the Grammar Chic team sends our encouragement and solidarity to all of you. Hang in there. Stay healthy. Take care of each other. And stay in touch.

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What is a Ghostblogger? And Should I Hire One?

Have you ever had something you really wanted to say, but felt unsure of how to put it into words?

It’s a common feeling in life, whether in the field of relationships, parenting, or business. It’s precisely when you feel strongly about something, when you know in your heart that it matters, that you begin to feel inarticulate; as if, in trying to communicate what’s on your mind, you just wind up tripping over your own words.

For example, business owners often have a particular set of points they’d like to convey about their product, service, or industry; but, whether rightly or wrongly, they fret that they aren’t natural-born writers, and are daunted by the blank page. And it’s not a phenomenon that’s unique to business owners; even authors and in-demand thought leaders sometimes need a hand in shaping their original ideas into legible packages.

A ghostblogger can provide just that kind of help. But what is a ghostblogger, exactly? Our simple definition is that a ghostblogger is someone who’s there to listen to your ideas, to help you shape them into coherent narratives, and to provide whatever wordsmithing assistance you need in turning your thoughts or ideas into compelling digital content.

Why Hire a Ghostblogger?

There are a number of reasons why you might consider hiring a ghostblogger, including the one we’ve mentioned already: You may have much you want to say, but be unsure of how best to say it. The ghostblogger’s primary skill set is taking what seems nebulous or “unsayable” and distilling it into something sharp, persuasive, and valuable.

But there are other reasons why you might benefit from working with a ghostblogger. One reason why a lot of entrepreneurs struggle in content creation is not that they don’t know their field well enough, but that they know it too well; that they are too close to their subject matter, and have a hard time separating the peripheral details from the real crux of the matter. A good ghostblogger can be invaluable in translating something very technical into accessible language or taking all the minutiae of your business and sorting out the big picture.

A ghostblogger is first and foremost a writer, but in some cases working with a ghostblogger may feel like interacting with a confessor, a therapist, or a sparring partner; it all depends on the kind of relationship you’re looking to have. Certainly, a ghostblogger is someone with whom you can talk things through, working together to shape and sculpt fuzzy or half-baked ideas until they become totally clear. Along the same lines, ghostbloggers can be invaluable in helping you identify when a topic may work well as a full content series, or when one really big idea would be better split into a few separate blog entries.

Ghostblogging Offers Clear Copy and a Convenient Process

Indeed, one important thing to note about working with a ghostblogger is that the relationship can be as hands-on or as hands-off as you want it to be. At Grammar Chic, we have ghostblogging clients with whom we spend a lot of time on the phone hashing out ideas together. We have others who simply send us a topic and perhaps a bullet point or two and then give us space to do our thing. It’s really up to the client, and our goal is not only to provide you with excellent copy, but to make the process as convenient and efficient as can be.

As you think about articulating your ideas into a blog format, consider the benefits of hiring a skilled writer to provide your concepts with form, purpose, and shape. Consider hiring a ghostblogger. Learn more by reaching out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today, either at www.grammarchic.net or at 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Ghostwriting, Social Media

4 Ways to Delight First-Time Visitors to Your Website

You’re probably familiar with the old saying about first impressions.

Well, it certainly holds true in the world of online marketing. So many of our marketing efforts, from emails to PPC ads to social media posts, are designed to generate website traffic. But that’s just half the battle. Once you get people to your website, you’ve got to win them over with a strong, positive first impression. You’ve got to dazzle and delight them. And if you don’t, they probably won’t stick around, nor return to the website. Why would they?

Dazzle and delight aren’t necessarily easy to come by, but there are a few steps that can point you in the right direction.

Create Relevant Landing Pages

A common misconception is that anybody who comes to your website is going to come in through the front door, accessing the home page. This isn’t necessarily the case… nor should it be.

Say someone clicks on an ad you’ve placed on Facebook, Twitter, or the Google Display network. They’re going to want to see information on the product or service that snagged their interest. As such, you’ll always want to send people to a landing page with relevant, targeted, obvious information. Precision-honed landing pages are a great way to capture and maintain interest right out of the gate.

Offer Readable Content

Our writers obviously care a great deal about content that is well-conceived and properly worded. But something else we care about is content that’s well-formatted.

You tell us: What happens if you visit a website and see a huuuuuuuuge block of unbroken text, without any spaces or bullet points or room to breathe?

If you’re like us, you navigate away pretty quickly. Let that be a lesson to you. Format your website content so that it’s easy for your visitors to skim it and locate the information they’re after, without feeling overwhelmed.

Calls to Action and Content Information

We are on record saying that every page of your website should include a clear call to action. Today, we’ll add something else to that list: Every page should include contact information, too.

No matter how people access your site, and no matter when they decide to reach out to you for more information, you want to make it easy for them. It’s never a good thing when a website visitor asks, how do I get in contact with them?

Be Reassuring

Have you ever had the experience of clicking on a link, and then realizing it wasn’t quite what you wanted or had in mind?

Most of us have. You want to help your visitors avoid that fate, and one way to keep them on the page is to offer reassurance right out of the gate. Make sure each page of your website provides a clear heading, making it evident what the page is about. Always convey the relevance to your end user.

Develop Web Content that Dazzles and Delights

These are just a few approaches you can take to developing website content that creates a powerful first impression.

Interested in learning more? We’d love to chat. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Brand Management, Business Writing, Web Content

6 Content Marketing Metrics to Keep an Eye On

Are your content marketing efforts really working? It’s not a rhetorical question. Content marketing requires a real investment, both of time, money, and brand capital. It’s only appropriate to assess the return on that investment using real, hard metrics.

There are a variety of statistics and numbers you can look at to get a sense of how your content marketing efforts are trending, including metrics available in your email marketing platform, your Google Analytics, and the social media dashboard of your choosing.

Amidst all the possible data and reporting options, here are six metrics we think are especially noteworthy, often quite revealing as to the true merits of your content initiatives.

Email Clickthrough Rates

Start with your email marketing. When you send out your weekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletter, how many of your recipients not only read the content but also click through to your business website? One of the main purposes of email marketing is to encourage more website traffic, and if your emails are actually accomplishing that goal, it’s a pretty clear indicator that your content is doing its job.

Email Subscription Rate

You can also look at the rate at which your website visitors are subscribing to your newsletter. If the subscriber base is steadily growing, it shows that somehow or another you’re enticing them… and that can’t help but involve some strong, persuasive copy.

Dwell Time

Dwell time references the amount of time visitors spend on your website before they head elsewhere. If most people reach your site, stick around for two seconds, then leave, that’s obviously not a great sign. But if your website users can spend a good long while on the site, that means your content game is solid.

New Leads

Content marketing can serve many purposes, but one thing that’s always nice is when your content actually yields new leads. There are a number of ways you can measure this: Email subscriptions, sign-ups for a white paper or other downloadable offer, basically anything that provides you with the name and contact information of an interested customer or client.

Social Shares

This one’s obvious: If your content is getting shared on social media, it means that the content is valuable, and it also means you’re growing your audience size. Note that likes and comments are great, but shares/retweets are especially helpful. Email forwards are also beneficial!

Anecdotal Evidence

For all this talk of hard numbers, we’ll close with something that’s not as easy to measure, but is still worth noting: If you have new clients/customers who actually reference your content (“I saw your latest blog post and it made me interested…”), that may be the best indicator of all that your content marketing is connecting with people

Content That Works

Ready for a content marketing effort that really works, and helps you see those metrics surge? We’d love to chat. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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7 Reasons to Hire an Editor for Your Business

We live in a golden era of outsourcing. (Thanks, Internet!) It’s never been easier for small business owners to connect with subject matter experts and vendors who can provide their services on a limited, cost-effective basis. For example, if you have a graphic design project, it’s pretty simple to find a talented designer with a robust portfolio, commissioning the work you need without having to hire someone on a full-time basis.

Our premise for today: Editors, like graphic designers or PPC consultants or Web gurus or SEO experts, are professionals whose services may be invaluable to your business, whether as a one-time thing or as a long-term relationship.

Whether you’re putting together a business blog, a press release, or a whole new suite of written website content, it may be in your best interests to engage the services of an editor, like those at Grammar Chic, Inc.

Here’s why.

Why Hire an Editor?

  1. You need a fresh set of eyes. How many times have you read that blog? How many hours have you spent staring at the words of your new company home page? Sooner or later, it all becomes a bit of a blur, and it may be impossible for you to truly see what’s right in front of you. You need an outsider’s vision, and that’s what a professional editor can offer.
  2. You also need objectivity. Your document may be a true labor of love for you, which can be a blessing and a curse: It’s good to feel passionate, but not at the expense of objectivity. An editor, who has no emotional attachment to the document, will be in a better position to accurately assess it and propose changes.
  3. Editors can save you time and frustration. Nothing is more maddening than reading the same document over and over and feeling like you’re still not quite there. An editor’s job isn’t just to make your document shine, but to streamline the revision process, quickly fixing spelling and grammar errors and providing straightforward guidance regarding any conceptual issues. All of this allows you to finish the project and pour your attention into other things!
  4. An editor will help you with clarity. Sometimes, there’s a distance between what you think you’re saying and what you’re actually saying. It happens to all of us, but when it comes to your business communications, clarity and precision are key. A professional editor knows how to articulate ideas in a way that’s unambiguous.
  5. Working with an editor can be a boon to your project development. Trying to figure out the best way to implement your white paper? Unsure of whether your new blog should be one long post or a couple of smaller ones? Part of the editor’s job is helping you develop each project in a way that’s efficient and intuitive.
  6. An editor will enhance your professionalism. Anything you publish or send to your clients is going to be a reflection on your brand… on your standards of quality, accuracy, and professionalism. As such, you naturally want each document to be superlative. An editor will help ensure that you’re always putting the best foot forward!
  7. Professional editors are versatile. Just take it from the Grammar Chic team: We’ve worked on everything from books to resumes, from blog posts to brochures; our clients span a full spectrum of industries, including HOA management and used car sales, manufacturing and personal fitness. We have the skills needed to furnish you with a sterling document, no matter the line of work or the nature of your project.

Enlist an Editor Today

Whatever the specifics of your editing project, Grammar Chic, Inc. is here to lend professionalism, precision, and clarity. Contact us directly to learn more: Call 803-831-7444 or visit www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Editing, Social Media, Web Content

Workflow and Content Automation Defined: How to Get Started

Managing content for your website and social media accounts takes a lot of time and expertise. Like everything else these days, companies are looking for ways to get technology involved to help reduce time and costs when it comes to their content generation. Workflow and Content Automation (WCA) has been a rapidly growing industry for the past few years. Experts estimate that this industry will grow to be a $6B market by the year 2023. But what is it exactly and how can you utilize it?

When we say, “content automation,” we don’t necessarily mean hiring a robot or computer to write your company’s blog and social media posts. While such technology exists, what we mean is applying tools to help you create the most impactful content possible. Continue reading to find out the ways WCA can help you and how to integrate it into your daily routines.

Basics

You have a few options when it comes to automating your content marketing, which can be done at several different points in the content marketing pipeline:

  • Curation

Content curation tools are not there to create content for you, but rather they rely on algorithms to mine content from across the Web, and to then recommend content that would be most relevant to your audience.

An example of an automated content curation tool is DrumUp, which makes quick work of sorting through the billions of pieces of content that are online. Other tools like Google trends are great if you have access to those accounts. Tools like these take the guesswork out of content ideation and allow creators to rely on data to make better decisions.

  • Distribution

Content distribution tools help to ensure that the most relevant pieces of content appear in front of the right people. Email marketing software, which sends out messages to customers based on their past behavior or purchases, is one example of automated content distribution.

What we’re really talking about here are ads. Getting your tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram stories and more, out in front of targeted audiences is key to social media marketing. Using paid advertising tools takes advantage of these platforms’ user data, to make sure the content you’re trying to promote is ending up in front of the right people.

Best Practices

  • Define your problem

The first step in implementing an automated content generation process is to think of your goals or an area of content marketing where you’re struggling. Maybe your content sinks like a stone once you publish it, or maybe you need to find ways to get it in front of the right audience. You might have an internal resource issue where you just don’t have enough people who can produce the right content. Whatever the problem is, make sure it is properly identified.

You also want to define your audience, so that you know what tools will best reach them. Email marketing might not work so well if your customers largely hang out on social media, for example. Make sure you know who you want to talk to and where they are spending their time online.

  • Find a product

Once you’ve determined what your internal struggles with content are, determine the best tools available to fix those issues for you. There are plenty of options out there that specialize on the generation, scheduling, and distribution of your content. We’ve mentioned some here in this article, but make sure to do plenty of research.

Talk to the salespeople at any company you are considering. Make sure they understand your unique situation. No two organizations are the same so ensure they aren’t treating you like everyone else. Does their program offer specific solutions to the problems you’ve identified? If not, continue the search until you’ve found something that does.

  • Iterate the process

Once you’ve chosen a tool or tool set to use for your content automation, the job isn’t over. It’s imperative to continue to monitor and adjust the process until you are seeing positive results.

Also, do not forget to benchmark current content performance. How much traffic do your blog posts typically receive? What is the average number of engagement events on your social platforms by channel? Without this data, it will be impossible to tell if you’re making progress.

Compare your success metrics with the automated content generation in place to your benchmark data. Continue when things are improving and adjust when metrics dip.

Workflow and Content Automation is an industry on the rise and can be a huge help for a growing organization looking to streamline their blog and social channels. Be sure to figure out where you need help and find the tools to correct course. It’s not as scary as it looks, so get out there and create!

Author Bio: Amanda Peterson is a software engineer and regular contributor at Enlightened Digital. Based in New York City, she enjoys Netflix bingeing with her Puggle, Hendrix, and shopping in record stores.

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How Data Visualization Can Enhance Your Content Marketing

There’s never any shortage of online data. For marketers, this can be both a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, if you want to quantify the reach of your content or identify trends in your social media engagement, there are metrics available to give you the illumination you need. But at the same time, the process of setting benchmarks, establishing core measures, mapping the data, then interpreting it properly can be incredibly time intensive. When you’re already struggling to keep up with your routine content creation efforts, handling data and analytics may feel all but impossible.

But the answer isn’t to forgo the data-driven approach. Rather, it’s to implement the processes you need to make data-mining as simple and intuitive as can be.

Thankfully, there are some options available for small business owners, including both the incredible technological resources of Google Data Studio as well as the consultative services of agencies like Analytics Clarity.

It’s worth taking just a moment to examine how each of these vendors could help automate your data and analytics efforts, and ultimately make your content marketing more streamlined and focused.

The Benefits of Data Automation and Visualization

Google Data Studio is a unique platform that allows you to take different kinds of analytic data, both from Google as well as from compatible social networks, and turn that data into fluid, dynamic reports.

This may sound a little mundane, but actually, it’s a revolutionary service. Just some of the benefits include:

  • Through Google Data Studio, you can have key data automatically turned into a report. And that report will change in real-time, ensuring you always have ready access to the metrics you need.
  • You can choose to display the data in whatever visual format you like, making it easy for you and your team to understand the big picture.
  • You can share the visual report with key partners, vendors, and stakeholders; it’s as easy as sharing a Google Doc or a Google Sheet.

Meanwhile, when you work with a firm like Analytics Clarity, you can ensure that you’re always rightly interpreting the data, capturing even the subtlest trends, and making informed decisions about how to tweak or adjust your content marketing campaign.

Indeed, the kind of data solutions available today have really been game-changers for content marketers, who can now work with a much clearer understanding of how their content performs with target readers as well as Google Search algorithms. This has implications for everything from topic selection to CTA development.

Take a Data-Driven Approach to Content Marketing

It’s vital that you use data to guide your content marketing efforts; Analytics Clarity, a proud partner of Grammar Chic, Inc., can provide all the expertise you need to make smart use of Google Data Studio.

And, as you use that data to guide your content efforts, you can always reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. Speak to one of our content professionals by calling 803-831-7444, or by visiting www.grammarchic.net.

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