Tag Archives: Blog writing

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Blog

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As a small business owner, you’ve undoubtedly got a lot on your plate. What’s more, you understand the importance of protecting your time: Everything you do during the course of your day needs to add value to your company, and anything that doesn’t fit that criteria is ultimately wasted effort. It’s for this reason that some business owners excuse themselves from blogging, assuming it to be something that’s ornamental at best, pointless at worst.

Actually, though, you might be surprised by how much utility can be gained from a well-maintained business blog. Plus, you don’t even have to handle the blogging yourself: There’s always the option of outsourcing it to ghostbloggers, like the pros at Grammar Chic.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s consider just some of the ways in which a blog can benefit your business—some of the ways in which it is most definitely not a waste of your time. Here are five of them.

Blogging Turns Your Website into an Invaluable Resource

Ultimately, you want your website to be a hub of information—a place where customers can have their questions answered, their pain points addressed, and their problems solved. You want to position yourself as an authority, and your products and services as remedies for what’s ailing them. A blog can help with this. Your company blog posts can authoritatively address common questions, provide product how-tos, list the benefits of your services, or explain how your industry works in a way that will resonate with consumers. The upshot? Consumers who are better informed, more trusting, and more likely to feel confident moving forward with a purchase.

Blogging Helps You Improve Your Website’s Google Ranking

We like to tell our clients that Google is a monster that constantly needs to be fed. That is to say, Google’s search engine algorithms are always prowling for fresh content, and the websites that rank the best are the ones that are updated regularly with fresh, value-adding content. A business blog is the single best way to regularly add content to your site, and thus can help you rank better and improve your visibility among search engine users.

Your Blog Can Be Repurposed for LinkedIn Pulse, Too

LinkedIn’s publishing platform, called Pulse, has quickly become one of the truly invaluable tools for establishing thought leadership. We use Pulse on behalf of our own company as well as many of our clients, and we’ve found it to be a significant source of website traffic, online shares, and more. What’s more, it can help you build credibility among your peers and name recognition within your industry. Best of all, you can use your regular company blog posts as LinkedIn Pulse fodder—another reason why blogging can be beneficial.

Blog Posts Make Great Email Marketing Content

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful and direct ways of reaching out to clients, but the challenge many business owners face is knowing what to say in their emails. Effective email marketing provides the reader with something of real value, and sending a link to a particularly substantive blog post is a great way to provide your email subscribers with something that’s free as well as useful—which is in turn great for improving your customer loyalty and engagement.

You Can Share Blogs on Social Media, Too

Finally, note that a good social media account includes both curated and original content; finding content from other sources is easy enough, but what will you do for original social media posts? The obvious answer is to share your blog posts, a smart way to keep your Facebook and Twitter followers in the loop.

A blog really can add value to your company—and if you want that value without having it eat into your daily schedule too much, contact Grammar Chic. Our ghostbloggers can help! Reach us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Blogging Blunders: Don’t Regress in 2016!

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We’re now more than a month into a new calendar year—and a new chance for your company to excel in its blogging endeavors.

Don’t blow it.

Business blogging can be an invaluable way to build credibility and trust; to cultivate authority and thought leadership; to engage readers and to drive traffic to your website. But that’s all assuming you’re blogging well. That’s all assuming you aren’t falling prey to classic blogging blunders, or regressing in your business blogging practices.

We’ll show you what we mean: A few blogging faux pas that are easy enough to make, but potentially lethal to your overall marketing goals.

Writing Posts, but Not Augmenting Them

A good blog post isn’t just about the words on the page—though obviously, those are important! It’s really about the overall presentation. And if you don’t have compelling images, infographics, embedded videos, and/or social sharing buttons, your presentation leaves something to be desired.

Writing to Nobody in Particular

Quick: Who’s your audience? What are the demographics? What are the values and pain points? It’s critical to keep these things in mind as you blog. You can write the best blog post in the world, but if you’re writing to the wrong crowd, it won’t make any impact on your readers.

Writing, but Not Sharing

A great blog post means absolutely nothing if it never gets seen—if it never gets read. That’s where social media comes into play. The minute you publish a new post, your next step should be spreading the post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest—you name it. Don’t let your content just sit there. Pass it around.

Writing About Stale Topics

Don’t beat a dead horse. If you’ve written about a topic in the past and it hasn’t gotten you any results, there’s no point in resurrecting it. Move on to something your readers actually care about.

Writing Without Linking

A good blog post is like an information hub: Not only does it provide insight of its own, but it points readers toward some related resources and avenues for further learning. Internal and external links can really add depth and context to a solid blog post.

One way to take your blogging to the next level this year: Hire a ghostblogger. Contact Grammar Chic to start the conversation: 803-831-744, or www.grammarchic.net.

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How to Add Google Analytics to Your WordPress Site

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Who visits your website? How long do they spend there? How do they find your website, and which pieces of content seem to be the most popular? These questions are all critical for you to ask as you strategize about your website and how you market it. The more you know about these meaningful metrics, the better you can tweak your site to bring in the kind of traffic you need.

There are different ways to track your metrics, but one of the simplest and easiest ways is to install Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a dashboard that records certain stats about your site and feeds you the results; it doesn’t cost anything and requires no technical know-how to use it, which is why it’s popular with small business owners.

Once you have Google Analytics installed in your website, you will be able to tell how many people visit your site; what they do when they get there; where they’re coming from; and when they’re most active.

But before you can access any of that data, you’ll need to actually have Google Analytics installed. This is a quick and easy DIY project; just follow these short steps to get Analytics up and running!

For WordPress.org Sites

First, go to the Google Analytics signup page and log in. If you have an existing Google or Gmail account, you can use that; if not, you’ll need to sign up for one.

Next, you’ll be prompted to start using Google Analytics. You should see a button inviting you to “sign up” for the program. Click it!

Then, you’ll be asked to choose between tracking a website or a mobile app. Ensure that you have “website” selected.

You may also be asked to participate in a Google Analytics Beta program. For the sake of simplicity, you may want to stick with the classic account, and wait to receive the extra features once beta testing is complete.

Fill in the rest of the required information. Google will ask for your website name and URL, the time zone you’re in, and more. It’s mostly self-explanatory; note that “Account Name” doesn’t really matter and can be anything you want, perhaps simply your business name.

Click on the get tracking ID command. You’ll also be asked to agree to Google’s terms of service. From there, you will be given a piece of Web code that you are supposed to copy and paste into WordPress—but where?

Leave that tab open but open a new one for WordPress. There are different ways to input the code to WordPress, but maybe the easiest is to install the Insert Header and Footer plugin, go to the plugin settings page, and then simply copy the Google Analytics code. And voila! You’re done, and ready to start tracking.

For WordPress.com Business Sites

If you happen to be using a premium business account on Worpress.com, the whole process is actually much easier. Sign in to Google Analytics, as we lay out above, and enter your website URL when prompted. You should be issued a tracking code—something alphanumeric.

From there, go back to WordPress.com and hit Settings, then Analytics. Simply paste the tracking code you received and you’re ready to go!

From there you can get started tracking and analyzing data—and if you need any help with that, we’re happy to consult. Contact Grammar Chic at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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5 Simple Ways to Get More Twitter Traction on Your Blog Posts

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Many small business owners start blogging with lofty ambitions of seeing their posts go viral—or at the very least, generating some solid activity across various social platforms. Often, it doesn’t pan out that way. In particular, business owners can quickly grow frustrated with the lack of tweeting their blogs attract.

Remember that content marketing is about long-term relationship building, so you’re probably not going to get a ton of retweets overnight. Also remember that it’s ultimately quality that drives engagement and social sharing—so eventually you may have to reckon with the fact that your blog posts aren’t quite up to snuff. If that’s where you land, reach out to Grammar Chic to talk about professional ghostblogging services!

But in the meantime, there are a few simple fixes that could lead to big gains in your blog tweeting—not necessarily instantaneously, but in time.

Make it easy to share your posts on Twitter. Specifically, add Tweet buttons to each post. This is an incredibly simple thing that many small business owners still neglect. Put a Twitter button either at the top or bottom of each post, or on a sidebar. You may even try a combination of places. The easier you make it for people to tweet out your post, the more likely it is that they’ll do it.

Ensure that your blog looks good on mobile devices. This is, after all, where most people do their tweeting. If you have to zoom in or out to adjust the wonky perspective, you need to talk to your website guru about a more mobile-friendly format. (Or, if you’re using WordPress as your CMS, you just need to go into the control panel and turn on mobile viewing.)

Work on snappy titles. And when we say snappy, we mean short enough that they can quite easily fit into a tweet, along with a link to the post. If your titles top 140 characters, you’re making them waaaaay too wordy. Additionally, play around with some of the battle-tested methods for generating headline attention—lists, tips, questions, provocation, etc.

Mention other industry experts. This is a great way to get some retweets, but make sure you do it gracefully. One thing we recommend: Quote an article or blog from an industry insider, then do an @ mention when you tweet out your post. Hopefully, that industry insider will see it and retweet to all of his or her Twittter followers.

Ask people to tweet out your blog posts. There’s no harm in asking, and there are plenty of ways to do it—on your e-mail receipts, thank-you pages, e-mail signatures, etc.

Hopefully, some of these fixes will make an impact on your Twitter volume. If not, give us a call. You can reach Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Why Your [BLANK] Needs a Blog

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What do your law firm, school, bank, small business, bakery, zoo, church, daycare, restaurant, publicist, pagoda, tattoo parlor, and marriage all have in common? Well, they could all use a blog.

There have been countless blogs written that are tailored to trap specific industries and groups. They attempt to explain why it is important for them to start a blog — otherwise known as a marketing tactic to improve their own readership rather than to give you any more advice than you already have. You’re smart, mostly, so do the right thing and get a blog.

These “Why Your [insert company here] Needs a Blog” deliver different iterations of the same handful of ideas. The takeaways from wading through these pointed blogs?

  • Your blog helps build credibility
  • Blogs build up page rankings on Google
  • Blogs buffer your website’s content and traffic
  • They provide newsfeed material for social media
  • They inform/engage/entertain readers
  • Blogs give your site more “purpose”

“Well, there it is!” as Jeffrey Jones would say in Amadeus. Those six ideas recycled through different lenses that are business/industry specific. Why add to the flood with a thousand blogs when all it takes is one?

Blog Fundamentals

Most of these blogs start off with a thesis on positive online exposure and move into topic-specific strategies on what to write about. Professional grade blogs, however, retain the same basic principles to increase readership. A few blog-a-mentals include…

  • Choosing a trending topic and marrying it to your niche industry.
  • Pushing quality over quantity to save a blog from any negative feedback.
  • Keeping connected with readers by responding to comments, criticism, and turning reader conversations into more topics.
  • Publishing a blog through social media platforms at specific times to maximize exposure (and to avoid newsfeed saturation).
  • Only making a blog as long as it needs to be.
  • Linking in expert sources without overloading your readers.
  • Utilizing images and graphics to keep readers engaged.
  • Writing unique content that isn’t already prevalent on a thousand other blogs (see above paragraphs).
  • Support a narrative-type story with facts and information.
  • Reach out to guest blogging platforms to increase readership.

As you may have noticed, all of these tactics are applicable to every industry and business out there. Do you operate a punk rock beauty salon in New York City? Write a blog. Are you a criminal litigator wanting for publicity? Write a blog. Are you a professional blogger? Write a blog.

Blog Craft

Blogging is a craft that requires practice and patience. Any business or personality is capable of engaging readers and sharing information via blogging, though one hurdle for these niche blogs is crafting a platform and strategy that fits their style.

To clarify this point, let’s take a look at a building contractor. Would Big Bob’s Buildings find success on Pinterest? Could Bob record videos and throw them up on YouTube? Should Bob Instagram? The obvious answer is no — it seems more of a pain in the ass than anything for Bob, so he should just stick to what he’s doing.

But Bob should build a blog and here’s why: People are interested in the construction business. They may not care to follow a contractor on Twitter or see what’s for lunch on Instagram; however, with a blog Big Bob can publish content that builds up his credibility and showcases his projects.

The biggest obstacle for these niche bloggers is when they fall short on content. Other than blogging about a new construction practice, for example, what could Big Bob blog about? Well, that’s the challenge. Luckily, Bob has the Internet and can investigate what others are writing about and pull ideas from his own experiences in the construction industry.

What should Bob not blog about? Why other contractors need blogs. Everyone knows what blogging can do; to once again pull from Jeffrey Jones, there are simply “too many notes,” i.e. blogs, out there about why your business needs a blog.

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