Tag Archives: Blog writing advice

7 Ways to Get Maximum Value from Your Company Blog Posts

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Just because you hit publish on a new company blog post, share it on social media, and email it to the folks on your subscription list, doesn’t mean the blog post is through. On the contrary, there are plenty of ways to repurpose older content and wring more value from it.

There are many benefits to repurposing old content, regardless of whether that content performed well or it didn’t. If you’ve got a blog post that failed you, repurposing it might allow you to give it a new lease on life—to salvage it and derive some value from all your hard work. Conversely, if you have a really popular and high-performing post, repurposing it can allow you to harness that momentum and reach even more people with your message.

And there are a number of effective ways to breathe new life into an older blog post, too. Here are seven that the Grammar Chic team recommends.

Update Older Posts

In most industries, trends shift and best practices change over time. As such, it may be worthwhile to revisit your most popular posts every year or so and see if a new iteration is needed. You can revise an older post with new statistics or trends, then share it all over again.

Optimize Older Posts

It can also be worth revisiting older posts to tweak their SEO features—inserting new title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords for some of your most effective posts, drawing on new analytics and more recent data.

Turn a Blog Post into an Infographic

Pull out the main talking points and put them into image form. Then share that image widely on your social media platforms!

Break Down Larger Posts

Often, a comprehensive, big-picture post can be whittled down into three or four smaller posts, which delve into specific topics a little more deeply. Provide readers with one overview post, and then some smaller supporting posts that get down into the nitty gritty.

Turn Long Posts into Downloadable Offers

You can also expand your more in-depth posts and format them into e-books or white papers, making them available as downloads on your company website.

Use Your Blog as Fodder for a Webinar

We’re big believers in webinars, and we know that sometimes a popular blog post can provide the blueprint you need for a really compelling online presentation.

Split a Post into an Email Series

A final thought: You can dissect a blog post and draw a few 50-to-100-word blurbs from it, then use those in an email series—a great way of providing added value to your subscribers!

Of course, all of this starts with creating compelling blog posts—and for that, we’re here to help. Contact the ghostwriting team at Grammar Chic today at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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6 Factors That Help Your Website Rank Well

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Clients are always asking us: How can we get our website to rank as #1 in the Google search results?

And the answer is… it’s complicated. Google’s search algorithms are notoriously complicated, and they can change at any moment, which is why you won’t find reputable SEO companies that promise you a particular ranking. It’s just too complex an endeavor to make such an iron-clad guarantee.

What we can tell you with certainty is that there are numerous ranking factors that contribute to your site’s Google visibility. The specific recipe is something of a secret, but Google has made public many of the most significant ranking factors. Ensuring that you have each of these ranking factors in place can help you position your site for maximum SEO success.

A quick note: There are both positive ranking factors (which make your site increase in the rankings) and negative ones (which can cause your site to incur search engine penalties). For today, we’re only going to list some of the positive ones.

Remember: These are all elements that are confirmed by Google to be crucial for SEO—so make sure you have them in place!

6 Factors to Improve Your Google Rankings

No. 1. Keywords in your title and heading tags. While we encourage our clients to use keywords naturally, rather than cramming them into their content inorganically, a couple of places you always want to include a keyword or two are in the title tag and the heading tag. The former is the title you see at the top of your search browser while you are on the page; the latter is the H1 tag, the heading you place at the top of your Web page. Both are key areas for SEO enrichment, so make sure you max them out with strong keywords.

No. 2. Content substance. While there is no magic word count for Google, studies confirm that in-depth content, which fully addresses user needs and questions, is going to rank better than content that is short and skimpy. Make sure you take the time to really develop content that offers actionable value! (Of course, this is something the writers at Grammar Chic can help you with.)

No 3. A keyword in your URL. The URL slug you use for each page of content provides another way to enrich your content with keywords. Make sure you are strategic in naming your URLs!

No. 4. Fast loading speed. Nobody wants to sit and wait for your page to load, at least no more than two or three seconds. Having a page that loads quickly—not just on desktops, but on mobile devices, is critical for pleasing users and, therefore, pleasing Google. Experiment with your site on multiple devices, and if you find that it takes more than three seconds to load, you may want to pare it down and make it load faster.

No. 5. Website security. This is especially important for ecommerce sites. Having an https:// site is a trust signal, showing your users that the site has been built to protect their information; according to Google, that’s a potentially meaningful way to improve SEO, as well as user experience.

No. 6. Internal linking. A final way to boost your online authority is to ensure that each page of content has relevant links to other meaningful, related content—resources on other websites, but also resources found elsewhere on your own site.

Clearly, there are many components of strong SEO. To get started writing rankings-friendly content, contact Grammar Chic today. Reach out to us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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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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5 Tips for Acing an E-Commerce CTA

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When you’re running an e-commerce brand, your website really has one central purpose: Yes, you want to bring new clients into your sales funnel and provide them with the education they need to make informed purchasing decisions, but at the end of the day your goal is to close the sale. You want people to click on a button in your online store and purchase one of the items you’re selling—period. You want your website to be an around-the-clock sales machine.

That’s what makes it so essential to have a good, strong call to action in place. All business websites need CTAs, which guide your leads through the sales funnel and increase the likelihood of them taking the desired action. For e-commerce sites, though, the CTA should be especially pointed and impactful: Click this button to buy our product NOW!

5 Tips for Killer CTAs

But of course, there are good CTAs and bad ones—and a feeble or unpersuasive CTA will hobble your sales and render your website impotent. So how do you ensure that your e-commerce site is working with high-impact CTAs? Consider these tips:

Make it stand out! The whole point of the call to action is to grab your reader’s attention and make it clear what step you want the reader to take next—so you can’t afford to have a CTA that blends in with the rest of the page, or that gets buried under the rest of your content. While it is possible to be too over-the-top, you do want to use larger fonts, bolds, italics, bright colors, compelling graphics, and/or attention-grabbing verbiage to draw the reader’s attention. The language of the CTA should spell out, in no uncertain terms, what you want the reader to do next.

Keep it short. Your readers want to see what you want them to do, and don’t necessarily want to wade through ten paragraphs of text to get to the point. Do you want them to click a button and buy your product? Tell them so—in a sentence or two at the very most.

Offer specifics and convey value. Just because you keep it short, that doesn’t mean you cannot offer some specifics. Adding specific offers and numbers is especially effective. Try something like: Save 30% by ordering NOW! Or, Claim your free gift card; buy today!

Place your CTAs strategically. You should have one on every page of the website—but beyond that, your placement may vary. Generally it is best to have a CTA visible on the page without the reader having to scroll—placing it either above the fold or in a sidebar can work well. Also, there’s no law against having multiple CTAs on one page, especially if the page is longer or more content-heavy.

Don’t forget to say thanks. The CTA/order page should ultimately take the reader to a Thank You page, which is an essential way for building brand loyalty. Never forget it!

For help crafting killer CTAs, of course, the Grammar Chic team is always on hand. Give us a call today at 803-831-7444, or visit http://www.grammarchic.net.

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5 Ways to Make Your Blog Readers Stick Around

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Are you familiar with the term bounce rate? It’s an SEO/Web analytics term that basically denotes the people who come to your website or blog, take one look at it, and immediately navigate to another page. Imagine these readers saying: “Nope! Not what I was looking for!”

Bounce rate is an important concept to think about, even beyond looking at your actual numbers. From an SEO standpoint, a high bounce rate can drag down your Google clout. More generally and more obviously, though, if people are finding your site and then leaving it immediately, your content obviously isn’t working. It’s not even having a chance to work.

The Blogger’s Dilemma

This has long been the blogger’s dilemma: How do you get people to not only click on your blog post, but actually read it? There’s no magic solution here. To a large extent it requires you to find an interesting topic and connect with curious readers—no small feat!

More basically and more generally, though, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your blogs more engaging—more readable. Consider the following:

  1. Keep your posts short. It’s simple math, right? The shorter your post, the more likely it is people will take the time to read it. Now, don’t go too short; much below 400 words could be a problem for your SEO. But somewhere in the 400-500 range is usually good for simpler topics, 800 words or so for complex topics.
  1. Keep your posts focused. Don’t have a blog post that addresses two distinct topics. Focus on one topic, and save the other for a second blog post. Maintain your reader’s attention by being thematically consistent and coherent.
  1. Use formatting that lends itself to readability. You should have plenty of white space surrounding your text, and each line of text should be fairly brief—maybe 75-80 words or so. Don’t pick a blog format that detracts from readability.
  1. Keep paragraphs short. As far as readability goes, short, 3-4 sentence paragraphs are always better than epic chunks of text. This is also why lists and bullet points can be useful.
  1. Don’t let SEO get in the way. Have you ever come across a blog post that used a phrase like “best North Carolina oral surgeon” 15 times in the span of 500 words? That’s SEO keyword stuffing, and in addition to being a poor technical strategy, it’s also a great way to make your posts completely unreadable.

It really goes without saying, but: You need people to read your posts—not just click on the headlines and then immediately click away. Without actual readers, your content isn’t doing you much good. For help constructing really gripping, readable posts, contact Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

 

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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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How Many Keywords Do I Need in My Company Blog Posts?

image1We’re approached by a lot of small business owners who are looking to hire us as ghostbloggers—and we’ll be honest with you: While many of these entrepreneurs are mostly concerned with decent, brand-enhancing content, there are also plenty of them who are keyword-obsessed. And we don’t blame them. If you spend much time reading SEO blogs, you’re going to come away with the notion that it’s keywords, more than anything else, that determine the search engine rankings for any given piece of content.

The keyword question we get asked most frequently, of course, is how many do I need? Or, to be more accurate, what’s the ideal keyword density? Should three percent of the words in my blog entries be keywords? 13 percent? 30 percent?

We’re going to address the question, but here’s a quick spoiler: There’s not necessarily a specific, target number that you all need to hit. Sorry to disappoint, but we’re not going to be giving away any such easy answers. However, we will make a few general comments that we hope can be meaningful:

  1. First of all, SEO does matter, and keywords can be quite helpful. If you don’t have the phrase “custom bird calls” anywhere in your blog, then it’s just not going to rank very well for people who search for “custom bird calls”—plain and simple. Plus, picking one focus keyword for your blog helps give it some shape, and it helps you keep your writing on track.
  2. Keyword placement can yield diminishing returns. This video from Google’s chief search bigwig Matt Cutts is several years old now, but the information in it is still true. Using one keyword will flag the search engine’s attention; a couple more will reinforce that your blog is indeed about that topic; eventually, you start to see diminishing returns; and finally, you get into a place where you’re keyword stuffing or just writing gibberish, and that will likely land you with a search engine penalty.
  3. You want to avoid keyword stuffing. We cannot emphasize that point enough. You can’t cheat your way to search engine success by typing “custom bird calls” 35 times in a 400 word article. Google is way too smart to fall for that!
  4. Keyword placement matters. Small business owners can sometimes be so obsessed with keyword density that they forget about keyword placement—but instead of focusing on how many keywords you have, you might want to think about ensuring you’ve got one in your title, perhaps somewhere in the meta description, in whatever big header you have on the page, and so on. Think about positions of prominence to optimize keyword use.
  5. You really just want to write organically. Think of a keyword and use it to bring focus to your writing—but from there, you really don’t need to waste a lot of time counting, or worrying about the benefits of five as opposed to four keyword placements. Just write naturally, and in most cases that’ll turn out just fine.

So to recap: We don’t have a specific number for you. (And you should be skeptical of those who say they do!) What we recommend is picking a good keyword to hang your blog post on, making sure you have it in strategic locations, but beyond that just focusing on writing a good, helpful, natural-sounding article—and if you need help, just hit up Grammar Chic at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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