Tag Archives: Blogging

How to Overcome Writer’s Block (And Generate Better Blog Topics)

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Content marketing requires constant engagement. It’s like a beast that must continually be fed. You can’t slack off, or take a month off from content creation; there are always new blog posts to be written, new social media updates to share, new emails to send. If you stop moving—if you stop hustling—your audience will shrink and your efforts will come up short.

This can obviously lead to some obstacles. Take blogging as an example. When you’re tasked with developing new, unique, creative blog posts every single day, it can be draining. You may find yourself developing a case of writer’s block, even as you also realize that you don’t have that luxury. You’ve got to keep writing—but how can you come up with a fresh topic to write about, without simply plundering and repurposing older ideas?

There are some simple habits that can prove effective in pumping those creative juices, and providing you with the fresh insights and ideas you need.

Have Regular Brainstorming Sessions

You may be the person who is tasked with writing the company blog posts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some help sparking your creativity. Meet with team members once a month or so and ask them for their thoughts. What are some of the questions that customers have been asking them? What are some of the topics they’ve detected interest in? How do they see the blog being improved, made more useful and informative? These brainstorming sessions can generate new perspectives you may not have thought of otherwise.

Look Through Your Customer Correspondence

Make a habit of regularly reading your recent customer emails or social messages, and take note of the questions or concerns that people are bringing up. Those are things people want to hear more about. Those are the pain points. And those can make for really timely and relevant blog posts.

Consider Your Hobbies

We’ve written articles comparing content marketing to The Walking Dead and to Mad Men—because we happen to really like those shows. Are there activities or passions in your personal life that you could translate into blog posts? Think about the things you care most about, outside of the office, and ask yourself how these things intersect with your professional life.

Subscribe to Other Industry Blogs

This one is simple: When you see another industry blog that you admire, bookmark it, or subscribe to the RSS feed. Make a habit of at least skimming through these posts from your competitors, and using them as potential launch pads for your own posts. (Obviously, you need to make sure you’re putting your own spin on things, not pilfering posts wholesale.)

These are all basic habits you can form that will keep your good-idea machine hoppin’. If you need an extra hand, though, we’re always around. Contact Grammar Chic’s ghostwriters at 803-831-7444 or at www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Writing

6 Lessons for Any First-Time Business Blogger

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Are you just starting out on your journey into business blogging? If so, congratulations! You’re taking your first step into the broader, brighter world of content marketing—and in due time, you’ll start to see some positive effects.

Just consider some of the statistics: Four out of five U.S. online consumers trust the information they see on business blogs; companies that blog have 97 percent more inbound links than those who do not; the overwhelming majority of companies that blog regularly have acquired customers directly because of their blog. And that’s to say nothing of the less quantifiable, but still significant, advantages of brand recognition and thought leadership.

But all of that is based on the premise that you’re not only blogging, but blogging well. The latter is by no means a given! So what do you, as a business blogging novice, need to know in order to get it right?

We’ll list six things we think everyone should know when launching a new company blog.

No. 1. Your blog setup matters.

It’s not enough to write compelling, enriching content. The actual, technical setup of your blog matters. A WordPres.org blog will offer more options than a WordPress.com one; above all, however, you want to make sure your blog is hosted on a reliable server and that it’s easy to find from your company home page.

No. 2. You should schedule some time for blogging.

Blogging only works when it’s consistent—and you’re simply not going to be consistent if you have an “I’ll blog whenever I have a free moment” mentality. You need to actually schedule some blocks of time on your calendar to devote to blog content creation.

No. 3. You never blog in a vacuum.

Hopefully you have e-mail marketing and social media marketing instruments in place—but if not, that needs to be a top priority: You simply won’t get the kind of blog readership you’re hoping for unless you share posts to your social media followers and your e-mail newsletter subscribers. Content distribution is really just as important as content creation.

No. 4. You’ll have a hard time measuring your blog’s success without Google Analytics.

Make sure you install Analytics and review them regularly; for help interpreting your data, you can always contact Grammar Chic.

No. 5. There’s no formula for blogging success…

… but if there was one, it would probably be something like this: Quality + Consistency = Success. Write compelling and actionable posts that provide real value to the reader, and update the blog on a regular basis. That matters much more than just throwing up new, possibly shoddy content every day.

No. 6. You don’t need to freak out about SEO…

… but you should make sure you write meta descriptions for each post, and use some general topics and ideas as keywords, guiding you in your writing of lean, focused posts.

Note that if you have any trouble setting up an effective, value-adding blog, or posting new content with consistency, you can always contact the Grammar Chic team. We’re around when you need us: 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 Ways to Get New Blog Topics

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Blogger’s block. It’s very real, especially for small business owners who have to think up new things to say about their business or industry every week—or even every day!

No matter how regularly you blog, you’re going to get stuck for ideas from time to time. You know that your blogs need to be engaging and varied; they can’t simply be self-promotional or extoll the virtues of your company, because frankly, nobody wants to read that kind of thing.

Even when you work in an industry that’s vast and encompasses a lot—home improvement or finance or marketing—you will have days when you draw a blank. You will have days when you fumble for a new blog idea but can’t arrive at one.

Here are a few fallbacks for you, when those days come:

  1. Make sure you have some Google News alerts set up for a few industry keywords. When something new or noteworthy happens in your industry, that’s very possibly blog fodder. Maybe you want to comment on a new trend. Maybe you want to rebut a new opinion piece. Keeping in the loop about your industry is always good for those who blog.
  2. Speaking of Google, don’t forget to use it for keyword research. Type a keyword related to your industry into the search bar and see what the Suggested Search terms are; some of them might point you down new avenues for blogging. You can even sign into Google AdWords and use the Keyword Research tools to come up with new topics for blogging.
  3. Go to your blog comments section and your Facebook page. See what other people are saying. Pay attention to the things your readers care about. Not only will this provide you with some content angles, but you know they’re content angles your readers care about!
  4. Head to some of your competitors’ blogs! See what they blog about. Avoid just copying them, though; try to use their ideas to springboard to something new. Take their topics in new angles or come at them from different directions.
  5. Finally, don’t forget to recycle old content! You can find a popular older blog post and repurpose it, perhaps rewriting it as an FAQ or as a list, or writing a “sequel” or follow-up post.

If you’re really stuck, you might want to consider a ghostblogger—and of course, that’s where we come in. To learn more about ghostblogging, don’t hesitate to contact Grammar Chic today at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Blog Writing Tips: Bad Habits to Drop in Order to Better Your Blog

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It’s a common occurrence, here at Grammar Chic, for business owners and individuals alike to contact us for help with blog writing.  While it’s true that we manage a variety of different blogs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, and I certainly don’t want to divert business, the fact is, blog writing is something that a person can do with relative ease if they are disciplined enough.  At the same time, it must be noted that, according to a statistic posted by Olivia Root on Business2Community, “Within a 24 hour period, two million blog posts are written.”

Yikes!

Root goes onto talk about some interesting rules that any blogger or online marketer needs to consider as they write their own material for use on the Internet, as this idea of “content marketing” means that there is a lot of generic or irrelevant information put out there at the same time.  While Google may reward a website or a blog that creates compelling content, there is still a lot of information to sift through.

Here are some simple rules that you must adhere to if you are thinking about managing and writing your own blog.

  • Stop being a cliché. Do not use buzzwords if you aren’t going to provide specific guidelines.  This means writing an article and having a catchy headline do absolutely no good if you aren’t also providing specific advice.
  • Have a title that represents what the post is about.  Oftentimes, writers can begin writing a blog post or an article with their headline already laid out; however, once they start writing, a new article emerges that has different content from what the headline originally promises.  While there still may be some helpful advice in the post, readers will feel misled.  Therefore, if you plan on writing about one subject, stick to it.  If you are unsure about whether or not you actually wrote about what you had originally planned, I suggest you find an editor who can critique your work.
  • Use stock photos with a purpose.  Simply put, most Internet surfers are highly visual people and, as much as I like to talk about how writing is important, the same can be said regarding graphics.  In her article, Root notes that eye tracking studies have actually shown that “people ignore big, feel-good images that function purely as decoration.”  She also goes on to state that “people who looked at a webpage that featured a generic photo serving as pure filler, completely ignored the photo and focused solely on the text.”  I think the point of the matter is that visuals and text must be compelling in order to convince a reader to stick around.
  • Write in a way to which readers can relate.  I’m not saying that you have to be overly simplistic, but if you use words or phrases that the average reader cannot comprehend you are not going to build your readership.  Just as readers will reject you for being boring, they will do the same if your vocabulary doesn’t fit your audience.

If you are thinking about managing and writing your own blog, follow these tips but also commit to a writing strategy.  If you are confused about how to do this don’t feel frustrated and certainly don’t give up.  Give Grammar Chic, Inc. a call today at 803-831-7444.

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