Tag Archives: Business Blogging Tips

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

A 7-Point Checklist for Your New Business Blog

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Another holiday season brings with it the promise of a new year; new opportunities; new marketing endeavors; and, for many small business owners, a new blog.

We all know by now that companies need blogs to thrive in today’s marketing environment; that the production of original content is crucial for obtaining online visibility, and that a blog is really the best avenue for doing so.

Still, not all companies have gotten on the blogging bandwagon; some are looking to finally start blogging in earnest, while others may need a fresh start after previous, failed attempts at effective blogging.

For any small business looking to launch a new blog in the near future, it’s obviously important to be strategic, disciplined, and thorough in your approach. What exactly do you need to ensure that your new business blog is a success? If you’ve got all seven items on our new blog checklist, then you’ve got a good foundation and every chance in the world of making your blog a winner.

Our new blog checklist includes:

  1. A clearly-defined set of goals. As we’ve discussed before, there are many potential goals for you to set with your content marketing, all of them legitimate. What matters is that you think them through and decide on clear, measurable objectives—whether it’s increased website traffic, brand visibility, conversions, or simply consumer trust.
  2. The definition of roles. Who’s going to be updating your blog? Who’s writing, who’s posting, and who’s responding to comments? Maybe it’s the business owner, maybe it’s an intern, maybe it’s someone else—but having a defined chain of command is important.
  3. A blog host and domain. There are pros and cons associated with having your blog hosted on your website versus having it as its own separate site; the former will offer some SEO clout for your website, and generally make navigation easier, while the latter provides you with an entirely separate online asset that can be useful for online reputation management and general visibility.
  4. In keeping with the previous point, though, your blog must be accessible. People should know how to get to it without any trouble; make a link to your blog clearly visible from your company website—preferably above the fold—and, if possible, from every other page of your site, as well.
  5. An attractive layout. Your blog also needs a good, clean, uncluttered look—consistent with the look and feel of your website, and easy to navigate and to search.
  6. Before you launch or publicize your blog, make sure to have at least three or four posts written and posted, so you’ve got a good foundation for the start of the blog.
  7. An editorial calendar. Finally, make sure you’ve planned when and how often your blog will be updated, and that you’ve got an editorial calendar set up, denoting your next couple week’s worth of posts (if not more).

For assistance checking off any of these boxes, of course, the Grammar Chic team is available. Contact us today at www.grammarchic.net, or at 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Blog Writing