Tag Archives: Business Writing Tips

10 Reasons Why Content Curation Matters For Your Business

ContentCuration2

By now, most business owners understand the importance of putting valuable, relevant content onto the Web. This information helps with search engine rankings, and shows potential clients that you’re an authority in your field. However, this task becomes more difficult when you know you need to say something, but don’t know exactly what.

For many professionals, interacting with clients, focusing on marketing, and other tasks are easy. However, creating fresh written content can pose a real challenge. For this reason, content curation is often the best option for business owners who value marketing materials, but don’t have the time or energy to create this content themselves.

Content curation involves browsing the Web to find useful, interesting, and thought-provoking articles and blogs, and then sharing this information with your audience. If creating your own fresh content each day is simply not an option, content curation allows you to turn your site into a spot where visitors come to find out what they need to know that day.

If content curation is something your business values, here are the 10 easiest ways to do it effectively:

  • Choose high quality materials: In order to establish your site as an authority in your field, you’ll need to display only the most relevant and accurate pieces. Though there are probably thousands of articles on topics relating to your industry, select only the most reliable works. When users know that they can trust your site to show them the best materials from that day, they will check back frequently.
  • Put yourself in your reader’s shoes: To come up with pieces that will prove relevant to your audience, come up with your own questions and then go find content that helps to provide insight into these inquiries. Chances are that if you’ve got a question, so do other members of your industry.
  • Check out Google Insights: This innovative tool allows a user to analyze search patterns from various geographic regions, categories, and time periods. It aims to predict the popularity of search terms, which can prove useful when it comes to keeping your website relevant.
  • Stay on top of it: Just because you’re not actually writing the materials yourself, doesn’t mean that you can let the same content sit for three days. The Internet moves quickly, and you’ll need to keep up with this pace. If you’re still linking to a story from a week ago, chances are that your readers have seen that piece plenty of times and have moved on entirely to a different subject. In order to keep your site useful, update frequently and remain on top of breaking news and developing trends.
  • Add your own insight: While providing readers with a bunch of important links in one place is certainly useful, this act alone won’t keep internet users returning to your site. You’ll need to contribute your own take on these articles in order to keep your page compelling. Even if you only dash off a few paragraphs that reflect on the piece, readers want to hear analysis and opinions on what they’re seeing. Hence the popularity of online comment sections.
  • Keep focused: No matter how interesting or compelling a piece may be, if it doesn’t relate to your field or niche, skip it. Users want to come to your site to read about that industry, and overloading your page with links to non-related material will cause them to skip your site in the future.
  • Stay organized: A slew of links and images can quickly become overwhelming; for this reason, organization is key. Using tagging and sorting methods can help a reader make sense of what they’re seeing.
  • Think about it: Content curation is easy when you just grab a few links off of Google and throw them on a page. However, great content curation requires careful thought and analysis. Before linking to a blog, think about the article’s relevance and consider the quality of the piece. Well thought out content curation proves much more successful than a random assortment of links and pictures that are haphazardly thrown together.
  • Work together with other curators: It’s not wise to simply duplicate what other curators are producing, but you can work together with these people to make your content better. There’s no shame in reposting with someone else has already identified as beneficial.
  • Promote: In order to keep your site afloat, you’ll need to get the word out. Talk about it on Facebook and on Twitter, and send the link to friends and family members.

The best content curation is carefully planned out, and benefits the reader by guiding them toward fresh, insightful works.

The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.

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How to Write a Business Plan: Mistakes to Avoid

Grammar Chic Inc. Business Plan Blog

There’s no doubt in my mind that starting a new business is an incredible thing.  I have definitely been there and experienced it all when I started Grammar Chic four years ago.  The excitement, the nerves, the feeling that you want to do it all, everything, right now, are definitely things that I went through.  But at the same time, before you get ahead of yourself, there is something very important that you must do: write a business plan.

Sure, sure, you have a winning business idea.  You have thought it all through and now you think that it is time to act on it.

You could be right.  But you might also be overlooking something drastically important, too.  A business plan can help alleviate that risk.

Of course, there’s mixed advice out there and if you Google, “How to write a business plan,” you are provided almost a billion results.  There is advice on how to pen an executive summary, the points that must be covered in a marketing overview and how to come up with projections.  No matter where you get your information on these items, I can tell you that there are some common mistakes that the majority of entrepreneurs make when they are starting their venture.  Read on to find out if you are making any (or all) of these mistakes as you plan for the next step.

Mistake #1: Believing that you don’t need to write a business plan

Yes, the very first mistake many entrepreneurs make is somehow believing that they are the exception and not the rule. Some individuals think that a business plan is only needed if they are actively seeking investment from a bank, venture capital firm or angel investor.  This is an expensive myth.

Writing a business plan provides you the opportunity to get all of your ideas out on paper and evaluate everything thoroughly.  It will give you the chance to see where there might be holes in your operational plan or potential pitfalls in a marketing strategy.  It will also let you see where the upsides and benefits of your business model happen to lie.  Taking the time to write a business plan will allow you to understand your idea’s weaknesses, as well as its strengths, and whether you will be able to overcome any challenges it may present.

Moreover, writing a business plan will also give you the chance to truly realize if there are hurdles that you won’t be able to handle.  Knowing this before you invest in your idea will save you a bunch of headaches in the long run.  The very first business venture I engaged in on my own, also in a niche industry, about a decade ago crashed and burned.  First, I realized too late that I needed a business plan and by the time I got done hashing one together, what should have been obvious to me before beginning the venture was now glaring at me and sneering.  Ultimately, if I would have taken the time to do the business plan, I would have discovered several significant holes in my business model based on funds, operational needs and overall market.  I learned my lesson and didn’t make the same mistake when I was launching Grammar Chic.

Mistake #2: Referencing business features

It’s very common for budding entrepreneurs to think about the features and the benefits of their product or service and talk about them in their business plan.  However, this is a strategy that is akin to the sales guy who walks into a prospect’s office, talks about the bells and whistles, throws a contract down for a signature and then is confused when the prospect walks away.  Ultimately, if you have a great product, but don’t first establish the need or why anyone would care about your product, you are breaking the first rule of sales.  If you can’t establish a need or a prospect’s “pain,” you aren’t going to sell your stuff.

In your business plan, you must answer the all important question of why people would care if your business exists at all.  It is this that drives customer loyalty and inspires a person to look to your product instead of a cheaper competitor.  You have to sell your mission and appeal to the fact that there is a concept missing in the marketplace.  Your business plan is where you first have the opportunity to lay this out and inspire passion and interest in a reader.

Mistake #3: Believing your business plan lives in a vacuum

I get it, you don’t have a crystal ball.  As handy as this would be to any business owner, the fact is that being able to identify what is going to happen in the future is impossible.  However, what is possible is to determine what your company will do when faced with certain scenarios.  Projecting best and worst case scenarios, both in and outside of your control, is an absolutely imperative piece of your business plan.

Of course, that’s just the beginning.

It’s also going to be necessary to look at a competitor, someone in your industry who you might just feel a bit jealous of while you also hold them up on a pedestal.  Take a look at how they have been successful.  How did they deal with recent economic issues?  How have they grown?  What did they do when they were faced with an internal or external crisis? How did they brand themselves? Hone in on what these entrepreneurs did and then create general concepts and apply them to your business.  However, you need to be realistic here.  It’s not going to be sunshine and roses every day.  Being an entrepreneur means getting used to sleepless nights.  You need to present all the good scenarios along with the bad and change your business plan accordingly.  Moreover, update this document regularly.  A business plan is not a one and done type of project.  You should be modifying it with each significant event in your business.

Business plan writing is no joke and any entrepreneur worth their salt should take it seriously.  I can tell you, I have written business plans for myself in my own life as an entrepreneur, in my former corporate life to identify yearly objectives and goals and plan accordingly, as well as for Grammar Chic clients. The individuals who succeed in their ventures are the ones who consider their business plan as one of the founding documents of their organization; they keep it close, edit it and consult with it regularly.

If you are searching for advice regarding a new or existing business plan, I invite you to reach out to the business writers at Grammar Chic.  Call 803-831-7444 or email info@grammarchic.net right now.  Visit Grammar Chic online and follow us on Twitter to receive helpful tips and writing advice.

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