Category Archives: Uncategorized

Do Businesses Still Need to Blog?

As a business owner, you’ve got so many choices in how you connect with your audience. Social media alone can feel overwhelming! Do you stay with the “classics” like Facebook and Twitter or should you be using Instagram and Snapchat? In the midst of all this, you may be wondering if old school blogging is still relevant anymore.

For many businesses, it is. And here’s why:

  1. Blogs allow your customers to do deeper research on your product, service or brand.

While social media may be the number one way that customers interact with your brand on a day to day basis, they will still turn to your blog to do deeper research. This is especially true if they are considering major purchases such as a home renovation or vehicle purchase.

This is because a blog is still the best way for you to present in depth information. And if you are able to get some influencers to partner with you, it will add even more credibility to your content.

2.  Blogs and social media feed off each other

Don’t think of your blog as being in competition with your social media efforts. Use them to fuel and feed off each other. If there is a lively discussion on one of your social media channels, use it as fodder to create a blog. Likewise, you can break down content from your blogs into social media sized chunks for your various platforms.

3. Blogs give your brand authority

Using your blog to establish credibility is a smart marketing strategy. If your company operates mainly in the B2B space, consider posting informative articles to set your company website up as the place professionals in your field go to get the latest how-tos and industry updates. If your company is mainly B2C, write blogs that discuss consumer trends or other issues of interest related to your products or services.

4. Blogs provide value

If customers are only visiting your website when they are researching a purchase decision, then you are missing out. By providing “free” information in the form of a blog, you can keep visitors returning to your website again and again. Then when they are ready to make a purchase decision, they will subconsciously be more inclined to visit your website because of the value that you have already provided to them through your blog.

5. Blogging is good for SEO

While it’s important to write for people first, and search engines second there is no denying that blogging is good for SEO. When you regularly post fresh content to your website, Google and Bing bots take notice and give your site a higher ranking. Furthermore, fresh content gives you more opportunity to drive traffic as you can post links to your latest blog in your social media or your company newsletter. Driving traffic also helps improve your SEO so that means multiple wins for you.

Why (just about) everyone should have their own business

Kristen Duever Writing Services

Starting a business is not for everyone… or is it? I’ve come to the conclusion that if it is not for everyone, then it is certainly for most people. I’m not talking about necessarily starting the next Apple or even running a small local Mom and Pop shop for that matter. But I do think that most people should be running their own show independent from their employer (even if they love their job and wouldn’t dream of leaving!)

I’ve gained a bit of a reputation recently in some circles for helping others get jobs (or, at least interviews). My day job brings me in contact with a lot of business owners, so when a position becomes available, there is a pretty decent chance that I will hear about it. But when someone tells me that they are looking for a job, I almost always ask them why they don’t go into business…

View original post 316 more words

Is Copywriting Different from Content Writing?

It is fairly common these days to hear terms like “copywriting” and “content writing” being interchanged. And it’s easy to understand the confusion – especially because of the fact that these two different styles of writing are sometimes even used together. But the fact is – there is a difference. And if you’re posting blogs and articles to your website, it is important to understand the difference.

Both styles rely on each other and can fit into the same marketing plan. The biggest distinction between content writing and copywriting is the purpose behind the writing.

Content Writing

Content writing is composing content for a specific purpose, such as brand awareness, product education or industry information. For example, if your business wants to attract and educate potential customers about their products or services, a blog or web article is a great way to accomplish this goal. Blogs, articles, and press releases are all examples of content writing.

How to Write Effective Content

Content writing is meant to educate and inform – not to sell. Content writing should not be a comparison of your product or service against competitors in the industry, but rather a way to tell the audience who you are, what you offer, and how your product will benefit the customer. The most effective content writing is achieved when you follow general content writing guidelines, such as:

  • Write within a formal style (i.e. structure of paragraphs, identify a purpose)
  • Build trust with the audience by being genuine
  • Offer the reader an experience through your writing
  • Provide help to the reader; do not sell them anything with content writing
  • Be clear and precise with content writing, always support your thoughts with evidence

Copywriting

Copywriting is compelling writing designed to illicit a specific action or response from the reader. The goal of copywriting is to sell a product or service, sign up for your newsletter or schedule a consultation. For example, if your business wants readers to purchase a product or opt-in to your email campaigns, a branded sales sheet or well-crafted landing page content can accomplish this marketing goal. Direct mailers (or emailers), branded marketing or sales documents, and infomercials are all examples of copywriting.

How to Write Effective Copy

Copywriting is all about branding and ensuring you relay why your brand matters. Copywriting takes content writing one step further; content writing draws the reader in and copywriting entices the reader to perform your desired action.

  • Write eye-catching headlines
  • Take a personable approach in your writing, build trust with the readers
  • Use direct words that inspire the reader to take action
  • Never use industry jargon, slangs, or clichés; avoid confusion and keep the copy simple
  • Always leave the readers wanting to know more about your product or service; this gets the customer interested in taking action

Copywriting and Content Writing Work Together

You cannot have one without the other. In fact, content writing without copywriting (and vice versa) is an unfortunate waste. If your site is generating good traffic but few conversions, the issue may be ineffective copywriting. But if you don’t see much return traffic to your site, you may not be providing enough value with your content writing.

In order to provide exceptional content to potential and current customers, you need a well balanced mix of copywriting and content writing. Combine the best of both worlds to ensure successful content and copy to your readers and customers.

How to write SEO friendly content (and human friendly content) for your business blog

Kristen Duever Writing Services

There are many advantages to writing a regular blog for your business – not the least of which is that it can help with your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). Done correctly, your blog will not only attract customers, set your business up as an expert in your industry and improve your search rankings.

Done incorrectly however, you can alienate potential customers and actually get penalized by Google and the other major search engines.

One of the important things to remember when writing for you business blog is to write content that is both SEO friendly and human friendly. SEO friendly content will help search engine crawlers to find your content and in turn, give your site a better ranking.

Human friendly content will help to ensure that visitors to your site have a great experience. Content needs to be well written and engaging.

The following are a few…

View original post 350 more words

How to Get More Traffic to Your Business Blog

If you want to increase traffic to your business’ blog, look no further. Here are seven of the most effective tips to build readership and get more potential customers to your blog.

  1. Write and post new content. Search engine algorithms prefer updated content, therefore increasing your blog’s ranking in search engine results. Also, staying current with your blog content encourages readers to return to your blog.
  2. Use social media. Share every single blog post to all of your social media accounts; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ are absolutely necessary for promoting your blog content. If your blog consists of a significant amount of images (i.e. products) or videos (i.e. how-to’s), you need to be promoting your blog content on Pinterest and YouTube. Social media is the top traffic source for all blogs and website content. If you do not have social media accounts, create your business accounts immediately.
  3. Pre-schedule your blog content to social media using HootSuite, which manages all your social media accounts in one place for easy blog content sharing.
  4. Follow a consistent posting schedule. Research indicates that the best times to post content is in conjunction with social media peak times:
  • Facebook: Thursday and Friday; 1:00 p.m. local time for the most shares, 3:00 p.m. local time for the most clicks.
  • Twitter: For B2B content, Monday through Friday and for B2C content, Friday through Sunday; 5:00 p.m. local time for most retweets, 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. for the most clicks.
  • LinkedIn: Tuesday through Thursday; 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. are the best times to post. The optimum time to post: Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. local time.
  • Google+: Monday through Thursday; 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. local time with Wednesday being the best day for posting.
  • Pinterest: Saturday; 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. local time. Friday is best for retail and fashion posts; 3:00 p.m. Pinterest is great for B2C posts.

5. Add social share buttons to your blog and each individual blog post. This makes it easy for your  readers to generate more traffic by their sharing immediately with others.

6. Do not be afraid to re-share past blog content. Oftentimes, social media posts are missed by some people in your network. By re-sharing a previous (and relevant) blog post, you ensure the content will be seen by your entire network in a relevant way.

7. Guest contributors add significant value to your blog and its content as well as increasing traffic to your blog because the guest contributor will bring their network to your blog. A guest contributor writes relevant content for your blog and in turn, shares the content with their network and many times ask you to be a guest contributor for their blog.

On the Side – If Only We had a Wheelbarrow

Kristen Duever Writing Services

If you want to start your own side business (or even full time business, for that matter), you have got to find your wheelbarrow.

Whenever I have started out on a new venture, there is a scene from The Princess Bride that comes to mind. It is the scene in which Westley Fezzek and Inigo are hiding behind a wall trying to figure out how to storm the castle and save Princess Buttercup.

Westley has spent the better part of the day being “mostly dead” and he is therefore unable to move most of his body – and when he asks what the small team’s assets are he is told that their assets are his brain, Fezzek’s strength and Inigo’s steel. Clearly unimpressed at their odds, Westley mutters “If we only had a wheelbarrow, that would be something.”

As it turns out, the trio did have a wheelbarrow, to which Westley…

View original post 454 more words

Blogging for “boring” businesses

There are lots of reasons why your business should be blogging – not the least of which is the fact that that those who do, generate 67% more leads than companies that don’t.

But one reason why many companies don’t blog is that the business owner feels that their industry or niche market is too “boring” for people to want to read about. They can understand why someone would want to read about the latest technological toy or gadget, or why they might want to read about the latest trends in spring fashions, but they are not so convinced that people would be interested in reading about their product or service.

So let me just come out and say it. Your business is NOT too boring to blog about! If you’re business is useful and relevant to someone (and you won’t be in business very long if it isn’t), then your business blog can also be useful and relevant.

As a freelancer, I have written plenty of blogs for industries which not everyone finds interesting. But the good news is, you don’t need everyone to find it interesting – just your target customers. An article about asbestos removal isn’t going to appeal to everyone – but it sure is going to catch the attention of someone who needs that type of service!

Now, that you understand that you do in fact have relevant information to share – how do you share it without being – well – boring? Here are three tips that you can use right away:

1, Write in an FAQ format.

One of the easiest ways to figure out what to write about is to think about the kinds of questions your customers ask (or what questions they might potentially ask), and answer them. Many of your potential customers are likely to be more comfortable asking a question online than visiting your business where they might get (gasp!) as sales pitch!

For example, a person who has a question about their options for replacing missing teeth – might be more inclined to consult with Dr. Google at the start. So if you have a dental practice, that might be the topics of one of your blogs.

2. Be relevant

Suppose your business is a personal injury law firm. Chances are, your blogs will not be relevant to someone unless they or a family member have been injured in an accident. But when someone suddenly needs to information about no fault accidents – your blog can become very relevant.

3. Think outside the box

Suppose you are a financial advisor. It might not always be easy to only write about financial products – but their is always useful content that you can add to your blog if you get creative. For example, you might want to write an article about being debt free. This could be a great way to help potential clients relate – ones that might not necessarily be interested in reading about insurance or mutual funds the first time that they visit your site.

So don’t use the excuse that you business is too boring to blog about. If you take the time to think about the questions your potential audience might have, what information they might need, and even a few outside the box but still related issues, you’ll always have something to write about.