Before You Start a Blog (the 2017 edition)

Before You Start a Blog (the 2017 edition)

A list of considerations you should make before you start a blog in 2017. A website without a blog is essentially a home without windows. At the minimum, it is an under-lit home that allows very little light in. It’s a simple analogy, really. People have questions regarding your industry, whether it’s b2b or b2c. They search for answers. Your blog post may just be what they find – your window. You have the ability to lure customers in with a limitless amount of valuable content. This creates an audience for your business you otherwise would never have. This allows you to publish work that establishes you as an expert, and works to build trust between you and your reader. I still see businesses that haven’t yet started blogging. While the competition is a little more fierce now, it’s not too late. Below are some considerations you should make before you start a blog. Before You Start a Blog, Platform Strategies All That Hype About WordPress, That’s Real A self-hosted WordPress.org platform is really the way to go for your blog in 2017. With this set up, you will have complete branding control and design flexibility. You will have the ability to create a search (SEO) strategy that can truly benefit your business. Other blog platforms like Blogger and Tumblr, or web-building platforms like Wix, limit your ability to market your own website or blog – making it virtually impossible to see the full benefit of your efforts. More than a quarter of the web is built using WordPress, and that number continues to grow. That’s because of the...
How to Recognize and Recover from Burnout

How to Recognize and Recover from Burnout

Blogging and producing content can be a time-consuming business task – being able to recognize and recover from burnout will help.   Small business owners and freelancers should be commended. There is a misconception that they go to work, and from the moment they walk in the door to the moment they leave, they are doing what they love. Then when 5 p.m. rolls around, they are able to put their work aside, go home and enjoy some of that freedom that became the reason they left the workforce in the first place. The truth is that most small business owners and freelancers started doing what they do because they love it. But turning that hobby and passion into a professional path brings other responsibilities with it. There’s the accounting piece. It’s crucial to understand how to assess profits and loss. Of course, there is the marketing and relationship building. This includes everything from building a website to writing blogs to weekly networking obligations. There’s payroll. There’s management duties. There are long days that can take an early detour into the unexpected, not to return. In short, it becomes critical to learn how to recognize and recover from burnout. It’s the only way you will ever be able to show up to a dinner party without mentally working through your project while the other guests are trying to carry on a conversation. Recognize Burnout First, there are the obvious signs. Maybe it’s been a little too long since you experienced a real day off. Maybe your toddler decided to empty every toy he has on the floor right before...
The Value of Stories in Business

The Value of Stories in Business

Stories in business give people a reason to choose you, versus the hundreds of other options that are all a click away. Throughout my young adulthood I wanted to be a reporter or columnist for a large daily newspaper. I wanted to experience city hall, and talk with the people who shaped our local and national policies. It’d be an honor to show the public how government impacts their lives on a daily basis. It’s a noble task to keep the public informed – especially in these times. I wanted to experience the noise and hustle of a loud urban newsroom. I wanted to write amongst the clickity clack of other reporters (even though I know it’s computer work and not typewriters), and the adamant telephone conversations as they collect the days news. The romanticism of the job swept me away. I spent much of my 20s working for some medium-sized weeklies and dailies. I discovered I had a passion for in-depth feature work, and I began to win some awards for it. And for awhile, I kept the dream alive. Then I begin to hear stories about 100 reporters being sacked from a newspaper over here. Another 100 over there. A few large urban newspapers stopped printing their paper edition. The truth is that journalism was dying before the housing market crashed in 2008. I began to realize that my dream job barely existed anymore. If I worked hard enough to land a position in an urban newsroom, they’d be working equally as hard to lay off the reporters with little seniority. Why fight the vicious circle? Some...
Choosing a Technology Copywriter

Choosing a Technology Copywriter

If you have a high tech business, you need to hire someone who understands what you do to tell your story, and that’s where an experienced technology copywriter comes into play. The person you hire to write copy for your brand and for your business should not only understand what you do, but also have a keen understanding for how to convey that knowledge in a way that will be receptive to your audience. This is true whether you have a b2b or b2c business. Below are some factors you should consider when you look into hiring a technology copywriter for your business. What to Look for When You Need a Technology Copywriter  Can they translate? Not everyone knows as much about your industry as you do. You have passion. You spent a lot of time learning. So when you speak in 6-syllable industry lingo, and riddle your post with acronyms, it becomes a turn off for your audience. A good technology copywriter understands this, and can translate your industry lingo into a language that your customers can understand and benefit from. He or she will help you produce content that carries your company’s voice, but speaks to your audience at the same time. Do they understand the benefit? A good technology copywriter will understand how your industry, business and product can benefit the audience. They will be able to see what you do, how you help, and convey an emotional appeal. It’s important that the writer see and demonstrate this, so that they can turn around and convey that benefit to the audience in a meaningful way. Can...
6 Blog Mistakes That Can Turn Your Audience Away

6 Blog Mistakes That Can Turn Your Audience Away

These blog mistakes can turn your audience away and cost you business. Blogging can be a great tool that expands your audience and creates additional business for you. Whether you are in the B2B or B2C industries, it can be an immense help in finding new business for you. Success with your blog can lead to additional clients, and help fuel your business for time to come. But if you routinely make these blog mistakes, they can dampen your efforts and turn your audience off. 6 Blog Mistakes You Should Stop Making Lack of value – People read a blog when they have questions, or they are looking to improve. With the internet, there’s no shortage of valuable information online. If you are holding your most valuable content back for pay, or recycling the same trite talking points as everyone else in your industry, it could spell trouble. The solution is to find new ways to convey value within your industry. Put your stamp of originality on it. It can be counterintuitive at times, but make sure you are putting your best information out there. When it feels like you should be charging for that information, what you’re really doing is establishing yourself as an expert and building trust. Your writing is like a stiff suit – There is a difference between formal and professional. You can be professional, and be casual as well. Feel free to ditch the corporate speak and the 5-syllable Ivy League words. A lot of great brands have capitalized on a more casual approach. So don’t set out writing to prove how smart you are....