Category: Business writing tips

Blog Marketing – Giving it Away to Get ‘Em

Weather reports on a jewelry store website or blog? Sports scores to market a dental practice? Really? Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide thinks it’s a good idea: Another good way to increase your web site’s sticky content is to provide up-to-date headline news, sports scores, international and local weather forecasts, and stock market […]

Let Me Count the Ways to Use Numbers in a Business Blog

“Use numerals to express numbers 10 and above, and use words to express numbers below 10,” Paige Jackson of the American Psychological Association reminds writers. Another writing guidance source, the Purdue OWL, has this to say: “Although usage varies, most people spell out numbers than can be expressed in one of two words and use […]

Marketing a Professional Practice Through Business Blogs

“Services – unlike products – cannot be seen, touched, held, etc. Buyers only know the true value of your service after they receive it (often with full effects taking place weeks or months later,” Oren Smith of Precision Marketing Group explains. Since, at Say It For You, our content writers serve the needs of both […]

Collating and Curating in Business Blogs – What’s the Dif?

  “Expressing our love, gratitude and appreciation to others on the New Year by sending happy New Year messages for friends and loved ones is a great way to share in this spirit of renewal and joy with those around us,” Richard Kronick writes in the Huffington Post, proceeding to list samples of funny New Year […]

New Year Resolutions for Blog Content Writers

  During the holidays, at least here in America, we seem to be “into” list-making. From shopping lists to Santa’s twice-checked  list, we now culminate the series with lists of New Year’s resolutions. Looking back at the past year of offering Say It For You business blogging assistance, I found several simple lists I used […]

Why “Blog” and “Glob” are Antigrams

When most people talk of anagrams, the Book of Random Oddities explains, they mean words that can have their letters rearranged to make other words, such as “bat” and “tab”. In the world of recreational wordplay, though, an anagram is a rearrangement of the letters in a word, phrase, or sentence to make a new […]

Add a Little “Why” to Your Business Blog Content

When speaker Todd Hunt saw a sign in his health club reading: “Please Do Not Pour Water on the Sauna Rocks” Hunt’s first thought, he relates, was “I’ll pour water on the rocks if I want to.  Nobody tells me what to do!” But after spotting the second line of copy on the sign, Hunt […]

Recovering and Recycling Business Blog Content

In addition to being a vehicle for attracting new customers, content created in the form of blogs can be useful in other ways. “While content marketing may be the trend du jour, content isn’t just for marketing,” explains Erin Nelson of contently.com. Last year,Nelson points out, GE used content to educate union employees on an […]

People-to-People Blogging for Business

Skimming through my now-pretty-extensive collection of business books, I came across Hollywood producer Peter Guber’s book Tell to Win.  Guber thinks storytelling is a professional discipline, and in the book he examines the way people use stories to do business. As a professional blog content creator and trainer in corporate writing, I think that what […]

Citations – Good News in Blogging, Confusing in Spelling, Bad News in Driving

“The triple whammy of homophones ‘cite’, ‘site’, and ‘sight’ has the potential to create a great deal of confusion,” the editors of The Book of Random Oddities explain. To cite, they go on to explain, means to “quote someone, or someone’s work, as a authoritative source to support an argument.” The word “cite”, the book’s […]

Translation Blogging Can Translate Into Transactions

A couple of years ago, in an online discussion about a blog listing “150 weird words that only architects use”, (including “pastiche”, “ergonomy”, “charette”, “regionalis”, and “materiality”), there were two schools of thought: Pro:   Architecture has its own language, not unlike other professions.  Not everything needs to be diluted to the lowest common denominator. Con:  […]

Have Attitudes Changed About Price Point Blogging?

Awhile back, I began one of my Say It For You blog posts by quoting a remark by Marcus Sheridan of social media examiner.com, something he’d written, back in 2012.“Many business websites fail to address the subject of pricing,” Sheridan had observed. “Instead of addressing the number-one consumer question up front, they decided to wait […]

What Blog Title Phrasing Doubles Your Click-through Rates?

    Researchers at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway were out to determine what factors make certain headlines drive more click-throughs than others. They performed two experiments, one using Twitter, the other using popular Norwegian auction and shopping website FINN.Putting aside possible cultural differences among readers in different countries, the major takeaways […]

Musing About Blogging for Business and Being Human

Just the other day, friend Jim Anthony (So-Mark Founder) sent an email message full of statistics about blogging – (music to my blog content writer’s ears, of course!). WordPress blogs alone are read by over 400 million people every month, with users creating over 80 million new posts, 44 million comments and 23 billion page […]

Business Blogging Takes Visitors Through Relationship-Building Meetings

Not one encounter, or even two. “To ensure you are consistently giving clients this close attention, you should take them through a series of FIVE relationship-building meetings,” is the advice John Bowen, Jr. gives to his fellow financial advisors. Why five?  Each of the meetings has a specific purpose; each is designed to move the […]

Business Blogging With Round-Up Posts – Part 2 of 2

    Round-up posts are blog posts consisting of lists of best sources of information. Those might be lists of best websites, best You Tube clips, or best of any kind of web content that relates to your topic. As a business blogging trainer, I loved many of Authorunlimited editor Cathy Presland’s ideas for round-up […]

Business Blogging With Round-Up Posts – Part 1 of 2

Authorunlimited editor Cathy Presland calls them Best-of-the-Web Round-Ups, referring to blog posts consisting of “lists of the best websites, You Tube clips, or any other kind of web content that relates to your topic”, and round-up posts are great way, she advises, for business blog content writers to demonstrate the breadth of your own knowledge […]

Taking Content-Writing Tips from Dental Web Designers “Down Under”

If you’re a dentist, your website needs to build your brand,” Luke Hayes of Dental Marketing Solutions cautions. Hayes makes Australian dentists smile by designing websites with “visual impact and usability”. What do his websites aim to do? Here across the pond, we would do well to follow the list Hayes provides: Build patients’ confidence […]

Premise-Based Blogging for Business

Whether you’re pruning hedges, painting a room, or cooking dinner, having the right equipment for the job matters a lot.  That’s precisely the concept upon which a radio ad I heard recently was based.  The ad sponsor was mattress manufacturer BeautyRest, and I couldn’t help feeling that the commercial was impactful as a result of […]

Using the “It’s Not Your Fault” Appeal in Blog Marketing

An advertisement I happened upon incorporates what I think was a very effective form of “reverse psychology” as a way to appeal to customers: “It’s not your fault”, the ad read.  If your hot water heater “chose” a weekend to break down – well, that’s not your fault and you shouldn’t be charged extra for […]

It’s Smart to Answer “Stupid Questions” in Your Business Blog

“The next time someone asks you a seemingly stupid question, stop and look at it from their side,” advises speaker Todd Hunt. After asking his local copy shop to quote a simple black-and-white printing job, Hunt was annoyed when they emailed him asking whether he wanted them to print his job on their black printer […]

Halloween Hints for Your Business Blog

  The late October wind was serene and tranquil as the bold orange sun faded into the seemingly empty autumn evening sky. Crisp shades of red, yellow, and orange from fallen leaves, formed a thin layer over the brown lawns of the neighborhood. Immediately noticeable were the bolder colors in the decorations of the local […]

Having the Last Word in Your Business Blog

“Nothing can be more annoying to your reader than an article that ends too abruptly or shabbily,” Elizabeth Soumya writes in BlogVault.com. “As writers we can often feel complacent, as if we have little to say by the time we find ourselves at the end.” But concluding means bringing your blog post to a convincing […]

The-Truth-About Business Blog Titles

  The table of contents in Time’s special edition “The Science of Exercise” lists seventeen different articles, all of which sounded interesting enough to induce me to take the magazine off the display and add it to my shopping cart. And the articles did turn out to be interesting, every page worth a read by […]

Remember the Golden Triangle in Blogging for Business

        “Remember, human nature never changes,” cautions Jeanette Maw McMurtry in Marketing for Dummies. While design trends for websites may change, she says, the way our unconscious minds process information never does. The term “Golden Triangle” refers to the way English-speaking people view search results, starting at the upper left side of […]

Showing Them How Shows Them YOU In Blogging for Business

For making content king on your website, Jeanette Maw McMurtry recommends, think about the top content themes readers most often seek: product comparisons purchasing guides how-to guides research findings When it comes to how-to guides, McMurtry is making a point that I often stress when training blog content writers: “Even if you offer a service, […]

Respect the Rules of Reversal in Blogging for Business

  First impressions can affect many elements of your life course, from how you fare in job interviews to whether you gain friends at social gatherings, Psychology Today explains. Yet first impressions can be reversed, as Melissa Ferguson, head of Cornell University’s Automaticity Lab found after conducting some very interesting experiments…. In the first series, […]

Blogging for Business While Inspiring Three Types of Trust

“Trust is a powerful intangible asset,” Allen Harris, CEO of Berkshire Money Management Inc. reminds financial planners.  A Knowledge@Wharton special report describes three types of trust between financial advisors and clients: trust in know-how trust in ethical conduct trust in empathetic skills “Trust is everything in the online world,” writes A.J. Agrawal in Forbes. In […]

Same Old, Same New Blogging for Business

“I’ve already covered my products and services on my website – what else is left to say?” is a question I hear a lot from business owners or professional practitioners. Even if they understand the overall value of having a blog, their concern is that, sooner or later, they’ll run out of things to say in […]

Metaphoric Blogging for Business

  “Are you playing with a full deck?” Mensa’s Richard Lederer asks, jokingly referring to the “combination of genetic and environmental roulette” that has Mensans ending up smart as whips, with others at the “short end” of the intelligence “stick”. In the very funny article “Are You Playing With a Full Deck?” Lederer lists categories […]

How-Do-I-Wear-That Blogging for Business

A number of years ago, I touted a SELF Magazine article titled “How Do I Wear That?” as a good model for writers of blogs meant to market a product or service. Here’s why I thought so: The article was written in question/answer format, first describing a “style dilemma”, then offering a “self-solution”. In other […]

Ask, But Also Persuade

  “Yes, you should ask — but you should also persuade,” Mental Floss magazine advises employees ready to request a pay raise.  “If your company doesn’t offer an annual review, ask your supervisor if you can have one.” The pointers the authors offer on best ways for employees to use that meeting are definitely apropos […]

More About Quotations in Blogging for Business

Using quotations in blog posts can help create anticipation, suspense, or drama, as we went over earlier this week in my Say It For You blog. Quotations help reinforce points while adding variety and authority, and, so long as they are not overdone, they can be a very good idea in blogging for business. But, […]

In Business Blogs, Quotations Can Be a Good Idea

How good an idea is it to use quotations in your business blog? Very good, once you allow for certain caveats. You can use a quote to: reinforce your point show you’re in touch with trends in your field add value for readers (by aggregating different sources of information in one business blog) add variety […]

Blogging to Inspire

“Unless your blog only serves as a personal diary, you should aim to inspire others with your writings,” hongkiat.com advises. All you need to be concerned about is how much value you can provide to readers.  How do you go about providing value? Honkiat’s answers: Write what others didn’t think of. Write what is noteworthy, […]

Are You Game to Blog?

AARP’s September issue chose an interesting way to present content. In place of an article about saving money and getting the best deals possible, the editors offered a game grid, challenging readers to search for words on a grid.  There were ten sentences with certain words printed in red, and readers were asked to locate […]

Ohio River Lessons About Business Blogging

My two-day get-away with friends to historic Madison, Indiana wasn’t supposed to be about business, and it wasn’t. Later, though, recalling the different guided tours we’d taken, I realized I’d had blog content writing on my mind after all. While learning interesting facts about how a telegram saved Madison from demolition and how Kentucky “owns” […]

Self-Checking Your Business Blog

          “These 5 fast and easy self-exams can tell you if it’s time to see a doc,” Kate Lawler writes in ATM Magazine, encouraging readers to check the inner lids of their eyes, the appearance of their skin and hair, their balance, and their heart rate. As a content writing trainer, […]

Where Are You Going and Why Are You There?

In the e-letters my friend Jane Thompson, the trade show marketing consultant, sends me, I invariably find valuable pieces of advice that relate to blog marketing. While trade shows can be a tremendous source of leads, industry information, and networking, Jane explains, she sees many companies wasting time and money because they don’t have an […]

A Nutritious Business Blog Diet Balances Features and News

  Like newspapers, business blog content writing can balance feature stories with news. News stories cover breaking, time-sensitive stuff; feature articles might have the same impact whether you read them today or two months from now. The word “news” when it comes to blog marketing, can mean two entirely different things.  The first type centers […]

Mention-Worthy Business Blogging

  “Remarkable things are defined as unusual, extraordinary, or worthy of notice or attention, Jonah Berger observes in his book Contagious. Something can be remarkable, he says, because it is: novel surprising extreme just plain interesting But the most important aspect of remarkable things is that they are worthy of remark. If something is just […]

Double Duty Business Blogging

  “Provide valuable information to people who need it, and let word-of-mouth marketing do the rest.” No, this advice wasn’t being given to bloggers; practice management consultant Susan Kornegay, CFP® was telling financial planning practitioners (in the Journal of Financial Planning) about the benefits of using informational booklets as marketing tools for their professional practices. […]

Saying What They Said in Blogging for Business

“Quoting other people is a staple of many types of writing. Journalists use quotes in their stories, magazine writers interview experts to support their piece, and academics quote research papers. As a blogger, you too can borrow the wisdom of others to inspire and support your writing,” advises Ali Luke of dailyblogtips.com. There are plenty […]

Business Blogging Earns High Scores

“There’s no doubt that blogs afford small businesses big payoffs. They humanize a business, position you as an expert in your field, and work hand-in-hand with your website and social media presence to improve your search engine rankings,” the SCORE website advises its members.  But, since finding the time or an eager author to write […]

In Blog Marketing, Accentuate the Practical

“Most products, ideas, and behaviors are consumed privately,” observes Jonah Berger in his book Contagious. Problem is, he points out, if people can’t see what others are choosing and doing, they can’t imitate them. On the other hand, Berger cautions, making things more public can have unintended consequences. “If you want to get people to […]

Contagious Blog Marketing

“Why do some products, ideas, and behaviors succeed when others fail?” Jonah Berger asks in his book Contagious. Berger first lists some traditional answers: they are just plain better – easier to use and more effective attractive pricing advertising None of these explains the whole story, Berger claims, without including social influence and work of […]

How-I-Did-It Blogging for Business

“Starting and running a business is traveling a landscape filled with opportunity and hazards.  Knowing which is which can make the difference between growing your company and blowing it up,” begins the special issue of Inc. magazine in which twelve company founders describe how they rose to success. ‘How-we-did-it” stories make for very effective blog […]

If-We-Haven’t-Moved Blogging for Business

Nine years ago I posted a Say It For You blog about an experiment concerning the way people’s attention is engaged. The subjects of the study were people who drove the same route every day to work and back, passing a giant billboard advertising new cars.  When questioned, almost none of those people remembered even […]

Conversational Blogging Takes Practice – Part B

Counter-intuitive as that may seem, Gallo explains, “Conversational delivery takes practice,” Gallo stresses in Talk Like TED, tracing the creation of a Dr. Jill presentation in Indianapolis. As a content writer for marketing blogs, I often explain to clients and to newbie writers that that blogs (compared to, say, brochures, white papers, and newsletters) are casual […]

Conversational Blogging Takes Practice – Part A

  When Dr. Jill gave her TED Talk in Indianapolis, reports Carmine Gallo in Talk Like Ted, her presentation seemed natural, authentic, animated, and conversational. Counter-intuitive as that may seem, Gallo explains, “Conversational delivery takes practice. Dr. Jill rehearsed her presentation not once, twice, or even 20 times. She rehearsed it 200 times!” Gallo notes. […]

Opening Gambits in Blogging for Business

  When you’re serving up seventeen articles about the very same topic, how do you keep things different and engaging? It’s all in the opening lines, I discovered, looking through TIME’s special edition, The Science of Exercise. Of course, that’s hardly “new news” – I’ve always stressed to new content writers that opening lines have […]

Text Still Tops in Delivering Information

“For years now, I have been listening to numerous digital marketing experts preach about the end of written content as we know it,” Milica of fourdots.com writes. “Even though the entire Web is basically built on it, more than a few experts believe that sooner or later, video is going to take over.” According to […]

Would-You-Rather Blogging for Business

People like hearing other people’s opinions almost as much as they like expressing their own, which accounts for the popularity of the party game “Would You Rather”, in which a dilemma is posed the form of a question beginning with the words “Would you rather”. Would you rather be forced to wear wet socks for […]

Wedding and Pro Bono Business Blog Gifting

If you’re going to disregard the preferred wedding gift list, what you give has to be good, advises Nicole Garner in Mental Floss Magazine. But, amazingly, the author adds, the most unique and valuable wedding gifts might not cost you anything except some thought and effort. You might pass on a family treasure, offer your […]

In Business Blogs, Keep the Downbeat Upbeat

In blogging for business, the last thing you’d want to be is “downbeat”. (One dictionary definition of “downbeat” is pessimistic, gloomy, negative, and fatalistic.). On the other hand, “downbeat” might be the very effect I want to achieve in order set the mood for my blog post. (The word “downbeat” is a musical term referring […]

It’s Been Said Before, and That’s OK in Blogging for Business

“Good writing doesn’t get hung up on what’s been said before,” advises Ann Handley in Everybody Writes. “Rather it elects to simply say it better.” That piece of advice, I believe, applies not only to what others have written on your topic, but to what you’ve had to say in earlier blog posts. In corporate […]

Still More About Words to use in Blogging for Business

It’s the one lesson blog content writers can never afford to forget – the right words are our business blogging power tools. Sure, images (pictures, video clips, infographics) have power of their own.  But never forget that, in blogging, words matter, as Jennifer Olney of bealeader.com points out. Words are art, Olney emphasizes, and, as […]

Magic Marketing Words to Use in Blogging for Business

  Certain words and phrases are time-tested to boost response and conversion rates, vertical response.com explains. Those “magic” words include “free”, “value”, “guaranteed”, “amazing”, “easy”, “discover”, “new”, “proven”, and “secret”. Since your marketing message is often the very first contact between you and a potential customer, it’s important to nail that first impression, adds Brandon […]

The Right Words – Business Blogging Power Tools

It’s too bad that in the course of doing business, we get so tied up in making a good, marketable product and in serving our customers’ needs, we often forget how much help the right words can be. In fact, when it comes to web-based communication, words, along with images are our only tools. As […]

Good Business Writing Attracts Good Business

  Poor business writing can never be undone, the American Marketing Association cautions in Business Writing Tips for Professionals. “It can cause you to lose business to your competition and could even cost you your job.” Good business writing, on the other hand, is marked by using a strong, active voice, avoiding company acronyms and […]

How Will They Know They’ve Been Helped?

  Financial planners could start the meeting with new clients by asking a simple question: “What is it that brings you in today?” the Journal of Financial Planning suggests. Another question to ask to get a sense of expectations is: “At the end of our meeting today, how will you know that it has been […]

Him/Her Blogging for Business

  “If you want your ex back, but you lash out against them in hurt and anger, they will probably have trouble getting over that,” Gene Morris assures readers in the little book You Can Get Your Ex Back.” Getting an ex back is not something I need help with just now. But as a […]

Book-Review Blogging for Business

Online visitors are “test-driving” your company or practice through reading your blog posts. They want to see whether you understand their problems and can quickly and effectively help solve those. Often, the way to be of most help to searchers is to offer “book reviews”, collections of material you have “curated” (gathered and presented) for […]

Why and Why-Not Blogging for Business

  Aliens would probably come to Earth in peace, quantum physicist Jim Al-Khalili assures readers in his book Aliens, proceeding to bust no fewer than five commonly held myths-from-the-movies about encounters with visitors from other planets. The author uses scientific knowledge to debunk each myth: Aliens will eat us. No, because, in order for them […]

Posing the Question in Business Blog Content Writing

I tell new Indianapolis blog content writers that, in creating content for marketing blogs, we need to keep in mind that people are online searching for answers to questions they have and solutions for dilemmas they’re facing.  But, even if those searchers haven’t specifically formulated a question, I suggest we do that for them by […]

Your Business Blog Can Be Their User Manual

“In the olden days – say the 1980s – if you bought a piece of technology, a paperback user guide came with it.  It was the manufacturer’s one big chance to explain its engineers’ thinking to you, to communicate what the designers and marketers had in mind,” David Pogue writes in Scientific American. Then, Google […]

The Power of Place in Business Blog Content Writing

“Branding helps people identify and recognize your products and organization,” asserts thebrandingjournal.com. And just how does that happen? Branding: makes your company different from the competition helps you connect with customers emotionally helps consumers know what to expect allows you to be clear with your strategy and stay focused So, in today’s world of online […]

Mythbusting Blog Content is More Than OK

  “There may be more stories about the origin of ‘OK’ than there are uses for it,” a Mental Floss magazine article points out. Writers have attributed it to: the Haitian port Aux Cayes a Puerto Rican rum labeled “Aux Quais” the German alles korrekt shipbuilders marking wood for “outer keel” Civil War soldiers carrying […]

Deep Dive to Create More Blog Content

  Deep dive, freshsparks.com advises blog content writers. “Take articles with more general information and create a separate article focusing on one specific area.” All the way back in 2008, I wrote about target marketing in a Say It For You blog post titled “If the Parents Hate It, the Kids Will Love it”. I […]

Above All, Do No Puzzling in Blogging for Business

“Many claim that the word “forte”, coming from the French fort, should properly be pronounced with one syllable. Common usage, however, prefers the two-syllable pronunciation (for-tay), which has been influenced by the music term forte, borrowed from Italian. Speakers can continue using forte as one syllable knowing that the origin of the word supports this pronunciation, […]

Use the First Minute to Make Blog Readers Feel Safe

“Use the first five minutes to make people feel safe,” advises Chris St. Hilaire in 27 Powers of Persuasion. (This week my Say It for You blog is devoted to business books that offer wonderful guidance on selling and presentation skills.) Politicians know: You can change a conversation by touching the other person’s arm. Lawyers […]

Using the Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs in Your Business Blogging

    “Your listeners are asking themselves ‘Why should I care?’ Carmine Gallo reminds marketers in his business skills and development book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Jobs, the author reminds readers, is the guy who transformed business presentations into an art form. Using those presentation secrets, a top Apple executive said, you can: […]

Two “Ifs” to Making Interview Blogs Intriguing

  Just one of “101 blog post ideas that will make your blog ‘hot’” offered by startbloggingonline.com is this:  Interview someone. But interviews, the author warns, are popular only in two cases: You deliver an interview with an important “someone” who rarely speaks in public You rally useful and practical tips and content. As a […]

For Business Blogging, Get in the Remote Mindset

    “In the last decade, remote work has exploded in popularity,” says Skillcrush. “It’s totally feasible to land a lucrative, fulfilling career without selling your soul to the daily commute,” Browning assures readers, cautioning that interviews for remote jobs come with their own set of pitfalls. Interviewees for remote jobs have to demonstrate they […]

In-Command Business Blogging

Messages have two aspects, explains Elizabeth J. Natalle in Teaching Interpersonal Communication, the report aspect and the command aspect. Since we blog content writers are always looking to find the right tone to translate corporate message into people-to-people terms, I found Natalle’s explanation of the two categories very useful. I put the well-written article “50 […]

Does Your Blog Post Command or Report?

    There are two aspects to any communication, explains Elizabeth J. Natalle in Teaching Interpersonal Communication. The report aspects conveys information, while the command aspect refers to the relationship between the communicants. The command aspect sets a tone, which might be focused on: this is how I see myself… this is how I see […]

In Blogging, the More Things Change……

  On a recent tour of interesting Indiana places, I picked up the most fascinating souvenir – The Daily Review newspaper published February 19, 1908 in Crawfordsville. Since my work at Say It For You centers around business marketing, I was particularly fascinated with Page 3 of the paper, which sported a crazy patchwork  of […]

Put Words in Blog Readers’ Mouths

“Learn the lingo to beat the scammers,” advises Sid Kirchheimer in this month’s AARP magazine. “Knowledge is power” the author explains, proceeding to “put words.in readers’ mouths” so that they can feel confident about protecting themselves from fraudsters. A “catfish”, Kirscheimer explains, is someone who creates a fake online profile to intentionally deceive you, while […]

Case Study Business Blogging

“To explore uncertainty reduction theory, I ask students to analyze a case study in groups of four to six people for about 15 to 20 minutes,” says Elizabeth Natalle in Teaching Interpersonal Communication. The case study, she adds, is a good teaching technique because students can participate actively and demonstrates choice making. Stories of all […]

Blog the Second Side of the Story

An anecdote submitted by a grandma to Reader’s Digest reminded me of something my own maternal grandmother taught us grandkids: there are at least two sides to every story. The opthalmologist’s very cute assistant was examining my 20-year-old grandson, when out of the blue she said, ‘You must really work out.’ ‘Well, yes, I do,’ […]

The First Blog Post is Like the First Day of Class

“What impression would you like to make on the first day?” asks Elizabeth Natalle, author of Teaching Interpersonal Communication. In fact, the first day of class gets a lot of attention from pedagogues, Natalle explains to teachers, because “what happens that first day demonstrates to students what to expect from your instruction.” Some teachers even […]

Every Blog Post Should Have Two Winners

“My philosophy is that every phone conversation has a loser,” says Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams (the implication seems to be that one of the parties on the phone is being talked into buying something or doing something that benefits only the other. A second Adams quote reveals a similarly negative viewpoint: “There’s a gigantic gray […]

Effective Blog Titles Emphasize Effects

    Mental Floss Magazine chose a good title, I believe, for its financial planning article: “How These 7 Money Moves Can Affect You Down the Road” What’s good about that title, and what can we blog content writers learn about creating effective titles for our clients’ posts? It contains a numbered list. Lists spatially […]

Go Ahead – Blog About Your Misplaced Oscars

  Winning an Oscar is a big deal, but still old news; losing your Oscar – now that makes for more attention-catching copy. I think that’s the appeal of the Mental Floss Magazine story about ten award-winning movie stars who actually misplaced the statuettes they’d been so excited to win in the first place. “Owning […]

We’ve All Heard the Naysayers

“We’ve all heard the naysayers – they argue that speechwriting is losing relevance in a world of unscripted comments and 140-character attention spans”, reads the invitation to the 2017 Speechwriters Conference. The reality, Ragan explains is that organizations need thoughtful communicators more than ever. Importantly, all three skill areas on which the speechwriter’s conference promises […]

Basically, We Bought Their Car For Them

  At a recent study session for financial planners, Waypoint Residential’s Todd Patterson made it really easy for us in the audience to understand exactly how excellent a return Waypoint had managed to generate for its investors over the last two years. After comparing dollars invested and dollars realized, Patterson summed up the situation in […]

Did-You-Know Blogging for Business

The Egyptians wore eye shadow to prevent blindness, and lipstick to keep the soul from leaving the body through the breath, Varla Ventura informs readers in The Book of the Bizarre. What a great lead-in that sentence might make for a blog on the website of a beauty salon, cosmetologist, cosmetic surgeon, or even an […]

Finding Before Solving in Blogging for Business

  “Unfortunately,” reflects my friend and admired sales training expert Tim Roberts, “traditional salespeople are tethered to ‘what we know’”.  Roberts is well aware that it takes many years of trials and tribulations for a salesperson to develop good problem-solving skills, yet he’s here, he says, to challenge and encourage finding before solving. In fact, […]

Use Allusions, But Don’t Blog Squirrels in a Tire

“Why can’t we innovate as quickly as our competition?’ asks the pointy-haired boss in the comic strip “Dilbert®”.  “Maybe it’s because our management is like a family of squirrels that lives inside an old tire,” suggests Dilbert.  Asked to be more specific, Dilbert says “It’s a Goodyear tire with five grey squirrels.” Talk about a […]

The Logic and Logistics of Blogging for Business

“Writing is very much about the order of ideas presented and the emphasis given to them,” Brandon Royal explains in The Little Red Writing Book. There are two general things readers expect: to see ideas unfold logically to have writers give the most important ideas the most coverage There are different “floor plans” for pieces […]

Blogging From End to Beginning

  “Strategically, the summary or conclusion should come at the beginning of an expository piece, not at the end,” explains Brandon Royal in The Little Red Writing Book. Royal is referring to a top-down approach, where readers understand from the beginning what the main idea of the piece is, then are given the supporting facts or […]

Spend Time Adding Blog Value, Not Subtracting Typos

  “Don’t hire a proofreader for your blog,” is Michael Hyatt’s advice in the book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Why not? 1. It will delay “shipping” – Perfection is the mother of procrastination. 2. Blogs are not books – you can make corrections later and then immediately republish. 3. Even proofreaders don’t […]

Blog About How You See Wildlife or Whatever, Not About What You Sell

A Canon commercial on the back cover of an old issue of National Geographic reminded me of a piece of blogging advice that will never grow old: The best blog posts are never about yourself, your company, your services, or your products, but about why you see things the way that you do. There are […]

In Blogging for Business, Get Rid of Worthless Words

  “Let’s be honest: Nobody likes flab, especially when it comes to content,” says Julia McCoy of the Content Marketing Institute.”Icky, flabby, worthless words” are distracting and alienating to readers, McCoy adds. Since, as business blog content writers, the last thing we want to do is alienate readers, I thought McCoy’s  worthless word list was […]

The 8 Worst Mistakes in Blogging for Business

Reading Paul Sloane’s list of “The Eight Worst Mistakes Made By Keynote Speakers”, I couldn’t help thinking these are probably the same mistakes made all too often by business blog content writers. Just as Sloane warns speakers “Be sure not to make these mistakes”, I’d like to use this Say It For You blog post […]

Words You Never Use in Blogging for Business

“It’s more important than ever before to be mindful not just of what your company says to customers online, but HOW it is said as well,” asserts Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters. “Minor shifts in words choice can mean the difference between a great customer interaction and an unruly, offended mob.” There are […]

Don’t Let Your Blog Leave the Wrong “Effect”

“For all the changes to the algorithm Google goes through,” a blog content writer recently assured readers, “only a handful are significant and will effect your ranking – if even that.” Uh-oh – didn’t you mean “affect your ranking”? The verb “effect” means “to cause to come into being” or “to bring about. “When you […]

Blog What Should Have Been in the Box

Talk about an “I-wish-I-had-thought-of-that” concept! I absolutely love the name O’Reilly Media® gave its series of manuals by David Pogue: “The Missing Manual® – the Book that Should Have Been in the Box”. The now-120 book series covers tech for amateurs topics such as iPhone use, Quickbooks, Windows10, Photos for Mac – an almost exhaustive […]

Blogging for Those Wandering the Stacks

“I’ve discovered that searching the Internet doesn’t necessarily get you only to the thing that you were looking for,” observes Vinton Cerf, VP at Google and a “father of the internet”. “Maybe this is like wandering around the stacks in the library and pulling the book next to the one you were looking for, and […]

Ways-To-Take-Charge Blogging for Business

    The article “15 Ways to Take Charge of Your Care”, cover story of December’s AARP Bulletin, is a very fine example for blog content writers.  Why? It uses a numbered list, offering 15 detailed tips for saving time and money on healthcare. As Maria Konnikova remarks in the New Yorker Magazine, “Lists spatially […]

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