Tag: blog opening lines

Business Blog Writing to Boost Readers’ Brains – and your Own

Turns out I was right about the “training effect” of a business blog. When you blog, I like to say, you verbalize the positive aspects of your business in a way that people can understand. You put your recent accomplishments down in words. You review the benefits of your products and services and keep them […]

Why-In-The-World Business Blogging

It wasn’t a blog post, but the article might well have been just that, I thought, reading the advertorial in Senior Living, in which David Ring, owner of Indiana Funeral Care, answers the question “Why In the World Would I Plan My Own Funeral?” Last November, in my Say It For You blog, I quoted […]

Blog Content Writers Take Lessons from the Past

Alexander Pope and Sir Ross Smith lived centuries apart, but both came to the same conclusion on the topic of arguing. Both men are quoted in Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People.  “Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you?  Don’t argue – […]

Blog Content Writers Try to Hit Their Own – and Readers’ – Time to Shine

“Many leaders are at their best in the first hours of the morning; others hit their prime in the late morning; others still, in the afternoon”, authors Steve Chandler and Scott Richardson explain in the book 100 Ways to Motivate Others. “We all have 24 hours.  It doesn’t matter how rich or powerful you are, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Even More About Words to Use in Blogging for Business

  “Having something to contribute to a conversation makes us feel good,” schoolwebmasters.com points out, advising schools on communication strategy. “Everyone likes to feel knowledgeable, included, and validated. It’s even typical in group conversations for someone to be thinking more of what they can add to the conversation than actively listening to what other people […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Blog Selling With a Story

When Peter Guber’s book “Tell to Win” came out five years ago, talking about “the hidden power of story”, I immediately had a “Bingo!” sensation. As a freelance SEO copywriter reading the intro to that book, I couldn’t help thinking that if the power of story is to be directed towards the marketing strategy and […]

Ad Mining for Blog Content Writers

  Blogs are not ads, to be sure, and yet blog content writers can learn a lot from browsing the advertisements, I’m convinced. To test that theory, I decided to browse a collection of 50 different print ads published in the November 2016 issue of TheHomeMag, a free home improvement magazine. Hitting precisely the right […]

Think Differently About Your Blog

  “Organize and present your ideas with a targeted reader in mind,” advises Richard Anderson in Powerful Writing Skills. “Don’t be satisfied with putting down data and results or observations and opinions.  Find a way to make this information meaningful to your reader.” That doesn’t mean you should talk down to your readers, Anderson cautions. […]

Bring Just Enough, Not Too Much, to the Beginning of Your Blog Post

“Occasionally, speakers try to bring too much to their opening paragraph.  They essentially give away the punchline of their talk, writes Chris Anderson, head of TED Talks. Instead of giving it all away up front, he advises, imagine what kind of language will seduce the audience into wanting to come along for the ride. Ineffective […]

Your Blog Isn’t a Container or Bin

“A talk isn’t a container or a bin that you put content in, it’s a process, a trajectory,” says Chris Anderson, head of TED Talks. “The goal is to take the listener from where he is to someplace new. That means trying to make the sequence so stepwise that no one gets lost along the […]

Establishing Order on the Planet of Your Blog

“Establish order on the planet of your blog by using proven structures for your blog posts,” advises Tracy Gold of the Content Marketing Institute. Gold suggests a few possible blog post frameworks: Q and A Case study Comparison/metaphor Yes/No debate Q and A I tell new Indianapolis blog content writers that, in creating content for […]

To Blog, Slash Back the Range of Topics

  “To provide an effective talk, you must slash back the range of topics you will cover to a single, connected thread,” cautions Chris Anderson, head of TED Talks. Done right, he says, carefully crafted short talks can be the key to unlocking empathy and sharing knowledge. Much of the wisdom Anderson shares can serve […]

Peter Piper Picks a creative Blog Writing Technique

“Used occasionally, alliteration can: Be memorable. Make an impact. Make you look confident. Be used for emphasis,”say the authors of “How to Get Your Own Way (Using Critical Thinking)”. Alliteration is just one of several creative writing techniques that can make your business correspondence more interesting, they add. With alliteration, you repeat the same letter […]

Business Blog Tidbits Far From Useless

So, why do I find seeming “useless” tidbits of information so very useful when it comes to blog content writing? Let me count the ways: 1. Tidbits can be used to describe your way of doing business, to clarify the way one of your products works, or explain why one of the services you provide […]

Just a Spoonful of Keyword Phrases Makes SEO Go Up

“To maximize the traffic that comes to your blog via search engines, focus on optimizating each of your blog posts for just one or two keyword phrases.  Too many keyword phrases dilutes the content of your post for readers and can look like spam to both readers and search engines,” Susan Gunelius cautions in abouttech.com. […]

Know Your Reader When Using Allusions in Business Blogs

An allusion is a figure of speech that makes reference to a place, person, or event. The point of using allusions in writing? An allusion can: get readers thinking about your subject in a new way get a point across without going into a lengthy explanation cement a bond between the writer and readers based […]

My Mother Was a Sneaker

Blogs are not ads, as I am careful to emphasize in corporate blogging training sessions. That’s not to say, though, that we blog content writers can’t learn a lot from ad writers. I love the Samuel Hubbard.com ad for men’s dress shoes, for example. “My mother was a sneaker. My father was a dress shoe. […]

Tips on Business Writing for Bloggers – Part A

As a business blog content writer, I found Susan Adams’ “Ten Tips on Business Writing”, offered in Forbes Magazine, almost made to order for bloggers.  Five of the tips have to do with word choice and ideas (I’ve added my own thoughts in italics): Start by writing short, declarative sentences. Short sentences have what I […]

Another Year, Not Just Another Blog

Everybody, it seems, has advice about how to make your blog better than ever in 2016. John Egan, writing in the Huffington Post, sort of sums it up in two words: “Aim high”, by which he means never sacrificing quality merely to achieve quantity. BlogTyrant makes some predictions about blogging SEO in 2016 centered around […]

Blogging Assumption-Free

I’ve been doing some heavy thinking about assumptions, and it’s Daniel Herndon’s fault. “Assumptions can be good or bad, but either way they inform our beliefs and opinions,” Herndon says. Assumptions inform the decisions we make, and often they can be productive, he admits. But what about when our assumptions are counterproductive? he asks. (That’s […]

Accentuate the Negative?

“Eliminate the negative an’ latch on to the affirmative” was Johnny Mercer’s musical advice back in 1945. Playing to one’s strengths has, in fact, been a popular fad in management development circles. As a blog content writer, though, sometimes I wonder. The latest issue of Modern Dog magazine features eight article titles on its cover: […]

Blog Writers’ Opening Lines have a Big Job to Do

“The first words of a novel can be enough to set the tone for the whole book,” explain the editors of The Book of Random Oddities. Some of the most famous first lines quoted in the book include: All children, except one, grow up”.  (“Peter and Wendy”) Marley was dead, to begin with.”  (“A Christmas […]

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