Rhoda Israelov

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Rhoda Israelov

Blogging for Business Outside Your Own

    “Can authors write characters whose experiences are outside of their own?” That’s the very question posed by Diana M. Pho in her article “Through the Looking Glass” in Writer’s Digest.  Writing across difference is important, she says, since “the best fiction has the ability to transport readers into another’s shoes and make readers […]

Seguidilla Blogging for Business

    Poems often follow a particular set of rules.  The rules might be about: the number of lines the number of stanzas the number of lines the length of each stanza For example, sonnets have 14 lines, and use line-ending rhymes. Limericks have five lines, with the third and fourth lines rhyming (an AABBA […]

Powerful Paragraphs and Sentences in Blogging for Business

“Construct your paragraphs with a good eye as well as a good mind,” advises Richard Anderson in Powerful Writing Skills.  What does that mean? Consider how the paragraph looks on the page – would it be more appealing to the eye to divide it into two paragraphs? Anderson’s reasoning includes the following considerations: Enormous blocks […]

Blogging for Business With a Long Tail

  Keyword phrases come in two “sizes” – short tail and long tail, verticalresponse.com explains to adword buyers. Short tails consist of one or two words and, because people are likely to search those terms more often, they bring in more online traffic. Long tails typically consist of 3-5 words, targeting more specific searches. The […]

Odds-of Comparison Blogging for Business

“Odds of opioid death higher than car crash,” a recent Indianapolis Star headline read. Since, at Say It For You, I’m always alert for ways to approach creating original content for business owners’ and professional practitioners’ blogs, that headline caught my attention. One way to make business blog content impactful, I teach at Say It For You, […]

Don’t-Bother-With….Blogging for Business

  At Say It For You, I’m always on the lookout for different “templates”, not in the sense of platform graphics, but in terms of formats for presenting information about any business or pro practice.  Possibilities include: how-to posts list posts review posts op ed opinion posts interview posts By varying the format or template, you can revisit […]

Are-Both-Sides-Right Blogging for Business

“Are both sides right?” asks veterinarian Carrie Donahue, writing in Good Health magazine, alluding to the debate about whether dogs should be on a raw diet or a conventional one. The raw camp emphasizes raw or lightly cooked meat, including organ meat and bones. The conventionalists are concerned about bacteria in raw meat and the […]

Take an Occam’s Razor to Your Blog Content

  Medieval philosopher William of Occam taught a logical problem-solving principle which came to be known as Occam’s Razor (forerunner of KISS – keep it simple, stupid). The concept:  simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones. As blog content writers, we ought to get Occam’s message, learning to apply a “razor” […]

Serving Up Incredible Information in Your Business Blog

  For years now, as a blog content writing trainer, I’ve been preaching the use of seemingly “useless” tidbits of information to spice up business blogs, engaging readers’ curiosity, and evoking an “I didn’t know that!” response. Tidbits can be used to: describe your way of doing business clarify the way one of your products […]

Blog Content Writers help Readers Dodge Dangers

Redbook‘s holiday issue has a page blog content writers should see, titled “Dodge Common Dangers”.  There’s a “Trim With Care” section cautioning readers to: keep lit menorahs at least three feet away from flammable items avoid overloading the Christmas tree with strings of incandescent lights avoid running electrical cords under carpets or rugs put glass […]

The 11 Characteristics of Master Business Blog Post Writers

There are eleven characteristics often considered to be women’s strengths, Nancy D. O’Reilly writes in her book In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other in Work and Life. Interesting… was my reaction to that statement. In a content writer of either gender, I couldn’t help thinking, those very eleven strengths would result in […]

Surprise-Laden Blog Post Titles

  Blog post titles have a multifaceted job to do, arousing readers’ curiosity while still assuring them they’ve come to the right place. One compromise I’ve suggested to blog content writers is using a two-tiered title, combining a “Huh?” (to get attention) with an “Oh!” (to make clear what the post is actually going to […]

Can Your Blog Pass the Emotive & Information Power Response Tests?

(There’s a test for those, didn’t you know?) Since emotional response towards advertising plays an important part in building a strong brand, researchers at the University of Bath, working with Nielson, came up with two ways to score ads. Information Power Score – measures what the consumer perceives as the value of the message Emotive […]

They-Know-Why, You-Know-How Blog Marketing

Even if you’ve never smoked, there’s a lot to learn about blog marketing from the “Josh and Kayla know quitting is hard” TV commercial for NicoDerm CQ®, I was thinking just the other day. Story power: You may or may not ever have been addicted to nicotine, but as humans, we’ve always been addicted to […]

How Committed and How Motivated Are Your Business Blog Readers?

“To me, when people talk about the fact that employees are not engaged, that means they’re missing what’s in it for them,” Margarida Correia writes in Employee Benefit News. “Employers need to help their employees understand how their lives are better because they are employed at the company.” “Employee engagement represents the levels of enthusiasm […]

Bloggers – Broken Plates are Good News, Broken Links, Not So Much

  The Danish have a very old tradition of breaking dishes on the doorsteps of family and friends on New Year’s Eve.  The more dishes that are broken and piled up at your door on January 1st, the more friends and good fortune you have, Wescott writes in Tradish. Unfortunately for blog content writers, broken […]

Boxing Day Mythbusting for Bloggers

Discovered a mild case – or an epidemic – of counterproductive thinking when it comes to your industry or profession? Blog posts are the perfect medium for “mythbusting” to dispel that counterproductive thinking. Since our last Say It For You post (dealing with Santa’s red outfit and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer), Boxing Day was […]

Christmas Marketing Mythbusting for Blog Content Writers

  What is it about the color red for Christmas? Well, Toppen af Danmark’s website lets us know… That song about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?  Rudolph was actually the marketing brainchild of American advertising exec Robert May, who added a ninth reindeer to the front of Santa’s sleigh as part of a promotion for a […]

Business Blogging – Don’t Forget What It Means

“To me, when people talk about the fact that employees are not engaged, that means they’re missing what’s in it for them…how their lives are better because they are employed by the company,” observes Dana Polyak in a recent issue of Employee Benefit News.  Back to Radio Station WIIFM, that old sales training rule that […]

Who Did What? Clarifying pronoun References in Your Business Blog

“Your readers will appreciate it, even if they aren’t conscious of why,” says Laura Yates, introducing the Grammar Cheatsheet for Bloggers with the comment that getting grammar right will make you a better writer. In fact, Yates asserts, “the purpose of grammar is not to be 100%, absolutely correct.  It’s to make your writing easier […]

Keeping Sentences Short and Active in Your Business Blog

“Long sentences are for Charles Dickens,” says the Jimdo blog for entrepreneurs – “The short attention span of today’s reader demands sentences of 35 words or less.” To achieve that abbreviated effect, Jimdo advises using adverbs and adjectives sparingly, focusing on nouns and verbs, sticking to active voice. That rule that is of particular help […]

Blogger Resources for Grammar Guidance

“Content writers in Indianapolis – take courage!” I wrote back in 2012. “ If your marketing blog posts are filled with valuable, relevant, and engaging material, your use of ‘a lot’ when you should have said ‘many’,” substituting ‘your’ for ‘you’re’, or inserting an apostrophe in the pronoun ‘its’ aren’t going to constitute deal breakers.” But could […]

Two-Tiered Business Blog Titles

What’s “Into the Endgame” about? (How Parliament should weigh up the Brexit deal, of course.) What about “Click to Download Teacher”? (Technology can help solve the problem of bad, absent teachers in poor-country schools.) “The New Abnormal”? (California faces the most destructive fire in its history). And “Drop It!”? (An argument about firearms will help […]

Business Blog Title Question Words

Ideas and Discoveries Magazine had a very good idea in terms of titles (which we blog content writers can make good use of) – using question words. The tactic of question titles is one I’ve often suggested to new Indianapolis blog content writers. Keeping in mind that people are online searching for answers to questions […]

Naming Your Niche in Blogging for Business

What advice can you offer that they won’t find anywhere else? That’s the question we tossed around earlier this week.  Michael Kitces, known for giving advice to financial advisors, thinks it’s about “naming your niche.” More than ever, niches and mini-specializations are effective differentiation tools, Kitces claims. The two are not the same. 1. A specialization […]

Business Blog Content Writing – a Different Kind of Advice

“   You won’t find this holiday travel advice anywhere else,” asserts Christopher Elliott in the Indianapolis Star.  You’ve heard it hundred times: book early, prepare for bad weather, on and on. Elliott’s on a different wave length with his advice on how to behave and how to book, and how to travel. First, he […]

What’s in a Name When Blogging For Business

  Richard Lederer, author of the book the Joy of Names, has a vested interest in his subject: his own name, he reveals means “powerful estate ruler leather worker”. But, “Must a name mean something?” (as Alice asks Humpty Dumpty).”Of course it must!” is Dumpty’s reply. In writing to promote a business or practice, using stories […]

Monikers and Sobriquets in Business Blog Content Writing

“The key trait of nicknames is that they are bestowed upon a person by others,” Richard Lederer points out in The Joy of Names, and for three main motivations: affection ridicule group identity Nicknames may be related to: physical characteristics (Blondie, Red) mental characteristics (Brainak, Noodlehead) personality (Grumpy, Nerd, Nervous Nellie) shortening of a proper […]

We’ll-Just-Tell-You-Why-It-Should-Be-Us blogging for Business

At first glance, the WageWorks ad (the company provides Health Savings Accounts for employees) seems incredibly boastful: “We won’t tell you which HSA to pick.  We’ll just tell you why it should be us.” On second glance, this ad reminds me of two points I made about thought leadership in recent posts on this Say […]

There’s-a-Reason and What’s-the-Reason Blogging for Business

“There’s a reason why The Northside Social in Broad Ripple feels so comfortable,” Seth Johnson writes in Broad Ripple Magazine. (Great opening line. Bold assertion. Makes the reader want to know the why of it.) In the same magazine issue, Jon Shoulders starts a review of Taylor’s Bakery (shown above) with another good opening: “How does […]

Blogging as Long as It’s Black

Blog readers need to perceive you as an expert in your field, I teach at Say It For You.  And for that to happen, I believe, you need to clearly state a firm perspective on your subject. There’s no lack of information sources – and no lack of “experts” (purported or real) on any topic […]

Appearing Professional Means Minding the S and G in Your Blog

“The English language sticks to its spelling rules, such as i before e except after c, about as strictly as we follow the no cell phones while driving rule,” jokes Jenny Baranick in the book Kiss My Asterisk. Society hasn’t exactly promoted healthy spelling, she says – we were raised with SpellCheck. However, we must […]

Top Ten How-To Titles in Blogging for Business

There’s a reason “how-to” blog post titles work, marketing gurus Guy Kawaski and Peg Fitzpatrick show in their user guide on social media. How-to titles might start out with those very words, or take forms such as: Quick Guide to….. Complete Guide to…. Questions to Ask Before… Rules for…. Essential Steps to…. Most Popular Ways […]

New Blogging Means Being Controversial

Be controversial, is the advice Ryan Deiss and Russ Henneberry, authors of Digital Marketing for Dummies. give writers. The idea – making yourself stand out by bringing up controversial topics even if you worry some of your readers won’t agree. Whatever the topic, you have to answer four questions that will be in readers’ minds, […]

Should Blog Posts Be Op Eds?

  “Opinionated editorial essays are often the most fun, fast and furious pieces to get into print – especially for nonfamous  witers with strong opinions and day jobs in other fields,” opines Susan Shapiro in Writer’s Digest. What about business blog content marketing? Should posts do more than describe the products and services being offered […]

Steps to Light Up Your Place in the Blogosphere

In coaching financial advisors, John Bowen Jr. writes in Financial Planning, he found that the most successful individuals had a secret weapon at their disposal: the power of their presence. Bowen names steps advisors can take to “light up a room when they enter”.  Blog content writers, I believe, can use every one of those […]

What’s-Really-in-Your Blogging For Business

There’s a reason the cover of Consumer Reports has a picture of a cow on the cover of this month’s issue, along with this very compelling question: “What’s Really In Your Meat?”  Titles catch the eye (that one certainly did mine) and set up readers’ expectations for what kind of content they’ll find if they […]

In Business Blogging, Focus on Attitudinal Variables

  Laurie Hazard and Jen-Paul Nadeau wrote Foundations for Learning because they were keenly aware that many first-year college students have personal development issues.  It’s often not intellectual failings that affect achievement, the authors understand, but “attitudinal variables and personality traits”. Simply put, these authors understand that before their audience can be expected to respond […]

Blog To Show Readers You’ve Got Their Number

Numbers that can be expressed in one or words should be spelled out, while figures should be used for larger numbers the Purdue OWL advises. Following that guidance, you’d express ”two million dollars”  or thirty-one years in words, while writing “126 days”. There’s a very good reason, however, that most magazine editors and blog content […]

Let Your Blog Content Writing Be Driven By Demand

“One of your most important concerns is just how much knowledge, experience, or training you can expect in your readers,” David McMurrey teaches in Audience Analysis – Just who are these guys? If you expect some of your readers to lack certain background, do you supply it in your document, he asks?   If you […]

Companies Use Blog Content Writing to Get Real

  Just why do companies blog? Susan Gunelius, author of Blogging All-in-One for Dummies, offers a list of reasons: to build brand awareness to network with other businesses and experts to build relationships with existing and potential customers to boost sales to communicate marketing messages to learn more about their customers to manage reputation to […]

The Title Can Be the Tease in Blogging for Business

There are two types of titles, I realized, browsing the business section at my favorite local bookstore: 1. The “Huh?s” need subtitles to make clear what the article is about. 2. The “Oh!’” titles are self-explanatory. Whether in a book or a blog post, the title serves as a “tease” to get a browser to […]

The Barnum Effect Can Be Used Ethically in Blogging for Business

As humans, we tend to crave to be “understood”. Sometimes, though, due to the Barnum effect, (named after famed manipulator and circus man PT. Barnum), we tend to give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of our personality. We believe we are being understood and that the descriptions (the “fortune”, the horoscope, the reading, the assessment) […]

Before Blogging for Business, Know Your Fruits and Vegetables

  “Knowing the audience for a particular essay is important because it determines the content that will appear in the writing,” the Ames Community College Online Writing Lab teaches. “In other words, having a focused topic is important, but having a specific audience is equally important.” My professional speaker friend Karl Ahlrich found out the importance of this advice – the hard way. Addressing […]

Business Blog Readers are Looking for a Fix

“Can you email me the information?” is never a request any sales professional wants to hear, admits Paul Cherry, author of Questions That Sell.  What should the salesperson do? Agree, then clarify, is  his suggestion. Ask the prospect: “ What kind of information will be most useful to you? What are you looking to accomplish?” Salespeople […]

Link to Open New Windows for Blog Readers

  “Links – you need ‘em,” writes Amy Lupold Bair in Blogging for Dummies. On a blog, the author explains, links are part of the resource you are providing for readers.  Collecting links around a topic or theme helps to inform or entertain your blog’s readers. If you’re not only providing good content yourself, but […]

Blog to Position Yourself as an Expert

Although the article in Steve & Jack’s Home News (from my friend Steve Rupp, the Keller-Williams real estate consultant) wasn’t about blogging, it might have been. “Position Yourself As An Expert Source”, the title read; the content consisted of tips on establishing one’s credentials. People respond to authority.  You’ll be able to persuade them more […]

Good Luck/ Bad Luck Blog Comments

Often, when we’re setting up a new blog for a business owner or professional practitioner, the topic of comments comes up.  Should readers be invited to post comments?  Initially at least, most Say It For You clients are afraid to allow for comments on their blog.  Why? They fear those comments might be negative or […]

Template Your Blog for Variety and Timesaving

  There are many different ways the same information can be presented in different business blog posts, and thank goodness for that, I say. In fact, at Say It For You, I’m always on the lookout for different “templates”, not in the sense of platform graphics, but in terms of formats for presenting information about any business or […]

Business Blog Repurposing With a Purpose

  Finding ways to recycle existing content has a number of benefits, Megan Marris writes in Wordstream.com, including: reaching a new audience “dusting off forgotten tales” making the most of your efforts Your top notch content deserves repurposing, Marris states, but only the best will do. Wordstream offers a rather impressive list of suggestions on […]

Poor Grammar Spells SPAM in Business Blog Post Content

When scammers call, threatening you will be “taken under custody” because you owe back taxes to the IRS, that poor grammar alone is a giveaway,” business humorist Todd Hunt assures innocent victims. Of course, Hunt explains, “the real IRS never calls, never mails or texts, never asks for a credit card…and certainly never threatens to arrest […]

Is Your Blog Post Title Worth a “Watch”?

Since we’ve been focusing on effective titles in my last couple of Say It For You posts, I couldn’t help but notice a certain article in my August issue of Financial Planning. The title reads “A Sector to Watch” and the article by Craig Israelsen is about including commodities in a portfolio to provide diversification […]

Give a Blog Post a Twist and It Superconducts

  Meteorites sometimes contain naturally occurring superconductors, physicists are discovering. “Give a graphene layer cake a twist and it superconducts – electrons flow freely through it without resistance.” Superconductors, I learned, could potentially be used in new, energy-saving technologies, but today are impractical for most uses, requiring very cold temperatures to function. Still, my blog […]

Business Blogs – the Importance of Being Real – and Specific

  Business blog content writers today can take the title (if not the content) of a satirical play written 125 years ago, The Importance of Being Earnest, well, seriously. Sincerity in social media and self-promotion matters, as Katherine Erllikh so eloquently points out in the redbubble blog. “Optimizing things, getting followers, getting subscribers, advertising…those things […]

Business Blog Posts – What’s In It for Them?

There are several similarities between the skills a speaker uses in giving an effective talk and those we bloggers use to write effective business blog posts, I was reminded just the other day,  listening to estate planning attorney Rick Randall address our group at the Financial Planning Association. What’s In It For Them? Just a […]

Should Business Blog Posts Shock and Awe?

“Most advisors don’t spend their day thinking about how to jolt their clients, but I do,” asserts Certified Retirement Coach Robert Laura, writing for Financial Advisor magazine. A former social worker, Laura claims the way people respond to the various things he says and asks provide valuable clues as to how to work with them. […]

Skiing Downhill in Business Blog Posts

Putting a summary or conclusion at the beginning of a piece of writing certainly sounds like a strange thing to do, but that’s exactly what Brandon Royal advises in The Little Red Writing Book. The pow-opening-line idea I teach in corporate blogging training session focuses on that very sort of “descending” writing structure. Given the notoriously […]

Business Blog Posts are Made for Biting the Bullet

It seems content writers either love or absolutely abhor those little dots. Jon of Presentation Advisors, for example, is antipathetic towards bullet points in PowerPoint presentations.  When we use bullets, we tend to lump ideas together on the same slide without giving any one of those ideas a chance to shine, he says. Myself, I’m kind of […]

Blogging for Business B2B or B2C – the Basics Remain the Same

Earlier this week, I discussed personal, “Can’t-Leave-the-House-Without-It” – type blog content writing, inviting readers’ personal involvement in the subject. The question is: does that very personalized type of content work as well in business-to-business marketing? Is business-to-business marketing really different from business-to-consumer? Masterful Marketing.com’s  blogger Debra Murphy certainly thinks so, listing at least four key differences: […]

Can’t-Leave-the-House-Without Blogging for Business

It’s been five years now, but I still often think about that People Magazine Style and Beauty Extra with the article about staying “gorgeous at any age”. (Okay, I have a growing personal interest in that subject, but it also fits in with my ongoing efforts to help business owners and professionals use blog content writing […]

“Working the Room” by Blogging for Business

Just one of the ”49 secrets and shortcuts you need to know” asserts author Geoffrey James in Business Without the Bullsh*t, is how to “work a room”.  As you circulate among the crowd, hoping to build connections, James says, position yourself in a single sentence.” Rather than giving your own job title or history, “provide […]

Cool Doesn’t Sell in Blogging for Business

“Cool doesn’t sell. A chilly professionalism doesn’t make much of an impression.  It is immediately forgotten, along with the idea you are promoting,” authors Steve Chandler and Scott Richardson declare in the book 100 ways to Motivate Others. The way to be enthusiastic is to act enthusiastic, Chandler and Richardson assure business managers. The most […]

Blog About What It Takes

Until I read “10 Things About Britain” in Mental Floss Magazine, I had never dreamed that, in order to become a certified taxi operator in London, drivers must study up for an extraordinarily difficult exam that involves detailed recall of 25,000 streets, along with the locations of clubs, hospitals, hotels, parks, theaters, schools, restaurants, government […]

Varying the Voice in Your Business Blog

“Your greatest tool as a speaker is your voice,” cautions Toastmasters International. “When you speak, your voice is the primary link between you and your listeners. It is the medium of your message.” In fiction, the term “voice” describes the author’s style, the quality that makes his or her writing unique, conveying the author’s attitude, […]

Go Ahead – Write Blog Content About “Un-related” Topics!

  “Be generous. Be informative. Be funny. Be inspiring. Be all the characteristics you enjoy in other human beings,” says Gary Vaynerchuk in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, a book about ”telling your story in a noisy social world”. From a marketing standpoint, the author explains, content writing can be about not just your brand, […]

Jabbing and Dee-jaying it for Blog Content Writers

  “It isn’t about breaking the news or spreading information – it’s about dee-jaying it,” says Gary Vaynerchuk in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, a book about ”telling your story in a noisy social world”. From a marketing standpoint, the author explains, news has little value on its own, but the marketer who can skillfully […]

The 9 Types of Essays You Meet in the Blogosphere

“Your college compositions will like take one of the following formats, ”Quick Access” authors advise students. The same list of 9 might apply to us business blog content writers, I couldn’t help thinking. 1.  Illustration essay – “Just as in a visual illustration, a written illustration shows the reader something or illustrates a point.” Beginning […]

The Long and the Short of Business Blog Writing

“So which is better for you: long or short content?” Rob Marsh asks on copyhackers.com. The short of it as per Forbes.com: “Write short, pithy posts.  After 750 words – or sometimes after only half that – you risk losing your readers’ attention”. The long of it as per Buffer:  “Posts longer than 2,500 words […]

Shedding Shame in Business Blog Marketing

  Have you ever asked someone to “pardon your tartle?” Tartle is actually the Scottish term for the kind of “brain freeze” you get while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.” Helping readers avoid (and, if necessary, deal with) awkward and embarrassing situations is one valuable service business owners and practitioners can offer through […]

Business Blog Marketing – Explaining When the Cows Come Home

When exactly do “the cows come home”? And who was the first person to “steal someone’s thunder?” Who would ever put a cat in a bag? Writing in Reader’s Digest, Jacopo Della Quercia shares the history of several colorful expressions that are part of the English language, but which have “lost the connection to their […]

Business Blog Title Threesomes

  A couple of years ago at Say It For You, I began calling attention to the idea of using certain literary devices in business blog titles with an eye to making them more “catchy”.  In addition to alliteration, a second creative writing technique is “threesomes”. The same Fortune magazine that used those ten alliterative […]

Business Blog Title Tongue-Twisting on Purpose

  Remember the two old tongue-twisters “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” and “She sells seashells by the seashore”? Those two sentences are actually extreme examples of a creative writing technique called alliteration, in which you repeat the same letter or sound at the start of nearby words. A couple of years ago […]

Take Blog Readers to Where You Want Them to Be

More data in business blog posts may not be the best way to persuade readers and to overcome skepticism, Jeremy Porter Communications teaches, because “those who make the most emotionally persuasive arguments win.” Both this week’s Say It For You posts are focused on Jeremy Porter’s “Nine ways to create an emotional connection”. On Tuesday […]

Emotion in Business Blog Posts – When Facts are Not Enough

In writing business blog posts, giving them more data may not be the best way to persuade and to overcome skepticism. That’s a lesson Science News editor-in-chief Nancy Shute needed to learn. One of the first inclinations of scientists and journalists, Shute observed, was to shower skeptics with facts, sure those skeptics would “get it” […]

Business Blog Posts – the When and the Why Then

  “While planning your blogging strategy and schedule, you want to avoid busy times, when a lot of brands are posting to their blogs and there is increased competition for readers’ attention,” advises trackmaven.com. So, what is the best time to publish a business blog? The question of timing is an important one – according […]

“Flesh Out” Business Blog Posts with Details

Business blog content writing can balance feature stories with news. News stories are time-sensitive, while feature articles might have the same impact whether they are read today or months from now. When it comes to blog marketing, “news” can mean two entirely different things.  The first type centers around you and your company or your […]

Does Your Business Blog Offer Advice That Sticks?

  “Helping people do sensible things with their money is just as hard as getting people to do the right things for their health,” Moira Somers tells financial advisers in the Journal of Financial Planning. Financial planners’ advice, she believes, is too often unskillfully given. (As business blog content writers, I wondered, are we falling into […]

Blogging to Help Make Them or Save Them Money

“Before we write a single post, we ask ourselves, ‘Does this help our readers make or save money?’” says Kathleen Garvin, editor and marketing strategist for finance blog The Penny Hoarder. “That’s key for us. We’re content creators, but we only want to publish a story if we think it’s truly helpful or interesting for our […]

What-Do-You-Want-To-Own Blogging for Business

  In an interview with a top investment strategist, the reporter from Barron’s posed many of the questions that have become standard for that type of encounter: “Why are you still bullish?” “What do you see as the biggest risk in this market?” “What are the ramifications of more money in passive strategies?” “Which sector […]

For Further Explanation, Bring in the Cockpit Crew

Should fliers be forced to watch the safety video? Most definitely, writes George Hobica in USA Today. Whenever there’s been an emergency on a plane, we see videos of passengers doing the wrong things, such as escaping a crash landing carry luggage and not wearing shoes, or not knowing how to put on oxygen masks, […]

In Blogging and in the Air, a Bit of Explanation Goes a Long Way

“Although many frequent fliers think they know what to do in an emergency, in fact most probably haven’t listened to the safety videos in years and if you quizzed them about the content, they’d flunk,” writes George Hobica in USA Today. The basic content of safety videos, Hobica explains, is established by the International Civil […]

If They Don’t “Get” Annie, They Won’t Buy the Gun

“Imagine,” LitCharts.com writes, “if every time someone used the expression “it was a real Cinderella story,” they had to retell the entire story of Cinderella to explain exactly what they meant.” By using an allusion to something a majority of people will already know, you can clarify your own message – provided they DO know […]

In Blog Marketing, Look for a Plot

  “Don’t look for a plot here. This is a polemic,” are the words a reviewer in the Mensa Bulletin uses to describe J.K Hillstrom’s book, A Humanitarian’s Fantasy. The book is a more like a series of lectures, the reviewer complains, rather than a coherent, sequential piece of prose. Individual business blog posts may […]

Business Blogs – Inviting Buyers into Your Own Walled Garden

  “Perhaps the world has moved past the idea of merely having a webpage that’s your own, and nobody else’s. Perhaps we’re expected to do everything, instead, on social media or in someone else’s walled garden,” muses Ernie Smith, editor of Tedium, in response to the question “Is blogging dead?” Maybe, when blogging was on […]

Worm Your Way Into Readers’ Hearts with Business Blogs

  The Tatoeba Project, which helps foreign students by translating from a foreign language into their own native language, has a lot to say about worms. Examples provided include sentences such as: Tom put a worm on the hook. Worms are sometimes beneficial to soil. Even more interesting are these sentences: Tom opened a can […]

Business Blog Readers’ Fourth Drive

  One of the many things we don’t understand is this: What is interestingness? observe John Lloyd and John Mitchinson in the Book of General Ignorance. What we do know, the authors tell us, is that, while we humans have the same three primal drives as animals (food, sex, and shelter), it’s the fourth drive […]

Blog Two Viewpoints to Make Your Point

  To promote my Say It For You content writing business, I became involved in various networking groups. Invited to make a presentation one day on the subject of asking for referrals, I chose to present not one point of view about referrals, but two… Viewpoint #1: Referrals build business; the more you ask for […]

Two Important Blogging Beginnings – Anecdotes and Questions

“The opening paragraph, or introduction, of your essay is key,” the Research & Education Association’s QuickAccess laminated writing guide advises. The guide suggests two “methods you can use to hook the reader”: Anecdote – a story that illustrates your point Question – establish a reason to keep reading (to find the answer) “The introduction should […]

Build the Thesis Ahead of the Blog

“Before you begin writing an essay or writing a research paper,” the Research & Education Association’s QuickAccess laminated writing guide advises, “draft a working thesis statement.” That’s great advice for students, even better advice for business blog content writers, I believe.  It’s advice too often neglected, I find, with the operative work being “before”. The […]

Bloggers – Avoid the 5 Big Mistakes Advisors Make

“When dealing with the media, there are five common mistakes that financial advisors tend to make, “ writes Sally Cates in Financial Planning Magazine. “I should know,” Cates remarks (for 25 years, she’s been helping advisors have discussions with reporters). I should know, too. As a now-retired financial planning practitioner who trains blog content writers, […]

Eye-Catching Titles for Business Blogs

  While the February issue of Science News Magazine had great examples of statement titles followed by explanatory statements, last November’s issue of Science News was a treasure chest of eye-catching and tantalizing titles – you just had to read those articles to find out what they were all about! In business blog content writing, […]

Statement Titles for Business Blogs

  Leafing through some Science News Magazine issues, I realized their writers are fond of using statement titles followed by explanatory statements, sort of like the “Huh? Oh!” titles I often use in writing business blog posts. The “Huh?s” are there to startle and capture interest, but the “Oh!’”s are needed to match up with […]

Business Blog Openers That Wait to Reveal

Yes, as I emphasized in an earlier post this week, opening lines are key in blogging for business. Why not, I suggested, use the opening sentence to make your thesis clear along with your topic? In other words, searchers should be assured not only that they’ve clicked on the right link to get information on […]

Opening Blog Lines Say Which Side You’re On

In blogging for business, I teach, opening lines are key. In fact, they’re key in all kinds of writing, as quickstudy.com’s “Writing Tips & Tricks” points out to college students.  Their thesis statement, Quick Study explains, will set the tone for their entire essay. Now, the thesis statement of a blog post doesn’t necessarily need […]

Long-Tail Keyword Phrases in Blogging for Business

    To optimize your blog content, Lindsay Kolowich of Hubspot advises, focus on one or two long-tail keywords that match the intent of your ideal reader. In other words, optimization is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible (that actually hurts SEO), but about answering the intent of your visitors […]

Contrarian Content: Go Ahead – Blog to Differ

Whatever the conventional wisdom is, Brute Squad coach Ariel Jackson begs to differ. “In order to progress, we need to stop automatically accepting conventional wisdom as dogma and train ourselves to explore nuances and identify new approaches,” Jackson says. There’s something very appealing and curiosity-stimulating about contrarian content, and, whether it’s business-to-business blog writing or […]

Smart and Humanizing Blogging About “Alumni”

  In my last post I took inspiration from Nuvo editor Laura McPhee, who devoted an entire section of the paper to highlighting NUVO alumni, people who had worked at Nuvo, then departed for “better things”. From my vantage point as a professional blog content writer, I thought McPhee’s idea was fabulously innovative. Sure, many […]

Humanizing Your Company by Blogging About “Alumni”

“We have a lot to be proud of after 28 years of publishing a weekly newspaper,” Nuvo editor Laura McPhee wrote. One of the things McPhee is most proud of, she adds, is the NUVO alumni, people who worked at Nuvo, then went on to “better things”. What a captivating notion, I thought, reading that […]

Business Blogging Tips Out of Consumer Reports Magazine – Part B

  “My TV prompts me to do updates, but I often ignore the requests.  Is that bad?”  That question was the headline of an article in the March issue of Consumer Reports Magazine. Think about that tactic for a moment as applied to blog marketing – using a customer question as a headline, then using […]

Business Blogging Tips Out of Consumer Reports Magazine – Part A

2.8 billion.  That was the entire headline – “2.8 billion” of an article in the March issue of Consumer Reports Magazine. How could you not want to find out more? The first paragraph of the article consisted of three very short sentences: “That’s how many robocalls – computer-generated calls – were sent to Americans in […]

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