Rhoda Israelov

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Rhoda Israelov

Give ‘Em a Glimpse of the Guiding Principle

The opening speaker at a recent Financial Planning Association Study Day was talking about recession. Are we “due” for a recession, given that we’ve been experiencing the longest period of economic growth in our country’s history? Seated in the audience, I was listening with “two ears”. Now retired from my financial planning career, I continue […]

Blog With the Rendezvous Search Problem in Mind

A famous logistics exercise, called the Rendezvous Search Problem, involves two people who lose each other while wandering through the aisles of a large supermarket. If they want to find each other, should one decide to stop moving while the other continues to search, or will they meet up sooner if both move through the […]

Blog Reader Encounters of the Right Kind

  When it comes to blog marketing, there’s a lot of talk (too much talk, in my opinion) about traffic. Yes, blogging is part of business owners’ or professional practitioners’ “pull marketing” strategy, designed to attract readers’ eyeballs. At least a percentage of these readers, the hope is, will become customers and clients. In a […]

No Need for Charts and Graphs – Just Connect!

  On occasion, I find the need to remind business owners and professional practitioners of the differences between their print ads and brochures and their blogs. Business blogs exist to promote your expertise, products, and services, true, but in a manner much briefer and less formal than brochures, and a lot “softer” in approach than […]

Blog to Punctuate, Not Bewilder

  It’s not hard to find websites listing funny examples of misleading punctuation – or lack thereof. A woman without her man is nothing. A woman: without her, man is nothing. Let’s eat Grandma. Let’s eat, Grandma! I have only twenty-five dollar bills. I have only twenty five-dollar bills. I’m sorry I love you. I’m […]

Blog to Express, Not Impress

  “Write to express, not impress,” advises Mary Cullen in 87 Advanced Business Writing Tips That Actually Work. “Your goal is to easily transmit ideas and information, not to flaunt a big vocabulary,” she says. Blog content writers should find these three tips particularly apropos: 1.    “Be certain your paragraphs aren’t longer than seven […]

Blogging the Lure and What They Say

  At Say It For You, I’m always on the lookout for different “templates” for presenting information about any business or professional practice. The “nucleus” around which business blog posts are formed is their topic (issues, products, services and advice related to their field). Although the general topic remains the same over time, there is endless variety that can […]

The Thesis or “One-Sentence Speech” Can Come Anywhere in the Blog

Years ago, at a National Speakers Association meeting, I remember being taught to create a “one-sentence speech”. The idea was that anyone who’d been in the audience should come away being able to summarize in one line what I’d said; otherwise, my speech would not have been well-constructed. I believe the same rule holds true for blog […]

Master Lists Can Call Blog Readers to Action

  This month’s issue of the Journal of Financial Planning included a description of two experiments designed to explore the way consumers make investment decisions. Simple lists, researchers found can overcome “cognitive blind spots”, speeding up the decision making process… (Now retired from my career as a CFP®, I stay interested in behavioral finance, which […]

Things About Consumer Behavior Blog Content Writers Need to Know

This month’s issue of the Journal of Financial Planning included a description of two experiments designed to explore the way consumers make investment decisions. Since success in blog marketing is designed to assist in consumer decision making, I’m devoting this week’s Say It For You blog posts to discussing the insights those researchers share with […]

Inviting Blog Readers to Learn What You Live By

Of the 17 best examples of business blog design cited by Carolyn Edgecomb of impactbnd.com, the one I think best embodies a point I emphasize to blog content writers is the Zappos website. “If you thought their blog was only going to talk about shoes, you’re sorely mistaken,” Edgecomb points out, because Zappos transitioned their […]

There’s More Than One Way to “Skin” a Blog Post

The proverb “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” certainly applies to blog content marketing. Darren Rouse of Problogger.com, for example, lists no fewer than twenty types of posts, including instructional and informational posts, reviews, interviews, and case studies. Interestingly, Rouse mentions collation posts; the term describes many entries in this Say It […]

How Much Do Your Blog Readers Actually Know About Your Company?

    Yet another great blog content idea sparked by the latest issue of Mental Floss magazine is a “Which of the Two….” quiz. Which product or brand has locations in more countries worldwide – a) McDonald’s or b) Burger King? Which is known for its brown delivery trucks and uniforms – FedEx or UPS? […]

In Your Blog, Give Them Hints They Weren’t Hunting

  Political speak’s in season, for sure. One of the many terms you might hear bandied about is gerrymandering, which is what happens when politicians manipulate the redrawing of district lines to help their own party win more seats. And, while this Say it For You blog is about content writing, not politics, the Mental […]

The Power of Blogging on Paper

Paper can be our valuable ally when our mission is learning something, the authors of Mental Floss magazine explain – in fact, we “get empowered by taking notes on paper,” as many scientific studies prove. Interestingly, while the blog posts that I and my Say It For You writers create are meant to be read […]

Writing Blogs in the Shower

Everybody knows it – our best ideas come to us in the shower. But why is that? Mental Floss explains that “you’re more likely to have a creative epiphany when you’re doing something monotonous like showering”. Since monotonous daily routines don’t require much thought, the authors explain, your brain flips to autopilot and the prefrontal […]

Start a Blog Conversation About Soda

  If you’re a big brand like Coke or SunChips, your brand is being talked about and you need to address the topic head-on, and only then spread out to more general conversation, says Gary Vaynerchuk in his book The Thank You Economy. On the other hand, he points out, if you’re Sally’s Orange Soda […]

Your Blog is the Lobby to Where You Live

At California’s Joie de Vivre Hotels, they care about the big and the little stuff, Gary Vaynerchuk explains in The Thank You Economy. That hotel company, the author explains is “doing its damndest to perfect the art of customization”. The message, from the moment travelers arrive at the front desk is this: “We love where […]

Blogging to Differ

Some people think graveyards and cemeteries are the same thing, but they’re not, Jakub Marian, author of the book One Hundred Most Commonly Mispronounced English Words points out. Graveyards are on church property; cemeteries are not. With July Fourth around the corner, Writing Explained wants readers to appreciate the difference between “half-mast” and “half-staff”. When […]

Start By Being on Their Side

In his 30-second “elevator speech” introducing himself at our InfoConnect2 networking meeting, fellow member Cody Lents shared something I think blog content writers need to hear. Most sales processes, Cody said, go as follows: Here’s what we have to offer…. Here’s how it works….. Here’s how it can help you…… What do you think?….. In […]

Blog to Show Both Sides of an Issue

Are the oldest fossils really rocks? Is insomnia always dangerous? Is nervousness natural and healthy? Is eating potatoes as bad for teens as digital technology? These are just a few of the debatable topics covered in recent issues of both Psychology Today and Prevention Guide. But whether the topic of your own blog marketing efforts […]

Blogging to Reveal the Reason

Readers usually arrive at business blogs because they need something. Then, as they progress through a post, they are asked to do something – subscribe, comment, take a survey, or buy products or services. All too often, though, the blog doesn’t provide compelling WHYs: why this provider has chosen to be in this particular business […]

The Short Tale of Long-Tailing it in Blogging for Business

In the animal world, fellow Mensan Bob Truett pointed out, there are several purposes for tails, including: balance (as the animal climbs) temperature control (for cover in the cold, for fanning in the heat) defense (to swat enemies o social purposes (dogs wagging their tails) In the internet world, the concept of the “long tail” […]

A Business Blog By Any Other Name

Shakespeare’s Juliet asked “What’s in a name?”, and the playwright supplied an answer -“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But would it? Do names matter? Each year, the Social Security Administration publishes a list of the most popular baby names. Ten years ago, for example, parents were naming their boys Aiden, […]

Language That Leaves Foreigners Puzzled Can Be Perfect for Business Blogs

“If you grow up hearing certain expressions or phrases all the time, it can be easy to overlook how weird they actually are,” Alex Palmer writes in my favorite online mag, Mental Floss. “Americanisms” are sayings we take for granted, but often don’t realize they make no sense to foreigners. Just a few of the […]

Educating Wasps and Readers

Not only are wasps smart, but they might also be even better at deducing logic than some humans, recent research at the University of Michigan reveals. The intriguing experiment involved educating wasps on the sequence of five colors assigned an alphabetical hierarchy by the researchers, and to avoid an electric shock, the wasps needed to […]

Blogging to Bust Myths and Build Trust

“Was the oldest woman a fraud?” asks Smithsonian.com, referring to French socialite Jeanne Calment, who appeared to be making history when she died in 1997 at the age of 122. (Later investigation revealed that Jeanne had actually died at the age of 59 in 1934. Her daughter had actually assumed Jeanne’s identity, later dying at […]

Please Stop Blogging the Same Story

“Please stop telling that same story,” Elizabeth Bernstein begs in the Life & Arts section of the Wall Street Journal. Storytelling is supposed to be a bonding experience, she says, because, when we share our personal narratives, we disclose something about our values, our history, and our outlook on life. But the bonding benefits of […]

Humor is a Gift to Be Opened Carefully When Blogging for Business

“Humor in business can be a remarkable gift,” Cheryl Snapp Conner writes. Skilled use of humor gets a point across, lightens the mood, and makes business owners appear more approachable, she says. Laughter is a great tool, Emily Roycraft of the ImpressionsBlog agrees, if you’re looking to build rapport with your customers. By pinpointing what […]

Stay Big or Go Small in Blogging for Business

Your chances of being attacked by a shark aren’t great – about one in 11 million, Jen McCaffrey reassures readers of Readers’ Digest. That said, to avoid being “that one”, McCaffrey advises, “Stay big…or go small”. In other words, if the shark looks aggressive, try to maintain a strong presence; if it appears to be […]

Attract, Don’t Demand Attention with Stick Blog Content

Making messages deliver impact is, of course, “our thing” as business blog content writers, and this week’s Say It For You blog posts are devoted to sharing wisdom from Chip and Dan Heath’s book Made to Stick.  We can’t succeed if our messages don’t break through the clutter to get people’s attention, the authors point […]

The Pomelo Schema for Business Blogs

To make a profound idea compact, you’ve got to pack a lot of meaning into a little bit of messaging. Chip and Dan Heath wrote the book Made to Stick to help readers who have ideas to convey and who want to make sure their messages are understood and remembered (that they “stick”). Since, for us […]

Blog Content Writers: To Vary Your Vocabulary, Learn From the Scots!

The Scots have no fewer than 421 words for snow, I learned just the other day. (This amazing discovery was made, I found out, as part of a study at the University of Glasgow, in preparation for publishing an online Historical Thesaurus.) There are, for example, flindrikins (slight snow showers), snaw-pouthers (fine driving snow), and […]

O.K., You’re Biased. Your Content is There to Tell ‘Em Why

Is coming across as biased a bad thing? Not when it comes to blog marketing, I concluded, after reading in the Guardian about a great lecture by writer Neil Gaiman. Gaiman started out the lecture he was giving on the importance of libraries by saying “It’s important for people to tell you what side they […]

Content Writing With No Need to Doubt

During the winter months, look to the frozen food aisle. Says the Daily Meal. And for those doubtful concerning the loss of nutritional value through freezing, no worries. A research team at the University of California, Davis tested blueberries, broccoli, carrots, corn, green beans, peas, spinach, and strawberries, finding that “good frozen produce is essentially […]

Content Meant for Mature Palates

  Decades ago, USA Today columnist Tammy Algood remembers, olives were always placed on the relish tray that only adults enjoyed, and no self-respecting kid ventured anywhere near the dish. Now, however, olives are a regular part of meals during the week. Algood goes on to explain that the olive is technically a fruit and, because […]

Most People Want a Story in Their Blog

  “Most people want a diamond ring for their 50th anniversary. I chose a titanium knee,” begins a Community Health Network advertorial, sharing the story of patient “Pat G.”, whose sole purpose in undergoing a total knee replacement was to dance with her husband at their 50th anniversary party. “At age 75” the story continues, […]

What If You Saw Only Half the Blog?

Ticket revenue covers just half of what it costs to produce world-class professional theatre at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, theatergoers learn while scanning the program booklet. So??? As John Pullinger puts it in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, “statistics provides a special kind of understanding that enables well-informed decisions. As citizens and consumers […]

Stretching a Business Blog Just So Far

Lasting just over an hour, Dumbo is Disney’s shortest feature-length movie, Stacy Conradt writes in Mental Floss magazine. When Walt Disney was advised to extend the storyline, here’s what he said: “You can stretch a story just so far and after that it won’t hold together.” Interesting – the newest Dumbo movie, just released this […]

The Royal Order of Blogging

Just one of the binding rules in English that native speakers know but don’t know they know, BBC’s Matthew Anderson pointed out, is that adjectives preceding nouns must go in a specific order: quantity or number opinion size shape age color origin/nationality material purpose That rule is the reason, for example, that green great dragons […]

Blogging Who You Are

Ahead of the launch of its inaugural flight from Indianapolis to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, Spirit Airlines announced two new year-round flights coming to market this November.  Since Spirit is new to our airport, John Kirby, vice president of network planning, delivered some introductory remarks at the press conference:“We are a leisure […]

Mythbusting? Don’t Forget to Throw the Camel a Coat!

“Was it daylight savings time this weekend?” Brett Molina asked a couple of weeks ago in USA Today. “Nope. But it was daylight saving time.” Molina goes on to explain (citing a post from the blog Grammar Errors), that “daylight savings time” is grammatically incorrect, and that, next time, we should lose the “s” along […]

Saint Patrick’s Blue Blog Content Writing

Okay, so you wore that green tie or green jacket on St. Patty’s day and had yourself a good time, but now, almost two weeks later, I think you might be ready for the truth. Several truths, actually. Since at Say It For You, I teach that mythbusting is one very legitimate and important function […]

Of-the-People Blogging Content Writing

Brand positioning is still important, but ensuring you have the right people to deliver on your brand is, too, Advisa leadership consultant Mandy Haskett points out in a recent Indianapolis Business Journal article. All the ping pong tables in the world won’t be enough to keep people working in roles that don’t align with their […]

Best Days Blogging for Business

  Want to know the best day in 2019 to begin a diet? Straighten hair? Lay shingles? The Old Farmer’s Almanac can tell you, based on the moon’s astrological signs. There’s a “best day”, according to astrologist Celeste Longacre, to: buy a home pick fruit pour concrete wean an animal wash the floor paint lay […]

The Pros and Cons in Backyard Business Blogging

  “The Pros and Cons of Backyard Livestock”, by Jack Savage (the piece appears in the 2019 Old Farmer’s Almanac) illustrates how serious stuff can be presented in a wickedly funny way. And, while not every business blog content writer could pull off the humor, that “Pros and Cons” format is very workable as a […]

Serving Up Myths, Signs, Tips, and Facts in Business Blog Posts

To get started with what Neil Patel calls a “documented blogging strategy”, he says, you need to plan topic ideas. When he’s feeling light on those, Patel admits, he simply fires up Hubspot’s Blog Idea Generator.  When Patel wanted to write about link-building, for example the Generator suggested building blog posts around: 20 Myths About […]

Learning from Leonardo in Blogging for Business

  “Learning from Leonardo”, Walter Isaacson’s article in Time: The Science of Creativity, could serve as a checklist for blog content writers.  DaVinci’s work holds lessons for all of us, the author says; even if we can’t match DaVinci’s talents, we can try to be more like him. How can that apply to creating innovative […]

Who-Else-Is-Doing-It Blogging for Business

The mini-article “Hosts with the Most” in the Perspective section of the AARP magazine suggests an interesting way blog content writers can use statistics to sell. “Maybe more of us want to run bed-and-breakfasts when we retire than we thought…Americans over 60 are the fastest-growing group to become Airbnb hosts.”  In fact, we learn, there’s […]

What-Are-We-About Blogging for Business

Painted on a wall at the Cleveland airport, I discovered what could serve as the perfect model for introducing a blog. After all, when the owners of a business or professional practice have made the decision to include blogging as a key factor in their marketing plan, they need to tell their online visitors why.  […]

Tell Business Blog Readers: Review. Check. Evaluate. Consider.

That entire two page spread in Crossroads, AAA Hoosier Motor Club’s magazine, I realized, constituted one big Do-It-Yourself Call to Action. There were actually seven CTAs in a row: Know your coverage. Think about what’s changed since your last checkup. Review your home inventory. Check your liability coverage. Consider natural disasters. Evaluate your auto coverage. […]

Do-You-Know-the-Difference Blogging for Business

  White tea is made from young leaves, green tea from more mature leaves, with the white  named after the silvery-white hairs on immature buds on the tea plant. Does the difference matter? According to the Beverage Guidance Panel, which includes the chair of the nutrition department at Harvard University School of Public Health, white […]

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 […]

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