Blog Stuff I Can Be Proud of In 2019

blogging principles

There are 5 things Darren Rowse of ProBlogger wishes he’d known earlier about writing content for a blog. My list (of things I wish I’d known) would be much, much longer than that, I realize. Still, looking back at 2019, I’m proud to say that in this 12th year of writing this Say It For You blog, I did remember to incorporate some of those five blogging “axioms”.

The Power of Titles

“The title has the ability make or break a blog post. It impacts how (and if) it’s found….and is vital in whether people actually read what you have to say.” Of the 101 blog posts I created during the calendar year, each had a unique and original title.

The viral nature of Lists
“I find that when writing the same content as a list that you write as an essay, the list will almost always get more attention.” While I wrote few pure “listicles”, I incorporated numbered or bullet-pointed lists in fully half of the 2019 posts.

The importance of being original
“People are drawn to others who speak their mind, who have something unique to say.” One important way in which Say It For You stresses originality is by taking on one client per type per market, avoiding conflicts of interest and creating original content focused exclusively on that client’s business or profession.

The Value of Well Formatted Content
“Online readers tend to scan content, and visual clues in your posts draw the eye to important points.” Dividing the content into sections headed by bold titles (as I’ve done here) helps readers follow the logic of the blog, even if they do not fully read every word in every section.

The Impact of a Good Image
“Images have the power to communicate in ways that words cannot.” Every Say It For You post was headed by, or incorporated, an image.

For every writer, there’s room for improvement, and, in 2020, that’s what we aim to do. The mission hasn’t changed – create content that is accurate, current, consistent and dependable, based on understanding each client’s business, or practice.

Meanwhile, allow me my brief moment to look back and be proud. Happy NewYear!.


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 about names and nicknames makes for engaging content. In fact, it’s an excellent idea to share anecdotes about people on the team who have earned a complimentary sobriquet.

Just this week, paging through a special edition of People Magazine devoted to The stars of Food Network, I noticed several examples:

  • Bobby Flay is “the elder statsman of Food Network”.
  • Ina Garten is “the ultimate hostess”.
  • Valerie Bernelli is “hot in the kitchen”.
  • Duff Goldman is “the designated baker”.
  • Guy Fiere is “mayor of Flavortown”
  • Alton Brown is “the geek of gastronomy”

As fellow blogger Michael Fortin reminds content writers, getting personal is a huge element in the success of business blogs. Sharing this type of fond moniker, along with an anecdote, adds interest to blog posts. Did you know that Alton Brown once invented a turkey derrick with ropes, pulleys, and a ladder, to facilitate safe and accurate fryer of a Thanksgiving bird?

Storytelling has the power to move from lifeless to life-filled copy, Luana Spinetti writes in

The following poem by Charles Delint (included on page 11 of the Lederer book) sums up the astounding power of names and the stories behind those names:

A name can’t begin to encompass the sum of all of her parts,
But that’s the magic of names, isn’t it?
That the complex, contradictory individuals we are
can be called up complete and whole
In another mind through the simple sorcery of a name.

As the People Magazine Food Network issue demonstrates, blending 6 cups of the power of names with 6 cups of intriguing anecdotes and – you’ve got some very delicious business blog content!


Good Luck/ Bad Luck Blog Comments

handling 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 critical.

When, just the other day, I received my copy of Steve & Jack’s Home News (from my friend Steve Rupp, the Keller-Williams real estate consultant), I thought about this dilemma of whether it’s good to allow readers to comment on your business blog.  The newsletter started out with a story called “Good Luck, Bad Luck.” This farmer’s stallion runs off, and neighbors comment on what bad luck that was.  Farmer says, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?” A series of bad/good events follows: The stallion returns with a herd of wild mare; the farmer’s son, while training one of the mares, is thrown off the horse and breaks his leg.  Because of the broken leg, soldiers do not seize this son for military service. The moral of the story is that all luck, both good and bad is fleeting.

Same thing with blog comments:  Blogs need to be available not only for reading, but for acting and interacting. Just the way that even bad reviews help ticket sales for plays, even when a posts a negative or critical comment about your product or service, you’re still getting “bang for your blog” from the search engines.

The “bad luck” side of the coin, of course, is that spam comment attacks tend to plague newly created blog pages.  That spam typically shows itself in three forms:

  1. Total nonsense, with links to sites the writer is promoting
  2. Totally unrelated to the topic of the blog
  3. Blatant advertising for web services

There is no definitive way to stop SPAM comments as Jeremy Politt of the ITeam admits. There are a few steps business owners and practitioners can take when setting up the blog platform, including:

  • Don’t automatically accept comments – reserve the right to review them and decide whether to publish them. (This is how I handle comments on this Say It For You blog.)
  • Include a “Captcha” so that readers must prove they’re human, not a digital SPAM machine gun.

Like the stallion running off and the farmer’s son’s broken leg, negative comments on a business blog are “good luck, bad luck – who knows?