Tag: calls to action

Blogging to Help Increase Positive Behaviors

  There’s a lot we blog content writers can take away from a very unusual experiment called “The Sentimental Savings Study”. This study, reviewed in the Journal of Financial Planning , is about using psychology to help increase positive behaviors (in that specific case, personal savings). And, isn’t that precisely what marketing blogs are designed […]

Blogging to Make the Reward Worth It

“Make the reward worth it,” Nancy Duarte advises business speakers in her book Resonate. “No matter how stimulating you make your plea, an audience will not act unless you describe a reward that makes it worthwhile.” The ultimate gain must be clear.” Duarte lists 7 basic types of reward: Basic needs – include food, water, […]

Find a Focus in Each Blog Post – So They Can

“Sometimes a writer can go on and on for pages with examples that prove a point…only she hasn’t quite figured out what that point is,” a writing guide from Vanderbilt.edu so aptly points out. I thought about that he other day as I attended what started out to be a fascinating talk on how smart […]

The All-Important Call to Action in Blog Content Writing

  One of the resources Ivy Tech offers to students is the Study Power Leader’s Guide. The Guide suggests students keep a daily activities list containing three categories: Must Do! Should Do Could Do “We live in a culture of information-saturation. Consumers today are highly-distracted, which is why you need to end your posts with […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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) […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Practitioners Blog to be Viewed as SMEs

  “Mand training is an essential component of verbal behavior training for any individual who lacks this skill,” is the opener of an article on the website of the National Institutes of Health, discussing the treatment of children with autism. “What are mands and why do we need to teach them?” is the title of […]

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 – […]

Giving it Away to Get ‘Em – the Other Side of the Useful Info Story

No, (as I spent some digital “ink” saying in my last post), I don’t think sports scores or snow statistics belong on the blog sites of jewelers, dentists, or veterinarians, when those are used primarily as a way to attract visitors. My take on that form of marketing is that it works counter to the […]

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 […]

“Ever-Wonder-Why” Blogging for Business

My friend Larry M. shared a fascinating list of “Ever Wonder Why Trivia” that I think you’ll enjoy.  More important, there’s a lesson here: trivia and blog marketing go together like “a horse and carriage” (if you’re my age) or maybe like peanut butter and jelly (if you’re any age). Trivia can be used in […]

Having the Last Word in Your Business Blog

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

Ask, But Also Persuade

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

Would-You-Rather Blogging for Business

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

Wedding and Pro Bono Business Blog Gifting

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

In Business Blogs, Keep the Downbeat Upbeat

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

For Business Blogging, Get in the Remote Mindset

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

Blog the Second Side of the Story

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

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 […]

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

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

In Blogging for Business, Get Rid of Worthless Words

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

Blog What Should Have Been in the Box

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

Using Your Business Blog to Stop the Salience Effect

  Often, eye-catching details have the power to render us blind, which is how author Rolf Dobelli, in his book The Art of Thinking Clearly, explains the salience effect. Dobelli’s entire book is devoted to cognitive biases, simple errors we all make in our day-to-day thinking, and the author’s hope is that by knowing what […]

Blogs and Book Reviews – Brothers Under the Skin

There are 6 Must Have Steps to writing a book review, writes Francesca of the Sway Group: Introduce the subject, scope, and type of book. Briefly summarize the content. Include graphics (be aware of copyrights). Provide your reactions to the book. Provide links. Be honest about your review, passing along a recommendation to your audience. […]

The Power of “When” in Blog Marketing

It’s not only what you do, but when, Michael Breus explains in his new book The Power of When. There’s a best time for each of us to eat lunch, ask for a raise, write a novel, and take our meds, depending on our individual “chronotype”, Breus teaches. Circadian biology in humans is a rather […]

Shrinking Blog Paragraphs Like a Strip of Bacon

“When I see a paragraph shrinking under my eyes like a strip of bacon, I know I’m on the right track,” says Peter DeVries, American author and novelist known for his satiric wit. Paragraphs, says Richard Anderson in Powerful Writing Skills, are like rest stops, giving our eyes and minds a break before going on […]

Bacteria Help Put Blog Content in Perspective

Biomass is what scientists use when there’s no way to do an exact count, Bill Chapell explained in an NPR radio broadcast five years ago, referring to the “fact” that The Day We Hit 7 Billion (October 31, 2011), was actually impossible to prove; it is impossible to count all the world’s people alive at […]

Are You Suffering Your Blog Action or Performing It?

“What is passive voice and why are we often told to avoid it?” novelist and Writer’s Workshop Senior Editor Emma Darwin asks her students. Here’s Darwin’s simple explanation: When the action of the sentence is being performed by the subject of the sentence, it’s in active voice. When the action is being done to the […]

Blogging to Bolster Your Point of View

“Indiana is growing – but we can’t neglect transit as a quality of life and economic development priority,” Michael Huber CEO of the Indy Chamber and Steve Sullivan, CEO of MIBOR Realtor Association agree. Both are in favor of raising taxes in Marion County to improve transit  services.  Huber and Sullivan use several tactics to […]

Are the Words in Your Blog as Valuable as the Products and Services They Describe?

“The industry realized the words they used to describe diamonds were as valuable as the stones they pulled from the ground,” Alina Simone writes in “Do You Know What This Is?” in Mental Floss Magazine. Simone was discussing the DeBeers Company’s 1938 advertising blitz aimed at pulling the diamond market out of its Depression-era slump. […]

The Mary Poppins Blogging Principle

What’s more important – a good man or a good idea? That’s the question Michael Banks, the father in the Mary Poppins story, faces when deciding to whom his bank should offer a loan. The same question might be asked when it comes to blog marketing.  What’s going to have the greater likelihood of converting […]

Choosing Healthy Blogging Habits

Nurses and chiropractors should have some good ideas on healthy habits, I thought. Sure enough, I found four blogs that I think are examples of effective blog marketing. “Modern Scrubs for Nurse Practitioners” is a blog post written by Melissa DeCapua. It was an interesting choice for me, because, while the post is informational, it’s […]

A Tale of Two Ad Titles – Part Two

The second of two advertisements that appeared in Science News Magazine illustrates a second set of lessons about blog titles and blog content writing in general. (The first, “It’s Enough to Make You Blue in the Face” was an advertisement for the Stauer Urban Blue® wristwatch.) That ad was overloaded with features, benefits, a testimonial, […]

When to Slice Your Blog Content in Two – or Three….

“There’s a trend in web design you need to know about, writes Peter of roundpeg.biz. The typical simple web design pattern with one main message followed by 3-4 blurbs works great when you sell one thing to one type of customer, he explains.   But you might have two or more groups you’re equally interested in […]

Taking a Tip from the Texas Anti-Littering Campaign

“Slogans are powerful marketing tools that can motivate customers to support your brand,” says Dustin Betonio of Tripwire Magazine, citing examples of highly successful word combinations: Harley-Davidson – “American by birth. Rebel by choice. Walmart – “Save Money, Live Better” McDonalds – “I’m lovin it.” Hallmark – “When you care enough to send the very […]

Blogging to One-Tank Destinations

Have you visited the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Notre Dame, Indiana? How about the Five Points Fire Museum in Lafayette, IN? I haven’t been to either, but after learning through the Columbian magazine that those would be “one tank destinations” for me (I live in Indianapolis), I’m adding both locations to my vacation day fun […]

Blogger Writing Basics

The ideas highlighted in this week’s Say It For You blog posts were sparked by Tony Rossiter’s Effective Business Writing in Easy Steps.  “Whether you’re drafting a lengthy company report or sending a short email to colleagues, it’s vital to get it right,” cautions Rossiter, defining “right” as meaning clear and concise prose, in a […]

A Blog Content Writer’s Basic Tools

  “Whether you’re drafting a lengthy company report or sending a short email to colleagues, it’s vital to get it right,” cautions Tony Rossiter in Effective Business Writing in Easy Steps. What is Rossiter’s definition of “getting it right”? Being clear and concise Writing in a style that’s acceptable to your readers. A business writer’s […]

Help Blog Readers Know the Difference Between Related and Causal

In statistics, variables are considered related if, when the value of one increases or decreases, so does the value of the other (even if it’s in the opposite direction). But does that mean one caused the other?  Not necessarily.  Only after investigating whether one action causes the other, explains the Australian Bureau of Statistics, can […]

Show ’em the Juice is Worth the Squeeze

Touting the tax planning advantages of tax-deferred annuities at our Financial Planning Association meeting, Tim Hays of Jackson National Life talked about the relatively high fee structure that kind of investment typically carries. Is the juice worth the squeeze, he asked, going on explain why, in fact, it is. Hays’ presentation made me realize how […]

Ideal Blog Posts: Focused, With a Sense of Forward Movement

Back in 1960, when Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv were designing a logo for Chase Manhattan Bank, Marketing News tells us, their goal was to find something “focused and concentrated, with a sense of forward movement.” (At the time, Chermayeff now recalls, American companies weren’t yet using abstract symbols to identify themselves.) Blog posts, like […]

You Can Pretty Well Ask Them to Applaud

“You can pretty much ask the audience to applaud anything and they will,” observes professional speaker Judy Carter. “Let’s have some applause for the dessert chef who gave us cake and pie!” Why does such a simple, even “corny”, ploy work? It’s because people like to be on the joke, Carter explains, and mentioning something […]

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