Best Writing Tips for Beginning Bloggers

best writing tips for beginning bloggers

You want to blog, but you’ve never written anything for public consumption before – unless you count that essay in high school, which you were required to read in front of the class. But, you really want to blog, become good at it, and perhaps even work for network or expand your career to being an online content marketer, or a social media specialist.

Don’t worry. Everyone has to start somewhere. Even if you don’t consider your writing skills up to par, there are things you can do to take that first step.

Here are the best writing tips for beginning bloggers that will point you in the right direction. [Read more…]

10 Proven Ways to Destroy Writer’s Block

destroy writers block

“’Writer’s block’ is just a fancy way of saying ‘I don’t feel like doing any work today.’” – Meagan Spooner

That’s just one of the many things that writers have said about writer’s block. It’s not real. It’s all in the head.

I don’t know about you, though, but there really are times when I feel like I have nothing. The ideas just won’t come, and even if I have a running list of topics, sometimes, the words just don’t make sense at all either. When all that comes out seems to be rubbish. [Read more…]

How To Protect Your Brand On Social Media

protect brand on social media

Editor’s note: This post was written by Jeff Foster, co-founder and CEO at Tomoson, the influencer marketplace. The platform allows bloggers and social media influencers to get paid for posting sponsored content, and lets businesses connect with targeted, niche audiences.

Social media is now a critical component of any marketing campaign. Used correctly, it builds an army of enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand. But social media is a double-edged sword. Negative reviews, PR blunders and inconsistent brand messages are constant dangers – threats that you need to guard against. Brand protection has to be an integral part of your social media strategy, otherwise you are putting your brand at risk.

Implement A Social Media Policy

While it takes time to build an online brand, your employees can damage it very quickly – often without meaning to. There are well-publicized examples of this. For example, when a US Airways employee tweeted a very graphic image on the company’s Twitter account. Sometimes, however, the damage can be more subtle.

Let’s assume that someone in your marketing department sets up an unofficial branded hashtag, which they use to tweet company news – all with the best intentions. But if they do this without tying into your social media strategy, they can end up sending confusing messages that devalue your brand.

To avoid this and protect your brand on social media, put in place a clear social media policy. This should tell your staff things like who is authorized to post content, what approvals are needed, and what type of content can be posted. Also make sure that this addresses your employees’ private social media accounts – tell them exactly what they can and can’t do with their own accounts.

Finally, make your acceptable use policy clear to your followers on social media. For example, state on your Facebook page that you’ll delete readers’ comments if they contain or link to pornographic, racist or other types of unacceptable content. By saying this upfront, you’ll reduce any social media backlash when you censor what readers have to say.

Monitor Social Media For Damaging Comments

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You should also monitor social media for what people say about you. Look at overall sentiment, but also identify specific negative comments. There are several great tools you can use to do this, including Google Alerts, Trackur, SocialMention and BlitzMetrics. The advantage of these tools is that they don’t just monitor your own social media channels – they can monitor the entire social media universe.

When you do find negative comments, don’t make the mistake of arguing online. Craft a reasonable response to what the author has to say. This will reduce the impact of the comment for other readers. If they do respond positively, offer to talk to them offline to address any concerns they might have.

Also watch for sites that rank highly for your company name – or for other brand-related keywords that you use. It’s easy for someone to set up a site with the intent of damaging your business, or even impersonating it for fraudulent reasons. You need to intercept these sites quickly – and you may even need to take legal action to get them shut down.

Create Buzz

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No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to silence all your detractors on social media. Negative feedback is just a fact of life. But you can offset it by creating a constant positive buzz around your brand. This will drown out negative comments – or at least push them into the background.

However, you can’t create buzz by yourself – in fact, readers won’t believe you if you try to do this. Instead, you need to use sites like Tomoson to get influencers talking about your products or services. People trust bloggers and other online thought leaders – much more than they trust company advertising.

Creating positive relations with bloggers is a major topic in itself, but here are a few key things you need to know. First of all, bloggers value their independent voice – and so do their readers. So even if you pay bloggers to write posts, don’t try to bend them to your will. Second, bloggers want to know that you are interested in them – so take the time to read their blog posts and express genuine interest. Third, you need to give bloggers something to talk about, so avoid boring marketing pitches – roll up your sleeves and get creative.

Finally, remember that bloggers are not the only influencers. When your customers talk about your brand, they are selling it at the same time. People will naturally make some comments, but you need to encourage them to say more. For example, by simply responding quickly and positively to comments, you can spark more conversation. Retweeting comments is another good strategy, although you shouldn’t spam your followers by doing this too much. Another good approach is to run an online contest where you ask readers what they love about your brand – and then give prizes for the best comments.

Avoid Controversial Subjects

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Unless your business directly involves religion or politics, you shouldn’t discuss these subjects on social media. Even if what you say is innocuous, you’re going to offend some people in your audience. There’s usually no upside in talking about controversial subjects – and there’s always a downside. Religion and politics aren’t the only controversial topics, so always think about whether you could offend before you post or tweet something.

It’s also a big mistake to exploit natural disasters and other tragedies to promote your brand online. This may seem obvious, but even leading brands get it wrong. For example, when Hurricane Sandy struck the US East Coast in 2012, American Apparel sent out an email blast offering 20% off everything, “in case you’re bored during the storm.” There was a huge social media backlash, including tweets such as “I will forever boycott their stores.” Amazingly, American Apparel wasn’t the only retailer to get this wrong – GAP also incensed the Twitterverse, with a similar post encouraging Sandy victims to shop online at Gap.com.

Another useful article: How an Industry-Specific Writer Can Improve Your Company’s Blogging

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How to Maximize Your Freelance Profits Using the Power of Emotion

increase freelance profits

Editor’s note: This post was written by Seb Atkinson, a search marketer at Selesti, a multi-award winning creative digital agency. Seb has helped a range of clients grow their online presence, from start-ups and small businesses to large international corporations. Follow him on Twitter.

Setting prices for your freelance and writing services is a very important part of the sales process, and if done correctly can earn you great profits, or on the other hand leave you little to show for your work. If you’re freelance writing job boards but struggling to close deals at the right price for you and your client, then read on to discover how to improve profitability using the power of emotion. [Read more…]

3 Easy Ways to Improve Writing Skills

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Are bloggers writers?

Are writers bloggers?

These questions have been raised for as long as I can remember, and it seems that the general consensus is that bloggers don’t have to be excellent writers, and writers aren’t necessarily good bloggers. However, their skills put together make the perfect combination.

That being said, it is our responsibility as bloggers to make an effort to improve writing skills. Not only does that make for more readable posts, but it also increases credibility. Even those who do not have perfect grammar can be rather critical of the work of others.

So how do you improve writing skills? Here are three easy ways to do that. [Read more…]

Explaining The Perfect Website Design to Non-Designers

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The skill of designing a website or blog is something that owners should learn or at least become much more aware of moving forward.

It is understandable that website owners and bloggers are more focused in building content, leaving the responsibility of web design to professionals. But being able to edit elements in your site design using HTML and CSS will give you a better understanding of the role design plays in web development  can impact your site’s performance.

More importantly, learning how to edit your web design will give you better control of your site’s performance, which will help you reach your online goals faster.

If you need a crash course of web design explained in layman’s terms, below is an excellent infographic by Template.net that discusses the different elements involved in the process of developing an appropriate design for your website or blog.

[Read more…]

5 Ways To Transform Your Blogger Outreach

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Editor’s note: This post was written by Jeff Foster, co-founder and CEO at Tomoson, the influencer marketplace. The platform allows bloggers and social media influencers to get paid for posting sponsored content, and lets businesses connect with targeted, niche audiences.

Over the last couple of decades, the web has completely changed the way we do marketing. We’ve gone from traditional advertising campaigns to a world where influence drives marketing success. If you’re starting out on a digital marketing campaign, it’s vital that you hook up with bloggers who can connect with your audience. Those who get it right reap huge rewards, but it isn’t as easy as it seems – many marketers make a complete mess of blogger outreach. In some ways, marketing to bloggers is nothing new – it’s another twist on word-of-mouth advertising – but reaching out to bloggers requires a very different approach than contacting traditional media outlets. [Read more…]

The Best Productivity Trends and Hacks of 2015

productivity trends and hacks

Editor’s note: This post was written by Kanika Sharma, who works as a writer at ProofHub. For the past 2 years, she has been writing for various technology blogs. Being an engineering graduate, her background allows her to connect with cutting edge technologies and relate them with real world scenarios. Follow Kanika on Twitter to know more about her.

Every now and then, we see successful entrepreneurs around us or read stories about those who made it big, and we wonder how they did that! Well, they’ve got no super-brains or magic wands. They’re normal human beings, just like you and me. Then where’s the difference? Let me tell you the secret behind their success. Besides putting the best of their efforts, they resort to those ‘key points’ where others fail to make the stroke.

Productivity, i.e. getting the most out of your everyday, is one key area where most of the startup entrepreneurs, project managers and even employees lack. So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your own productivity along with that of your employees, this is how you should go about it. [Read more…]

3 Great New Ways Of Generating Money With Content Online

generate money with content online

Editor’s note: This post was written by Christopher Latter, co-founder of Trendii. He’s a digital marketer and entrepreneur. The majority of his experience is based in SEO and social media, and he also performs a range of other digital marketing techniques. He is a keen writer and enjoys bringing all his experiences together in an interesting way. He’s currently helping to launch a new social network as part of a new start-up incubator program called Start Tank, run by PayPal & Braintree. You can find him on LinkedIn.

Writers, artists, musicians, all us hopeless dreamers seem to have one thing in common. We like to sit back from our keyboards, easels and keyboards (the other kind of keyboards), and think, “if only I could make some money doing this”. Which we probably could if we spent less time fantasising and more time actually working on our art, because it turns out there are ways to make money from it. As always, whether you’re looking to promote your art, start a business or misinform the public about vaccines, the internet is here. [Read more…]

Make Sure You’re On Top of Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm

google mobile friendly algorithm

Are you experiencing a considerable dip in your traffic and search engine rankings? You probably know that you’re not the only one dealing with this problem. With the way Google has been tweaking its algorithm, bloggers and web site owners always have to be on their toes to continue reaching the goals they have set – or at least maintain the status quo.

One of the things that we now have to pay attention to – more than ever – is the Google mobile-friendly algorithm. You may have been getting notices about mobile issues from Webmaster Tools.

google mobile friendly algorithm
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This is indicative of the importance that Google is placing on sites being absolutely mobile-friendly. [Read more…]