Category Archives: Writing

4 Tips for Producing Error-Free Work

errorsWhether you’re taking a new website live or just posting your latest blog post, chances are you’re under a deadline and in a hurry to get across the finish-line. You’re excited to show off your latest creation, and ready to move on to the next thing in your queue, so you finish up, give it all a quick glance, and then take it live!

High-fives all around! Everybody loves what you’ve done and they…wait a minute. Is that a typo? And why is that section completely broken?! Oh, no!! You’ve pushed the go button too soon, and your work is riddled with errors.

Alright, it’s usually not as dire as I’m making it out to be, but rushing to get your work out the door is often the root cause of it not being 100% free of mistakes. The good news is, you can solve this problem yourself by building a period of testing/proofing into your workflow. Stay tuned, and we’ll go through a few tips for hunting those pesky bugs. Continue reading

Why Content Should Always Come Before Design

content before designWhen thinking about your new website, it can be easy to get distracted by all of the fancy functionality and pretty layout you’ll soon be the proud owner of. But if you’re not careful, you can put the (shopping) cart before the horse. You see, content should always come before design.

To be clear, I’m not saying that every last word of your content must be ready before the design phase can start. That would drag the design and development of your site to a snail’s pace. Rather, the primary portions of your content should be mostly finished (home page, important internal pages). Little tweaks here and there are still perfectly acceptable, but the over-arching message should be solid. Continue reading

7 Tips for High-Power Personalization (Without Sounding Like a Stalker)

personalizationMarketing personalization is very, very important if you want your campaigns to succeed in 2017 and beyond. It shows how well you know your customers, enhances their experiences, and matches people to relevant content. A recent survey reveals that:

  • Virtually all (96%) marketers agree that personalization advances customer relationships. Eighty-eight percent say they’ve realized a measurable lift in business results from their personalization campaigns.
  • Currently one in three marketers (33%) relies on machine-learning personalization; that is, using algorithms and predictive analytics to dynamically present recommendations and experiences at the individual “one-to-one” level.
  • Marketers are using personalization in email campaigns (72%), as well as on their company’s website (57%), mobile site (28%), web app (20%) and mobile app (18%).

Continue reading

5 Storytelling Techniques to Make Your Content Marketing More Fun and Effective

Content marketing can be an effective strategy to build your authority and grow your business. But for your content marketing efforts to work, you’ll need to make sure the content is engaging, interesting, and compelling for your audience.

Content marketing is not just about churning out informative or entertaining articles; it’s about creating connection with other human beings that are your customers or potential customers. And one of the most potent ways to connect with other human beings is through the power of storytelling.

Stories have always been a fundamental way humans communicate and relate to one another. Starting in childhood, stories are central to how we learn about the world, convey our own thoughts, and form relationships.

As a marketer and business owner, effective storytelling enables you to create a deeper connection with your audience by giving them something they can relate to. People see themselves in stories, they empathize with stories, and stories are both meaningful memorable to them. If you want an engaged audience, you can use storytelling to let them know you understand them, to inspire them to take action, and to encourage a sense of loyalty.

The following storytelling techniques will help make your content more fun and effective: Continue reading

Spice Up Your Content with Podcasts

podcastIf you want to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage, you must provide a wide variety of high-quality content, including regular blog posts. “Variety’s the very spice of life,” said Poet William Cowper’s nearly 300 years ago, and it’s as relevant today. So, you shouldn’t limit yourself to blogs.

In fact, Hubspot says that, “Although blogs are still very popular, audiences are somewhat limited in how they can consume them—you can’t read a blog at the gym or while driving, for instance.” One solution is podcasts!

Podcasting is a great way for you and your organization to connect with your peeps and personify your brand while varying your content channels, thus allowing audiences to engage with content wherever, whenever, and however they want. Podcasts are on-demand with no commercial interruptions… kind of like Netflix and other streaming services are to TV viewing. Continue reading

Six State-of-the-Art Lead Generation Ideas

lead generationThe typical lead generation process includes creating content that consumers are looking for, driving traffic to those content offers, and capturing leads using optimized calls-to-action and forms. From there, the lead can be supported, nurtured, and turned into a sale.

That’s why BOTH lead quality and quantity are so important…and why the entire process is so tough. But, with a little innovation and variety, you can turn your lead generation efforts into a lead generation machine that churns out qualified leads after leads after leads.

Here are a few tips to help fuel your lead machine. Continue reading

Content Creation in 2017 for the Attention-Disabled

attention-disabledI recently read that the average human attention span in the 21st century has fallen to just eight seconds—shorter than that of a goldfish. (That’s probably the same or less than a gnat!) “What’s more, 59% of people share articles on Twitter without even reading them, and more than half of all page views are under a minute in length,” a recent Hubspot post tells us.

If you’re a content-creator like I am, those shorter-than-short attention spans mean we have to change our thinking about content accordingly. “No matter how old school you are when it comes to writing, it’s time to accept that short and relevant is often the new reality,” according to another recent post.

So, what do you do to keep their attention and engage your audience long enough to get them to react and take action? Here are a few strategies for confronting the attention span issues, without sacrificing quality content. Continue reading