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Chicago Freelance Copywriter

Tag: writing blogs

Why it’s Important to Keep Learning

why-its-important-to-keep-learningToday is a short post as I’m leaving for Breckenridge in a few hours for a family ski vacation.  I was thinking about what I was going to load onto my Kindle for the trip and at the same time trying to decide on my blog topic for the day.  They didn’t seem inter-related until I realized I was stocking my Kindle full of copywriting books.  Lame, right?  Not to me.  Here’s why:

I am an avid fiction reader.  I love reading a good novel and devote as much time as possible to finding books that will really knock my socks off.  I almost never read non-fiction, and when I do, it’s usually memoir form such as The Glass Castle or The Liars Club by Mary Karr (both very good books by the way).

However, now I devote at least 50% of my reading time to mastering my craft.  Just for reading a few books on how to be a better copywriter, I can feel my brain expanding with the knowledge I need to become more and more successful.

I suggest anyone who owns a small business do the same.  Take the time to research the books about your business that you can truly learn from.  Just because you’re not earning a college degree doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing all you can to learn about your craft.

Do you ever make the effort to learn more about your field and how to excel in it?

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blogging-successToday I’m very excited to have a guest post from  Kiesha at We Blog Better.  I hope you enjoy, and without further ado….

I’ve been blogging for about two years now and during that time I’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter who you are, who you don’t know, how old you are, whether or not you’re a strong writer, what niche you blog in, etc. I could go on and add to this list, but none of those details matter – if you want to be a successful blogger, there’s only one thing standing in your way.

When I started blogging in the Christian inspiration niche, I think I had to choose one of the hardest niches to get noticed in. After all talking about God isn’t the most popular thing to most of the world. But it was my passion, so I blogged every day, diligently.

To build my knowledge, I started visiting blogging tips blogs. I wanted to build my traffic and gain more exposure – so I started commenting, I started engaging people on Twitter. Then I started guest posting and it literally changed everything.

One day I wrote a guest post for a blog and the next day I got an offer to take over WeBlogBetter.com. It was an offer that I could not refuse!

I discovered that the power of guest posting and networking with other bloggers far outweighed any other traffic building method I had ever tried.

Once I started networking and getting to know other bloggers, I came to realize that the more you help others, the more they’ll help you back – and when you least expect it, in greater ways than you could ever imagine.

The only thing standing between you and succes is: ACTION.

Anything really is possible if you just stop procrastinating and get to it. I had a blogger friend tell me that I should submit my blog to be featured by Lisa Irby – it’s something I had been planning on doing, but I just didn’t feel like I was good enough, but his encouragement gave me the confidence I needed, and just a few weeks later, my site was finally featured – completely polverizing previous traffic records on my blog.

So, it really only matters how willing you are to put all of your ideas and planning, into action. It’s easy to quit after failing at one or two things. I’ve had many opportunities to quit, but I’ve decided, I’m just going to have to do whatever takes to reach the top.

My advice to new bloggers:

Post every day
To make it easier, create a schedule of recurring series.

Comment on other blogs
On as many and as often as you can. Don’t be bound by niches – variety is a great thing.

Guest post
As much as you can without sacrificing your own posting schedule.

Build your community
Reply to comments, visit the blogs of your commentators, tweet their posts and just be as helpful as you can be.

Be patient
There is no such thing as overnight success, it’s usually the result of years of hard work that have finally come to fruition. It only appears like overnight success to those of us who didn’t have to put in the work.

So what’s standing between you and your success? Will today be the day you finally take action?

Kiesha blogs at WeBlogBetter.com, offering blogging tips and tricks. Sheís a writer, writing instructor, and blog consultant for small business owners. Connect with her on Twitter @weblogbetter.

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don't-bore-your-blog-readersToday I’m very excited to have my first guest post!  Kiesha from We Blog Better is here to tell us how, as blogger, we can stop boring our visitors.  I hope you enjoy, and without further ado….

Don’t Bore your Blog Visitors – Give them What they’re looking for!

Just because your blog supports your business doesn’t mean it has to be full of dry information, facts and product specs.

A lot of times business owners make the mistake of using their blog as an online advertising platform. After all, business owners want to reduce their ad expense account – why pay for what you can get for free?

So, they end up using their blogs as an extended brochure that no one really wants to look at.

That’s not what potential customers or clients are looking for.

They come to your blog to fulfill a need or solve a problem.

Here’s what they are looking for:

Insider information

They want to know how a particular product or service works. They want to see it in action. They want to play with it and try it out before they make a financial commitment. They want to see if it’s worth their money.

So why not create some engaging videos that do just that?

My husband is an RC Airplane hobbyist, and when he’s looking to buy a new expensive model plane, he goes to BananaHobby.com because they always have great videos that enable him to see the plane outside of the box. It gives him a real life view of the product and its components. It makes it easy for him to make a purchasing decision.

How to use a product or service more efficiently

People are looking for tutorials that will teach them how to do things on their own. Blogs that show people how to get more out of the product or service in question perform better because it shows customers that you really care about them. The purchase is not the end of the story – it shows that your company is really there to help people.

When I had to purchase a part for my dryer, I was happy to find a “how to” video for installation right there on the same page. It made the decision to purchase the part, instead of hiring a repairman, so much easier. It saved me money and generated a sale at the same time.

Again, videos or step-by-step tutorials are a great way to show your readers how to get even more value you out of what you’re offering.

A Personal Connection

People get tired of feeling like a number. They actually want to know the people they are giving their business to. Back in the day, local business owners knew all of their customers by name and they went out of their way to help. Once they established a personal connection, it made it easier to trade, barter, and develop mutually beneficial relationships that went beyond a single sale.

People are more likely to purchase from people they know and trust. Why not use your blog to show your potential customers that you are a real human being with a real life? They will grow to care about you and will value what you value. When you make a recommendation, they’ll listen.

Plain Old Entertainment

Sometimes, people are just looking for something to capture their attention for a few moments. That’s why Facebook’s games are so popular – while people are waiting for more friends to come online, rather than log out as a result of boredom, they can hang out and see how big they can grow a virtual cabbage. I don’t condone wasting time playing games, but the truth of the matter is that people are looking for entertainment.

So why not entertain them with funny stories or anedotes, or post niche related videos that they can watch on your blog? Why not make a picture gallery available for them to browse?

Organize some fun contests or giveaways to keep them enagaged and coming back to your blog. The longer you keep them there, the better chance you have of turning them into a stronger lead in the future.

So you see, there’s more to blogging for business than product or service announcements. People are tired of looking at brochures and are growing more and more immune to blatant advertising. So it’s time to create a more customer-centered blog – one that gives them what they want.

So what else could you do to reduce the boredom factor on your blog? What can you do to give your potential customers what they want?

Kiesha blogs at WeBlogBetter.com, offering blogging tips and tricks. Sheís a writer, writing instructor, and blog consultant for small business owners. Connect with her on Twitter @weblogbetter.

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How to Avoid Blogger Burnout

how-to-avoid-blogging-burnoutWriting a blog is both incredibly rewarding and extremely exhausting.  The need to constantly produce content that adds value to a website is no easy feat.  When you write a post that you know will resonate, and potentially blow people’s minds, it’s a great high.  But when you are on your couch at 11:45pm trying to get a post out before you fall asleep sitting up, it’s a low low.

So how do we avoid the burnout?  I am going to give you the usual tricks, but sometimes I just don’t have the time or the energy to follow them all.  That’s when I feel the burnout creeping up.  What I’ve noticed is that whenever I’m so tired I’m not sure if I’m going to get Wednesday’s post up, I always do.  And I think that’s where some of the anti-burnout magic lies.  I know I’m going to get it done and give it my all, even if it physically hurts.  However, the key is to get to that point so infrequently that it becomes as rare as Santa Claus coming to visit.

When putting in my all to avoid blogging burnout, what are the most effective tactics?

Blog in advance

So simple, so easy, so common sense.  Soooo hard to do sometimes.  But when you do it, it will make a huge difference in how you view your blog and your blogging responsibilities.  It will allow you to follow the 24/48 rule, and put out better content with less stress.

Always be coming up with topics

There are many ways to go about this.  My favorite way is observing and taking notes.  I use my iPhone notes, other people prefer actual pen and paper, and I kind of want to try taking voice memos.  But I really do get most of my post ideas from observing the world around me.  Other options are to set up Google alerts for keywords, or to read as many blogs as possible and “borrow” some of the ideas that really resonate with you.  As long as you give them a 100% different spin and writing, of course.

Give yourself a break

Sometimes I think most of the blogging burnout comes not because of the actual writing and thinking but because of the pressures bloggers put on themselves.  If you’re a small business owner and you set out to blog once a week but customers, invoices, new business prospects get in the way, give yourself a break.  The blogging world will wait for you.

Those are some of the ways I think help avoid blogger burnout.  What do you do when your blogging passions begins to wane?

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