Why Your Customers Need Your Blog

“…if you’re in business, you exponentially raise your chances of getting new clients if you offer them useful information via blogs…”

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Jamison Editing can help you write ongoing blog posts to inform your customers.
Informing people = helping people

 

A few years ago, I went through a series of health scares. The big kind. I found myself overcome with headaches, vertigo, and exhaustion — every day. I desperately needed information. I wanted to understand why I was getting headaches, what the possible treatments were, and how bad it might be.  I went to my family doctor who immediately told me that it might be a brain tumor. She ordered an MRI, and I tried not to panic.

After an initial MRI came out clean, all my doctors could offer was vague advice. They told me to try to relax, to wear different eyeglasses, to drink more water. But they couldn’t explain why I was getting my headaches. Eventually, they wound up prescribing medication for anxiety. My headaches spread into upper body aches until I was no longer able to play my violin. That hurt (mentally and physically). I’d been a music major in college and had continued to gig throughout my working years. Music made me feel better, and now I couldn’t even play anymore.

It would have helped immensely if I’d been able to talk with other people who had symptoms just like mine. Maybe I could have found the solutions hidden somewhere in their stories.

Some business owners wonder if investing in an ongoing blog is worth the time and money. Well, what if there had been a blog written for me? I would have been incredibly grateful if my neurologist provided customers with an ongoing blog telling stories of past customers (anonymous of course) and ailments. If I had been able to find a few cases that related to me, perhaps I could have avoided the years I spent on medication that was counter-productive for my health and my bank-account.

But it’s not just the medical field I’m talking about: it’s every field. People want information before they purchase anything, and so if you’re in business, you exponentially raise your chances of getting new clients if you offer them useful information. So here are some examples:

  • You run a clothing store: inform readers by writing a series of blogs that define body type and styles of clothing for each type.
  • You are a dentist: Help your customers with useful information about types of flossing gear and what works the best to prevent gum disease. And maybe even write a blog about how to floss the right way!
  • You are an advertising agency: write an article about the latest trends in product placement and how to choose the most effective medium for your brand.
  • You are a self-employed “handyman”: The sky is the limit for you. If it can be fixed, write about how. Chances are, your customers will read it and then realize they don’t want to do it by themselves. Who will they call? You!
  • You’re a local artist and you want to sell your paintings: Without giving away your creative secrets, why not blog about types of paint and how to choose the colors that work best for the project? Help others, and they will help you.
  • If you’re in business, then you have a skill, product, or service that others need. If you share a little information and help prospects before they come to you, you will be that much more likely to gain them as a loyal customer.

If you do not currently have a blog for your company business, please consider making one. Your customers will appreciate you that much more, and you’ll probably find yourself with more business than you ever dreamed possible. It took me years to figure out how to conquer my headaches. Don’t let your customers go through that frustration. Give them what they NEED!

An Informed Customer is a Happy Customer. Inform your customers with a blog.
An Informed Customer is a Happy Customer.

Please click the link if you need help starting your blog or writing your ongoing posts. Click Here to start your blog today.

Good Luck!

 

Elizabeth Jamison

Who Are You? How To Define Your Online Persona

Aristotle understood the secret to online marketing long before there was an Internet.
Follow Aristotle’s advice, and your business will be on its way toward having an impressive online persona.

Over 2500 years ago, Aristotle proclaimed that if they don’t like you and trust you, nothing you say will convince them. Back then, hardly anyone could read or write, so people had to do their “arguing” in front of a crowd. Therefore, if they had not previously established their reputation with a likable, trustworthy persona, they wound up losing the argument before they’d uttered the first word.

Isn’t it amazing that before Jesus, Aristotle knew the basic rules of marketing? Wow!

He was talking about Ethos, of course, one of his three classical appeals.

Established Credibility (Ethos) = More Customers

Next, he must use logic and evidence to back up his claims (logos) and finally, he must bring it home with a little emotion (pathos). With too much logic and no emotion, you lose your audience. With too much emotion and no evidence to back it up, you turn into a raving lunatic and—lose your audience. And with no credibility, no one listens to you at all, and so (you guessed it) you lose your audience.

Today I’d like to talk about the power of Ethos to build your online persona. To attract new customers and to retain existing ones, a business must have a recognizable persona or culture that clearly establishes its credibility. And that includes online. It’s not enough to have a fantastic product or service: if everything about you – your personality, your face-to-face presence, your business card, your logo, your website, your blog – does not flow together to create one consistent persona, your potential audience will not “get” who you are. They may not trust you, and so your credibility points go down.

So how do you establish your online persona? By transferring the foundational beliefs of your company to your online presence through the website’s primary pages, the design, and the marketing content. Everything you put out there must point toward your brand.

Imagine if someone were taking a road-trip. They begin their journey by using road signs to get to the destination. One sign points North, another West, and another doesn’t even have a primary direction but instead gives the miles to the location. Can you imagine the confusion? I can see the traveler saying, “To Hell with these signs. I’m using my GPS.”

Make sure your audience knows the purpose and direction of your website.
Is your website’s message difficult to understand?

You want the potential customer to stay on your site, not to navigate somewhere else out of frustration and confusion. So I will ask: Is your online presence working for you, or against you?

Test the Effectiveness of Your Online Persona:

  1. First, think about your business. What has it accomplished thus far? As quickly as you can, jot down all the great things your business provides. (These are basic claims that you hope will establish your business credibility.)
  2. Second, explain why those “great things” are GREAT. What makes your product or service any better than someone else’s? (This serves as evidence for your claims. Remember, without evidence (logos) the audience will be less likely to believe your claims.
  3. Third – and this might be harder – think about the fundamental belief systems of your business. If you are the president, then this might be easier because you are in charge and control your corporate persona. If you are a marketer or sales person, it might be a little trickier. Often, a core belief can be seen in a company tagline or logo. It should also be conveyed in the blog, in the website’s “about” page, and in the corporate language of the site.

The corporate belief system is the glue that keeps customers with you for the duration.

When customers feel like they share a common belief system with you, they will have faith in you, remain loyal to you, and want to give you their business.

Think about it: who are your true friends? They are the ones who share the same core beliefs that you do! Good customers are the same, so if you are not sure what your company stands for, I would focus on #3-4 very carefully.

  1. Review both lists. Now, do a compare/contrast: is everything you just wrote down clearly conveyed on your corporate website where traffic can easily see it? (Remember, the clearer it is, the better your chances of converting a visitor into a customer.)
  2. To complete a thorough compare/contrast, read through your website three times: the first time, read it quickly and see if you get a “feel” for your company’s accomplishments, strengths, and belief system. If you do not recognize the “it” factor right away, determine which part of the site (primary pages, blog) needs repurposing. Next, skim through the blog posts for congruency. Do the blogs seem to fit with the corporate identity? If the website’s testimonial page is filled with an impressive cache of satisfied customers, but the blog is not well-written or does not offer an equally impressive message, then the “congruency” is off.
  3. Finally, review your lists again and then go through the site and determine what is missing. By that, I mean what item(s) on your list is not apparent on the site?
  4. Last, work on repurposing (rewriting with focus) your website and blog so that the ethos, logos, and pathos – your overall business persona – is clear with every page, post, and link. Please let me know in the comments what you found when you read through your own website.

Click here for help repurposing your business website.

 

 

Write Real, Authentic Marketing Content

Write Authentic ContentBecome Self-Aware and Realize What You Already Know

Have you ever been in a conversation about something you loved – and because you were passionate about the conversation, you lost track of time? You just kept talking, and explaining, and using evidence and providing examples; you basically gave a lesson on your topic.

Have you ever done that?

Of course, you have! Think about when you argued with a buddy about why a certain sports team should be ranked number 1, or why this movie was better than that one, or why your political philosophy makes more sense than the others out there. Essentially, think about any time that you have talked about something you really cared about.

Were you totally and 100% focused on the conversation? Did you care about the outcome of the conversation? (What I mean here is did you REALLY want to reach your audience and either inform them or convince them of something?)

Were you emphatic and enthusiastic and bursting with evidence and examples? Most people are if they know what they are talking about.

If you answered YES to the above questions, then THAT’S the kind of topic you need to write about in your blog!

Use What You Care About To Help Fuel Your Content

Look, I know we all want to make money here. But, you cannot expect others to spend time on your site, to click on your links, to buy what you recommend unless you give them something in return.

What is that something? It’s knowledge of course.

Your knowledge. Your Experience. It’s invaluable because it’s unique. Give the people what they want!

A few days ago, I coached someone about her dissertation. As you may know, I am a professor, a B2B marketing writer, and an editor. More than anything, I LOVE to help others write. So today, I was talking with a potential customer about her dissertation. I talked for 90 minutes with her, and after we were finished, she was so happy. I had given her a couple possible directions, validated her topic, and helped her with a deadline schedule and plan to meet those due dates. Because she left our conversation with a wealth of new information, she will become a return customer.

Did I work hard? Yes. I researched her topic before talking with her. I wrote three pages of notes and suggestions before the conversation, unpaid.

So what’s the difference between what I did tonight and writing a blog? Nothing. You communicate to help people and you hope to gain a loyal customer in return. Now, you won’t always get the customer, but that’s life and sales.

I believe that if we put our audience first, we will get the rewards we desire.

So my final word on this topic: If you do not have something to offer regarding a certain topic, do not force it. Write about what you know so that you can actually help your customers. Be authentic. It’s not just about you; it’s about happy customers who will pay you (thus making you happy in return).

Metacognitive Exercise: Knowing What You Know.

If you find yourself stuck now, then you might try the following exercise:

1. Take out a sheet of paper and write down the last 3 times you got into a lively conversation with friends or family.

  • Summarize what the conversations were about
  • Briefly, list the reasons why you felt you were an expert in that area
  • List the evidence you used in the conversation

2. Now, think about what you just wrote. Would you be willing to write about a topic like this one, or something along these same lines, for your own blog? How could you parlay this kind of topic into a website with winning content?

So, if the last conversation you had with your friends was about the qualities a good nail salon should have, and IF you are totally passionate about nail salons and the beauty industry, THEN why not write about that topic? Others need to know what you know!

Others Need to Know What You Know

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts. If you want help with your content, email me at ejamisonediting@gmail.com.

The Benefits of Blogging for Business

Writing is a natural therapy, a form of meditation, and a medium by which anyone – business owner, worker, student, teacher, CEO, mother, father, child, artist, etc. – can hone a craft and get jumbled thoughts in order.

If you have a business, a hobby, a craft, an art, or anything you are passionate about, you might wonder what the benefits of blogging for business or for pleasure are. I mean, if you are like most people, you work hard and you probably find it difficult to make time to write. Plus, you might not be a writer!

You do not have to be a literary genius to have a blog for your business.

On the contrary: blogs are more casual; readers want to feel like you are talking with them, kind of like having a personal conversation, and not at them. So leave out all the jargon and relax.

You can see the benefits of blogging for business even if you are not the "perfect" writer.
As bloggers, we do not have to be perfect; we just have to have something worthwhile to say.

And relaxing is what I’m talking about. Writing is a natural therapy, a form of meditation, and a medium by which anyone – business owner, worker, student, teacher, CEO, mother, father, child, artist, etc. – can hone a craft and get jumbled thoughts in order.

As a mom, wife, writer, blogger, editor, college professor, and a tutor of Chinese students (online), I have many jobs. My schedule can be crazy, but I try to carve out time each day to write. It helps me because when I feel inspired to write something, I realize that THAT is what is important – at least to me. Isn’t that what life is all about, after all? How are we supposed to know what we find important if we don’t stop for a minute and think about it? That’s what blogs are all about!

Today, I was up at 4:30 AM and taught my online lessons all morning. I teach for a company called 51 Talk, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to get to know another culture. If you’re a teacher and want to work from home, you might check out this link.  It is my personal referral link, so if you are truly interested in a part or full-time job with them, you can also email me and I can help you in the process.

Anyway, after I teach in my mornings, I start thinking about my writing and editing. If I don’t have an editing deadline for the day, I immediately start brainstorming for more blog ideas. But it’s hard sometimes at the house. You know—it’s nice to just GET OUT of the house for a while.

Today, I chose to search for a peaceful place to write and to have lunch. I had the craving to be by water, so I Googled “Lake Restaurants” and came across a place that was about ten minutes from my home. I am so lucky to live by a lake!

Finding your own peaceful place to write can really help with creating successful and consistent blogging content.
Acworth Fish Camp: My Perfect Writing Venue for Today

 

It is easier to see the benefits of blogging for business when you do it from a peaceful location.
My view from my table as I sat to write my blog posts for the day.

As I sat gazing out at the boats and feeling the breeze in my hair, the thoughts started to flow. I am always so grateful for that sense of “flow” because once it starts, the ideas just keep coming, like a snowball getting bigger and bigger and bigger as it careens down the mountain. But that image elicits a kind of sense of chaos, doesn’t it? Well, when you are in a peaceful place (and it can be anywhere you decide you want it that day–just listen to your intuition) it is much easier to focus on the key concepts you want to get across and put the other ideas aside for later. Today, as I wrote by the lake, I was able to focus on one idea for quite a while, and that felt good. (Incidentally, this blog post is not the one that I was working on today; rather, the one today was a more difficult piece for a publication. I needed to concentrate, focus, and give it my full attention.)

And that is why blogging can be good for your business. Even if you don’t want to make money from a blog, writing about your business experiences can be therapeutic in that through the written word, you become more cognizant of your inner motivations. When this internal metacognition starts to happen, you can better reflect on your business and use past failures or setbacks as a bridge to success and growth. The same premise stands for any hobby, craft, passion, or activity.

If you want to learn more about something, write about it and inform others. Teaching is the best way to learn.

We all know that websites can make your business money. We all understand that powerful content attracts more traffic to your site. But what many people don’t realize is that the process of writing itself can do just as much for your business as marketing and meetings and planning and hard work. So why not give it a try?

And as long as we’re talking about making time for yourself, if all you do is enjoy the flowers in your front yard for a few seconds, that’s great! Take ten seconds to stop and look and appreciate what you’ve got. 🙂

Taking the time to notice the little things and to blog for your business can help in so many ways.
Flowers in my front yard that I took the time to notice!

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about your job, your writing process, and your blogging journey. Please comment and I promise to respond. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get Verified By Google Webmasters

Yes! We All Need Google Webmasters!

Some business owners wonder if they need to worry about Google Analytics, SEO, and tracking all that data. Well, even if you’re a casual blogger, getting confirmed as an official website on Google can do nothing but help your traffic, and that’s a good thing. If you’re a company who needs more revenue from online traffic, getting verified is a MUST. See below for a step-by-step easy guide to getting your URL verified by the most important search engine around.

 If they see you, traffic will come.

How many visitors to your website do you have in one day? With Google’s tracking software, you can tell who has been to your site, who is a new visitor, how long they stay on your website (bounce rate) and whether they typed in your site’s URL or did a Google Search.

Step 1

Go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/ and notice how user-friendly and welcoming their homepage is. Really! I must say that Google has a plethora of training videos, tutorials, and support. They want businesses to get more traffic because it ultimately helps them. So do not be afraid. Sign in with your existing Google account.

Homepage of Google Webmaster
Google Webmasters is a much-needed tool for building online traffic to your business website.

 

Step 2

“Welcome to Search Console”

Now that you have signed in, it is time to tell Google what website you would like to verify. Type in the URL and click “ADD PROPERTY.” Now, before you continue, let me save you some steps. Type in all the variations of your website URL that may be utilized in a search. For instance, jamisonediting.com could be any of the following: www.jamisonediting.com; http://www.jamisonediting.com; https://jamisonediting.com; https://www.jamisonediting.com. In order to “see” your site, Google will need all these alternative URL addresses, because different people type in different things in the search bar. So save yourself a lot of time and do this now. You’ll understand why later. 😊

Welcome page for Google Webmasters Search Console
Enter your URL to begin the SEO journey!

Google's Recommended Method for Verification

Step 3

Once you submit your URL’s, you must insert some code into your website, like a geotag, that Google can find. This part can get tricky, so although Google recommends downloading and uploading files (see above screenshot), I have found that the “alternate” method is much easier (below). That’s the one I am going to explain now.

Alternate Method for Google Verification Process
For me, this has been the easiest process for Google Verification.

When you click on “alternate method” you will have several choices. I like the HTML tag choice. When you click on that, you will see that Google gives you a long string of code and asks you to copy and paste it into your site. Make sure that you paste ONLY the part that I have highlighted. Paste the code into your Home page at the top of the page. Sometimes, it takes a couple tries to get Google to successfully verify it. Make sure you are in the HTML coding “view” of your page so you can actually see the code going in.

After you have finished, click verify and then you should get a green “successful” message from Google. Now, it is all up to you. Write that content! Contact us if you need help with the process. Please feel free to comment with questions or thoughts.

The Importance of Word Choice

Word choice means everything in effective marketing.
So many words, each with a different connotation.

The most important step to creating a blog that works for your business is simple: write effective content that gives people what they want. But what is effective content and how do you make sure that what you put in your post will connect with your audience?

And it’s not just blog posts that need to reach a target market: everything you write reflects who you are as a business person (and if you own your own business, who you are as the symbol of the company). One purpose of this website is to help you with all steps of your writing process so that what you want to say to your customers and to the world is exactly what you write on the page. Did you ever hear of the phrase “lost in translation?” – well, you definitely do not want that to happen in your written materials. Remember Joey and his THE-saurus?

Below are a few steps that can help anyone with their business writing – whether they are blogging, creating ads, writing for print, or simply emailing interoffice colleagues. (See our page on academic writing for academically-focused writing tips.)

Smart Business Writing:

Be Concise:

Let’s take a look at the following two sentences. Which one is easier to read?

“In my opinion, the statistics and numbers that I collected online via the Internet clearly demonstrate and prove that our business is a much better match, and is much more suited for your company and the needs that your company has.”

“The data shows a positive correlation between our services and your business needs.”

Clearly, the second sentence is easier to read. Why? It uses just enough words to get the point across. No more, no less. Customers will be more likely to buy your product or service if they can understand what you are saying to them. When I edit reports and formal materials, I make it a point to read the text out loud. If I stumble over anything, then I need to revise and rewrite. Chances are that I’ve used too many words.

Main Tips:

1. Choose Words Carefully

2. Less is More

3. Define Purpose and Audience Before Writing

4. Edit Your Work

5. Write What Your Audience Needs to Know

I would love to hear from you about your writing struggles and strengths, so please comment with thoughts and insights!