6 Things that Must Be in Your Next Newsletter

For many businesses, the regular newsletter is the primary way they communicate with past, current, and potential customers. For authors and publishers, it’s the main way they connect with readers. Unfortunately, if your newsletter is missing crucial information, it may not be as useful as it could be at engaging readers or stimulating business. In fact, you may even create a negative reaction in your readers, achieving the opposite of the effect you want.

I’ve copy edited newsletters for many of my clients and subscribed to dozens of others, and here are some things I’ve realized are “must-haves” when you are trying to make the most of your email list.

1. Link to website.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received newsletters without links to the sender’s website. Sometimes, there aren’t even links to the products or services being offered. If I read your newsletter and can’t easily click from it to your website, chances are I’m not going to close the email, open my web browser, open a search engine, search for your business name, navigate through the search results to find your company’s website, and then click to visit it. You’ve just lost a potential customer. Are you an author or publisher announcing a new book? If you don’t provide a link to the book or your website, there go your potential sales. Continue reading

Exorcise the Ghosts of Businesses Past

Everyone is talking about the KonMari method for cleaning your house, but how can you KonMari your business? Here’s a tip… get rid of social media accounts for businesses you no longer have or products/services you no longer offer!

Companies don’t always go out of business because they have failed. Sometimes, an owner wants to retire and there’s no one who wants to take over the business for them. Sometimes, an owner has simply found or been offered a better opportunity.

Unfortunately, former or potential customers don’t always get the memo that a business no longer exists. The internet has a long memory – especially if the company does not delete its social media presences.

Often, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts remain and stagnate. Former or potential customers are unsure if the business is gone, or if it is still around and just inactive on social media. Some businesses establish a social media page and then never update it at all, which adds to the “Are they out-of-business, or are they just not active here?” confusion. These ghosts of past businesses are frustrating for customers. Continue reading

5 Successful Blog Post Starters

Many folks have trouble creating blog posts or newsletter articles to promote their businesses. Most of the time, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to get started. Your subject is there, but writing those first two paragraphs can often be the most difficult part of the blog writing process.

If you are in need of tips on how to start writing a blog post, here are five successful blog post starters to inspire you!

  1. The personal anecdote – Use something that happened to you as a launching point for a greater theme you want to address, related to your clients. Chances are, if it’s happened to you, it’s happened to them. For example, “Where to Get Blog Post Ideas,” leads off with our own experience in finding ideas for posts.

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A Few Words about Jargon

In the great sea of online information about how small businesses, nonprofits, and freelancers can use social media to reach more customers, we’ve noticed a troubling thing: most of the information is geared towards people who already know the lingo.

Those who make it their business to write about or teach online marketing need to make sure they’re not excluding professionals who aren’t familiar with the jargon.

Jargon Blog Post ImageImagine walking into your first beginner ballet class and having the instructor say “Alright class, get into first position,” without actually explaining or demonstrating ‘first position’ to newcomers. You’d likely find yourself looking at the other students to see what they’re doing. What if they’re not setting good examples to follow? Continue reading

You’ve Published Your Blog Post, Now What? – A Handy Checklist

MarienburgerPlatz.horizontalBlogging is one of the best ways to demonstrate your value to potential clients and to improve your position in search results. However, blogging takes effort. After you click publish, you want to make sure folks see it – and you want to extend its life beyond the hour and day that it is published.

How do you get the most traction from a blog post? Here are some ideas:

* Post a link to it from your social media channels, such as your Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Continue reading

Where to Get Blog Post Ideas

There are dozens – if not hundreds – of web sites that offer information about how to come up with ideas for blog posts. They list tips like “Use insights gathered from or related to a popular movie or TV show” or “Write a how-to post based on your expertise.”Typewriter2

We admit that we’ve been amassing a wealth of these types of tips, but we haven’t used any of them yet. Let us share with you our personal sources.

Where do we get blog post ideas? Continue reading

Get Your Bloggers on the Same Page with a Style Guide

Many companies have several employees who regularly contribute posts to the company blog. But how do you make sure that all of your bloggers are “on the same page” when it comes to frequently used terms, corporate lingo, and tone?

SamePageI copy edit blog posts for several clients, and I recommend the use of a “Brand Style Guide” that can either be distributed to all of the bloggers, or simply used by the copy editor (whose job it is to ensure consistency throughout all of the company’s marketing text – both digital and print).

What goes into the style guide? Here are a few of the things I regularly include for my clients, and which I highly recommend if you want to start setting up a style guide for your own company. Continue reading

How Copy Editing and Branding Go Hand-in-Hand

When you are establishing and maintaining a brand identity for your business, you need to pay close attention to your text across all of your digital and physical marketing materials. Consistency is of utmost importance in making sure potential customers have a clear understanding of your brand.

brands-floodAs a copy editor, I’ve seen the common problems small businesses have when they are trying to establish their brand identity and gain recognition among potential customers. But it’s not just small businesses that have problems maintaining consistency in their business marketing materials. Every established business goes through staff changes – and when staff changes, it may take new employees a little time to memorize the branding identity manual carefully crafted by their new employer.

This is why it’s crucial to have a good copy editor review your materials. Here are the key branding elements I focus on when I am copy editing for businesses. If you have a copy editor on staff, they need to ensure the consistency of these elements.

1 – Consistency in references to your company name.

Every person in your company – especially every person on your marketing team (including the interns who post on your social media channels) – needs to know the rules for spelling, punctuating, formatting, and capitalizing your company’s full name and common name. Even if they do know the rules, mistakes happen, and this is where having a copy editor review your website and brochure text can help.

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