Stand out from Competitors by Taking Your Own Stock Photos

Nowadays, instead of pictures being worth 1000 words, social media has come to rely on pictures having space for at least a handful of words.

I’ve seen a lot of discussions lately on use of images to catch the eyes of people scrolling by on Facebook or Twitter. Many of those discussions also warn about the danger of scooping images off the internet and using them in your own posts. Ask my friend about that danger. He had to pay a sizable sum to Getty Images because he made that blunder last year. Now, he himself takes many of the photos he uses for his business.

There are many sites where you can access free images, but I’m not here to talk about those. One of the problems I’ve noticed with those sites is that you start to see the same image in posts by dozens of other people. Continue reading

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5 Successful Blog Post Starters

I know 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 be the most difficult part of the blog writing process.

To help, 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 I Get My Blog Post Ideas,” leads off with my own experience in finding ideas for posts.

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Where I Get My 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

I admit that I’ve been amassing a wealth of these types of tips. I’ve even checked out a few of the “random blog post idea generator” web sites that are out there. But I haven’t used any of them yet. I am not ruling out the possibility of ever using these resources for ideas, but let me share with you my personal sources.

Where do I get my 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