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Content Writers: Do You Speak Your Readers’ Language?

What’s the difference between a business and a company? Does it matter?

I was editing a piece of content today aimed at small business owners—retailers, restaurant owners, people like that—and the writer made a reference to “your company.” This particular writer creates content for a number of different clients, many of which are in very corporate fields, so most likely the word “company” slipped in there out of habit. I changed it to "business."

In content—and communications in general—the words we choose make a difference.

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Aug 7, 2014 8:30:00 AM
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The Single Best Way to Become a Better Writer: READ!

I’m not easily suckered into clickbait. A couple days ago, however, a friend on Facebook shared an infographic called “Surprising Book Facts.” This caught my attention.

Among the Surprising Book Facts included in this infographic was that “42% of college grads never read another book after college,” and “33% of High School Graduates [capitalized for some reason] never read another book the rest of their lives.”

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Aug 1, 2014 8:30:00 AM
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Great Content Isn’t About Best Practices; It’s About Your Practices

Why do so many businesses have such a hard time creating decent blog content? I don’t think it’s because writing is hard—or not just because writing is hard, or not even primarily because writing is hard.

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Jul 2, 2014 3:59:57 PM
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How to Sound Like an Expert (And Gain the Trust of Your Readers)

Alternately, I could have titled this post, “How to Impress People by Sounding Like You Know What You’re Talking About,” and, for the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume that you actually do know what you’re talking about. You’re an expert in your field and you want that expertise to be reflected in your content marketing.

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Jun 24, 2014 8:30:00 AM
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Has Your Business Blog Stagnated? How to Freshen it Up

Writing blog articles is never easy, but in some ways it is easier at the beginning of a content marketing campaign. You’re excited for the opportunities your content will bring, eager to get your voice out there, and perhaps most importantly, you have a ton of ideas for articles.

Inevitably, however, your enthusiasm will fade. You will start finding things to work on that are more important than writing content. You will run out of things to write about.

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Jun 3, 2014 8:30:00 AM
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On Content: Boring Business, Enjoyable Content

“Most people don’t think about us until they need us.”

I’ve heard that line dozens of times from dozens of content marketing clients, most of them in the business-to-business (B2B) field. The truth is that there are only a handful of industries that people who aren’t direct participants in that industry follow: Hollywood, for example, professional sports, and of course, whatever’s going on in the board rooms and R&D departments of the top tech players like Apple and Facebook.

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Mar 14, 2014 8:30:00 AM
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Create Lead-Generating Content Marketing

High-quality content marketing is imperative for effective lead generation.  For content to deliver a significant volume of leads, it must be highly relevant, deliver real value, not be overly “salesy” or promotional, be high-quality, offer real data as proof, and support your business objectives.  Content marketing is critical.  Due to sweeping search engine algorithm changes, including Hummingbird, content marketing is one of the only strategies that can consistently incite positive results.  Your old SEO tricks may no longer be effective, so high-quality content marketing is now more important than ever.  The success of your digital marketing and the future of your business depend on your ability to deliver content that generates leads

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Feb 26, 2014 5:00:00 PM
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On Content: Don’t Let Your ‘Messaging’ Get in the Way of a Good Story

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m an enthusiastic viewer of the Olympics. I’m not what you would call a huge sports fan by any means, but I do enjoy the chance to check in every couple years on the sports that usually don’t get much attention here in the United States. Biathlon anyone? As an introvert, I also appreciate the solitary nature of many of the Olympic sports. No amount of teamwork is going to get you down the ski jump.

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Feb 21, 2014 8:00:00 AM
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Raise Your Content Marketing ROI with Effective Distribution

To advance your business, you must publish captivating, high-quality content, which truly speaks to your target audience by answering important questions, offering key solutions and providing valuable, in-depth thought leadership.  Content is your avenue for getting highly ranked by Google, gaining recognition as an industry thought leader, reaching a wider captive audience, and amplifying lead generation and new business.  Publishing such content is a major hurdle to inbound marketing success.  However, your content marketing efforts should not end with publication on your company blog. 

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Feb 6, 2014 9:00:00 AM
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On Content: Focused Blog Content is Better Blog Content

Let’s try a thought experiment. Imagine you’re a guitar instructor. Not only are you a guitar instructor, but you’re a guitar instructor who has developed a new, revolutionary approach to learning the guitar that significantly reduces the amount of time required to achieve mastery of the instrument. Now you just need to find some students—preferably paying students.

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Feb 3, 2014 8:30:00 AM
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