• blogging

    How to Edit a Blog Post: 5 Quick Tips

    We write to convey something. You, the blogger, want to communicate with your audience. Maybe you’re telling a story to connect with your readers. Maybe you’re selling a product or delivering a free offer. Maybe you’re knee-deep in a content offering, a funnel, or a course. Whatever you’re writing, no matter how brilliant your work, you could miss the mark with editing missteps. Readers need to connect with you and your words, but typos and errors lose their attention. Even worse, you could lose their trust. It doesn’t have to be that way! Rather than simply write and then publish, take a few extra minutes to walk through these five…

  • blogging

    Bloggers: STOP Doing These Things to Be More Efficient

    Do you want to be a more effective blogger? More productive? More profitable? Of course we all do. But, oftentimes, we try to achieve efficiency by adding more to our lists: more time management techniques, more tips and tricks, more hacks. And, unfortunately, we’re inadvertently wasting a ton of time by filling our schedules with things we shouldn’t be doing. There’s only so much time in the day, so let’s be more efficient and chop some things off that list! Stop comparing yourself to others. Social media can feel like a compare-a-thon. Yeah, you might love another blogger’s Instagram feed and aspire to achieve her follower count or her consistency.…

  • blogging

    Storytelling 201: How to market and sell with stories

    Who here loves to sell? While I can’t see you through my monitor, I bet nearly everyone is shaking their heads, “Nope!” Yet for those of us who run our blogs as a business, that’s essentially what we’re hired to do: Sell either the brand or a specific product that brand manufactures. Whether you participate in influencer marketing campaigns, create and sell your own products, sell services like consulting, or work directly with brands, you’re selling. If you are someone who, like me, feels uncomfortable with the idea of “selling” or you don’t want to come off as “salesy” to your readers, I’m here to reassure you: You can be…

  • blogging

    Storytelling 101: The why and how of telling stories on your blog

    We got lost driving out to the no-kill shelter in northern Virginia. We nearly gave up because, by the time we found our way around the horse farms and dirt roads to the right gravel drive, we only had half an hour before the shelter closed for the night. As we spotted the turn, John and I agreed: We’d scope it out for a few minutes then come back next weekend. As we walked up to the adoption office, we talked through our “dream dog” list: no puppies, a big dog, a male, good with kids and other dogs. We met the shelter volunteer and relayed the list to her.…

  • blogging

    How to Increase Blog Traffic While Staying True to YOU!

    Let’s talk blog growth: Unless you’re blogging as a hobby–which, by the way, is awesome and get on with your bad self!–you probably want to make a little money from sharing your time and talents with the internet. If you google info on growing your blog, you’re hit with dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of posts about “growth hacks” and tips and tricks to “game” the system. Those hacks might help you see a spike in growth, but it won’t be long-term, lasting, meaningful growth, the kind that gets you paid gigs. Instead, it’ll be temporary numbers jumps without any retention. And who wants that? We’re in this for the long haul,…

  • work life

    How to Write Faster (Bonus: You’ll write better, too!)

    Creating content takes time. If your business relies on fresh, new content (really, though, whose doesn’t?), you know how long it takes to take a piece from concept to publish. What if you could cut out a huge chunk of time, the chunk that often takes the most time, and still produce quality work? In the years I spent teaching writing, and in the subsequent years I spent consulting, the one complaint I’ve heard over and over and over again is this: “It just takes forever to get the writing done.” Said, of course, with a deep whine. I get it. Writing is hard. But, it doesn’t have to take forever.  However,…

  • freelance life

    Freelance Life: The 9 Best Gifts for Writers

    What do you get for the writer who could put you in her novel and have you murdered? maggiemarton.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.  Our Recommendations: The 9 Best Gifts for Writers An Inspiring and Motivating Read I was sent a review copy of this book, and I’m SO glad I was! In Creative Economy Entrepreneurs: From Startup to Success: How Startups in the Creative Industries are Transforming the Global Economy, the authors share advice and case studies that emphasize just how important creative entrepreneurs…

  • news

    Combining Passion and Purpose with The Zero-Waste Pet

    Last week I shared my definition of authenticity. It focuses on two points: knowing your values and aligning your life around them. Well, I’m proud to say that I’ve been practicing what I preach! One of my fundamental values is sustainability, being a kind steward of this planet. It’s a shared resource, you know? I believe we all have a responsibility to take care of the earth. I take that responsibility seriously. Another one of my fundamental values is helping people be great pet owners. I write my blog to provide nonjudgmental, useful, funny, down-to-earth guidance to people who love their dogs and cats as much as I love mine.…

  • blogging

    OK, then. So, what IS authenticity?

    When I posted this post a couple weeks ago, I struck a nerve. By that I really mean the post got a handful more Twitter shares than usual, which I found interesting and warranted some digging. Here’s the thing: “Authenticity” has become a toxic word. It’s so over-used and it’s so mis-used that it’s easy to dismiss. And that really sucks. I think the misuse happens when Instagrammers spray dry shampoo in their dirty hair and call it “authentic” or sip a latte at a sidewalk cafe and caption #authenticliving or whatever–that does not (necessarily) equate to authenticity. So, what is authenticity? It’s first knowing your values. What do you stand for?…