• 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.…

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    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…

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    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,…

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    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?…

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    5 Content Marketing Myths Debunked

    Recently, I finished a big, huge, gigantic writing project… well, a big, huge, gigantic portion of an even bigger project. I got to write 16 pages about content marketing. YAY! Go, me! I love my job! #ragingnerd Anyway, as I wrote those 16 pages, I kept thinking about how many myths I encountered about content marketing as I scoured blogs and YouTube videos for source material. It astounded me to see the crazy-pants tips being hocked as truth bombs when they’re anything but. So, I kept a sticky note separate from the writing project to capture a few thoughts as they cropped up, and today I decided to share some of the…

  • blogging

    Authenticity Does Not Equal Dirty Hair, Joggers, & a Latte

    You’ve seen this person on Instagram: a perfectly-styled shot of big, dry-shampooed hair parked at a cafe table sipping a foamy latte, while rocking a perfectly casual pair of joggers, strappy sandals, and a tank. The caption is always something like, “Dirty hair, don’t care! Not every day can be styled. Some days it’s all about the dry shampoo, yo! I have to be true to myself, and this is the real me. #authentic #beyou #unstyled #sorrynotsorry #vsco” etc. Here’s the thing: You might be someone who rocks days-old hair and drinks lattes and wears joggers, and that’s awesome. If that’s who you are, that is truly awesome! But. Styling…