Category: Business Writing

How to Blog With a Purpose

By Kim Lifton
President
Wow Writing Workshop

Do you want to write a blog? Do you have something make sure you have something to say that others may find interesting?

It’s not easy, but it doesn’t have to be so hard, either. Start with the basics.

First, there’s a lot of competition. There are so many blogs out there that online marketing experts cannot even pinpoint an accurate number. Estimates range from 31 million to more than 200 million. With so many other blogs out there, how will you make yours stand out?  In a word, content.

Content is king, and brevity is your friend.

What’s a blog, anyway?

A blog is a collection of posts that can be educational, informational, controversial or personal, and is updated on a regular basis. You can blog daily, weekly, or as often as you choose. You can write a blog to share personal information, opinions, or for business purposes.

Here are a few of wow’s top tips to help you make your blog stand out:

1)   Keep it simple

2)   Make sure it is focused.

3)   Write it short

4)   Follow the 3 C’s: Make sure what you write is clear. Concise. Consistent.

5)   Think of your blog as a marketing tool; it’s generally not poetry.

To master the art of blogging, you’ll need to write with your intended audience in mind; you’ll also need to write it well.

Ask yourself:

·     What do you want readers to know after they are done reading your blog?

·     Why?

·     Who are you writing for?

After you have answered these three questions, delve a bit deeper:

·     What can you teach you readers that they cannot get elsewhere?

·     What do you want your readers to do, think, know, or buy after reading your blog?

Odds are pretty good that if you are reading this article, you are an expert about something. That means you already have great content at your disposal.

You probably have a lot of content, too. There’s no need to create new stuff, or to reinvent the wheel. Do an assessment of what you have. Recycle and get the job done! It is probably better than you think it is.

Want to Learn How to Blog With A Purpose?

Find out what it takes to write a blog with a purpose in Wow’s upcoming Business Communications Seminar, beginning May 15 through June 30. In this self-guided, online seminar, we’ll talk about what a blog is, and what it is not, and how yours can be used effectively to increase sales, raise money or build a brand. We’ll also talk about why every blog writer should be able to answer these questions: What is your message? Why? And who is your audience? Includes a 60-minute private consult with Wow President Kim Lifton, plus step-by-step guidelines and planning documents.  Register below.

Kim Lifton can get a story out of anyone writing an effective college application essay
Wow President Kim Lifton

Kim Lifton is President of Wow Writing Workshop, a strategic writing and communications firm. Wow is a team of professional writers and teachers who understand the writing process inside and out. The Wow Method has been used by students to write application essays and resumes; by business owners to create blogs, websites and other communication materials; and by English teachers to improve student writing skills. We can even help you write a great poem or short story. If it involves words, we can help!

The Secret to Social Media: It’s Social!

By Kim Lifton
President
Wow Writing Workshop

I met Pulitzer Prize winning journalist George Anders at a college admissions conference in San Diego a few years ago. I had no idea he was sitting in the back of the room while I was moderating a panel on the college application essay. But I did know who he was; I followed him on social media, and I suggested he cover the event.

The next day, George published a fantastic article on Forbes.com featuring our panelists, and my company, Wow Writing Workshop. My business partner and I were ecstatic. The article was just what we needed to bring some attention to our small company.

Coincidence? No way. This article was the direct result of old-fashioned networking done well, using modern-day tools: social media.

I love meeting new people. I like to get to know them, too. I have always been this way.  Curious and friendly. Chatty, too. That’s why I love social media. It allows me to stay in touch with friends I already have, engage in conversations with people I might otherwise never meet and brand my company on a scale much larger than I could have ever imagined.

I met George through Twitter. I followed him. He wrote a piece about a company I knew (but did not like), and I emailed him, telling him why. I kept my thoughts private out of respect for a fellow writer. But I did not expect a response. To my surprise, George responded almost immediately with a phone call. He appreciated my honesty and wanted to know more. He listened as I shared my views. We bonded.

A year after that phone call, George wrote an article that ultimately helped my small company gain credibility inside the massive college admission industry. And it all happened because I followed – and engaged with – him on Twitter.

How do you use social media? Do you spend too much time in the clouds, searching blindly for leads, only to be disappointed with the results? If you are a small business or a nonprofit, you can’t always plan the results you might expect using free online networking tools, but you can certainly do a lot to build your brand without breaking the bank.

We spend 2 hours a week posting and engaging under the Wow brand. You can do a lot in 2 hours a week, too.

Here are my Top 9 tips for making free social media tools work for you in 2 hours a week:

1.    Be social

2.    Share more than you sell

3.    Engage with followers: Don’t just post; “like” and comment on other people’s posts

4.    Develop a plan that is part of an overall marketing strategy

5.    Create a social media calendar with monthly themes

6.    Pre-schedule your posts using a bulk scheduler

7.    Use photos, videos and gifs

8.    Understand what social media can and cannot do

9.    Make sure the person in charge of your posts actually likes social media

Not everything is a sale or a party on social media. And you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars a month, plus countless staff hours, running a successful social media program for your nonprofit or small business. But you do need an online presence. Want to learn more? I’m running social media and blogging seminars this spring and summer. Join us to find out how you can use these tools more effectively too.

Kim Lifton is President of Wow Writing Workshop, a strategic communication and writing services company. Kim has been reporting the news, blogging, coaching & writing for business and nonprofits, and teaching students how to tell their stories for three decades. For more information, visit Business Communication Institute.