5 Tips to Improve Your Blogs

5 Tips to Improve Your Blog

Photo editor working at her deskYour blog is the way you keep yourself and your business relevant. Writing tips like these or news updates about your product or business keep your website fresh. Depending on how often you update your blog, it can be hard to keep coming up with ideas or subjects that relate to your business. There are a few different ways to keep your blog fresh.

  • Utilize your knowledge. You’ve spent so much time investing and learning about your product and business. There’s no way to instantly get followers and readers, but guaranteed people will be more interested if you start focusing on the things you know a lot about. Pick smaller subjects you know a lot about within your business and write a couple blog posts about those.
  • Be original. It sounds silly, but don’t write to a certain formula. Write how you would talk. It doesn’t need to be formal. In fact, the more formal, the less interested people may be. Find your own voice in your writing and own it.
  • Include pictures. Images, images, images! People love images and don’t so much like words. Give the people something to look at in every post. Whether it’s a picture, a graph, a chart, a diagram… Make sure there’s something visually appealing about what you’re posting.
  • Provide eye rests. Whether that’s a list, a bold sentence, or an image, create a place where people aren’t just reading huge blocks of text. If you don’t have lists or bold print, people are much less likely to read your entire post.
  • Don’t focus on the money. Don’t just blog because you have to, blog because you want to. Talk to your audience as if you’re in the same room, chatting about a topic rather than writing a formal essay for SEO purposes.

If you are looking to improve your blog or want more blog tips, contact Red Mallard today. We’re always open to helping you improve your blogging and internet image.

Keep Your Content Evergreen

The word Content on a cork notice boardKeep Your Content Evergreen

The content you put out to the world is how people learn about you and your brand. While it’s important to keep your blog and social media updated constantly, it’s even more important to make sure that what you’re posting is evergreen.

So what exactly is evergreen content? Despite the name, it doesn’t have anything to do with keeping the environment healthy or a coniferous tree. Evergreen content has to do with how relevant the content can stay over time. Essentially, the content should be relevant not just the day it’s posted, but also when someone stumbles across your blog six months later.

There isn’t a specific period of time that your content needs to stay relevant, but the longer, the better. Your content is already interesting—if you make it interesting always, you’ll be able to continually attract more customers.

There are a few ways to keep your content evergreen.

  • Be the source. Whatever topic you’re covering, use multiple sources. Treat it as a mini-essay so people choose your blog to reference when they’re creating their own content.
  • Write for your audience. If you start throwing around big words, your audience will lose interest. People that are researching your topic are probably beginners, not professionals. Make sure your content is written towards them.
  • Stay specific. Going in-depth on one specific topic will help your readers stay focused, rather than jumping around to a bunch of different subjects. It’s also easier to write, as you don’t have to worry about covering so many topics in 300-500 words.

If you have any more questions as to how to keep your content evergreen, contact Red Mallard today. We specialize in 100% unique content for you and your business or product and will make sure your content is as evergreen and relevant as possible.

Why is Branding Important?

Why is Branding Important?

Branding has been around since the late 1980s, but despite its twenty-plus years of being around, people still struggle to define exactly what it is and how it can affect your business.

Brand equity is defined by David Aaker (author if Managing Brand Equity) as “a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand name and symbol, which add to or subtract from the value provided by a product or service” (Source). Essentially, your brand determines how much money you make.

A good brand can mean a good income. So how can you make sure your brand is defined properly? There are 4 parts to creating a brand equity:

  1. Brand Loyalty: Brand loyalty is a combination of staying loyal to your own brand as well as getting your customers to stay loyal to you. This includes keeping your price at market value (or lower, if possible) and responding to competitive threats.
  2. Brand Awareness: Know who you are and what you stand by. This sort of familiarity will attract people with similar stances and give you more visibility in your targeted market.
  3. Brand Association: How do you communicate information, and is it effective? Make sure you’re keeping your blogs and social media platforms up to date so you’re constantly at the front of peoples’ minds.
  4. Perceived Quality: Give people a reason to buy your product. What makes it so special? Make sure that’s constantly reinforced in everything—your website, your social media, etc. The better people feel about your product, the better it’ll sell.

If you have any other questions about how to create and keep your brand, give Red Mallard a call. We’d be happy to meet with you and discuss what your specific business or product could use to make a better name for itself in your market.

"Blog" written on an old typewriter

Blogging Tips to Ignore

There are so many blog posts out there with tips on how to make your blog better. Update frequently, get ideas from your readers, give stuff away, share knowledge. Not all of these tips are terrible, but there are a few tips that need to be clarified when trying to write a good blog post.

Visit all other blogs and comment on everything. Giving traffic does not mean getting traffic. And by this, we mean going to a million other blogs and “liking” and commenting on their posts for the sole purpose of bringing people to your own blog. Commenting on others’ posts is encouraged, because it creates discussion and lets a writer know you’re picking up what they’re putting down. But a “FOLLOW MY BLOG” post is only going to irritate the writer and the people leaving serious comments.

Give away lots of things for more followers. Hosting giveaways won’t boost your follower count, especially if you require them to follow 17 different social media accounts (and don’t try to trick us because we’ll definitely check!) and repost a picture and tag you in the post… all for one entry. It’s a lot of hassle, and half the time you can’t ship internationally or the prize isn’t worth it. A giveaway can help on occasion to bring in business, but don’t make your clients jump through a million hoops to enter.

Blog every single day. Blogging every day might keep your blog at the top of the “recently updated” list, but it doesn’t give your readers time to actually read and take in everything you’re saying. Your content will be overlooked and won’t actually bring more business to your site.

Require an email subscription before they can read your blog. In theory, this would be great. You’d get so many more email subscribers, right? Wrong. It’s the 21st century, and people hate spam. If someone comes across your blog and is forced to sign up for something, they’re all-too likely to just close out of the page. Then not only are you losing page traffic, but website traffic.

At Red Mallard, we aim to get your website and blog the most traffic possible. For more information on how we can do this, contact us.

Microphone at the speech podium

Kevin Spacey’s Marketing Challenge

A couple weeks ago, actor Kevin Spacey (House of Cards, American Beauty) was a highly-anticipated speaker at the Content Marketing World 2014 convention. So what does Kevin Spacey have to do with content marketing? We wondered the same thing, and so did Kevin Spacey.

The answer: he knows stories, and the people want stories.

“The story is everything, which means it’s our jobs to tell better stories,” he said in his key note address. He broke it down into three parts: conflict, authenticity, and audience.

Conflict
“Conflict keeps people engaged in your story,” Spacey said. This means taking risks in your business. You can’t guarantee the risk will turn out how you want, but no matter what you can guarantee that, even if you fail, people will commend you for trying and think highly of your business.

Authenticity
This one should go without saying, but be honest. This can mean a few things. First, establish a trust with your audience. If you promise something in your advertising, follow through. It also means not being fake. Audiences—whether it’s readers of your blog or your clients—are getting good at being able to tell when someone isn’t being genuine. If they feel you aren’t authentic, they aren’t going to trust your brand.

Audience
Know your audience. It’s in every single marketing and blogging book out there, but it’s true. If you can’t cater specifically to your audience, how are they supposed to keep coming back? Spacey related this to the television show “Game of Thrones.” When you have such a following, but don’t make it readily available, you get “the No. 1 pirated show in the history of the medium.”

With these three things in mind, it might be time to change the attitude of your business’s content marketing. At Red Mallard, we want to make sure your business and content have all three parts of the story. Contact us for more information on how to make this possible.

Grammar Dictionary Definition

Grammar is Important in Your Business

We’ve all heard it before: “Let’s eat grandma!” versus “Let’s eat, Grandma!” Two very distinct, different sentences with very distinct, different meanings. Grammar is important for more than just everyday knowledge: it’s important in order to be taken seriously in the business world.

In the most minor cases, poor grammar can result in confusion. In most workplaces, there’s a common feeling of “time is money”. If that’s the case, then why would you waste both time and money trying to clarify confusions that wouldn’t have ever been an issue if you’d just written your email/blog/tweet correctly the first time?

In its extreme, poor grammar can change the entire meaning of a sentence. This can create a huge disaster if something on your website or in an email is miscommunicated. Misleading information can lead to upset clients, which is never good for business.

Grammar rules are constantly changing, but that’s no reason to disregard grammar rules all together. We use words to communicate, and a good business should rely on good communication. The last thing you want to be doing is confusing your potential clients.

Studies have also shown that people with proper grammar are more likely to succeed in their business. If your grammar is correct in your speech and writing, your level of competency is perceived to be higher. On the other hand, poor grammar can result in clients wondering what else you may not know. If you couldn’t be bothered to take the time to Google the difference between “it’s” and “its,” what else are you too lazy to do?

At Red Mallard, all of our writers have years of experience writing for various industries to ensure the best quality of work for our clients. Not only that, but even after they finish writing, we edit your content until we are certain that it’s grammatically correct. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us. We’re always happy to write original content for your business.

Blog Design

Just Because You Can Start a Blog Doesn’t Mean You Should

In fact, maybe you shouldn’t. At least not on your own.

Sure, it might bring some traffic to your website, but there’s so much more to blogging than that. It’s more than just scribbling notes and posting them. You might have a million ideas on what to blog about, but do you really understand exactly how blogs work?

The cold hard truth is this: blogging is less about the content and more about promotion and upkeep.

Don’t misunderstand, the content absolutely has its own share of importance, but what relevance does the content have if no one is reading it? Blogging is more about planning, scheduling, and organizing. It’s work, and if the work isn’t taken seriously, it won’t be successful.

One aspect of your blog that a lot of people take for granted is their audience. Who, exactly, is reading your blog? The answer to this question can’t just be “anyone.” You need to have a specific target audience in mind.

Is your audience young or old? Are you directing your blogs to scientists with Ph.Ds or recent high school graduates? Your audience affects your wording, your verbiage, and of course your subject matter.

And finally, the main reason you shouldn’t blog on your own is that you don’t have any intention of actually maintaining it. There’s nothing worse than a lazy blog. Use it. Have someone keep it updated if you can’t. Blogs require work, but their benefits are huge.

Ultimately, if you can’t commit the time, don’t start. There are other ways to bring traffic to your site, like social media. At Red Mallard, blogging is one of our specialties. We blog right. We keep it maintained for you and bring in as much traffic as we can with relevant, promoted content. If you’re interested in using our blogging services, contact us. We’re happy to meet with you to see how we can help.