top of mind marketing cool free tools for writers

Use Cool Free Tools to Become a Better Writer

By | Blogging | No Comments

Not a great writer? Not a problem. These cool free tools will help you become a better writer. They’ll help improve the quality of your writing and make it more accessible.

Grammarly. Upload an article and this impressive app picks up potentially embarrassing editorial mistakes. Grammarly highlights grammar, punctuation, spelling and subject-verb agreement issues. It gives you a score—mine was in the high 90s. Good. It also told me that my article could be read by those with at least a ninth-grade education. Not so good. In an earlier blog I mentioned that we should be targeting readers at a fifth-grade level.

Hemingway. This cool, free tool is named after novelist Ernest Hemingway who was all about crisp, efficient writing, the Hemingway app is an excellent tool for sharpening your writing. Paste your work into the editor, and it will automatically highlight sections of your writing; each color suggests a different type of improvement you could make.

  • Yellow–Shorten or split sentences.
  • Red–Sentences are too dense and complicated.
  • Purple–Overly complex words. Hover over them and Hemingway will suggest simpler alternatives.
  • Blue–Use of adverbs, which come across as weak.
  • Green-Use of passive voice, which is less engaging. You should be acting rather than being acted upon.

Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

Once you get past the name, and you’ll find that this tool is something you’ll want to be using on a regular basis. It’s based on the premise that we want to be reaching our audiences on an emotional level.

If no one reads your headline, nothing else matters. Here’s how this works: EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) words have “sounds tones” which produce stronger “emotional” reactions and are thus better at reaching the reader on an emotional level. The Analyzer givesyour headline a score based on the total number of EMV words relative to the total number of words it contains. The higher the percentage of EMV words, the better your headline is likely to perform.

Buzzsumo: Cool, free and a a rich source of blog topics

One of our biggest challenges is coming up with blog topics. I love Buzzsumo. Scroll through this site and you can view a year’s worth of topics in your interest area that were most popular on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. You want to be targeting those topics for where there’s a significant amount of interest. Another good place to look for ideas? SlideShare. Spend some time perusing these topics and you’ll emerge with lots of good ideas.

Don’t count on this cool free tool: Microsoft’s spellcheck

If you’re relying on Microsoft’s spellcheck, keep in mind that while it’s a really good start, it doesn’t begin to address things like subject-verb agreement or the gazillion words that no longer need to be hyphenated. Language evolves at a faster rate than what Microsoft can deliver.

None of these tools is going to write your blog for you

It’s hard to beat cool and free. But you still need to sit down and write. Make it a commitment and own it. And use these apps to help you become more attuned to good writing.

Need help developing your content marketing program?

Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and content marketing experts.

top of mind marketing facebook and data privacy

Facebook, Privacy and Your Data

By | Social media | No Comments

It’s been a tough year for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

Facebook’s data wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, who used the information to target voters during the 2016 election. Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages. Facebook downplays the data privacy breach, claiming that it never granted access to user data without permission.

You really can’t overestimate the value of user data

Personal data has become the most prized commodity of the digital age, and it’s traded on a vast scale by powerful companies in Silicon Valley and beyond. For those who may not understand what this is all about, it’s hard to overestimate the value of user data. Data helps us understand consumer buying habits, and it’s worth its weight in gold. It helps companies know how to market to whom. Facebook users make it easy by happily providing detailed information about their lives as they fill in fields with their new job titles, education levels, marital status, interests, hobbies, etc. This information can all be exported and shared with other companies.

Sharing consumer data: How this works

Let’s say you just got engaged, so of course you added this to the Relationship field of your Facebook page. The average couple spends $25,000 on their wedding, so there’s a lot of money to be made here. Now think of all the vendors that service the wedding industry—florists, bakeries, hotels, caterers, photographers, dress designers, wedding planners, etc.

The more upscale (You’ve already identified your education level, community and job title, which are affluence indicators), the more interested these vendors are going to be. They want to identify those couples who are most likely to be spending upwards of $25K so they can begin marketing to these potential new wedding clients.

Facebook executives have acknowledged missteps over the past year

Facebook understands they’ve got to regain user trust, and it requires stronger teams, better technology and clearer policies. One spokeswoman says it has found no evidence of abuse by its partners. Some of the largest partners, including Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo, said they had used the data appropriately, but declined to discuss the sharing deals in detail. Facebook did admit to mismanaging some of its partnerships.

What’s next for Facebook?

Facebook is facing decelerating revenue growth—they’ve begun to saturate their market, at 1.74B users. Data privacy issues have taken a toll, but Facebook sees big opportunities in private messaging. Stories format and video. Facebook is investing in data privacy and messaging. Augmented and virtual reality represent a significant investment.

This last summer, California’s state legislature passed a groundbreaking bill that will give residents unprecedented control over their data. The law, criticized by pro-business groups like the Chambers of Commerce, will become law on January 1, 2020. Tech giants are racing to supersede the law with more industry-friendly legislation. A lot could happen before then.

Do you need help with your social media strategy?

Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and internet marketing specialists.

Top of Mind Marketing case studies are a great way to demonstrate your expertise

Case Study: Business Doubles Revenue Month/Month

By | Internet Marketing | No Comments

Sometimes we forget how effective case studies can be. Rather than just telling your audience what you do, this is an opportunity to actually demonstrate your ability to effect change, to showcase your expertise, to document how you’ve successfully helped your clients increase sales.

Let’s revisit a case study from more than a year ago

In the original article, we took a look at how one small Napa Valley business owner used two simple online tools to significantly increase his revenue. Now more than a year later, those same two online tools have actually doubled his revenue, month-over-month.

Bill Ryan has lived in St. Helena for more than 40 years. He retired years ago after a long, successful career in sales and marketing management positions at Beringer. Bill’s a busy guy. An avid fisherman, he writes a weekly fishing report for the Napa Valley Registerand a monthly column for the St. Helena Star. Bill also has a little mobile notary business. When we met, I wondered why a marketing guy’s only form of advertising was a pathetic bumper sticker that said “Notary”.

A simple website to dramatically increase Bill’s visibility

A simple website would be easy and inexpensive to develop. It would dramatically increase his visibility for prospective new clients—especially visitors to Napa Valley who might need to notarize documents while they’re here. I eventually wore Bill down. We collaborated on content, scheduled a photoshoot, identified and uploaded images, purchased and set up a domain and launched St. Helena Notary on the Go within just a few weeks.

Next up: Leveraging the power of Yelp

When I asked Bill why he wasn’t on Yelp, he didn’t really have an answer. His is the kind of business for which Yelp can be effective, so we created a Yelp page and uploaded a few images. Yelp won’t work without reviews, so Bill began asking his clients for reviews. For some, he follows up with an email, thanking them for their business — this is Relationship Building 101, and it’s been extremely successful for Bill.

The results: Bill’s business has doubled month/month as he’s increased his visibility

Bill’s client list includes a fair number of regular corporate clients, lots of old friends and neighbors. Increasingly, however, he’s getting calls from people around the country–New York, Washington DC, Portland, Dallas and LA. They’re either on their way to Napa Valley or already here and need to have documents notarized. They find him through Google or Yelp and love his 5-star reviews.

A simple website and a Yelp page are doing their jobs

These very fundamental online assets are responsible for Bill’s dramatic month/month revenue growth at an extremely modest cost.

Including an actual client in a case study provides validity, but if there are privacy issues, don’t. But do provide details. Show how you helped a client solve problems, increase revenue, streamline operations, open up new marketing channels. Questions about incorporating case studies into your marketing plan? Give me a call!

top of mind marketing cause marketing

What’s Hot: Doing The Right Thing

By | Advertising | No Comments

When Nike featured beleaguered quarterback Colin Kaepernick for its “Just Do It” anniversary, the international sports brand took a big-time risk.

That risk extended to Kaepernick

Kaepernick supporters also feared that he took a big risk of trivializing his mission. The campaign sparked protests, and we saw people burning their Nike gear. Nike’s stock price initially dipped, then rebounded. According to Bloomberg, the company generated buzz worth $43 million in media exposure throughout the campaign. Clearly, an increasing number of consumers are looking for brands that support their values; it’s becoming more of a need-to-have than a nice-to-have.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has heated up

Brands are taking a stand; consumers are starting to look for it and exercise the power of their pocketbooks. Statistics show that in the U.S. alone, 57% of consumers are belief-driven buyers, up 10 points from 2017. A few examples of CSR:

  • Ben & Jerry’s. A big heart and strong social conscience have always been part of the B&J culture. Their Pecan Resist ice cream supports four organizations working to support equality, justice, and inclusion, including the Women’s March.
  • Who doesn’t love our own Marc Benioff and Salesforce–a billionaire philanthropist and disrupter who’s trying to make a better world, including equal pay for women. He and his wife created the Benioff Ocean Initiative at UCSB to study and solve global ocean issues.
  • Reebok. With its #BeMoreHuman campaign, Reebok celebrates and encourages women to be their best by promoting its brand ambassadors, including stars Ariana Grande, Gal Gadot and Gigi Hadid.
  • Target. This giant retailer donates 5% of its income to community grants and programs–more than $4 million/week.
  • Everlane. This women’s clothing company has searched out ethical factories around the world, visiting often and building strong personal relationships with the owners. Factories get audited to evaluate things like fair wages, reasonable hours and environmental impact. They’re also partnering with the Surfrider Foundation to get plastic off the world’s beaches.
  • Eileen Fisher. No sweatshops. Focus on sustainability and organic fibers. Quality, comfy clothing that baby boomers love, made right here in the USA.
  • Levi Strauss & Co. Levi’s has a “Worker Wellbeing Initiative” to help improve the life of their employees. Levi’s has also trademarked their “WaterLess” campaign by using less water in their manufacturing processes.
  • Starbucks.Partnering with Ethos Water, Starbucks is helping bring clean water to more than one billion people who don’t have access to it.
  • Volvo. Last summer, the carmaker announced that beginning in 2019, all new models will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries.
  • Patagonia. The outdoor apparel company has long been an outspoken defender of the environment. As we watch the heartbreaking rollback of environmental controls, Patagonia has gotten more aggressive. Patagonia Action Works is a digital platform to help consumers connect with local grassroots organizations fighting for the environment.

Interested in getting involved?

You don’t need to be a giant corporation. Ask me about cause marketing—identifying a single cause and totally owning it. Contact us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and internet marketing specialists.

Top of Mind Marketing; is a single page website right for your business?

Is a Single-Page Website Design Right For You?

By | websites | No Comments

You may have noticed single-page websites popping up around the internet. They’re especially popular with designers because they’re a great way to host portfolios. Apps and product sites also favor this design option that doesn’t require a lot of content or drilldown.

A single-page website: One that fits on a single page

Single-page websites are fully loaded in the initial page load. There’s no drilldown, no navigation bar or clicking because there’s nowhere else to go! Single-page sites can be efficient, and they’re a natural outgrowth of the mobile movement–visitors don’t have to wait for pages to load.

Things to love about single-page sites

  • Ease of use and maintenance.
  • High conversion rates.
  • Look great on every browsing device, falling within mobile-friendly guidelines.
  • Professional-looking sites can be built in a matter of hours; updates easily achieved.

There are other scenarios when a single-page site is the perfect solution

  • If you’re a freelancer, a single-page is the perfect way to host your work and give potential employers a bit of information about you. You can also include a simple contact intake form.
  • Landing pagesThis is the ideal solution for a campaign. A single-page site lets you create messaging and efficiently run A/B tests.
  • Simple website needs.Think about a pop-up store. A simple website with a brief introduction, photos and contact information is the perfect solution for a temporary business.

The downside

The average website is likely optimized for 20-50+ keywords. Remember that one-page sites are all about images or other information. How can you optimize for 50 keywords on a site that has virtually no content? You can’t. And that’s the biggest drawback to single-page sites.

  • If SEO is an important component of your website and marketing strategy, this is not the best solution for you.
  • Real websites include multiple pages designed around a users’ needs and the website owner’s goals. Let visitors pick their paths based on their needs and then present them with information created just for them. We can do this with a multiple page website, but we can’t easily do this with a single-page website.

Popularity likely to continue, as it serves a need

In a traditional web environment, it’s all about grabbing users with keyword search, getting them to land on your site and then funneling them towards a contact form, page, or phone number. With single-page sites, there’s nowhere for the user to get distracted — every part of the page drives them toward a conversion point, driving more leads and business. While single-page design won’t take over the future of web design, it likely will continue to leave its mark through 2019 because it serves a real need.

Is this right for you?

The best approach: Think about what you want to include on your site. Sketch it out, identifying images and content. Give me a call, and let’s determine if a single-page site is the right solution for your business.

top of mind marketing beef up your content marketing program with blogs, videos and ebooks

6 Ways to Jumpstart Your Content Marketing Program

By | content marketing | No Comments

If one of your New Year goals is to begin or beef up your content marketing program, here are some tips.

Content marketing propels awareness, builds trust and drives sales

Content is the backbone of the web and includes landing pages, blogs, whitepapers, eBooks and social media posts. Content is what generates organic SEO for your website. Questions surface about whether or not blogs are still important–remember that search-engine ranking starts with keywords—blogs remain the best way to populate your site with quality content.

Images/Photos

Websites have become increasingly visual, and those with images perform better than those without. But think about mixing up visual content.

  • Infographics are very effective and easy to create. I’ve been using a free app called Piktochart that’s ridiculously easy to use and I’m finding new ways to use it.
  • Use a quote or testimonial as a pullquote—it becomes a graphic and it’s a great way to draw attention to an important statement while also providing visual appeal.
  • Slide presentations. Upload slide presentations as pdf files. Provide an overview and a key image to entice your readers.
  • Animated GIFs have become part of the landscape.

Videos

Videos have become very popular—especially among younger users. They also boost your SEO value. There are many DIY tools for creating your own videos, but the quality can be marginal. Think about what you want your ideal clients to be viewing. Videos can be:

  • How to/instructional
  • Interviews
  • Quick tips
  • Webinar recordings

YouTube and Facebook are the most popular channels for publishing video content. YouTube tends to do better with longer-form video.

eBooks

Electronic books—eBooks–have become incredibly popular. They provide significant value by offering long-form topical discussion. Ebooks are typically PDF files and include a mix of text and images.

White papers

White papers are longer-form content used to convey data-driven insights or case studies. Like eBooks, white papers are also great lead magnets.

Identify keywords

Using keywords correctly will help your content rank higher. Doing keyword research is an important part of every content marketing program. Use free tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest.

  • Use keywords in the title of your content.
  • Mention keywords at least once in the first paragraph of your post.
  • Use your keyword in at least one H2 heading.
  • Maintain a keyword ratio of 2% of total word count.

Note that search engines are becoming smart and intuitive. They know the difference between natural keyword usage and keyword stuffing.

Longer blog posts typically perform best

When writing blog posts, longer is usually better–2,000 words is good minimum target for your articles. You’re thinking Nobody is ever going to read this! Buzzsumo analyzed 100 million articles, and found that people are more likely to share longer articles. I believe you need at least 300+ words to rank well. Frontload your article, with the most important information in the first couple of paragraphs.

Need help developing your content marketing program? We’re writers and internet marketing specialists. Contact Top of Mind Marketing about your project.

Top of Mind Marketing Good Marketing is storytelling and it includes Santa Claus at Christmas

The Holidays: Connecting with Good Storytelling

By | Internet Marketing | No Comments

It’s the holidays, with brands working overtime to leverage the most wonderful time of the year. I’m on the hunt for the best holiday ads of 2018. I look for messages that are simple and compelling, that leave us deeply touched with the spirit of giving and the importance of spending the holidays with people we love. In the meantime, a couple of my all-time favorites.

Apple, as always, rocks the best ads, and we can learn a lot from their campaigns

Apple ads are sleek, smart and creative, often using stark black and white images to tell their stories. The overarching message, of course, is that these beautiful products are elite. If we buy them and spend the next few years sucking up to Apple’s Genius Bar, we’ll become part of this elite community. Last year’s ad, featuring two dancers in a winter snowfall, was simply breathtaking. This ad is called Sway; its tagline: Move someone this holiday. The dancers are actually husband and wife dancers who met in a New York dance audition!

A Polish ad may be the best Christmas ad ever

This ad belongs in my pantheon. It begins with a nice older man as he orders a book online and receives the delivery of “English for Beginners”. He practices his English aloud as he goes about his daily routine—on the bus, during breakfast, in the bathtub. He stares at a rubber duck and carefully enunciates, “I love you. You are perfect”.

He labels his dog, his knife and fork and his toothpaste with post-it notes. He continues an imaginary dialog as he eats his dinner. Watching TV can be a great learning tool, and he picks up phrases from American action films. “Go ahead, make my day.”

The arrival of a suitcase explains his language lessons

One day a suitcase arrives, and we begin to understand why he’s learning a new language. We watch as he carefully packs, and we follow him to the airport, across the sea and into the warm embrace of his son at the front door of his London home. When his little granddaughter emerges from her bedroom, he kneels down and gently says, “I am your grandpa.”

This wonderful ad is by Allegro, the most popular online marketplace in Poland. According to their spokespeople, “For years, we’ve strived to make Allegro the largest e-commerce platform in the CEE (Central and Eastern European) region, and to our customers, bring joy, touch the heart and cause a smile.”

I’ve watched this ad more times than I’ll admit, and I’m not alone. It went totally viral and has been viewed more than 15 million times. Allegro clearly touched a lot of hearts with this wonderful ad.

Looking back, it seems that we’ve endured a year of endless crisis; lies and chicanery; fires, floods and shootouts. Too many people have lost more than they can bear. Yet the new year brings a promise of optimism and hope. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and new year.

Are you rethinking your marketing program for the new year? 

Give Top of Mind Marketing a call—let’s strategize about how to make the most of your marketing dollar. We’re writers and internet marketing specialists.

topofmindmarketing web design trends for 2019

Thinking about a New Website? Design Trends 2019

By | websites | No Comments

I’m working with a client whose website is 15 years old. Unlike us, websites don’t improve with age. The biggest problem, of course, is that a 15-year old site isn’t mobile friendly in our mobile-mad world.

My client is well aware of this, of course. But a new website is always a major initiative, and there are often bigger priorities. The fact remains that a website is where people go to learn more about you, and it’s hard to overestimate the power of a website as the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.

If a new website or a site refresh is part of your 2019 marketing plan, here are some design trends:

1. Speed

Users now expect a site to load in two seconds or fewer; they will abandon a site if it takes three seconds or more.

2. Flat design

Look for clean, minimalist flat design. Flat design helps a site fulfill speed requirements that search engines love. It helps hold high SEO value and gets rid of clutter. Think bright colors, clean and crisp edges, lots of open space, simple imagery and sans-serif fonts.

3. Mobile first search

In 2015, the number of mobile searches overtook those from desktop computers. The result? Mobile has had a huge influence on website design. Meeting the demands of mobile users will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

4. Broken-grid layout

Grids have been used for decades on webpages, newspapers and ads for content alignment and consistency. You may not see grid lines, but someone used a grid to develop the layout. Now asymmetry and broken grids are gaining popularity. Look for unusual placements, layering with different colors and textures, repeating irregular patterns, use of white space and creative typography.

5. Shapes

People associate thoughts and emotions with shapes. Rectangles represent stability, circles are unity and triangles are dynamic. Creative use of particular shapes or combinations of shapes can be used to influence user emotions or feelings. Shapes help draw attention to those parts of a page that you want your visitors to notice.

6. Single-page design

These websites are one page rather than multiple landing pages arranged in a navigational hierarchy. The downside: In terms of SEO, it’s harder to rank for particular keywords and other advanced SEO techniques. The benefits: Pageless design scores big when it comes to load time. They also look great on every browsing device, are scalable, easily managed and have high conversion rates. They’re great for pop-up businesses and those with limited budgets.

7. Micro-animations

Micro-animations direct us through tasks as we interact with digital products. Examples? We fill out a form and we’ll be presented with a little animated checkmark to reward us for successfully completing it. We see and use these every day on both desktop and mobile. In many situations, they’re replacing those annoying captcha screens.

Is a new website in your 2019 marketing plan?

Questions about about platforms, content and making the most of your marketing budget! Give me a call!

top of mind marketing procter & gamble brands

What We Can Learn About Brand From P&G

By | Advertising | No Comments

There was a time when we talked endlessly about brand

But that brand conversation took place a lifetime ago–before SEO, social, Google and its endless algorithms hijacked the conversation. While the importance of brand has never diminished, it no longer dominates the dialog. But these are tough times for big brands as they try to figure out how to reach today’s consumer.

Let’s take a look at Procter & Gamble, (think Tide, Crest, Charmin and a whopping $7B in annual ad revenue) who owns the market on ad spend.

P&G is trying to focus that lavish ad spend on smarter, more accountable marketing

According to Kimberly Doebereiner, director of brand building integrated communication for P&G, “The consumer hates advertising right now. The experience is not good. Our industry, both the media and big companies like mine, are helping create that bad experience. We’ve got to figure out a better consumer experience.”

Annoying or irrelevant TV commercials are bad enough, but interrupting those using smartphones or tablets has prompted a surge in ad blockers. Doebereiner and others like her don’t really know what the future of advertising looks like.

Both an intern and expert in a changing marketplace

“I’m in the position of being an expert and an intern because of a rapidly changing consumer marketplace,” said Doebereiner. Over the last 21 years she has worked in almost every P&G category, helping build equity and strengthen communications. She is learning every single day about new habits and trends and how to reach consumers.

Consumers are part of massive changes in how they look at content, how they watch TV, how they buy their products. Yet big brands are left with comments about how bad advertising is.

Let’s not forget the economics of advertising and providing value

Some of us remember when TV was free. Advertising subsidizes content in virtually all media. But the model has changed—no one has free TV anymore. We’re all subscribing to cable channels at varying levels and streaming services, including phone and data fees.

“So what’s the value of advertising for you?” she said. “There should be a value. If advertising is giving the gift of information, we should be better serving you.” Repetition fatigue is a big concern for digital commercials. Spoiled consumers want “frictionless” shopping—we want to be able to order something on Amazon tonight and count on its being delivered tomorrow or the next day. That’s frictionless. That’s great service.

Will we be marketing to bots in the future?

Marketing companies such as P&G also must figure out how to market to bots—not just consumers. “How much of marketing will become bot-to-bot marketing?” she asked. “Knowing the algorithm, knowing what the algorithm is offering or promising. There will be things you don’t deem important enough to spend your time on that you’d just be happy letting that bot take care of for you. That’s a whole new arena.”

Thinking about your brand in a constantly changing digital marketplace? Let’s talk–we’re writers and marketing experts. 

top of mind marketing increasing readability by keeping it simple-short sentences, words and paragraphs

How to Increase Your Readability? Dummy It Down

By | Blogging | No Comments

Is content still important? Are you kidding?

Think about this. Google ranks your online presence according to keywords. The operative word is, well, “word”. Without a steady infusion of quality content, there’s nothing to help you show up in search engines, to increase your Google authority.

So how to increase your readability? Keep it simple

Explain things as clearly as possible. Shockingly, the average American reads at an eighth-grade level. It’s time to start dummying down our delivery. Long sentences, long words, buzzwords, acronyms and industry jargon are going to confuse some readers, so they quickly move on.

Here are some guidelines for increasing your readability

1. Create a customer focus that:

  • Is genuinely useful to the reader. Provide information that helps readers do their jobs.
  • Has a practical application. This isn’t just about you. Think about how your readers can benefit. People should be able to relate to this.
  • Answers aquestion or solves a problem.
  • Informs, entertains or educates.

2. Revise to determine readability level

  • For maximum comprehension, think of your target audience reading at an eighth-grade level.
  • If you haven’t created a persona, this is a good time to do it. Identify your target audience by developing comprehensive demographic information—not necessarily your existing audience, but those clients with whom you’d liketo be working.

3. Shorten sentences

Break ‘em up. It’s easy for readers to get lost in a sea of phrases, clauses and complex punctuation. Digital devices have created new usage standards.

4. Reduce the number of long words

Unless you’re in a highly technical industry or have a very sophisticated audience, avoid/limit multisyllabic words. Edit your content and find words that are more accessible.

5. Scrub your copy of buzzwords, geekspeak, jargon and acronyms

While these words may be old hat to you, they can be totally foreign to an industry outsider. If you must use challenging terms, carefully explain them.

6. Avoid overusing adverbs

We all overwork adverbs, leaving a swath of muddled sentences. Not sure what an adverb is? They’re words like reallyand very. They answer questions of how, what, when, where and why. (My mom was an English teacher.) These words frequently don’t add value.

7. Create a balance between formal and conversational

Create your own style, but a conversational approach makes the experience more personal, even for B2B audiences. Don’t be afraid to interject your own personality and opinions—those who love and agree with you will love you more. Those who don’t? Well . . .

8. Get feedback and proofread

As writers, we become too close to our work. If you have the luxury of another person who will check for mistakes and areas of improvement, you’re lucky. Alternately, I’ve found it helpful to write an article one day, then come back to it at a later time—it gives me a new perspective. This requires planning ahead, but it helps me streamline my writing and correct mistakes.

Need help creating more compelling content? Let me help you develop stories for your content marketing program. We’re writers and marketing specialists.