blogging/How To/Writing

Blogging Cheat Sheet

Posted by M. Sharon Baker

I’m setting up a blog for my client and overseeing 6 or 7 people who for the most part, haven’t blogged before.

In addition to setting up an editorial calendar, I’m also creating a Blogging Cheat Sheet, which I wanted to share.

 Blogging Cheat Sheet

  • Posts should be around 350 to 500 words.
  • Stick to one topic/idea.
  • Try to think about what your clients might be interested in knowing.
  • Try to create a catchy headline.
  • Graphics, pictures, charts and links are encouraged.
  • Subheads help the reader along.
  • End with a call to action that invites comments.
  • Remember to respond to each comment.
  • Promote via social media in a way that’s engaging.

 

What other handy tips and ideas do you keep top of mind when you are writing blog posts? I’d love to add your thoughts to my cheat sheet.

 

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Case Studies/Content/Journalism/Marketing/Writing

Case Studies, Articles, White Papers, Press Releases & Blog Posts: What I’ve Been Writing

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Case Studies, Articles, White Papers, Press Releases & Blog Posts: What I’ve Been Writing

I profiled Betsy and Warren Talbot of Married with Luggage for Intuit's Small Business Blog

It’s summer and I’ve been so busy creating content for clients and magazines that I have not had time to brainstorm topics for the blog or update my website.

Many times, this content takes a while to show up on the web.

Below is a list and some links to what I’ve published/created so far this year.

In some cases, confidentiality or still in progress work prohibits me from sharing.

 

Writing for Corporate Clients:

I profiled Betsy and Warren Talbot of Married with Luggage for Intuit's Small Business Blog

I’m a member of the blogging team for Intuit’s Small Business Blog. Some posts include:

For Intuit’s Go Payment Blog I’m writing case studies paired with videos:

 

I continue to write case studies for RainToday.com

 

I collaborated with Gail Harker and her students to write a contributed article for a new industry publication called Fiber Art Now.

Developing the Fiber Artist Within at The Gail Harker Creative Studies Center

 

I’ve written several  press releases, including:

I'm helping Carol Tice and David Lester promote their book

 

 

I can’t share details, but I’ve also been working on:

  • 2 White papers, 1 for data center client, another for a high tech firm
  • 4 B2B Lead Nurturing Articles plus emails, three for networking client, one for call center
  • 16B2B Blog posts for networking client partners
  • Press Release and Media Pitching for financial firm

 

 

I also still “commit” Journalism:

 

For Tech Target:

For Nation’s Restaurant News:

 

 

  • Open Kitchens, Diner Involvement: Keys to Cashing in on Chef, Cooking Craze
  • Vegetarian Sausage, Burgers, Other Vegetarian Items Now Mainstream

For Seattle Business:

  • Mothers of Invention: Despite the daunting economy, Washington has plenty of ‘mompreneurs” bravely starting new businesses.
  •  Later this year, another story on Women-owned Seattle Area Businesses

 

By taking stock of what you have accomplished this year, you can see what might be expanded into a case study, additional links for your website or a list of people to survey for testimonials.

 

How do you keep track of what you’ve done so you can use those projects to your advantage? I’d love to hear your best practices in the comment section below.

 

Photos © Warren Talbot, M. Sharon Baker, MOD Pizza

 

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Content/Writing

What Do La Conner Tulips Have To Do With Content Marketing?

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
What Do La Conner Tulips Have To Do With Content Marketing?

By far, the most popular post on this blog is Where I work: La Conner WA Tulip fields.  While it is a year old, it gets many hits.

That’s because it’s April and once again visitors, north in Vancouver, B.C.  and south in Seattle, want to know what’s happening in the tulip fields of Skagit County, where I live.

Last year, we had tons of sun, which allowed me to go out and take some good photos.

This year, it has been wet and cold, and going into the third weekend of tulip time, we’ve had just one chance to get out and take photos on a sunny day.

We took most of these photos this morning.

Visitors might be disappointed this year to learn that the field workers are clearing fields daily, thinning the ranks, which makes for not so good photos.

And at least one field I thought I was going to shoot went from nearly blooming to all flowers gone – yes, gone, the next day.

Washington Bulb Co.’s largest field available to the public on Best Road is currently closed.

I’m not sure if that’s due to the rain or bloom harvest going on.

It has the purple tulips I really wanted to shoot, but this morning at 7:30 at least three groups of workers were taking off the blooms.

Are people across the country buying tulips at record numbers?

Washington Bulb Co. is the largest bulb supplier in North America, and I can only guess that they harvesting to fill a boatload of orders.

Or the rain is mucking things up. In case you are wondering, it’s cold and pouring rain this afternoon.

 

So what do La Conner’s tulips have to do with content marketing?

Lifting the curtains from time to time helps put a face on your company.

Prospective customers are curious and want to know what happens at your place.

While bios can tell you a little about each person, adding additional content like news articles, posts on a blog or even simply sharing photos provides added depth and fosters connections.

Two good examples of this happen on Compendium Inc.’s blog and Gail Harker Creative Studies Center blog.

(Full disclosure, I have worked with Compendium and now work with Gail but I have nothing to do with their blogs.)

 

Scroll down on Compendium’s blog to the post about being named  Small Business of the Year and you’ll see a cool video of their digs.

On their press page, you can learn more by reading the many magazine articles that have been written about them.

Sharing what’s happening at the Creative Studies Center and what students are up to is central to Gail Harker’s blog.

Anyone interested in taking Gail’s art and design or stitch classes gets a good sense about what the Center is all about and the quality of teaching happening just by browsing her posts.

For me, writing about the tulips gives you a chance to see the wonderful place I’m living, and gives me a chance to show off my photography.

 

P.S.  Please don’t pin my copyrighted photos on Pinterest.

You also won’t find these on Facebook. I’m not participating in either social platform.

I’d rather you send people to this post via Twitter or Delicious, or tell me below that you like them.

I’m thinking about taking my best shots and making a postcard set.

In the meantime, tell me:

How do you provide a glimpse inside your company to the outside world? Please comment below.

© Photos by M. Sharon Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

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