Blogging 101: Want to Know Why I Write About Goldendoodles?

@ZumaTheDoodleDog

You might be asking why you’re seeing articles about Goldendoodles and Doodle breeds on a B2B small business writing website. I do this for two reasons. The first and most important reason is that I absolutely adore Goldendoodles. Our family Goldendoodle, Zuma, is a truly special dog. Our newest addition, Kai, is an absolute treasure.

One of the best tips for writing well is to write about something you know and love. So my reason is simple. I could write  about Doodles all day log because I’m passionate about them. 

The second reason I write about Doodles here on this website is this:

It’s my way to practice what I preach.

Here’s what I mean.

Writing for SEO

To put it simply, when you provide useful content on your website, people find you on the internet. Plus, it gives you a steady supply of unique content to promote across your social media.

I talk more about why creating content is so important for your business here.

While it may be tempting to constantly sell your products or services in your blog posts, it’s not the best idea. 

People are not likely to read that.

Share Expert or Insider Knowledge

Instead, write articles around a topic that’s related to your business that help your customers answer a question or solve a problem. Starting a blog is one of the best ways to provide expert knowledge, and share your advice, tips, and hints.

Over time, people will view you as a resource — not just a salesperson. As people share your articles, you’ll get backlinks — which helps Google see your site as a great resource.

Include relevant keywords for SEO, and in time, your site will climb in Google in search rankings for that topic. 

Put Your Website to Work For You

Your website’s job is not to just be an online brochure. It can do more than just look good. If your blog posts are easy to find, helpful, and maybe even fun to read, they will draw more people to your site and convert to more sales. 

Like everything else, writing blog posts gets easier the more you do it. Eventually, it becomes more and more natural.  This is especially true if you’re writing about something you’re passionate about or have expert knowledge in.

Choose a Niche You Where You Can Compete

So back to why I write about Goldendoodles here on my blog.

The topics of content writing, content marketing, and blogging are highly competitive terms to rank for in Google search. Articles from Moz or Hubspot will outrank mine every single time. 

For small businesses, it’s more worthwhile to pick a niche where you can compete. Choose a topic that gets enough search volume that people will read it, but not so broad that it’s too competitive. I cover more about choosing a topic here.

The Content Writing Solution for Small Businesses

My solution as a small business is to write about Goldendoodles.

It’s not a sub-topic of my actual business, but I think it will illustrate the concept well on my own blog. 

Make sense?

And while I do this, I’ll share everything that happens with my own SEO — the good, the bad and the ugly, so you can see firsthand what exactly happens.

My goal: to teach by example.

So don’t be confused about the Goldendoodle posts on a freelance writer’s website. Someday it will make sense.

In the meantime, you can look forward to all kinds of fun and interesting articles here about Goldendoodles and other Doodle breeds.

Deal?

Self-Publishing 101: Here’s How To Write A Book Faster

write a non-fiction book faster

If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, the idea of writing a book can be overwhelming. You have a business to run, so you have precious little time to waste. For many busy people, just getting started and finishing the first draft is hard. The key is to have a plan and start writing as quickly as possible, so you can write your book faster. I’ve uncovered some secrets on how to write a super speedy first draft. I’ve used this technique on my published books, and it saves so much time. No more wasting time on the wrong things or staring at a blank computer screen. 

I call it the Note Card Technique. To see it in action, watch my video tutorial below.

To get started, you’ll use 3×5 note cards to flush out your outline for your book topic. You’ll find that breaking the process down into smaller steps will be more doable and a lot less overwhelming.

Materials Needed:

  • Several packs of 3 by 5 notecards.
  • Colored pens (5 or 6 colors)

Step 1: Write One Word Per Card

To begin with, let’s look at how to brainstorm different ideas around the topic of gardening. On each card, write one word that comes to mind about the general topic. For example, you could write the word “soil” on a card. You could then write “seeds,” “tools”, etc. Continue writing each idea that comes to mind on the cards. You’ll just have one word on each card. Keep coming up with ideas and writing the words on the cards. Don’t stop. Don’t edit. This is just brainstorming.

Step 2: Create Subtopics For Each Word

Next, brainstorm subtopics for each of these words. Write each subtopic word on a separate card. Place those cards under the main word card. For instance, you’ll have a pile of cards for soil, a pile for seeds, and a pile for weather. To illustrate, let’s look at the topic, soil. Using a new colored pen, list different ideas about soil: soil for succulents, soil for vegetable gardening, soil for hot weather, soil for winter weather, etc. Write those subtopics on each card in different colors.

Next, take that pile of cards, put it aside. Go to the next pile and start working on a new pile. Eventually you’ll create separate piles of cards that will form your outline. As you move through the process, take each stack of cards and further develop your topic on the cards.

Step 3: Organize Your Ideas

Now, using all of your topics and subtopic cards, you can organize your ideas. You can move the cards around to develop your outline. Move the different subtopics around to organize your thoughts and ideas.  In time, the stacks of cards will form the chapters of your book.

Step 4: Write From Your Cards

Meanwhile, grab one of the stacks of cards and move to another location in your room. Start writing out your ideas from those cards. Expand on the topics and subtopics to write each chapter. To make the process go even faster, there are a few ways you can use voice recognition. The first way is to speak everything into your phone using the Rev app, and then have it transcribed. The second way is to transcribe it yourself and speak everything into the voice recognition on your phone. I’ve found that using my phone keeps me from going directly to editing mode on my computer. In the early stages of the first draft, you want to keep the ideas flowing – so try to avoid your computer at this stage.

Step 5: Edit and Polish

Finally, think of the topics as a series of smaller articles assembled into one book. Each article then becomes a chapter. After you’ve organized the structure and expanded on each chapter, copy and paste all your work into a document on your computer. Once you have your first draft complete, you can begin the editing process.

I’ve also put together a cheat sheet that outlines the faster writing tips. Click here to download it for free.

Free Download: Faster Writing Cheat Sheet

Get the Faster Writing Cheat Sheet for Your Business Book

Creativity: What Successful Entrepreneurs Have In Common

creativity

Creative entrepreneurs who soar above the rest see a problem and think of a new way to solve it. They have the ability to visualize the solution and create ways to implement it. They’re gifted with creativity. In fact, creativity is often a predictor of success. Without new ideas, new companies would never exist. But what if you’re not an especially creative person? Not to worry – everyone has creative potential.

With all of the emphasis on tech today, many people undervalue creativity. In fact, it’s a skill that many companies have trouble finding.

Creativity Is Like A Muscle

In fact, you can improve and strengthen your creative thought process. You can train your mind to be more creative. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “use it or lose it” when it comes to exercise. If you’re accustomed to exercising every day, you know how important it is to keep it up. Studies show it only takes two weeks of inactivity before your fitness level starts to decline. The same holds true for your mental fitness. The more you exercise the mind, the stronger it becomes, and more ideas are born. Mind mapping, brainstorming ideas are popular ways to keep the creative ideas flowing.

Set Yourself Up For Creativity

Your environment can play a big role in how creative you are. One of the quickest ways to kill creativity is a cluttered office or workspace.  Disorganization is distracting and can make you feel overwhelmed. So clean your office, organize your desk, and design a work area that suits your personality. 

Read on for more ideas on becoming an idea machine and keeping your idea muscles in tip-top shape.
https://www.inc.com/jonathan-li/10-tips-for-becoming-an-idea-machine.html

Ideal Blog Post Length for SEO: 12 Studies Reveal the Facts

ideal blog post length

When it comes to the ideal blog post length for SEO, there are many answers. That’s the $100,000 question marketers ask themselves all the time. The truth is the answer depends on two things: what you’re trying to accomplish and who your audience is.

When creating content for your business you want the most bang for your buck, so you want to make the most of your efforts.

PR daily gathered some helpful research things to consider when deciding on the ideal blog post length for SEO.

Here’s what they learned:

Determine the goal of your blog post before you write one word.

The ideal blog post length is not your first goal. Instead, think about the purpose of your blog post before you start writing. If you’re more focused on the length than its porpose, you’ll miss the mark. You have to start with step one before moving on to step two.

Are you looking for social media shares? Are you looking to rank well on Google? Do you want to promote conversation from your audience?

Know your audience.

Does your business have technical information that needs explaining? Does your niche require high quality pictures? Study successful blogs in your industry and notice what they’re doing. Are they publishing long, in-depth content? Or are they focused on sharing imagery?

Look at the data for determining the ideal blog post length.

When it comes to determining the ideal blog post length for your content, take a look at the research from the experts. Here is the data shared by PR Daily:

  • If you want more comments, your blog post should be about 275 words.
  • If you’re looking for shares on social medai, you should aim for 600 and 1500 words.
  • If you’re trying to rank highly on Google, strive for at least 2,500 words.

In addition, keep paragraphs should be short. Aim for two to three sentence paragraphs for SEO purposes. 

Serve Your Audience First 

Don’t get distracted by how many words your writing at the expense of what will help your audience. The most important goal is that they see you as a resource they come to over and over again. Bottom line: If you focus on serving your audience first, your efforts will reward you. 

Write An Informative E-Book, It’s Good For Your Business

Write and design your own ebook with a customizable template

Write and design your own ebook with a customizable template

An informative ebook is a powerful tool for your brand. Not only does your own ebook position you as an industry authority, but it also helps people understand what you do and why you do it. 

Purposes of An Ebook

You can write an e-book as a free opt-in to build your email list, or you can use an ebook as a content upgrade to sell as a digital product. Whatever the purpose, a quality e-book helps you gain the trust of potential clients and builds your brand. Also, when they read your ebook, they’re more likely to read your blog or visit your website.  

Maybe you’ve thought about writing an e-book but you:

  • struggle to find the right words or get your ideas organized
  • feel the task is somewhat daunting
  • can’t seem to get started

If you don’t have the resources to hire a professional writer, it’s not as hard as you might think to write your own ebook. That’s why I’ve compiled some simple steps to help you get started. 

Identify A Great Ebook Topic 

The first thing to remember is that the trick to finding the best topic is  understanding your customer. Think about your customers’ most common problem. If your ebook answers their most pressing question or solves their most persistent problem, they’ll want to read it.

With this in mind, do some market research to make sure you have a great topic to write about. What questions do your customers ask you the most? Join some Facebook groups in your niche. What are people talking about? What questions are they frequently asking? What are their struggles? 

Write An Outline and Table of Contents

To that end, investing in some planning time will help you write your book quickly and efficiently.  To get started, create an outline to stay organized and on track. It’s important to remember that the outline is not set in stone. It simply gives you a plan to follow and helps organize your ideas. Eventually, you’ll convert your outline into your Table of Contents.

Describe Your Ideal Audience

Next, use your earlier research to describe your ideal audience. The more details you include, the better. After you’ve identified your ideal audience, you can create a high-level view of what you want to teach in your book. 

Determine The Ideal Length for Your Ebook

Generally speaking, it helps to set a goal for the number of words you’d like to write. When you have a goal to work towards, it helps you make progress towards finishing your book. I recommend setting a daily goal on how many words you would like to write each day. Set aside a specific time each day to accomplish that goal.

Just Start Writing

Start by working on one chapter at a time. It helps to use a simple question and answer system for each chapter. Ask why, what, when, where, and how questions on your topic. Continually refine your writing until you’re sure that you’ve clearly and effectively answered those questions.

I’ve created some resources to help you write and design an ebook in a fraction of the time. It’s as easy as downloading one of my e-book templates, following my Irresistible Writing Formula and dropping in your text. 

Ebook Templates With The Irresistible Writing Formula from Writerrs.com

My ebook writing and design templates make publishing an ebook fast and easy.

Proofread and Review

Finally, review your work with a critical eye. Look for typos and misspellings. Replace all uses of the passive voice with the active voice. To illustrate, “The dog was brought to the vet by its owner” becomes “The owner took her dog to the vet.”

Reading your work aloud also helps you catch grammar and usage errors. And don’t forget to install Grammarly, your personal grammar coach to help you along the way. The last thing you want is for your readers to point out grammar and spelling errors! For more tips on what to look for when proofreading, check out my previous article here.

Format Your Ebook

Once you’ve finalized your text, you can begin thinking about laying out your pages and adding some graphics. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to do this. As long as you remember some basic page design principles, you can create a presentable ebook without breaking the bank. When laying out your pages, you want to:

  • Break up text with plenty of white space
  • Add quality images without cluttering the page
  • Use headings and call-out boxes for emphasis

It’s important to realize there’s no need to invest in expensive software. Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Apple Pages or Keynote can work well for basic page layout. Free tools such as Canva can help you create your own designs, while photo sites such as Unsplash offer quick access to beautiful images. Once you’re finished with your design, simply export your document as a PDF, and you’re done! 

Note: If you’re planning on publishing your ebook on Amazon, you’ll need to format your book using their Kindle formatting guidelines.

To sum up, if you’ve been thinking of writing an ebook, it’s worth your time to get started right away. An ebook is good for your business. You’ll help build customer trust and boost your authority.

What topic do you have in mind?

Grammar Mistakes And Word Traps To Avoid

avoid these common grammar mistakes

Grammar mistakes can kill your credibility.

Whether we like it or not, everyone writes. From emails to text messages or social media posts, your writing says a lot about you. When it comes to writing, careless grammar mistakes are the equivalent of bad manners.

Save yourself the embarrassment of grammar mistakes in your emails, web pages or anything else you write. You don’t need to become a grammar expert, just take some simple steps that will go a long way to avoid grammar mistakes and improve your credibility.

Ther are several words in the English language that we commonly misuse  and misunderstand. Even though they may look alike and sound alike, the wrong word may significantly alter the meaning of what you’re trying to say. 

Even worse, it can make you look bad in the eyes of your customers or colleagues.

Grammar Tools Help You Improve Your Writing & Minimize Grammar Mistakes

While spell check can catch basic spelling errors, there are some other tools that catch bigger grammar mistakes and actually improve your writing. It’s as simple as installing a grammar tool, and you’ll level up your writing.

One of my favorite tools is Grammarly. With both a paid and a powerful free version, it’s your personal writing assistant – always there lending a helping hand. While it doesn’t replace a human editor, it can help you become a more confident writer by easily catching common grammar mistakes.

Grammarly Writing Support

One of my favorite books is The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White. One of the most influential books of all time, it’s the definitive guide on effective writing style and usage. This little book has been a standard on my desk for as long as I can remember.

Be Careful of English Words That Are Similar But Have Different Meanings

There are some common word traps that can kill your message. Take a look at your writing and make sure to correct these word choice mistakes:

Affect or Effect

This is one of the most commonly misused word choices when referring to something changing something else.

“Affect” is an action. Use this when you’re talking about the act of changing. 

That speech affected me positively.

“Effect” is a noun. Use this when you’re talking about the change itself.

That speech had a positive effect on me.

Assure, Ensure or Insure

While some people consider these words to be interchangeable, they’re not the same. Often people will use “ensure” or “insure” when “assure” is actually the better choice. Here’s why:

“Assure” means you are telling someone that everything is okay. Use this when you want to remove doubt or convey confidence about something.

“I assure you I can handle this project.”

“Ensure” means make certain that something does or does not happen.

“We perform several tests to ensure the best performance.”

“Insure” is used when referring to insurance policies. Use this when you’re discussing compensation for loss, or protection against damage, death or a person becoming injured.

“We would like to insure our car for $20,000.”

Their, They’re or There

“Their” is possessive. Use this when you’re talking about a group owning something.

Their flowers are gorgeous.

“They’re” is a contraction. Use this for they are.

They’re going home.

“There” refers to a place. Use this when your talking about the location of something or someone.

They’re going over there.

Then or Than

“Then” is usually used as an adverb or adjective and often refers to a sense of time. Use this when describing what comes next or what happened in the past.

“We went to dinner, then we went for a walk.”

“If the traffic is light, then I’ll get there early.”

“Than” is typically used as a conjunction to make a comparison between two things.

“He is faster than I am.”

“Your food is colder than mine is.”

Your or You’re

“Your” is possessive. Use this when you’re discussing owning something.

We’re going over to your house.

You’re is a contraction. Use this when you’re talking about being something.

You’re a nice person.

Its or It’s

The apostrophe leads to the most confusion on this one. Just remember it’s the opposite of what you might think.

“It’s” contains an apostrophe, yet is not possessive. It’s a contraction, meaning it is. Use this when you’re combining “it” with “is.”

It’s going to be a hot day.

“Its” has no apostrophe, yet is possessive. Use this when you’re referring to owning something.

The book is about the rose and its many colors.

Me or I

The use of “me” or “I” gets confusing when there are two subjects or objects linked with the word “and.”Many people will be tempted to misuse the word “I.”

This is correct: When you’re finished with the paint brush, give it to Beth and me.

This is incorrect: When you’re finished with the paintbrush, give it to Beth and I.

This is correct: Beth and I joined the gym.

This is incorrect: Beth and me went to the store.

Tip: The word “I” is never used after the word “to.” To check yourself, remove the other person’s name. You wouldn’t say, “Give it to I.” You also wouldn’t say “Me joined the gym.”

To or Too

“To” is used before a noun or a verb.

I sent the letter to my friend.

“Too” is used to mean “also” or “as well.” It’s also used to describe an adjective.

He, too, belongs to the club.

I think it’s too hot in the jacuzzi.

A lot or A lot

This one is simple. “Alot” is not a word. Don’t use it.

“A lot” is always two words.

“We like you a lot.”

Lose or Loose

“Lose” is a verb. Use this when referring to not winning a competition, misplacing something or to be free of something.

“I would like to lose at least fifteen pounds.”

“Loose” is an adjective. Use this when describing something that is not tight or restrictive.

“My pants are loose because I lost fifteen pounds.”

Compliment or Complement

Although they are spelled almost the same, they have very different meanings. They are not used interchangeably.

“Compliment” is a noun or a verb and means to convey admiration or provide a positive statement about someone or something. Use this when congratulating a person or giving that person praise.

“I would like to compliment you on the extraordinary service here.”

“That was such a nice compliment.”

“Complement” is a noun or a verb and means to augment, improve or make something more complete. Use this when describing an addition to something that makes it better.

“The flowers were a perfect complement to the room.”

“The flowers complemented the sofa.”

Farther or Further

The words “farther” and “further” can many times be used interchangeably. However, there are some subtle differences between the two.

“Farther” may describe a physical distance.

“She lived farther from school than I did.”

“Further” may describe a figurative distance.

“We cannot go any further in these negotiations.”

However, there are many ambiguous situations where you could interpret certain instances as a physical distance or figurative distance. For example, “I’m farther along in writing my paper.” For this reason, either word can be correct when the meaning is vague or unclear.

Should of or Should have

The use of “should of” is wrong. So is “could of” or “would of.” This is a common mistake. All are wrong.

When speaking, people will often say “shoulda.” You may hear someone say, “I shoulda gone home.”

When writing, people will change “shoulda” to “should of.”

The correct word is a contraction. The correct usage is “should have” or “should’ve.”

“I should have gone home.”

The same would be true for “could have” or “would have.”

When In Doubt Look Up Potential Grammar Mistakes

Put your best foot forward in all your writing. Don’t distract your readers with grammar errors or confuse them with the wrong words. When in doubt, look it up. It’s worth it to take the extra steps necessary to avoid embarrassing mistakes.

Please note: This article includes affiliate links. That means if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission – at no additional cost to you. I have experience with all of these companies. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of a small commission that I would make should you choose to make a purchase. I would never want you to spend money on these tools unless you need them or feel they would help you accomplish your business goals.

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