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What I Learned From Blogging Everyday for a Month

29 May

During the month of May, I decided to participate in the 2011 WordCount Blogathon, which required posting once a day to ‘A Journey of Words’. For a busy freelance web copy writer, this was no easy task. First of all, I had to dedicate at least 30 minutes daily to writing a blog post. Secondly, I had to come up with topics that would be of interest to my readers. Lastly, I had to stick with something for an entire month, something I have struggled with in the past. But here I am, at the end of this challenge and I did it!

During this time, here’s what I learned:

1. Blogging can be a great way to connect with readers and meet new contacts. Throughout the month, I had the honor of getting comments from a huge audience of fellow bloggers, writers and business owners around the world. A few even agreed to be guest bloggers, which was such a treat. I have to say that the rewards of blogging are many.

2. Blogging teaches discipline as a freelancer. One of the biggest fears I had going into the Blogathon was that I would not have the time to blog daily. Instead, I found that the time I spent blogging taught me a lot about being committed to something bigger than myself. I became more disciplined and stopped letting things distract me from my purpose as a writer.

3. Blogging daily is a great source of free advertising. Over the entire month, I used Google alerts to track my success as a blogger, specifically to see if my name came up often through web searches. You may have noticed that there were specific keywords highlighted in most posts (but not all). These keywords helped my website to rank higher and I got a lot of Google hits on my name and my blog feeds.

Spending time on your blog daily, or at least a few times a week, can be a great way to build a steady following of people, make new friends and build awareness about your business or passions. I fully intend to use my blog as a tool to reach more people and share information in a big way this year.

Now it’s your turn to share – How do you benefit from blogging?

Why Facebook Fans Matter to Small Businesses

26 May

Does your business have a facebook fan page?

Have you been trying to figure out how to use this social media outlet to reach more of your target market?

How can you use facebook to build a loyal following of customers?

These, and many other questions are on the minds of small business owners everywhere. Social media should be at the very top of any business marketing plan. Why? Because it’s a cheap and easy way to interact with people online from all walks of life. It’s also becoming the go-to place for consumers. Just in the last year, facebook saw a huge increase in the numbers of consumers who use this website to research businesses, shop for products and services, and connect with local merchants. Just since the beginning of 2011, there are some 600 million facebook users. Consumers love to share information about their favorite stores, restaurants and services with their networks, which can range in the thousands on facebook.

A growing trend in small business online marketing is using facebook as a primary platform to launch a new idea. Before even building a website or engaging in other marketing efforts, many small businesses are simply building facebook pages and trying to earn followers through good old-fashioned networking.  And this effort works wonders! I’ve personally worked with small business owners who have used this technique to pre-launch a business website, and they have amassed hundreds of eager followers who have converted over to customers within days.

Facebook fans matter a lot to small businesses who may not have the means to pay for other types of advertising. Many small businesses just use facebook as a way to talk about new products and services, using images and website links to invite others to explore more. Some use facebook as a way to research and find new customers online that fit certain demographics. Others use social media to share information and hold contests to help generate more interest.

Perhaps the best way to use facebook and other forms of social media for a small business is to generate more web traffic. Because facebook happens to be in the number 2 spot currently on Alexa’s Top 500 Global sites, it’s really hard to beat in terms of web traffic. Put a post on facebook, and within 24 hours you can expect your website traffic stats to go up as well. I’ve seen it work time and again with clients as well as my own business.

So, if your business doesn’t have a facebook presence yet, or you are not fully maximizing it with daily posts – get in touch with me so I can help you take advantage of this excellent small business resource. I will be happy to show you how to use facebook to your advantage and why facebook fans should matter to your business.

How to Use PLR for Effective Small Business Marketing

21 May

If you’ve never heard of PLR before, you are not alone. This relatively “secret” form of content marketing has been around for quite some time with online marketers. PLR means “Private Label Rights” and it’s used to describe copy that is written for you for the purposes of private use for blogs, websites, email marketing and more. Essentially, you can buy pre-written articles and content for your small business niche, and use it virtually any way you wish. This time saving resource can help a small business owner get on top of marketing initiatives and provide more ideas for educating potential clients about the business.

But should you be using PLR for your small business? Here are some tips for using it the right way to market your business…

PLR is cheap, but you must rewrite it.  If you are a small business owner on a tight budget, you can buy PLR articles relatively cheaply in comparison to having original articles and content written for you. That is, if you have the time to re-write the content to make sure it gets past Google’s duplicate content system. The biggest mistake you can make is to simply copy and paste the content to your website or blog without re-writing PLR first. To get the most out of your investment, hire a freelance writer to re-write the content for you so that it is 100% original and promotes your business through links.

PLR provides content for other marketing needs. One of the best ways to use PLR as a small business owner is to repurpose it for use on other marketing materials – like newsletters, flyers and reports. Take PLR that is on a specific topic and combine it into one larger document to form a simple report. Use the most relevant paragraphs in the PLR to start new blog posts and topics on your community forums. Or take the PLR and use it on facebook or twitter, sentence by sentence, to generate interest in your business.

PLR can be resold for profit. A great way for any small business owner to increase profits is to organize the PLR material into eBooks or video tutorials to be sold to customers. Gather the best PLR and write a simple eBook that can be formatted and sold online via your website, eBook or print on demand programs. If you are feeling generous, use your eBooks as a giveaway on your websites and blogs to increase subscriptions from viewers. Use the PLR to create a video series on how to do something, in your business niche. All of these things can help establish you as the expert in your particular field and generate additional income for you at the same time.

So if you are ready to delve into PLR, be sure to follow the rules and you will see results in a relatively short period of time. Again, take the time to hire an experienced copy writer to help you get the most out of your PLR.

If you are looking for some good sources of quality PLR, check out the following reputable PLR providers here:

All Quality PLR

Easy PLR

All Private Label Content

PLR Private Label Rights

Mom PLR eBooks and More!

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About the Author: Tess C. Taylor, Owner of Taylor Resources Writing, is a skilled web copy writer from Charleston, South Carolina who specializes in helping small business owners project the right message online. She has personally written over 2,500 articles, managed 100+ web copy projects and is regularly featured on The Chamber of Commerce, FindVenture, WiseGeek, US News, Yahoo and more as a business and careers writer. You can find out more by visiting HTTP://WWW.TRWRITING.COM today!

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Why Every Small Business Needs a Skilled Copy Writer

20 May

Are you struggling with your online marketing strategy?

There is so much talk today about how small businesses can best stay on top of market trends and direct customers to their websites to drum up more business. With over 75% of customers spending their time researching companies online before even setting foot in a store, a small business owner should be taking advantage of this huge market of consumers. As a small business owner, you can do this effectively by harnessing the power of article marketing, social media outlets, and SEO web content creation.

But you don’t have to do this alone. Here are some reasons why you should partner with a skilled copy writer.

Save Time – You can shave a great deal off your To-Do list by allowing a copy writer to come up with content for your marketing efforts. There’s no point in taking hours to research and come up with good topics to write about, especially if writing is not one of your strong points. Let someone who can do this efficiently do the work for you and save you time.

Save Money – When it comes to making the best investments in your business, article marketing, social media and optimized web content should be at the top of your advertising methods. But you don’t want to pay a small fortune for this content – let an affordable web copy writer  in Charleston do this for you at a fraction of the price a big name content site may charge.

Get Better Results – That’s right, allowing a copy writer to do the work of researching top SEO keywords that will point those pesky search engines to your website is far more productive than trying to write some dry text yourself. Get more desirable results by partnering with an experienced copy writer.

Enjoy Support – You are not in this alone. When you select a copy writer to take on your most important material for your business, you not only make a friend, but a partner who will be there to back you up along the way. Copy writers care about what they do and they care about your success too!

Ready to work with a web copy writer who has a track record for helping small business owners achieve success with online marketing? Tess C. Taylor, owner of Taylor Resources Writing in Charleston, South Carolina is an experienced web copy writer ready to make your online marketing goals a reality. Contact her today for a free, no obligation quote or just to chat about your business goals!

The Pennywise Chick Shares Affordable Ways to Advertise Your Small Business

16 May

Today, I would like to give a warm welcome to my guest – Lisa Auger, a Mom blogger and founder of  The Pennywise Chick, a fantastic blog dedicated to everything frugal! Lisa has been sharing her experiences as a Stay at Home Mom and she has a lot of great insight that helps others to live happily on a budget. Today, she talks about affordable ways to advertise your small business on a budget (something I think a lot of us can relate to) !

At The Penny Wise Chick my goal is to save money in all aspects of life whether it’s clipping coupons for groceries, finding affordable entertainment and fun for my family, or just saving a few pennies here and there. It’s great to be frugal in everything you do but especially when you have limited funds to work with.
If you own a small business, I’m sure you’re looking for ways to save money but still keep a high standard for your company. One way to save money is to get creative with your advertising. Unlike a large corporation who has millions of dollars to put towards advertising, a small business needs to plan carefully and spend wisely. And sometimes the best means of advertising are the cheapest.

Here are a few suggestions how to advertise on a small budget:

  • Word of mouth with an incentive: Instead of relying on just word of mouth, why not offer a small incentive for people to talk up your business.  Perhaps a small percentage off their bill or a discount on their next purchase. This will encourage referrals by giving your current customers a good incentive.
  • Interns & volunteers: Depending on the type of business you have, how about having interns or volunteers help sell your business? They could do any number of tasks including to promote your company and concentrate on advertising.
  • Local Directories: Get your company listed in local directories whether in print or online. Some you may have to pay, for but some you may not.  You can also check your local town visitor center and see if you can leave brochures or information there.
  • Sponsorship: This one will cost you some advertising dollars by why not be a sponsor for a local sports team or a local school? Have a banner displayed at the ball field right as the season is starting is a great way to get visibility to your company and shouldn’t cost too much.
  • Social media & the internet:  There are so many avenues to advertise on the internet. It is a great resource to get out information and easy to update quickly. The possibilities are endless from a company website, a Facebook fan page, Twitter account, and other social media avenues. You can also join and participate in forums to get your company name out there. Another internet resource is to email current customers to let them know your plans for the coming year. Thank them for their loyalty, and this could also be a good place to reward current customers for referring friends & family.

I hope these tips have been useful to you! If you want to learn more about Lisa Auger, please visit  The Penny Wise Chick for more money saving tricks in all aspects of daily living. You can also find Lisa on Facebook and Twitter!

Small Business Local Networking Tips for Freelance Writers

13 May

As a freelance writer (or other freelancer), do you do a lot of local small business networking? You know, those fun gatherings of small business owners held at coffee shops or after hours at the Chamber of Commerce? Maybe you’ve been so buried by writing projects that you haven’t had a chance to get out there and explore what your local business community has to offer in terms of networking resources.

It’s easy to focus on starting a business and the work at hand, yet forgetting about marketing yourself to local business owners. However, if you ignore the great opportunities in your own back yard, you may be missing out on the chance to work with some great local companies who are eager to utilize your writing services! Here are some things I’ve learned as a web copy writer in Charleston, on how to get the most out of local small business networking:

Tip 1 – Have Plenty of Print Marketing Materials On-hand

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about small business networking events over the past couple of years, it’s that people LOVE collecting business cards and information on local writers. So before you head out to small business networking event, be sure to have a ton of business cards, pens and other marketing tangibles on hand to give out to new people you meet. I recommend using Vista Print to get batches of business cards at least, which will set you back about 10 bucks at most. Use this LINK and get 25% off and FREE shipping off your order!

Tip 2 – Be Prepared to Give an Elevator Speech to New People

When meeting new people at a small business networking event, generally each person will be given a chance to give a 30 second introduction. This needs to be short, sweet, and to the point – yet compelling enough to give people a reason to talk to you further. This was a hard lesson to learn the first time I went to one of those small business mixers. I did not know how to say exactly what I did and how I could help others! So I worked on practicing a nice elevator speech and now I can confidently pitch my company to others. Want to learn how to develop your own elevator speech? Go HERE for some fun video tips on crafting your own!

Tip 3 – Stick to the Ten Minute Rule

One of the things that I encountered when meeting new people at small business networking events as a freelance writer was that people immediately wanted to tell me their life story and ask me a bunch of Internet marketing questions. A trap that can cause you to miss out on talking with others in the room is spending way too much time with one person. Before you know it, 30 minutes rolls by and people you haven’t had a chance to meet are already leaving. So to keep things fair, give each person 10 minutes of your time, then gracefully move on to other small business owners. Wrap up each meeting by asking when you may follow up by telephone.

Tip 4 – Always Follow Up With People You Meet at Small Biz Events

If you are going to take the time to start networking locally as a freelance writer, then you definitely need to take the time to follow up with people you meet there. As soon as you can get back to your office, log all the business card contact info into your address book that you’ve collected. Then send everyone a prompt email letting them know how much you enjoyed meeting them at the event and if they might have a moment to speak with you via phone or over coffee in the coming weeks ahead. Give them a couple of days to respond, and then pick up the phone to speak to them personally. You’d be amazed at how many people respond favorably to this invitation and this gives you a chance to expand on what you can offer them as a freelance writer. I have personally ended up with some great clients and friends by doing this!

So, where do you find these small business networking groups, you may ask? Check your local newspaper events calendar section, contact your local Chamber of Commerce and Rotary club, or do a search on Meet-Up online. You will most likely find a great deal of like-minded small businesses in your area who will value the writing and marketing support you can offer right in your own community!