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Come to My Web Writing and Editing Workshop

24 Oct

Cringe every time you have to update your company’s “About” page or even your own bio? Or perhaps you were an English major in college, but you’ve grown a bit rusty?

Come to my Web Writing and Editing Workshop! We’ll cover how to:

  • Beat writer’s block
  • Avoid common mistakes
  • Edit constructively and effectively
  • Optimize writing for the web

We’ll meet at the Emerging Technology Center in Canton, 11/13/12 from 6 to 8 pm. I hope to see you there!

Get details and sign up at EventBrite.

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A Big Move, and What’s Next for Me

24 May

Yesterday was my last day of working full time for Right Source Marketing. No, I don’t have another job lined up.

And I’m not looking for one.

Instead, I’m taking action on every “live each day like it’s your last” cliché. I’m pursuing my dream of writing, editing, and teaching fiction and poetry.

For the foreseeable future, I’ll be:

  • Writing an adventure novel, first draft to be completed by Labor Day.
  • Contracting as a marketer, writer, and editor.
  • Updating this blog with the same quality of marketing and writing advice you saw from me on Marketing Trenches, with some personal stories and creative tips thrown in.
  • Speaking about social media networking and marketing, from a corporate and personal standpoint.
  • Volunteering for a few non-profits and reviving my commitment to community service.
  • Designing a lifestyle that focuses on working smart, not working hard.
  • Reading books that enrich and amaze me.
  • Marching to my own beat, running, biking, riding horses, and traveling the world.

Deciding to take this leap was both terrifying and exciting. Right Source does great work, I learned a ton as an employee there, and I will be sad to lose the day-to-day support of a wonderful team. Yet, at least for now, this is the right choice. I know that a traditional career in the business world is not for me.

Have a book to recommend? A marketing, writing, or editing project you need a creative, strategic contractor for? Interested in social media training for your employees? Simply want to get in touch? Shoot me a note at tracyc@tracycgold.com, and don’t be surprised if I suggest we go for a hike or bike ride instead of a coffee!

What Makes a Good Blog Post: 10 Tips for Corporate Bloggers

24 Nov

The following post was initially published on the Content Marketing Institute Blog (October 11, 2011) and Marketing Trenches (November 2011).

Uh oh,” you may be thinking. “The marketing department is talking about that whole blogging thing again. Last time we did this, it was a disaster. Worse, no one seemed to like my posts.”

Yikes! Stop right there! And think again!

Yes, a lot of corporate blogs are awful. But neither your company’s blog nor the posts you contribute to should bear a sense of impending doom. We spend a lot of time helping clients manage their blogs. This involves bringing together subject matter experts, sales reps, marketing employees, and executives — many of whom have unique ideas but have never written a blog post.

One of the first questions we get from new bloggers is, “What makes a good blog post?“  As we answer, the doom drifts out of the room and is replaced by the glowing light of nurturing leads and increasing sales. Cha-ching!

We thought we’d share our answer with our readers here. 

1. Good blog posts speak to a target audience.

Figure out who is buying what you’re selling and write for them. If your company specializes in building mobile applications, you’re likely selling to executives and marketing departments, not mobile app developers. Your own developers can still write content for your blog, but they should keep content way less technical than it would be if they were writing to their peers.

 

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Questions to Ask Before Creating Content for a New Company

27 Sep
This post originally appeared on Marketing Trenches.

Creating content for a company’s social media properties, website, and blog (just to start the list) can be tough–and without a thorough understanding of the company and its audience, it’s hard to get it right. Whether you’re taking on a new client or starting a new job, you need to ask a lot of questions before you dive into creating content. Every business is different, so at Right Source Marketing, we never ask exactly the same questions for each new client, but below are a few of our staples.

Note: even if you’ve been working for a company or with a client for a while, you may realize that you don’t know the answers to these questions, or that the answers have changed since you started. It’s a good idea to reevaluate and periodically ask these questions again, even if you’re just asking yourself.

1. What’s your audience like? Who are these people who buy your stuff? What age, what gender?  Where do they work? Where do they play? What’s important to them personally and professionally? What do they already love about your business? What do they hate about it?

Keep asking questions to get as full a picture of your audience as possible. If no one can answer this question, then you need to do some research (like a survey), or bring someone who would know in the room (like a salesperson).  Knowing details about what makes your audience tick helps you figure out what topics to cover and language to use. We start with this question because all of the other questions and answers should be colored by a focus on audience.

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How Writing Better Emails Makes You a Better Content Marketer

7 Sep
This post originally appeared on Marketing Trenches.

Improving your skills in email communications improves your content marketing efforts, and vice versa, as an audience member (nonprofit technology consultant Kate Bladow) pointed out after a presentation I gave about writing for the web last week.

I couldn’t agree more. To follow on Kate’s point, here are five best practices to think about when you’re communicating with an audience, whether you’re organizing a team or writing for the company blog.

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