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New Beginnings

Once upon a time, ok back in 2009, I started a blog on WordPress for my SEO Copywriting business. This blog, to be exact. I wrote articles about search engine optimization, copywriting, and social media marketing to educate my audience and build my brand.

Fast forward to 2017, and I’m back at this blog. This time, it’s personal.

You can still read my business articles, but they’re on my primary website at gloriarand.com/blog.

I’ve been undergoing a personal transformation and I want to blog about it. My business is shifting and I plan to use this blog to help me figure out where it’s going.

Not sure how often I will post, but I’m excited about where things are heading. I may wind up moving these articles to a different site, but until then I figured I’d practice here. Stretching my wings. Figuring out what I want to say and how to say it.

That’s all for now… I have to get back to my studies. Last fall, I had an epiphany that I wanted to write a book, so I’m learning how to do that!  See you soon.

 

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We’re Moving!

Gloria Rand 2013 logoAll good things must come to an end, they say. So it is for this blog. But it’s not really an ending. It’s actually a new beginning.

From now on, you’ll be able to read my articles about SEO and social media marketing right from my website at gloriarand.com/blog. I’ve changed hosting companies, and launched a new website on the WordPress platform.

You can read my latest article there: 9 Reasons to Attend Social Media Summit 2013.

I hope you enjoy the new format!

Gloria Rand

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3D Printing: From Small Business Production to the iPhone Shoe

 

By Abbey Peschel

 

English: RepRap v.2 'Mendel' open-source FDM 3...
English: RepRap v.2 ‘Mendel’ open-source FDM 3D printer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3D printers may be changing the world of production forever. According to “Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing,” these devices offer on demand production to people in a huge variety of fields. From doctors and professional designers to students and small business owners, users across the economic spectrum may soon see their work becoming easier and more customized.

 

While many have posited that cheaper, easier to build 3D printers would result in heavy home use, “Fabricated” suggests a different hypothesis. Instead of a printer in every kitchen, authors suggest that the world will see greater individualization in marketing and promotion fields, medical fields, and even every day consumer products. Most people won’t create their own specialized objects: instead they’ll have them printed by a specialist, then purchase them through an ordinary store or online retailer.

 

Many industries have already seen some of these effects already. For instance, custom-printed prosthetics have been targeted as a way to make these devices more comfortable to wear and more effective for their individual owners. Marketing companies are experimenting with printing three-dimensional logo images and other promotional products in substances ranging from chocolate to resin.

 

One designer in Amsterdam has even printed a shoe designed to hold an iPhone. According to Alan Nguyen , the shoe was created as a legal test. While the design is wholly original in itself, its purpose is to hold a device that has been fiercely defended by intellectual property lawyers. The iPhone shoe also includes elements of other case designs for the Apple product, as a mash-up and tribute to their original designers.

 

This type of printing also poses other potential quandaries. With designers creating and uploading the plans and instructions for all kinds of devices, anyone with a printer could potentially create one of those objects. When this is applied to scans of copyrighted or patented items, home and small business fabrication suddenly poses a much greater intellectual property risk. The possibility of 3D printed weapons and other black market items adds to many experts’ concern.

 

No matter what issues arise in relation to three-dimensional printing, however, it’s certain to expand horizons and change many people’s idea of how manufacturing works. The days of identical mass-produced objects may be giving way to a world of exciting new custom-created products.

 

Abbey Peschel is a Boston-area printing and marketing specialist. You can find her on Twitter @Abbey_Peschel

 

 

 

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3 Common “About Us” Page Mistakes

About UsAs a copywriter, one of the more common assignments I get from clients is helping them rewrite the About Us page for their company’s website. Over the years, I’ve noticed that companies make a few common mistakes when it comes to this all-important page,

Why is this page important?

After the home page, the About Us page is often the reason why someone will consider doing business with you. It must be written in a way that persuades your prospect to call.

Here are 3 three common mistakes people make on the About Us page, and what you can do to correct them:

1. Too much info – The About Us page should not read like “War and Peace.” Keep the content clear and consise. 300-400 words should be plenty to convey who you are, who your target audience is and why someone should do business with YOU!  If you attend networking events, use your 30-60 second elevator speech as a guide.

2. It’s all about YOU – While your About Us page does need to talk about you, don’t mistake that to mean that’s all you talk about! This is not your resume. We don’t need to know the awards you won in high school or college, unless they are relevant to your profession today!

3. No Value Proposition – Remember, people want to know “what’s in it for me.” Your About Us page needs to explain WHY someone should buy from you. What are the benefits your product or service offers? If you don’t offer people something of value, they’re not going to do business with you.

About Us Template

Here are 6 elements that your About Us page should contain to be an effective marketing element of your website:

1.  Answers question, “What do you do?” – The first sentence should be clear and to the point. Example: “I am an expert in…”

2. Answers question, “Who do you serve?” – State who your ideal client is. If you specialize in a certain niche, say so.

3. Professional accomplishments – Don’t go overboard here, but do mention the most important element that backs up what you do.

4. Credibility boosters – Mention any awards, certifications or memberships.

5. Past Projects – Briefly detail any past projects and work that set you apart from your peers.

6. Innovations – List anything novel or innovative that you’re doing in your niche that makes you more attractive to your target audience.

 

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How to Use Hootsuite to Post to Multiple LinkedIn Groups

One of the advantages to using a social media management system like Hootsuite is that it allows you to share a status update with multiple LinkedIn groups, In the following video, I show you how to add LinkedIn groups to your Hootsuite account, and post an update to them:

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Why I Like the New Facebook Insights

Facebook is tweaking its Insights again, and from what I’ve seen so far, it’s a change for the better.  Here is a breakdown of what’s changing:

  • The People Talking About This metric has been broken out into people engaged, the number of unique people who’ve clicked on, liked, commented on or shared your posts, and other page activity, which includes Page mentions, check-ins and posts by other people on your Page.
  • Virality (the percentage of people who created a story from your page, divided by the total number who’ve seen it) has been replaced with engagement rate, which is the percentage of people who saw a post that then clicked on, liked, commented on or shared it.
  • Viral reach (the number of people who saw a post from a story published by a friend)  is included as part of organic reach, with total reach broken down into paid and organic reach.

I like several aspects of the new Insights. The graphics are simpler and easier to understand. You can see at a glance how many likes your page has gotten, your total reach for the last week, and how engaged your followers have been:

Facebook Insights

I also think Facebook has greatly improved their reporting of individual posts on a page. As you can see below, it’s much easier to see how well your fans have been engaging with your posts:

More Facebook Insights

The photos above came from the overview section of Insights. Facebook also breaks down the numbers by Page:

FB insights july 2013 part 3

You can also see when your fans are online. Facebook breaks this info down by day and time, so you can see when your content is getting the most reach. Now you can easily see at a glance when your audience is online, so you can make sure to post when they’ll be most likely to see your content:

FB insights july 2013 part 4

And if you’re still not sure which type of posts get the most engagement, Facebook gives you that info in a new graphic format too:

FB insights july 2013 part 5

Facebook is slowly rolling out the new Insights to users. If you get the option to try it out, be careful. Facebook says, “if you choose to participate in the new Page Insights, you can go back to the old version at any time, but you won’t be able to switch back to the new version until it’s available to everyone.”

What do you think of the new changes? I think it’s definitely going to help Page Admins map out a better strategy to boost engagement on their page. I have to admit that I haven’t paid as close attention to Insights for my own page as I should, but that’s definitely going to change now!

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3 Easy Ways to Get Ideas for Your Company Blog

blog ideasStuck for ideas on what to write about for your company’s blog?  It’s a common complaint, especially if you don’t think of yourself as a writer. But no matter what your industry or profession – be it plumber, landscape lighting contractor or chiropractor – you can come up with plenty of articles for your blog if you focus the topics on these three areas:

  • Price/Cost
  • Problems
  • Comparisons

Price/Cost Blog Topic

Many businesses that sell services, or expensive products, are reluctant to talk about their prices online. They prefer to discuss pricing with prospective customers in person or on the phone.  The reasoning is that their prices may scare off potential customers, who perceive the product or service as being too expensive. Or, businesses may be afraid that their competition will undercut them.

Here’s the problem with this type of thinking.

Why worry that someone can’t afford your products/services? Not everyone can. That’s just a fact of life. You should be more concerned about doing the best job you can, so you’ll attract people who CAN afford your products/services.

As for the competition — well, they probably know your prices already.

You don’t have to mention specific prices in a blog article, but you can talk about pricing in more general terms, such as:

  • Pricing forecast for your industry
  • Compare price ranges of two different products
  • New vs. used in terms of pricing

Write about Problems

Do your customers ever have problems with your products or services? Maybe you already have a list of Frequently Asked Questions that deal with problems on your website. These make great material for blog articles.

Address each problem in a separate article and of course, provide the solution.  Try writing a, “How NOT to…” article for your business  as well as a “How to…” article and explain the problem and solution with each one.

Odds are, for every product or service you sell, you can come up with at least 3-6 articles  that relate to problems.

Compare and Contrast Articles

A third strategy to use for coming up with blog articles is the compare and contrast style.  Write about pros and cons of buying your services/products. Present the best and worst products, services, etc. in your industry and justify your reasoning. If you offer a low-price item versus a  more expensive one – contrast the two and make the case for when people should buy the inexpensive one, versus the deluxe model.

The key in all of these articles is to demonstrate your expertise about your products/services and your industry. Also, keep in mind the Golden Rule of Blogging: “they ask, you answer” which means you will endear yourself to your readers and prospects if you address customer questions and problems in your blog.

Get Organized

Before you write your next blog article, take time to make a list of article titles based on the three categories I’ve mentioned here: Price/Cost, Problems & Comparisons. Use an editorial calendar to plan out when you’ll publish each article. This way, you can finally stop stressing about what to write about and concentrate on providing useful content for your prospects and customers.

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