The Digital Dish

Blog Writing Tips: A Writing Refresher
Jun16
0

Blog Writing Tips: A Writing Refresher

Blog Writing Tips: A Writing Refresher

Let’s face it. When you are pumping out content all day every day for websites and blogs, sometimes you get off track. Sure, you’re still creating decent content, but it could probably be better. For example, did you slack a bit when researching your keyword? Or did you go back and add a little extra

Read more
How to Stay Focused at Work
Jun06
0

How to Stay Focused at Work

How to Stay Focused at Work

You’re sitting at your desk shortly after returning from lunch. Your coffee mug from this morning sits empty beside you. There are a million tabs open on your desktop, and your list of tasks for the

Read more
5 Ways to Clean Up Your Hiring Process
May25
0

5 Ways to Clean Up Your Hiring Process

5 Ways to Clean Up Your Hiring Process

Your company probably has an existing hiring proce

Read more
6 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
May16
0

6 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

6 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Being one of many small businesses in a world of b

Read more

Blog

Blog Writing Tips: A Writing Refresher

Let’s face it. When you are pumping out content all day every day for websites and blogs, sometimes you get off track. Sure, you’re still creating decent content, but it could probably be better. For example, did you slack a bit when researching your keyword? Or did you go back and add a little extra fluff just to hit your word count, instead of adding another paragraph based on research? As a blog writer, it is important to pause sometimes and take a little refresher course on the basics of blog writing tips to get yourself back on track. This week at Track5Media, the marketing team did just that. We took about an hour to sit down together and review basic blog writing tips and best practices for selecting SEO keywords. Although it’s stuff we’ve heard a thousand times, it always helps to hear it again and again. Here are the three biggest take-a-ways from our marketing meeting this week!

Blog Writing Tips 101

Blog writing tips Clickbait vs. Conversion

Of course, you want to write creative content that people are going to click on. Yet, the content can’t only be catchy and interesting – it also has to compel people to click further into your site and hopefully convince them to buy into your brand. For example, consumers might see an article with a title that convinces them to click on it, but if the content isn’t as interesting as the title suggests, the reader is lost. They will likely click right back out of the website, instead of remaining there and reading further. The trick is finding topics that are fascinating, targeted to your specific audience and have enough substance to convert clicks into sales. This is one of the most important blog writing tips, but often the hardest goal to reach every single time.

 

blog writing tipsKiller Keywords

Keyword research. This is the one tip that resonated with me the most. When you are picking a keyword for your blog, it is not enough to find a keyword that’s being searched often. You also have to think about who is searching for it and why? What is their end goal when they type that keyword into the search engine? Will your blog post answer their question, and most importantly, is the keyword targeting your specific audience? Sometimes we come up with great topic ideas. We find a keyword related to our topic without considering that it might be attracting many people to our page who will not convert to customers.

 

Blog writing tips

Audience Assessment

The audience. This brings us to number three of the blog writing tips we reviewed this week. The audience is really the first thing you should consider before you decide on a topic; before you select a keyword. Who are you writing for, and what are you trying to tell them? At Track5Media, we have six brands to market for. Our audience varies between all of our brands, from healthcare professionals like registered nurses and physicians to truck drivers. Our newest brand, Senior Caring, is a brand targeting elderly people and their caretakers. The goal with all of our brands is to connect the audience to a service, such as connecting them to an independent living community or a nursing home to care for them. Thinking about each individual audience, the questions they might have, and the topics they care about is key to creating great content.

How to Stay Focused at Work

You’re sitting at your desk shortly after returning from lunch. Your coffee mug from this morning sits empty beside you. There are a million tabs open on your desktop, and your list of tasks for the week is long. Yet, you can’t help but glance over to the window and look out at the blue sky and the green leaves blowing in the gentle breeze. Your mind starts to drift to how nice it is outside and what you could do after work to enjoy the warm weather. Maybe you’ll go for a walk, or possibly grab a drink with some friends at an outdoor bar. Then again, you really should do laundry and dishes, and you can’t forget to make that student loan payment that’s due today. But it’s summertime, and the living’s easy… An email notification pops up, reminding you of the task at hand. Oh yeah – you’re supposed to be writing a blog pos, and the clock is ticking. I may or may not have just described how I spent the past five minutes, but let’s face it – we could all use some tips for how to stay focused at work, especially when it’s finally starting to warm up outside.

The good news about getting side-tracked at work is – you’re not alone. Nearly 50 percent of American workers surveyed admit they work for about 15 minutes before becoming distracted, and 53 percent confess they waste about an hour or more a day because of disruptions. If you’re younger, you likely have an even shorter attention span because of your constant exposure to technology. People who are in their twenties tend to have shorter attention spans, research suggests. Men also have a harder time focusing than women.

how to stay focused at work

4 Tips for How to Stay Focused at Work

There are some easy tips you can follow that will help you to concentrate better, like making sure your basic needs are met. If you are hungry or thirsty, you’ll likely have difficulty staying focused while working. It will also help if you don’t let distractions from your life outside of work into the office. Meditate or do something before work to clear your head. This will help you to stay calm and collected during the work day. Here are some additional tips for how to stay focused at work:

1. Dump your distractions

We all get distracted by things like the ridiculous selfie your mom posted on Facebook or texting a friend about weekend plans. It’s important to identify what those distractions are so that you can eliminate them. Working offline, if possible, or putting your cell phone out of reach, are ways to make sure you stay focused on the task at hand. Taking a complete digital detox isn’t a bad idea, either.

2. Make a to-do list

Having a solid list of what you need to get done each day is another way for how to stay focused at work. If you’re like me, checking items off your list and knowing you got everything done within the allotted time is satisfying. Also, doing your work in smaller chunks of time and then allowing yourself little rewards between each task, like taking a quick walk, grabbing more water or eating a snack, can help you to focus better and concentrate harder.

3. Find things that help you focus

Drinking caffeine, taking short walks throughout the day, and listening to music are all ideas for ways to improve your focus at work, depending on who you are. Caffeine is definitely a personal preference, but there are many studies that reveal the benefits of walking during the workday.  When it comes to music, some people say that it’s distracting while others claim that certain types of music help them to improve their concentration.

4. Like your job

The most important tip for how to stay focused at work is to enjoy what you do and to work for a company with a positive work environment or culture. If you’re passionate about your job, you’ll have an easier time bringing your mind back from thinking about unrelated things, such as what’s for dinner. $1 empanadas on special sound way better than cooking though, right?

5 Ways to Clean Up Your Hiring Process

Your company probably has an existing hiring process, but is it as efficient and effective as it could be? A lot of recruiters and companies set broad, but formal hiring process and stick to it for years to come, with just enough room to make minor adjustments along the way. But, just like any other strategic plan in a business, it needs to be cleaned up and evaluated every so often. It’s time to do some housework and clean up your hiring process with these steps.

5 Steps to Clean Up Your Hiring Process

1. Evaluate your current approach

If you don’t track metrics such as quality of hire, turnover, time to fill, candidates per hire, and hiring satisfaction, it’s time to start. These metrics can give better insights on what’s working in your process and where you can improve. Also, gather information and opinions of employees to clean up your hiring process. Ask what they think could be eliminated or streamlined to encourage efficiency, if the software you use offers everything needed, and how they think it could be improved. Recent hires might have a few opinions on the process, so it’s important to consider their ideas since they just experienced it first-hand.

2. Polish your job descriptions

Many companies and managers just write a brief job description and post it on a job board then never look at it again. If the job descriptions are unclear, it’s likely that you’ll have tons of unqualified applicants and ultimately waste time with interviews that turn into casual chats. Clearly defining the job responsibilities and requirements can make your hiring process more efficient and also help job seekers to know when not to apply. You’re wasting both your time and the applicant’s time by not gearing the job listing to a specific audience. Also, make sure everything in the posting is accurate. If you hire someone that thinks his job will include XYZ, but he end up being tasked with ABC, it’ll lead to low employee satisfaction and a higher turnover.

Meme about incorrect job descriptions

Be sure to convey accurate information in job descriptions.

3. Make sure everyone is on the same page

Educating your team is a great step to clean up your hiring process. Everyone involved in recruiting and hiring should have the same knowledge regarding the process, specific jobs, and HR software. You should even involve more than one person to evaluate applicants past the initial stage to minimize error and get a second, or even third or fourth opinion. Any mistake can set the process back or send it for a loop. Of course, mistakes are inevitable, but it’s better to take more proactive steps than reactive.

4. Use technology

Lots of hiring managers and companies start with a phone interview to get an initial feel for the candidate’s experience and potential. This is more efficient than having each individual prospect come into the office, for what might not be worth it. This is a great way to add technology into the hiring process, but you can even take it a step further. Programs and software for video interviews can drastically help clean up your hiring process. It can be hard for candidates to find the time to make a trip to the office, especially if they are currently working a different job. So, video chatting allows an easy and efficient way to screen candidates, but also offers a greater human connection with a visual of them.

Also, make sure you are using the best talent management software for your needs. Some even include video interview features and can make the process go a lot smoother.

5. Organize your folders

Whether its physical folders or digital folders, make sure everyone knows where to find important information. This includes any forms or paperwork for hiring, interview questions, job descriptions, and even the hiring process laid out step by step. This ensures that all involved in the process have the resources to carry out the hiring process correctly and as efficiently as possible.

6 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Being one of many small businesses in a world of business sharks can bring on a plethora of challenges. Working on a small budget is never any business owner’s ideal situation, but it happens. And, knowing how to promote your business and it’s awesomeness to the world is important if you want to get your name out there. You may be wondering, “Okay, but I don’t have a lot of money. How can I compete with the big guys?” Well its actually a lot simpler than you thought.

There are tons of great ways to brand and market yourself without spending thousands every month. Some of the greatest content and marketing strategies are born from the simplest of ideas. Below, we’ve compiled some marketing ideas for small businesses trying to get their name out there and promote themselves.

Top 6 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Now, there are definitely more than just six marketing ideas for small businesses. But here, we’re focusing on low budget, quick, and easy ideas to get your business where you’re going. Stick with these marketing ideas for small businesses tips and you’ll be an expert in no time. You may even be coming up with your own ideas!

1. Always. Produce. Content.

Now, this should be a no-brainer, but baby steps, right? Producing and publishing great content is literally going to be your best friend and one of the best marketing ideas for small businesses. I mean it. If you don’t or can’t put content online for your business, there is no point in trying to market your business. Even if you aren’t the strongest writer, someone on your team is capable of cranking out a few blogs or articles a day, week, or month relating to your business. And the blogs don’t have to be lengthy or heavily researched every time. Take a hint from BuzzFeed; they just might be the king of all things “listicle” (take this post for example). People love short lists and fun content they can relate to. Stay on top of trends and what’s happening in the world around your business and fill people in!

2. The Wonderous Beauty of Interns

Now, not to get all personal here, but I myself am an intern. And I’ll let you in on a little secret – Interns will do anything (within reason obviously) for experience or credit just to impress you and get experience. Internships can also be offered as school credit, which means you can pay them if you want (and are able – remember this post is about low budget small businesses), or you don’t have to. So, hiring a college student interested in marketing, writing, or business is a great way to have extra help around the office producing content. Have some interns write some catchy blogs or post on social media. We are currently in the age of the Millennials and Generation Z who are all over the social media scenes. Let them take over (again within reason) especially if you’re a younger, trendier business. You’ll end up loving their work, and they’ll love you for the great time and great experience.

3. Video Marketing is Calling Your Name

 Video content is one of the most valuable assets to small businesses. You just have to do it. And, what’s so great about making videos you ask? Literally everything. They are fairly easy to produce and don’t cost as much as you’d think. While it is beneficial to invest in a decent camera and maybe a green screen, you can make usable and interesting videos just using your phone. Short, online videos are the way to reach people – especially on social media. The average attention span has decreased significantly, so short 1 to 3 minute videos are perfect. Get creative and start reaching out to your followers!

4. Social Media – If it’s Free, It’s for Me

Okay, let’s be real here. If you own a business and you’re not already utilizing the free platforms already available to you (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest), you might as well quit. Okay, that may be harsh, but someone had to say it. These social media platforms typically cost nothing to join and it is the easiest and fastest way to get your amazing content to the public. They are also great platforms for marketing campaigns and consumer reach. Everyone loves getting a reply from a post they commented on. Interact and build a personality. Sign up for all you can and keep all profile information, pictures, and posts consistent. That is the best way to build a brand and familiarize followers with your business. Starting a website is another great way to increase your online presence. There are many free or really cheap website creation sites you can manage to fit your own business.

5. Link Up on LinkedIn

If you’re already using LinkedIn, fabulous! If not, what are you waiting for? Get going! LinkedIn is absolutely a great way to connect with fellow business and increase your knowledge about competition. Many small businesses go on LinkedIn to promote themselves and you should too. Don’t just connect with people though. Join conversations, post blogs, join groups, update your profile and build your network. And what’s even better? IT’S FREE (head back to number 4 if you need a refresher).

6. Don’t Sizzle…Pop!

I’m talking about having clever, interesting, and up-to-date branding materials. Sure a plain white business card with black Times New Roman font is “professional,” but it’s 2017. Splurge (a little) on a good designer or get your creative juices flowing with some great business materials. I’m talking business cards, flyers, coasters, t-shirts, chapsticks, buttons, letterhead, magnets. If you can print something on it, do it. This works especially well if your small business is centered around a trendy industry (like a hipster coffee house) or fun name. Plus, having a tangible, well-design product to distribute literally puts your business into the hands of a client. Find what works best for you and your brand, run with it, and run far.

People love what other people are passionate about. So, needless to say, if you’re passionate about your business and it’s success, people will love it too! Marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. Chances are, you already have an awesome team behind you to help every step of the way. Follow these tips and mold them to your business’s personality if you need to. The world of business and marketing isn’t always cut and dry, but knowing the basics to get started is a great place to start.