Tag Archives: social media

How to use Twitter to build relationships

social media strategyIt took me a long time to get using Twitter for business. At times it could feel like a chore; follow new people to get new followers, scour the internet for something useful to share, give people a nod every time they interact with you. All in the course of getting an ever-increasing rate of followers and, joy, the ability to direct a fraction of those followers to your material. Then when you’ve got enough followers, sit back and spam them, watching your numbers continue to grow. This is not optimum use of Twitter, though. It has one major, very special function, that takes as much time as anywhere else, and has the potential to reap the same rewards. It’s all about building relationships. Continue reading

What I’ve learnt after a year as a full time freelancer

one year freelanceOn October 1st, 2013, it was exactly one year since I officially registered as a sole trader (marking my first payment for freelance work; I’d been marketing myself for about a month beforehand). I’d been freelancing on and off for a few years, but that was the point when I took the plunge and made it full time. Because I was earning money, and had to declare my decision officially. Since then, I’ve worked as something of a literary mercenary, and made money in every way that words can. I’ve worked on brochures, screenplays, websites and magazine articles, and continued teaching along the way. And here are the most important lessons I’ve learnt: Continue reading

Writing content that works the room:
Part 5 – The Follow Up

blog networking follow upNetworking is for nothing if it doesn’t lead to a lasting connection. But following up from networking meetings can inform following up from blog networking in an important way: not everyone you meet at a networking event is a customer, and it’s important not to treat them as such. Content can work in the same way. Modern thinking is that content should be helpful and shareable, not a direct sale. So how do use content to drive business, and what can we learn from real life networking methods to help with blog marketing follow ups? Continue reading

Writing content that works the room:
Part 3 – Respecting each other’s time

respecting time, networking

Effective time management is important if you want to make the most out of a networking event, and the reasons for this are equally important when networking online. When to arrive, when to leave, how long to focus on one person or one conversation or one topic – these are all concerns which will have an impact on how well you are received. Just as what you say and how you say it will affect what people think of it, so will your attention to timing. Continue reading

Writing content that works the room:
Part 1 – Networking ideas

working the room, writing contentAt a Brighton Chamber of Commerce event focusing on networking tips for creative industries, I met a fellow freelancer who offers very similar services to me. He asked me a question that I thought was a fantastic way of looking at content writing, because it says a lot about what how, and why, we write online: When you’re writing content, do you sometimes feel like you’re working the room?

This is an ideal analogy, because writing online is a form of networking, with many similar motivations and problems. And it’s possible to take some of the best tips from networking and apply them to your writing. Worthy, I thought, of a whole series of articles. So, to get started, how exactly is writing content like working the room? Continue reading

Harnessing the strength of consumer comments through interviews

interview customer testimonial, case studyWhen I worked in media research, one of our most valuable commodities, as a company that put video cameras in people’s homes, was footage of customers singing the praises of a product in a natural environment. Short of trialling the product, what could build more consumer confidence than seeing real people recommending it to friends and family, without prompt? These beautiful moments were rare and difficult to come by, trawling through the hours of video footage, and riotous celebrations would shake the office when we discovered such a scene. It was a feeling I unexpectedly recreated last week, when I happened upon the online equivalent of such a scene, by developing a thankful consumer comment into a broader interview. Continue reading

4 effective ideas for business blogs from casino blog examples

casino gambling business blogsWhen running a business blog, sometimes it’s not enough to have vague ideas of what to blog about. I find it inspirational to look at unrelated areas of business to see how I can apply blogging ideas to my own. So I thought a quick case study of casino blog ideas (which are easy to generalise) might be inspirational for other businesses. The following article is based on blogs I had written for an online gaming marketer, but they requested that I not share the links here – so if you’d like to read the articles do ask and I’ll send you some copies: Continue reading

9 most useful WordPress plugins

most useful WordPress plug insAn important part of building a WordPress site or managing a blog is knowing what plug-ins to use. Whatever you want your site to do, there’s likely to be a plug-in out there to help you. I doubt I know a portion of what’s available, but to get my various WordPress sites to the functional states they’re now in I quickly grew attached to a selection of invaluable add ons. These are my go-to site tools, my 9 most useful and most used WordPress plug ins. And they’re all free. With any new website, for any purpose, I’d likely use the same 9 plug-ins again – here’s why: Continue reading

How my Twitter strategy started to make feel dirty

twitter strategyWhen I started out running my websites, the online marketing possibilities seemed endless, but ultimately concentrated my efforts on blogs and Twitter. Reading stuff like this, I had high hopes for both. They worked well together – blogging gave me content worth sharing, Twitter gave me somewhere to share it. It was a noble and relatively innocent plan. Until recently, when I stepped back and saw what it’d become. Continue reading

Who are you writing for? Blog audience considerations

blog audience

Time for another chapter from my free eBook, An Introduction to Business Blogs. In Chapter 4, I cover the question Who are you writing for?, to give an idea of who you want to read your blog and how you are going to write for that blog audience. Again, this is just an introduction – the full eBook, available to download here, gives more tips on getting started. This article has been slightly edited for online use. Continue reading