Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Want to Maximize Your Time? Leave the Writing to the Writer

Even with the extensions granted due to the pandemic and the Texas winter storm, the tax man cometh. I knew that sooner or later I'd have to get to work on my return. And by “working on,” I mean collating information, itemizing business expenses, printing out 1099s and so forth. Since I’d been keeping all the information more or less in one place all year (a hard-earned lesson in itself, believe me), the process took maybe an hour, tops. I then sent it off to the person who really does the hard work -- my CPA.

It’s a good thing, too. Apart from my general mathematical ineptitude, I hardly understand what I’m looking at when I study all the various forms the IRS seems to have for every possible situation. The instructions alone would be enough to keep me busy long past the due date, never mind tabulating every figure in its corresponding little box. Even if I could figure out the basic mechanics involved, I couldn’t possibly keep up with all the changes in the tax code that seem to pop up year after year like some bureaucratic Whack-a-Mole game. The result of my fumbling and stumbling would be a mountain of errors (which I’m told the IRS doesn’t appreciate), along with countless hours of lost writing time. Instead, I will pay a chunk of money to my CPA and let her sail through the paperwork like the experienced and knowledgable professional she is. Not only will she get the numbers right, but she will also make sure I’m taking all the right deductions (and none of the wrong ones) for my own good. What a deal!

But that’s the beauty of outsourcing to experts. You keep chugging along doing what you do best, the experts do what they do best, and everybody wins. My CPA’s billable time probably carries a higher price tag than my own, but she can do in an hour what would take me ten hours away from my everyday work. Better yet, she’ll do it right. That’s why outsourcing to a CPA makes sense -- just as outsourcing to a freelance copywriter makes sense for business owners who want to maximize their precious time.

Some of my clients are perfectly capable of writing their own marketing content -- but why should they? Whenever I hear resistance over the concept of paying for writing services, I ask, “How many hours would it take you to (a) do this work and (b) make sure it attained the right level of quality and effectiveness?” The invariable answer is that it’ll take them a lot more time, sweat, and frustration than it’ll take me. So the client actually spends considerably less money than he’d lose in the form of wasted time and stalled business productivity. 

My advice? Take those saved hours and put them into fulfilling orders, submitting bids, landing new accounts, and other immediately profitable activities -- and leave the writing to the writer!

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Key Points to Understand About Blogging

Different people have different levels of awareness regarding blogs and blogging. Some of my clients have come to me with clear, detailed notions of what sort of blog content they'd like me to write for them, while others have asked, "What is this blogging thing you mentioned in passing, and why would I do it?" Let's examine some key points on the subject.

Blogging Has Been Around Longer Than You Might Think

Blogging actually predates some of you out there. The title of earliest blog probably goes to Links.net, one person's personal web chronicle of his life and work experiences. By the late 1990s, this type of online page had become known as a weblog, or blog for short. Journalists, politicians, and businesses began tapping the power of blogging around this time. The number of blogs on the Internet shot up from just 23 in 1999 to a staggering 50 million by the mid-2000s. Some of those blog pages have remained up and running for decades. So blogging as a major form of online self-promotion is the real deal, and it should remain so for as long as there are people and brands that need to get the word out about themselves.

Blogging Is Good for Business

There's a good reason for blogging's popularity and longevity in the world of digital marketing: in short, it's good for business, especially if your blog page lives within your website's domain. For one thing, every new chunk of relevant content your brand uploads to the Internet lends your website that much more online authority. Don't forget that Google accounts for about 40 percent of all online traffic. The more you can do to get Google's attention, the better you'll rank on those search requests -- and the blog articles that the searchers pull up will have a chance to score their own marketing points and lead viewers to other features on your website. As other people and businesses discover your blog content, they may actually link back to it as a reference, boosting your audience further. Blogging is probably the easiest, most effective way to earn those valuable inline links.

Blogging and lead generation go hand in hand. If your business were to post just two blog articles per month, you'd stand to gain 70 percent more leads than your non-blogging competitors. Of course, the quality of the blog content makes a difference, too, because people really do read these things. Almost one-quarter of all Internet time is spent absorbing social media content such as blogs. The majority of these readers say that such content makes them feel more confident about the entity posting the content.

Blog Content Can Take Many Forms

"What would I blog about?" has to be one of the most frequently asked questions among business bloggers. Thankfully, a blog can have extraordinary flexibility as long it adheres to the brand image you wish to present. You can post humorous editorials, your reactions to important industry news, spotlights introducing new key players on your team, explanations of individual products or services, and articles that address seasonal concerns or sales.

You may find that your most popular blog articles focus on helping your target audience solve common problems. How-to articles, for instance, can help readers understand how your products or services can make their lives easier, while their searches for such solutions may naturally cause the relevant article to pop up on their screens. Are you especially proud of how you solved one of your client's problems? Write up a brief case study and post it as a blog article to give others with the same concerns a powerful real-life illustration of your potential value to them.

You Don't Have to Create the Blog Content Yourself

Back in the early weblog days, a blog was very much an extension of an individual's likes, dislikes, insights, and recommendations. As blogging evolved into a digital marketing strategy for businesses and organizations, the creation of blog content became a team effort. Even then, an organization might not have the requisite talent tool, spare billable time, or sheer patience to pump out the endless stream of blog content that the Internet always seems to demand. 

That's where third parties like me come in. A skilled copywriter knows how to absorb a company's brand image and produce messaging that fits that mold, creating customized content that genuinely reflects your spin on what you do and how you do it. So if you want to enjoy the considerable benefits of blogging without the headaches involved in actually coming up with that content, contact me today!