My Top 10 blog posts of 2018

Blue51 best blog posts

Wowsers, what a year in blog land! I’ve had a wander around my analytics, and the following posts are the ones that have been most popular from this year. That said, this is a modified Top 10 in that posts I wrote three and four years ago are still appearing in my most viewed content each month, which shows you the power of good content.

Pstt- this comes with a sweet little freebie!

Without further adieu, or whatever the Italian version of that is, here are the blog posts that have performed the best on my website this year:

The one where I was copied and plagiarised- and no, it’s not a form of flattery

The one where how I shared how I make boring copy sexy AF

The one where I show how to look objectively at your communications

The one where I go over the fundamentals of a content ladder

The one where I go undercover at a client’s event to get a real feel for the experience she delivers

The one where I beg people not to sacrifice grammar for SEO bots

The one where I show how to give good woo

The one where I gush over communications inspo

The one where I take a dance around my Google Analytics dashboard

and finally

The one where I give you some tools for communications clarity.

Not a bad list, no?

It’s safe to say that I bloody love blogging. It’s such a fantastic medium for sharing information and for educating, inspiring and sharing knowledge and a giggle or three. I’m incredibly excited for another big year of content writing!

My Top 10 Go-To Writing Prompts

Tell me, any requests, suggestions or queries for future posts? Hit me up!

My top 10 reads of 2018

Oh, it’s that magical time of year again when I dive deep into my memory banks to relive the books that I’ve loved best this past year. Those of you playing along at home will know that each year, I keep a running diary of the books I read, and at the end of the year, I compile my favourites into a blog post to share my unsolicited opinions on what I’ve read.

Here’s some reading lists I prepared earlier:

My Top 10 Reads of 2017

My Top 10 Reads of 2016

And now, onto the current year! As of today, December 11 2018, I’ve read less books than previous years. I’m currently at 65.5 books inhaled and devoured, which includes almost three weeks of no reading during our California adventure.* Even so, trying to narrow down a top ten out of so many fabulous reads isn’t easy, and as always, I have a mix of fiction and non-fiction/biz books in my list. Except for numero uno, they’re not in top 10 order because, quite frankly, it was hard enough to find ten amongst the gold. The main criteria, especially for the non-fiction/business/PD books is that they make an impact on my life in some way, either with something I can action and implement, or by way of inspo. Some are here because of the sheer excellence of the way words have been weaved. I’ve included the direct links to Booktopia but of course I have no affiliation with them, I just want you to be able to get them quickly and easily!

Another caveat- I’m a writer, so I read as a writer. It’s really hard for me to ignore shitty syntax and crappy grammar so on the whole self-published books very rarely (ie never) make my list.

Let’s get our Word Nerd Book Wormery on, shall we?

1- What happened? by Hillary Rodham Clinton

This book was incredible- not just the best book of my year, but right up there with the best books I’ve ever read. It was bloody hard to read in terms of the sheer frustration of the content, and it put me in a bad mood for a good two weeks. It was beautifully written, insightful, scathing and so, so clever. I gave my mum a copy and I’ll be giving my daughters their own copies as well to read and be inspired by. At the same time I was reading What Happened?  I saw one of those nauseating Instagram hustle posts that said something like ‘If you’re not working for yourself, you’re making money for someone else.’ I wrote a snarky comment asking what about teachers, health workers, policy makers, people dedicated to serving the broader community, and then hit unfollow. What Happened? is not just a memoir of a truly horrid time in history but it’s a call to action for all of us to focus on something bigger than ourselves. Loved it.

2- Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

This was a beautiful book about two teenage sisters who live with their family out of town. When society breaks down, they’re geographically removed from the chaos, until they’re not. It was gripping, poetically written and actually quite harrowing in it’s frightening ability to come true, not unlike The Handmaid’s Tale which I also reread most years. I loved it!

3- Option B by Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl quite clearly has lived our worst nightmare- written after the sudden death of her husband, this is a book that weaves her personal story with theory about facing adversity and building resilience and the steps she takes to support her family to find joy in the aftermath of such heartbreak. Sheryl is a fantastic writer and after reading Option B, I reread Lean In, another freaking good read from a few years ago which is filled with amazing one-liners that can keep a Word Nerd’s social media strategy fed for years, as well as inspire and confirm my business and life philosophy.

4- The Good People by Hannah Kent

I really loved this novel set in Ireland in the 1800s and the superstitions and beliefs of the characters, people living in borderline poverty. My grandmother, my Nonna, had some seriously messed up superstitions that made no sense to anyone but her, but even she had her limits. This gave me an insight into where they would have originated.

5- The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

This memoir was recommended to me by someone in one of my Writer’s Toolkit Workshops earlier this year after I told my story about how I moved from Registered Nurse to Word Nerd (thanks Jen!). Thankfully, nothing I came across in my nursing career was like the scenarios played out in this book which I read in less than 24 hours. It was harrowing, distressing, gobsmacking and in many ways inspiring. How can you fail to be inspired by someone who is raised violence, neglect and poverty, who has a gender reassignment in a time when it wasn’t even really a ‘thing’ (not my words), who moved from prostitute to trophy wife, then launches a wildly successful business cleaning trauma scenes and hoarders’ homes? Sarah, the author, shares Sandra’s story in such a beautiful way- she actually won the Premier’s Literary Award for this piece, amongst other awards. It’s a tricky read, though, just from the descriptions of the scenes of the homes to be cleaned, so if you’re slightly squeamish, give it a miss. The violence is distressing too.

6- Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis

A memoir similar to Wild by Cheryl Strayed (in my top 10 in 2015), Girl in the Woods is another tale of a woman solo tackling the Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to out-walk her demons and craft herself a new life. I read this in one night, sitting up way past idiot-o’clock, willing this young woman on her journey. It was sad and exhilarating and so evocatively written. I just wanted to hug Aspen; instead, I recommend you read her book.

7- The Miracle Morning by Hal Enrod

I read this in January during the long blissful days of summer after having it recommended to me more times than I count, and always with the comment ‘Oh, but you get up early anyway!’ Yes, I do get up early, 5.30am in fact but my morning routine is basically looking at my phone whilst putting on my sneakers to be at the gym at 6am. The Miracle Morning prescribes a little bit more love and care to the routine to up level your day, your business and your life. It’s six steps that are easy to implement, but may require a wake up time of 5am, which I’m not 100% on board for. Eleven months later, I’m still thinking about actioning some of Hal’s steps, but can I see myself repeating affirmations at 5am? Computer says no… it’s a fun, easy read though- go for it!

8- The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland

This novel reminded me of my favourite book of all time (kinda), The God of Small Things, particularly the early chapters where the protagonist was a child and has that view of the world. It was gorgeous, poetic, about the links between women, the stories we tell ourselves as children, the perspectives that may not be real but influence how we live our lives as adults. Pure beauty!

9- Butterfly on a Pin by Alannah Hill

This was such a surprise to me. Alannah Hill is an incredible writer, first of all, and secondly, she completely busted any preconceptions I had about her. I knew her reputation as quirky and driven but I had no idea that her business success was underpinned by a lifetime of abuse. It was raw, it was sad, it was funny in places, but man, the strength it must have taken her just to put one foot in front of the other some days. It shows you that ‘success’ can be all smoke and mirrors, especially in the business world which can be pretty much built on illusion.

10- Our House by Louise Candlish

This was a highly relatable read about how quickly and easily things can escalate. A man attempts to fix one stupid mistake by another stupid mistake and another and another. I read this one quickly wanting to know the what and the how, and I really enjoyed it.

Here’s some more reads that could have made my list:

The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin

We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck

Storyland by Catherine McKinnon

Goodwood by Holly Throsby

The School for Good and Evil Series– read in a book club with my older cherub

Tell me, what’s your favourite read of the past year?

*The reading absence happened accidentally and it’s the longest I’ve ever EVER gone without reading a novel or twelve, and boy did I miss it! Like banking up sleep over a long weekend- or like I used to pre-cherubs- I plan on making up for it big time over the summer. In fact, the aforementioned cherubs may need to use a broom handle to get a reaction out of me.

Analytics dashboard essentials

Analytics dashboard essentials

Google Analytics is a must for your communications toolkit. It’s a free tool that monitors your website performance in terms of traffic, keywords and audience. It has so much info and data that can not only be used to improve your website, but also guide your broader communications strategy.

Hey guess what! This post comes with a sweet little freebie:

Website Essentials Checklist

That said, Google Analtyics can be extremely overwhelming and potentially confusing. In my first year of having it installed I think I glanced at it sporadically, put it in the f*ckit bucket and slunk away quietly, avoiding eye contact. But like any good Word Nerd using content marketing as a cornerstone of my communications strategy, I had to get comfortable with data (spreadsheets and charts, bleugh) and know that the effort I was putting into my content was actually yielding results. Enter some quick training to be able to navigate my way around the dashboard, and off I went.

First things first- your Analytics will yield a lot of data. A LOT. There are a few key metrics relevant to the majority of businesses that I work with*, including my own:

Traffic source:

Where are people coming to your website from? Your social media platforms? Organic search? Directly? The answers to this should guide any tweaks and changes to your social media strategy. For example, if Facebook has a low referral source percentage, try adding more direct shares from specific pages in your website, or play around with your calls to action on posts. 

Audience:

Where are your audience based? If you’re strictly a location-based business, then your keywords should reflect that (eg Business writing workshops Melbourne). What are their demographics? Are they reflecting those of your ideal client? How many visitors are returning? A high (ish) return rate may indicate people are connecting with your content. #yay

Search terms:

What terms are leading people to your website? Are they the terms that you expect? I use this metric to confirm and guide my keywords when I’m tweaking my content strategy. They can prompt new ideas of content I hadn’t considered, as well as ensure that I’m writing to a purpose rather than just taking a stab in the dark. 

Behaviour:

What pages have the highest visits? Where are people lingering, and where are they bouncing? Does this reflect your goals for your website?

I check my Analytics dashboard as part of my monthly reporting and planning process. By ‘check’ I mean Google emails me a baseline level of stats, and if there’s anything in there that is unexpected, I jump on in and have a good poke around with a flashlight, and then tweak my digital marketing strategy accordingly. Having a good understanding of your website numbers is almost as important to the health of your business as any other metric, but this is one you get to attach a bit of Word Nerd love to guide the outcome. 

Tell me, when was the last time you took a stroll around your Google Analytics dashboard?

*My work primarily focuses on service-based businesses. Product-based businesses will need some other metrics to determine their website performance. 

 

Holly Cardamone Bio

This is a post in my series of posts about digital marketing. Each month I’ll information, hacks and ideas for getting the very most bang for your communications buck on ye olde internet and  social media platforms. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or to address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms- find me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Communications clarity

Every day, I work with people with amazing businesses, messages and audiences, but unfortunately, there’s very little alignment between the three! That’s where I come in- my role is to create communications strategies that will connect the right people with the right message, thus growing a business. Throw in some storytelling (ah, my favourite) and I’m one happy Word Nerd. 

Psst- want my freebie checklist to help cut to the core of your communications? Read on!

I’m all about simplicity and so effective communications relies on one main thing: Clarity.

Whoop, there it is! Yes, clarity.

Without a solid dose of clarity, business communications ends up as one big splattered, confusing mess of messages, audiences and purposes. 

Clarity  in purpose means you’re never just putting out tactics for the sake of it. Your tactics (social media, blogging, events, networking) become tied to a greater purpose, and you can align them to three main subcategories- to be inspiring, educational and entertaining (where appropriate). 

Clarity in messaging keeps writing and tactics targeted. When messages are simple and aligned to broader business clarity, relevance is almost guaranteed, and it becomes much easier to address audience pain points. 

Clarity in audience means you can consistently deliver tactics and content that your client can connect with and relate to, and very quickly see you as the answer to their clearly articulated problems. 

All three- purpose, messaging and audience- will guide your tactics, the means by which you connect an audience with a message. Is blogging right for you, for your audience? Not if reading blogs are not part of their every day life. 

Get my Communications Planning 1 Pager Quicky

Tell me, is clarity the core of your business communications strategy?

 

Holly Cardamone Bio

This is a post in my Communications Toolkit series. Each month, I share insights, hints and tips from my communications and copywriting bag of tricks. I’ll show you how to rock copywriting a range of products, tactics to communications glory and how to use communications and PR to solve your business marketing problems. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.

You can’t fake originality or creativity- or can you?

About ten years ago, I was in the regional library in the country town near where I grew up, and there was a display set up celebrating a local elderly gentleman who had been offered an honorary Bachelor degree off the back of a local history he had written. I flicked through his book, and a chapter caught my eye. It was the story of a local lifesaving club, and word for word, sub header by sub header the content was mine, written as part of my Year 12 History assignment. You see, in Year 12, in the olden days, we had an exam and one major written assignment that was over six months in the making. At my school, students selected a local landmark, organisation or person and wrote a fairly substantial research-based book. The school then organised for them to be published (by published, I mean typed up with an actual typewriter, then photocopied and stapled together) and copies were given to all the local historical societies and libraries. Fifteen plus years later, I stood in a library and saw someone had copied my work, word for badly overwritten word, and I felt sick to my stomach. My dad, my number one fan, was furious, and actually pulled out my copy of my assignment which was less than a metre away from the display in the local history section, and showed the librarian. She pulled a face, and then pulled down the display. 

I had reason to recall this recently when I found a post on social media by another business owner, taking one of my strategic processes and claiming it as their own. Here’s the kicker- this person isn’t a communications specialist or a writer for business, but are marketing themselves as something similar, and it’s the third time this specific person has lifted my work. They’re not alone though- there’s a person based in NSW who takes my memes and slaps their logo on them within days of my posting them, and another based in Brisbane who turns my blog post images and content into social media posts.

Was it Shakespeare who said imitation is the highest form of flattery? I’m not flattered- I’m pissed off.

 

I invested heavily in my skills and knowledge- I have not one, but two Masters representing close to a decade of study and education. By ‘education’ I don’t mean the ‘learnings’ that come from listening to a podcast or reading a business book or a business celebrity autobiography, I’m talking peer-reviewed, research-based, rigorous theoretical and practical study. 

I don’t call myself a communications specialist and writer for business because it’s something I have a knack for- I own my expertise because I have the qualifications and the years of experience to show for it. Two of my campaigns are taught as tertiary communications case studies at Australian universities, and over my two decades in the game I’ve worked with many, many people and organisations to tell their story and to grow their business with beautiful communications. I haven’t done so by ‘winging it’- I wouldn’t put people’s livelihoods at risk by faking it until I make it- I’ve done it via hard work, by commitment and by basically knowing my shit. 

I love the Internet- I love how it’s democratised information and gives people a platform. Of course, there’s a dark side to this, and I wrote my Master’s thesis about it. Anyone with a Canva account and $100 to spend on Facebook ads can market themselves as anything they want, substance or not. Scratch the surface of some of your favourite Instagram accounts and you’ll realise pretty quickly there’s not a lot there. That’s the worst thing about small business land- there are unscrupulous people who think it’s perfectly ok to steal from other people and to pretend to be something they’re not. My silver lining in this situation- someone can pretend to be me, can take my original ideas and copy and try to pass it off as their own, but they’ll come undone.  They have an expiry date, and I’ll continue to create, my focus firmly in my own lane.

 

Tell me, have you ever found your work copied or had someone take credit for your IP?

 

Holly Cardamone Bio

Is your PDF Google friendly?

Google friendly pdf

Here’s the thing- I’m a writer, not a SEO specialist, but I have a super-quick strategy to enhance your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) that’s working really well for me (and clients) of late:

Optimise the b’jesus out of your PDFs. See, I told you it was quick!

Pstt… this post comes with a sweet little freebie- stay tuned!

Clearly, without a generous dash of keywords across your website, Google is going to struggle to pick you up. If you’re following the general advice out there, you have your keywords in your titles, subtitles, image titles and meta-descriptions, but an oft-overlooked place to optimise is the PDFs that live on your website. 

Google treats PDFs as webpages, so they’re the perfect place to add some love to improve your ranking:

1- Link to your website homepage in your logo that you have in the PDF, as well as throughout the document.

2- If appropriate, use a descriptive file name that is (dare I say it) borderline click baitish. Otherwise, keep it tightly descriptive- for example- ‘new patient information form’.

3- Scatter keywords through your title like confetti.

4- Fill out the title and meta-data fields in the doc properties, again being overly generous with your keywords. 

All done? Beautiful!

One more SEO tick to keep the Google bots happy, and without mucking around with your copy to make your friendly neighbourhood Word Nerd happy- aka me. 

Website Essentials Checklist

Tell me, do you find SEO a science, an art form, or a bit of a headache?

 

If you’d like some support with your online writing or communications please get in touch– I’d love to help out.

Holly Cardamone Bio

This is a post in my series of posts about digital marketing. Each month I’ll information, hacks and ideas for getting the very most bang for your communications buck on ye olde internet and  social media platforms. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or to address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms- find me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Communications inspo overload

overwhelmed by biz communicationsPeople are often so caught up in the day to day of operating their business that they find themselves in a scattergun pattern of communications. Much, much more effective is a strategic and thoughtful communications plan that’s aligned to broader business goals and has audience and messages at the core. Good communications facilitates and enables business success- people need to know about you, how you can help them, and this involves communications. 

Writing websites is probably one of my favourite services, but communications planning gets me just as giddy.

 

I absolutely love the work process involved in nailing someone’s business communications to help them tell their story and grow their business using beautiful, effective communications.

A fabulous communications strategy aligns target audience, key messages and ideal channels with the overarching aim of meeting business vision and goals. It integrates strategy with tools, activities and evaluation methods and builds a brand, and grows a business.  It gives a clear framework to get your message directly to your dream client. There’s a whole lot of idea-bouncing and brainstorming, tweaking of existing business communications, and a ton of clarity, direction, a renewed sense of communications inspo. 

My clients have distinct goals and strategies for their business, but often feel like they lack the communications skills to showcase what they do in a way that their ideal client responds to.  I provide communications support as once-offs, or for clients who love some accountability and a touch of homework to keep their communications on track I meet as regularly as they’d like. 

It’s so important to have a communications strategy that is aligned to the broader strategic business plan. A good strategy will have the information and detail for implementation over time, and result in a tangible air of smugness, knowing that a business is supported by strong, effective communications.

Get my Communications Planning 1 Pager Quicky

Tell me, do your communications set you up for what you would like to achieve in your business?

 

Holly Cardamone Bio

This is a post in my Communications Toolkit series. Each month, I share insights, hints and tips from my communications and copywriting bag of tricks. I’ll show you how to rock copywriting a range of products, tactics to communications glory and how to use communications and PR to solve your business marketing problems. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.

Win them back with beautiful business writing

beautifulbusinesswriting

Every contact a business or organisation has with an audience is an opportunity to knock off socks with good communications, Dr Suess vibe optional, of course. 

I have a number of clients with member-based businesses (think gyms, educational services, peak bodies) and renewal and retention is an ongoing process which can be delicate at the best of times. If a business is poised to significantly increase pricing, then the delicacy level is right up there. Price rises are unavoidable, and clients are often understandably concerned about  the potential backlash. Good communications and beautiful writing cushions the renewal process, but it’s also an opportunity to reconnect, and to show some love.

My advice is always, ALWAYS avoid just sending an invoice with the updated amount and hope for the best. Rather, craft a piece of content that answers the most basic of questions: ‘What’s in it for me?’  This involves reaching out to the readers’ motivation and making the membership so enticing that price increase is irrelevant.

A thoughtfully crafted piece of content has five sections:

 

  1. Open with a thank you and recognition.
  2. Clear articulation of the value and benefits of being part of the business.
  3. Upcoming plans with a ton of enthusiasm and excitement for upcoming projects, plans and events.
  4. A clear call to action with a stupidly-easy process to take next steps.
  5. Finally, a repeated statement of gratitude with a point of contact for any queries or further information, stressing that the business is looking forward another great year.

Five little paragraphs can avoid a whole lot of potential pain and show a ton of love.

 

Another potential target for an approach like this is lapsed and former members and clients. 

They are often an untapped potential audience. I think it makes perfect sense to check in on a regular basis with those who have shown an interest in a business or organisation previously, in whatever context, be it previous members, people who have made a product inquiry or former clients or customers.

Something initially attracted them to the business/organisation, perhaps a recognition that ‘these are my people.’ For whatever reason they left, but if the perceived benefit and initial attraction element is clearly and appropriately articulated, then they may be enticed back into the fold.

The campaign would need minimal tweaking in terms of copy- maybe just a rework that highlights changes to the business, future directions and a direct, welcoming invitation for involvement. This basic concept can be applied across all business types- not a week goes by without Blue51 HQ receiving a ‘we miss you’ letter from a telco or an energy company. Awww, bless them and their door knocking working holiday backpackers…

Hey from Holly

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Email campaigns are one of the writing for business concepts I cover in my Writer’s Toolkit Workshop. Find out more, and book into an upcoming workshop here– I’d love to work with you on your business writing projects.

Tell me, do you reach out to your former clients on a regular basis? 

 

Holly Cardamone Bio

This is a post in my Writing for Business blog series . Each month, I share insights, hints and tips from my writing bag of tricks. I’ll show you how to rock writing a range of products, tactics to online communications glory and how to use communications and PR to solve your business marketing problems. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.

Blue51 Show and Tell- Why Be Creative?

bellaartistawhybecreative

There’s nothing like using the principles of story to translate sales and services copy into a narrative that conveys passion, enthusiasm and experience, aka a story. Blue51 Communications’ tagline is tell your story, and today’s Blue51 Show and Tell gives an insight into the writing process behind helping a business owner do exactly that. 

The project:

Writing a blog post for a business content marketing strategy

The client:

BellaArtista Designs delivers creative art workshops- specifically using resin to create a 3D piece of art.  The workshops are four hours, and participants are guided step by step through the process of selecting a design, creating the resin mix (a fantastic, almost weird-science process) according to colour preferences, and then pouring that mix into the design. Whilst the resin sets, a special guest takes over the workshop to deliver an experience that changes each workshop, but always has a focus on wellness, on relaxation or on nurturing self. This may be a guided meditation, an eye or lip mask, pressure point massage or an info session on an alternative therapy modality. 

The client’s target audience:

BellaArtista workshops are for people looking for a creative, fun and unique day out from the day to day. Many people tell Angela, BellaArtista’s founder that they’re simply not creative, that they’re not ‘arty’ but her experience is this mode of creation- resin art- appeals to a broad range of ‘non-creatives’ and creatives alike. 

The approach: 

BellaArtista is often witness to the profound effect that time dedicated to creativity has on people’s wellbeing and wanted a content piece to reflect this. The goal was to encourage people to take time out of their busy lives, to allow themselves the gift of creative time to experience the benefits.

In terms of research for this project, I immersed myself in a ton of scientific studies that linked creativity and wellbeing, but then decided to channel my inner Angelina, and went for a method acting approach. Yep, I signed up for a workshop!

Confession time:

I hadn’t done anything remotely ‘arty’ since Year 9 compulsory art. I was a book worm and a word nerd at school (some things never change) and I’m not particularly visual, relying on the professionals (Graphic Designers, Interior Designers) to do the hard visual stuff in my life and business. I was more than a little apprehensive, but excited to have a Saturday that involved four hours of something different from the same old, same old. 

How was it? It was amazing! Firstly, I walked into a table full of the most delicious, home-baked treats and goodies. The host, Angela, has an uncanny knack of creating connection between the people gathered around the table, and of course the process of creating- the mixing, the colour selecting, the frantic stirring of the chemicals was incredibly immersing. The four hours flew, Angela thrust a glass of bubbles in my hand and I left the workshop with a beautiful piece that’s sitting on my desk as I type, reminding me to take time and space out of the every day to try something different. How fabulous is that?

So, research complete, it was back to the communications and writing. I focused on the pain points of BellaArtista’s audience- predominantly busy women, potentially overwhelmed with far too many tabs open in their brains. A risk is that people may see time out being creative as self-indulgent, so I wanted to craft a piece that addressed that, and reframed it as being a way to provide self-care and nurturing, a way to reconnect with imagination, to get out of old ruts, eat amazing food and basically have fun! Creativity is joyful and inspiring, and above all else is relaxing. Being fed beautiful food and handed a glass of bubbles is the cherry on the sunday, or the lacquer on the resin. 

The results:

BellaArtista has a fabulous piece of content on her website, which of course feeds the broader social media schedule. Most importantly, it emphatically answers the question- why be creative?

Why?  The research shows us that it enhances long term health and wellbeing, and my experience showed that it smashed my sense of overwhelm like nothing much else.

My Top 10 Go-To Writing Prompts

Tell me, do you tell the story of your business services, the value you offer, the benefits you provide effectively?

 

 

Holly Cardamone Bio

 

Communicating your services beautifully is one of the writing for business concepts I cover in my Writer’s Toolkit Workshop. Find out more, and book into an upcoming workshop here– I’d love to work with you on your business writing projects.

This is a post in my Blue51 Show and Tell blog series . Each month, I share some of the projects I’m working on for my fabulous clients. I can’t wait to show you both the work we’re producing, as well as the amazing results they’re achieving in their businesses. 

There’s more unabashed bragging on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help.

Optimisation without grammar brutalisation

 

SEO with good grammar

Every time I speak with a people about their business writing, Google and SEO rears it’s (ugly) head. Let me be clear: I write to an audience, not Google. Everything I write is tied to broader business goals and a target audience, both of which direct messages. That said, of course you want to be found on Google. Your content needs to be easily found by your audience, and Google will help in that process immeasurably. 

Without a decent sprinkle of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) throughout your site, using keywords specific to your business and industry, your beautiful website is just not going to be found.

 

There’s more to SEO copywriting than repeating (and repeating, and repeating) a set of keywords. SEO is a science, and done well, an art form. It is extensive, detailed and dynamic, multi-faceted and complex. The bare bones, however, is matching your content to what people, your people, are looking for online.

Before writing as much as a headline, have a quick think about your dream reader/client, specifically in terms of the work that you do for them, or the services you’d like to be providing. This will make it easier for you to imagine the search terms your clients are banging into Google to find a business just like yours, that solves the problem they are facing. It can be difficult to retain objectivity when writing about something close to you, and sometimes we need a reminder that our industry jargon isn’t always used by our clients. There’s a wealth of data in your Analytics for you to mine for your content writing plan of attack. What search terms are leading people to your website? Are these the terms you’re expecting?

Here’s some of the search terms that have led their way to me (Blue51 Communications) online:

 

  • Copywriter in Melbourne for Annual Report
  • Bootcamp blog writer
  • Business writing Melbourne
  • How to be a freelancer
  • I want to be a freelance writer*

 

Knowing the terms that your ideal client is using- or having an awareness of these- is essential to optimise your content. You might find it useful to make an ever-growing list of these as you’re thinking about it, and add to it as you come up with ideas, phrases and words.

Armed with your keywords and search terms, craft or tweak your content, incorporating your keywords as you write. It’s easy to see when a website has been written for SEO- it’s jarring, and the content doesn’t flow. A little bit of creativity, some careful structuring and forethought to content, and this shouldn’t be an issue. Use your keywords in your headings and subheadings, and then write your content in alignment.

Tell me, do you write specifically for Google?

 

*The last two popped up so frequently- every month in fact- that I wrote a blog series about self-employment, which I then turned into Small, But Mighty, my 25 page guide to working for thyself, by thyself. Get your copy here:

Get my free ebook Small But Mighty- Freelance Life

Small but mighty freelance life ebook

 

Holly Cardamone Bio

This is a post in my series of posts about digital marketing. Each month I’ll information, hacks and ideas for getting the very most bang for your communications buck on ye olde internet and  social media platforms. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or to address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms- find me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.