Author Archive: H. Katz

Four Ways to Make the Most of Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is coming up in less than two weeks. Scheduled for November 28th, it’s part of the nation-wide shopping spree that extends from Black Friday on the 27th to Cyber Monday on the 30th.

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The Boston Globe reports that in 2014, people spent an estimated $14.3 billion across the U.S. during Small Business Saturday. For many small business owners, the event is a chance to stand out, enjoy a spike in sales, and connect with new customers and the local community.

How can you make the most of Small Business Saturday?

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7 Awesome Holiday Season Business Blog Posts

When planning your marketing campaign for the holiday season, don’t neglect blogging. Holiday season business blog posts can drive more traffic to your site at a critical time of the year. They’re easily shared on social media, and they give you opportunities to showcase the best qualities of your business.

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A useful, engaging blog post can keep people from quickly hitting the back button when they arrive at your business website; you’ll increase the chances that site visitors will stick around and become customers.

What should you blog about during the holiday season? Although the details will vary depending on the nature of your business and its personality, you can work off of certain types of blog posts as templates or starting points.

The following are 7 types of holiday season business blog posts you should consider using.

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Inspiration Medley #2

Occasional collections of the beautiful and creative.

Michael Faraday’s thoughts on mental discipline – The pioneering 19th century physicist and chemist discusses how to battle the tendency to accept without question our beliefs and desires.

Candy anatomy – A medical student in Glasgow makes diagrams of body parts and pathogens using candy.

When poisons had personality – Agatha Christie’s use of poisons, based on knowledge acquired while volunteering at a hospital pharmacy during WWI.

Tube worm thoughts – Our life is difficult to imagine, from certain perspectives.

Stunning animated gifs – Some of Lara Paulussen’s enchanting forests, doorsteps and paths.

You can do a lot with finger painting – Well, maybe you can’t, but Judith Ann Braun can.

Anatomy of songs 1 and anatomy of songs 2 – Through cartoons, John Atkinson dissects typical songs from different music genres.

Three tiresome writing voices

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Every written work has its own voice – a unique personality and energy giving life to the words.

What impression does your writing voice give people?

Some writing voices get tiresome pretty quickly. They’re used too much and usually not well. They might convey indifference to your readers or something mean-spirited or lazy in the way you think.

Here are three common examples:

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20 Online Stress Management Resources

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Unhealthy levels of stress increase the chances of disease, psychological problems and poor quality of life. If you’re struggling with excessive stress, you’ll hopefully find some helpful sites among these online stress management resources.

Some of these resources help with short-term relaxation or distraction; others promote habits and strategies for managing stress long-term.

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How good writers strengthen your authentic voice

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Recent articles on Internet marketing have emphasized authenticity: “being yourself,” communicating in an unforced way, connecting with people, and avoiding slick campaigns that show that you don’t know yourself or your customers. One article from Business 2 Community mentions the following:

Authenticity is Forbes’ number 1 trend that marketers should budget for in 2015… Authenticity is built on honesty (sincerity), quality (brand reputation), and history (your story through your voice).

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Four fun ways to use social media for writing inspiration

One of the great complaints about social media is that it wastes time. Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest can derail your work.

However, I’ve been trying to make peace with social media by discovering some of its benefits. Among these is the potential to inspire writing ideas.

The following are four ways to turn social media into a source of writing inspiration:

1) Tweets as prompts

A tweet could push you to write a longer piece.

Maybe it will trigger an idea for a work of fiction.

Maybe it will display such an absence of knowledge and critical thought, that you’ll feel compelled to write an article or blog post setting things right.

Maybe a topic trending on Twitter is worth expanding on. (Why is it trending? What’s interesting about it?)

2) How would five different people react to the same Facebook post?

Your Facebook friend has posted a favorable op-ed on your least favorite politician, or a recipe using three different ingredients you’re allergic to. Instead of stopping at your own immediate reaction, consider how different people would respond to the same post.

These could be five different fictional characters. Or maybe three people representing different philosophical, political or religious schools of thought.

3) Continue a scene on Vine

The videos are short and play in a loop. Imagine what could happen next.

4) Create a writing project Pinterest board

You can keep a board with public domain images you plan to use for a series of upcoming blog posts or articles.

Another type of board collects images that set the mood for a work of creative fiction or help you flesh out your main characters (the clothes they wear, what their homes look like, etc.)

Make your Pinterest board secret if you’re concerned about sharing too much about a writing project early on or feel uncomfortable displaying other people’s copyrighted images publicly without their consent.

Have you ever found writing inspiration in social media?

For creative fiction, content writing, or anything else?

It’s possible to fall into another time trap, where you endlessly search for inspiration and compile ideas from social media without ever writing anything (similar to reading countless online articles on productivity without getting anything done).

I also doubt I’ll suddenly take to social media and spend much more time on it. But I can learn to work with it more, which includes benefiting from whatever it offers that’s informative or inspiring.

– Hila

11 types of blog posts for doctors

Maintaining a blog for your medical practice is an excellent way to promote yourself, connect with patients, and further establish your authority. It will also give you more content to share on social media (Referral MD has an excellent post here about the impact of social media on health care.)

When it comes to blog posts for doctors, what topics can work well? From my extensive experience providing posts for medical blogs, I recommend the following 11 types:

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Which of the Hogwarts Houses Fits Your Writing Personality?

Welcome to Hogwarts School of Writing. The Hogwarts houses remain the same as in the school of witchcraft and wizardry from J.K. Rowling’s books, but this time you’re going to get sorted into one of the houses based on your writing personality.

Each of the Hogwarts houses has its potential strengths and weaknesses. Do you write like a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin?

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Inspiration Medley #1

Every so often, I’ll share a collection of links I’ve found inspiring for their beauty, creativity or humor.

Century of Hairstyles – US hairstyle fashions, 1910s to 2010s.

Hôtel de Glace – Canada has a hotel made entirely of snow and ice, built fresh every year and used for a few months (really, people stay in it). Then it dissolves with the spring…

HYBYCOZO – Otherworldly polyhedron sculptures, a joint project of Serge Beaulieu and Yelena Filipchuk.

Mushrooms Glowing – Martin Pfister’s magical photos of mushrooms.

Stunning Trees – Beth Moon photographs incredible trees from around the world.

Weather Zones in America the Beautiful – I live in the “snow-covered moonscape.”

– Hila