Writing for your business

11 types of blog posts for financial professionals

Accountants, financial planners, investment advisers, and other financial professionals use their blogs to engage with clients and demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

As a financial professional, what should you post about? Which topics will attract more web traffic and convince people you’re worth hiring? Popular types of blog posts for financial professionals include the following:

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Nonprofit online engagement: Six tips for attracting interest and support

How can you attract more people to your nonprofit and keep them engaged with your cause? Are you using the Internet effectively for outreach?

Your organization’s success depends on a strong relationship with individual donors, volunteers, companies, government agencies, and non-profit partners. Online engagement increases the chances that people will keep you in mind and work on your behalf.

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The following nonprofit online engagement tips can help you build consistent support and interest in your cause:

1) Make it easy for people to get involved

A landmark online fundraising scorecard published a couple of years ago revealed some major problems with the way many nonprofits encouraged participation in their cause.

Of the nonprofits evaluated, 65% made potential donors go through at least three website pages to donate money, increasing the chances that these donors would give up in frustration. 20% of the nonprofits lacked a call-to-action on their website landing pages. Furthermore, most of them didn’t have donation pages that showed up well on mobile devices. To promote Internet engagement, you need to make it easy for people to sign up or donate. Help them quickly figure out what links to click on and how to navigate your site.

2) Treat people in a welcoming way

When people follow you online, sign up to help with your activities, or donate money to you, contact them with a personalized email, using their name in the greeting. Show them that whatever action they’ve taken matters to you and that you’ve noticed them. Make sure your emails point out additional opportunities to get involved. You can also welcome people to your cause with fun events, such as a giveaway – something you can announce on your website and via social media.

3) Don’t lose touch with people

You should periodically reach out to people by email. Thank them for their interest and anything they’ve already done on your behalf. Update them on the work your organization is doing and on upcoming events.

During certain times of the year, such as the holiday season, people will probably be more inclined to volunteer and donate. Time your communications appropriately.

Encourage people to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms where they can keep receiving updates from you and where you can keep interacting with them. Always reply to people with courtesy and thank them warmly. Highlight kind comments you’ve received and positive reviews and testimonials about your organization.

4) Convey your purpose succinctly

You can publish materials on your website providing all the details about your organization. But you also need to convey the importance of your work in a brief, compelling way. People glancing at your call-to-action have to immediately grasp why it’s important for them to help you. If they open an email from you, they need to quickly understand who you are and what you do.

5) Share compelling content

If you’re sharing data about your nonprofit’s success and impact, don’t limit yourself to dry reports. Use graphics that catch people’s attention. Post photos and videos that show the uniqueness, urgency, and beneficial results of your work. With permission, share real-life stories that inspire people to participate. Show your staff and volunteers at work, and give them opportunities to write about why they’re dedicated to your cause. Write blog posts that demonstrate your dedication and expertise.

6) Build trust

Provide top-notch security for your website, particularly any pages involving personal information and donations. Always maintain professional behavior online. For instance, don’t share content that contains insults and other offensive material. Act in a transparent way, and show how your organization uses its money to promote positive change.

Nonprofit online engagement will help you spread the word about your organization. Furthermore, it will enhance your reputation and trustworthiness. Please contact me for assistance with strengthening your online presence and consistently engaging with your supporters.

– Hila

(Image comes from this Flickr page, under this license.)

11 Types of Blog Posts for IT Companies

If your company provides IT support or managed services, what kinds of posts are you sharing on your blog?

Writing blog posts for IT companies

Use your blog to give clients a better idea of what you do. Demonstrate your expertise, and show them that you’re responsive to their needs and concerns.

The following are 11 types of blog posts for IT companies. They can serve as a springboard for hundreds of different posts.

1) Cyber security discussions and alerts

Unfortunately, data breaches are always in the news. There’s no shortage of topics for this type of post. Write about malware, phishing, and other threats. Point out vulnerabilities in hardware and software. Discuss various challenges, such as keeping a mobile workforce secure. To keep your tone from becoming too gloomy, offer solutions. Write about occasions where a cyber attack was blocked or contained.

2) Explaining your services

Clients may not understand what you’re offering and why it’s important. Describe the benefits of round-the-clock network monitoring. Explain why you recommend cloud-based data backup solutions. Give examples of how your managed services help companies reach and surpass their business goals. Write up a case study to illustrate your points.

3) Concerns specific to different industries

Healthcare companies and providers want to hear about how you’ll help them comply with HIPAA regulations and protect patient data. Manufacturers want to know how you’ll help them with software for industrial machinery. A variety of businesses are interested in ways to share files securely. These kinds of posts help demonstrate to clients that you’re sensitive to their business needs. As an IT company, you’re their partner and supporter. You understand their priorities.

4) Hardware and software recommendations

Maybe you endorse Microsoft Office 365 and specialize in working with it. Discuss its benefits, and post updates about new features. Other examples include cloud computing solutions, VoIP solutions, data backup methods, and CRM software you support. Point out devices you think are beneficial, like a specific kind of wireless router. It’s also a good idea to post side-by-side comparisons. Inform your clients about their options in a fair-minded way.

5) Cool tech developments and future trends

3D printing, the Internet of Things, Big Data… discuss the promises, the hype, the real possibilities. And maybe how you’ll play a part in these new developments.

6) Practical advice

Seven Tips to Avoid Losing All of Your Data Forever. Three Key Ways to Minimize Downtime After an IT Disaster. Eight Qualities to Look for in a Cloud Services Provider. How to Migrate from Operating System X to Operating System Y without Losing Your Marbles (and Your Data).

7) Demystifying terminology

What’s the difference between recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO)? Why are they important? Other terms include bandwidth, DDoS attacks, and RAM. In your posts, expand on the definitions with examples. Connect each term to the services you offer.

8) What a healthy system looks like

Don’t write only about devices crashing and software freezing. Paint a picture of a system performing well. Few unplanned outages, reliable high speed communications, data available only to authorized users. What kinds of services and solutions contribute to each part of this happy picture?

9) Plans and policies

For example, companies need a data backup and recovery plan, and cyber security policies that they’ll enact and enforce. Companies also need to maintain clear, thorough IT documentation. Discuss these issues in some of your posts.

10) Local area posts

If your company operates in a certain geographic region, include some content on your blog that mentions your local area. Your local SEO (search engine optimization) will improve, and you’ll rank higher in search engine results when people look for IT companies in your vicinity. Write about any local events you’ve participated in, such as fundraisers, community fairs, codeathons, and research and educational initiatives. Discuss issues from relevant local news, such as a nearby hospital getting hit with ransomware.

11) Awards and achievements

Offer proof of how wonderful you are (without sounding insufferable). Mention awards you’ve received, events you’ve sponsored, and conferences where your employees have been asked to speak. Describe important projects you’ve completed. From time to time, post excerpts from a positive review or testimonial.

Your blog is an excellent opportunity to improve your credibility. You’ll highlight not only your technical skills and strategic thinking, but also your ability to communicate clearly – a quality your clients value.

Having written extensively for IT professionals, I’m familiar with the kind of content that attracts interest. Don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance with your blog posts and other website content.

– Hila

(Image source: Pexels.)

10 major reasons to write a press release

A well-written press release is a powerful tool for publicity and marketing. When you write a press release, you direct positive attention to you and you company, enhance your reputation and stay in people’s minds.

A press release is a good way to get publicity.

But what should you write a press release about? Use the following list for inspiration:

1) Awards, honors and other special achievements

You’ve recently won a professional award, or your company has received a special honor or recognition – for innovation, creativity, business growth or philanthropy. Maybe you’ve met or surpassed an important goal, recovered expertly from a major crisis, or successfully completed a notable project.

2) Products or services

Announce a new product or service, discussing it in greater depth than you could in an ad or a brief commercial. Highlight its features and benefits, drum up enthusiasm for it, and mention any impressive endorsements you’ve received.

3) Your website

A brand new or revamped business website is worth announcing. One press release I wrote focused on a business website that had become more customer-friendly. The press release described all the improved ways to search for products and find out more about them. It shared a link to the site and enticed people to visit and shop.

4) Research findings

Your company has conducted important research. Share your findings with the public. Mention if you’ve written them up in a white paper, trade journal or any other publication.

5) New business ventures or arrangements

Your company is merging with another company in some way. Or maybe you’re collaborating or partnering with other businesses on a temporary basis – for example, to offer a special, limited-time package deal for a group of products.

6) Noteworthy publications

Books, feature articles, industry reports, research papers – any publication that demonstrates your expertise, influence and creativity.

7) Special events and notable speeches

Whether you’re hosting, sponsoring or attending an event, write a press release highlighting its importance. Events include conferences, galas, community fairs, fundraisers and trade shows. A press release can also focus on a speech you’ve been invited to give (to great acclaim). Discuss the content of the speech, especially if the venue is prestigious or if the speech deals with a significant issue; maybe it inspires people, discusses a new trend that will change your field, or lays out a compelling big picture idea. A press release about a speech is one of many ways to cement your reputation as a thought leader.

8) New hires and recent promotions

Write about people who have assumed senior or leadership positions in your company. Discuss their achievements and what they aim to accomplish.

9) Charitable efforts

You’ve recently raised money for a worthy cause or participated in a volunteer effort, such as a cleanup after a major storm or a campaign to end hunger in your community.

10) Employment or internship information

Use your press release to advertise exciting new positions and other opportunities at your company. Emphasize the benefits people get from working with you and the qualities you’re looking for.

Don’t waste an opportunity to write a press release about your company. You deserve recognition for your accomplishments and publicity for your business. Contact me for assistance with writing a compelling press release.

– Hila

(Image credit: “Publicity” by pincfloit; licensed under Creative Commons 3.0.)

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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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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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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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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