Tag Archives: Writing for the Web

Blogging Success

Blogging

The art of blogging – i.e. the ability to engage with your (often diverse) readers in such a way that you continue to add value to their business / personal growth / travel plans / upcoming marriage turmoil etc etc etc. **Please substitute to include your area of blogging-preference.

This task s quite arduous, especially if you consider that most bloggers qualify to this status / title by virtue of ‘simply diving in’.

Making your blog great

  1. Blog regularly. You wanted the attention, no knuckle down and type my friend. Daily if possible – remember we are dealing with the cyber-consumer who demands instant-gratification.
  2. Type and read. Type and read. You remember ‘wax on, wax off’? Same story. Write, read, edit. As cathartic as blogging is, make sure that you are ready to send your thoughts in to cyber space when you hit “publish.”
  3. Keep up to date with relevant news in your industry or interest area. Keep it new, fresh and exciting but don’t just share and reblog what others write. Make it your own. Add an opinion or ask a question.
  4. Answer comments and questions quickly. Be polite, I guess.
  5. Add pictures. Remember that pictures speak as well. Use them to visually enhance and emphasise what you are saying. Get creative. Have some fun if you dare.
  6. Links! Link to other relevant commentaries and blogs. Comment and leave your own blog address. As much as I love Dolly, this is not about being an ‘Island in the Stream’. Forget isolation, think of being ‘The cosmopolitan underground-and-inter-connected railway”.
  7. Guest bloggers. Colleagues and experts who can engage with your readers. Even in the narcissistic world of blogging, consider that YOURS is not the only voice that deserves to be heard.
  8. Categories. Figure out what you want to write about, categorise your blog and make sure your posts add value to those topical areas.

Even more tips

Get your blog out there.

  1. Share your blog via your website.
  2. Add your blog URL to your email signature
  3. Share your posts on your social media platforms.

And finally,

Write about things that matter to you. Something you can sink your newly manicured nails into. Give it some meat and seasoning and watch-out for the return!

Diva, over-and-out :)

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Trashing your Boss on Facebook (An Article on Caution via www.labourwise.co.za!)

TRASHING YOUR BOSS ON FACEBOOK

From an article on www.labourwise.co.za

Social networks, such as Facebook, serve as a useful vehicle for sharing one’s personal views. It can also have unexpected and unfortunate ramifications. One example is when an employee makes use of a social network to air his views about his or her employer. It would seem that, for some reason or other, employees lose their inhibitions when there is a screen between them and the world out there.

There have been several cases where employees have used a social network, such as Facebook and Twitter, to say nasty things about their employers.

It is one thing to speak your heart out about your boss to a friend over a drink. As soon as you post it on a social network, though, two important dimensions are added: Firstly, your thoughts or words are recorded in text and cannot be retracted; secondly, you lose control over its distribution.

Who can blame an employer for wanting to take disciplinary action if an employee’s caustic comments about the employer are given publicity in this way? Several questions arise, though:

  1. What if it did not happen at work or during working hours?
  2. What about the employee’s right to privacy? Can the employer rely on evidence that was meant to be private?
  3. Does the employee’s position within the company make a difference?
  4. Does the remark necessarily destroy the employment relationship?

These considerations were addressed very lucidly in the CCMA-case of Sedick & another vs Krisray (Pty) Ltd.

Two senior employees were dismissed for having exchanges via Facebook regarding the employer and members of management. They exchanged several snide remarks about the founder of the business and younger family members that were brought in to help manage the business. These remarks included “Trust me no one can put up with so much shit when the fing kids join the company!”; “From so-called ‘professionalism 2 dumb brats runnin a mickey mouse business”; “… today was hectic with Frankentein”; “What an idiot”; “a very ugly man with a dark soul”.

In this case the dismissal was not challenged on the basis that the exchanges had happened outside of working hours. However, it has become a firmly established principle that an employer may take action against employees for conduct outside working hours if such conduct has an adverse impact on the employment relationship.

As far as the issue of privacy is concerned, the commissioner noted that the internet is, for most part, public domain. This also applies to Facebook, to the extent that the employees had not restricted access to the relevant pages. As a consequence of their failure to make use of the privacy options, they had abandoned their right to privacy and the protections of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act of 2002 (“The Interception Act”).

Although no names were mentioned, the employees were intentionally communicating with subordinates within the company, as well as with ex-employees and other persons. According to the commissioner this meant that two of the senior employees in the organisation were publicly making derogatory and demeaning remarks about the director and management to persons who, on the balance of probability, were fully aware about whom these comments were being made. Whilst some of the postings were quite innocuous and not, in the commissioner’s opinion, all that damaging to the employment relationship, the greater number were extremely serious and, if not constituting insubordination, certainly constituted gross insolence. After taking into account what had been written, where the comments had been posted, to whom they had been directed and by whom they had been said, the commissioner found that dismissal was a fair sanction.

The arbitration award was concluded with the following terse observation: “If employees wish their opinions to remain private, they should refrain from posting them on the internet”.

Jan Truter of www.labourwise.co.za

This entry was written by Labourwise www.labourwise.co.za is an on-line labour relations service aimed at assisting employers with the implementation of effective labour relations. They can be contacted via the website or info@labourwise.co.za.

Adrinalin Point-of-View:

Social media sites are public – VERY public – and whether you are acting as an individual, a business representative, an employee or a business owner BE AWARE. Don’t post pictures or post willy-nilly. Decide what your core values are (in any and all of the above instances) and post according to this self-imposed standard.

Encourage yourself, your employees and your colleagues to maintain integrity-based, authentic and professional images for themselves and your business. Don’t abandon the fun, just be cautious when it comes to posting online.

Diva over-and-out.


Content

Question:

“What should I write about on my website?”

“How do I know whether I am covering the right topics on my site / Facebook page etc?”

Same questions over and over again – so let’s make your life just a little easier.

Keywords:

Deciding on what to write about becomes super easy once you have pegged down the top keywords for your industry / business. If you know what people are searching for on the internet, you can respond appropriately.

So how do you decide on the relevant keywords? A good place to start is the Google Keyword Tool. Type in the search terms / words and phrases you think people use when looking for your product or service. Make sure you set the location correctly. Now you can compare the number of local searches (per month) per word, phrase or search term you specified. Are the searches significant enough for you to take note of? Obviously thousands of searches per month is much better than single digit ones.

Writing website content:

Once you have your list of keywords, narrow down to the top ten (maximum twelve!) and use these keywords to structure your site content.

Some basic tips:

  1. Use the keywords to map your navigation
  2. Use the keywords as often as possible in headings (H1 Tags) in your site. Your webmaster can help you with this if you are unsure.
  3. Use the keywords (sensibly) but often through out the site. Let’s look at an example. Our keywords: business plan, business plans, sample business plans or business plan templates. (Obviously this is just an extract but you get the idea).

” Whether you are new to the business of business or have been running your own business for years – business plans are essential documents for any entrepreneur or business owner. But what is a business plan and why is  it so important? If you have ever looked at a sample business plan or a business plan template – you will know that a business plan is designed to collate all the essential business information (current facts, business climate, projected growth and business vision) into one sensible document that clearly, simply and effectively communicates the who, what, where and why of your business. “

Writing is easy – just work with a plan.

If you want / need help with your content – call one of the Adrinalin Junkies today!

Diva over and out :P

 


How webby is your website?

When last have you REALLY looked at your website? Have you recently tried to navigate the menu, find information or send a ‘contact us’ e-mail? Having a website with inappropriate content, outdated information, broken links /menu options or stale humour just does not cut it anymore.

Maintaining your website must be a crucial part of your online strategy. Here’s a suggested to-d0 list to update and zhoosh-up your site and make it all the more alluring for your visitors:

  • Make a list of your top keywords.

Top words or phrases that describe what you do. Specifically if possible. If you understand how to categorize your business, it will be much easier to group and explain it to others. Here’s some help if you’re interested (post is a somewhat older but offers good content).

  • Read through all the pages.

Does the content still make sense? Is it relevant (i.e. has it been updated recently to reflect current industry news, your own product and service improvements etc.)?

Do you use your keywords to describe your business and your service  / product? Try to steer clear of flowery descriptions that never use your keywords. How on earth will Google now to look for you if you don’t at least give it a hint?

Are the pages interesting, engaging and appealing? Will readers enjoy the time they spend on your site? It is always a good idea to spend time planning the content of your site. Repeating the same stale information over-and-over again from page-to-page and year-to-year will encourage your would-be visitors to look for other websites!

  • Look at the pictures.

Do they make sense? Do you use pictures of your products or your staff members? Will people now more about your business, your values or your brand personality by looking at the pictures on your site? If you answered Yes – good for you! If No – it’s probably time to dig through the photo libraries and pictures folder!

It is also a good idea to rename the pictures on your site to reflect it’s content. Numbers (from a SEO and content perspective) aren’t great. Use descriptive titles AND make sure that you add descriptions (image ALT Tags) to all the images on the site. Good for search engines. Good for you.

  • Links to other sites

I have written an entire post on back links before if you want to know more. Suffice to say that you should probably think of:

  1. Adding your social media feeds or icons to your site
  2. Linking your blog to your business site
  3. Linking your website to your social media profiles
  4. Mention your website whenever (appropriately!) possible

It is also an excellent idea to get other people to review your site. Ask them to comment specifically on user-friendliness, enjoyment, appeal and of course value-of-content. Now, it’s time for you to start making some changes to your website.

Diva, over and out.


Writing for Facebook

Facebook is growing, evolving and constantly changing the rules. Online communicators can’t afford to become complacent or lethargic. There is more and more content being circulated via Facebook and other social networking platforms. The overall effect that we are finding (looking specifically again at examples from our South African client base) that this is creating a more discerning reader. With so much on offer, we need to constantly work at adapting and innovating when we write for Facebook.

Here are three tips I always offer to my clients:

  1. Not all readers are alike. Some think visually others like intellectual stimulation and some still look to social networking sites for diversion and escapism. When we create your content strategy, try to incorporate messaging that will appeal to a broad reader-demographic. This means that you will need to create fun, interactive posts, try to incorporate meaningful polls and of course add videos and photos when appropriate.
  2. Circulating content from other blogs and websites. Subscribe to sites and pages that you like and that could add value to your content strategy and share the stand-out posts. What is even more meaningful is to add your own opinion, thoughts, comments or polls based on this content. In other words, use it but make it your own! Please give credit where due and don’t plagiarize.
  3. Don’t sell. Teach, inform, educate, introduce your brand personality and even have fun. You should ideally be prompting readers to visit your website regularly – they can learn more about your products and services there. Don’t spoil your online networking by mistaking it for a door-to-door sales opportunity.

And of course, don’t be stale. Try new ideas. Ask different people in your company to contribute posts and encourage interactivity and dialogue whenever possible.

Our favourite page of this week (with some excellent examples of the above) is Intiem / Intimacy Magazine. Have a look at their live chat sessions and the amount of activity on the page – we give them our A-D-A (Adrinalin Diva Approval) stamp. If you have more examples, please feel free to share.

Diva, over and out.


Building your links

Search Engine Optmization or SEO, is the practice of increasing the visibility of a website without paying for the results. This is also called organic results. This is an increasingly popular activity for online content as more and more businesses are represented online and each of those need to create an online visibility for their brand. SEO use a variety of activities to influence search engine rankings. These could include:

  • Understanding search engines (you’ve probably heard your SEO partner mention something like the ‘Google Algorithm’)
  • Considering what the original search term was
  • Typical search terms used on search engines
  • Rewriting online content to include specific keywords
  • Creating a variety of back links (also called link building) 

Link building creates a strategic referring network of links that refer to your website. Simplistically stated, creating a strong network creates strong result.

Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing‘s blog (Search Engine Optimization Journal) posted the following article. According to the article, you should remember not to put all your SEO links in one basket. In other words, don’t concentrate all your efforts in one area. He uses the example of Facebook – although this one site allows you multiple opportunities to redirect virtual feet to your site, this is not the wisest practice. Use multiple departure points (online sites OR offline marketing material) to lead to one destination (i.e. your company website).

SEO is an exciting practice that is multifaceted and constantly evolving – it challenges our content and our strategies. Remember though to build honest link-networks and avoid the frowned-upon activities of deception. Happy linking!

Diva, out.


Facebook for the South African SMME

Facebook is a hot hot hot potato. Looking at the potential impact your Facebook Business Page can have on the South African (SMME) market, I have established the following:

SMME business’s are keen to dip their toes into the Facebook pool but they appear to be unsure of how to manage the soapbox once the get on it.

The reality is that as a SMME, you probably don’t have the resources allow one person (whether an employee or yourself) to commit 100% of their time to manage your online communication strategy. That is of course assuming that you actually HAVE a communication strategy in place….

My 5 top tips to optimise your time (and effort) spent on Facebook are:

  • DON’T use a personal page as a business page. Even if you are a Sole Proprietor or a Consultant, make use of the Business Page facility. It appears unprofessional when a “business” suddenly declares that it has a degree in Business Administration from this-or-that University. Business Page also allow you to promote events and add custom fields and pages which creates a more meaningful impression with your fans.
  • Make an effort to create a unique page for your business. Consider developing a landing page that encourages visitors to “Like” your page or that simply presents your HOOK in a fun, creative fashion.
  • Remember at all times, that Facebook doesn’t work effectively when used as a selling platform. Your visitors are desperate for good, worthwhile content that adds value to their business or personal lives. If your content doesn’t fit the bill, they will simply not return.
  • Have a plan. Work towards a goal. A structured under-current in your messaging helps your fans / readers to easily identify with the online personality you are creating. Haphazard comments that don’t ever draw a sensible conclusion, leave your visitors confused an unsatisfied.
  • Daily activity. Think of it as talking with your best friend – sharing an essential piece of news every day. You can’t only resort to using Social Media platforms when you suddenly need more sales. You have to maintain the “friendship”. Trust takes time – invest in your online relationships. It is important to note that different Social Media Networking platforms require different levels of input and frequency.

If you plan your online activity and focus on using one or two suitable platforms efficiently and effectively, you will soon develop a routine. I have found with most of my clients that 15 to 30 minutes a day is mostly all that is needed to maintain a productive online communication strategy.

Happy writing!