5 Common Grammar Mistakes In Writing To Avoid

This is a guest post from an awesome freelance writer we work with named Mary Cullen. To learn more about Mary, check out her portfolio at: https://marycullen.contently.com/

There are many common mistakes that are made when people are writing. Whether writing a letter, an essay, an article or an email, it is important to be conscious of what you are writing. Here are 5 common mistakes people make that can be easily avoided and some simple examples to help you remember.  

Your / You’re

Your and you’re are commonly used incorrectly when writing. Understanding the difference between the two can help you to avoid making this mistake. Your is possessive meaning belonging to you. Examples of your would be: your dog, your car, your house. You’re is a contraction meaning you are. Examples of you’re would be: you’re beautiful, you’re an inspiration, you’re a hard worker. 

Two / Too / To

When looking at the words to, too and two, the two is the least of the problems when using these words incorrectly in writing. This is because the word two is a number and is only used as a number. The words to and too however are more commonly misused. Remembering that too is an adverb that can mean “excessively” or “also”, can help to avoid using it improperly. Examples of too would be: The soup is too hot., or She will be going too. To is a preposition and has multiple meanings. Examples of to would be: I am going to the movies., The toy belongs to the child. 

Their / There / They’re

These words, even though they sound the same when spoken, provoke different meaning when used properly in writing. Their is possessive and shows ownership. Examples of their would be: Their cat is in our bushes., We are going to their house. There is an adverb and shows a place or direction. Examples of there would be: Let’s sit over there., We are going there tomorrow. They’re is a contraction meaning they are. Examples of they’re would be: I know they’re going as well., They’re at the store already.  

It’s / Its

The use of these two words is seen incorrectly in writing consistently. As simple as it may seem to get it right, it seems just as simple to make this mistake. It’s is a contraction meaning it is or it has. Check your sentence. Replace it’s with it is or it has and see if it makes sense. Examples of it’s would be: It’s raining in the city today., Wear a jacket when it’s cold out. Its shows possession. Examples of its would be: The cat ate its food., The tree lost its leaves. 

Affect / Effect

The confusion around the use of these words is real and extremely common. Knowing the difference between the two is key to avoiding misusing them. Affect is a verb and will cause a change in something or influence it. Examples of affect would be: The amount of rain will affect the time we leave., Your experience will affect whether or not you are considered for the position. Effect is a noun and can be usually thought of as the result of change. Examples of effect would be: A good night’s sleep can have a positive effect on your health., The effect from the medicine was immediate.

Grammar mistakes within the English language happen every minute of every day. With the use of contractions, homophones, silent e, and so much more, writing can become confusing. Find examples of the words that confuse you, write them down for reference, and go and write with confidence.

Mary Cullen is a freelance writer living in Tampa Florida. She likes to write about marketing, lifestyle, health and fitness. To hire Mary for freelance writing assignments email mecullen50@gmail.com

Should I Start A Company Blog?

With so many social media platforms and online tools, knowing which ones to maintain a company presence on can be difficult. One tool all companies should utilize is adding a blog to your company’s website. Here are some of the benefits of starting a company blog.

Increase Organic Traffic

Blogging is an ideal way to incorporate SEO best practices into your company’s website, which can help it rank higher in search engine results. Blog posts can be created from lists of common questions your customers have, keywords they use when looking for a business like yours, and its services. This gives your website more pages to attract traffic. 

Low Cost Campaigns

If your company already pays for its website hosting and domain, it doesn’t cost anything to put up a blog post. While you might have to pay a writer or a staff member once to create the blog content, you won’t have to pay anything to publish it. You can then share your company’s original content on your business’s Facebook page and Twitter account to expand its reach even further without investing more money into it. 

If social media shares of your company’s blog posts drive more traffic to your website in a way that increases sales or other key metrics, investing in paid social campaigns could be another relatively low cost way to benefit from blog post content. As long as you’ve narrowed your target audience and have clear goals identified, paid social media campaigns can be successful. It is just imperative that you monitor it for results and adjust the campaign if needed. There’s no reason to pay for a social media campaign that isn’t garnering results.

Benefit from Evergreen Content

Evergreen content remains relevant over time. Unlike a blog post that features information about the employee of the month (who will likely leave someday) or upcoming menu items for a restaurant, evergreen content will remain accurate even several years after it is posted. This makes evergreen content more valuable as the same blog post can continue to attract visitors, bulk up the amount of quality content on your company’s website, and be shared over time.

Become an Industry Expert

Customers want to buy products and services from the best, most informed companies in the market. When you want to buy high quality outdoor sporting equipment, most customers want to buy it from REI over Ralph’s Sports Goods. REI publishes so much educational blog content and guides on its website, product catalogs, and other digital marketing content. It is seen as an industry leader and an expert. Having a company blog can help you develop that kind of industry expertise.

There are two key factors in developing industry expertise through blog content. First, your blog’s content must provide valuable information that your target audience wants to know about. In the case of REI, teaching customers how to skateboard enables people to learn how to participate in a new hobby. These customers wouldn’t have otherwise purchased a skateboard just might. They feel better buying a skateboard from a company with established expertise.

Second, the content must be better than the blog content that already exists. It isn’t enough to simply regurgitate the information that you can find on competitor websites and online publications. Craft compelling posts that delve deeper into topics and give a fresh perspective.

There are many reasons to start a company blog, from increased website traffic to developing long lasting, evergreen content. If you opt to start a company blog, decide how often to post and stick with it. Consistent blog posts perform better than one-off blog posts.

 

3 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019

Digital marketing is one of the most important tools for small business owners and marketers. Its relatively low cost compared to traditional forms of advertising and media make it a good option for companies with limited marketing budgets, without impacting ROI. Since many customers fast forward through TV commercials and don’t have a newspaper subscription, some marketing experts argue that even companies with massive marketing budgets should direct large portions of their marketing budgets toward digital marketing. Here we’ve outlined three digital marketing trends to look out for in 2019.

1. Consumers distrust Facebook

Facebook remains to be a significant tool that companies can utilize to reach their customer base at very little cost. Sharing valuable content and engaging with customers can happen directly in their newsfeed. If you already manage your company’s Facebook page, you might have noticed changes in your daily follower count, especially over time.

Many users have begun to deactivate their Facebook accounts, which reduces your overall number of likes. As they reactivate their accounts, these users will once again show up in your page likes total. Do not let this trend dissuade you from using Facebook as part of your digital marketing efforts. Just make sure to diversify your digital marketing efforts to reach customers you otherwise might miss.

2. Mail Chimp changed its email policies

Historically, email marketing platforms, such as Mail Chimp, only allowed companies to email individuals that opted into their email subscription lists. Changes in 2019 to Mail Chimp’s policies now allow companies to email other types of users, including those who haven’t specifically opted into your company’s email subscription list. This includes former customers.

This means that companies should take advantage of this change to create other types of email marketing campaigns to reach these individuals. Former customers who haven’t signed up for your email list can be emailed to join your email list or notified about upcoming promotions. This is one type of digital marketing campaign that could have a big impact in sales and engagement.

3. The fall of “experts”

Many former digital marketing experts are taking down their iconic digital marketing courses and programs in favor of new offerings. This includes Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer who took down his iconic The Napkin Project training program. While some of the change might have to do with their own business trajectory, the market has become saturated with these digital marketing “experts” in a way that makes it difficult to know what to do. Instead, companies are relying on performance data and split testing to see what’s the best way to market their own businesses online.

Digital marketing will continue to be the way that companies are able to market themselves online. With a well thought out plan that includes a little bit of various digital marketing strategies, most companies can find success with digital marketing. As this year’s predictions show, it is important to not invest all of your company’s time and resources into one type of digital marketing. Instead, well rounded strategies will continue to perform best.

Why You Get What You Pay for in Recruitment

It can be tempting to try to recruit new employees yourself through online job listing websites or choosing the least expensive recruitment company that you can find. However, this tactic can often backfire, leading to more lost productivity and frustration than if you simply hire the right recruitment agency to start. Here are just some of the reasons why you get what you pay for when hiring a recruitment agency.

Lost in Online Job Search Databases

If your company simply relies on posting available job opportunities on popular job listing websites, your company’s posting will be one of tens of thousands of similar offerings by your competitors. As a result, job seekers will only spend a few seconds reading through all of the opportunities to make a decision on which jobs they’d like to apply for or may even go directly to a respected recruiting agency. Your company’s postings can easily get lost or ignored on these types of websites.

Too Many Unqualified Candidates

Without a reliable recruiting agency to weed through and test job candidates, your company will be forced to waste time trying to find the best candidate in a giant stack of CVs. Many of these candidates won’t have the skills or experience that you’re looking for. An experienced recruiting agency can look through these for you, pre-screen candidates, and save you time by only matching you with what you’re looking for.

Expensive Bad Hires

New hires can be extremely expensive. Not only does your company lose productivity when trying to hire and train them, but if you end up needing to replace them within a short period, you won’t be able to recoup your costs. Consider the value of an experienced recruitment company over the expense of a bad hire.

If your company needs to hire, evaluate your existing hiring processes. Make sure that you have the systems in place to protect your company from bad hires and to find the best candidates. For most companies, regardless of size, it makes the most sense to hire a great recruiting company to do much of the legwork.

Business Marketing Lessons from Donald Trump

This is not a political post. It doesn’t matter whether you hate President Donald Trump or think he’s the freshest breath of air. It doesn’t matter what you think of his politics or the future.

As a business owner, there are a lot of business marketing lessons that you can learn from Donald Trump and his presidency. This post focuses on that. Here are just three of the business marketing lessons you can learn from President Donald Trump.

Diversion

There is some speculation that Donald Trump uses Twitter as a way to distract or divert the attention of the public away from something else. As a business owner, this is a marketing lesson worth learning. You have a lot of control over how your marketing efforts are perceived by using the power of diversion.

For example, let’s assume your company received some negative reviews that you don’t agree with online on your company’s Facebook page. You’re concerned about how the negative attention will impact your company. You could fight with the customer, leaving defensive feedback. However, you know this won’t go well.

Instead, you can create a diversion so new customers stay on the message you want them to see. First, ask your happy customers to leave reviews on your page about their honest experiences, since happy customers are less likely to leave feedback than unhappy ones. Second, create a social media campaign that showcases your favorite customers. This will attract attention away from the negative reviews.

Silence

Something that Donald Trump’s critics and supporters agree upon is that silence would go a long way toward fixing public perception. This is exceptionally true in business.

Do you remember SeaWorld’s initial response to the flack they got from the documentary called Blackfish? The company became offensive and defensive, which aren’t flattering responses.

If the company stayed silent about it instead of trolling the haters, the company might have sustained less damage over the long haul. Any time your company faces adversity, weigh the benefits of changing the conversation, which SeaWorld could have done earlier by focusing more on its conservation efforts earlier, or staying silent.

Clear Messaging

Donald Trump has a casual way of writing that makes it difficult to fully understand what he’s saying. Confefe aside, there’s something to be said about honesty and clarity, as well as using direct langauge.  This has been evident with the recent transgender military ban and the previous Muslim ban. Clear messaging would have gone far.

In the case of your company, make sure whatever message you send out is consistent. If your policy is to not give away free sauces, all of your locations need to have the same policy.

If you need help crafting high quality written content, email us directly at info@triassicmedia.com. We’d love to help.

How to be a Great Guest Blogger

Guest blogging is when you write a post on another person’s website or blog. You write the post directly to their audience, usually with a small biography about you and your company to accompany the post. The posts can accomplish a lot for your business, such as connecting with new readers you’d otherwise have no way of reaching.

How Guest Blogging Benefits You

In most cases, you won’t be paid for guest blogging. However, that’s not the real reason you should write a guest post. There are many tangible benefits of guest blogging that include:

  • Establishing credibility through expert advice
  • Reaching new customers
  • Creating additional backlinks to your website to improve your own SEO
  • Building key relationships with influencers that can help you grow your brand

These benefits can be leveraged to help you grow your own company or brand’s interests. In general, the more people that become exposed to your offerings, the more people that will buy your products or services. If you don’t have a product or service, the exposure will help others see you as an expert.

Identify Your Goals for Guest Blogging

Before you approach any blog owners, you need to clearly identify your goals for guest blogging so your posts will be as successful as they can be. If you want to establish credibility within your industry, you might want to only approach blogs and websites within your industry. However, if you want to attract customers, you should write posts on sites that your best customers frequent.

Ideally, you should find targeted guest blogging opportunities that closely align with your goals. Blogs open to guest posts want relevant, high quality articles that their visitors enjoy reading. When you know what your goals and markets are, you’ll know what websites to target. For example, if you are a plumber, you may want to look for how-to home improvement websites where potential customers look for plumbing solutions, a plumbing industry website with advice for other professionals, or a blog about people who own service-based businesses. All of these would provide access to a different group of readers that may advance your own strategic goals for guest blogging.

Research Potential Blogs

After you’ve clearly identified your goals and the type of blogs you want to target, it’s important to research potential blogs that might work best. Make a list of sites that you want to research further. Ideally, you want to know if the website is open to guest posts, what kind of posts they publish, the frequency of publishing, and who is in charge of the website. You’ll want to know how to contact them about your guest blogging post to see if they’re interested and to cater your post to meet the needs of their audience.

You also want to research more about the blog’s visitors and the website’s reach. Do visitors leave comments or share posts on their social media pages? Have you checked the site’s Alexa score? A website’s Alexa score reveals how much website traffic any site gets. You don’t need to be the website’s owner to find this out. Check your own website to see what kind of traffic you get and your ranking to compare to the guest posting site. You want to guest post on a website that has more traffic than yours does.

Approach Blog Owners

Even if the blog you want to write a post for doesn’t ordinarily accept guest posts, there’s a chance that you’ll still be able to write a post for them if you can persuade them. Consider the best topics for the site that aren’t currently covered on the blog and that closely fit in with the topic there. You want to establish that you’re very familiar with their content and their audience by selecting the best topic.

Write a well crafted pitch email to the blog’s owner. First, you should compliment their website and make specific comments about the content. For instance, “I love reading the content on [SITE’S NAME]. Recently, I loved the posts titled “RECENT ARTICLE NAME.” Mention how long you’ve read their posts and why you like their content. Then you want to tell them about your idea. Don’t write out the entire post but provide them enough information to know if it would be a good fit on their blog.

Last, you want to make sure that you tell them why you’re the best person to write this post on their site. Let them know about any experience, education, or expertise that you may have. Remember to stay brief and to the point, as you don’t want to waste their time.

Write a High Quality Guest Blog

Your guest post is a direct reflection of you so make sure that it’s of high quality. In most cases, you’ll want to write it in a similar style of what’s currently on the website. If existing posts are written in the third person and use H2 headers, your guest post should, too, unless the blog’s owner asks you to do something else.

Try to provide the most accurate and valuable information in your post that readers want to know. Don’t regurgitate the same type of information that’s found on other websites, although it’s important to do enough research to ensure that your information is correct. The better your article is, the longer it will be up on the site and shared. You may even be asked to write another guest post in the future.

Be Open to Feedback from the Blog Owner

The blog’s owner might want revisions to your guest post to more closely align with their brand. You may not agree with their feedback, but it’s okay. Ultimately, what the blog’s owner wants to post is their decision. You may not understand some of their suggestions, but it’s a good best practice to comply with their requests unless you feel that the changes would misrepresent the message that you want to say.

Drive Traffic to the Post

Try to make your guest post as successful as possible by doing what you can to drive traffic to the post. Plan on sharing the post on your own social media pages to increase traffic to the website. You want your guest post to be the most successful to reach the highest number of people and to have opportunities to write a guest post on other websites. These stats will be important later to showcase their successes.

Interact with Blog Viewers

Readers want to interact with guest post writers. If you see that your guest post gets comments, feel free to respond to them in a professional way. It’s best not to respond to negative comments unless you’ve been asked to. Instead, thank readers for their feedback and provide additional information in your response. You can even answer reader questions. Just make sure to check with the blog’s owner to get their approval before responding to every comment. They may want to be the ones to engage with their readers.

Guest posting is a great way for companies and individuals to expand their audience and establish credibility. If it’s your first time writing a guest post, it can be overwhelming. Use these tips to ensure a smooth campaign.

Getting Tired of Your New Business? 5 Sources of Inspiration That’ll Rekindle Your Love

Keeping your business alive and well takes a lot of energy, effort, and planning. It’s quite frankly exhausting! When you feel that you’re at your wit’s end and that you don’t want to work on your new business anymore, turn to these 10 sources of inspiration to rekindle the love you have for your new business.

1. Talk to Happy Customers

It’s easy to focus on the negative, but at the heart of your business, you provide benefit to your customers. Make it a point to talk to them about their experience with your company. Learn why they love your company and what it does for them. You may be surprised at what you find.

2. Take the Day Off

Nobody can continue to work forever. If you’re feeling especially disillusioned, take off an entire day from working. The world will not implode because you took off 24 hours, we promise.

3. Imagine Going Back to a Day Job

A wise business comrade once reminded me that when you work for someone else, you’re making them money. When you work for yourself, you’re making that profit for yourself. Imagine going back to a day job and what that would be like. It may seem that it would seem easier, but there was a reason you decided to open your business and skip the 9 to 5. Remember why.

4. Invest in Business Training

Whether an ebook, an online course, or an in-person workshop, invest in business training to give yourself a new perspective of your business. It may inspire you to make changes or to deploy new growth strategies.

5. Find a Quality Outsource Provider

When you feel overwhelmed, you might just have too much to do so you separate yourself from your business. Find a quality outsource provider, like the Triassic Media Group, to take over some tasks you don’t need to do yourself. We’ll take care of your marketing, content writing, and website maintenance needs so you have more time for other things.

How to Explain Website Development to Your Grandparents

When you think about the history of personal computing, most people have only had access to laptops and desktop computers in their homes for the past 20 or so years. For senior citizens, many of them never had to learn how to use a computer or to look something up on the internet. As such, it can be difficult for them to understand why website development is such an important aspect of your business.

Here’s how to explain website development to your grandparents.

The Business Directory or Phone Book

Most senior citizens know how important it was to keep a copy of any business directory or phone book that they got, just in case they needed to get in touch with a local business. After all, you never know when you’d need a plumber or a roofer.

Let them know how websites now serve as a phone book of sorts. When prospective customers need a plumber or a roofer, they’d search for one in a search engine like Google. The business’s website is what would show up. Instead of having a single line to let customers know about their services, the business has an unlimited amount of pages.

The First Impression

While many businesses still rely on business cards and brochures as a part of their marketing efforts, a website is a business’s first impression. While a professional, well-written website says a lot about what it would be like to work with a business, a typo-filled website with little content says the opposite.

If you need help creating a professional website, contact the Triassic Media Group at info@triassicmedia.com.

How to Save Money on Your New Business

When you first start a business, you aren’t likely to see any profit for 2 years. (Most businesses won’t make profit until this time). Plus, you’ll see an increased amount of expenses. If you quite your full time job to start your business, you’ll have to find a different way to pay your bills and your savings will seem to drain quickly. Even if you kept your job, marketing materials and the sheer costs of growing your business can make it seem like you have no money…ever.

Here are some simple strategies to save money on your new business.

Do It Yourself

Whatever you can do yourself, try to do it yourself. If you need to make cold calls, make them yourself. If you feel that you’re terrible at it, cold calling is a skill you can learn about and practice. If envelopes need to be stuffed, don’t pay your family member to do it. Stuff them on your own.

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to do it yourself. This is when learning a new skill would take up a tremendous amount of time you could use selling or the task requires expertise to complete correctly. Some tasks not worth trying to do it yourself:

  • Building a Website
  • Designing a Logo
  • Writing Website Content

Avoid Lead Generation Scams

You don’t need to pay someone to list your business in an online directory, as you can do this yourself. You also don’t need someone to find your business leads. Finding leads can be extremely simple to do, especially when you first start out. To get your first set of business leads:

  • Attend networking meetings to meet other businesses
  • Go door to door introducing yourself at an office park
  • Pay a nominal fee to participate in a vendor event
  • Perform a simple Google search for relevant businesses to your target market

Choose Free Alternatives

One of the biggest mistakes that new businesses make is that new business owners choose a high price solution they think they need instead of a free solution. Perhaps they do not know that a free solution is available or that it is somehow inferior to a paid solution. Other times there are free versions available of some of the most popular programs.

If you’re a new business owner, become extremely familiar with the following free programs. They’ll save you money and hassle.

It’s an exciting time to start a business. However, it’s also difficult. If you’d like some help along the way, email info@triassicmedia.com. We’d love to be your partner in business success.