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tips for business bloggers

5 Tips for Business Bloggers

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners

When it comes to blogging there are a lot of options and it can be overwhelming. Maybe you know you want to start a blog but when it comes to choosing a focus and design you aren’t sure what to choose. Take heart. We’ve all been there!

Here are five tips for business bloggers to help you get started blogging:

  1. Don’t overthink it. While you don’t want to be all over the place, the focus for your blog can be as simple as tips-for-moms or spiritual journey. As you and your audience become more defined then you may narrow topics and focus.
  2. 5 Tips for Business BloggersConsider a monthly theme or focus for blog posts. My friend Sandi is blogging about choices this month. Now you’re within an overall blog theme and a monthly focus of topic. It will help you craft your posts.
  3. Blogging for business or pleasure? Initially you may blog for an audience of friends and family for pleasure. As time passes and you understand the business of blogging you may choose to shift to a more business based approach. Either way is great and kudos for becoming a blogger!
  4. Blog design is important. If you’re blogging for business you may (and likely will) have a different blog design than if you are blogging for pleasure. Design includes domain name, template, colors and logo. “So-and-so-dot-blogspot-dot-com” may work for a fun, personal blog but it won’t fly as a business blog. Invest the time to learn how to improve design as you evolve your blog focus and audience. It’s worth your time and money.
  5. Know your audience. As your following grows it becomes more important to speak to your audience. Who you think is your audience may not be your audience – or your only audience. If you’re a mom blogger, you may have business bloggers following you because you write about organizing or efficiency. It is important to know and understand so you can write to that audience – or risk losing them.

Congratulations on starting or changing your blog! Share a link to your blog so we can follow you and happy blogging!

Blog Post Ideas for Business

15 Blog Post Ideas for Business Owners

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Start Blogging

I’ve spoken and written about the value of blogging for business including why your business needs a blog, how to develop a blog editorial calendar, and blog post ideas for business. In today’s information-filled world, it’s important to have a focus and purpose for the content we are producing.

  • Define your target market.
  • Make your posts relevant to your target market.
  • Don’t be boring.
  • Keep blog posts simple and to the point.
  • Bullet points and numbering are your friend.

We know creating new, relevant content on a consistent basis will help with search engine rankings (SER) but the thought of producing content can give even the most seasoned content creators anxiety. Here are some ideas…

why your business needs a blog

Why Your Business Needs a Blog

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners

Blogging is my primary business and I love it. The biggest challenge for me and my web designers is creating an understanding of the value of a blog. Business owners often view a blog as an extra and unnecessary part of their business and website. The reality is that a blog is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have for your business.

Here’s why your business needs a blog:

  1. Establishes you as the expert: What better way to illustrate all that you know about your industry than to write about it for your readers. You might think you have nothing to say. Rest assured a good writer can help you create ideas and blog posts that will get your business noticed. Trust me. I write for a local plumbing and septic system business. The work is shitty (get it?) but I learn a lot.
  2. Gives free tips and information to clients and prospects: Just as I am doing here, a blog is your opportunity to share tips about your business and industry. You might tell people how to change a faucet but it doesn’t mean they will do it themselves. More than likely they will call you because you’re the expert. After all, it’s on your blog!
  3. Content is King (or Queen) with Google: If you want to be found online the best way is to play nice with Google. Strategically use keywords for higher search results and establish a Google+ account. Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook. Posting to the G+ social network using keywords will get you higher in search results than with any other social network at this time.
  4. Simply a Website: Having a blog means your website can be fairly simple and straightforward. The blog is where the content changes. Search engines love new content so it’s a win-win.
  5. Maintenance: Because you’re not changing content and design of your website every time you sneeze (see #4) maintaining a blog is relatively easy. I recommend utilizing user-friendly WordPress as your website platform. It’s simple and straight forward even for a novice blogger.
  6. Drives traffic to your website: Combined with social media a blog can drive traffic to your website. They come for the blog post and stay for a tour of services and products. It’s a lead generator and all you did was write a post about what you know – your business and industry.
  7. Create, change or maintain a business brand: A blog is a great opportunity to show readers what your business. It gives your business a personality in a crowded marketplace. This is called branding your business.
  8. Establishes relationship with readers: Let your personality shine through on the blog. You’re creating a relationship with your readers who are either customers or prospects. You’re networking and building a relationship with your reader.

Share your blog in the comments and let’s get connected! No time to blog? That’s okay because we can ghostwrite posts under your guidance. Contact us today at 480-206-6452 to learn more.

creating a badass blog post

Three Tips for Creating a Badass Blog Post

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners

ekp-mcauley-0803-2Creating a badass blog post doesn’t have to be complicated.

Many of us are reading your post from a cell phone or tablet and don’t have time to read hundreds of words formatted in paragraphs with no end in sight. We have time for a quick read while we’re sipping a cup of joe waiting for our next appointment. Simplicity is key.

Three Tips for Creating a Badass Blog Post

  1. Keep it Simple: You’re giving a few tips about your topic not writing a dissertation. Keep your blog posts simple and to the point. Your readers have short attention spans.
  2. Bullets and Bold: We’re all short on time and attention. More than likely your readers are skimming for useful information rather than reading. Include bullet points or numbering and bold for the things you want readers to notice.
  3. Words Matter: More specifically, word count matters. If your post is more than 350 words, it’s too long to be a blog post. Break it into smaller ideas and a couple of posts.

On behalf of fellow skimmers around the globe, I want to thank you for keeping you next post short and to the point. Cheers!

How to Blog When You Have No Time to Write

How to Blog When You Have No Time to Write

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Solopreneur Ideas

We each have 24 hours in the day but I have days that feel a lot shorter. I make excuses for not focusing on my own writing projects but it boils down to how I manage my time. To blog when you have no time to write means thinking ahead about what, when, and how you want to organize your content.

Before quitting the idea of creating blog posts for your brand, consider these:

  1. How to Blog When You Have No Time to WriteGet into a Routine. My blogger pal Robbi Hess has been telling me, for way longer than I care to admit, to block time for my own writing. It wasn’t until recently that I made it a priority. Each morning I start my day by writing a blog post for one of my websites. Just that simple act focuses and inspires me to write.
  2. Plan Ahead. Spend time creating a list of blog post ideas that includes links to related articles, notes of what you’d like to include in the post, and a focused theme or category. I am not an outliner but I know bloggers who outline posts as they get ideas, filling in the blanks when they have time to finish. I tend to outline in my head and then start writing. There’s no right way to blog so find what works for you and do that.
  3. 80/20 Rule. 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. There’s a large amount of activity that you can delete because it’s not helping your business. If you’re going to coffee meetings with people who aren’t colleagues, masterminds, or prospects, cut those meetings from the schedule. This creates time for blogging.
  4. Create in Batches. Be ahead so you can take time off to spend with family and friends or focus on other business activities like networking or business development. Write a few posts and schedule them to go live over a longer period of time. I recommend four posts a month for most businesses. Write two posts a week for two weeks and a month of blogging is done!
  5. Set Reasonable Goals. I don’t know about you but I am an overachiever that struggles when it comes to goal setting. Take my blog challenge as an example. When it started my goal was 12 blog posts in six days but I soon realized that I only had time for one post. Instead of feeling like a failure, I reset my goal to 12 blog posts in 12 days. This is the fifth of those posts. The lesson? Set reasonable goals for blogging and track results. You might be surprised at what you can achieve.
  6. Hire a Professional Blogger. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of creating content or have ideas and no time to write, it’s time to hire a professional blogger.

Sometimes 24 hours isn’t enough time to get everything done. That’s where I can help. As a professional blogger, I work with my clients to create content that speaks to their target audience and would love to help you get started!

Small Business Website

What You Need to Know for Your Small Business Website (Guest)

Written by P Collins on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Solopreneur Ideas

When you’re about to launch your first website, it’s hard to know what you really need and what’s just an unnecessary expense.

There are a lot of platforms, both free and paid, that allow you to build a blog with the push of a button, such as Weebly, Wix, SquareSpace, Blogger, and many others. Those can be useful if your site is for a hobby. But if you’re launching a real business, you’ll want to self-host your website. Self-hosting means your website is totally under your control.

Self-hosting sounds technical and confusing, but it’s actually really easy.

All you need to get started is a domain name and hosting. You can purchase those pretty reasonably at SiteGround, InMotion or GoDaddy.

Your domain name is the web address of your site, like bloggingbadass.com or gotprint.net. Hosting is the space you’re renting on the internet that hosts your web files. When you’re just starting out, the basic package is perfectly acceptable. You can upgrade at any time. If you’re not happy with your provider, you can switch to another, so don’t feel like you are stuck with this choice for life.

Inevitably, once you decide to launch a website, you’ll be offered all kinds of additional products. What are all those extra choices? What do you need and what’s just an upsell by the hosting company?

Here are some common items hosting companies will try to upsell:

Domain privacy

When you register a domain, your name, address, email address and phone number are automatically published for the world to see. It’s required by law that the hosting companies collect this information. But many people don’t realize that this information becomes public in an international database called the WhoIs database. If you’re a big company with a physical location, like a grocery store chain or a school, this might not matter to you but if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you may not want all your contact information out there. If that’s the case, you can protect yourself from spam and scams with private domain registration.

Business registration

Some domain registrars and hosting companies want to see you a type of premium domain registration or business registration. This adds very little value to your website and is not worth the price. Don’t bother signing up for it.

Site Lock or malware scanner service

Depending in the price and features, this could be helpful to you. Security is important: No one wants their site hacked! If you don’t want to handle it yourself, ask your hosting company what they offer. The most important question is: Do they merely scan, or will they actually clean your site and put everything back the way it was if you’ve been infected? If you don’t like their answer or prices, I highly recommend installing Sucuri on your new site.

Backup systems

Speaking of security, having a backup system is imperative. If you’re using WordPress to build your website, look into UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy, two of my favorite backup plugins. If you want your host to handle it, be sure to ask them:

– How often do they back up your site?
– How many backups do they keep?
– Where are the backups stored?
– If something happens, will they help you restore your site, otherwise are you on your own?

At the very least, everyone with a website should download screenshots and copies of the photos and text that appears on their site. I go through my sites about twice a year and make sure I have manual copies of everything. Just in case.

SSL certificate

An SSL certificate is used to secure any website that transmits personal information. They are indicated by a green symbol or padlock by the domain name in your browser. Banks, retail stores, hospitals, schools, and many other companies that deal with sensitive data use SSL certificates. Some hosts provide SSL certificates for free. If so, take advantage. They are nice to have. If you’re taking payments on your site using PayPal or Stripe (or another payment gateway), they already have SSL built in. If you’re not certain if you need one, you can always purchase one down the road. You can typically buy them in 1-year, 2-year, 5-year, or 10-year terms.

Dedicated Servers and Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

If you’re a beginner, don’t let an enthusiastic salesperson talk you into purchasing one of these. If you’ve outgrown your economy or basic plan, just move up to the next level that provides the adequate amount of space and bandwidth. A VPS is a monster of a system that requires an extremely tech-savvy individual to manage and is most likely way more than you need. Not everyone needs to have a fully dedicated web server. In fact, most people don’t. The majority of websites start out on shared hosting. That means you and 25 other people like you share a server machine in a giant building that’s connected to the internet. A VPS is a virtual server that is dedicated to you only. Hence the hefty price tag. Down the road, if you’re ready for a dedicated server or VPS, you may want to hire someone to assist you in managing it.

Domain email

Domain email is custom email setup with your domain name. For example, if I owned whitehouse.gov, I could set up the email address perri@whitehouse.gov or anne@whitehouse.gov. Most domain registrars and hosting companies offer this service. You can choose whoever you want to set up your custom domain email. I’m a huge fan of Google. It’s like Gmail for your company email. A domain email will amp up the professional appearance of your business and is usually worth the price, which can range from $50/year to $100/year, depending on what service you use.

Number One Piece of Advice for Your Website

Don’t hesitate to ask questions. One thing to keep in mind is that the web is very flexible. If you want to change your domain name to something else, you can do that. Don’t like the look of your site? Learn how to install a new theme or hire a web developer to do it for you. Want to switch hosting companies? No problem. Everything is changeable, so don’t be afraid to take the leap and crush it online.

Perri Collins, Collins Digital Media

Perri Collins, Collins Digital Media

Perri Collins is the Magical Unicorn of Creativity at Collins Digital Media. She specialized in web development, online digital marketing and social media. She started building websites in 1999 and has continued to help small business owners and individuals take their first steps on the web. She has worked with organizations both large and small, from Arizona State University to freelance writers, restaurant owners, TV news anchors, healthcare professionals, bloggers and comedians.

Start Writing Blog Posts

Where to Start Writing Blog Posts When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Start Blogging

You’re staring at a list of blog post ideas waiting for the posts to write themselves but they never do. Where do you start writing blog posts when you’re feeling overwhelmed? Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away, do something else, then return with a new approach.

Do anything that gets your mind away from the blank page.

Go for a walk. Play with the dog. Dance.

Start Writing Blog PostsYou will be amazed at what 5-10 minutes away from the screen can do for your creativity and blogger motivation.

Believe me when I say I spend as much time in my backyard pondering as I do writing.

Come back to the list of ideas or the piece you’re writing with new eyes.

Start where you’re comfortable.

Pick a topic from your list that inspires you and write. Some days that’s easier said than done.


There are two ways I approach blog post writing:

  1. Write the middle of the post first. Then a conclusion. Craft the opening last. It’s often easier to write the opening after I’ve gotten all of my ideas out of my head.
  2. Write what I know on the topic. Write from the heart. Research and make notes. Then go back and craft a piece my client will love.

Find your flow. There’s no right way to write.

On my list(s) of blog post ideas, whether for my own writing or for a client, I add notes and relevant links that trigger me when I come back to write. If I have only a topic listed, I don’t always recall why I wanted to write on that topic and it causes a feeling of overwhelm.

I have a list of 100 blog post ideas that gives me anxiety.

I wonder why I haven’t written these posts or how I could, if I wrote them, repurpose them into an ebook, livestream, or guest blog post. My chest is tight just writing about it.

Finally I took the list of 100+ blog post ideas and broke it into a smaller list of 25 ideas. That’s where I got many of my 12 blog post ideas in 30 minutes or less.

12 ideas is less overwhelming than 100 ideas or a blank page with no plan.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, step away and come back with a new approach. Make your list shorter. Focus on one category rather than a huge list. Write a topic that interests you in the moment.

There’s isn’t a right or wrong way to write your blog posts. Find what works for you and go with the flow to create content that reaches your target audience.

blog post ideas

Blog Post Ideas Your Readers Will Love

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners, Start Blogging

Do you want more readers on your blog? If you’re like most bloggers, the answer is a resounding YES. Of course we want more people to read our musings.

Readers want to connect with you as if you’re a friend sitting on a couch sharing stories and cups of tea or glasses of wine. How do we accomplish this? We offer the following blog post ideas:

Make your blog post relevant.

Your readers want you to answer their questions.

use your blog to tell a story

How to Use Your Blog to Tell a Story about your Business

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners

Your business website isn’t a stagnant marketing tool like a business card. It doesn’t just sit around looking pretty or it shouldn’t if you want to make the investment of a website worth your effort. A business website should be used to breathe life into your business and brand. The most affordable and effective way to build your brand online is to blog on a consistent basis and use your blog to tell a story about your business.

First things first. You must be clear about who your target client is or no marketing (blogging, social media, website, etc.) will work effectively to build your business. You have to know who you want to reach so you can create and share content related to that particular audience. Otherwise you’re throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks. Over time, the spaghetti method gets tiresome, boring, and stressful.

Before you begin blogging, ask yourself:

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