Blogging For Foodies: In Search Of Artisan Bacon

Have you considered adding a blog to your specialty-food website? Your foodie customers love to read new and interesting information, and a blog is a great way to reach your potential customers. According to Social Media B2B, companies that blog regularly generate 67 percent more new-customer leads per month.

Blogging for foodies is easy with BlogMutt’s content writing service. Here is an example of the kind of post you can expect.


 In Search Of Artisan Bacon

blogging for foodiesWe are obsessed with bacon. Many proclaim their love of bacon loudly and proudly, while others have been forced to hide their love affair in the shadows in fear of the so-called “fat police.” In spite of this, bacon has taken up its rightful place in the foodie world. Showing up in high-end restaurants, you can even find bacon-topped treats in upscale bakeries. Bacon-flavored vodka and maple-bacon liqueurs line the shelves of popular mixology bars.

There remain, however, the purists: those who love bacon for the sake of the bacon itself. While we can appreciate bacon-infused foods, our true love remains that perfect slice (or slab!) of bacon all by itself. In search of the holy grail of bacons, we must turn to the artisan producer.

An artisan is a person who has become skilled in a particular craft. The bacon artisan is someone who has learned the art of curing and smoking pork belly. The artisan will first choose the pork belly itself. There are any number of factors to consider here, with most opting first for quality organic pork. Next the artisan will consider the breed of pig, what its diet consisted of, and the age and weight of the pig. All of these factors will contribute to the taste and texture of the finished product.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/robertpaulyoung/4304631350The curing of meats is simply a way of preserving them for later use, without freezing. Dry curing is a way of pulling the moisture from the meat, as moisture is necessary for bacteria to grow. Bacon is made by rubbing a mixture of Kosher salt, a sugar, and a nitrite (a naturally occurring type of salt that deters the bacteria that causes botulism) into all surfaces of the pork belly.

The dry cure mixture is where bacon artisans add their flair. Their chosen mix of sugars and spices will add specific flavors, colors, and textures to the bacon, making it a truly unique product. After the dry rub is applied, the meat is left to cure in a cool place for several days. The better the cure, the less shrinkage in the final product when it hits your pan.

Once the meat is properly dried, the curing mixture is rinsed off and the meat is dried and then hung for a period of a few days to a few weeks. Sometimes during this hanging time, the meat is smoked, which imparts another level of flavor to the finished bacon.

At every stage of this process the artisan’s expertise ensures a top-quality end product. Mouth watering yet? Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated in our search for the perfect artisan bacon and to get more information on our featured bacon of the month.

 


Giving potential customers the opportunity to follow your blog or sign up for a newsletter shows that you are knowledgable in your field, and that you are imparting valuable expertise to those who want it. In exchange, you grow your email lists with people who are already interested in what you have to offer. Contact us to see how easy it is to get started growing your customer base!

 

 





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Dec 19 WOOF Round-Up: Banana Sticks

Here is your weekly WOOF Round-Up. This is where you’ll find all of the Words Of The Day From The Dictionaries Of The Day. Enjoy!

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WOOFs December 15 – 19

casey at the bat

“Casey At The Bat.” Don’t blame Casey for Mudville’s loss: blame that banana stick he was using.

Monday: Banana Stick — A bat made from bad wood: a hitting instrument as effective as a banana. (1987 Fungoes, Floaters And Fork Balls: A Colorful Baseball Dictionary)

Tuesday: Atahualpa — c. 1502 – 1533. Last emperor of the Inca of Peru, taken prisoner in 1532 when the Spaniards arrived. He agreed to pay a huge ransom, but was accused of plotting against Pizarro and was condemned anyway. (1994 Wordsworth Dictionary Of Biography)

Wednesday: “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.” — Don’t worry about the past and do your best now, lest someone surpass you. This oft-repeated statement was one of a set of rules of pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige. Other bits of wisdom from him: avoid eating fried meat and avoid running at all times. (1993 Southpaws And Sunday Punches, And Other Sporting Expressions)

Thursday: Oreamuno — Canton founded August 17, 1914, located about three miles from Cartago City on the slopes of Irazu Volcano. Oreamuno Canton produces potatoes, corn, and because of its cold climate, is excellent for cattle and truck farming. (1977 Historical Dictionary Of Costa Rica)

Friday: Sapphire — To dream of sapphire is ominous of fortunate gain, and to a woman, a wise selection in a lover. (1994 Wordsworth Dictionary Of Dreams)

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4 Tips to Boost Your Non-Retail Business During the Holidays

Ah, the holidays. Everywhere you look, shoppers are bustling to and fro in an effort to find the best possible deals on everything from toys to that flat screen TV they’ve always wanted. Retailers are lowering prices left and right, which is causing a shopping frenzy. You’re happy for those businesses. They’re growing, and they’re prospering during their busiest time of the year.

crowd of christmas shoppersThe problem is that yours isn’t a retail business, and all this attention to holiday shopping is kind of sapping the life from regular business.

What should you do?

Fortunately, you don’t have to be content to sit back and watch retailers dominate all of business life. There are plenty of things you can do to grow your business during the holidays, even if you’re not in retail.

Tip #1: Think creatively about offering discounts

This is going to take a little out-of-the-box thinking on your part, but could actually be a lot of fun. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients and imagine the issues they’re dealing with in comparison with the services you offer. Perhaps you’re a home contractor. Many of your clients will be throwing New Year’s Eve parties, but their homes might have a few things that need tweaking first. Offer discounts to fix their garage doors, add lighting or even put in a new countertop so they can impress their guests. If you’re a chiropractor, you might think about marketing a discount for an adjustment to decrease back pain from all of those packages your clients will be carrying around the mall. People tend to overspend during the holidays, and if you’re an accountant, you could offer a newsletter with some holiday shopping budgeting pointers. If you own a salon that offers spa services, pinpoint the stress that people can experience this time of year, and offer discounts on beauty treatments and massages.

What you have to remember is that your clients have needs, no matter what time of year it is. They may be focusing on what to buy next, but you can step in and save the day by easing their pain and frustration. You may just need to be creative about it.

Tip #2: Send out holiday greeting cards – with a bonus included

You appreciate the business your clients give you all year long, and the holidays are the perfect time to let them know. If you’ve never sent out holiday greeting cards before, why not start this year? People love getting cards in the mail, but if your business is an online one, you can also send out e-cards. If you do decide to go the e-card route, humor is always appreciated, and it’s fun to get your employees involved too. Next New Networks sent out a clever Christmas video a few years ago that made a big impression.

If you do take the snail-mail approach, consider adding in a little gift as a token of appreciation. A keychain or a microfiber cleaning cloth are relatively inexpensive, and these are gifts that can be personalized with your logo. You can also offer coupons for any of your services as a way to say “Thank you for your business.”

Your clients are more than just your clients; they’re also a source of referrals. They tend to remember small gestures that don’t require them to purchase anything to enjoy. Also, not every business does this, so it’s a sure way to make yours stand out.

Tip #3: Up your social media action and interaction

Social media tends to be very active around this time of year. People are always on the lookout for special sales or great deals from their favorite stores, and there’s never a shortage of holiday videos and pictures to enjoy. You can take advantage of your clients’ extra social media time by making sure you have a strong presence there too. Most people can’t resist an “exclusive” deal that’s only available if they use a coupon they saw on Facebook or Twitter. It makes them feel as though they’ve won something, and that’s a great benefit for you.

Speaking of winning, you can also use social media to run contests during the holidays. Ask your clients to share certain posts to their timeline, or to retweet special tweets to their followers. You’ll be getting the word out about your business, and the excitement surrounding your brand is sure to build. A fantastic example of this is financial guru Dave Ramsey, who has spent the entire holiday season offering cash awards to people who win weekly contests. He’s driven an insane amount of traffic to his site, and he’s building his business in the process.

Tip #4: Make your blog a priority

You’ve probably heard how important it is to blog for the purpose of keeping your clients informed about what’s going on in your particular field. You also probably know that blogging is essential if you want to attract the attention of search engines.

It turns out that Google’s robots don’t take December off to do a bunch of holiday shopping!

A lot of small businesses are going to be so busy in December, they won’t take the time to blog the way they should. However, if you’re keeping up with your blog, you’ll do better at having new clients find you via search. When January rolls around, the businesses that took December off will be scrambling to get caught up, while you’re enjoying all of the benefits of new clients who found you on Google.

Of course, when you run your own business, it’s hard to find the time to blog. You’re busy, and there are so many other areas of your company that require your attention. You’re not alone, and other business owners share your frustration. The good news is, content writing businesses such as — ahem — BlogMutt offer you a no-hassle way to keep your blog updated. That means you can check that item off your to-do list.

Bonus Tip: Don’t be a Scrooge

Everyone loves a bonus, right?

No matter what you decide to do this holiday season, don’t be a Scrooge. Get into the spirit of giving back to your clients and your community. This might be something as simple as hanging holiday decorations in your windows, or putting up a Christmas tree. Or, you could take some time out of your schedule to give back to your community in a small but meaningful way. Many businesses take part in some type of toy giveaway each year, and they ask their clients to bring in small gifts for children. You may want to donate some money to a church or religious organization for their own community giving efforts. You can even adopt a family or two who could use some extra help buying gifts for their children.

The Roanoke, Virginia magazine called “Growing Up in the Valley” is paving the way for other businesses to follow their lead. Roanoke residents will be enjoying many “random acts of kindness” during the holidays by staff members. That might mean a small gift being given to an elderly woman, or it might mean paying for someone’s order in the drive-thru. Each gesture is meaningful and appreciated.

The point is the holidays are a season of giving, and while you probably can’t help everyone, you can do your part to help someone. Your clients will notice, and you’ll be rewarded for being so thoughtful.

Even though the holidays are sure to be profitable for retail businesses, there’s no reason you can’t increase your profits too. No matter what your business is, with a little bit of cheer and a dash of creativity thrown in, you too can have the best holiday season your business has ever experienced.

Posted in business blogging, content marketing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Small Business Tips: Inbound Marketing With A Trade-Show Booth

Everywhere you look online, you can find small business tips designed to help increase your business. Blogging, the right website content, and email marketing campaigns are all examples of inbound-marketing techniques that are recommended. However, those strategies are not the entire story: you also have to put yourself in front of the right people.

small business tips

Remember these seven inbound-marketing tips for better trade-show marketing.

Trade shows are an excellent addition to your inbound-marketing campaign. Trade shows allow you to get the word out about your business by enticing visitors with attractive and informative displays, samples, and demonstrations that are both relevant and interesting. Here are seven ways to make sure that your trade-show booth design stands out from the crowd and accomplishes your marketing goals.

  1. Plan Well In Advance. Planning your trade-show booth should not be left for the last minute. It should begin several months to a year before an upcoming show. Many times, trade-show booth space fills up quickly, so reserving a spot in advance is the only way to be sure that you will have the opportunity to participate. This is especially true for prime locations on the trade-show floor.
  2. Determine Your Goals . Every marketing campaign should drive your business closer to specific goals, and trade shows are no exception. As with other forms of inbound marketing, trade shows are a great way to generate high-quality leads, increase brand awareness, and, of course increase sales. However, there must be metrics in place that can measure the effectiveness of the event and determine if the ROI is adequate.
  3. Make It Modern. One of the best ways to attract attention to your booth is by incorporating bold colors and clean lines that emphasize the brand rather than the booth. Straight-line architecture, interesting floor coverings, creative lighting, and modern furnishings are trending this year. Creating a space that is inviting and comfortable for attendees and booth employees is of the utmost importance.
  4. Incorporate Technology. There will be many other booths at the trade show. In order to stand out, you need a gimmick of some sort. Engaging visitors with touch-screen video walls or tables are all great ways to encourage further conversations. Also consider RFID, NFC, or other form of sensing technology to transmit information to visitors as they get close to your booth.
  5. Engage The Senses. You may think that you’ll engage visitors with video and touch-screen devices, but that’s only part of the equation. You must engage them on every level possible. That means incorporating music or other audio elements into your booth. Don’t forget the sense of smell! Offer up some popcorn, fresh-brewed coffee, freshly baked cookies, or some other snack to attract people.
  6. Give Something Useful. Long-lasting things make the best give-away items when branded with your name, logo, and contact information. Things like water bottles, coffee mugs — especially travel mugs — will be used all the time, reinforcing your branding every time they’re used. Other good ideas are ink pens, a bag to carry swag in, or a USB memory stick.
  7. Include A Call To Action. It’s all well and good to tell people about your products, services, and company philosophy, but without a succinct call to action, it’s possible that none of this will make any difference. Everything that you use to attract visitors to your booth should have the end result of having that person take some action. Ask for a business card, or have the visitor fill out a questionnaire in order to receive a free ebook, white paper, or access to a members-only section of your website.

By incorporating these seven tips, you will generate more leads through trade shows, one of the most common forms of inbound marketing. The idea is simple: capture potential customers’ attention, give them something useful, and get their contact information.

To find out more about combining inbound marketing with your trade-show efforts, contact us. Our experienced blog writers understand how to help you attract the attention that your business needs to be competitive.










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How To Keep Your Business Blog From Dying

IBM research found that 80 percent of those who begin a company blog never publish more than five posts. Bloggers start with big plans but other, more urgent tasks get in the way. (Huffington Post)

Are you one of those 80 percent who started blogging for your small business but stopped? Or are you one of those who is feeling the pain of not enough time and are afraid you might stop? If your blog has died or is in danger, please keep reading.

business blog

We have three great ideas to keep your blog from going six feet under.

You know you need to blog. Statistics tell us that 61 percent of consumers have made purchases due to reading a blog and that small businesses with blogs generate 126 percent more leads than those small businesses that do not blog.

But tasks other than blogging always seem more urgent, and the blogging doesn’t always get done. We’d like to help.

First, we suggest you have a notepad next to your computer and start a list of the questions you answer for customers. If you see that you are answering the same topic more than three times, put that as a keyword for a blog post. You can write the blog yourself with the answer you have given, or post that as a keyword for a blog to be written for you.

Second, we suggest you give your customers an opportunity via your webpage, email, or other means to give you suggestions for what they want to read on your blog. You will find that they have great suggestions for blogs you can write, or for topics you can have written for your blog.

Third, we suggest you hire a small business blogging service. A blogging service will ensure you receive quality blogs based on your keywords and suggestions.

Follow through on these three ideas to keep your blog going, so you don’t end up in the 80 percent of people who stop blogging. Contact us today — we love to talk about blogging.

 




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Content Marketing’s Worst Nightmare: The Algorithm

The scariest word for marketers these days is “algorithm.” It’s the “invisible hand” of digital content. It’s unknown and unknowable. Its influence on your company is the most powerful arbiter of your success or failure. But does it have to be?

Can't sleep thinking about what the latest algorithm will do to your site rank?  (Photo Credit: Kasia Bialasiewicz, 123rf.com)

Can’t sleep thinking about what the latest algorithm will do to your site rank? (Photo Credit: Kasia Bialasiewicz, 123rf.com)

The first algorithm that achieved notoriety on the Internet was Google PageRank. PageRank prioritized web pages that would appear in search results. And so birthed the cottage industry of Search Engine Optimization experts. Now SEO is dead. Why? Google’s algorithms got so good they could no longer be gamed (or more politely, “optimized”). The only thing that works for search relevance is being engaging, genuine and to write lots of great content. This is more true than ever after the latest algorithm update.

When Facebook launched, it had no algorithm, just a running feed in chronological order. Now we see only what Facebook’s algorithms want us to see. And Twitter? Well, like Facebook, it was an algorithm-free home for news and social updates. Not anymore.

Your company, your online presence, and your digital marketing’s success will live or die based on your adherence to an algorithm—or at least that’s what the cottage industry of SEO and media experts want to scare you into believing. No one really knows what these algorithms are or what they do—except for the companies creating them. The rest of us, experts included, trade on the occasional table scraps of information those companies give us. And once we’ve devoured those, we speculate.

How did we get here?

“Yesterday’s Fried Chicken Recipe is Today’s PageRank Algorithm”

Before the Internet, corporate trade secrets typically involved innocuous patents like Colonel Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe (11 secret herbs and spices!) or the secret ingredients in Coca-Cola (COCAINE!).

How quickly times change.

Yesterday’s fried chicken recipe is today’s Google PageRank algorithm. And whether it’s KFC or Google search, you have no idea how they make their end product, but you can’t stop going back for more. The fate of entire companies hangs on whether or not they show up on the first page of Google search results. In a very real sense, it’s like you don’t have a web presence at all if you’re on the second or third page — that’s the power of PageRank.

KFC_Google_Page_Rank

The only difference between KFC and Page Rank is you can’t eat Page Rank. (Photo Credit: radub85, 123rf.com)

And the hardest part for marketers about this enormous power is how unpredictable it can be. Consider that almost every content marketing article listed on this page could easily be rendered moot the minute Google makes any significant changes to its PageRank algorithm. One line of code on one algorithm could turn an industry on its head or crush a business.

Algorithms Affect Many. But Concentrate Power for Few.

Algorithms can be cruel and unpredictable, but their profound impact on our digitized world is here to stay. They influence user experience and engagement, business marketing strategies, and the overall dissemination of digital information — which is, at this point, essentially everything.

So what happens when a company motivated primarily by profit tries to create “a better, more engaging experience” for users — while also promoting its own financial interests?

No one knows, exactly, because despite their enormous influence, these algorithms are proprietary trade secrets.

And that ambiguity begs some scary questions. John Naughton in The Guardian considers the power of Google’s PageRank: “On the one hand, the algorithm is a closely guarded commercial secret – for obvious reasons: if it weren’t, then the search engine optimisers would have a field day and all search results would be suspect. On the other hand, because it’s secret, we can’t be sure that Google isn’t skewing results to favour its own commercial interests, as some people allege.”

Chris Steiner, author of Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World, asserts that we’re “already halfway towards a world where algorithms run nearly everything. As their power intensifies, wealth will concentrate towards them. They will ensure the 1%-99% divide gets larger. If you’re not part of the class attached to algorithms, then you will struggle.”

Though he’s specifically referring to Wall Street here, algorithms allow the same concentration of industry influence in the tech world. The few entities that own the most powerful algorithms have control over enormous swaths of digital real estate — and this concentration can only increase.

There is pushback

As a society living in an era of “big data,” we understand that the algorithms companies use to separate the signal from the noise do have some benefits for the consumer. However, algorithms are also becoming the mathematical skirt these companies hide behind when their customers scrutinize how they use that data in their business practices.

This past June, during Facebook’s summer of discontent, the company manipulated the news feeds of 700,000 users by removing content associated with either positive or negative emotions. In the name of research, Facebook wanted to understand how these filters impacted users’ emotions and subsequent online activity. The outraged backlash over the invasiveness of this one experiment underscores the considerable influence Facebook and its algorithms wield — but also the considerable discomfort users feel about having their online experience be so nakedly manipulated.

And one of the most controversial factors changing Facebook’s news feed involves the increasing propagation of paid advertising. Facebook has to carefully balance the distribution of a friend’s status update with an ad: “Get 50% off all full language sets” (an actual ad I transposed after going to my Facebook news feed. Thanks Rosetta Stone!). This balancing act has hit a few snags as businesses like ours started to see a significant drop off in organic reach. You can read about the demise of our organic reach here. And guess what, it’s gotten worse. Facebook has plans to further diminish the reach of small businesses’ organic reach if they don’t pay to play.

Though it’s unlikely that Facebook is going to backtrack on any of this to placate a few angry users, it’s clear that most digital citizens would rather not cede control of their online experience to algorithms. They’re still hungry for real content that they have a chance of discovering organically — even though by now, “organic” may not mean much of anything.

Where Do Content Marketers Go From Here?

So how do we negotiate this brave new world of digital media run by emotionless algorithms that seem to change week to week without warning? Where does the “optimization” rat race end?

content_highway

Will our content cease to exist on the deserted information superhighway? (Photo Credit: Fabian, www.flickr.com)

There’s hope.

The best thing any company can do to improve their online presence is still to create great content. That’s not because the algorithms tell us so, it’s because that’s what people want. It’s what people have always wanted. With or without an algorithm, people are suckers for relatable, engaging content. They’ll find you if you give them a reason to and a way to.

As an inbound content marketer, I’m particularly interested in content’s role in business and the impact algorithms have on our clients and our business. There are no guarantees that what worked today will work tomorrow in your marketing (and in life, I guess). For companies, it’s all about creating easy channels for your fans, customers, and users to maintain a dialogue with your brand. If your brand vanished from the search engines and social media sites tomorrow due to an algorithm change, would you still have a way to get your content out?

If Google makes another change to its algorithm (which isn’t a questions of “if”, but “when”) and you’ve been condemned to the second page of Google search results (OH, THE HUMANITY!), you’d better make sure there are other ways fans and potential customers can find you. Great content will transcend an algorithm. If you’re able to capture consumers’ imagination and interest, they’ll come back (directly, instead of via Google, Facebook, or Twitter) and go out of their way to find you and keep you.

Without a crystal ball, preempting changes to an algorithm isn’t going to happen. The only way to cope with a schizophrenic digital marketing landscape, controlled by a few powerful companies, is vigilance, preparedness and truly interesting content.

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“Are the Writers Funny?” Your Questions. Answered.

We get great questions from interested customers about BlogMutt all the time. And although we’ve tried answering all of them on our site, our site could make getting answers easier (we’re working on that, BTW). I don’t presume every web visitor dutifully reads every line of text on our site. Hence this post.

I received a great email from a potential customer,  who had done his homework on us. And despite all his great research, he still had a lot of questions about what we do. Sure, I could point him to our voluminous FAQ page, but I’ve heard these questions before and thought I’d answer them in blog post form (appropriately) and share the answers with you.


Adding_ImagesWhat if I want to have a blog written about a certain picture? Can I upload a picture and say “Write a blog about this”?

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: If America Runs on Dunkin’, we run on keywords, which are the general themes or topics for posts. And for each keyword, you can upload a file and include an additional description called “Optional description…” to provide further explanation. In this example, you would simply enter the keyword that this image relates to, upload the picture, and include any additional information that would be helpful to the writer.


Will the writers read my blog before they start writing?

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: We’re one step ahead of you, which is why we request your blog URL as part of your profile. Context is key. If you can provide additional information about a keyword, do it. If you can submit information that would help a writer get a better sense of you, your company, and your tone, submitting your blog URL or links to other posts you’ve written will definitely help.


Light-Hearted_CorporateAre the writers funny?

Short answer: Funny is relative. For example, I thought “Saved by the Bell” was hilarious when I was 10…

Longer answer: We agree that humor helps make blogs more engaging and interesting. But everyone’s definition of “funny” varies (just ask Carrot Top).

There are a few ways to encourage writers to be a bit more humorous.

1. When creating an account, there’s a slider that lets you select the tone and type of blog you want. If you choose “Light-hearted” your posts won’t read like a corporate press release.

2. If you have a keyword that you want a post about, mention the type of humor you’re looking for in the “Optional description…” field (you can also include links to other posts that capture the tone you want).

3. If you get a writer that just nails the type of humor you’re looking for, make sure you give that writer the Apollo Theater treatment and show some love by giving positive feedback on the post. That will encourage him/her to come back and continue writing for you.


Edits_Feedback

If I want to offer long-form feedback to writers, am I able to interact with them? 

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: This is the second-most important piece (behind keywords) for successfully using BlogMutt. Whether you like, dislike or are indifferent about a post, feedback to writers is huge! And yes, you can give longer feedback, if needed. You can do this at the bottom of every post you see. Also, others writers can view your feedback on posts and use that information to improve subsequent posts. Writers get a better sense of what you like and don’t like from all the feedback you provide.

If a writer writes a great post for you, tell them. This writer is more likely to return and write for you in the future. We have many successful working partnerships between BlogMutt customers and writers because of this feedback loop.


Delivery_OptionsIf I take a blog post I like, can I simply cut and paste the post into WordPress?

Short answer: Yes, but it’s even easier than that.

Longer answer: When you receive a post, you can elect to accept, request edits, or reject it (and remember to always, always, always give feedback). If you accept the post, we make it super easy for WordPress users to send the post as a draft directly to their WordPress account. After logging into BlogMutt, simply select “Delivery Options” and enter your WordPress account information.

You can also deliver directly to HubSpot (if you are on the COS), or to any other service that can take posts via email.


When I accept a post, do I have to credit BlogMutt for writing it?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: Once you accept (purchase) a post, you have the exclusive rights to that original content and can use it wherever and however you like, including under your name. No strings attached.


You don’t have a sample blog post of my niche, why?

Short answer: There are a lot of niches.

Longer answer: But we do write for a ton of niche business customers and also try to mix in a bunch of sample posts on our blog. Unfortunately, there are business niches we just haven’t written a sample blog for yet. That doesn’t mean we can’t write about your niche. We have more than 5,000 writers with lots of experience capable of writing about your business. The best way to know if we can is by signing up. There’s no contract and you can cancel at any time.


Keyword_Phrase_TopicIf I have a blog idea, do I have to pare it down to a few keywords or can I say “Use this topic sentence as a thesis for this post?”

Short answer: You can do it either way.

Longer answer: Some customers elect to enter a specific keyword and include more context in the supplemental field called “Optional description…” (there’s that “Optional description” field again because it’s awesome and you should always use it) and other customers enter a topic or idea and expand on the topic in the “Optional description…” field. The most important thing is that your initial direction is clear (via keywords, a topic sentence or an idea) and you provide the writer with enough useful context and information to move forward.


Well, there you go! And if there’s a question that this post didn’t answer make sure to check out our FAQ page or contact us via Twitter or Facebook, or email us at: sales[at]blogmutt.com.

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Content Writing Offers You A Legitimate Opportunity To Work From Home

By Stephanie Bruce

For those seeking relief from their usual nine-to-five grind, content writing can offer you a legitimate opportunity to work from home. With so many writing niches, from business blogs to travel sites, content writing from home offers you a chance to explore your interests while making money.

Why Should I Work from Home? 

legitimate opportunity to work from homeLeaving behind a job that you have grown accustomed to can be a frightening and even paralyzing thought. Why should you leave the comfort of a 40-hour week, benefits package, and all the other perks involved with a company job?

The flexibility that comes from working out of your own home can certainly outweigh the risks. While it is true that working from home takes a lot of self-discipline and diligence, at the end of the day, the work is what you make of it. It is a small piece of you, and that alone is reason enough for many to leave their jobs and start working from home as a content writer.

Ctrip, a Chinese travel website, decided to offer their call-center employees the opportunity to work from home for nine months. At the end of the trial, the results were shocking: productivity significantly increased and turnover rates decreased. For those individuals with established social lives and who are able to motivate themselves, working from home can increase happiness, leading to a surge in productivity. While good news for companies, this is also good news for individuals looking to start their own business as a content writer. Less burnout and more productivity can lead to higher earnings and more career satisfaction.

What Is Content Writing? 

You may be asking yourself the obvious — what exactly is content writing? When you visit a company’s website or blog, what you are reading is their content. They have a specific audience in mind with one goal — offer informative but easy-to-read copy to their audience.

As a content writer, you are the most important connection that a company has to their clients. There is power behind words, and this becomes clear as more people read and respond to your writing.

How Can I Find Legitimate Opportunities? 

With increasing numbers of individuals choosing to work from their own home, whether they are self-employed or telecommuting, the internet is filled with tips and tricks of the trade. Whether you want to work for an established content writing company or build your own from the ground up, opportunities abound.

So, what have you go to lose? To learn more about becoming a content writer, check out our information page for writers.


 

Editor’s note: This blog is an example of the kind of writing you can get for your blog. The only thing that’s different is that it has the name of the writer. For your blog, you can say you wrote it. That’s fine with us. We’re happy mutts. Click here for more explanation of this series of posts.

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Blogging Tip: Informational Blogs Increase Sales

When a business adds informational blogs to their website, sales will almost certainly increase. How do we know that? Consider the following statistics from Marketing Strategy

  • Eighty-one percent of U.S. consumers trust advice and information from blogs
  • Sixty-one percent of U.S. consumers made a purchase based on a blog post.

When you think about it, consumers want to know that a business cares about their customers, and not just about the potential money a business could be making off those customers. Giving information and advice through blog posts — and not just selling a product or service — is one way a business can demonstrate caring.

So what does an informational blog post look like? We have an example below for you that gives advice for taking care of your violin if you live in a humid climate.


Taking Care Of Your Violin In Humid Climates

informational blogsYou can either take a short walk or listen to the weather reports for Nashville, Atlanta, and Charleston, and you will know if the humidity is over 48 percent. You can tell just by how hot you feel and how uncomfortable you feel.

Why does that matter? Most people think that 48 percent humidity is comfortable, and as that percentage gets higher, we tend to become less comfortable outdoors. We say it feels sticky because there is more moisture in the air.

The weather affects your violin in the same way. Here are some violin care tips to keep your instrument in the best shape possible in humid climates:

1. Just as you wouldn’t leave a child or pet in the car during hot humid days, don’t leave your violin in the car. Your violin needs that comfortable level of humidity, around  50 percent. If you leave your instrument in the hot car, the wood can be damaged, which will affect the sound and value of your violin.

2. You know that sticky feeling of summer? Your violin feels some of that, too. That is why sometimes, during the summer, or in humid climates, the pegs will stick. Don’t worry, though, it’s easy to fix, Do not try to force the pegs. Simply lubricate them, and they’ll turn more easily.

3. There is something about the heat that causes the darker rosin to become very sticky. So, just as you switch to lighter clothes in the summer, switch to a lighter rosin. That will help your bow be at it’s best in the humid months.

If you use these three summer violin care tips, you will make sure that your violin is in the best shape possible.


If you are wondering when you will get time to research and write these types of posts, we have a great answer for you. Just contact us and let’s talk about creating informational blogs for your business.

 


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WOOF Round-Up: Let Them Eat Cake! Or Meat.

Here is your WOOF round-up: your single stop for all the Words Of The Day From The Dictionaries Of The Day.

let them eat cake

Somebody should be eating cake.

“Let them eat cake” has become more than just a historical phrase from the French Revolution. It can be used to convey detachment from reality, or even disregard for the plights of others. As we learned from Tuesday’s WOOF, perhaps we shouldn’t even be blaming Marie Antoinette for this long-running bon mot.

In 1769, the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote a fanciful autobiography of his life, Confessions. In it, he includes many of his eyebrow-raising peccadillos, some of which only debatably happened. He definitely knew how to tell a good story. His penchant for storytelling, combined with his clear paranoia, makes his autobiography probably not very accurate. But it’s not wholly unreliable, either.

What does he have to say about Marie Antoinette? Nothing. In fact, he attributes the careless “let them eat cake” remark to an unnamed princess, but he writes this part of his Confessions several years before Marie Antoinette is supposed to have said it.

We don’t know who the unnamed princess is whom Rousseau mentions, but it’s likely that Marie Antoinette has been getting a bad rap erroneously these last few hundred years. Sure,  Madame Déficit, as some have called her, was extravagant during a time when most of the French were poor and struggling, and she certainly opposed the revolution, but she probably wasn’t the villain that history has made her out to be with that careless remark.

In fact, Alt.Usage.English cites the possible origin of the phrase from an ancient Chinese emperor, who upon learning that his people did not have enough rice, asked “Why don’t they eat meat?”

We don’t know who this emperor was, or what happened to him, but we do know that Marie Antoinette met her grisly end at the guillotine, so let’s give her a break on the indelicate remark.

**********

WOOFs December 8 – 12

Monday: Five Commandments Of Revolution — In the 1980s, Welch articulated five bedrock beliefs: know the business engine (how to deploy resources to create value), understand the human connection, never compromise on performance, be candid, and never be an autocratic bully. (2002 Jack Welch Lexicon Of Leadership)

Tuesday: “Let them eat cake (Qu’ ils mangent de la brioche).” — This remark, supposedly made by Marie Antoinette, is an old chestnut. In his 1778 Confessions, French philosopher Rousseau mentions that the quote was the saying of a great princess, several years before Marie Antoinette is supposed to have said it. (1989 They Never Said It)

Wednesday: Iceni — A British tribe who accepted Roman rule soon after invasion. When their king died in 61 AD, and the Romans cruelly mistreated his widow and daughters, the tribe revolted and destroyed Colchester, London, and St. Albans. (1994 Wordsworth Dictionary Of British History)

Thursday: Garbage — “When I was a graduate student, I was told that the largest monument ever built by a New World civilization was the Temple Of The Sun, constructed in Mexico around the time of Christ and occupying 30 million cubic feet of space. Durham Road Landfill near San Francisco is two mounds…each mound is seventy million cubic feet in volume, a total of nearly five Sun Temples.” (1999 The World According To Al Gore)

Friday: Cry For The Moon — To want or ask for something that is impossible to get. She’s looking for someone to offer her a glamorous, well-paid and undemanding job, but I think she’s crying for the moon. (1993 Wordsworth Dictionary Of Idioms)

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