Blogging For Dance Studios

blogging for dance studiosYou’ve dreamed of owning a successful dance studio. And now your dream has come true. Business is booming, and every afternoon, your studio is full of kids in leotards and tights, and the lobby is full of excited moms. You even have a growing competition team with lots of potential for years to come.

With all this growth, your responsibilities have increased. You still teach a few classes while managing the schedules of your other teachers. Most of your marketing comes through Facebook, which seems to be working pretty well to reach your existing clients. You’ve been trying to use Instagram more, but who has the time?

Perhaps you’ve recently updated your website, and there’s a placeholder to add a blog on the new site. A blog would sure help in getting communication out, but the stress of having to update it every week is too much. It’s no surprise that dance parents are full of questions about everything dance, and blogging for dance studios is the perfect way to get more information to them.

From stage makeup tips to healthy eating, there is no shortage of topics that can be covered via your blog.  Blogging not only helps get more information in the hands of your clients, but it can also boost hits to your website. Think about some of the blogs dance parents love to frequent, like Ballet Shoes and Bobby Pins. Some of the parents may even love Dance Parent Problems. One great blog post can be shared in a matter of seconds via social media, which drives even more traffic to your site.  A blog is a powerful tool, and a great way to enhance your business.

With our help, your blog might be someone’s new favorite site.  Please contact us for more information.

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Put CRM In Your Kit Of Small Business Tools

By Curt Smothers

Using a blog writing service means that you can get content on the topics you need. BlogMutt writers can tackle any topic, from social media to real estate, and anything else in between. Need a post on marketing? Your at-home jewelry business? Pet grooming? BlogMutt writers can do it. This is an example post about choosing customer resource/relations management (CRM) tools for small businesses.


 

Want to replace your Rolodex with state-of-the-art customer resource/relations management (CRM) tools? Maybe you threw out your Rolodex years ago and are trying to keep up with deep and wide spread sheets. Your e-mail contacts list may also be staggering under the weight of duplicated or inaccurate customer data. It may be time to upgrade your small business tools with CRM — and to think about Willy Loman.

CRM toolsWilly Loman, before his death as a salesman, had the right idea about customer management. Willy’s approach was simple. He employed a quintessential outreach, and nurturing and service after the sale. Unfortunately, Willy flamed out because he couldn’t keep up.

Would modern CRM tools have prolonged Willy’s career? In the Rolodex days of playwright Arthur Miller, today’s tools would certainly have cut down on all that travel.

Today the Internet has supplanted Willy’s network. The gossip and a beer with the guys were the Facebook and LinkedIn of the 1940s. The Cloud is where customer management tools work best, and it serves a wide range of customers and businesses.

Cloud customer management tools surpass your eclectic collection of spreadsheets and e-mail contact lists. They preserve and leverage customer data, preferences, and sales history.

According to Software Advice.com, the top four most recommended CRM systems are:

  • Salesforce.com: The top dog among Cloud-based CRM providers.
  • InfusionSoft: Ideal for small- and medium-sized companies.
  • NetSuite CRM+: Has a wide array of features to help increase sales as well as marketing and customer support.
  • Salesforce.com Service Cloud: Built on the Salesforce platform with a robust and user-friendly interface.

Today’s sales and customer management challenges might cause Willy Loman to turn over in his grave. How can anyone keep up with the competition and unlimited choices of the Internet? The boundaries of cyberspace are continually expanding.

CRM systems are the new sheriff in town. CRM systems are the all-in-one solutions to customer and sales tracking. They add marketing and analytics as a bonus. In CRM, “everything old is new again.” The difference is that you can do everything under the auspices of one Cloud web application or service. The provider does the heavy hauling. You just turn the key and get moving.


 

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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Shining A Spotlight On Blogging For Health Care

Competition for patients and insurance dollars gets tighter each year. If your practice is looking for painless ways to give your patient caseload a shot in the arm, look no further than professional blogging for health care. Here’s a sample post targeted to suit a clinic we imagined would be in the heart of Los Angeles, CA.


 

blogging for health careHollywood’s Sunset Strip is a fast-paced neighborhood where the workday morphs seamlessly into an exciting nightlife. It is simultaneously the center of the entertainment world and, to many, a workplace setting for all the people in the hotel, restaurant, retail, valet, parking, and nightclub businesses.

The 24/7 Spotlight

“The Strip” is always in the news spotlight, and bumping into celebrities is commonplace.

With the spotlight on 24/7, area businesses and their employees simply have got to be on their toes at all times. The Sunset Strip Business Association was formed to help ensure that this happens by “conceptualizing, developing, and implementing a targeted marketing campaign.”

And our clinic is right there, too, offering you the acute care services you need, when you need them.

Prevention And Acute Care, Sunset Strip Style

If you fall ill or become injured on the job, we get you back to work as quickly as possible. We also are able to partner with you and your employer to help keep you safe while on the job by tailoring a prevention campaign for your work site.

Customer Convenience And Quality Care

We emphasize both customer convenience and quality care.

We know that many of you have changing schedules and demanding jobs, so our clinic hours are designed to meet your needs. When missing work may not be an option, our clinic, with its extended hours, may be just the kind of place you need.

You don’t need an appointment to get your treatment started. Just walk right in. Our hours are convenient, no matter which shift you work.

The Sunset Strip Business Association also notes on its website, “Approximately 70% of the Association’s total assessment dollars are used for the increased public safety presence currently provided by Block-Block.” That’s good news. But if you do become injured, know that we have your back.

Our medical team offers the highest quality, state-of-the-art treatment for wounds and minor surgeries, acute care for short-term illnesses, and vaccinations (including flu shots) and lab services on site.

With the constant spotlight on “The Strip,” we want to do all we can to ensure that its businesses and employees shine, too.

How do you get out the word about your health care services? A number of BlogMutt writers have a background in health care and can tailor a post that’s sure to inject energy into your marketing plan.

Contact us to see how we can help your health care services get noticed.









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#WOOF Roundup – Arbuckles’ Roasted Coffees

Welcome to the weekly #WOOF roundup, a compilation of this week’s words of the day, from the dictionaries of the day.

woof dictionariesStarted in 1864, Arbuckles’ Roasted Coffees dominated the American coffee market for decades, particularly in the Western states.  Prior to the Civil War, all coffee beans were sold ‘green,’ and it was the customer’s responsibility to roast, grind, and brew his or her own cup of coffee.  Roasting is a difficult process on a domestic scale, and many consumers burnt their beans, which ruined the flavor of the coffee.  Brothers John and Charles Arbuckle were the first in the United States to sell roasted beans, which eliminated home-roasting, and their product was an instant success.

The Arbuckles were among the first marketers to have a collection scheme, where premium stamps clipped from coffee bags could be traded for various sundries such as handkerchiefs and razor blades.  The brand even became a vocabulary term on the range– an ‘arbuckle’ was an epithet for a greenhorn rancher, a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the ranch boss cashed in Arbuckles’ premium stamps to pay for the greenhorn’s services. Today, Arbuckles’ coffee has been replaced by Starbucks as the largest coffee roaster in the United States.  Though named for the Pequod’s chief mate, the Starbucks brand sounds like a subtle tribute to the Arbuckle brothers, who originally roasted ‘The Coffee that Won The West.’

Monday: Guhyakas – Literally “hidden beings.” Inferior divinities thought to live in caves, and attend upon Kuvera, the lord of wealth, and his hidden treasures.  From the 1903 Classical Dictionary Of Hindu Mythology And Religion, Geography, History, And Literature.

Tuesday:  A tip for writers! How to convey nervousness (e.g., Woody Allen) without using the word ‘said.’  From The ‘Said’ Book of 1948 from Rodale Press. This is an interesting book made up entirely of alternate ways to write that a person said something.

Wednesday:  Gangue – The nonmetalliferous or nonvaluable metalliferous minerals in the ore; veinstone or lode filling. The mineral associated with the ore in a vein.  From the 1957 Dictionary of Geological Terms.

Thursday:  Arbuckles’ – The brand of coffee so common on the range that most cowmen never knew there was any other kind.  From: Western Words, A Dictionary of the American West, 1968.

Friday:  Solar Wind – The stream of charged particles emitted by the sun as it constantly sheds a tiny fraction of its mass into interstellar space.  From The Dictionary of Scientific Literacy, 1992.

Have a great weekend!

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Attract Customers by Using a Business Writing Service – Sample Post

Using a business content writing service makes it easy to give prospects useful information and demonstrate your expertise. That way you’re more likely to convert those prospects into customers. Here’s a sample blog for direct marketing, but the approach works for any industry.


Direct Mail Teasers That Grab Attention

When it comes to direct marketing, what you put on the outside of your envelopes is just as important as the content you put inside. Take a look at a few answers to commonly asked questions about teasers.

envelope for a business writing service

What are teasers? Teasers refer to the copy on the outside of the envelope. Their purpose is to get your recipient to open the envelope and read your letter. Treat teasers like a headline. Make people want to see the story without giving away all the details. State the problem and suggest the solution is inside.

Do all mailings need them? The short answer is no. Teasers are great for acquisitions where you’re reaching out to people who have had no previous contact with your company. On the other hand, a teaser on a B2B mailing could make a receptionist screen your piece out as unwanted advertising. Existing customers may not need teasers if you have a strong relationship with them.

What about content? Teasers should be brief and persuasive. Use buzzwords like “free” and create a sense of urgency. Appeal to your reader’s self-interest. Sadly, humor tends to backfire. There’s too much room for misunderstanding when you’re using very few words and talking with people you don’t know. Of course, teasers don’t have to be all text. Add compelling images.

As always, testing is the best way to know if teasers are right for your campaign. Test different wording and using no teasers at all. To make it even better, teasers are usually an inexpensive element to compare.

For the highest quality service for your printing and direct mail needs, contact us. We love to cut costs and add value for our clients.


Editor’s note: This is a solid post, and helps me to understand more about direct mail marketing, something I know very little about. If I was shopping for those services, I’d enjoy reading this and then after reading it, I’d be more inclined to do business with the company that published this. That’s the beauty of blogging. — Scott









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What We Can Learn About Blogging for Small Business from “The Following”

by Ruhi Jiwani

“The Following” is an intense TV show starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy on Fox that has been renewed for a third season because of the intense interest from fans.

In the show, Purefoy plays a serial killer obsessed with the work of Edgar Allen Poe. Not only does this show testify to the power of writing, since all of Purefoy’s killings are colored by Poe’s works, it also attests to the power of the internet since Purefoy develops a following while he’s in jail by going on the internet.

blogging for small businessJoe Carroll’s Growth in Prison

When the show begins, Purefoy’s character, Joe Carroll, is in prison.  He was put there by Kevin Bacon’s character, Ryan Hardy, many years ago.  Although Hardy’s life has been stagnating on the outside, Carroll’s life has been developing by leaps and bounds on the inside.  He has been talking to people with psychopathic tendencies—people who have already killed others or are on the verge of killing others.

Joe Carroll’s Use of the Internet to Develop a Following

While he’s still in prison, Carroll sets up a website to recruit followers and communicates with them via email.  Some of them even come to visit him in prison because they’ve started considering him in the light of a mentor.  Carroll encourages many of them to bond with him and fulfill their need to kill at the same time.  He teaches them that they are actually setting souls free by killing.  Eventually, with the help of his followers, Carroll escapes from prison and establishes a cult.

Using the Internet To Develop Your Following

If a serial killer can successfully develop his small business just by starting a website and emailing back and forth on the internet, imagine what the internet can do for your small business, which is actually a legitimate concern!  Setting up a website, a blog, and social media pages can really help to spread the word about your product or service.

Blogging for Small Business: Ideas

You may not think that you have a lot to blog about, but if you sit down to think about it, you’ll find that there are many things related to your product or service that will interest your customers.  Just as an example, here are a few things you can blog about if you manufacture and sell paper cups and plates:

  • There are a number of games kids can play with your products.  You can tell customers about these.
  • You can suggest different recipes for items that will be served on the plates you manufacture.
  • If there are holidays coming up when people will be able to use your products, such as Halloween or Thanksgiving, you can give them a little history about these holidays and suggest different ways of saving time by using your product.
  • If you’re introducing a new line of plates and cups, you can blog about this.
  • If you’ve had someone new join your company, you can introduce them on your blog.

And if you just can’t think of anything to blog about, you can always hire a blog-writing service with a number of talented writers, each of whom has several interesting and creative ideas.

Expanding Your Demographic

Think back to Joe Carroll.  He managed to recruit a young woman who killed her mother (Emma Hill), a child murderer whose first kill was at 12 (Paul Torres), the Sheriff of a town who is also his chief administrator (Roderick) and a young man who has had murderous thoughts but has never actually killed anyone (Jacob Wells).  If a serial killer can attract this kind of following by tailoring his website to a number of different demographics, imagine what you can do with yours!

Editor’s note: This is an example post from a writer who loves to find the (admittedly sometimes absurd) connection between celebrities and blogging for small business. Her last was about Taylor Swift. It’s a little wacky to connect the two, but somehow she does it from her home office in New Jersey. (Maybe it’s because she lives closer to real celebrities than I do in Colorado.) Anyway, while it’s wacky, it shows how fun a business blog can be. There’s no need that every post be super educational, and it still has the right keywords in the right spots, so it still helps with SEO, etc. And real people love this kind of stuff. I’ve never seen the show, but I still love this post. — Scott









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Third Birthday for BlogMutt

Typically, the BlogMutt writers craft blog posts for this blog. Today, I’m actually writing it myself because it’s a big day here at BlogMutt. On this day three years ago we sent our first posts to paying customers.

We understand small businesses intimately for two reasons:

  1. We serve small businesses and the agencies that work for small business.
  2. We are a small business.

The stats are pretty clear that something like 40 percent of small businesses don’t live to see their third birthday.

We’ve seen up close that with a portion of our clients who’ve stopped using BlogMutt because they simply go out of business. (Luckily, it’s not the main reason customers stop using BlogMutt. The main reason they stop is that BlogMutt worked and they grew so much that they were able to hire a full-time marketer who can write the posts. It’s bittersweet when they “graduate” from BlogMutt, but we’re happy to see them grow!)

We here at BlogMutt are surviving, and more than that, we are thriving! We recently added another full-time staffer, Patrick. (He’s the one with the George Clooney vibe.) Courtney and Liz continue to do stellar work, and Wade and I continue to enjoy this thing that we created above a bar way back in the early part of the decade before anyone had heard of twerking. Miss those days.

BlogMutt staff on third anniversary

Scott, Patrick, Courtney, Liz and Wade in front of our Boulder office. (Photo by Mariano Oreamuno.)

Anyway, we will be hiring at least two more people in the coming couple of months, and our group of writers continues to grow. I’m convinced we have the greatest group of writers anywhere on the ‘net.

Interestingly, three years ago today, we sent posts to two customers. Those two customers remain with us to this day. Now we sell thousands of blog posts every month, but each one is as special as those first two blog posts.

We have customers all over the world, yet each and every post that we send out is crafted by a US writer, to be just right for the blog of each individual customer. Doing that at scale is something Wade and I dreamed about three years ago, and now it’s really happening.

The landscape of tools that businesses can use to market themselves grows daily, but there’s one thing that software just can’t do, and that’s write a blog post.

We’ve had a great time writing thousands of blog posts — one at a time — for three years now, and we look forward doing more of that for many years to come.

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Four Stellar Reasons To Work From Home With BlogMutt

work from home opportunityAre you looking for ways to make extra money online?  Maybe you have a nine-to-five day job, but you still can’t seem to make ends meet. You need extra income.

Or maybe you’re secure, but you want to transition from full-time at the office to part-time, so you can spend more time with your kids as they grow up.  You might even be a stay-at-home mom looking to help out on family bills with some extra cash.

Whatever the reason, congratulations on finding BlogMutt!  We offer you the ability to work from home by writing articles.  Our clients have blogs, and you write articles for the blogs you choose.  You get paid when one of your articles is purchased by the customer.

Sound good? Here’s why it’s even better:

1.  BlogMutt Is A Legitimate Work-From-Home Opportunity

In your search for work-at-home jobs, you’ve probably discovered how many online scams there are out there.  It’s easy to get discouraged and mistakenly think that there are no online jobs that actually pay.  But BlogMutt is a legitimate work-at-home opportunity, so you don’t need to worry about falling for an online scam.

2.  BlogMutt Fits Into Your Lifestyle

You can work whenever you want and at your own pace.  Do as few or as many articles as you like—it’s all up to you.  That being said, working for BlogMutt will integrate perfectly into any lifestyle.  You can work when the kids are at school or in the middle of the night if that’s what suits you.

3.  No Credentials Are Required

We don’t require any special credentials or degrees of our workers.  All you have to do is fill out our application and make sure that we can verify that you’re a real person. Once we have accepted you, feel free to begin working immediately!

4.  Invoice Whenever You Like

Something else our writers love is getting to invoice us whenever they desire.  After you invoice, you can expect payment every Monday—it’s as simple as that!

We hope you’ll consider writing for us. Check out the application if this sounds appealing to you.  We look forward to working with you!

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WOOF Round-Up: Cosmetics In The Ancient World

Welcome to your weekly WOOF round-up, wherein we compile all of our words from the day, from the dictionaries of the day, into one handy compendium for your edification and pleasure.

nefertiti

Nefertiti rocked the black eye paint in ca. 1370 BCE Egypt.

We learned a little bit about eye makeup in the Old Testament, and that it wasn’t looked upon favorably. In fact, we still use the term Jezebel, who is mentioned as having painted her face, as both a contemptuous appellation for a woman who is immoral, and as a friendly, jocular nickname for a woman who is not immoral, but who is pleasingly outrageous, only considered immoral by outdated standards.

Today, a person who would like to paint her eyes and brows can buy her cosmetics from Sephora. But where did ancient makeup come from?

Both ancient Egyptian men and women used kohl, a black compound made from a combination of materials, including lead, which was applied to the eyes with a stick (should I be looking forward to Sephora’s “Stick Application” line next season?).  Both ancient Greek men and women used olive oil on their skin, and women mixed charcoal with olive oil for their eye makeup. They also used rouge and foundation.

But it wasn’t just the Old Testament writers who took umbrage with women in makeup. Xenophon’s Socrates, in the “Oeconomicus” (on household economics), argues against a wife who:

“…covered her face with white lead, so that she would seem to have a paler complexion than she really had, and put on thick rouge, so that her cheeks would seem redder than in reality, and high boots, so that she would seem taller than she naturally was.” 

Meretricious Jezebel!

The woman’s husband has a chat with her, and in the end, Socrates, the husband, and the wife all agree that it’s deceitful for the woman to wear makeup (gee, another charge of deceit against a woman in the ancient world. Thanks, Eve!):

You might successfully fool someone outside the household by this kind of deception, but insiders always get caught when they try to deceive one another. For they can be found out when they get up in the morning before they have time to prepare or they are caught out by sweat or put to the test by tears and exposed completely by washing.”

To sum up everything, Socrates concludes, “Women who sit around pretentiously ask to be categorized with the women who use make-up and deceit.”

While we have different standards for what is considered deceit in the modern world, are there any conventions you can think of that are similar today? Perhaps some criticize people who opt to have plastic surgery because it’s unnatural, in the same way that Socrates and the Old Testament brethren stodgily censured cosmetic makeup in the ancient world.

Monday: Überbrettl — Cabaret, floor show, night club (German). (1950 Dictionary Of Foreign Words And Phrases)

Tuesday: Lobster Trick — In journalism, skeleton staff which works the shift taking in late night and early morning hours, after the last edition has gone out. Also called “dog watch,” “graveyard shift,” and “night side. (1982 Longman Dictionary Of Mass Media & Communications)

Wednesday: Laura — The name for a monastery where the monks live in separate hermitages around the church. From the Greek Λαύρα, meaning  “passageway.” (1965 Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary)

Thursday: Eye paint — Black eye makeup which was applied to the lashes and brows to make the eye more pronounced and protect against the glare of the sun. In each of the Old Testament passages where it occurs, the person using it is to be censured (e.g., Judah, personified as a harlot, was seen wishing to appear beautiful to her lovers, and “enlarge” the “eyes with paint.”) (1987 Eerdmans Bible Dictionary)

Friday: Cicerone — A guide who explains the antiquities and chief features of a place. From the Latin orator, Cicero, whose eloquence the guides were thought to have had. (1935 Webster’s Daily Use Dictionary)

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Hot Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

Marketing is an essential part of any business plan or strategy.  Without a marketing plan in place, how will people know about your business? Let’s look at some tips to help you improve your small business marketing skills.

marketing tips for small businesses1.  Do Freebies.

Generally, disposable income is limited and potential customers are more likely to hold onto it if they aren’t familiar with your brand and services.  No one likes to spend money to try something new and have it disappoint them.  Take away that anxiety and let people have free samples or trials of your products.  This is a great way to get people through the door so that they can get a sense of what your business offers.  And if they really like your services, they will probably keep coming back as a loyal customer.

2.  Ask For Referrals. 

Your current customers can be a great help to you.  Ask them to refer you to friends, family, and other people they know.  If you’ve pleased your customers with great service, they’ll be more than happy to recommend you.  Don’t worry about it being awkward or pushy to ask. Most people actually enjoy helping you since you provided them with a great product or service.

3.  Get Your Networking On.

Businesses need to network to gain long-term success.  Many business owners have a misunderstanding about networking.  They expect immediate gains and when that doesn’t happen, they stop networking and say it doesn’t work.  But you have to be patient.  Networking isn’t a quick fix. It’s a strategy that works in the long run and will keep you afloat in the future with a steady stream of customers.  The key to networking is to get involved in your community and area.  Don’t focus on making sales while you network, just relax and enjoy the company of others.  Get to know people, ask questions, and help with community functions.  This will give you a solid reputation and build a brand of trust for your business.

4.  Maintain A Blog.

Try your hand at blogging—it’s very much like online networking.  Blogging can help customers learn more about your brand and stay up to date on your products and services.  Often, people will go online first when they hear about a new business that interests them.  If you have a blog, those customers will have a chance to hear directly about your products and will most likely want to try your services once they get more information.  Blogging is also an excellent way to establish your brand as a leader and authority in your field, as it showcases your expertise and provides customers with value.

Don’t neglect your small business marketing plan.  Getting the word out about your services will connect you to people who need and enjoy your business—people who are more than happy to support you.  Contact us if you have any questions and let us know if you need help with your blog.  We’d be happy to help you get started!










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