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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Blogging For The Addiction-Recovery Field

By Aleta Switzer

Blogging doesn’t just consist of how-to tutorials and learning about the newest fashion trends. It is a way of reaching people who are sometimes hesitant to seek out information in the real world. Blogging for the addiction-recovery field is important for the people who need help and don’t know how to find it, or even where to start.

Below is a sample blog that touches on a delicate and important subject.


Addiction Doesn’t Only Affect The Addicted

Drug addiction is not a rare occurrence. If you’ve ever had a close friend or family member battle with a drug addiction, then you know how harmful it can be to everyone around her. It is difficult to watch someone you love go down a dangerous path and not accept your many efforts to help her change.

blogging for the addiction-recovery fieldThe truth is that she will not and cannot change until she is ready to do so. If she tries to mend her ways only to satisfy your constant nagging, then chances are pretty good that she will relapse. Or she may not really quit at all, but may become better at hiding it.

Going through drug addiction, for both the addicted and those around them, is a lot like experiencing the five stages of grief.

1. Denial

As hard as you deny that your loved one has a problem, she will deny it ten times harder. Typical things that an addict in denial might say is that the problem is being blown out of proportion, and that it’s not that big of a deal. She might say that she has the addiction under control. But unless they just do it out in the open, drug users tend to be very good at hiding their addictions and downplaying how much they are using.

2. Anger

Once you realize that your loved one does have a problem, you may be in disbelief that she would do this to herself. You may ask yourself how she could let the problem get so bad. You may fight with her, and let her know what a stupid choice she is making. You tell her that she should simply stop. The problem is that she can’t just stop. An addiction takes over a person. It has control over her at every waking moment. Your declaring that the addict is out-of-control will likely anger her, because in her mind, she is in complete control. This may cause her to isolate herself, so that she no longer has to listen to your angry words.

3. Bargaining

By now, you’ve researched the particular addiction your loved one is dealing with. You know it is beyond her control to put an end to her using without help. You would do anything to help: speak to a doctor with her, bring her to rehab and help pay for it, or even help her stay on track with an out-patient facility. Plus, you are willing to listen to any suggestions she may have. But what do you get? “If you really cared about me, you would just accept me for who I am.” In saying things like this, she is bargaining for your acceptance by pointing out what a bad person you are for wanting to change her. She might even suggest that if it really bothers you so much, she’ll use less: a compromise. She’ll offer anything, as long as she doesn’t have to quit.

4. Depression

At some point, you start to feel like you are sitting in a corner hitting your head against the wall. There doesn’t seem to be any solution. This is where you start to blame yourself. You think that you might’ve been able to help your loved one, if only you had paid more attention, and had caught the addiction in the beginning stages. Were you enabling her by looking the other way, believing that she was an adult capable of making her own decisions? You start to doubt your own ability to make rational decisions, and your self confidence sinks a little. In the mean time, the addict may become more detached and introverted, sinking further into her addiction, because she perceives everyone around her as abandoning her for no good reason.

5. Acceptance

There comes a point when you have to accept the fact that you will be unable to convince her that she needs help. Tough love is they only way to show the addict how serious the situation is. Let her know that she cannot, and will not be in your life as long as she is using.

She will accept one of two paths: either accept that (1) you will no longer be in her life, or (2) she has a problem that she needs to get help for. Path one usually means that she does not believe that she has a problem. She will try to convince you of this. You will have to stick to your threat to not be a part of her life.

Path two is tricky. Is she accepting help because she believes that she has a problem, or because she wants you to think that she believes you? Both reasonings will lead to treatment, but one leads to recovery and the other leads to feelings of resentment and a strong possibility for relapse.

Handling drug addiction is physically and emotionally draining for everyone involved. There are many specialized treatment centers that provide personalized plans to help clients eliminate their addictions while significantly minimizing the likelihood of a relapse. If you or someone you know may be battling addiction and needs guidance and assistance for substance abuse treatment, please reach out for help and support.


BlogMutt knows there are some subjects that are tender to the touch. Contact us today to be connected with sensitive and caring content writers who will spread your word of healing. Your blog could help save lives, and we want to be a part of that.

 

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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The Art Of Content Creation For Writers

As a writer and content creator, you aren’t expected to be the next Hemingway, but you are expected to be up-to-date, concise, and to-the-point.  Content creation is an art, one that not everyone can duplicate (and the reason many use content writing services). This is where your abilities as a writer come in.  If you have important ideas that are relevant to readers and you can write from different viewpoints, then you can make money writing for blog owners.

the art of content creationThe advantage of being a content creator versus a blog owner is that you can write for many different industries. As long as you believe in the topics, don’t mind a little research, and don’t mind ghostwriting, you can have a good time doing it. Of course, there are steps you should follow in order to convince the reader that the blog owner wrote the article, since it is her name going on the article, and not your name.

The first step for any article writing job is to research the topic. Regardless of how much you think you know about it, there is always something more to learn.  By researching currents trends in the industry, you’ll have new and relevant information to offer.  Do a few web searches on the given topic to decide the route you want to go.

The second step is to start the blog with an introduction on what you’ll be presenting.  Design a question based on what your article is about. This makes the rest of your article the answer to that question.  Make sure that you’re organized: each paragraph should be a single line of thought, and should be distinct and have relevant points.

The third step is to make sure that the information you are providing is verifiably true. Your authenticity is going to be in question because the reader wants the information from an expert.  If you include examples to back up your words, in the form of in-text links, then the reader will have the appropriate resources and  reasons to believe what you’re telling him.

Ultimately, your goal is to provide useful information to the reader.  Online readers like articles that are quick and to-the-point, so keep the fluff to a minimum.  Make sure your words are simple and concise (think Hemingway).

A short blog updated daily is better than a blog that the reader has to scroll through in order to read.  Remember, you don’t have to be verbose to be trustworthy. The average online reader gets bored quickly so use the KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) method, and the reader will be more appreciative.  For more about becoming a freelance content creator, you can check out BlogMutt’s writing opportunities.

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Blogging For Tax Accountants: How To Handle IRS Scams

Tax season is just a couple of months away. As the holidays are approaching, now is the perfect time for tax accountants to start marketing to potential new clients. Spreading awareness of your business ahead of time means that when the time comes for tax payers to file their taxes, they’ll have your business in the backs of their minds.

One way to increase your business’ visibility — both to potential customers and to web search engines — is through a business blog. Blogging about current tax-related topics positions you as a thought leader in the field. Here’s what a sample blog post by a tax accountant could look like.


 Tax Accounting Sample Post

When the Internal Revenue Service makes an announcement, taxpayers should listen. Take this piece of IRS tax news earlier this year, when the agency warned its audiences about a sophisticated phone scam that threatened to steal millions from taxpayers’ wallets.

What Happened

blogging for tax accountantsThis summer, taxpayers nationwide received phone calls from a number that appeared to be associated with the IRS on caller ID, threatening arrest for tax delinquency and demanding immediate payment. The IRS has fielded more than 90,000 complaints from taxpayers who received these types of phone calls.

About 1,000 recipients of the calls were scared into paying the so-called IRS representative. The scammers were sophisticated, successfully disguising their caller IDs to appear legitimate, and it is estimated that over $5 million has been stolen from taxpayers so far.

What The Scam Means For Taxpayers

Most importantly, the news of this scam underscores the importance of honesty. If you’re absolutely certain that you were honest about filing your tax return, the chances of falling for someone demanding payment for tax evasion decrease significantly

But even then, doubt may creep in. What if you missed something? In that case, let us help you familiarize yourself with how the IRS agency operates. You will never be contacted by phone first: a piece of mail will be your first notice. The IRS will also never insist on a specific payment, and will never threaten arrest.

We are now just a few months removed from the height of tax season, making this a prime opportunity for tax delinquency scams. When in doubt, always contact the IRS directly to find out whether a demand for payment was legitimate.


Blogging for tax accountants means educating your audience about the intricacies of your profession while subtly reminding them of your expertise in the subject. It’s a great way to get the word out about your business, while establishing yourself as a thought leader among your peers. And if you’re worried about being too busy to blog during tax season, allow us to help! Contact us to learn how BlogMutt can help you in your business endeavor.

 









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