For The 15,976 Who Weren’t Picked By Amtrak

Last December, Amtrak announced open applications for its residency program. Through the program, selected applicants would ride Amtrak to destinations of their choosing, and during their tenure, would write. Almost immediately, seemingly every amateur and professional writer in the world received phone calls from all of their family and friends, informing them of this exciting opportunity, and demanding that they apply.

And they did apply — in droves. Out of 16,000 applications, Amtrak chose 24 writers for amtrakthe program. That means that literally thousands of writers found themselves contemplating new vistas of literary rejection. But it’s not like rejection is anything new to the writer. But still, sometimes the sting cuts deeper than anticipated.

For the 15,976 of you who weren’t picked by Amtrak, we offer the following humble advice:

  1. Write every day. In his book Education of a Wandering Man, bestselling author Louis L’Amour encourages writers to write something every day. Coming from a man who produced over a hundred published works during his lifetime, this advice seems to carry some weight. Whether you journal, add to an ongoing work of fiction, plan your memoirs, or produce freelance articles, be sure to write every day.
  2. Join a critique group. At some point, every writer has to let someone besides his mother and his best friends critique his work. Joining a writer’s critique group provides a safe space and allows opportunities to gain helpful insights and glean feedback from others who are sharing the same struggle.
  3. Experiment with new forms. If your novel-writing attempts always seem to start strong but then peter out around the 5,000-word mark, perhaps it would be wise to try your hand at short stories. If you like to write but have difficulties plotting creatively, perhaps narrative nonfiction may be right for you.

One of the most lucrative avenues of writing self-improvement is to spend some time working for a content-writing company. Not only will you have the chance to write about something different every day, but you will also be able to learn to take criticism lightly, face rejection without dying, and make requested edits with cheerful quickness — three traits absolutely required of all writers.

Looking to get paid to expand your writing horizons? Please feel free to apply as a writer with us.

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Blogging For Contractors: Be Creative!

The best way to attract a new customer is to give them useful and timely information that caters to his specific interests and needs. Blogging for contractors is a great way to improve your company’s online presence while reaching your target market. Below is one example of a creative and helpful blog entry, that gives the reader DIY information. Informative and useful posts are sure to catch a customer’s eye.


 Interior Window Washing 101: Simple Tricks To Get It Done

Let’s face it, window washing isn’t the most fun activity, but it has to be done. Clean blogging for contractorswindows let in more light, and they look great, too. These simple tricks will help you get the job done quickly and inexpensively. Plus, your windows will be so clean that your friends and family will wonder if the windows are even closed.

Window Cleaning Solvent

First of all, let’s dispel the myth that you need to buy an expensive window washing spray to get your windows really clean. The fact is, you can make a window cleaner better than anything you can buy. Simply follow the recipe below to prepare your own powerful and streak-free cleaner.

  • Start with a clean spray bottle. You can purchase an inexpensive spray bottle at a local discount store for a couple dollars. Alternatively, recycle an empty window cleaner bottle (you can’t beat free!). As long as it’s clean, it works.
  • Use isopropyl rubbing alcohol. This key ingredient helps the windows dry quickly, which helps reduce streaking.
  • Use dish detergent. Just a drop or two is all that’s needed to break the surface tension of the water and get between the dirt and the window.
  • Use white vinegar. Not only is vinegar good on salads, it’s also excellent on windows. This is where the true cleaning power of your window washing solution is going to come from.
  • Use distilled water. You can use tap water, but using distilled water will prevent any buildup of minerals. Using distilled water will also help keep your windows cleaner for longer.

Now that you have your ingredients together:

Mix your ingredients.You’ll want to add just a drop or two of the dish detergent to your spray bottle, but no more. Next, add about a teaspoon or so of the rubbing alcohol. Be sure to do this away from any open flame and never while smoking.

Next, add about half a cup of the white vinegar, then fill the rest of your bottle with the distilled water. Replace the spray cap and shake the bottle vigorously until it’s mixed. If you like, you could even add a drop or two of blue food coloring to make it look just like store-bought window cleaner.

Clean The Windows

The best way to avoid the lint left behind from using paper towels or rags, is to use newspaper or coffee filters for a lint-free shine. Although newspaper may leave a little of the ink on your hands, it’s easy to wash off when you’re finished. Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll be recycling.

You should perform a thorough interior window cleaning at least once every season. It’s a good idea, though, to touch up your windows in-between cleanings. For that, use a clean and dry chalkboard eraser. It does an amazing job of removing lint and dust.

All in all, washing windows isn’t as hard as most people think. These simple tips and tricks from the pros will help you get it done so you can get back to doing the things you really enjoy.

As you’re cleaning your windows, you may notice that some may be in need of repair or replacement this season. Contact us for a free estimates. One of our professionals will be happy to help you.


With the creativity and talent of our professional writers, BlogMutt can help service contractors capture the attention of homeowners. Contact us today to find out how you can continue to grow your business and maintain a strong and professional online presence.









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#WOOF Round-Up: Bibliophilia!

This dictionary monolith is just a small portion of our dictionary collection here at BlogMutt.

This dictionary monolith is just a small portion of our dictionary collection here at BlogMutt.

This is your weekly #WOOF Round-Up, in which you will find a word of the day for each day of the work week, from one of our fabulous dictionaries of the day. Use these words to collect writing and usage tips.

Did you demur in conversation about going to the movies tonight, or did you hesitate?

Isn’t there a better way to say that you’re not a morning person? Of course there is! It’s not that you don’t like to get up early, it’s just that you’re not matutinal.

At BlogMutt, we’re all writers, so we take pleasure in choosing the right word for the right occasion. Do you ever pick up a dictionary or a thesaurus and read through it, just to learn new words?

We do, too! BlogMutt HQ proudly houses a portion of Scott Yates’ awesome dictionary collection, for perusing and researching words. Do you have a favorite dictionary you like to go to? We took an off-the-cuff office poll, and found that Scott prefers The American Heritage Dictionary, while Grace and Courtney like to use the Oxford English Dictionary.

If you’re a writer, let us know what your go-to dictionary is, especially if it’s an online one.


 

Monday: Demur (1917 Crabb’s English Synonymes) — To pause. From Latin demorari, to keep back. Demurring is a matter of prudence from doubt or difficulty. It is different from hesitation, which comes from an undecided state of mind.

Tuesday: Lilith (1987 Eerdman’s Bible Dictionary) — According to rabbinical tradition, the first wife of Adam who left him because she was not granted full equality.

Wednesday: Superman (1987 Encyclopedia Of Pop Culture) — Based on the hero of the sci-fi novel, Gladiator, Superman is a friendly being from another planet, who uses his power to assist humanity. In 1938, Detective Comics (DC) bought the Superman idea for $130. Before Superman was famous, the name was generally associated with German racism, and Nietzsche’s Übermensch (“over-man” or “beyond man”).

Thursday: In the morning; early (1977 Bernstein’s Reverse Dictionary) — Matutinal.

Friday: Flosculus (1971 Dictionary Of Word Roots And Combining Forms) — Little flower (Latin).

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Finding The Right Warehouse For Your Business Needs: An Example Post

Every business can greatly expand their web presence with content that is custom written to speak to its clients’ interests. The best way to do this is by blogging for B2B markets. The following is an example post of an informative blog entry that a business serving potential small commercial clients would add to its website.


 

Is A Public Warehouse Right For Your Small Business?

Sometimes, trying to find the right solutions for your new business can make you feel lost at sea.  We’ll throw you a lifeline and guide you towards finding the right warehousing solutions that work for your business needs. No matter what kind of business you are in, if you need warehouse space, you should consider using a public warehouse for your products for a couple of reasons.

warehouse business needsFlexible Accommodations

Public warehouses are set up in such a way as to allow a business only to pay for what is used. Say you have 100 pallets of product to store this month. You’ll only be charged for those 100 pallets, and no more. However, when the season changes or your business grows, you may need more space. A public warehouse will be able to accommodate your needs so that your business can continue to grow.

Additionally, public warehouses are usually set up to handle on-demand storage. So, if you need less storage for a month or even a whole season, there’s no need to pay for the space. However, with some warehouses, you may need to pay a small retainer so that they keep your account active for your off-season.

The Right Kind Of Storage

Many public warehouses offer a variety of facilities including climate-controlled units. This is beneficial to businesses that need more than one type of storage for different products. Some storage units are suitable for goods like frozen foods, another warehouse will be set up to handle cold storage for food and other goods. Other facilities are better suited for storing non-perishable food products in an ambient temperature facility.

Perhaps your company doesn’t deal in food goods. The best public warehouse providers will also be able to accommodate products like bundles, rolls, foliage, machinery, and other equipment. Very often these types of facilities are used for pallets full of product. There is a myriad of other types of products that can be stored until shipped to your distribution points, wholesale, or retail outlets.

Storage On Demand

As you can see from these examples, public warehouse spaces are a blessing for new businesses that need additional space for product storage. Like many businesses, you may not have the room for expansion, or the capital available to add to your current facility. With a public warehouse, your business can rise to meet your market demand, control costs and grow, all at the same time.

For more information about how public warehouse space can help your business, contact us. We will be more than happy to help you find the perfect warehouse solutions.


With the diverse talent of our writers, BlogMutt can help you capture the attention of your target audience with interesting and helpful information. Contact us today to find out how you can grow and maintain a strong and professional online presence.










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B2B Content-Marketing Trends For 2015

More and more companies are beginning to understand that traditional advertising, such as television, radio, and website banner ads are easy for consumers to ignore. Since these traditional marketing techniques so easily interrupt the activity in which the consumer is engaged, those ads become little more than annoyances to the consumer. Content marketing, on the other hand,  grabs the attentions of those people who are actively seeking information, as long as that information is relevant and genuinely helpful. If the consumer find what she needs, she will make her way into the sales funnel by her own accord.

content marketing trends

Content creation is no longer just a burgeoning trend. It has become necessary for all businesses, regardless of industry.

There’s a lot of talk about content marketing these days, and just about everybody’s doing it, from the largest of corporations to the tiniest of small businesses. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, in their 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America, 93 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing. Following are some other interesting statistics gathered from the report:

Increased Content Creation

Marketing professionals who understand how important content is, are making sure that they stay ahead of the competition. Consistently creating new content is a priority for roughly 78 percent of the top B2B marketers who, according to the CMI report, are creating more content than a year ago. The report also goes on to say that only 57 percent of the less successful marketing peers are doing the same. This trend is likely to continue well into 2015 and beyond.

Spending On Content Marketing

The average B2B company will spend around 30 percent of its marketing budget on content marketing in the coming year, but the best companies will spend a little bit more, right around 39 percent. Furthermore, 52 percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. The reason for this, according to Kapost, is that the ROI or return on investment for content marketing produces three times more leads than other marketing channels.

Content-Marketing Challenges

Being prolific in producing content as well as creating quality content that engages potential customers are two challenges facing companies today. Finding the time for content creation is also a problem for roughly 69 percent of businesses. No matter the size of the company, the answer to both of these dilemmas is outsourcing at least part of the work. CMI says that, currently, 64 percent of companies who utilize content marketing outsource the writing, 54 percent outsource design and 22 percent outsource content distribution and syndication. In future months, the number companies outsourcing content creation, management, and distribution is expected to continue to increase.

In today’s content-hungry world, there is no substitute for information that solves a problem, gives advice, or adds some value to the reader’s experience. In order to stay competitive and capture a larger share of the information marketplace, a company must be in the content-creation business, no matter what product or service they sell.

If you’d like to learn more about content marketing and how you can benefit from outsourcing, contact us. We have content-creation solutions that fit any size business in any niche market.










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Why The Competition Is Outsourcing Its Content Marketing Operations

In a 2014 content marketing study, it was discovered that B2B-oriented marketing platforms are increasing their budgets to provide high-quality blog content. This demand for high-value content has led to a marked increase in the outsourcing of content creation.

content marketing

A smart content-marketing strategy that includes dedicated blogging will lead to an increase in both traffic and sales.

The Modern B2B World Is Hungry for Content

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of business-oriented marketing firms are allocating a greater portion of their marketing budgets towards content marketing in the upcoming 12 months. Research goes on to justify this influx of demand by reporting that 90 percent of companies have blogs and are utilizing the blogs as a strategic resource in demand generation. The blogs with good content marketing strategies gain more traffic, increased sales, and even become thought leaders in their industry.

While it was generally considered standard practice to have a small in-house team to generate content, companies utilizing such a business model in the modern content paradigm are finding themselves left behind by competition that is willing to outsource and thereby publish more targeted content. Data goes one to show how 68 percent of companies surveyed had outsourced some of their content development needs in the past 12 months of operation.

The Demand For Content Solutions Is Forecast To Increase In The Next Year

Fifty-one percent of marketing firms and company advertising divisions reported that they are planning to outsource demand generation, and 27 percent of those reported that they planned to outsource their content writing. Many of those choosing to do this have encountered roadblocks, as coordinating content strategy and demand generation can be challenging when operating with two separate third-party solutions.

Overcoming the difficulties associated with outsourcing content strategy and creation are companies like BlogMutt, a one-stop solution that provides articles written on a weekly basis to stay ahead of the competition. One of our hundreds of talented writers will create fresh, niche-specific, and brand-driven content pieces for your company’s blog. Contact us today and watch your visibility and authority grow, as we work like a dog to fill up your blog.










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HubSpot Is Doing The Right Thing, But Can’t Tell You

I got a lovely personal email this morning from none other than Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot. (OK, maybe it wasn’t too personal, as it went out to all BlogMutt staff with a HubSpot account, and all the other agency partners who work with HubSpot.)

The email started with what everyone knows, that HubSpot is going public. The whole “marketing automation” world is absolutely exploding. Marketo already went public, Eloqua was purchased by Oracle, Pardot/Exact Target was purchased by Salesforce. SilverPop was acquired by IBM. There are tons of companies in this space, and for the most part they are all growing like crazy because people are figuring out that the old style of advertising is withering.

So, what was the heart of Brian’s note to me?

He said that if I wanted to, I could purchase shares of HubSpot before the IPO. Now, I will say right here that I am not a securities lawyer, and it’s clear that this email had been carefully combed over by securities lawyers. It even said:

“Should you choose to forward this email to your employees, you must do so without changes, in precisely this form (only by email, so hyperlink to the prospectus is active, and only to US residents).”

Clearly Brian and everyone at HubSpot is working under some pretty strict rules. I don’t work for HubSpot, however, and I have not talked to anyone at HubSpot about this post. Also, I’m an American and I have First Amendment rights, so I can say whatever I want!

(Just as an aside, my personal opinion is that the SEC rules are in serious need of updating. Remember when Reed Hastings, CEO of NetFlix, got in trouble with the SEC for making a “private” disclosure on his Facebook page? Nevermind that he had 244,000 followers. Nevermind that many of his followers are reporters. And nevermind that it also wasn’t even really news, just a vanity metric. He was right when he said making the “disclosure” in an obscure form to the SEC is way less public than putting it on Facebook.)

I wish that HubSpot could talk about what it is doing publicly, because what the company is doing is a great thing, and I know it must not have been easy. I know, because I did a similar thing.

What HubSpot is essentially doing is saying that the agencies who work with HubSpot have been a part of the success of the company, and so if the market rewards that success, the agencies should share in that.

We came to a similar realization a while back. We realized that the writers who create posts for BlogMutt customers are a huge part of our success, and if we get acquired someday we want them to share in our success, too. So we created “Writer Shares” and made history as the first crowdsourcing company to ever give any kind of equity in the company to members of the crowd.

It wasn’t easy. Securities laws are antiquated, so we had to thread the needle very carefully, but it was worth it. Now we have all the paperwork done to issue those special shares to writers as soon as they hit a certain level within our internal ranking system. When a writer gets to that level, we send them the paperwork, and a certificate. We’ve done that 53 times now, and it’s a great day every single time.

So kudos to Brian and all the team at HubSpot for doing that work behind the scenes, and recognizing that sharing success is a great way to help build on success.

-Scott

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Blogging For Your Pet Business: Three Example Posts

Potential customers often ask us if our writers will really be interested in writing for their industry, or if they’ll get enough quality posts for their blog. When it comes to blogging for the pet industry, we can answer that question with a resounding “Yes!” Our large and diverse pool of writers is capable of providing content on virtually any topic, but the pet categories are often the most popular. The three posts below are examples of the content you can expect to receive for your pet-related business blog, along with introductions by the writers telling you how blogging can help you gain customers in your niche.


Example #1: Blogging For Veterinary Practices

pet business blog writing service example post

Promoting veterinary medicine plays a vital role in drawing attention to pet health care. However, veterinary practices often find themselves struggling to keep their websites and blogs current. Due to an abundance of medical information, it is imperative to maintain a strong online presence for both current and potential clients. As one of the biggest marketing services for veterinarians, blogging can easily win a practice multiple clients from one quality post.

A veterinary-services blog post like the one below can easily draw pet owners to a specific veterinary hospital.

Choosing The Right Veterinary Practice For Your Pet

Choosing the right doctor can sometimes be overwhelming for pet-parents. By following a few simple guidelines, narrowing down the best veterinarian can be done easily and without compromise.

Listening And Questioning

Discussions with a veterinarian can be simple or complex. Providing accuracy about a pet’s symptoms can sometimes be difficult for the pet owner, especially when confused or frightened. A good veterinarian will listen to the client and ask questions for accuracy. Understanding the pet’s current symptoms is key to making a diagnosis and activating treatments. A quality doctor will make sure that he has all of the pertinent details prior to treating the pet.

Knowledge And Attention

Veterinarians are expected to have a wealth of information about multiple species, and clients depend on this knowledge. A good veterinarian will be well versed in his field. He will be able to explain easily any possible causes of illness and treat those illnesses with conviction. The doctor will also be up-to-date on the changes in veterinary medicine, and be ready to make a referral to a specialist, if needed. In addition, a committed and caring veterinarian will be honest when facing the unknown, yet strive to make progress with the situation.

Lastly, but not least, a good veterinarian will make sure that the pet is not suffering.

Relationship With The Animal

Most importantly, a veterinarian will make an effort to help the animal feel comfortable and safe. While some pets will never feel comfortable in a doctor’s office, the time and effort taken with the animal will prove the doctor’s concern for the pet’s well-being. In turn, it will reassure the pet owner that he has chosen the best veterinarian for his pet.

We’re Here For Our Clients And Our Patients

Should you find yourself concerned and uncertain about your pet’s health, know that our doctors and staff are here to help. Our dedication to the well-being of animals prompts us to do our very best for everyone involved. We are glad to answer any questions or to assist your beloved friend back to good health. Simply contact us for more information, or to make an appointment. We commit to making your pet’s life a better one.


Example #2: Blogging For Pet-Boarding Facilitiesblogging for pets

Quality blog posts for pet-boarding facilities need to create trust in the company and promote the company’s services. This blog example post for a pet-boarding business demonstrates how to be informative while still promoting the services of the business. With a post like this, you can help clients understand the importance of choosing a good facility and illustrate that your company is one of the best.

Before Choosing A Boarding Facility

Pet boarding businesses are all different, which can make choosing one difficult. Making the right choice requires a lot of research to be sure that you are leaving your pet with someone you trust. With just a few simple steps, you and your pet can both enjoy your time away from home.

Do Online Research

Find out which boarding facilities are available in your community. Then check out their websites and social media pages. Try to find reviews on the facilities. Once you have finished all of your research, you should be able to find a few places that you would consider. Then you can move on to the next step.

Tour The Facility

Most reputable boarding businesses will be willing to let you take a tour of the facility with or without a scheduled appointment. If a business tells you that you cannot tour during their open hours unless you have an appointment, they may be hiding something.

Find Out Their Schedules

All pet-boarding facilities handle the animals differently. Some places keep the animals in a room where they can go in and out of the building on their own accords, while others keep pets indoors, but take them out to play with the other animals regularly. Ask if and how often your pet will be let out of its room or cag,e and what time they normally do feedings.

Ask Questions

Don’t feel guilty or embarrassed about asking a lot of questions. Your pet is important to you, and you don’t want to leave him somewhere that won’t take the best care of him. You should ask about the facility’s handling of medicine, and whether there is always a vigilant staff member at the facility.

Choose A Place And Make A Reservation

Once you decide which facility is right for you, make a reservation. Many boarding businesses fill up quickly, especially around the holidays, so try to decide early. You don’t want to find the perfect place and then not be able to get a reservation for when you need to leave.

Your pet is a part of your family, so you want to find a company that you trust to take care of him. Then, you can relax and feel at ease that your pet is enjoying his vacation just as much as you are enjoying yours. Please contact us, or stop by for a tour to find out if our facility is the right choice for you.


Example #3: Informative Blogging For Pet Businesses

With more and more pet owners turning to the web for useful and reliable information, pet experts and knowledgeable bloggers are in high demand.  In the information age of technology, knowing where to look for answers to everyday issues is more important than ever, and potential customers and information seekers are always looking for reliable information fast.

The following example will help to drive traffic to your blog. Here, potential clientele will find the information they’re actively looking for, and will be exposed to your brand and your company.  With blogging reaching an all-time high, having reliable and useful information can increase your pet-business customer base, and gain you a loyal blog following.

blogging for your pet businessFinding A Pet-Friendly Apartment: Dos and Don’ts

Finding the perfect apartment that fits your budget, your location, and your living situation can be a sticky process — especially when you have one or more pets looking to move with you.  Pets are often essential parts of the family, and leaving them behind or giving them up is often simply not an option.  Renting a living space with furry friends can be a challenge, and many apartment communities have restrictions, additional fees and deposits, and special requirements when it comes to moving your favorite pet into your new pad.

Apartments and pets don’t seem to mix together well when people are on the search for a new rental home.  Fortunately, knowing what to look for and what to ask when it comes to a new rental is not as hard as it may initially seem.

The biggest advice that most pet owners and pet societies have to offer is that honesty truly is the best policy.  Don’t sign a new lease agreement and “forget” to mention that you have a dog or a cat.  In many instances, lying about a pet can be cause for eviction, or you may be pressed to remove the pet from the residence and find it an alternative home.  This is usually heartbreaking for pets and their owners alike.  The key is to not put yourself in a potentially sticky situation. Disclose your pets upfront, even if it means forking over an extra pet deposit.

This advice goes for bringing new pet additions into an already established home, as well.  If you’re thinking about getting a new dog or cat, talk it over with your leasing office first.  Don’t assume that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.  Many apartment complexes have very stringent pet policies that vary from “no pets allowed” to a limit on the number of pets individual renters may have.

If you’re having a hard time locating a pet friendly rental property, reach out for help.  Many humane societies have lists of pet friendly properties that they’re happy to provide to new renters in the area.  Aim for smaller communities rather than big, corporate rentals.  It’s a lot easier to talk to an individual owner about incorporating a pet into your lease than it is to convince an entire corporate office.

Many rental communities advertise that they’re pet friendly.  These are the types of places that you want to focus your attention on.  Pay attention to the fine print, however.  Is there a weight limit on the pets that you’re allowed to bring into the home?  Is there a limit on the number of pets you’re allowed to have?  Are some breeds restricted or forbidden?  These questions can make or break a rental deal, and you want to make sure that you have all of the facts prior to signing a lease.

If your apartment manager is still wary about allowing a pet onto the property, be willing to go to bat for your animal.  Make sure that you have documentation that your pet’s shots are up-to-date.  Ask for references from previous landlords or roommates, documenting that your animals are well behaved and non-destructive.  Be willing to negotiate.  Mention to your potential landlord that since it’s much more difficult overall for pet owners to find good rental apartments, that you’re more likely to stay at the rental longer.  These negotiations can go a long way towards fostering good will between a potential tenant and a future landlord.

Remember, honesty truly is the best policy.  Many landlords are able to enter a rental apartment with advanced notice, and almost all are able to enter in cases of emergency situations.  You don’t want to be stuck answering difficult questions when your pet is discovered and you’ve been less than forthcoming.  Find a place that works for you and your animals, and be up front and open.  These are the keys to success when it comes to finding a new apartment for you and your pets.

**********

If you think your pet-related business might benefit from blog posts like these, get in touch with us! We have hundreds of writers just waiting to be unleashed, as it were, to help you with your content needs. And if your blog is about something a little more complicated than pets, don’t worry — our writers have many different, and sometimes surprising, areas of expertise.

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Your Robot Future: Weekly WOOF Round-Up

This is your weekly #WOOF round-up! Here, you’ll find all the words of the day from the dictionaries of the day.


 

Herbert Televox

The 1928 robot, Herbert Televox, skilled at answering phones, and his inventor, R.J. Wensley.

Monday: Biophages (1976 Dictionary Of Geological Terms) — Those organisms which which obtain nourishment from other organisms (e.g., predators, parasites, and pathogens).

Tuesday: Herbert Televox (1943 Comprehensive Pictorial Encyclopedia) — 1928 robotic invention by R.J. Wensley that works at substations of electric power systems. Can answer telephone and perform other remote-control operations

Wednesday: Magellanic Clouds (1991 Penguin Dictionary Of Proper Names) — Two nearest galaxies (extra-galactic nebulae) visible to the naked eye in the southern hemisphere. They are some 160,000 light-years away.

Thursday: Ex cathedra (1965 Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary) — Latin, “from the chair.” By virtue of, or in exercise of one’s office; with authority. When the pope speaks ex cathedra in matters of faith and morals, he is infallible.

Friday: Faulkner (1811 Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue ) — A tumbler, a juggler, or shewer of tricks; perhaps because they lure people as a faulconer does his hawks.


The iPhone 6 was recently released (you might even own one by now), and it’s pretty amazing, when you think about it. It’s a personal pocket-sized robot, after all. Call your mom? Remember your schedule? Find the best bus routes? Check, check, and check!

Even these mundane tasks, which most of us take as granted every day, make the cutting edge technology of 1928 — a man-sized robot named Herbert that could answer phones, and a machine in Chillicothe, Missouri that could slice bread — seem paltry in comparison. But even the iPhone 6 seems like a Polly Pocket of a robot after reading MIT’s top 10 technological breakthroughs of 2014. The list is populated by neuromorphic chips, agricultural drones, and agile robots.

But what does the future of personal technology look like? It probably doesn’t involve wearable technologyKatrina Von Televox, the $22,000 Wonder Maiden from 1930 who can vacuum and make coffee for you (after all, you probably have an automatic coffee maker, and a Roomba for those tasks). But it likely does involve your home becoming a Smart Home, and wearable technology for all of the occupants inside of it.

Wearable technology of the future looks like a temporary biostamp, worn during pregnancy for fetal monitoring, and smart pills that can analyze the human body from the inside. Current wearable technology sounds like something straight out of the Jetsons: we already have fitness socks that monitor activity levels and foot-fall cadence for runners, and sports bras that monitor your heart rate and activity levels.

What do you think? Are you riding the wave of technology? Do you use your iPhone instead of maps, wear smart socks, and have automatic lighting in your house, out of consideration for your hard-working Roomba? Or do you prefer to pull out a road map, wash your dishes by hand, and wear good old socks you can toss out after they get a hole in the heel?

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Three Overlooked Small Business Tools

small business toolsSmall businesses have a unique set of challenges. In the first place, small business are, well, small, meaning that it’s more difficult for them to compete with big-budget advertisers. Secondly, many small businesses are often relatively new, meaning that they can’t rely on brand-name recognition. At least, not until they’ve built up their brand!

Such hurdles are not insurmountable, especially if you’re aware of the three most often overlooked small business tools.

Three Overlooked Small Business Tools:

  • People: According to Businessweek, word-of-mouth is the best advertisement. It’s in your best interest to ensure that you are giving 100% of your efforts to a quality product that is delivered with unparalleled customer service. Give people a wonderful experience, and they’re sure to tell their friends.
  • Online Services: From budgeting, to calendar management, to educational opportunities, and communication streamlining, you can ease your daily burden through implementing any number of these options available online. Many of them are even free! For helpful links to these services, see this post from Forbes and this one from Post Planner.
  • Blogging: These days, everyone has something to say regarding blogging for the small business. But starting a blog isn’t enough. In a post detailing the mistakes that business bloggers often make, our friends over at Inc.com remind business bloggers that just because blogging is the “new thing,” that doesn’t mean that it’s a flash in the pan. Business blogging is here to stay, and the sooner small businesses are able to get on board with the trend, the better:

“With small businesses, the biggest challenge is that blogging is just going to be another one of those things clamoring for attention,” notes Simon Salt, the CEO of Austin-based marketing and communication firm IncSlingers. “As the newest thing, it’s often the first to get cut when you get busy. But just like anything else, it requires a commitment and needs to be a priority. Think of it as you would any other part of your business, like answering emails or stocking shelves, and you’ll get past thinking that it’s not a necessary task” (Inc.com).

Running a small business is time-consuming, and the challenges are undeniable. After making a decision to start a business blog, one of the most important decisions you will make is how you will acquire material for your posts.

That’s why we’re here. If you’re in need of well-written, regularly-scheduled blog posts, contact us.










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