Reaching your Market Audience: Blogging for Health Care Products

This morning, the news was focusing on heart attacks, specifically in women, and how heart attacks in the female demographic can be prevented.  As you know, topics like this, and other health care stores are often discussed in the daily news.

If you’re a business, one important element of your marketing campaign should be reaching your audience by tying in with a recent newscast. The following blog post would be a timely one for companies that want to sell products related to heart health.

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When you think of heart problems, do you think of men? Probably. That’s because heart disease prevention has been on men. But the American Heart Association tells us that:

  • Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women
  • Approximately 1 woman dies from heart disease every minute
  • 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease

blogging for health care blogmuttThe National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease advocates early detection, accurate diagnosis, and proper treatment. Early detection starts with knowing your own heart and being able to have conversations with physicians. They also advocate smart exercising to avoid heart disease. This includes understanding the strain cold weather can have on the heart and how to adjust work and exercise.

Bottom line: Women need to understand their hearts and need to understand how to monitor their own hearts. How? Well, you could stop every once in awhile to take your pulse.

Or, you could wear a monitor. No, not one of those bulky boxes doctors ask people to wear. There are wearables that are not only accurate, but are also stylish. You don’t have to stop and take your pulse — the work is done for you. You can glance at your wrist and monitor your own heart rate without much more work. Knowing how your heart responds in different situations will assist you in having that conversation with your doctor.

Wondering how you can become your own heart advocate by knowing how your heart beats? Please contact us — we’d like to have that conversation with you.

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With BlogMutt, these types of posts can go up on your site every week: timely articles that direct consumers to your site through a link. If you are interested in blogging for health care and want information, just contact us. We are here to help.

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Blogging for the Spidery Web Crawler

When you think about it, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other web crawlers, are the dei ex machinae, or, in the more familiar singular, deus ex machina of the computer age. If you didn’t take Latin, or, like the Romans, it almost killed you, the term means “god from the machine.”

blogging hermes blogmuttThe term is from an old plot device in Greek drama in which the characters are faced with some seemingly impossible situation — on the verge of being eaten by a one-eyed, snake-haired creature, for example — and a god comes to the rescue. The “machina” part was the method used to lower or raise the god to the stage with the aid of machinery — a hoist, crane or rising trap door, for example.

So making the jump from Sophocles to blogging for the spidery Web crawler might seem like the old gag wherein a mathematician inserts the formula “and a miracle occurs” between the problem and its solution. And what’s that about the “spidery web crawler”?

Stay with us here. You’ve already mastered the Latin part, so you can do it. You already know what blogging is, and you probably know what web crawlers do. They are search engines, also known as “spiders,” and they crawl around the web looking for content.

OK, it may sound creepy along the lines of those Matrix movies, but someone has actually figured out how to write computer code that coalesces into a giant program seeking information on the gazillions of web pages.

So here’s the problem: you’re blogging for bucks or a denizen of those gazillions of web pages, who want to attract that crawling behemoth of a search engine. You write an interesting and informative blog and you want the crawler to find it and match it up with an interested reader, buyer, browser or linker.

And here’s the solution: You write for that spidery web crawler, but you write as if that creepy entity does not exist. That’s right, because if you think the search engine is mindless and only pays attention to the thin gruel of keyword stuffing, you’re listening to the false sirens and heading for the rocks of rejection.

That’s because search engines don’t work that way anymore. They actually reward good quality content that focuses on the task at hand — promoting a business product or presenting some valuable and relevant tidbit of information. Of course, the content has to have the words that closely match what the human searcher is looking for.

Do that when you blog, and the web crawler god will rescue your blogging from the white noise of anonymity to success that only the age of information — the machina– can support.

If you’re looking for a blog-writing service that can give you quality content at a reasonable price, contact us. We have experienced and talented writers, who would love to go to work for you right away. They’re not Sophocles, but they’ve been around and do a good job for our contented coterie of eclectic clients, if you’ll pardon the alliteration.

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Small Business Tips: Nike’s “Go For The Gold” Marketing During The Winter Olympics

small business tips blogmuttThere was so much buzz around the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. But one that’s worth mentioning was Nike’s brand marketing.

So, true or false: Nike was an official partner of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The answer, surprisingly, is false.

So, how did Nike accomplish this feat of leading us to believe that they were an official partner of the Winter Olympics? According to an article from Investing Daily, Nike supplied gear for Team USA, hockey jerseys for Team Canada and Team Russia, and apparel for International Olympic Committee (IOC) staff members. They deemed that this donation was more cost-effective than paying the $100 million Olympic sponsorship. In the end, this guerrilla marketing strategy possibly created more personal and memorable results. Follow in Nike’s footsteps with these small business tips and “go for the gold!”

Open to the public marketing

Nike spends about 11% of it’s annual revenue on marketing. They focus on big events like the Olympics, Super Bowl, and upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil. However, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. By doing something similar on a smaller scale, you could have good results. Just by making your business name visible in local communities, for example, through sponsorship for a Little League baseball team, you can stir up conversations among the spectators and bring more traffic to your business.

A small business owner of The Sports Den in Marshfield, Wisconsin believes “smart business is keeping the name out in front of the public.“  He also believes that by providing old customers special jerseys at events, he brought in new customers. Getting noticed is the first step to a successful business.

Connect with a special message

You may have noticed Team USA receiving their medals on the podium wearing Nike jackets. Well, these shiny, silver jackets held a special message inside that only the eyes of the Olympic athlete were able to witness. Inside every jacket was an embroidered message which said, This Is Your Moment.” This simple, yet touching message was the perfect “icing” to that Olympic moment. These words will be remembered forever. So consider giving your customers something special to remember and connect with meaningful words.

If you’d like to give your customer a meaningful message through your blog, or you’d like to learn about more small business tips, contact us today.

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Blogging: An Ideal Work-at-Home Freelance Job for Retirees, but not Stephen King

By Curt Smothers

To the February 8, 2014, piece on how blogging is the “quintessential” opportunity for seniors to freelance from home, I say “Amen!” (even though I had to look up quintessential).

Actually, quintessential is somewhat of a synonym for purest, so maybe I should qualify that “Amen” somewhat. Actually, the purest way for seniors to freelance from home probably wouldn’t be blogging. It would be writing best selling novels from a Malibu mansion overlooking the Pacific and being in the income bracket of Stephen King.

freelance job stephen king blogmuttStephen King, now age 66, qualifies as a “senior,” and his freelancing involves writing scary best sellers and making the big bucks. The man doesn’t blog. Among other rather gross subjects, he writes about that little “gnawing rat” of terror. Here’s a quote of his on the subject:

“I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.”

I am a senior, too. In my previous life before retiring 12 years ago, the writing I did came nowhere near the gross-out type. It was — dictionaries ready? — expository. The writing I did was as a U.S. Navy administrative professional, and I did that for 25 years. Afterwards I worked in city government and as a vocational education specialist for a community college.

Writing military correspondence and directives required coupling the pro-forma with creativity. We had a running gag about military writing: it was stuff composed by geniuses for execution by “everyone else.” (Actually we used the term “idiots” in that droll aphorism, but in my dotage I’ve learned the value of tact.)

In any case, I learned to write well in the military environment simply by throwing away lots of adjectives and adverbs and relying on plenty of concrete nouns and active verbs. I used to write some pretty important stuff before the days of e-mail and Twitter. When the CO signed it, it essentially was law and people paid attention and did things that I wrote they had to do.

Later in city government and in my last job working in the academic environment, the writing challenge was heightened in that whoever read it wasn’t intimidated in the least — unless there was something in it for them. Also, I did a lot of writing that no one actually ever read — you know, budget reports, grant requests, course outlines, etc.

Yes, I was somewhat of a drone, but those grant bucks didn’t flow unless I could come up with new ways on how we creatively spent the government’s money in educating “everyone else.”

So, unlike Stephen King I never wrote anything that now resides amidst the anonymous stacks of bound library tomes in the order dictated by the Dewey Decimal System. On the other hand, my writing has resulted in my current enviable status of being comfortably retired with the time and resources to continue writing — even without Stephen King’s millions.

In the years since I retired, I’ve searched all over the web for worthwhile work-at-home freelance jobs for retirees. I currently contribute pieces to a number of customers — most of whom pay nothing much. I was watching the news one morning during May 2012 and learned about BlogMutt. I applied and have since posted over 700 short pieces for dozens of customers, who are always hungry for more of what I write. And the pay, though not great, is pretty good, considering I don’t need the money.

The money thing puts me in somewhat of a similar category of Stephen King. I’m sure he likes those residual checks from his horror tales of rotting, walking corpses and their ghastly effluvium that sickens the reader, but I’m guessing he writes that stuff because he loves to gross us out. I take the same kind of pleasure in writing for BlogMutt, but I’ll skip the exploding eye balls and settle for a nicely written blog or short article.

OK, so we’ve moved from quintessential to ideal when it comes to seniors’ blogging for bucks. Not everyone owns a mansion in Malibu, but anyone who can write decently and knows something worth sharing with at least one other person can — and should — blog.

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WOOF Round-Up: Love & Vernalization

If you missed any of the WOOFs this week, you can find them all here, in your weekly WOOF compendium!

Monday: Love (1993 Zero to Lazy Eight) — Zero, in tennis. Comes from French l’oeuf, the egg.

Tuesday: Vernalization (1997 Taylor’s Dictionary for Gardeners) – The exposure to several weeks of cool temperatures that is required by some plants to initiate bud formation or new growth.

Wednesday: Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling — Walt Whitman (1979 Oxford Dictionary of Quotations)

beaslingsThursday: Beaslings (1985 Dictionary of American Regional English, Vol. I, A – C) — the first milk given by a cow after calving (c. 1723, Boston MA)

Friday: Prize Fighter (1995 10,000 Dreams Interpreted: A Dictionary of Dreams) —  For a young woman to dream of a prize fighter foretells that she will have pleasure in fast society, and will give her friends much concern about her reputation.

We hope you have sweet dreams this weekend, of love, vernalization, and maybe even of a prize fighter or two! In the meantime, here in Boulder, CO, we’ll be dreaming of an end to the snow, and the splendid silent sun, with all its beams full dazzling.

 

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Success Using HubSpot: Two BlogMutt Stories

We’ve had some very public interactions with HubSpot, including writing a blog post in an hour, and a series of guest posts on HubSpot’s blog.

What you may not know is that behind the scenes, we are doing some great work for companies that, like us, are using HubSpot tools.

In many cases, the companies behind the scenes like to stay behind the scenes. It’s like the old “Does She or Doesn’t She?” campaign. People don’t necessarily want to advertise that they color their hair, or that they’ve hired a service to write their blogs.

Does She or Doesn't She?

Only your Content Writing Service knows for sure!

But we asked a couple of customers if it would be OK to share their stories, and they agreed.

The Lighter Side of Cloud Security

People often ask us at BlogMutt if we can write about their niche. They often come from an industry that they think is boring, and they don’t think our writers will be able to come up with anything week after week.

What we sometimes tell them is that we do lots of posts about “cloud security.” If we can write about that every single week, we tell them, we can certainly handle writing about plumbing or e-commerce, or whatever.

One such example is Denver IT consulting firm QeH2. They have an active blog, so any potential clients who come to their site discover that it is updated regularly. Those prospects also find posts that are accessible, and clearly written. They aren’t posts that are going to be on the cover of the Wall St. Journal, but nobody really expects that from a local IT consultant. They just want to find a site that’s like the consultants they want to hire: clear, friendly, proficient, and up-to-date.

And of course the firm wants people to find them, and clearly the best advice from every SEO expert these days is that blogging is the best way a small, niche company can rise to the top on search results pages.

Now, not every single post on their blog is written by BlogMutt. We’ll never tell which ones are and which ones aren’t. We will say, however, that we have had a lot of clients tell us that they actually blog more on their own after they hire us. Basically the hard part of blogging is done, so blogging is less of a chore and more fun and so they do it more often.

By the way, while many of our customers come to us directly, we are also happy to serve many others via agencies. QeH2 is just such a case. The agency that firm is Denver inbound marketing company, Revenue River, which is a HubSpot partner.

“We’re constantly looking for a new voice and slightly different perspective for our most popular blog topics,” Eric Pratt, managing director of RevRiv said. “BlogMutt has offered fantastic content and great depth of service knowledge, delivering very clean articles in post-ready formats.”

Looking Big While Remaining Small

Eric is not alone. Lots of agencies are hiring BlogMutt because it allows them to grow their customer base without having to hire full-time writers, something that can be challenging on lots of levels.

“My philosophy has always been, “work smarter not harder” and you guys definitely help me do that!” said Jo Erickson, owner of Massachusetts custom web development agency Your Page Today.

Her plan for working smarter is to hire out the stuff that’s time consuming. Writing can go quickly for people who write for a living, but for people in the middle of running an agency, it can be difficult indeed.

Erickson has also found that regular blogging is a way of keeping her clients engaged with her after she’s created a site for them. “We want them thinking of the site as an ongoing process, not a one-time task. Blogging takes care of that to a T.”

We have lots of other HubSpot partners, customers, and fans who use BlogMutt every week. But we do it all in the background.

So the next time you look at a HubSpot customer that’s great about blogging regularly, just take it in and admire it for accomplishing the business goals that they have. You can then ask them if they write the posts themselves. If they say something vague like, “My posts are as honest as the day is long!” then you’ll know they are probably using BlogMutt.

Don’t ask us… We’ll never tell.

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Empowering and Blogging for the Small Business

The buzz in the world of business, especially in small business, is blogging. Why is blogging touted as a necessity for small businesses? As the Huffington Post put it, “Small businesses that have leadership teams that blog are better reflecting value proposition for their business and adding personality to what may seem like a lot of the same.”

blogging for the small business blogmuttAnd you definitely want to be the business that is reflecting value and adding personality so that others will seek you out. A blog is the first step to getting there.

A good basic business blog will post at least one or two articles a week — even more, if they can. But small businesses that empower their blogs do more than just post a blog. How can you best empower your blog?

Use the blog to build relationships. If you want more people reading your blog, you need to build relationships. You can do that through:

  • Subscribing to other blogs via email or RSS, and positively comment on those blogs. And like other business’ Facebook pages. These businesses in turn are likely to look at your site and comment on your posts.
  • Adding information to your blog specifically for newcomers to the business. Become that company that “newbies” can turn to for advice — and, you are again building new relationships.
  • Doing your research on what the frustrations are in your industry. Use your blog to post answers or tips for overcoming those frustrations. By doing this, you become the hero for those who are frustrated.

But there are some cautions in building these relationships:

  • Only make connections with reliable businesses and individuals you respect. Do not make connections solely for the sake of having lots of them.
  • Be positive in your posts. While you are giving tips to answer frustrations, do not be negative about other companies.
  • Don’t expect instant return. Empowering your blog is a process, and building relationships takes time.

Start empowering your blog, and let us know the results! We’d love to hear from you, so contact us.

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You Had Me At Hello! Inbound Marketing Is All About Acting Quickly

So, a horse walks into a bar, and the bartender says, “Hey, why the long face?” Bada-ting! I’ll be here all night, folks!

OK, OK, that was an old and worn out joke, but even if you didn’t laugh, it probably got your attention. Inbound marketers understand that website content doesn’t always have a a thrilling hook of an opening line, and it isn’t always a tantalizing developing news story, and website content isn’t written like a thrilling novel. But you need to pique your reader’s attention straight out of the gate. Try to stirrup their emotions from the beginning — horse puns included.

Inbound marketing BlogMuttThe fact of the matter is that people read website content differently from how they read, say, a novel, in which the reader must pay attention to all the nuance and detail in order to understand the end of the book. When it comes to website content, you only have a few seconds to grab your audience.

In fact, Slate.com did a bit of research on what percentage of people actually stick around to read their entire articles. The researchers found that most readers will only consume about half of each of their articles, with many more readers bailing earlier than the halfway point. This demonstrates the importance of not only having an awesome, attention-grabbing headline, but also how vital it is to grab an audience with the first sentence.

The best inbound marketers know that if they’re going to keep a person reading, they have to give them a bit of the juiciest information right from the beginning, and then help the reader keep going with lively sub-heads, and much more.

According to an old, but still relevant study by the Nielsen Norman Group, people scan sites.

They look for the individual words and phrases they want, and they take what they need from that page before moving on. In fact, most browsers make it even easier for people to scan content because they offer a highlighting feature for keywords within articles.

A great inbound marketer understands this, and that’s why they’re good at creating the type of content that people want to read…err…scan.

Bullet points, short paragraphs and bold text are visually appealing, and can help reader engagement.

If you’d like help writing blog posts that are engaging and based on inbound marketing principles, stop horsing around, and contact us today.

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Jhumpa Lahiri’s Novel, The Namesake, The Journey of Self-Discovery and Blogging for Peace of Mind!

by Ruhi Jiwani

jhumpa lahiri blogging blogmuttJhumpa Lahiri is an Indian-American writer whose popularity grows with each successive book; she has also won the Pulitzer prize for her first collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies.  Lahiri’s second book was a novel called The Namesake which was also made into a movie starring Kal Penn.  The book is about Gogol Ganguli, so named because Gogol was his father’s favorite writer.

Gogol Ganguli’s Attempts To Find Himself

Born in the U.S. of Indian parents, Gogol finds that he’s always trapped between two cultures.  His first attempt to resolve this conflict is by giving up his Indian side altogether.  He dates an American woman who knows nothing about Indian culture and tries to become a part of her family.  However, the death of his father brings him back to his roots, and his second attempt is to have a semi-arranged marriage with a woman of Indian origin.  After discovering that she’s cheating on him, Gogol realizes that he has tried out both extremes without feeling entirely comfortable in his own skin.  The novel ends as he picks up the works of the Russian writer Gogol and sets out to discover himself.

The Importance of Knowing Oneself in the Diaspora

It’s true that people can never feel at peace with themselves unless they try to find out who they are, instead of relying on others to give them a sense of identity.  Many books written in the Indian diaspora display this kind of search for identity.  When people are displaced from the country of their origin and surrounded by those who share a different culture, it becomes even more important to know what your own true values are and whether they are in accord with one culture or the other.  You may discover, eventually, that you are most comfortable in a mix of two cultures or in a third culture altogether.  Still, it’s the journey of self-discovery, the effort to know oneself, that determines how you feel about who you are.

Blogging for Self-Discovery

What does any of this have to do with blogging, you might ask.  Yes, writing is a way to understand yourself but there are many others as well, such as reading, art, meditation, yoga or martial arts, to name a few.  And interestingly enough, there are blogs about all of these on the internet.  If you are already engaged in one of these practices, you can keep in touch with what’s going on within that field by reading blogs about it.  If you want to spread information and help others in their journey of self-discovery, you can write a blog about your practice.

Letting in Different Points of View

And if you’re too busy to write a blog, you can always hire a professional writing service.  The advantage of this is that you get the perspective of many writers on the same topic, and you might learn things that you hadn’t thought of before.  You maintain the continuity of the blog, but you also allow different points of view to creep in.  And this, after all, is what self-discovery is all about—maintaining your core self but allowing others to influence it too.  Contact us for more information on blog-writing and how it can help you achieve your goals.

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. — Scott

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From The Beach Boys to Revolutionary Praxis: Your Weekly WOOF Compendium

Here is your weekly WOOF Compendium! Enjoy!

Monday: Vice (1990 Language Maven Strikes Again) — As in “Vice President,” is from the Latin vicis, a change, but the vice, as in “Miami Vice,” is from the Latin vitium, a fault, or a sin.

Tuesday: The Beach Boys (1992 Encyclopedia of Pop Culture) — Outstandingly American, they looked and acted like boys from California, when they sang about good waves, fast engines, girls with tans, and summer vacation; created poetry out of such unpoetic stuff as power-shifting in a triple-carbureted Little Deuce Coupe, or cutting class to hit the beach.

Wednesday: Revolutionary Praxis (1993 Safire’s New Political Dictionary) — practical activity for overthrowing the existing political system. Praxis is from the Greek, πρᾶξις, ”a doing, an action.” In 1581, Philip Sidney remarked, “For Aristotle sayeth, it is not Gnosis (knowing), but Praxis (action) must be the fruit.”

woof compendiumThursday: Ghost Speech (1993 Congress Dictionary) — A speech that was never delivered but appeared in the Congressional Record.

Friday: Billiards / Pool (1992 Word Menu) — Billiards are played with hard ivory balls driven on a table with no pockets. Pool is played with 15 numbered balls, driven into other balls, with the purpose of sinking them into pockets on a table.

We hope everyone has a superlative weekend!

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