How to Stop Three Blogging Mistakes Dead in Their Tracks

If you’ve been in the inbound marketing world for a while, you know that people have a tendency to glorify thought leaders in the industry. These individuals know a lot, and they can teach us a lot. And it’s awesome that people aspire to one day have that same level of knowledge, insight, success, expertise,… Read more »

The Goofproof Guide to the Seven Most Confusing Punctuation Marks

When people give tips on content creation, they invariably include something like, “edit for grammar” or “pay attention to the rules of grammar.” That’s excellent advice, but I often think there’s something going on that a lot of marketers who write blog posts, ebooks, newsletters, or whitepapers don’t talk about. What if you’re not well-versed… Read more »

Three How-tos on Instagram Marketing

Lately everyone’s loving on visual content, and for a good reason too: 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed in the brain 60,000x faster than text.

And even though the means through which we present visual content may change (Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Instagram video), the ability of visual content to impact people stays the same. Given the new-ish arrival of Instagram video, which lets marketers get even more creative with the type of content they create and share, I thought now would be the perfect time to give some tips on Instagram.

I’ll cover three Instagram how-tos for marketers who are trying to ride the visual content wave and have some questions about the app: how to use Instagram if you don’t sell visually appealing products, how to see which Instagram users have interacted with your business, and how to track your Instagram marketing efforts.

5 Brands That Are Doing Great Things on Instagram

When I first joined Instagram, I was pretty skeptical. I thought Instagram was just an app that allowed people to parade as faux photographers and take pictures of food or, even worse, take selfies. Did some of my Instagram stereotypes prove true? Sure. But I quickly realized that Instagram is much more than a culinary-capturing tool.

And as a marketer, I found that there are a number of brands with great Instagram marketing strategies. In May 2013 Simply Measured published a study that looked at Instagram adoption by Interbrand’s top 100 brands. Simply Measured found that 67% of the top brands have Instagram accounts, and 34% have over 10,000 followers. Here are some brands doing amazing things on Instagram: what they do that works, how they leverage the platform’s power, and how you can incorporate these practices into your Instagram efforts.

10 Tips for Killing Wordy Writing

Doesn’t wordy writing drive you crazy? It’s easy to spot a wordy sentence or paragraph when you’re the reader, but sometimes it’s hard to be succinct when you’re the writer.

During the summer before my junior year of college, I interned for my local branch of the National Writing Project. I had the wonderful opportunity of working with different kinds of writers—poets, short story writers, non-fiction writers. Every day, I’d listen as people read aloud part of a piece they’d been working on. I quickly discovered that incredible writing is wicked tight writing.

When writing is tight, every word is significant. There’s no wordiness or redundancy. It sounds great, but all of us writers know that it takes a lot of messy editing to get those clean sentences. So here’s some help in eliminating unnecessary words: a list of phrases that you can put on the chopping block, and what you can replace them with.

Insanely Easy-to-Understand Answers to 8 Google+ Questions

When I joined Google+ and started trying to get the hang of the whole thing, I had a lot of questions. Some of these ranged from the really basic to the more intricate. I quickly learned that many Google+ features are kind of obvious and intuitive once you know about them. The trick is getting to know them.

If you’ve just started your Google+ journey in prep for Author Rank, I’m sure you have a bunch of questions, and you’re probably looking for some tips/shortcuts too. I collected a bunch of questions, some I once asked and some I’ve heard others ask, and answered them. I also cover some keyboard shortcuts and text formatting.

Let the fourth and final post of this Google+ series begin!

4 of Your Grammar Questions Answered

Have you ever during the editing process come across a tricky grammar situation? While searching for an answer, you discover that different sources say different things. You’re not sure which source is correct; you can’t trust your intuition because when it comes to grammar, intuition is sometimes wrong; and unless you have a copyeditor at your office, you probably can’t poll your coworkers. Add to this confusion all of those grammar rules you learned way back when and the less-than-stellar grammatical practices of our society, and it’s easy to see why people don’t like grammar.

A Crash Course in Google+ Ripples

I’m going to begin Part III of this Google+ series by diving right into the good stuff.

If you’ve just started out on your Google+ journey but aren’t really feeling the social network and think it couldn’t possibly have any good stuff, then take a few minutes and learn about Google+ Ripples. (I promise it’s worth it.)

A One-Stop Guide to Google+ Communities

Last week I kicked off a series on Google+ with a wicked in-depth guide to Google+ Profiles. For the second part of the series, I’m going to talk about Google+ communities. If you’re trying to heed the advice of everyone and get on board with Google+ in prep for Author Rank but feel like you just exist on Google+ in a vacuum, communities can be really useful for finding other active Google+ users in your field and discovering new blog posts/videos/resources/tips.

A ‘Parks and Rec’ Guide to 14 Confusing Words

“There are only three ways to motivate people: money, fear, and hunger.” Ron Swanson

Isn’t it a buzzkill when you publish an awesome blog post, but someone brings it to your attention that you made a silly mistake, like using “affect” instead of “effect”? Or maybe you wrote “lose” when you really meant “loose,” or you confused “whose” with “who’s.”