» 4 Free Tools to Help You Write Better Blog Posts

How to write better blog postsWriting does not come naturally to everyone. Whether you have trouble coming up with topics, deciding on a headline, or actually writing the meat of your post, writing blog posts can be a difficult process. Yet the benefits of blogging are so great for a number of reasons – search engine visibility, better customer relationships, and more.

If you’re looking for some help to write better blog posts, check out some of these free online tools!

Identify the right keywords with the Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Use keyword research tools like Google AdWord’s Keyword Tool to shed some light on the popularity of the keywords you’re looking to use and how many times they’re searched monthly. These factors not only help you to identify keywords that others are using, but also to identify keywords that others are not using, leaving room for your use. Find the keywords that will bring in more search traffic so you get the maximum power out of each blog post.

Come up with better topics with HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

Do you have some vague idea of what you want to write about, but you’re not sure which points to make? The HubSpot Blog Topic Generator allows you to enter a few general terms and then its algorithm suggests five blog post headlines to get you started on a topic. If you are using the aforementioned Keyword Tool, enter some of those keywords into this tool to get headline ideas that will spur your creativity and guide you towards the points you’d like to make in the post. If nothing else, this tool is a great jumping-off point which you can use to customize for your needs.

Create better titles with the Readability Test

Now that you have some topic ideas, you can hone your headline or title. AtomicWriter Lite is a great tool to help you determine the readability of your headlines and content so you can see how to get your readers more engaged. Select whether your audience is Advanced, Trained, or Well-versed and the tool will help you know if your headlines are too complex for your readers to understand at a glance. After all, if your title isn’t easily digestible for your readers, they won’t feel compelled to click through!

Continue reading

» 3 Steps to Overcoming Writer’s Block

Woman typing on keyboardThere are many ways to make a mark on the wedding industry and reach potential clients. It can be done through networking, social media, and bridal shows, but one of the easiest ways to get your business’ name out there is by creating and maintaining a blog. The word “blog” may evoke images of young millennials with headphones on – but there is so much more to blogging than what meets the eye!

A blog gives your business a platform to speak to potential clients and it also helps you stand out as an expert in the industry. Blogging consistently can also yield search engine optimization (SEO) benefits for your business and improve your search rankings. Having a blog is important, yes, but having a readable blog is just as important.

If you’re having trouble creating content, you’re not alone! Especially if writing isn’t your favorite activity, writer’s block can be a real hurdle for achieving blogging benefits. Here are a few tips for overcoming writer’s block so you can start blogging more regularly:

Know what you want to say before writing.

It’s tempting to overcome a bout of writer’s block by just sitting down and typing a post, but without a vision or a clear topic, those efforts are probably fruitless. It’s almost impossible to write concise posts if you don’t know what you want to say. Fellow Pros, current clients and even friends or family members can be a source of inspiration when you’re brainstorming blog posts. Once you have a topic to talk about, you’ll be able to communicate clearly about the subject.

Use bullet points.

Once you’ve chosen a topic, make a bullet point list of the main points you’d like to make. This can help you narrow down your post, making it easier to write and easier to understand. A blog post about how to design a wedding bouquet can be very interesting, but a 3,000 word post about how to design a wedding bouquet is over the top. Ideal post length is between 400 and 1,500 words: it should take 5-7 minutes to read. If you choose 3-5 bullet points to address and write a paragraph about each of them, you should be right on point!

Continue reading

» 5 Steps to Executing a Content Plan

5 Steps to Executing a Content PlanFor those paying attention to marketing trends, content marketing is the shiny “new” strategy. Only, it’s not new. The idea that writing high-quality, educational content can help you book more business has been around a long time, and it’s not going away any time soon! Your wedding business should come up with a content plan to help you walk people through your sales process.

Easier said than done, right? Below are five steps to help you start a content plan and maintain it this year and beyond!

1.  Conceptualize

Writing requires a good deal of forethought; there are a lot of things to think about before you open up a blank Word document. Before you dive in, take the time to think through the topic and its relationship with your audience. Is your idea something they want? Something they need? Something that will help them learn more about your business or the wedding industry? Answering these questions will help you decide if your topic will be popular with your audience. You should also consider the format of your content. A blog post can be short, sweet and informative, while a denser topic may require a longer format such as a guide or a white paper. Don’t limit yourself to one or two types of content – decide on the format on a case-by-case basis. If you need help coming up with topics and committing yourself to writing, see our post on jump starting your blogging efforts (applicable to other types of content as well!).

2.  Write

OK, now that you’re ready to write, write! If you’re prone to writer’s block, try skipping the introduction and coming back to it later when you have a better idea of how your piece will end up. Give yourself time to write and try not to self-edit as you go. You’ll have time to edit after you get all your ideas out! It’s also smart to have a coworker or employee look over your content to proofread for errors and give general thoughts on the way you expressed the topic. At the end of your post or article, be sure to include a call-to-action which instructs the reader what to do next. For more guidelines to help you write, check out this PR Daily content marketing checklist.

Continue reading

» 3 Quick Ways to Jump Start Your Blogging Efforts

3 Quick Ways to Jump Start Your Blogging EffortsDid you know that there are over 156 million public blogs, and over 77% of internet users read those blogs? Blogging is a great way to build trust with your readers, educate and inform them, and assist with your sales conversions. Creating a blog and blogging consistently, though, is easier said than done.

If blogging more is one of your 2015 resolutions, try these three quick tips to help you jump start your blogging efforts and maintain them throughout the year!

Brainstorm topic ideas up front

The hardest part about starting (and maintaining) a blog is coming up with post topics! Take some time at the beginning of the process to brainstorm a bunch of ideas to keep in mind. It helps to look at a calendar and think about any seasonal or holiday topics that your readers would be interested in, and then fill in the rest of your queue with more general topics. Think about common questions you receive from clients, or discussions you see on the WeddingWire Forums – these can be great topic starters! In addition, posting photos from your recent weddings (always giving the photographer and other vendors credit!) is a great way to keep your blog updated and show off your work to potential clients. Add to your list of topic ideas whenever you feel inspired to keep your list topped off.

Create an editorial calendar

Whether you create a strict calendar with topics for each date or just decide on a day to publish each week, creating a calendar for yourself will help incorporate blogging into your work schedule. It’s easier to stay on track when you know ahead of time that something is due! Use your brainstormed topic ideas to keep your calendar topped off and identify topic areas you haven’t yet explored.

Continue reading

» How to Write Content for Better SEO

How to Write Content for Better SEO | WeddingWireEDU BlogWe’ve written a lot in the past about how important creating fresh content can be in helping you build brand awareness and improve your online exposure, and this trend is continuing to bring success to businesses. A blog is a great way to create a lot of content, but you should also consider what the content you’ve written on your website and Storefront says to your audience.

The right content can:

  • Build trust with your readers
  • Educate and inform your readers
  • Assist with conversions
  • Help manage customers and build loyalty

But did you also know that the right content can help you be found online? Search engines index and “read” thousands of web pages every day – if you’re not writing content that can easily be seen and categorized by a search engine, your business could get lost in the chaos.

The following considerations will help you make your website and blog content search engine-friendly!

1.  Define your target audience. While this post is about writing content that is good for search engines, it’s also more important to write content that serves a purpose for your audience. Who is your audience? What do they want to know? What do they need to make a decision? Answering these questions will help you write the most important things in the most effective way for your target audience.

2.  Conduct keyword research. You likely already have an idea of what keywords or phrases your potential customers type into search engines. Tools like Google’s Keyword Tool or HubSpot’s Keyword tool can recommend keyword suggestions based on the word or phrase you type in. These suggestions will either confirm your ideas or help you identify new words to target.

Continue reading

» 3 Quick Tips for Writing Better Emails

3 Quick Tips for Writing Better EmailsThe human race sends and receives billions of emails per day89 billion of which are business emails – and we spend an average of 11.2 hours per week reading and answering email. Let’s face it: it’s hard to get noticed with that amount of email volume. But there are a few simple strategies your business can use when writing your emails to help them get noticed!

Want to make sure your emails are being opened, read and clicked? Follow these tips!

Write a descriptive yet clear subject line

Make it easy for your audience to find out what your email is about by making the subject line descriptive, but don’t add so much that the message gets blurred. Keep it simple and clear by choosing only one or two main ideas in the subject line. If you’re using an email provider service, you also have pre-header text to use to further elaborate on the information contained in the email!

Put your calls-to-action up front

Don’t waste your recipients’ time with a lot of content before getting to the important parts mentioned in your subject line. Feature the calls-to-action prominently in each section of the email, with the option to read further for more details and context. This makes it easier for recipients to see everything you’re asking for or telling them about, and avoids the distraction of too much content.

Continue reading

» Wedding PR: How to Handle Mistakes

Meghan Ely

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. As a highly sought-after speaker in the wedding industry, she is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire as well as the national Communications and Marketing Director for WIPA. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you, as well as more about our new wedding PR kits, please visit us today.

Anyone who has ever been a part of a wedding day can attest to the fact that mistakes happen. Given the sheer volume of details, it’s inevitable and at the end of the day, most will find that how the mistake is rectified is typically far more important than the error itself.

The very same can be said for wedding PR. The amount of details that go into a real wedding submission – from the slew of images and the vendor list to the couples’ take on the day, can be numerous. Every now and again, a minor mistake is bound to happen.

Not sure how to proceed should you find yourself in this situation? Below you’ll find the top scenarios you may run into and how to respond in each:

When the mistake is yours: First and foremost, take a moment to breathe and gain a bit of perspective. An honest mistake is very rarely ever going to be the end of the world, especially when it takes place online and can be edited quickly. At the same time, make sure you have a bit of perspective as well. After all, one typo in a videographer’s company name may not seem like a big deal, but it certainly will be for the one affected.

Promptness is the name of the game when it comes to responding to an error. Your priorities should be the person being affected by the error, as well as the Editor. Your first order of business is to review the feature to make sure this is your one and only mistake. From there, quickly craft a note to the Editor to inform them of the error, supplying them with the correct information and extending your sincerest of apologies. From there, reach out to the party (or parties) affected and assure them that the issue was handled swiftly and make a note to send them the corrected feature when ready.

When the mistake is the Editor’s:  Remember that Editors are human too, and things can happen. Take the time to review the feature at length to make sure the mistake you found is the only one and then reach out to them promptly, and in a courteous manner, to let them know of the issue. If the error itself affects one of the other vendors, or the featured couple, do follow up with them  immediately to inform them of the issue and that it is being settled.

When the mistake is a third party: You may find yourself in a situation in which information you supplied for a submission is incorrect, unbeknownst to you. A bride or groom may misspell a vendor’s name or a member of your wedding day team may improperly credit another company. This is when it’s going to have to be a judgment call. If you have a solid relationship with the Editor and it’s a minor error, feel free to step in and assist with fixing the mistake. In other instances, you may request the person who made the mistake to reach out to the Editor directly and copy you on correspondence.

And what if you come upon a mistake regarding a feature that you had nothing to do with? Simply put on your gracious pants (they should be in your closet, next to your polite pants) and contact the person responsible for submitting the wedding to inform them of the mistake and to ask how it can be rectified. He or she may want to reach out to the Editor or may advise you to do so. Not sure who submitted the wedding? Then a brief and friendly email to the Editor informing them of the error (as well as the appropriate information to rectify it) is perfectly suitable.

And lastly, remember that these types of scenarios can be great learning experiences. Once all is said and done, dedicate time to review your standard operating procedures for submissions and refine them to ensure the same error doesn’t happen again.  And then, move on to the next submission!