The Arland Group is a boutique creative agency. We want to ask you an important question. Would you rather work with people who want to work with you? Or, would you rather work with people, who work for people, who make them work with you?

Blogging 101: Oh My! It’s My blog!

by Kathy Black

19 July, 2013

kathy“Your blog post is due” is the sentence that haunts me and sends me into a tailspin for about five days. My approach to tackling my looming mountain goes sort of like this …

  • Breathe deeply and break out into a slight sweat
  • Come up with a thousand topics that quickly get thrown out as really terrible ideas
  • Whine and cry about how hard writing is
  • Try to pay Alyssa to do it for me
  • Put on my big girl pants and finally submit a subpar version of what at one point seemed like a great idea and now just sounds like a bad 500 word rant

This is how I look for about a week knowing the inevitable has to happen—submitting the blog post (to a real writer) when I have no idea of what I am doing.

The silver lining for me is that bloggers do exist and they love to write about blogging. There is a plethora of information on what a good blog post should contain.

  1. A great headline. That seems to be a common theme. Something that catches the reader’s eye and draws them in.
  2. An image. Humans are visual; we like pictures.
  3. Bullet points are good. Catch the reader’s attention and highlights your main points.
  4. Clear, smart, simple content. Blog posts should be short and engaging. Readers need to be able to read and move on.
  5. Call to action. Ask readers to share, share, share.

Blogging can be a daunting task for those of us who are not gifted with the art of the written word, however utilizing these five simple steps can make the impossible possible.

The Arland Group loves new ideas, and we always are looking for ways to engage with others. Share our blog, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @TheArlandGroup.

 

 

Writers’ Unblock: How to Keep Writing Fresh

by Alyssa Stahr

19 March, 2013

Vintage typewriter, writing quote

The Arland Group has ramped up its writing efforts lately, with more blog posts, content marketing writing and long-form copy than ever before. With numerous clients and so many demands for content, how do you keep writing fresh, unique and informative?

It’s a tough market, and whether you are acting as a consultant, writing for social media, providing marketing copy or writing long-form digital copy, one great thing is for certain—everyone has a voice. So, what’s the best way to convey it through the written word?

1. Network and market yourself both in person and on paper. Don’t pigeonhole yourself as a writer. Just because the social media club is meeting this week and you consider yourself “only” an investigative journalist, go anyway. You never know whom you will meet and what contacts you will make. Consider your writing portfolio a family tree of works. Having only one limb would be significantly boring.

2. Once clients are on board, you may have topics provided for you or you may be allowed to go out on your own. If this is the case, send a topic list to your client. This will help in the long run. You wouldn’t want to write a piece and not have it be what the client wanted.

3. When writing in long-form, don’t forget your outline. Just as when you wrote those awesome term papers in college, it helps to organize your thoughts in outline form. Once your thoughts are grouped, it may help to write the easiest parts of the project first. After all, the toughest part is getting started, right?

4. Don’t forget about SEO and distribution. Remember that 99.9% of what you write probably will turn out somewhere or another in digital form. Know where and how to distribute, and make your writing easily searchable.

5. Know what you do well and continue your education. Not everyone is a stellar technical writer, and some people thrive on writing human-interest pieces. Trying your best at a multitude of projects in today’s market will go a long way, and if you want to learn a new type or form of writing, just try it. Writing constantly evolves, just as you will. Love what you do, and expand your horizons.