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August 2015 Presenter

too_cool_teeThis month’s speaker is Andrea Funk of Too Cool T-Shirt Quilts.

Email: andrea@toocooltshirtquilts.com

Andrea will be presenting:
Blogging sucks.
Yet it works. So just face it, you have to blog.

Andrea will cover:

  • Remember Why You Have to Blog
  • Begin With a Great Title
  • Focus the Topic
  • How to Write for the Blog Venue

Remember Why You Have To Blog

By blogging, you get to establish and direct the conversation about your products and/or services. By blogging, you set yourself up as the expert about your in your field. The more you blog, the more search engine algorithms will consider you an expert and as a result, rank your blogs better.

Begin With The Title
When you are searching the Internet, you are looking for answers to a question. The search engines try to find the most relevant results based on your search terms or question. You want your blog to be there ready to answer that question. If your blog title is the question being asked or contains the terms being searched, your blog will be deemed more relevant and thereby be ranked higher.  So begin with the title.

  • Blog Topic/Title Generators
    You can find a number of blog topic generators on the Internet. You are not the only one who has trouble coming up with things to write about. A few times a year, I spend time with various generators to produce a ton of blog title. Blog topic generators are actually blog title generators. From the different titles you come up with, you can then write to answer the question or about the title.
  • Google or Search Every Title
    Before you begin writing, Google the title you are working with. First, check to see if you are ranked for the title. If you already ranked first, modify the title a little.  Next, begin typing your title into a search engine and see how Google is filling in the ahead of what you type. Very important! If your title is too vague, Google will suggest other topics that are similar. Use those other topics as blog titles. You know that if Google is filling in the blanks for you, that there are people out there using those search terms.
  • Long Tail Key Words
    Long tail key words are just key phrases and questions that people are searching for. When we collectively began using the Internet, we would just search a key word. But now we enter whole phrases and even questions because we know that we need to focus our search. You need to anticipate what your customers will be searching for and use these as your title or within your title.

Focus the Topic

  • Write About What Your Audience Needs to Know
    This is what you need to figure out.  At first, I wrote about my company and what we could do for the visitor. But this is not the right approach because no one cares about you except your Mom.  Write to educate your visitors about your products. And not the ones you sell, but about this type of product in general. People are looking for information and the more informative your blogs, the more visitors you will get.
  • Narrow Topics
    Try to break your product or services into very small parts. Then write about each part in detail. If there are too many points about the small part, break that into as many blogs as you have parts.
  • Approached Topics From Different Angles.
    You may feel like you are writing the same things over and over again. And you might be! But if you are rephrasing and using different examples, that’s okay.  The only time this may be of concern is if you have a large following reading your blog everyday. They won’t want to read the same type of content over and over. But if you have a large following, you mostly will be writing more timely type content.Since I don’t have a large audience who read my blog on a daily or weekly basis, I don’t worry about this. Most likely your blog is out there to capture the visitors who searched a keys word that you wrote about. So don’t worry about being repetitively. Just make that this blog is different enough that search engines don’t know that it’s very similar to 3 other blogs you have written.

How to Write For The Blog Venue
Writing a blogs is not like the writing you learned in high school or college. Blog are not 5-paragraph essay, mystery novels nor research papers. They are more like pamphlets; quickly read and tossed aside.  Here are some tricks to writing a blog.

  • Bullets
    Use a lots of bullets and numbered lists. Set up your blogs so the topics are highlighted and the reader can easy jump to the key points. People visiting your site don’t have a lot of time. They are just trying to answer a question. They don’t care about anything else. So make it easy for readers to skim the blog.
  • Short paragraphs
    Short paragraphs are also important because people have short attention spans. People also perceive if that there are long paragraphs that they will have to dig the information out from the noise. So three or four sentences max. Again, this is not how you learned to write in high school or college. Blogs are a different beast!
  • Put the most important information at the beginning.
    Your blog is not a “who done it” mystery – so don’t make people wait. Most people will not read through to the end of your blog, so get to the good stuff first. I don’t usually have much of a conclusion on my bogs, but I do have a CTA (call to action) that will encourage the reader to read something else on my site.
  • Use a Lot of Photographs
    Because they are worth a 1000’s words, blah, blah, blah. Photographs are great because:

    • They illustrate what you are talking about
    • Break up the text
    • People do a lot of image searches. Your blog will be found through image searches.

Listen, learn, and network with local women business leaders over a tasty Fay’s lunch.
Please be sure to RSVP!

To download a copy of the text, click here: Blogging cheat sheet

This entry was posted on August 10, 2015, in Meetings.

July 2015 Presenter

Our speaker this month is Adrian Bass of Capital Quality & Innovation.

Email: adrianbass@sbcglobal.net

Adrian will be presenting: Problem Solving Tools to Improve Your Business and Life. Adrian will show the group how to use “cause and effect” tools for quality problem solving.

So what do “Five Whys” and a “Fishbone Diagram” have to do with problem solving?

5 Whys is an iterative question-asking technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question “Why?” Each question forms the basis of the next question. Be aware that many problems may have multiple causes, and not just one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_Whys

“Why do I have to go to bed?” – “Because you need your sleep.”

“Why do I need to sleep?” – “Because it’s good for you.”

“Why is it good for me?” – “Because your body needs regular rest.”

“Why does my body need rest?” – “Because resting helps you re-charge your battery.”

“Why do I need to re-charge it?” – “Because otherwise you’d have no energy to enjoy tomorrow.”

Using Fishbone Diagrams for Problem Solving

Fishbone, Cause-and-Effect or Ishikawa diagram shows factors of the overall problem in one drawing for the further analysis. Construct fishbone diagram and identify many possible causes for an “effect.”  It is like structured Brainstorming.

Following the process you might have an “ah-ha” moment; or you might have to research several suggested causes.  Sometimes you can have the group vote on which cause(s) to try to work on first.

pict--fishbone-diagram-fishbone-diagram-bad-coffee

https://conceptdraw.com/a2300c3/preview

To download a copy of the document, click here: five whys and fishbone

This entry was posted on July 1, 2015, in Meetings.

January 2014 Presenter

Our January presenter is Adrian Bass. Starting the new year on a productive note, Adrian will teach us about the Pareto Chart. Pareto charts will help organizations to put data into a visual chart that helps determine what situations are most significant.

Learn how to use Paretos charts in your business.Start the new year learning best practices that will help you prioritize problem solving and improvement processes.

As always, Adrian will get us thinking and inspire us to do business in 2015 a little differently.

This entry was posted on December 23, 2014, in Meetings.