You can read a million articles about increasing traffic to your blog — without finding a single practical list. In short, it starts with solid content strategy. With millions of blogs on the internet, you will need to strategically target your niche audience. The tips below will help you create a strategy that will boostContinue reading “Boost Blog Traffic with These 11 Steps”
Do you ever feel like you’re chasing after engagement — month after month? If so, it’s time for you to jump off the digital marketing carousel. Easy to do and hard to do well, digital marketing offers a transparent evaluation of strategies through big data. If your metrics disappoint, you can shift your methods. EachContinue reading “How to Jump off the Digital Marketing Carousel”
The well-known Kellogg’s cereal brand came from the work of not one — but two — brilliant inventors. The Kellogg brothers, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith Kellogg worked as partners, then rivals, to create a wellness and food empire that changed the way we eat. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was a precocious childContinue reading “The Tumultuous Timeline Behind Kellogg’s Cereal”
Influencing prospective customers starts with content marketing. As part of your inbound marketing strategy, you can: generate more traffic convert more leads and create more customers This is why 28% of marketers have reduced their digital advertising budgets to product more company-specific content. They understand that influencing prospective customers requires a focus on content marketing.Continue reading “What is Content Marketing? (Small Business Edition)”
Whenever someone asks me for free marketing advice, I give them a short list of things to do. Most of them are highly administrative — which I think surprises people. While I believe in creativity and inspiration, you won’t have time to do that if you can’t delegate some of the day-to-day branding tasks. AndContinue reading “The Best Things You Can Do For Your Brand in 2021”
The old methods just don’t work. In the past, customers were grouped by age. Then, generalizations about their values and habits were extracted for the whole group. Marketers have been trying to target these young adults for several years. One thing is clear. We can’t generalize for this age group. Instead, we must track theContinue reading “User Behavior: The Trick for Marketing to Millennials”
Whenever an organization considers their media mix, the benefit of digital marketing comes under discussion. Everyone knows it’s relatively low cost. However, it’s also a busy space. Some groups worry. Do distracted users create disloyal customers? Even in value-driven online shopping, consumers can convert on your ads. Every business can benefit from an online presenceContinue reading “The Biggest Benefit of Digital Marketing”
Headlines matter. Not only do they provide you with page visits from post previews, they also impact your site’s reputation. If you want to improve your traffic and gain conversions, you need to start by considering how an eye-catching headline can bring your more visitors. Readers Skim Headlines Most websites generate traffic from content-rich sourcesContinue reading “How to Write an Eye-Catching Headline”
Ever wondered why shopping malls leave you feeling overwhelmed? It’s The Gruen Effect.
This smart format doesn’t annoy your followers.
For this article, I spoke with a few seniors about their challenges. Then, I brought that feedback into my interview questions.
Each of these Ivy Hill profiles that I’ve put together have unearthed amusing local anecdotes.
When Lynchburg Living asked me to cover new cataract treatment surgery options, I already knew where to start my research. I’ve been ghostwriting for various eye doctors for years, in addition to editing medical research articles. Although I am not an expert, I know where to check for legitimate information.
Every marketing campaign needs a goal. Otherwise, you won’t be able to measure the success of your project. Yet, it’s not unusual for clients to answer me with a *shrug* when I ask, “What’s your campaign goal?” The reason? They aren’t sure what to ask for. Most of the time, people are used to payingContinue reading “How to Pick a Marketing Campaign Goal”
These fall color palettes bring out the best tones of fall. They’re inspired by my favorite cool weather sensations — from buttery-leather boots to crisp cider. Fall Color Palettes Sometimes, I need to shake up my designs with a seasonal selection of colors. Bright orange or apple red may seem like obvious choices. But thereContinue reading “5 Fall Color Palettes to Help You Hail the Great Pumpkin”
I turned them all into spooky quote pins because I can’t help myself.
Essentially, you run a campaign that creates engagement. Then, you can invite those people to “Like” and “Follow” your page.
The American Association of Airline Executives approached me based on a referral from another writer.
Hard-hitting discussions (suicide, authenticity, Billie Eilish’s scandal) produce quotes that make people look up and say something.
It’s always fun to pick up an ongoing project from another designer and this issue of the Mountain Mission School Challenger was no exception.
I was drawn to this direct mail project for two reasons. First, I enjoy projects where I can assist other women. I came alongside a young woman who wants to get involved in her community. Second, I’ve never done a strictly political project. So, I stretched my knowledge and did a little research to makeContinue reading “Seeing (Republican) Red”
After Sara Edwards performed at our “Where It Hurts” event, I met with her to discuss the passion behind her music.
To write an article that paired everyone’s least favorite type of work activity with awareness of local event spaces, I put together a creative list.
As part of an article series in Shop Forest First magazine, I wrote the business story of Monogram Love. I visited their store and interviewed the owner, Karen Betham. The resulting content brought their story to life:
For this wedding article, I walked around Downtown Lynchburg on a crisp spring day to find some fresh Bachelorette and Bachelor party ideas.
Looking back, it’s a little ambitious to do all of these things with your kids in one summer.
#notdying4wallstreet brought the straw man of social darwinism back into modern discussion.
In Spring 2016, brides were feeling overwhelmed about the Pinterest-perfect weddings — and their huge price tags.
Undertaking a wedding tops the most stressful experiences of my young life. The pressure of planning a party for my family, friends, coworkers, and (our parents’) acquaintances filled me with dread. Years later, I revisited that terror (with some much-needed levity) to put together a list of things brides forgot on their wedding day.
Volunteers are giving back, even if they don’t have a lot of money to donate.
They asked me to update a fundraising self-mailer that included a remittance envelope for donations.
Out of all my higher education projects, I’ve referenced the studies in this paper most frequently. I suppose the topic of workplace conflict has been the most relevant for me, both as a manager and as a subordinate. “Organizational culture is important to managers and employees because they spend, on average, 2080 hours per yearContinue reading “Solutions for Workplace Conflict”
Even on a cloudy day, the atmosphere was delightfully warm. I snapped a few shots, interviewed shopkeepers and collected piles of notes that eventually became a guide to visiting this local gem.
For these articles, Mary Garner, the publisher uses both my articles and my photography to complete the magazine spread.
I put together this design by staying in alignment with the Brand Guide we had previously developed.
Aidan explains, “I write things down when I feel overwhelmed by detail. “
I’ve spent some time on the senior circut lately, writing about managing medications and Forest, VA history. This article folded neatly with that point of view. As a special section within Lynchburg Living Magazine, this article focused on the local options available to retirees. Make Yourself at Home in a Retirement Community Originally Published inContinue reading “Senior Living Guide”
When Lynchburg Business Magazine asked me to enter the world of amateur sports, I didn’t know how deep the research would take me.
For these articles, Mary Garner, the publisher uses both my articles and my photography to complete the magazine spread.
For this brochure, I put the focus on the parent as the target audience. For example, that mother in the centerfold exudes both hope and determination.
As the demand for solar energy continues to grow, so does the need for a capable, trained workforce. CVCC sees their role in the process as a simple one: prepare local students for a bright future in the exciting, expanding energy industry.
Because I’ve put together many of these guidelines in the past, I encouraged the client to keep this document focused and succinct. Many of the people referencing the guidelines are volunteers who just need to understand the basics of the brand.
Camera and tablet in hand, I searched Buchanan to find “The Best Place” for antiques. The clever name belonged to an equally charming store.
I photographed the items, arranging them in a flat lay that included her branding. She used these materials on her facebook, website, and email marketing to promote her in-store sale.
Everyone wants to stand in a place like the Amherst County Fair during the late summer. From the elevated fairground, you can view miles of mountains and feel the rush of wind on your cheeks. The sun is a little too warm, but it’s welcome on your skin.
Although the Heilmans had recently moved into the townhomes on Ivy Lake, we walked through Lynchburg history. They had lived in the area for several years before they moved away — only to move back. For me, it was a stressful situation. The COVID-19 shutdown regulations were constantly changing so, I wore a facemask duringContinue reading “Maybe the Hills Grew”
It was a new experience for me — calling the day before an interview to see if my subjects wanted to meet. The Coronavirus situation had escalated quickly and I wasn’t certain of the safest way to proceed for the health of my subjects. The Harveys were glad to meet with me. We maintained physicalContinue reading “We’re physically distancing… not social distancing!”
Whenever I have a chance to interview women about their artistic process, I build my questions around resetting expectations. Often, women in art get the fluffy questions. Who inspired you? As a woman… Who would you like to thank? Instead, I start at the beginning — letting my subject tell her story. This allows herContinue reading “How I Interview Women About Their Art”
Reminder: They’re people.
Every business dilemma can’t be resolved by your marketing team.
I encounter creative people through artist interviews, lifestyle columns, and business profiles. As I put together each story, I challenge myself to uncover the genius behind their work and relay their value to my audience.
Let’s quarantine the worst misinformation websites.
What started as a few organic media moments became a churning content carousel.
Flip the perspective from the business to the consumer.
Don’t just ask about their kids.
Each time I schedule an interview for an article, I aim to gather quality material as quickly as possible.
When my articles cover impactful events, I’m conscious about the details. Recently, I spoke with an established member of the Ivy Hill Community about her experience with Bob Hope’s visit to Lynchburg. Although her memory was extremely reliable, I cross-checked the facts for two key reasons. First, I didn’t want to bog down the interviewContinue reading “How to Confirm Details in Your Articles”
Whenever I write an article, I have a concept for the angle before I even pitch the story. Most of the time, the angle the reason an editor accepts the piece.
As part of my volunteer work at The Listening, Inc., I interview artists for their website.
You don’t have to be a photoshop wizard to put together these popular text graphics.
That contrast between author’s intention and audience reception continues to fascinate me.
Respondents said their low trust in social media has had little effect on how they “understand current events”.
Beyonce’s khaki & cocoa feed is the 2020 aesthetic.
Don’t get stuck in a design rut.
Freshen up your font choices!
At the start of the New Year, several products and services always explode like fitness, home organization, and education.
Choosing brand colors is a little bit science and a little bit art.
See charts and graphs of the most common logo colors pulled from the Fortune Global 500 list.
Aesthetic preferences are shaped by Pantone’s annual selection in every area of design from products to media.
For small businesses and startups, a one page sheet is an excellent starting place.
Everyone is trying to get a chunk of that Baby Boomer business.
As a news junkie, I had been following the conversation surrounding the solar energy industry.
Get ready for the big sale (+ free graphics)
When someone invites you into their work, actually letting you feel their passion, you can put something together that goes deeper than boilerplate copy or a press release.
I don’t advertise website builds as one of my business services for several reasons.
These interview questions always get a good response.
Avoid promotional pitfalls by taking a deliberate approach to your marketing messaging.
Turn the customer’s decision-making process into a dialogue.
This kind of information performs well on both social and search.
Working with a ghostwriter can help you put together a story that captures the attention and imagination of your target audience.
Creating and implementing a marketing campaign can help your audience see the whole elephant of your brand, instead of fumbling around the little pieces.
If you want to write better, learn how to find an angle for your story.
You can feel at peace with your promotions.
Over the years, I’ve been on both ends of the press release process, as a representative for marketing clients and as a freelance writer. During that time, I have seen parallels between the press release process and our great blue earth.
Basically, you have 5 options.
To refocus content on truth-telling, there are several steps that media companies, content creators, and consumers should take to improve our information ecosystem.
If you are a small, retail business, the holidays are full of both stress and opportunity. Foot traffic typically increases — and you can make the most of it. Get your fair share of pitter-pattering customer feet by running a social-media friendly sales event.
Whether you are a small brick-and-mortar retail shop or selling online, Black Friday (or the day after Thanksgiving) sales set the tone for your holiday promotions. It’s one of the most cluttered holidays – in terms of messaging. The big retailers have the most money to spend on high reach promotions.
Everyone talks about ROI. This plan is set up to measure it.
The problem isn’t that we are believing fake news — it’s that we stopped believing in news.
There are some headlines we just can’t resist.
Some classifications are just confusing like my multicultural: African American “racial affinity”.
The First Amendment still stands along with our right to exercise the power to speech, press and petition.
23% say they have shared a made-up news story – either knowingly or not.
Fake news will exist as long as there is money to be made from it.
The Pew Research Center tested how well people can separate fact from opinion statements. The results aren’t surprising.
People were asked to evaluate sample news statements and categorize them as “opinion” or “fact.”
If you really think about it, what makes that particular claim fake news?
We have survived, and thrived as a nation, in spite of missteps.
People are emotional, irrational beings who seem to prefer sharing lies that match their worldview over reconciling their beliefs with facts.
Consider me your source for creative content, digital media advice, and marketing tips. My posts fall into three main categories. First, I give real-world examples by summarizing recent projects in my portfolio. Second, I provide free downloads, links to industry sources, and roundups of inspiration to help you break through creative ruts. Finally, I conduct deep dives into topics that interest small business owners and content creators. If you have questions about anything you see in my posts, feel free to reach out to me directly.