Posts Tagged ‘ blogging ’

How To Build A Social Media Strategy: 5 Tips For Businesses Getting Started

  1. We’re all experimenting. Even the bloggers and Facebook users who look like they know what they’re doing are just experimenting, so if you feel a little fumbly, remember that use of social media as a marketing tool is in its infancy. Don’t let anybody tell you there’s only one way to use Yelp or Pinterest. They haven’t seen your way yet.
  2. Get a teenager. I assumed my teenage intern would be able to fix my computer, but she surprised me by mentoring me in social media use as well. And it’s no wonder. The kids in their teen years today don’t see social media as a new way of communicating–they see it as the ordinary way of communicating. Your most extraordinary ideas for social media will spring from the mind of your nearest teenager.
  3. Be generous and polite. Participating in social media means participating in a conversation, and even if you’re new to social media, you’ve been practicing conversation since your toddler years. You know the rules: Listen. Attend to the exchange. Respond meaningfully. Use The Golden Rule. Wish more people would comment on your blog? How many blog comments have you posted today?
  4. Match your marketing goals to your social media tactics. What are your marketing goals, and how can social media help you achieve them? Twitter might be great for alerting your followers to a big sale, but you can’t use it to release your 500-word white paper. Match each social media tool you’re using with a goal from your marketing plan, and you’ll feel clearer about why you’re using social media in the first place.
  5. Have fun! Think of social media as a big cocktail party in the sky. The people drawing a crowd are the ones who look like they’re having a good time.

The Sexy Grammarian arouses entrepreneurs and professionals to build their own strategy, brand, social media, and marketing content with private sessions, intimate workshops, custom style guides, and free online lessons and tips, such as this tip about why your company’s name should not end with an s or this advice about how to be a sexy social media writer. And check out these useful tips for business owners from last year’s Small Business Week: How To Get Organized, How To Engage Your Social Media Community, How To Set Goals, and How To Become A Sought-After Speaker.

Three Sexy Business Writing Tips

April may as well be over, and I’m looking forward to next month’s Small Business Week events in San Francisco.  No doubt, attendants will be discussing new marketing technology like blogging, tweeting, texting, and yelping and how they can increase small business sales in the new economy.

These strategies require writing confidence and lots of fresh content, which can be tough when you’re busy running a business. My favorite Sexy Grammar tips for business writers?

  • Share your knowledge and expertise freely.
  • Stimulate conversation with your target market online.
  • Practice using potent verbs and a scantily clad sentence structure.

Share your knowledge and expertise freely. If you own a business, you have expertise and a story. Share it by answering questions on LinkedIn or by commenting on the blogs your customers read. Be the type of online participant who stirs the pot, asks good questions, and drives further exploration of topics that intrigue your customer.

Stimulate conversation with your target market online. I agree with Fran Lebowitz, who said, “Polite conversation is rarely either,” because stimulating conversation comes from argument and intrigue. My most successful blog posts have been the ones where readers caught me in a grammar mistake or where I created controversy. Yelp understands this, encouraging business owners not to sweat negative reviews but to count page views rather than rating stars.

Practice using potent verbs and a scantily clad sentence structure. Before you click the send, post, share, or tweet button, check for engaging and easy to read construction. My Sexy Grammar lessons on Fuzzy and Wuzzy Verbs, -ly Adverbs, and Tight Writing will help.

As entrepreneurs nationwide celebrate Small Business Week, May 16, The Sexy Grammarian helps small business owners overcome fears and embrace sexy writing to reach new customers. Get involved with Small Business Week in San Francisco. And check out The Sexy Grammarian’s stellar reviews on Yelp.

Day 22: Flying Blind

Today’s Word Count Goal: 43,565

Today’s Word Count So-Far: 37,025

Total Word Count Goal: 50,000

 

When birds fly forward, they are not at all looking in the same direction they’re moving. Instead, they watch the passing scenery, like a passenger in a car. Birds fly blind.

From now on when I’m writing first drafts in a word processing program, I will set the screen view at 50% or less. I’ve been doing it all month, and I love it as a new technique for writing with abandon. Flying blind.

The idea first came to me in conversation with the my friend and colleague, the astute and talented Ken Stram, author of the brilliant blog, Ken and the Art of Entrepreneurship.

Honing his own writing skills, Ken confessed to me that he had resorted to taping a piece of paper over his laptop screen to keep himself from reading back and self-editing while he journaled or drafted new work.

I thought it a brilliant idea but too fussy for this month’s gonzo, laptop-on-the-street, pigeon-stalking writing adventures. But shrinking the view to an unreadable size? A cinch.

Try it. You’ll have more typos than usual, of course, but you can fix those later. The point is, I can just write, write write without reading back, without judging, without editing, without even putting on my reading glasses. I can keep moving forward.

And like a bird, it’s really okay, that I’m not looking at what I’m doing. In fact, like a bird, I may gather more interesting, imaginative, and scenic information by looking elsewhere.

Watch my next few blog posts for shots of other childrens books about pigeons. I’m doing my market research!

 

Watch the Sexy Grammarian participate in National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row. I’ll post word counts and worries here daily, Tweet about it, raise funds for the Office of Letters And Light, and host Meet Me/Tweet Me open loft writing sessions all month long.

Day 5 observations, a movie, and another blog

Today’s Word Count Goal: 14750

Today’s Word Count So-Far: 8811

Total Word Count Goal: 50,000

I know much more about pigeons than I ever did before. Today I caught myself stalking a fine, dark-gray specimen in circles in a gutter on Mission Street. And I’m stretching my imagination much more than I’ve asked it to stretch in years.

I’m way behind on my word-count, but I’ll make it up this weekend.

I’m finding all kinds of fascinating themes to explore about pigeons. Very few of them are kid-book friendly, but I’m not letting that stop me.

So please enjoy this very kid-friendly movie about pigeons. I feel just like Bert when he says, “Boy, just looking at these pigeons makes me feel terrific!”

And now that I’ve entertained you, please go over to my WriMo pal Eric’s blog and give him the love and encouragement he deserves. He’s been writing 50,000+ words every November since at least 2004, and lately, he’s blogging about it everyday.

 

Watch the Sexy Grammarian participate in National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row. I’ll post word counts and worries here daily, Tweet about it, raise funds for the Office of Letters And Light, and host Meet Me/Tweet Me open loft writing sessions all month long.

My Pre-NaNoWriMo to-do list

Today’s Word Count Goal: 0

Today’s Word Count So-Far: 0

Total Word Count Goal: 50,000

  • post to blog (check)
  • get manicure
  • final touches on newsletter
  • final touches on NaNoWriMo page
  • put novel #1 away
  • finance meeting with wife
  • clear desk (check)
  • make home office client-ready
  • do laundry
  • buy Halloween candy
  • take free iPhone class
  • prepare for medical school clerkship session tomorrow
  • prepare for coaching clients
  • read 60 pages of client manuscript
  • APA formatting on client manuscript
  • set up NaNoWriMo document

The Internet stirs with anticipation today. One former participant offers this lovely ode. For up-to-the-nanosecond updates from around the globe, I highly recommend the entertaining #nanowrimo feed on  Twitter. And the good people at the Office of Letters and Light point out that WriMos have begun their race in New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Micronesia, most of Australia, and half of Russia!

Watch the Sexy Grammarian participate in National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row. I’ll post word counts and worries here daily, Tweet about it, raise funds for the Office of Letters And Light, and host Meet Me/Tweet Me open loft writing sessions all month long.

These ones almost snuck by: high school friends, verb tenses, submissive butches, and demonstrative pronouns

Pardon me, for this blog post contains sexually explicit examples or content. If you are under the age of 18 or just uncomfortable with sexually explicit material, you may want to check out one of these sites about grammar and writing instead.

Last month, a new idea struck my blog via Facebook like lightning from heaven–why not answer grammar questions from readers in a sort of salute to Dear Abby? Answering just a couple of questions on my blog stirred up a flurry of comments and questions. I could barely keep up.

But I love this idea because of the way it encourages dialogue. And I truly believe that dialogue is the whole point of this ever-expanding blog-o-sphere.

Two grammar questions, both from old high school friends, almost slipped through the cracks, so in the interest of cultivating dialogue during dialogue month, I address them today. Continue reading

Sexy Verbs: -ly adverbs

In December, I posted about Strong Verbs, promising to follow that lesson on Passive Voice with three more:

  1. -ly adverbs
  2. fuzzy verbs
  3. wuzzy verbs

An interesting blogging phenomenon emerged after that: I started getting traffic from people who googled the phrase “sexy verbs.”

Sexy verbs?! Why didn’t I think of that? Of course writers are looking for sexy verbs! We all want our writing to be sexy, to seduce the reader, to keep the reader engaged. Screw strong. We want sexy.

And if verbs drive the sentence, then that had better be where we pack in the sexy. So, I continue the Strong Verbs series in today’s post, but with a stronger, sexier name for the four-part series: Sexy Verbs.

So, how does an editor ensure a manuscript has sexy verbs that keep the reader coming back for more? Well, I scan for these four not-so-sexy pitfalls: passive voice, -ly adverbs, fuzzy verbs, and wuzzy verbs.

This post will tackle the not-so-sexy -ly adverb and how to sex it up.

What is an -ly adverb? It’s an adverb that ends in the letters, –ly. We use adverbs to spice up or further describe verbs and adjectives. They are to verbs what adjectives are to nouns. Here are a few examples:

She reclined languidly.

He awkwardly approached her .

They tumbled in bed, timidly.

As with passive voice, there’s nothing grammatically incorrect about flanking your verbs with adverbs. Adverbs, including the -ly types, remain acceptable word choices and enjoy places of honor in the dictionary. But if you’re using them a lot, you might be using them to prop up not-so-sexy verbs, and they might be cluttering up your sentences.

Observe:

“Get over here,” she beckoned seductively.

While there is nothing wrong with beckoning seductively, it is a mouthful. And it might be a bit of a cliché. Try this:

“Get over here,” she purred.

Purred gets across the idea of a seductive beckoning in a shorter, more textured and descriptive way. Try another–this one’s a classic:

He moved swiftly toward the bed.

Is there a more boring verb in the world than to move? No wonder it needs an adverb to distinguish it, but to move offers a dazzling array of more specific synonyms, none of which require extra, descriptive words to get your point across:

He raced toward the bed.

He flew toward the bed.

He vaulted toward the bed.

Here’s another:

The orgasm shook her body wildly.

Can you do better than shook wildly? How about convulsed? How would you rewrite this sentence?

Or try this one:

“I’m nervous,” he said anxiously.

Experts debate the merits of a more interesting verb than said when writing dialogue. That’s usually because good dialogue ought to convey the way in which the character is speaking all on its own. How do you think this guy said, “I’m nervous,”? Boldly? Doubtful.

So you could get more concise and descriptive:

“I’m nervous,” he stuttered.

Or you could just let the dialogue do all the work:

“I’m nervous,” he said.

But either way, you don’t need to tell us that he said it anxiously.

The point is that an -ly adverb can be a red flag, your sentence waving at you and saying, “I could be more interesting and concise! I could be more sexy!”

So keep your eye peeled, and have some fun playing with your verbs. They’ll get sexier because you paid them some attention. Don’t we all?