“We wrote our first blog post before we wrote our first line of code.”
- Jon Miller, founder, Marketo

Blogging is important for every business. So we don’t just offer ghostwriting services for others. We blog for ourselves. Why? To discuss big issues such as content strategy, commissioning and ROI, as well as tactics for effective copy creation or editing, not to mention news about Collective Content.

Remember, over a third of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type. Let us know what you’d like to read about here.

Tag: grammar

11 essential content marketing links from Q1 19

  1. What CMOs should tell board members (and what boards should be asking)

Let’s kick off with some C-suite advice. Trust us, it gets more tactical and advisory from here…

 

  1. 3 creative habits that’ll make you more inspired and prolific all year

Ringfencing mindspace so that any team can be creative is so important (we referred to this as one goal of our way of working).

 

  1. How to turn a single blog post into a month’s worth of content marketing

We talk a lot about how every piece of content is really several pieces of content. It’s even in our writing and editing training course. Here are some useful pointers.

 

  1. 12 content marketing trends that can help your brand stand out

Juicy trends listicle – say no more.

 

  1. Multiply your traffic: 3 powerful ways to give your old content a second life

This is a key tactic for getting more out of your best historic content. But get this wrong and you come across as a low-rent SEOer.

 

  1. How to use LinkedIn as a brand publishing platform

Since we’ve been doing these quarterly lists, we like to feature something with a social angle – and in the early days of Collective Content, we’d often help executives with their LinkedIn profiles and engagement. But LI is about more than profiles.

 

  1. 3 rules for building a better content calendar

Some simple, solid advice about the kind of content planning every organisation should be doing.

 

  1. Copy-wise: Beware of too many, too few or misplaced commas

As well as our love of all things grammar and style (being copy-wise)… we love to drop in one of our own posts 😉

 

  1. Infographic: How to use infographics for lead generation

Not our first Contently link, but as well as loving the right kind of info, we love this riff on “a coffee table book about coffee tables”.

 

  1. Insourcing, offshoring and creative re-alignment: 10 things I learned about the future of B2B agencies

We don’t often get too inward-looking in these lists but this is a great insight into the kind of agencies you might end up working with – and when to decide you don’t need them.

 

  1. ‘You don’t get it. You aren’t the point.’

And lastly, some advice for any of us: It’s not about us – it’s about those we’re trying to connect with, however we try to do that. Remember.

 

Why 11 links for once? 11 is the best times table, no question.

 

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

 

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11 essential content marketing links from Q2 18

  1. The best way to pitch a content marketing plan to your boss

We kick off with a story we saw back in April, but it’s among the biggest things you can do. Don’t forget that the whole idea of content marketing is still new to most people. So know the WHY as well as the HOW.

 

  1. 5 stellar examples of emotional storytelling in B2B marketing

We don’t always associate the B2B space with the same use of emotions and empathy as consumer marketing. Why not? Here are some examples you might not know, along with one or two classics.

 

  1. ‘Home run for us’: Inside Chase’s in-house agency

Believe it or not, we’re big fans of doing work in-house. It’s just that most can’t… or at least can’t do so as much as they’d like. Here’s a success story.

 

  1. 11 branded content masterminds who are elevating the art of marketing

Follow these people. Follow their work. Inspiring, eclectic stuff. (Bonus: Young Bjork! Double bonus: Rule of 11. Hey, where’d they learn that?!)

 

  1. How to be a copywriting genius: The brilliantly sneaky trick you must learn

Getting tactical for a moment, this isn’t about clickbait headlines. Think CTA – the humble ‘call to action’ – and always having a next step for your reader in mind.

 

  1. 5 journalistic tips for conducting better interviews

As we’re a bunch of ex-journalists ourselves, this Contently piece caught our eye. Journalists can be your not-so-secret weapon, but understand this isn’t about aggressive questioning and pork pie hats.

 

  1. 10 (mostly) quick wins to steal for your original research project

So much longform content is based on research, but what else can you do when you have unique and (hopefully) interesting data? This is a great breakdown by the Content Marketing Institute.

 

  1. Consulting firms are now a serious alternative in the eyes of more advertisers

How is the industry changing? It hasn’t taken long for Accenture, Deloitte, IBM and other big boys to punch their weight in an ecosystem once dominated by marketing agencies. Meaning what, for the rest of us?

 

  1. Travel content marketing 2018: Top trends + takeaways

Every quarter, we like to mention a specific vertical in this round-up. Travel has spawned more than one content marketing guru. And there’s a natural fit. What can we learn?

 

  1. Why you should ditch the idea of the perfect publishing time

We’ve long argued about this. Publishing online should always be about the group of people you’re trying to reach, not average numbers across whole populations. This, and more, in this must-read.

 

  1. The pie chart: Why data visualization’s greatest villain will never die

And finally, we thought we’d end on a pet hate of ours: a cliché of visual presentation. What other techniques can we use instead of the time-honoured pie chart? Well, quite a few, it turns out.

 

And why 11 links? Traditionally the shirt number of a tricky winger.

 

 

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

 

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How to keep bullet-point lists on target

When you’re writing about a topic with lots of important points for readers to know, a bullet-point list can make a useful addition to your blog post or guest editorial. Such lists

  • Offer an alternative to long, dense sentences,
  • Highlight key ideas in an easy-to-scan way,
  • Provide a visual break in what might otherwise be a mass of dull gray text, and
  • Can be effective in other types of content: PowerPoint presentations, brochures, posters and more.

Bullet-point lists can make reading easier for readers… but only if writers do them well. Written badly, a list can confuse rather than inform, and lead to distraction rather than focus. Consider, for example, a list like this, which

  • It doesn’t flow naturally from the introductory text
  • Mix and match tenses and voices
  • Some lists aren’t consistent from bullet point to bullet point
  • Don’t work when read as a sentence.

Let’s fix this bullet list by first putting all the items into a single sentence, like this:

Consider, for example, a list like this, which it doesn’t flow naturally from the introductory text mix and match tenses and voices some lists aren’t consistent from bullet point to bullet point don’t work when read as a sentence.

When written this way, the sentence’s mistakes become glaringly obvious:

  • There are no commas to separate different ideas,
  • None of the ideas works as a correct sentence with the introductory text (i.e., “Consider, for example, a list like this, which don’t work when read as a sentence.”),
  • There’s no parallel construction (i.e., some points start with a noun – “it” or “some” – while others begin with a verb/verb combination – “mix and match” or “don’t”), and
  • Nouns/verbs don’t agree with the introductory text (i.e., “a list like this, which… don’t work…”).

So let’s try that example again, and correct the list’s mistakes:

Consider, for example, a list like this, which

  • Doesn’t flow naturally from the introductory text,
  • Mixes and matches tenses and voices,
  • Isn’t consistent from bullet point to bullet point, and
  • Doesn’t work when read as a sentence.

Now, depending upon your house style, it’s not always necessary to separate bullet points by commas or to end lists with a full stop. It can be acceptable to write bullet lists without separating punctuation of any kind, or to present them as standalone content without any introductory text. However, by making sure your lists are always clear, consistent and grammatical from point to point, you’ll have a much better chance of writing copy that hits its intended target.

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

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Contact us

Contact us to find out how we can help you:

Email:  tony.hallett@collectivecontent.co.uk

Twitter:  @ColContent

Facebook: facebook.com/CollectiveContent

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/collective-content

Phone:  0800 292 2826