Author: Bonnie Harris

It is always a bit of dilemma when a client asks that we promote all new blog articles via social media on a daily basis. It’s not that I’m against promoting in this manner, but I am always concerned about balance. I don’t want to get too far into social media strategy, but I would like to discuss how the use of social media affects your blog when you choose these different strategies.

[caption id="attachment_3654" align="alignright" width="221"] Find these icons at[/caption] Those wanting to self-market their new business, book or product with a limited amount of funds typically turn to free resources in order to get the promotion they want. One of the more popular choices is utilizing one of the leading social media networking sites— Twitter. And it's a great avenue to pursue too. Just about everyone has one including high-profile bloggers, celebrities, powerful industry executives and most importantly tons and tons of prospective customers and clients. It's a great way to reach potentially hundreds of thousands of people at no cost. Using the site may seem simple. After all who can botch a 140 character long sentence? But the truth of the matter is that a lot of people do so on a regular basis. So many in fact that instead of building a strong clientele base, some entrepreneurs and business owners actually turn-off their customers via tweets instead. To make sure you don't use the site incorrectly, brush up on some common "tweetiquette" by learning a few simple rules:

Looking at many of the job postings for writers, I see a lot of people saying that they don’t want ‘spun’ articles. Obviously, the term is being used in a negative context, which I find interesting, because I’ve always looked at it in a more positive way.  Once again, with the evolution of web content we’re seeing one term being used in a variety of ways, which can lead to serious confusion.

[caption id="attachment_3642" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Solar roof...Target or Walmart?"][/caption] I'm not going to argue the merits of Walmart with everyone but comments on last week's post made me wonder how much we really know about Walmart or Target...and how much misinformation has been fed to us by the media based on clever PR? Check out the following questions and then see below for answers. You might be surprised.
  1. Which company created a sustainability consortium between big box retailers, 34 manufacturers and 9 universities to develop "green" label standards?
  2. Which company had no corporate goals for sustainability as of last year?
  3. Which company had 30,000 people apply for jobs at a store opening?
  4. Which company has admitted to keeping part-timers weekly hours below 32 as a policy to avoid paying benefits?
  5. Which company is shown an anti-union video as part of its orientation?
  6. In 2008, which company's health and wage plans were viewed as "more restrictive" by the UCFW?
Okay, here are the answers. If you guessed wrong you're not alone.

In my last post, we looked at some of the different ways of defining original content that you may not have considered when writing your blogs. I introduced the idea of using Copyscape to ensure that there is no duplication within your posts, and this week we’ll look exactly at how you can use that tool to your advantage. Copyscape is designed primarily to prevent plagiarism.  Often, websites use it to ensure that no one else has stolen their original content.  It is also a great tool to use as a writer. When I’ve discussed this with other writers in the past,  I’ve received looks like I’m crazy using Copyscape on my own writing – because it should be pretty clear to me whether or not I’ve plagiarized the content. That may be true, but as we covered last time, there are other definitions of ‘original content’ and if I want to ensure that I meet the criteria for one of those – ensuring there is  ZERO duplication within the content - Copyscape is the best option. Want to know more about using Copyscape to ensure your content is original ?

A program on American Public Media’s Marketplace on Saturday morning caught my attention as APM’s Heidi Moore presented the pros and cons of using the GDP and consumerism as a means of measuring how “well” we’re doing. I’ve always thought it was a bit of a conundrum that as we try to reuse as much as we can (right now to the current obsession with vintage clothing) we’re still measuring ourselves on how much we’re consuming. It’s the same when I hear that unemployment is high, but the number of startups is rapidly increasing. Does anyone not see the correlations between these things? I can’t tell you how many of my friends have started their businesses while on unemployment. (Frankly I don’t see anything wrong with that and I’m happy to pay taxes to fund my friends’ and others’ dreams.) I don’t agree with a lot of what happens in the UK but I was intrigued by the new Gallup-Healthways Wellbeing Index. It’s an index of how well UK residents are doing in terms of their health and well-being. The reporter went on to talk about “why don’t we have one here” and so I looked it up. We’ve had a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index in the US since 2008. (Shame on you, Heidi Moore that was super easy to find.) Basically, here’s what it does:

Beth Hodgson writes so often for the Wax blog we often forget she works for other clients as well, with her problogging service Writesourcing. If you're looking for great, unique content for your blog or site, give Beth a shout on Twitter! We’ve discussed the issue of plagiarism before, on a couple of occasions. (See our post on 'Avoiding Online Plagiarism' last April) But really, the overall realm of original content is the gift that keeps on giving. A major topic of discussion around the Writesourcing water cooler (our virtual one, of course) is if there are other ways to define ‘original content’ that looks beyond the obvious theft, sourcing quoted material and the like. Well, fortunately, a client forced us to explore that further.

What will my life be like in 20 years? I'm laughing at the topic of this week's #letsblogoff because I've been reading all kinds of "surviving 50" and "hiring aging workers" reporter queries. I assume they're all in their thirties or early forties at most...