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Screw Your Hack, I’m Trying To Work Here!!

Yesterday I wasted 4 hours trying to optimize my online business. It was supposed to be a simple upgrade. I wanted to customize my desktop, background and create a custom start menu on my Firefox browser.

What happened next was a disaster. First my Firefox froze, so I CTRL-ALT-DEL it. Then it refused to open, so I reinstalled it, losing all of my bookmarks. Finally, my in-house tech guru gets me back online and I happily install the plugins of my dream and get on with my day.

You would think that would be the end of it, but sadly, it is not.

The next day, after working seamlessly for a full 4 hours, my Firefox refuses to open again. I refresh it again, only to lose all of the customization I did the day before.

Now I am staring at my screen, wondering if I should bother with customizing my Firefox again. If that was supposed to be a productivity hack, it sure backfired.

How Does Anyone Get Anything Done?

The Internet can be frustrating. With all of our advancements, it seems like we’ve only made it more confusing. One example of this is blogging which started in the 1990s as a series of journal-like entries shared over the Internet. A blog was somewhere you could go to read people’s opinions, learn new things or connect with others. It wasn’t a sales tool.

My, how things have changed. ..Now every business needs a blog if it wants to survive online – but what do they write about, and best of all how do they find the time? Enter the copy blogger – a professional blogger that specializes in writing sales-oriented business blogs.

No longer is it about sharing opinions and connecting with others. Blogging has become about word counts, keywords, engagement, call-to –actions and readability. As a result, countless blogs, all saying the same thing (absolutely nothing) pop up repeatedly all over the Internet.

It’s no wonder many people have given up reading them.

Is There Even a Solution?

I gave up trying to hack my Firefox into optimized productivity. Yeah, I’m missing my colorful tabs, and screen grabber – but I know it’s for the best. My system is running smoothly, and I can function without an add-on.

Businesses can do the same thing when it comes to their business blogs. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. It doesn’t have to be bells and whistles. It doesn’t have to look like everyone else.

In order for a business to use the Internet to their advantage, they don’t need another copy blogging hack; they need some straight up common sense.

It’s simple actually. Share what you know and love. Do so on a regular basis. Make sure you use good grammar and spelling. Show some pictures if they are relevant, and most of all… have some personality.

You didn’t build a successful business based on shortcuts. Don’t use a content marketing strategy that does.

The Blue Pill or the Red Pill …

So what are you going to do? Follow the masses of websites running behind the Google train or jump into the great unknown of the Internet without guarantee of reward?

You know, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

There was an internet before search engine optimization, and there will continue to be one if search engines suddenly stopped existing. Will people still find you if that happens?

The copy blogging formula says I should end this blog post with a call to action, but I’m not going to. I will, however, say that I offer services for businesses who seek to be different, and who aren’t afraid to say: screw your hacks. I do this because I remember when the Internet was worth a damn, when I wasn’t constantly afraid of ‘hackers’, Big Data harvesters, and fake friends trying to sell you something.

To survive online nowadays, you need to keep it real while still understanding the ultimate game.

Your future customers are out there, you just have to work a little harder to find them.

Grammarly: It’s Like Writing with a Coach

Even the greatest players have coaches –  but for some reason, people believe having a writing coach is against the rules. I simply do not get it – wouldn’t you want someone to tell you when you are messing up? That’s why I was willing to give Grammarly a shot. Yes, they had a free trial, so that definitely was part of it… But I knew that my content and my client’s content, deserved the best possible writing I could produce. Grammarly helps me produce it.

More than a spell-checker

My husband laughed at me when I told him about my new proofing tool. “Why would you bother with that when Word has that built-in?” Well for one reason, Grammarly does so much more that Word could ever do. I mean, I remember back in 1995 when I could depend on the built-in grammar checker- but those days are long gone. Writing and the different forms of writing have become more pronounced; not every type of writing fits into red and green squiggles.

Take these screenshots, for example:

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Grammarly found 8 mistakes, and 2 possible cases of plagiarism, while MS Word  corrected the word Grammarly.

Writing for the Web; Writing a Sales Letter

All writing is not the same – a good copywriter knows that- but do you? It’s okay, you don’t need to because Grammarly has got you covered. When proofreading your work, simply choose the style of writing you’d like to check it against. Grammarly has six different categories to check against- from medical to casual and everything in between- it knows the rules for MLA, AP, APA and blog style and checks your work against them. No more stiff-sounding blogs or over-casual business letters… just your writing with the right style, punctuation, and grammar.

Because Auto-Correct Sucks. …

I call Grammarly a coach – and not a cheat – because you must approve or fix every suggested change yourself. Sometimes even, the tool tells you what you’ve done wrong, but doesn’t tell you how to fix it. This happens especially with style issues because they typically require rewording or a different choice of words. If you have a fairly good command of grammar, Grammarly will serve as a powerful safety net that keeps you from making the mistakes you probably don’t normally make. If your writing skills are basic, it can help you learn from your mistakes, making you a stronger writer with each use. With Grammarly, you must approve or deny every suggested change – and most times you are given the corresponding rule the suggestion is based on. It’s like having a dictionary, thesaurus, middle school English teacher, style book and a Google plagiarism search all in one. They may remind you of the rules, but it’s up to you to do the work.

Who Should Use Grammarly?

Anyone who writes. I can’t begin to express how useful this tool is. It is available as a MS Word plug-in as well as an online tool. It corrects in American English, with the exception of a few Canadian spellings of certain words.

Ready to try it out?

It’s free to give it a shot!

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Test your writing for free and see just how much Grammarly could help you. The free version is limited, but it gives you a good idea about how it works. Don’t worry, if there are too many corrections needed, I’ll be glad to fix it for you.