Lowering your bounce rate, from one non-web guru to another

tablet screenI don’t check in on my website analytics quite like I’m supposed to.

One particular post at The Carolina Ledger performed well on social media last week. My interest in my website’s analytics is usually piqued when that happens.

When I checked my report, I noticed something I’ve notice before–a high bounce rate. (Cue dramatic music.)

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Five keys to consistency

Another one of my notebooks

Another one of my notebooks

It’s about time for a sermon on consistency in writing.

Partly because writers and bloggers need to hear it.

But mostly because I need to hear it.

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Getting there first, but getting it right

I find coffee helps with clarity.

I find coffee helps with clarity.

Editors make mistakes.

Even good editors, when writing, need an editor to screen for potential errors before publishing their work.

I made a mistake several weeks ago. Surprise, surprise.

One reader called my attention to it in an email.

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What I learned creating ads on Facebook (plus a tutorial roundup)

Image by Jen Mayfield. Copy by Jessica Cross. TDC's Facebook ad preview.

Image by Jen Mayfield. Copy by Jessica Cross. TDC’s Facebook ad preview.

I’m not naturally a leap-before-you-look kind of gal. And creating my first Facebook ad for The Design Consortium, where I write copy and analyze websites, was no exception.

I knew I could write the copy according to Facebook’s character length specifications for our particular ad objective. What unnerved me was the process of setting up the ad. Fortunately, I had TDC team depending on me to get it done–that’s the cure!

I learned that the process of creating a Facebook ad, though detailed, is easy.

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Best times to post on social media in 2016

HubSpot released in January new recommendations for the best times to post updates on the top social media platforms in 2016. It’s a valuable reference for anyone seeking to maximize followers and page views using social media.

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Writer, laugh at yourself, not with yourself

Instructions to a young writer full of raillery

mischievous laugh

Me, laughing at something I probably shouldn’t laugh at

You may find yourself regularly poking fun at lines regurgitated from news segments across several channels. Stumbling upon awkward pauses on special news broadcasts is fun. Catching grammatical errors in the local daily makes you giggle a sanctimonious giggle.

You delight in printed mistakes by others.

And pride comes before a fall.

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Your five favorite posts of 2015 revisited

As we close the books on this year, I rounded up a few of your favorite posts according to a combination of likes, comments, social networking shares and page views. See the countdown below to revisit your favorite tips and stories of 2015.

5) Four tips to build credibility in your writing

Carry these four tips into the new year to help you perfect your blog and business writing.

Congaree River flooding

The water level recedes from under the Blossom St. bridge after SCE&G releases water from the Lake Murray Dam on Sunday.

4) Diary from a 1,000-year flood—after the rain

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Three reasons journalists make the best copywriters

box of newspapers

A box of some of my published stories

I occasionally run across a marketing guru shepherding his followers away from the dangers of employing someone with a journalism background or (gasp) an English major. Copywriting is more about marketing than writing, they warn.

And I laugh a little each time I read this warning because good writing is about marketing. It’s about knowing what information to share and when. Good writing offers something good marketing should–it’s designed to get you to hear what it has to say.

If you’re looking for a copywriter or editor for your next project, here are three benefits to working with a journalist–

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How to get email signups without annoying your readers

File_000 (13)Gathering email signups can be tricky because of the Internet’s competitive nature. Many bloggers, publishers and marketers need to use (and increase) email signups in order to grow. And while there’s no one right way to collect signups, beating readers over the head with your signup form doesn’t help anyone.

Can we start by nixing the popups?

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Diary from a 1,000 year flood–after the rain


The sun is finally showing his face. At least some area residents can find relief from the receding flood waters.

A meteorologist at a local news station is overcome with emotion. It’s a pretty good reflection of what a lot of locals are feeling.

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