How to Write Articles That Attract and Engage Readers

So, you’re sitting down to write a blog or an article. Your fingers are poised, ready to strike at your keyboard… but what to write? Blogging can be time-consuming, and you want every word to count. Sure, SEO is important, but it doesn’t matter how well Google ranks your article if people don’t want to read it. Being informative isn’t enough: you need to be engaging to attract and keep your readers!

Here are some tips to get you started.

Tell Stories

Who doesn’t love a good story? People want to consume engaging content, and stories are one of the best ways to engage an audience. Paint a picture for your readers and add some personality to your posts. They want to know that there’s a real person behind your business, so let them get to know you.

Edit, and Edit Again

Copy errors can reduce the perceived quality of an article. When there are glaring errors in grammar and spelling, people are less likely to share and engage with a post. Make sure to check for typos before you publish, AND after. You don’t want your article to become Twitter famous for the wrong reason.

Have a Conversation

People aren’t usually clicking on links hoping to read an essay. Put the formalities away and have a conversation with your readers. Make points. Ask questions. Engage. Articles and blog posts have an audience, so make sure you’re including them in your writing by giving them an invitation to converse with you.

Break Things Up

Nobody wants to open a link to a massive wall of text. Most readers don’t read blog posts until the end, so it’s important to keep your readers’ attention as long as you can. Use short sentences and paragraphs to break things up. Make sure your layout is easily accessible so your readers can find the points they’re looking for at a glance.

Short and Sweet

Longer is not always better. People don’t always have the time or attention span to read a novel, so keep things simple. That being said, if you’ve got a lot to say and your topic is valuable, don’t let length deter you from saying what you need to. There is such a thing as “too short”. Just remember that people will only stay to read if you can engage them, and short posts tend to do better in that respect than long ones.

Now, it’s time to get writing!

How can we help you today? Contact us online or at admin@bluefirewriting.com. We respond within 30 minutes!

4 Features That Make Your Brochures Stand Out

Everyone wants it, and now you can have it: a brochure that stands out from the crowd! We may live in a digital age, but that doesn’t mean that print is dead. In fact, a well-designed brochure is a great marketing tactic for your business.

So, what do you need to stand out?

Design

There’s a reason “well-designed’ is in the description above. All brochures are not created equal, and if you want an effective one, a striking design is essential. The first thing to consider is your purpose – what you are trying to achieve with your brochure – because that’s where your design begins. Whether you’re promoting a new product or service, hiring, or simply creating brand awareness, the objective should be clear throughout the entire piece.

Consider the format: how will it be folded? Bi-fold? Tri-fold? Z-fold? Accordion? What size will it be? Where will your logo fit? How will you incorporate your branding? Also, keep in mind that simple is best! Too much information can clog up the visual appearance and dissuade people from reading.

Copy

Great copy is an art form. You’ve got a lot to say, and not much space to say it, so it’s important to choose your words carefully. Some information on your company, your products and services, and your business’s contact details are the basics you can include. But copy isn’t just about what you say, it’s about how you present it. Use titles and headers. Include bullet points and lists. And do not, we repeat, do not get font-happy. You don’t need lots of fancy fonts in a bunch of different sizes to be interesting. Pick a maximum of 3: one for headings, one for sub-headings, and one for copy.

Images

Building a brochure without images defeats the purpose of having a brochure to begin with. Images make everything more interesting and engaging, so get yourself a professional photographer and take some pictures! If you don’t want to go that route, stock photos are a good alternative. Showcasing your products and services visually will ensure your customers know exactly what they’re getting.  Whichever you choose, make sure that the photos are a high enough resolution (at least 300 DPI) to print clearly.

Paper

Last but not least! What will you be holding in your hands when your brochure is done? There are many types of paper to choose from, but this isn’t the time to be cheap. Quality paper is durable, it feels great, and it gives your business a more professional appearance. An 80lb or 100lb stock in gloss or matte can make your designs look even more striking! If you really want to stand out, consider using metallic inks or unique cuts for your paper. Talk with your printer about your options.

Now you’re all set to get started on your business’s brilliant brochure! Have questions? Contact us! We respond within 30 minutes! admin@bluefirewriting.com

Making it Memorable: Why Your Business Needs A Tagline

Just do it.

I’m Lovin’ It.

Taste the feeling.

If you could name the businesses that have the above taglines, then you’ve just demonstrated the power of a tagline! A business tagline is a short and memorable phrase with the purpose of leaving a lasting effect in a quick encounter. If you’re not sure how or why you should create a business tagline, you’ve come to the right blog. BlueFire Writing Inc. is here to help!       

What is a Business Tagline

A business tagline is a short and succinct phrase that allows you to advertise your business without a lot of ad copy—a verbal logo, if you will. It can be as short as two words (Got Milk?) or as long as eight, for example (Melts in your mouth, not in your hands). Whatever the length, your tagline should capture the essence of your business. To help define your business’s essence, it helps to think of the old marketing adage, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”. Don’t sell your business; sell what your business stands for, its persona, and what the target audience should care about.

The Purpose of a Business Tagline

When a tagline is written correctly, it expresses the overall benefit of your business, gives the audience a broad picture, and leaves them wanting to know more. At a deeper level, it should resonate with the target audience emotionally. If it’s great, it might be used for years to come and act as a long-lasting reminder of the business, product, or brand it belongs to.

Why a Business Tagline is Important

A business tagline is effective on both traditional and digital channels, from business cards to television commercials. At BlueFire Writing Inc., we know the value of great content, and a perfect business tagline will only enhance it. When the tagline embodies the spirit of your business and is used continuously across those channels, brand recognition and support will grow. Just take a look at these taglines that drove multi-million dollar growth!

In summary, a great business tagline will:

  1. Capture the essence of your business
  2. Sell what your business stands for
  3. Resonate with your target audience
  4. Foster brand recognition and support across many channels and platforms

Creating a Business Tagline

You may know your business inside and out, but we know writing! Now that you know how important a tagline is for growing support for your business, it’s time to get in contact with us. Our specialized team can help express your business in just the right way. Write to us at admin@bluefirewriting.com. We’ll respond within 30 minutes!

What You Need To Know Before Hiring A Professional Copywriter

It’s no secret that successful digital marketing campaigns build brands and boost business. The key to staying competitive in this changing online world is providing valuable content that interests and engages readers. What’s the secret to attracting more website traffic, and building business? A highly qualified copywriter. Writing is difficult, and getting an edge in the marketplace—and keeping it—means finding the right talent for the job. Keep these savvy tips in mind when searching for that award-winning copywriter!

Filter Potential Candidates

It’s important to have a diverse group of employees that can cover an array of topics and interests. That said, basic writing skills are required to do the job proficiently. Digital advertising is currently facing a talent gap, and filling it means finding high-quality writers. Filter potential candidates by looking for a background in English or the literary arts. Most candidates who  have a bachelor’s degree in English or hold an degree in law, business, or liberal arts are skilled, highly trained writers.

Look Beyond Formal Qualifications

Not everyone who holds a degree will excel in a fast-paced copywriter position. Look beyond formal qualifications and take into account personality, previous work experience, as well as an impressive portfolio. If the candidate demonstrates a strong ability to understand the job, there’s a good chance they’ll be well on their way to becoming a digital content expert.

Request a Trial Assignment

A copywriter must meet high demands within a short timeline. To be sure potential candidates can deliver under pressure, a trial assignment is a great way to get an indication of whether or not they can do the job. Great business writers deliver top quality work consistently under limited timeframes.

Ask What They Read

Good writers read, and excellent writers read a lot. Ask potential candidates what they read for business— and for pleasure. A wide range of literary interests means they’ll not only be agile enough to handle new demands, but also passionate about what they do!

Business Experience

Talent comes in many forms, and beautiful words mean little when they’re late. Looking for professional writers that can manage their time and meet deadlines is especially important in today’s competitive market. An understanding of business language, sales, and B2B interactions equips copywriters to learn how their talents fit within the context of business (Forbes).

Contract Out

Sometimes hiring talented writers in-house can be too costly, or difficult due to a limited talent pool. Contracting writing jobs out to a professional agency is a great way to get top quality copywriting at an affordable rate. For high-quality professional writing services, contact BlueFire Writing Inc. at 416-455-9283.

Met an angel last night. (Song/poem)

I wrote this (song/poem) for my sister.

She has found her heaven again, in the eyes of her new baby girl.

Written_in_the_Stars

I met an angel last night

Sitting by my window

She knew my heart, her eyes were peace

She never said a word, she never had to

But gave me a message, bitter sweet;

“And when you find heaven baby

Make sure you never leave it, no never leave it, never leave its side.

And when you find your heaven baby

Never give it up, you don’t ever give it up, you never have to give it up.

You’ll know when you’ve found it baby

Yes you’ll know when you get it

And when you get your heaven baby,

Never give it up, you don’t have to give it up

Oh I say to you, and I tell you true,

Here on this walk;

Keep the stars in your eyes,

They’ll drown out the talk

Some never get their heaven

This time, maybe…

When soul true finds your heaven

Go wherever it takes you, baby.

You’ll know when your heart sees heaven girl,

You know how it feels

You’ll know when your soul feels heaven child

Yeah I say, no never leave.”

Her words never uttered

Soft as a smile

Shone like the moon

In a newborns’ eyes

How I know and knew I knew her

Is beyond the mind

Yes, I knew and know I know her

Beyond space and time

As I stare outside my window

Milky stars fill my eyes

“I’ll never give up my heaven

No I’ll never leave the heaven I find”

Written By: Julia Matthews.

All rights reserved.

Durex lubricants. Radio.

From Concept To Copy.

Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Radio script.

Concept & Copy by Julia Matthews.

Sound Production: Emmet Maloney.

Concept: Play time/ happy time for adults. 

1. Ice Cream.

SFX: children laughing and playing loudly we hear sound of ice cream truck.

7-year-old boy Screams: “OOOOOOH! Ice cream!”

SFX: Sound of ice cream truck morphs into seductive music

Woman, raspy voice giggles and seductively says: “Oooooh…. Ice cream!”

Announcer – Woman – British accent: “Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Play time for ad-ults.”

2. Again.

SFX: Roller coaster ride and children screaming on the roller coaster, noise of the fair in the background.

7-year-old girl: “Again! … Again! … Again!”

SFX: The roller coaster morphs into a Vibrator. The vibrator stops.

Woman (laughing near breathless): “Again!”

Man (catching his breath): “Again?”

Woman (very certain): “Again!”

SFX: The vibrator begins again.

Announcer – Woman – British Accent: “Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Play time…

View original post 68 more words

Durex lubricants. Radio.

From Concept to Copy.

Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Radio script.

Concept & Copy by Julia Matthews.

Sound Production: Emmet Maloney.

Concept: Play time/ happy time for adults. 

1. Ice Cream.

SFX: children laughing and playing loudly we hear sound of ice cream truck.

7-year-old boy Screams: “OOOOOOH! Ice cream!”

SFX: Sound of ice cream truck morphs into seductive music

Woman, raspy voice giggles and seductively says: “Oooooh…. Ice cream!”

Announcer – Woman – British accent: “Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Play time for ad-ults.”

2. Again.

SFX: Roller coaster ride and children screaming on the roller coaster, noise of the fair in the background.

7-year-old girl: “Again! … Again! … Again!”

SFX: The roller coaster morphs into a Vibrator. The vibrator stops.

Woman (laughing near breathless): “Again!”

Man (catching his breath): “Again?”

Woman (very certain): “Again!”

SFX: The vibrator begins again.

Announcer – Woman – British Accent: “Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Play time…

View original post 68 more words

Durex lubricants. Radio.

Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Radio script.

Concept & Copy by Julia Matthews.

Sound Production: Emmet Maloney.

 

Concept: Play time/ happy time for adults. 

1. Ice Cream.

SFX: children laughing and playing loudly we hear sound of ice cream truck.

7-year-old boy Screams: “OOOOOOH! Ice cream!”

SFX: Sound of ice cream truck morphs into seductive music

Woman, raspy voice giggles and seductively says: “Oooooh…. Ice cream!”

Announcer – Woman – British accent: “Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Play time for ad-ults.”

 

 

2. Again.

SFX: Roller coaster ride and children screaming on the roller coaster, noise of the fair in the background.

7-year-old girl: “Again! … Again! … Again!”

SFX: The roller coaster morphs into a Vibrator. The vibrator stops.

Woman (laughing near breathless): “Again!”

Man (catching his breath): “Again?”

Woman (very certain): “Again!”

SFX: The vibrator begins again.

Announcer – Woman – British Accent: “Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Play time for ad- ults.”

 

 

Yes.

SFX: sounds of a video game being played, boy wins.

10-year-old boy jumps – with a thump 3 times- each time he shouts and stomps: “YEASSS!! YEASSS! YEASSS!”

SFX: the boy is quiet but we hear the same thud/stomp continue at the same pace- as if coming from another room.

Announcer – Woman- British Accent: “Durex Lubricants, Massage & Play. Play time for ad-ults”.

Top 10 Things To Do While Visiting Jamaica.

Are you planning a trip to the Caribbean? Not quite sure which island to visit? Don’t listen to the rumours; you can have a romantic vacation that is packed with kosher fun days the whole family will enjoy. Regardless of the type of trip you are planning; “rest relaxation and rejuvenation” or “party nights jamming with excitement”, Jamaica will be your best choice. Jamaica’s unique assets caters to any type of traveller and any type of vacation they have in mind.

Here are my Top 10 Things To Do while visiting Jamaica, the only regret you will have is not booking your vacation time a bit longer.

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1. Emancipation Park- Kingston.

Go for a nice stroll in a fragrant garden on a lush green acre. See joggers, strollers, have an ice cream cone and admire the flowers.

2. Dunn’s River falls – Ocho Rios.

Like a challenge? Lets see if you can climb the entire stretch of Dunn’s River Falls while tonnes of fresh, cool, powerful water beat down on your body from giant rocks above. It makes for a great massage.

3. Port Royal.

Arrrgh! And a little history: in the 17th century Port Royal was the centre of the Caribbean shipping commerce, home to privateers, pirates, loose wealth and even looser morals. It is said that because of all the pillaging, and pirating God himself intervened and sank half of Port Royal (still visible by scuba diving) to the bottom of the sea with a massive earthquake in 1692. If that wasn’t enough, “The Almighty” is said to afterwards have sent his wrath onto the rest of Port Royal (the part that did not sink) with a giant tsunami, fires, several hurricanes and then another severe earthquake in 1907. If this history doesn’t fascinate you, maybe the intoxicating fried fish, festivals and bammy will. Port royal is a huge fishing port, tourist attraction, and a fantastic place to eat.

4. Fort Clarence beach- Portmore.

We have all heard the craze of white sand beaches, but few have ever experienced the intriguing beauty of a black sand beach. If you are up for relaxation, family fun, and are staying in Kingston or its surrounding area, then Fort Clarence beach is the place for you. The beach is in proximity to Kingston, so if travelling to the other beaches isn’t feasible, you can still have clean sea to frolic in and rare beautiful black sand to lie in.

5. Mineral Bath- St. Thomas.

Looking for something fun and healthy for the whole family to do? Then have a dip in Jamaica’s’ legendary mineral bath in the parish of St. Thomas. The magical spring is said to relieve aches, sinus, skin ailments and arthritis. The mineral water pours steaming hot and abundantly from mineral rocks in the hills. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself; you have nothing to lose and all health to gain.

6. Negril –North coast of the Island.

I love Negril. The beaches are majestic: with fairy-tale trees, warm white sand and musical waves. To this day Negril has the most beautiful sunsets I have seen in my life. If romance is in your plans while visiting Jamaica, then head to Negril, kick off your shoes; sink your toes in its plush white sand and stare at the Neapolitan swirl ice cream sky. How could you not be in love?

7. Bob Marley museum- Kingston.

We have all heard his music but have you seen his house and where his legendary music was made? Even if you have, the Bob Marley museum never gets old. Tour his house where he lived until his death in 1981, have a look in his studio and see for yourself where his music was made. Then work up an appetite (shop till your hungry) at the Bob Marley gift shop where you will find a variety of memorabilia, the Bob Marley clothing line, key chains and of course his music. Then when you are good and hungry stop by the “Legend Café” and have an Ital (Rastafarian approved) Jamaican dish and drink.

8. Devon house- Kingston.

Who doesn’t love ice cream? At Devon house, there are 27 original creamy flavours that will spin your taste buds into dizzying pleasure. My personal favourites are Rocky River, Devon stout, coconut coffee, sour sop, strong back and rum n’ raisin. I know- I have a lot of favourites. After you find your favourite flavour, enjoy the beautifully manicured 6-acre gardens and tour the 17th century Great House mansion. The mansion is beautifully furnished with English and French antiques, silk walls and curtains. After your eyes have had their fill stop by “The Grogge Shoppe” restaurant for Jamaican hospitality and fine dining.

9. Rose Hall Great House- Montego Bay.

Want to get haunted? Then visit the Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay. Rose Hall is the home and final resting place of the legendary Anne Palmer, affectionately known as “The white witch of Rose Hall”. Tour her mansion, learn of the husbands and slaves she killed in her bedroom, see evidence of her mystical voodoo magic and visit her voodoo marked tomb. Separate accounts have been made that patrons have seen “The white witch” in her bedroom mirror, so be careful while touring her bedroom, you may just see Anne, “The white witch of Rose Hall” looking right at you.

10. Appleton rum estate- ST. Elizabeth.

Like rum? Like free rum? Then the Appleton Estate in St. Elizabeth is a must go! You are greeted with free rum punch at reception and given free cane juice throughout the tour. Learn about the history of Appleton Estates’ rum, the ancient methods of cane juice extraction and methods of distillation. Save some room as you go because at the end of the tour you get to taste as much of the 13 flavours of rum you can stand to drink- literally.

So what do you think? have you been to Jamaica yourself? What stood out to you? What did you do that was not listed here? let us know! We would love to hear what you think!

One Love!

Written by: Julia V. Matthews.

Dealing with the new freedom of college life: Staying safe and not giving your mother a heart attack.

Dealing with the new freedom of college life.
Staying Safe and Not Giving Your Mother a Heart Attack.

Everything is a buzz; you move into your shiny new suite in your college dorm and you think, “This is what they mean by ecstatic”. Every one is excited. Your new suite mate seems cool, and you have a kitchen and a bathroom all to yourself (that you have to share).

Technically it’s your first place, even if you visited before, it feels like a brand new city. A fresh start: fresh faces you look forward to mingling with, a tonne of freshman activities, party invites and how will you ever remember the names of those buildings or how to get to classes in them?! Breathe… It’s ok. One step at a time. Trust me, everything will fall into place as if nature intended it. In the mean time, lets cover some ground rules; things you should never lose sight of while living away from home, on campus.

Action Changes Things Acronym

A roommate/ suite-mate may not be such a bad thing after all.

Besides the guarantee of exercising your nerves at least three times a week, your roommate may actually make your freshman year a lot safer.

1. Take her/ his number down in your phone.

Tell your suite mate if you are going to a party or sleep over and when you will be coming back home. Even if you are going to the mall or visiting your family for the weekend, tell your suite mate your plans.

2. When you tell your suite mate your plans, text it to them, leave a message under her room door or call him/ her. Do not, I repeat, do not broadcast your message on the outer door for everyone to know your whereabouts. Thieves love that kind of information.

3. Please try to get along with your roommate, at least until both of you find other friends. This way you can buddy up together for a trip to the shuttle bus, “The Caf”, the library etc. especially if it is after dark.

4. If you have somehow managed to lose your suite key; do the right thing and alert your suite mate. You may have to bear some passive aggression or a short-term temper tantrum, but at least they can arrange to let you in safely.

5. Do not put tape, tissue paper, paper towel or any other ingenious device over your suite lock or in the door to allow “friends” into your suite. Just don’t do it.

Numbers you absolutely “have to have”. Check.

1. Campus shuttle. Check?

The campus shuttle is on your campus for a reason, use it, you are paying for it after all. After a late night at the library, call them ahead of time and ask them to notify you when they are outside the building. After a Frosh event or a party, instead of going into your new friends new ride (you both know you both have been drinking) buddy up and wait for the shuttle bus to take you to your dorm – in one piece. Check!

2. Campus police. Check?

The campus police aren’t just on campus for their good looks. If you feel you are being stalked, if you have been robbed or if someone has threatened your safety alert the campus police, they will document your claims, make a report and escalate the matter to the city police if necessary. Check!

“Hey wanna party with us?” Questions you must ask yourself before during and after you decide to party.

Before: Have a plan and stick to it as best as possible.

1. What time am I going to leave?

2. Who did I tell that I’m going to this party?

3. How will I be getting home?

During: be smart; know what to do and when it’s time to leave.

1. Should I be eating from this communal bowl of chips? Drinking from this communal bowl of rum punch?

2. I see illegal drugs being used… Should I be in proximity to this? Should I even be at this party?

3. Why is everyone running? Was that a bottle that just whizzed passed my head?

Alcohol does seem to bring out the “Inner Hulk” in some college kids; If a fight does break out, don’t try to intervene, don’t try to hold anyone back, just leave.

After: Mission; get home and get in safe.

1. Where are my room keys?

Always have your suite/house keys ready and available before getting to your suite/room.

2. Will I still able to get home as planned?

If not – call the campus shuttle and buddy up with a friend

3. Tell associates at the party that you are about to leave and with whom.

4. Do not allow anyone you do not know to come into your dorm behind you if they do not have an entry pass.

5. Make sure your dorm room locks behind you.

Finally… When you are in your dorm room safely:

Send a text or make a phone call telling your associate you are home safe.

Its funny how little details can have such importance. If people I knew paid attention to these simple things, lives would have been saved, and tremendous heartbreak could have been spared during my college years. I pass these gems on in the hope you will save your family some unnecessary heartbreak, and possibly help another college student, by passing it on to them.

It is not my intention that you become obsessively paranoid, but I would like you to be smart while enjoying your campus life. I know from experience that the best way to enjoy campus life, is to have the assurance that you are being as safe as possible.

I wish you all the best as you carve your mark on the world. Go forth, go safely and don’t forget to call your mother.

Did I miss anything? What safety measure did/do you take on campus that keeps/kept you safe? Please let me know in your comments below.

Written by: Julia V Matthews.