Why is everybody buying toilet paper?

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, we want to address one of the craziest things going on in our post-pandemic world. This week, we are going to answer that burning question on your mind: “why are people buying toilet paper in bulk?” 

Yes, seriously.

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I will be the first one to admit, 2020 has been a crazy year so far. I personally like to describe it as a scooter to the shin. We could easily dedicate an entire post talking about all of the wild things that have happened so far this year. Yet in the harsh light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the strangest thing to arise is a widespread shortage of toilet paper.

What is driving this bizarre change in consumer behavior

Consumer Behavior, Meet Infectious Disease

Go into any grocery store right now and you might see a few different scenes. I personally have seen everything from empty stores that look like they’ve been ransacked to sheer pandemonium with more people than I’ve ever seen in a grocery store. Both extreme scenarios share one thing in common: completely empty toilet paper aisles. 

Factories and distributors are working 24/7 to try and meet the demand. It is pretty wild to think about how quickly life as we know it can change and shift. One of the scariest parts of all of this is how many unknowns there are.

I am not going to even begin to act like I know what is going to happen in the next few months. I do know that this shortage will not last forever and supply chains will have more TP on the shelves as soon as they are able to get it distributed. 

People are scared right now. This is a global pandemic we are talking about here. Something that I am sure you have all heard mentioned by now is the term “panic buying.” This is essentially when consumers buy unusually large amounts of a product in anticipation of, or after, a disaster or perceived disaster, or in anticipation of a large price increase or shortage. In short, this is what a ton of people are doing right now with toilet paper, which is clogging up the supply chains. 

But Why Are They Buying Toilet Paper?

So first we have people who start to panic buy, then we get people who panic hoard all of the supplies. These are the people you either hear about or see in stores fighting other people over Charmin Ultrasoft by the box.

I am going to suggest that for the sake of everyone else in your community, don’t be one of those people. Share the love, friends. It might not be immediately, but we will reach a place where we aren’t all fighting over toilet paper when they restock the grocery store shelves. 

But let’s take this one step deeper: toilet paper demand is going up because people are staying at home. The rolls you find in restaurants and offices are usually those giant ones – the kind you won’t use at home. You have a massive unused supply of commercial toilet paper while there is a massive uptick in need for residential toilet paper.

That alone might explain the shortage, but what really amped it up was the media frenzy that followed. News reports of people buying 200 rolls at Costco followed by viral tweets showing images of people doing the same. Then people started panic buying to beat the panic buyers. Panic buying begot panic buying.

Basically, you have this tiny inkling of a real supply chain problem magnified to absurd extremes by mass media.

But What Can I Do About This?

Not much. Getting your hands on white gold is a lot harder than it should be. Until then, I figured I would give you guys three alternatives to toilet paper, in case you find yourself in a tough situation… 

  1. Take a look at bidets 
  2. Wet wipes 
  3. Last resort, raid your closet and find your least favorite t-shirt and say goodbye. 

Final Thoughts

These are truly absurd times we are living in. Never did I think I would find myself writing a piece on the current state of the nation’s TP shortage, but that is life, I guess. Things will eventually return to normal, and when they do, please, please, please don’t run out and buy all the toilet paper up. I’m almost out of paperbacks I didn’t like.

Until then: stay safe, stay healthy. 

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The 3 Best Things About Working In Marketing

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, we are changing things up a bit. Many of you have asked some version of “what are the best things about working in marketing?” Today, we’re going to answer!

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1. You get to help other people.

One of my favorite parts about working in marketing is being able to help other people. Though it sounds incredibly cliche, I have always wanted to work in a field where I felt like I was making a difference in other people’s lives. Marketing, at its core, is helping people promote and sell their products. When I started working in the field, I quickly saw how you use marketing to help others achieve their goals. It’s one of the most satisfying parts of the job!

2. You can be as creative as you want.

Another great thing about marketing is there is no specific way to do it well. There are literally countless ways to effectively market a product. As someone who deeply values creative freedom and individuality, marketing is a field where I can be as creative and different as I want. 

Your goal as a marketer is to try and promote a product or service. You have specific goals you need to meet, but how you do so is only limited by your imagination. Since I began working at the Pangea Marketing Agency, I have been encouraged to cultivate my own creative goals and to try different things, even if they may not work. Working in a field where you are encouraged to try and stand out, be different, and make an impression on people is one of the most fun and exciting elements of marketing. 

3. Marketing is an interesting field that’s always evolving.

In society today, you encounter some form of marketing almost every single day, whether you realize it or not. Marketing and advertising are present on every form of media: TV, billboards, social media, and so on. By using tools that most people use for fun already anyway, you can effectively grow and promote your business. For this reason and many others, marketing is genuinely a fascinating field and fun to work in!

Final Thoughts

Regardless of what field you work in, doing something that makes you happy and that leaves you fulfilled is important. Working in marketing has taught me so much about life, people, and how to better communicate with people. Anyone looking for a fun, creative, progressive, and engaging field in which to work should seriously consider marketing.

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5 Ways to Increase Online Engagement

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway contest for a Fire Stick. Today, we will answer the following question: “what are five ways to increase online engagement?”

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Having an actively engaged online community is one of the most important aspects of growing your business. How do you get to that point, though? It can oftentimes be one of the most difficult things to successfully do.

But you don’t have to be in the dark on this any longer! There are a bunch of ways you can drum engagement online, but we’re going to talk about five ways that you can increase your online engagement right now. 

1. Evaluate where you are at right now

Before doing anything drastic, take a step back and evaluate where your small business is at right now. Which channels are doing best? Which channels are not doing well? Pay attention to your audience’s patterns of consumption and give them the kind of content they want to read, watch, or listen to.

When you start by evaluating your current situation, it gives you a much better sense of what to do next. Often, you’ll find that the best thing you can do is modestly tweak a current process for great results.

2. Engage with your audience on a deeper level

People crave genuine, raw content. Being real with the people who are engaging with you already is one of the best ways to help increase engagement within your community already there. People are smart and they can spot a phony a mile away.

By engaging with your audience on a deeper level, they will, in turn, feel closer to you and be more likely to engage. Business is all about relationships – growing them, nurturing them, and building them up stronger and stronger. Treat your online community the same way. 

In short, be a human – even when time and money are tight!

3. Run giveaways 

Everybody likes winning things. I mean come on, it’s free stuff! Hosting giveaways is one of the best things you can do to increase engagement online. You can incentivize people to do anything from follow you on social media to subscribe to your podcast. Your engagement will go up and people will have a chance to win whatever you are giving away. It’s a win-win!

4. Start a blog

Blogs are a fantastic way to voice your opinion, inform people, spread knowledge in your area of expertise. Blogs help start conversations start, and this is true for nearly any field. People are always asking questions and trying to increase their knowledge, so give them a platform to learn!

5. Double down on social media

Social media is huge! Each social media channel comes with a unique set of features. From Instagram stories, to live-streams, to still photos, and short snippets of text, there are so many different ways you can communicate your desired messages. Use as many of them as you can!

Final Thoughts to Increase Online Engagement

There is no shortage of ways to increase online engagement. The five suggestions we have shared above are just scratching the surface, but they should give you enough to get started. Use them and watch your audience grow and your community thrive!

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How can giveaways help my small business?

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway contest for a Firestick and Echo Dot. Today, we will answer the following question: “how can giveaways help my small business?”

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You have been running your small business for a while now and things have been going well. Yet even when things are going well, you may still seek to increase your engagement, sales revenue, page views, and more. So naturally, you ask yourself, “how can I keep growing my business?”

There are countless ways you can promote your business, but one our personal favorites at Pangea Marketing is giveaways. Today, we are going to talk about how to run one and what they can do for your business.

Giveaways 101

Giveaways draw a lot of attention. Consider the following: you’re on your phone one afternoon, scrolling through Facebook, and you see an offer from a company saying “comment on this post for a chance to win a Visa gift card.” I enjoy winning free things, and I’m sure you do, too! Giving people incentives to engage with your business works because of this very simple principle.

There are tons of different ways you can run giveaways. They can be as simple as asking people for the email address or getting them to like a photo on Instagram, or they can have 20+ ways to enter. You can give away $15 books or vacation packages to St. Lucia. Consider your audience, your budget, and what you want people to do. You can then build a giveaway around that.

Screenshot of a Roku giveaway that we ran about six weeks ago.

Consider your business objectives, as well as your budget and your audience. Think of what you want your audience to do and craft a giveaway around that. Here are important things you want to get right:

  1. The prize needs to be attractive and perfectly suited to your target audience. If you’re an author, give away similar books. If you make board games, give away similar board games. It doesn’t have to be your own inventory – you can give away other companies’ items!
  2. Make it easy to enter the giveaway. If you have a single entry condition, make your giveaway as simple as filling out a form or commenting on a post. If your giveaway is more complex, use software like Gleam.io.
  3. Give people incentives to do what you want them to do. If you want emails, tie their odds of winning to them giving you their email. If you want Twitter followers, make them follow you on Twitter.

How Can Giveaways Help?

Growing your business doesn’t have to be a boring, stressful time! Giveaways are a great, fun way to show your audience that you aren’t just focused on yourself and your brand’s success. Running a giveaway is exhilarating! When you run a giveaway, your company will come across as a lot less stodgy and sales-oriented.

In addition to the branding benefits, here are just a few things you can get people to do in a giveaway:

  • Follow/view you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, or YouTube.
  • Listen to you on Spotify/podcasts.
  • Give you their email.
  • Watch videos.
  • Answer questions for market research.

The list goes on and on and on.

Final Thoughts 

Giveaways are a fun and creative way to market your brand. When you are looking for a way to grow your business and attract more people to your site, consider running a giveaway. Then once you do, let us know, so we can enter it! 🙂

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Should I outsource social media management?

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway contest for a smartwatch. Today, we will answer the following question: “should I outsource social media management?”

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We have talked in-depth in the past about social media and all of the different reasons why it is so vital for your small business. With millions of people on social media, it is no secret that it is a great way to reach your audience.

But let’s be honest with each other. It’s kind of a pain to manage.

Maybe you don’t have the time for it. Or perhaps you don’t like social media at all. Maybe you open up Facebook or Twitter and have no idea what to say.

If that sounds like you, outsourcing social media can be very attractive.

Consider Your Business Goals

Before you make a big marketing decision about whether or not to outsource social media, take a step back and analyze the current state of your business. Think about what you are trying to accomplish. Try to come up with a clear image of what you intend to do – think really big picture here.

Once you do that, think about where social media fits into the picture. Will you use it to generate new leads? Will you use it for customer service? Is it simply an extension of your corporate branding? Are you wanting to use social media because everyone else is?

All of these reasons are valid, including the last one. The point here is that you want to think about how social media fits into the larger picture so that you can make an informed decision about whether to outsource social media.

Outsourcing social media might seem like a luxury, but it’s really not. Fifty-six percent of B2B content marketers outsource at least one part of their content marketing. That number jumps to sixty-two percent for B2C content marketers. It’s very common!

Why You Might Want to Outsource Social Media 

The main reason to outsource social media is to gain back time. Running your own social media is a pain and a time sink, and marketers with experience can usually do it faster and just as well. For a small business owner, every second counts. How many of those seconds do you want to spend replying to Instagram comments? For many people, the answer is “as little as possible” because they want to focus on other aspects of their business.

Similarly, if you just don’t get social media, that’s a good reason to outsource as well. Countless people do get social media and are more than happy to help you. Marketers – at least the good ones – are matchmakers. They help businesses be seen in their best light so customers fall in love. This is to say, when you outsource social media, it can take away a lot of the awkwardness you feel when trying to fit on Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and so on.

Lastly, social media specialists may charge more per hour, but it’s often cheaper than hiring an intern or a dedicated worker to handle your social media for you. There is no payroll tax, worker’s compensation, benefits, or onboarding costs. Social media freelancers and agencies can hit the ground running with a minimum of training. When you consider that social media is a marginal concern for most business owners, this is yet another good reason to outsource.

Final Thoughts 

Social media looms large in our modern world. Billions people are engaged online with seemingly endless websites. Understanding how to push your business further through social media can seem confusing. If you don’t have time for it, don’t get it, or don’t want to hire a full-time employee to handle it, consider outsourcing social media. You’ll be glad you did!

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How can I reach more people?

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway for an Amazon Firestick and Echo Dot bundle. Today, we will answer the following question: “how can I reach more people?”

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In business, reaching your target audience can be tricky. Growing your audience can be even trickier. In order to keep growing and expanding, it is important to experiment with different marketing techniques. Ideally, you want to reach people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. That means you need to find the fine line between casting a wide net and focusing on people like your current customers.

Start by Evaluating Your Current Situation 

The first step to reaching more people is understanding how many people you currently reach. It’s a basic tip, but a critical one. If you don’t understand what you are doing and who’s paying attention already, it’s hard to tell what will and won’t work. Knowing what works best for you is key in not only reaching your audience but also in expanding and growing it. 

Start by mapping out all customer touchpoints. That is, identify every place where your customer will interact with your brand. That includes social media, ads, email, direct mail, calls with sales staff, your website, your store/office, your billing, and…you get the idea. Once you start mapping out your customer touchpoints, you’ll probably be surprised by how many people you already reach!

Since your goal is to increase reach, think about ways you can easily reach more people. You can do so freely online through social media, blogging, and other forms of content creation. If you really want to turn things up a notch, you can advertise on social media and start sending regular emails.

Try a bunch of different marketing methods and monitor them. See what works. Don’t be afraid to double down on what’s working and to quit what isn’t!

Not every venture will yield the results for which you are looking. For example, let’s say that your Instagram account is thriving. You know that this is a rock-solid marketing channel to keep using. On the flip side, you have a Twitter account that is barely getting any engagement. You’re naturally going to spend more time on the channels that are the most successful. Don’t be afraid to move away from what is not working for you – focus on what does!

Start Changing Up Your Content and Methods of Distribution

Finding your focus is important in business. You have finite resources and you can’t spread them too thin. Even still, when you’re trying to reach more people, you have to experiment.

Don’t be afraid to try some new forms of marketing, particularly content creation. “Content” is a vague word and, in practice, it will look different for everyone. It can mean social media, blogging, podcasting, video, live-streaming, or more. The point is: venture out into uncharted waters and see what works.

A week ago, we said that being different – within reason – is a good thing! It helps you stand out in a crowded market. Being different is a good thing! One great way to attract more people to your site and reach them is to catch their attention with something that they don’t see too often. Seth Godin calls this a “purple cow,” a metaphor for making something remarkable enough that people remember it even when they’re being bombarded with other messages.

Final Thoughts on How To Reach More People

It’s tough to reach more people, at least at first. You may at some point feel like you’ve hit the proverbial wall and that you have exhausted all possible resources. At this time, it’s time to change things up, try something new, and see what works. Experimentation is key to good marketing.

Keep at it and remember: work hard for long enough, and people will notice!

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How do you stand out in a crowded market?

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway contest for a smartwatch. Today, we will answer the following question: “how do you stand out in a crowded market?”

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In an increasingly globalized world, it can feel tricky to set yourself apart from the competition. As a small business owner, you might feel like a small fish in a big pond. But there is hope!

While the world is big and growing bigger everyday, there are many things that you can do to stand out in a crowded market and draw in more business.

Narrow your market by finding a niche

One reason that you might feel like you can’t stand out in the market is that you are trying to market to the whole world. This seldom works. We can not express the importance of finding your niche enough. This is what makes your business special. In a world with so many distractions and alternatives, this is how people will remember you.

First, find your target audience and tailor your efforts to marketing to those people and those people alone. Do this by creating products and services that are perfectly suited to meet their needs.

Next, get your name out there in your community, and in your niche. Find communities of people you want to attract to your business, and then ask “how do I let them know about us?” There are a lot of ways you can do this: social media, email, in-person events, and more. The important thing here is to carefully select the best communities, then put the bulk of your effort into reaching out to them. Don’t blast people with untargeted messages – they won’t care that way.

Try different approaches to marketing and see what your audience responds to. If you are having wild success with one method of marketing, while others seem to be lacking, then stick with what is tried and true for you!

Yes, it is good to experiment and try new things, but do so smartly! Once you find a niche, make the right products/services, and find communities to engage with, focus on doing that right before moving onto a wider niche.

Be different, but familiar

We have all heard it throughout life: be different. It gets old after a while, but sometimes cliches are true. Doing things differently is the easiest way to stand out in a big market. Being different looks different for everyone though. What your business is trying to do maybe drastically different than mine.

Now, yes, doing things the same way as your competition doesn’t exactly give your customers a reason to choose you. Bear in mind, though, that people tend to prefer what feels familiar. Be different, but also make sure your business feels familiar. You want customers to be at ease with your brand, not having to think too much. Being too different can be overwhelming. There’s a Goldilocks zone that you want to find here!

Final thoughts on standing out in a crowded market

Once you have a niche and have figured out how to be different-but-not-too-different, it’s time to turn things up a notch. Start actively attracting customers to you. You can do this through giveaways, advertising, community outreach, and any number of other methods.

Finding a niche is hard. So much so that it feels intimidating. Don’t let that stop you from trying to be different and growing your business. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve reached a plateau, these tips can help you make waves in your own market!

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What are some easy ways to market your products?

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway contest for a smartwatch. Today, we will answer the following question: “what are some easy ways to market your products?”

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There are a thousand different ways to market your products. Every business’s marketing will be a little different. When marketing different products, you’ll naturally need to market in different ways.

First Understand Your Product & Its Appeal

Marketing is like matchmaking. Your job, as a marketer, is to create products that people will like. Then you help customers find your products. The concept is simple, but the execution is difficult.

One of the most critical things you can do to market your products effectively is to completely understand your product and what it can do for the customer. This might sound obvious, but understanding your product means you understand the features, and more importantly, how those features benefit your customers.

Remember: it’s all about your customer! Think of their needs first.

After you understand the appeal of your product, look for places where your target audience will be gathering or media outlets whose content they will be consuming. If you are going to be marketing a product or a service, the best way to market for you might not be a video on TikTok. Think first about what you are trying to accomplish and then evaluate which channels will help you reach your goals. 

3 Simple Ways to Market Your Product Right Now

While you are thinking about how best to market to your customers, we’re going to share three very easy ways to market your product. These are available at a low cost to virtually every business.

Facebook ads are very effective if you use them right. You can endlessly narrow down your target audience to find people with super-specific interests. You can really tailor your ads to reach your specific audience.

Instagram ads are similarly effective. Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms in the world, and it has a very approachable advertising system. You can choose the region, style of ad, pick a demographic, and run an ad all in about a minute. 

Lastly, email marketing is one of the most effective ways to market. In particular, Mailchimp is a very easy tool with which to get started. With free and paid options available, you have a wealth of options to choose from.

Final Thoughts 

There are so many ways to market products. We could – and probably will someday – make a very long list of them. But these three methods right here are some of the easiest ways to market right now. Try them out, take it slow, and see how it goes!

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7 Funny Marketing Moments

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or an aspect of business. In one of our contests, someone simply sent us the phrase “funny marketing moments” when we asked “what confuses you about marketing?” They misunderstood the question, but we’ll run with it!

This week, we’re going to shake it up a bit. Times are tough and scary right now and we could all use a laugh.

This week, we are going to be sharing seven of our favorite funny marketing moments and fails. 

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1. IHOP’s IHOb campaign 

Source: AdWeek

This tremendously successful marketing campaign is also one of the funniest marketing stunts in the last few years. If you don’t remember, not too long ago, IHOP pretended to change its name to IHOb to promote the fact that they were selling burgers. It was all a publicity stunt, but they sold FOUR TIMES as many burgers after that campaign.

2. Starbucks van sliding doors fail

Source: Bored Panda

I’m a Dunkin man myself, but this is a little harsh. 

3. Fire your billboard designer

Souce: B Media Group.

I’ve got a feeling that this is a road hazard. 

4. Bad billboard placement

Source: Medium

Or maybe this is actually great billboard placement.

5. Unexpected honesty

Source: Bored Panda

I’ve lost my appetite.

6. The style of the future

Source: Bored Panda

Don’t know if that was the look they were going for. But hey, you do you.

7.  That’s not fair…

Source: Bored Panda

Man, I’m hungry now.


We hope that you guys enjoyed this article! It is a change of pace from what we usually post, but we hope that our little dose of humor will help you get through a tough day!

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How do I start a blog?

Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or an aspect of business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway for an Amazon Fire Stick and Echo Dot bundle. Today, we answer: “how do I start a blog?”

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Blogging is a great way to build a platform to reach your audience. Done well, blogs are a fantastic way to educate others and build your credibility within your chosen field. Better still, starting a blog is not too difficult to do!

How to Start Your Blog: Simple Steps You Can Take Today 

Before you start your blog, think about what you’re going to blog about. Having a clear direction will make it much easier to create great content that you want to share. Really research your audience’s needs, and tailor your blog to help them meet their goals. Remember: it may be your blog, but it’s all about your audience!

Step 1: Find Your Niche

Just like companies need niches, so do blogs. Decide if you want your blog to be educational, casually informative, or professional. Think about how you wish to create content as well: essays, interviews, podcasts, and videos can all be part of your blog. You shouldn’t feel the need to do all of these, unless you think your audience will like that!

Step 2: Choose a Platform

The next step is to choose your blogging platform. While there are platforms that require you to pay, we’ll focus on the free stuff for simplicty’s sake going to focus on the free platforms and services available. WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Tumblr are all great platforms with countless possibilities in terms of configuration and customization.

Step 3: Choose a Web Host

After you’ve chosen your blogging platform, you need to choose your web hosting service. Without getting too technical, the basic concept is that web hosting services allow you to run blog software on their servers so that your customers can view it online. Some web hosting is even free, particularly if you use platforms like Tumblr.

Using WordPress as an example, they allow you to have hosted and self-hosted sites. Hosted sites are run on WordPress’s servers. Self-hosted sites are run on someone else’s servers.

If that’s tough to wrap your head around, here’s how it works for Marketing is the Product. We use the platform WordPress. Our whole website is hosted by Dreamhost. The total cost of ownership for us is around $15/month.

Final Thoughts 

Starting a blog is a great way to create content that others want to read. When used as part of a bigger strategy, content marketing through a blog can really work wonders to grow your business!

Remember to keep your blog relevant to your readers, but always full of fresh, nice-to-read content. Starting is the hardest part, so once you power through the initial hurdle, your blog will be up and running in no time!

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