As a copywriter, I get asked to write all sorts of things. One day I can be creating an annual report for a finance company, the next I can be writing website copy for a dentist. But the one question I get asked the most is – will you write my blog?
What was once a popular niche has exploded into the mainstream. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, blogging is a simple and cost-effective way to share your message with the world.
Why is blogging so popular?
There are numerous reasons why blogging has become so popular. But the main one is the fact that it connects you to your audience.
It gives your business a personality and establishes you as an authority in your industry. It is the cheapest form of advertising you will find and an easy way to generate content for your social media sites.
How often do I need to blog?
This is the million dollar question. Most ‘experts’ will tell you should blog on a daily basis. And while this is great in theory, it is often difficult in practice.
In my opinion, it depends on the products or services you are trying to sell. It also depends on your resources and budget.
The one thing I will say is that having a blog that lies idle for too long is worse than not having a blog at all.
A blog that lies dormant for months on end will give your customers the impression that you are lagging behind your competitors and that your business is doing badly.
So basically, if you decide to add a blog to your website, make sure it is updated regularly or your customers and google will penalise you for it.
How do I create a great blog?
There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your blog hits the mark every time.
1. Choose a topic of interest to your audience – if your customers are interested in fitness, don’t write blog posts about how to fix sheds. Sounds logical, right? Trust me, I’ve seen websites with the strangest content. Content that has nothing to do with the services they offer and that will be of no benefit to their customers.
2. Write a strong headline – headlines are one of the most important elements when it comes to writing blog posts. If your headline doesn’t grab your audience, they won’t bother reading your post. All your hard work will be wasted. There are plenty of great tips on the internet regarding writing headlines. Do your research and make your blog posts count.
3. Watch your tone – when writing a blog, the first thing you need to consider is your target audience. Are they professionals, scientists, tradesmen, members of the general public? Once you establish who you are writing for, you can decide on the tone of your blog.
4. Make your content scannable – these days everyone wants instant gratification, so make sure your blog is easy to read. Use short sentences and paragraphs, sub-headings, numbered lists, bullet points, diagrams, and images that enhance your post and promote your message.
5. Watch your word count – opinions regarding word count are constantly changing. Latest studies show that longer posts get more social shares and are better for SEO. But shorter posts get more comments and feedback. In my opinion, the length of your blog posts should be determined by your audience and also by your resources.
How do I generate ideas for my blog posts?
In order to write blogs posts, you need to have an endless supply of ideas. Ideas are easy to come by at first but a few months down the track, you will probably find that the well has run dry.
There are a number of ways to generate topics for your posts including talking to customers, keyword research, scanning social media, forums, and other online communities.
There is no doubt that blogging is beneficial to your business. It is an effective tool for building credibility, increasing website traffic and attracting new customers.
Starting a blog might seem daunting, but once it is up and running, the payoff will be worth the effort. So what are you waiting for?
If you need a copywriter to help you write your content, contact me for a free quote.
Have you always dreamed of writing a book but never had the confidence to give it a try? Or maybe you just want to improve your writing skills but don’t know where to start.
Well, the good news is that writing is a skill that can be learned. With enough time and practice, you will find that your writing improves significantly.
Over the years, I have written every form of content known to man, but I still don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to writing. It’s the one area where you can never know enough. There are always new things to learn, better ways of doing things and new ideas that need to be explored.
As for as writing is concerned, there is no endpoint. There is no right or wrong. The only way to know if you’re any good at all is by the number of people who tell you they enjoy reading your work. And even then, this is subjective.
Whenever I sit down to write, I basically write for myself. I explore the subjects that I am passionate about. Then I send my work out into the world and hope that somewhere along the way, it ends up in the hands of someone who feels the same way as I do. It’s all I can do.
There was a time when I tried to copy other people’s writing style and write about subjects that seemed to be in vogue with publishers. But I felt like a fraud. They weren’t topics I felt passionately about and I ended up staring at an empty computer screen. It was only when I decided to go back to writing about subjects that I cared about that the words began to flow again.
Where do I start?
1. Be authentic – this is my number one tip. Write about the things that make your heart sing. The things that you enjoy reading about and in a genre that appeals to you. Don’t think about the commercial viability of your work at this point. Just sit and write. Anything is publishable if it is written in the right way.
2. Read, read, read – a lot of blogs on writing will tell you to read the greats, but who exactly are the greats? I think it’s more important to study the genre you want to write in. I write children’s books so when I’m not reading real estate, home decorating or financial blogs for work, I am surrounded by picture books. I read them over and over again. I study the structure, the language, the tone – everything. Then I come with my own ideas and start working on my manuscripts.
3. Write a lot – it’s easy to get caught up in life and never find the time to write. But if you are want to become a better writer, you have to work at your craft. Even though I spend my days writing business copy, I always find an hour to work on my manuscripts – every single day. Find a time that works for you and make it part of your daily routine. I never, ever miss a day.
4. Keep a notebook – inspiration can strike at any time, so make sure you are always prepared. I have notebooks everywhere – in my bag, in my car, and even next to my bed. Some of my best ideas have come from watching children playing at the park, conversations I have overheard, and dreams that I was lucky enough to remember. Sometimes my scribbled notes end up in the bin, but other times the idea is golden and I turn it into a picture book that hopefully someone will love.
5. Start strong – it doesn’t matter what you are writing, you need to hook your readers from the moment they pick up your book or click on your blog post. A powerful headline or introduction will encourage your audience to keep reading, which is the aim of any writer. It doesn’t matter how wonderful your content is. If you don’t immediately grab their attention, you will lose them forever.
6. Revise, revise, revise – writing your copy is only the first step in the writing process. The most important part is the revision process. Writers are often so relieved to finish a piece of work that they send it off to publishers or post it on their blogs as soon as they finish writing it. But this is a big mistake. I guarantee that if you let your copy sit for a day or two, you will find a number of things that need to be changed when you go back to it. You can’t rush the writing process. If you do, you will end up with inferior work that no-one will want to read.
So now that you know where to start, it’s time to start writing. You never know, you might just surprise yourself!
If you need a copywriter or editor to help you improve your writing, contact me for a free quote.