content marketing and video production

content strategy / TAG ARCHIVES

BLOG WRITING TIPS

WORKAROUNDS FOR NON-WRITERS

Your blog is the cornerstone of content you can share and a vital part of lead generation. It is the bullhorn that makes prospects aware of your expertise and your ability to provide solutions. Excerpts or just the link to your blog can be shared on all outlets, from social media, to email, to sales calls. The objective of a blog is to drive prospects to your site, give them information they want to know and let them find out more about you. Your blog is also the perfect place for a call-to-action button and if you follow best practices, a blog is the beginning of your marketing funnel and can make your introduction to quality leads.

PURPOSE OF A BLOG

You might be surprised to find out that marketing experts don’t suggest you write a blog to sell your product or service. Blogs offer information. If you use hard or soft sell techniques in your blog, you can actually turn away potential clients and customers. If you are looking to grow your email subscriber list or find out marketing information, you can add a button that offers a free consultation, a white paper, questionnaire with follow-up results or other information that the consumer finds useful. A call-to-action should appear below the blog with a simple button and include an action verb such as “Download Your Free Screensaver”. The principal reason you write a blog is to begin a trusting relationship with a potential customer.

GENERATING IDEAS

With so many upsides, you should now be convinced you that you should blog regularly…but here’s the rub:

  1. You haven’t a way with words
  2. You can’t afford a writer or the time to find one
  3. It takes too much time and effort to explain what’s what to someone who doesn’t know what you do well

Customers are your best source of inspiration, so start by making a list of their common questions. This is important: get your staff to contribute questions they hear a lot. After all, your blog topic should be of interest to the type of customer you serve or one you would like to serve.

If you’re a florist, for example, a typical question might be, “how can I make my blooms last longer?” This question might be a snore to you but think about it. If people ask you the same question over and over, there are likely to be many more customers looking online for a reliable answer to that question and they could find you through your expert answers.

If you are starting up a business, focus on answers that have a fresh approach, such as new technology or better convenience and work backwards to explain the problem.

If you have rare expertise, you could actually dominate the conversation and become a thought leader. For instance, if you are one of a hundred gynecologists who treat pelvic pain in the US, you can make the world aware of your expertise through your blog because you have little competition. A successful blog can grow your business, help you book speaking engagements and open other doors to being a well-compensated authority on a topic.

If you are a good with words and with social media, your blog could lead to options to monetize. Monetization is another word for getting paid to put advertising on your website. It also includes paid reviews. A stay at home mom who loves crafts can write about motherhood and crafts each week and if she builds a following and gets into the “mommy blog” writing networks, she can make a good sum from trying out products and services, writing about them and selling advertising. This crafty mom could review five random skeins of wool from Etsy.com and give Etsy a lot of traffic from her blog to their site – something they would pay for. Read up on Skimlinks and you will see that a business blog could be the start of a steady stream of income. Of course, not everyone wants to sell their reviews even if they are faithful to their true opinion. Some journalists and reviewers of restaurants, for example, don’t want to tarnish their reputation but taking paid review work.

10 BLOG TOPIC IDEAS

  1. innovation in your industry
  2. event in your industry
  3. survey results
  4. top 10/best of lists
  5. how to
  6. review of product or service
  7. diary of an experience
  8. case study
  9. thought leadership
  10. interview

GETTING BLOG DRAFT

Here’s the easy part. Use a smart phone with free voice recognition software and dictate the first draft. Envision a customer you like and put a smile on your face as you speak, after all a blog is meant to give something to the reader and great customer service should permeate your writing. One easy method to make your writing style more natural and colorful is to tell a story. Explain the question and then tell them step-by-step all they need to know. Using the local florist example, the instructions would be on how to keep their flowers beautiful for longer. Remember, your blog should not be over long. A good average blog length is 1100-1400 characters so don’t dictate more than five minutes. (There is a word count feature in Microsoft Word under tools to check this easily.)

BRANDING YOUR BLOG

A brand should have a voice that reflects the personality of the company. If your flower shop is a design studio or atelier instead of a family run local shop, you should have a completely different style of communication. Don’t over think it but don’t put on airs either. Being true to your personality is all that is required. The first blogs you write may not be genius but try to refrain from over criticizing your work. Get your system down and keep producing. The only way to improve is practice.

ABOUT THIS BLOG:
Not everyone is a writer but you can talk about what you know, you can put together a blog.
DATE: 5/13/2016