By Emma Johnstone
Shakespeare I ain’t. But that’s ok, the world only needs one. And whilst he may have cornered the sonnet market, there’s a big world wide web out there that’s ripe for the taking. Blogging. Everyone is doing it…but how can you do it well on your business page?
1. Say what?
Have a think about the topic that you want to write about. Then think about what you’re going to say about it. Write down the 3 key things that you want the reader to take away with them after reading your words of wisdom. Put them on a post-it note and slap it on your screen. This will help to eliminate unnecessary ramblings and keep you on task.
2. Guess who
Put yourself in the shoes of the person who is reading your work. What do they want to hear? What would be useful? How will they be reading it? e.g. on a mobile…etc. Are they time poor? Scrap that. Of course, they’ll be time poor. Who isn’t these days? So make sure you get to the point and do it quickly.
3. Speak up
Imagine your target reader sitting in front of you as you type. What do you want to say to them? Say it in writing. Don’t try to make it sound like prose – write like you’d speak. People often trip up at the fear of having to ‘write’ so don’t…‘speak’. It’s far less intimidating and is a great way to get the ball rolling whilst making language accessible and giving personality to your blog.
4. Break the block
Writer’s block plagues everyone. Just as soon as you start typing, you’re hitting the ‘back-space’ button again and lo and behold, you’re back to square one. The blank screen smugly mocking you. But first drafts don’t have to get JK Rowling watching her back. Just start typing. It may be shockingly awful but there might be a little gem in there that you can build on. Give yourself something, anything to work with. You may be surprised at where it takes you.
5. Have fun
Yep, not every business is exciting, we get it. But if you’re not fired up to write about the topic, we’re not fired up to read it. How can you make it more engaging? Can you include a theme? We recently wrote a blog for an accounting firm on top tips for finding a good accountant. With Valentine’s Day looming, we likened the process to speed dating and a whole heap of amusing dating analogies landed in our laps making the blog entertaining whilst useful.
6. Make it pretty
Source some images, videos or gifts that talk to your blog topic. Use them to break up big chunks of copy with. Then give yourself five minutes to draft 20 headlines. Many will miss the mark but you only need one. In more recent times, social media has seen the ‘clickbait’ headline emerge in popularity. Designed to appeal to the curiosity of your potential reader without giving too much information away, it’s aim is to result in a click-through. Yes, it works but you could argue it’s losing its effectiveness as online users become hardened to the pull. Ideally you want your blog to back up your headline and not leave would-be readers disappointed that they clicked.
7. Hit publish
You’re not publishing a book so this doesn’t need to be a lengthy process with various editors and sub editors at the helm. If someone can cast an eye over your post before you publish it, then great. It certainly won’t hurt. But otherwise blogs need to be turned around quickly and whilst still topical. If you try to get the post absolutely perfect, you may never actually post and your pearls of wisdom will never be unleashed on the world wide web.
So on that note, that’s all from us. This post is going live in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
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