Entries Tagged 'blog' ↓

Guest Blogging That Doesn’t Look Like Paid For Link Building

There are several ways to get links for your website, one of which is guest blogging.

But with so many companies out there placing sub-standard blogs on websites in return for a paid for link, how can genuine bloggers be sure their links count in the eyes of Google and not classed as paid for links?

This video from Google’s Matt Cutts should help.

Thanks Matt for your words of wisdom.



Blogging is a Complete Waste of Time

Sally OrmondAuthor: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+



Why do you blog?

Do you think it will create a steady stream of new customers?

Does it boost your ego?

Is it a way of you getting your knowledge out to the wider world?

Are you doing it purely for financial gain?

During the recent Professional Copywriter’s Network conference in London, this was a subject that came up.

During a panel discussion it became clear that blogging has Marmite qualities – you either love it or hate it.

Firmly in the ‘anti-blogging’ camp was Andy Maslen.

Andy runs a hugely successful copywriting agency and training academy. His argument was that you’d get a far better return for your time if you were to pick up the phone to companies you wanted to work with and talk to them.

That argument definitely has legs assuming you’re the type of person who doesn’t break out into a cold sweat just thinking about cold calling.

But what about using blogging as a promotional tool?

Plenty of successful writers do so – granted it won’t lead to a guaranteed flood of new clients banging on your door (mind you, there’s no guarantee calling people up will either) – but it is a proven way of driving traffic to your website.

And before you shout me down and tell me that large companies don’t ‘Google’ for copywriters, they ask for recommendations, they do – I’ve personally experienced the phenomenon on several occasions.

So is it a waste of time blogging?

No, it isn’t.


  • It is a great way to show yourself as an expert in your field (yes, there are others too, such as talking at events, but you can’t deny blogging’s ability to get your voice out there)
  • It helps you reach a vast audience
  • It’s a good way of adding fresh, high quality content to your website
  • It’s a fantastic way to grow your marketing list (by getting readers to sign up to your newsletter)
  • It’s the perfect way to add value to your customers and readers

But if you are going to blog, make sure you add value and do something different. Don’t copy your favourite blogger’s style because:

a)    You won’t get noticed

b)   You won’t be saying anything different

c)    You’ll be downright boring

Write stuff that’s useful and that people haven’t heard before.

Don’t be afraid to put your opinions out there – the more controversial the better – and get a conversation started.

And above all, if you’re going to blog for your business don’t outsource it.

An odd think for a copywriter to say, but I believe it’s vital you develop your own voice and style. Your blog is there to create a relationship – if you get someone else to write it for you it’s a bit like being married, but living elsewhere while a stand-in pretends to be you.

So should you blog?

If you have something new and interesting to day, yes you should. But make sure your marketing strategy doesn’t start and end there. If you’re business is to flourish you must adopt several different ways of marketing it – never put all your eggs in one basket.


How to Get More People Reading Your Blog

A blog is nothing without traffic. getting traffic to your blog

Getting more people to your blog is a constant battle, but one that must be fought. So how do you go about it?

What can you do to encourage more people to read your blog?

1. What do they want?

The only way you’ll get people to stop and read is if you’re offering them what they want.

Yes, that one is obvious, but there are still a lot of bloggers out there who write about stuff that interests them rather than thinking about what they’re readers want.

You can spot hot topics by watching what trends on Twitter, or common themes that appear on Facebook. A more obvious one is to just ask them.

2. Promotion

Make your blog social.

By incorporating the social sharing buttons after each post, you will encourage your readers to spread the love by telling other people about your content.

You can also promote it by having a link to your blog in your email signature, email marketing and newsletters.

3. Niche

Making your blog niche specific will encourage more readers. As people get to know what you write about, you’ll soon become the ‘go to’ blogger for that subject.

4. Guesting

A great way to encourage new streams of traffic to your blog is getting some good guest bloggers on board. Check out other blogs in your niche and see if you can persuade them to write for you.

Not only will you get great content, you will also attract their fans, opening up your blog to a whole new audience.

5. Titles

The titles you use on your blog posts are everything. They are what will draw people to your blog so perhaps its time to rethink them.

People love ‘best’, ‘top tips’, ‘how to’ and that sort of thing, so use them.

6. Frequency

The more often you blog, the more people you’ll attract.

7.  Authentic

Being authentic and writing about things you’re passionate about will bring readers your way.

If you’re just writing about something because it’s the thing to write about, people will pick up on it because your writing will lack conviction and emotion.

Writing a blog is a labour of love. But if you want it to be successful and attract readers it’s important to think about who you are writing for, why you are writing and what your readers will get out of it.

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+

Using Social Connections to Boost Your Blog

It’s an age-old problem every blogger faces – how can you be sure you’re writing the right kind of posts that your readers want to read? Social connections and blogging

You could blindly write about anything that came into your head, but how can you be sure that’s what your readers want to learn about?

Or you could blog smarter.

How about using your social connections to discover the topics that will perform well and be a hit with your readers?

After all, what’s big in your social sphere will be big on your blog, right?

1. Title

You already know that the headline of your blog post has a huge effect on its popularity.

If it’s eye-catching, people are more likely to read it.

The best headlines (and the most successful ones) are those that show an obvious value to the reader. So, all you have to do is take a look at the leading brands and thought leaders in your industry and find out which of their articles are performing best.

Track them down on Twitter and Facebook and look at the blogs that are getting the most hits. What are they talking about? What issues are they addressing? Then use that knowledge to create your own post.

2. What do you want?

One of the best ways to generate a fresh list of blog topics is to ask your readers.

Don’t just write ‘what do you want to read about?’ Instead, think about a particular area and ask what issues they face, what do they need to make their lives easier etc.

Then, once you have received feedback from them, you’ll have a ready-made list of topics to write about. What’s more, because the list came from your readers, you have an eager audience ready and waiting to read your words of wisdom.

3. Facebook Insights

If you use Facebook Insights you’ll get a birds-eye view of the most popular posts you’ve written in terms of their overall reach, engagement and how many people are talking about them.

This type of information is priceless as it means you can identify the main topics your audience are interest in to boost your post’s reach.

4. Tweet

You can also identify your most popular posts using a tool called Social Sprout. This shows you which tweets had the biggest impact so again, you can make sure you provide more of that type of information for your followers.

As you can see using your social connections as guidance you can take the guesswork out of your blogging. Now you can be sure that what you’re ‘putting out’ there is what your readers want.

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos

How to Engage With Your Blog Audience

Blogging is a great tool for marketing your business.

It gives you a platform from which to show your expertise and drive traffic to your website. But that only works if your writing engages with your audience. After all, if you want them to keep coming back for more, you have to create a connection with them.

The way you write will have a big effect on your audience.

1. Conversation

There are a lot of bloggers out there who struggle with the concept that writing in a conversational tone is the most effective way to communicate.

People don’t want to be faced with something cold, corporate and formal – they get enough of that already. They want something that is easy to read.

Writing conversationally is easy – just imagine you’re sitting with a friend and chatting about the subject you want to write about, use every day language and avoid ‘corporatisms’ like ‘innovative, market-leading etc.’

Using short sentences also boosts readability as does using ‘you’ (i.e. writing in the second person), asking questions (builds engagement) and avoiding adjectives and adverbs.

Above all, your personality must shine through.

2. Metaphorically speaking

Metaphors help you get your point across in a way that’s easy for others to understand. If you can liken your product or service to an everyday event, people are more likely to ‘get it’.

They really bring your writing to life.

3. Empathise and inspire

Start your post by empathising with your readers and showing you understand the problem they have. Then go on to share some tips that are easy to implement.

So where does the inspiration come in? Well, at the end of your post make sure you give them an uplifting paragraph that fires them up to follow your example.

4. Be real

No one is perfect (nope, not even you), so although you want to be seen as the market leader, no one is going to believe you got there without making any mistakes along the way.

As you share your information, show your human side by telling your readers the mistakes you made and how you put them right.

5. Show your interest

Last, but not least, it’s important you show your readers you’re interested in them.

Ask for their opinions and comments and when you get them respond to them and start building those all-important relationships.


Above all have fun with your blog, be natural and be conversational. Be wild and start a few sentences with ‘and’, or ‘because’. Be open and honest and share great information – people will flock to you.

Have you tried anything different to boost engagement through your blog?

What has worked for you in the past and what wasn’t so great?

Leave a comment below and let’s chat.

About the author:

Sally Ormond is a copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. She also loves to blog and cycle – but not at the same time.