Entries Tagged 'blog' ↓

How to Write Blogs People Will Want to Read

What is the most important thing to get right when you start blogging?

Your blog site?

Sure, it needs to be attractive and engaging and easy to use, but that’s not it.

How about your niche?

Yes, that’s pretty important to make sure you attract the right kind of reader, but it’s not what I’m thinking about here.

OK, how about the way you layout your posts?

Again, a very important issue because if your posts aren’t reader friendly, no one’s going to read them. But, no that’s not what I was thinking about.

Give up?

OK, I was thinking about voice.

A lot of people get in touch with me to ask about that. They want to know how to write in an engaging way, what terms they should use and how they should phrase things.

My advice?

Stop trying to over think things.

The best way to write and engage with your readers is to write from the heart. No, I don’t mean Mills and Boon-esque, more like writing as though you were talking to friends.

Say what you want to say in your head and type it (that’s what I’m doing right now) then it will come across as though you’re having a conversation with someone.

And because it’s a conversation your vocabulary will be fairly simple, avoiding all that awful jargon you sometimes seen scattered liberally in blog posts. I mean, come on, do you really think the average reader understand it? It just leaves your post unreadable and, quite frankly, sounding pretentious.

Don’t forget that just because jargon is commonplace in your work life, it doesn’t mean it is in everyone else’s. Keeping it simple won’t dumb in down, it will make it accessible to all and that’s what you want, right?

After all, if someone is researching web design, SEO or ecommerce or some other such techie subject because they are in the market for it, they’re more likely to get in touch with someone who can clearly explain the benefits in plain English rather than one that goes into geek-techie-jargon overdrive.

That’s all I wanted to say really. When writing your next post remember:

  • Write as though you were having a conversation
  • Steer well clear of any jargon
  • If you have to use a technical term, explain it clearly
  • Lay your post out in short paragraphs and sentences so it’s easy to read

Sally Ormond – blogger and professional copywriter

Why Not Everyone Loves Guest Bloggers

Sad but true, not everyone likes guest bloggers.Guest blog writers

Apart from the ones that email you claiming to love your blog only to offer a post that is completely unrelated from your niche (I was recently offered a post on parenting and childcare from an ‘avid’ reader of my blog…really?), some people just refuse to accept posts from other people.

Personally, I love to hear from people who want to write guest posts – that is assuming they actually offer something that is relevant to the subjects my blog covers.

To me guest bloggers offer a lot of pros:

  • They offer fresh content for my readers
  • Their posts offer a new way of looking at things
  • They enhance my blog with expertise that I may not have
  • They reduce my work load (very important)
  • They could bring in a whole batch of new readers to my blog

So, on the whole, there are a lot of good reasons why you should accept guest bloggers.

But as I mentioned earlier, not everyone shares my point of view.

 The cons of guest bloggers

After reading my list of reasons why you should accept guest posts (I’m sure there are loads more, but they are the ones that stand out for me), it may be hard to think why anyone would be anti guest posts.

Some people are very precious about their blog, only wanting their voice to be heard through it, which I guess is fair enough.

Others believe that bringing in outside writers may turn-off their readership. Not really convinced on that one, after all surely a new perspective would be welcomed? I don’t think the odd guest post would put anyone off. After all how many novel readers out there only ever read books from one author? Most people like to try others out for size too.

Then of course there are those who think they may lose readers when publishing a guest blog because there’s a chance that their readers will prefer what the guest author has to say and they’ll jump ship. But surely your readers will remain loyal and thank you for introducing them to a new voice that they may also want to follow?

Finally, there’s always the concern over being offered content that’s just been scraped off another site, or an article that’s been spun. But you can get round that by using tools such as Copyscape and Plagiarism checker.

What do you think?

Despite the cons above, I still think guest bloggers are worth their weight in gold (the good ones that actually read your blog before offering a post). For me, the pros far outweigh any possible downsides.

But then I am just one little voice in a vast blogging sea.

What’s your take on this issue?

Are you for or against?  Leave a comment below.

If you’re interested in writing a guest blog for me, email me for the FCB guidelines along with your idea.

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD of Briar Copywriting Ltd

Why Blog Headlines Are So Important

Why are your blog headlines so important?

Quite simply because:

  1. They are instrumental in getting the reader to read your post
  2. They encourage Google to bring you traffic

That’s right, they really are that powerful. So if you’re the type of person who writes their blog post and then sticks any old title on it, it’s time to change your ways.

Generating winning blog headlines

There are loads of articles out there offering advice on how to write the perfect headline for your blog posts, but below are 3 methods I find most useful.

1. Study

When you’re researching a subject for work or just taking time out to catch up with what’s happening in your industry, take note of the articles that catch your eye.

Think about what it was that made you stop and read. How was the headline phrased?

The same goes for when searching for a topic through Google. Take a look at the results and the titles that are displayed. What words and phrases were used?

2. Your audience

Think very carefully about whom you are writing for and what’s important to them.

Which words or phrases would they associate with your topic and what they use to search for information on that subject in Google?

3. Ask Google

Have you noticed that when you type in a search term in Google it comes up with some alternatives?

Researching blog titles

The added bonus is that the alternatives it offers are phrases that other searchers have actually used – so you know people are searching for those words and terms.

These three methods are very simple and incredibly effective. So when you write your next blog post, don’t leave the title as an afterthought; think about what you’re writing and whom you’re writing it for.

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and blogger

Why is Your Blog Audience Declining?

Running a successful blog is a real labour of love.

It’s hard work, never ending, but can be very rewarding.

But what happens when your analytics show that your audience is in decline?

Rather than scream, hide in the nearest cupboard or burst into tears, it’s time to get proactive and do something about it.

The following are some of the tell tale signs that show your audience is falling and what you can do to counter it.

1. Pages per visit

This is one of the figures that will be shown by your analytics.

Ideally, you want people that come to your blog to read one post and then follow a link to read another one. But if your figures are showing that people are only visiting one or two pages (or at least the number of viewed pages has been declining over 6 months or so), that’s a sure sign that your blog is losing its appeal.

Now would be the time to take a look at what you’re been writing and reviewing it. A good tool to use for this is Social Crawlytics, a free tool that helps you analyse how popular or unpopular your content is (or your competitor’s). It provides a detailed report to show where content is shared and how often.

Find out what is working best and give your audience more of the same.

2. Average time of visit

How long are your visitors staying on your blog?

This one is closely related to number 1. If they are arriving and then leaving again almost immediately, it’s a sure sign that your content isn’t engaging them. It may also be because they don’t find it relevant to them.

Again, it’s time to review your content and start putting out more of what does work.

3. Increasing traffic

Increased traffic is what you want, but not if you’re not doing anything to get it.

‘Free’ traffic like this can lead to complacency. It’s very easy to sit back and take it easy thinking you don’t have to do anything about promotion as people are coming of their own accord.

The problem is this is likely to be short lived, so what happens when it stops? You can’t afford to stop promoting your blog.

4. One source of traffic

This is bad news, just as if your business relied on one main customer.

For example, if you rely solely on Google traffic, what happens if you’re badly affected by the next algorithm change?

Make sure you put just as much effort into your newsletter, social media, video and website promotion to bring traffic in from all over the place.

5. Dedication

As we mentioned earlier, running a successful blog takes a lot of dedication.

If you start getting complacent or can find any number of other things to do when you should be blogging, think about the bigger picture.

What will all those readers do without your words of wisdom? They rely on your content so don’t let them down.

6. Getting stale

If you’re finding it difficult to constantly generate new ideas, (let’s face it if you’ve been running your blog for several years it’s going to get harder), perhaps it’s time to diversify a bit and bring a new topic into your blog’s remit.

This will not only breathe life into your blog, it may also open your writing up to a whole new audience.


Keeping a long-running blog fresh is difficult, but hopefully the above has given you a few ideas about how you can inject new life into it.

Why 2013 is The Year of The Blog

The following guest post was written by Alice Elliott. The author’s views are entirely her own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.

For a long time writers have been waiting for Google to catch up with their predicament and realise their true value.

The onslaught of search engine optimisation and how it destroyed creative writing has been a blight on many a copywriter over the years. Being forced to research suitable and relevant keywords (or phrases) was bad enough, but to have to include them in sufficient quantities and appropriate places within our text was sometimes the last straw.

Often have I winced at optimised prose. It sticks out like a sore thumb, heavily punctuated with formulae and links to please the algorithms that dominate the search engine practices. The result is not only illegible, but excessively boring.

But now our cries of anguish have been heeded to. Google has created the Penguin to come to our aid. Relevance takes centre stage, along with the conversational style, which thrives within social networking. Writers are now able to express themselves freely with ordinary language, explore their vocabulary and use punctuation correctly. In other words, really start to write.

As I said, relevance is the key. Outgoing links that match destinations relative to the content and subject matter will result in brownie points and search engine recognition. Keywords can now be used sensitively, appropriately and with a frequency that now makes sense.

And the power of the story now shines through the mist, and this is where blogging comes to the fore. This should become a pleasure, an act of second nature, the opposite of a chore and something performed as a by-product of your everyday activities. Your blogging hat can be firmly pressed upon your brow rather than left covered in dust amongst the coats by the back door.

Blogging can now become the extension of your expression as it was meant to be. It should allow you to extend the contents of your website in a variety of ways that would appeal to a diverse number of potential customers. It will reveal the successes, stories and case studies that take up too much room elsewhere, and can be easily and enthusiastically fed to and read by hungry readers found in a myriad of social networking sites.

Now that we are freed from the tyranny of the optimised keyword, we can start to explore language again. We can research into which communication styles gain the best reaction from our customers, cunningly grooming them into understanding, liking, trusting and eventually contacting you to do business.

There is so much more potential for bloggers to really start to shine in 2013. So what are you waiting for?

About the author:

Alice Elliott

Alice Elliott, aka the Fairy Blog Mother, provides easy to understand blogging tuition and offers a design and build service for websites using WordPress. Advice and assistance is also given for website optimisation, digital marketing campaigns and content copywriting.