Entries Tagged 'blogging for business' ↓
August 12th, 2015 — blog, blogging, blogging for business, seo
Is there really such as a thing as an SEO secret these days?
Possibly not, but there are a few white hat practices that bloggers tend to overlook.
Blogging is all about sharing your knowledge, but it’s also a great way to drive traffic to your website and raise your online profile.
The tactics I’m going to outline in this article are pretty basic, which is why they usually get forgotten about. However, each one with help you make marginal gains that all add up to a big difference.
Your headline is crucial.
Not only will it get your post noticed, it will also determine whether it gets read or not.
Did know you know that the more click throughs your article gets in the search results, the higher you’re likely to rank? It’s true, because Google’s algorithm will attach more value to your blog because of the post’s popularity.
Conversely though, if you already rank fairly well, but your headlines are poor having a knock on effect on your click through rates, your blog will be seen as being irrelevant to that search term and your rankings could fall.
That’s why it’s best to always write cracking, eye-catching headlines.
Images give you diversity in your backlinks.
The Alt tag tell the search engines about the image, but if you use an image to link to your blog post, that tag will also serve as a keyword.
A great way to boost this effect is to create infographics for others to use – just ask for an image backlink to your post.
Nofollow or Dofollow?
It’s tempting to take a few short cuts when it comes to link building, especially when a growing number of sites only offer nofollow links. If you’re tempted to buy in links, don’t. That’s is the quickest way to ruin your rankings and reputation.
Concentrate on creating high quality articles that other sites will want to link to.
Yes, linking out to other high quality blogs is a good thing.
If you are seen as a trusted blog, it’s expected that you’ll be linking to other equally high quality blogs.
Length of blog post
It’s best to stick with longer, high quality, informative blog posts. However, you also need to work on gathering comments because this will add to the length of the unique content for each post – something the search engines love.
None of these are revolutionary, but they will all help you in your quest for a high ranking blog.
If you have any other suggestions I’ve overlooked, leave a comment below.
June 3rd, 2015 — blog, blogging, blogging for business, Branding, copywriting tips
Corporate blogs drive traffic to your site, raise your company’s profile and show you customers that you are a market leader.
They are also a complete pain.
In two words: multiple contributors.
On the face of it you probably think that’s a good thing because it means one person isn’t left to produce all the copy.
You’d be wrong.
Multiple contributors mean major headaches, because chasing them for content is a bit like herding cats.
There’s also another problem – continuity, or rather the lack of it.
Many voices cause confusion
Every company has a brand voice.
When you have multiple contributors, that single identity gets lost and you end up with a vast array of writing styles that create a cacophony of noise that will put readers off.
Plus, you’ll find that some people are naturally gifted writers, whereas others are not.
Some can write in engaging, simple language that everyone can understand.
Others only write in complex terms that result in a meaningless article that leaves everyone scratching their head.
How can you get round this problem and create a successful and long lasting corporate blog?
Streamline your blogging process
The answer is not to get one person to do all the writing because your blog will need to cover a number of different subject areas and one person is unlikely to be able to write everything.
That’s why the best solution is to have a blog Gate Keeper.
The posts are written by your own subject matter experts and then passed to your Gate Keeper.
It is then their job to:
- Copyedit each article to bring in line with the brand voice
- Tweak them to make them more readable (i.e. by adding sub headings etc.)
- Source images to bring the subject matter to life
- Add elements of SEO
The end result is a healthy blog that’s regularly update with readable articles.
Whether this is done in-house or outsourced, it is the best way to make sure your corporate blog remains healthy and popular.
Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting
March 11th, 2015 — blogging for business, Content marketing, Content writer, copywriting tips
This blog first appeared on Briar Copywriting‘s blog.
I have never encouraged anyone to write about his or her own business.
The quality of the marketing collateral you produce is key to your business’s success.
I know you’re sitting there reading this thinking yeah, right. You would say that, you’re a copywriter. Granted, that’s partly the reason because if I encouraged you all to write your own stuff I’d be out of a job, but that’s only a teeny-weeny part of my motivation.
Something strange happens when you run a business – you become knowledgeable. After a while you have come across just about every scenario you can think of, the information you have amassed is stifling your objectivity and you start to communicate less effectively.
No, really, you do.
Because everything about your business is like second nature to you, you begin to assume a certain level of knowledge in your audience.
As a result you start answering questions your customers don’t want to know about and you find it impossible to effectively and clearly respond to their genuine questions because you automatically assume they have a greater understanding than they really do.
Just think about it; how many times has your kid come to you asking for help with their homework? They’ve told you want they’re studying and the question they need to answer, but because you have a higher level of knowledge than them, you immediately launch into an answer that brings in all sorts of other facts that they haven’t even learnt yet leaving them more confused than before.
The same thing happens when you try to write your marketing materials. Rather than starting at the base level and building on knowledge, you immediately launch in to a complex and convoluted answer that just confuses.
Because it’s hard for you to believe that someone else doesn’t have the same knowledge level as you, you become a hopeless communicator. It happens to everyone, no matter what field they are in.
Overcoming your knowledge block
The main problem with your knowledge block is that once the information is in your head you can’t get rid of it. You can’t suddenly decide to “unknow” stuff, so you have to find a way to suppress your knowledge.
For some that’s like dumbing down what they know, but it’s not. It’s an effective way of clearly getting your message across to your audience.
When first meeting with a new client, I always tell them to treat me like a customer – they mustn’t assume I know anything. In fact, even if I’ve written for the same industry before my knowledge level is zero because I don’t know their business.
Even then I usually end up stopping them and asking them to clarify something because they’ve used a term or language that’s confusing or assumes a certain level of knowledge that neither I nor their customer has.
The best way to avoid this trap is to get someone else (a professional copywriter) to create your copy for you. But if you insist on doing it yourself make sure you follow these steps:
- Write down what you want to say
- Review it to make sure it is aimed at your customer, highlighting benefits, and not about you and your company
- Review it again and simplify the language and remove any jargon
- Get someone not connected with your business to read it to see if they understand what you’re saying and whether it would make them buy/get in touch etc.
- If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board and start again
- Keep going until you write something that’s simple, clear, engaging and compelling
Despite what you may think, writing marketing copy is not easy. If it were copywriters, like me, wouldn’t exist.
February 18th, 2015 — blog, blogging, blogging for business
As a blogger, it’s always nice to hear from people that read my stuff.
Recently, I received an email from a reader of my other blog, which is part of my business site, Briar Copywriting.
Basically, the guy thanked me for my advice, which he’d used to get him started as a blogger, but being new to the whole game wanted to know how he could write for an audience that didn’t yet exist.
The answer to that is simple.
Why are you blogging?
In this case the answer to that question is to promote a business.
You are the expert in your field and therefore should have lots to blog about.
For argument’s sake, let’s say you are a personal trainer and have started a blog to tempt people to your website.
Now think about your ideal customers – why would they come to you?
- Advice on fitness
- To loose weight
- To gain flexibility
- To improve their lifestyle…
Now all you have to do is write articles that encompass those things.
How do you know people will come?
You are offering the help and advice your potential clients are searching the internet for, therefore there’s a good chance your articles will come up in their search results. If you offer great information they’ll take a look at your website to learn more about what you can do for them.
See how it works?
Of course, you’ll also need to write with search engine optimisation in mind (using keywords), but remember to always write for your reader. By all means use keywords in your titles, sub headings and content, but your writing must be natural if you want Google to love it.
That’s about it.
If you’ve just started a blog to run along side your business, think about how you can add value to your readers and then create posts that solve the problems they are facing and will be searching Google for.
Just remember you’re not going to amass a huge following over night. Blogging takes time to gain momentum, but stick with it and you’ll never look back.
Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd.
February 11th, 2015 — blog, blogging, blogging for business
One of the toughest things you’ll be faced with as a blogger is the need for a constant stream of ideas for blog posts.
You audience are a demanding bunch and will want fresh, high quality information from you regularly.
So what happens, after a few weeks, when your ideas start to dry up?
That’s where this post will come in handy.
What follows are 8 sources of inspiration that will make sure you never run out of ideas.
1. Check out your FAQs
The chances are you’re faced with a lot of questions from your customers and I bet you get asked the same thing over and over.
Those questions will provide you with a list of potential blog topics. After all, if several customers have asked the question you can bet there are loads more out there thinking the same thing.
Not only will you have an endless list of ideas, you’ll also be improving your customer service by providing advice on the things that concern your customers the most.
2. “How to”
The humble “how to” post is a great way to cement your expert status.
Whether it’s the best way to train a dog, how to wear a tie, or how to get the most miles from a tank of fuel, your audience will love your advice and draw in a loyal readership.
3. Question and answer
Bringing in the point of view of others is a great way to add interest and depth to your blog.
Interviewing an industry expert, employee or even a customers will give a new dimension to your posts and could open up a whole raft of topic ideas for you.
Writing it in a Q&A format will also provide a change of pave to refresh your normal content.
4. Company news
Although your blog is not there for overly promotional posts, if you have an employee who’s done something extraordinary, or whether your company is involved in a charity event, there’s no harm in writing about it.
The employee angle is especially relevant as it gives an insight into your company and the people who work for you.
Your knowledge is valuable.
People are searching the internet every day for information about what you do, so make sure you’re the one writing about it.
It doesn’t have to be exciting, but it does have to be interesting and relevant.
One of the most popular types of blog post are the top lists.
A list means there’s a lot of information in one place. Whether it’s like this one, or a list of useful websites, or products, it will prove to be a valuable resource guide.
7. Product reviews
OK, I’m not suggesting you give your product a favourable review and trash the competition, but if you have just found a new product or service that’s useful to you, think about whether it would be useful to your customers too.
Perhaps you researched several options before buying. If you did, think how beneficial that advice would be to someone with the same needs.
When looking for products your customers want expert help and who better to give them that help than you?
8. Use your YouTube videos
Rather than letting your YouTube videos gather dust, create blog posts around them. Perhaps they can be used to illustrate a particular point? If so, top and tail them with great content and before you know it you’ll have an informative blog post ready to be published.
Hopefully, these suggestions will get your creative juices flowing.
Do you have any other ideas for blog posts? If so leave a comment below and share them with me, I’d love to hear what you come up with.
Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd