Entries Tagged 'blogging' ↓

Banish The 7 Excuses That Prevent You From Blogging

It’s 2014 – what are you going to do this year? why you should blog

How about starting that blog you’ve been talking about for the past 18 months, but never quite got round to.

Whoa – I may not be able to hear you, but I know you’ve just started listing all the excuses you can think of to illustrate that now’s not the right time to start.


Excuses are for losers. If you want to succeed, get off your butt and do something.

Here are the 7 top excuses for not starting a blog and the reasons why they are just a figment of your imagination.

1. People won’t like what I have to say

Really? Have you asked them?

Of course you haven’t. And who’s to say they won’t like your stuff?

Sure, you’re never going to appeal to everyone – no one can do that (not even J K Rowling), but that’s no reason not to blog.

Blogs are very personal, some people will like your style, and others will hate it. If they hate it they won’t come back so there’s no need to worry about them, if they love it they’ll be hanging on your every word, which is pretty cool.

You’ll get some amazing comments and you’ll get some rants from small minded people who get their kicks out of trolling blogs, who, quite frankly, aren’t worth worrying about.

The main thing is that there will be people who like what you say, so that’s that excuse blown out of the water.

2. I don’t have anything new to say

There aren’t that many subjects out there where there is anything new to say, especially if you’re giving tips.

Take the subject of blogging for example, there are zillions of posts out there telling you why you should blog, how to blog and the benefits of blogging, but that didn’t stop those authors getting their message out.

What makes each and every post worthwhile is that they are all told from someone else’s point of view. No one else writes like you, so whatever you write about will be original because it’s your take on the subject.

Boom, there goes number two.

3. Overcrowded

So what if your particular niche already has hundreds of bloggers writing about it. That doesn’t signal that it’s overcrowded, it means it’s a topic that has a huge audience and they’re all waiting to hear what you have to say.

Take that number three.

4. No time

Oh right, and the rest of us bloggers have loads of time?

Nope. None of us have the luxury of just writing blogs – we’re all working or running businesses too.

Take me for example, I run a successful copywriting agency from my home office. I also have two sons I end up running here there and everywhere, 2 dogs that need walking, a pile of washing and ironing that has to be kept up with and a family to feed.

No time? I don’t think so.

5. Where do I start?

How about at the beginning?

Set up your blog and get the first post written. Decide on how often you’ll post and stick to it. You’ll find your blog evolves over time as you grow as a writer, so there’s no point getting hung up on how to start – just do it.

6. Not the right time

When is?

If you are listing the reasons why you can’t start blogging right now, what happens when those excuses are no longer relevant? Do you think of some more?

There never is a right time, so stop procrastinating and get on with it.

7. I might fail

Define fail.

You can’t, can you?

Blogging is a great way to stir up your creativity, drive traffic to your website, boost your online reputation and get stuff off your chest.

It can be very therapeutic and you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose.

The best advice I can give is stop with the excuses and just start writing.  You will get so much out of the blogging experience – your knowledge will grow, your reputation will grow and your business will grow.

Just go and do it!

Author: Sally Ormond

How to Brainstorm Great Blog Ideas

If you’re a blogger, you need to come up with a constant stream of great blog ideas people are going to want to read.

But how do you do that?

Surely, sooner or later you’ll hit a brick wall.

That’s where brainstorming comes in. Here are a few techniques you can use to come up with fresh ideas.

1. Criticism

As a business owner, you’re bound to think your product or service is the best thing since sliced bread.

But it’s important to be self-critical and anticipate your customers’ potential criticisms before they make them. That way, you can create a blog post counters them and shows how your product and service can be used to great effect.

2. Don’t be yourself

The problem you face is that you’re too close to your business.

It’s time to think like a child. A child’s imagination is an incredible tool, so think as they would when writing about your product and create some fun and perhaps controversial blog posts.

It’s also easy to get complacent about how your products work, taking things for granted that may not be so obvious to others. Think about that and see if you can produce blog posts that clarify products and services and perhaps suggest using them in ways your readers may not have thought of before.

3. Metaphors

When planning your posts, see if you can create titles that use metaphors – such as ‘Starting a Business is Like Childbirth’. It will help create eye-catching titles that will make readers want to click and read more.

4. Curiosity

Don’t become too blinkered by your own knowledge. Be curious and read around your subject. Learning new ideas and techniques will help strengthen your writing and, potentially, your product or service.

5. Get out

Sitting in an office (or home office) and staring at a blank computer screen is not the best way to spark creativity.

Get out and about, talk to people, get some fresh air – a change in your environment will help trigger ideas and add a new dimension to your blogging.

None of this is ground breaking stuff, but every now and then it’s good to have a reminder of the basics.


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


Why is Your Content Failing?

You’ve read all the blogs and advice telling you that content is the best way to market your business on line. Reasons for blog failure

Religiously, you’ve followed all the advice of the experts, generated loads of content, created your own content strategy and yet, nothing’s happening.

Your content isn’t drawing in the traffic promised by the experts.

What’s gone wrong?

There are a number of reasons why your strategy isn’t working, but here are, potentially, the 10 most likely culprits:

1. You

You are writing stuff you love.

What about your readers?

What do they want to know? Surely, you’ll be more effective if you write about things that they want to know. After all, your content is there to attract readers not to massage your ego.

It’s time to put your wants on the back burner and think about your readers.

2. Experimentation

Look at your posts. Are they all pretty similar?

Your audience wants variety. They want to learn new things from you, so don’t regurgitate the same old stuff over and over.

Be bold and experiment with different ideas and different types of posts. Offer written posts, infographics, videos, podcasts etc. Mix it up a bit and keep them interested.

3. Go for quality

Are you obsessed with the number of times you post in a week?

Forget it. So long as you post regularly, it’s more important to concentrate on the quality of your posts. What’s the point in publishing 10 mediocre posts in a week that don’t attract anyone, when working on 2 or 3 high quality posts that give your readers what they want will be far more effective?

It’s this attention to detail and quality that will set you apart from other bloggers in your industry.

4. Be true to your style

Corporate blogs create their own problems, namely the number of contributors. Keeping the same style and brand image can be difficult, which is why it’s essential you produce some firm guidelines for everyone to follow.

5. Challenge

If you just write about safe subjects in a safe way, your readers are going to get bored.

Don’t be afraid to be controversial, after all that’s what’s going to get you noticed.

Challenge the status quo, throw in some radical ideas now and then and get some conversations started with your readers. Getting your stuff noticed is what it’s all about.

6. Call to action

How often do you add a call to action into your blog posts?

It doesn’t have to be a ‘buy my product/service now’, but a simple ‘what are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment below’ will show your readers you’re interested in what they have to say and want to hear from them.

You can also use your call to action to encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter or RSS feed – whatever you want really.

7. Where to post?

It’s important to have one main channel for your posts. Ideally, this will be your blog.

Then, you can create new posts and guest posts for other websites to attract a whole new audience to your work. However, by having one main outlet your readers will know where to go for their next fix.

8. Tow the line

Following on from point 4, when you have a number of contributors to your blog it is vital you have one person to oversee everything. It will be their job to make sure posts are written, that they follow your style guidelines and that comments are responded to.

9. Niche

People read blogs because they want to learn from experts.

You are an expert in your field so carve out a niche for yourself and write about what you know best.

Before long, they will get to know you are the expert in the field of pink widgets (or whatever your niche happens to be) and they’ll keep coming back for your latest words of wisdom.

10. Schedule

Your readers are creatures of habit and like to know when you’re next nugget of wisdom will be published. That’s why it’s important to stick to your posting schedule.

If, for any reason, you have to deviate from your normal posting pattern, let them know.

These are just 10 potential reasons why your content is failing to hit the mark.

When you decide to enter the world of content marketing, it’s essential you realise that it is an ongoing marketing strategy and not something you can just pick up when you get a spare 5 minutes.

Commitment, originality and determination are what will help you succeed.


 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos

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.