Monthly Archives: October 2013

Sussex copywriting

5 tips to make your blogging easy and effective

Blogging about blogging again.

OK so you blog regularly for your business but you don’t seem to be getting many followers or traffic and it’s not only beginning to feel futile but you are fast running out of material. In this second blog about blogging here are some basic tips to reignite the fire in your writing and help you write fresh and compelling content.

1. Have a plan.

It may sound simple but every couple of months, sit down and map out a plan of what you’re going to blog about and how often. Be realistic, if you don’t enjoy writing, don’t over commit yourself to twice a week but make a commitment which you think you can keep. Nothing is worse than a blog that hasn’t been up dated for months. Tie in your blogs with the seasons, any special offers, new ranges or local events to make it relevant but be flexible enough to alter your plan if something comes up.

2. Have another plan.

Before you start writing, think about what you want to say and how to say it. Give your blog structure, plan your beginning, middle and end and use headings and sub headings. If some subjects are bigger than others (and I always think a nice length for a blog is 500- 800 words) sub divide it into a series of blogs. Another big no is a blog that rambles on with no particular point or direction.

3. Write as an expert.

You probably know more about your business and product than you think you do and that makes you an expert in your field. If you sell clothes, you know about fabrics, cuts, different styles, production methods etc. If you run a dog kennels or are a dog groomer you probably know about different dog products, feeding regimes, exercise and breeds. Whatever it is you do, draw up a list of things auxiliary to your service or product which you think might interest or be of use to your customers. With a little research and time you’ll not only have lots of material to write about but find that you’ve established yourself as someone experienced and expert in your field. And if your still stuck for ideas why not ask someone in a related business to write a guest blog.

4. Killer headline and content.

If your headline is obtuse or just plain boring, your blog will never get read. Offer your readers something that they can’t live without (i.e. the 5 secrets to a perfect wardrobe / the perfect dog etc. you get the idea) and tease and entice them to read on. It’s then really important to tell your readers something they want or need to know. An account of your daily life may be important to you but the chances are it’s not going to enrich the lives of your readers at all and they won’t stick around. Check your blog is well written, personable and error free and above all else deliver on any promise you made in your headline.

5. Fresh content and SEO.

Whatever you do, make sure your content is fresh and don’t just copy old blogs or someone else’s material. If you want to re visit something you or someone else has already written about, try and see it from a new angle. Again the key is research and if all else fails, ask a friend or colleague for ideas and opinions. And don’t forget to include keywords and appropriate SEO!

Blogs are a powerful tool when it comes to show casing your talents, engaging with your customers and building yourself a reputation. The key is that they take time, research and a dollop of skill. Don’t rush your blogs because you need to get published, give them the attention they deserve.

Sussex copywriting

Beginner’s guide for bloggers – Part 1.

 

6 Simple SEO tips for blogs and bloggers.

Blogging. Everybodies doing it whether it’s just for personal pleasure or as part of a business strategy. Some people love it and some people see it as a terrible chore but either way I’m always surprised at the number of people I meet who aren’t confident about the content and structure of their blogs, where their blogs are going and how to make sure they get seen. So over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting some simple, easy to follow tips to help get your blogs in order and off to a flying start and to kick off this week, here are my basic rules of SEO for bloggers:

1. Before you start, spend some time choosing your keywords and key phrases.

There are lots of free (and paid) keyword search tools online which are easy to use and should form part of your essential blog writing kit. Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Wordstream, Wordpot to name but some can give you keyword and alternative keyword suggestions and some great stats’ about how frequently those words are used.

Make sure you have more than one keyword, check out (but don’t necessarily copy) what your competitors have used and don’t forget to think about how specific you want to be with your keyword. A general, catch all keyword can be tempting to catch a wide audience but can also be counterproductive. Above all else make sure your keywords are really relevant to the subject matter of your blog.

2. Meta tags, Permalinks and Alt tags.

If you don’t know what these are yet, you need to spend time exploring your blog or website and finding out. Every blog page you write has Meta Tags and you need to make sure your keywords are in the Meta Title and the Permalink. If you’re using images, then read up on Alt Tags and make sure your image title and tags also contain keywords or phrases. Don’t ignore your Meta Description either – this not only tells your readers there in the right place but should entice them to click in. Sounds technical but it’s quite straightforward once you know how and it’s very important.

3. Titles, heading and sub headings.

Apart from giving structure to your blog, headings are also really important when it comes to your keywords. Make sure you have a keyword in your blog title and then use relevant keywords or phrases in your headings and sub headings. But don’t necessarily stick with the same keyword. Your headings are sign posts to both readers and search engines, make sure they reflect the content.

4. Keyword placement.

Apart from in your title, try and make sure you have a keyword in the first line or paragraph of your blog. After that, space them out naturally, roughly with one in the middle and one at the end. Whatever you do, do not try and pack in keywords in an obvious way or repeat content just to get more in, it’s a sure way of finding your blog penalised by the search engines.

5. Density.

The general consensus is that you should have keyword density of between 1 – 2% (i.e. the percentage of how often your keyword appears in your blog) but it’s important not to get hung up on this. If you write well, your blog is informative and more importantly if you write naturally, your keyword density should take care of itself.

6. Links.

There is a lot of debate surrounding the power of links at the moment but at a basic level it’s worth remembering they can be a great way of generating traffic to your blog and for you to point your readers in the direction of other relevant content. Paid for links, follow links and non follow links are outside the scope of this post but if you’re going down that route, make sure you spend some time understanding them.

Basic SEO for your blogs doesn’t have to be complicated but it is important if you want to be seen, so get into the habit of thinking about some basic SEO as you blog and ensure your blog attracts more attention.

5 reasons to hire a freelance copywriter

Tempted to write your own copy? Here’s 5 reasons not to:

1. SEO! How much do you really know about appropriate keyword research, density and placement, making use of structure, headings and sub headings?

2. Instant attraction. When someone reads your copy, you have seconds and just a few lines to capture their attention, identify what matters to them and spell out your USP.

3. Entertain and inform. Your content has to be fresh, interesting and informative with an independent perspective. It should balance technical writing with artistic flair.

4. Engage. Your copy should be engaging with your clients in a way that results in increased sales and a better business profile.

5. Time and money. Well written and researched copy takes a lot of time but copywriters are a cost effect solution. Outsource to a freelance  copywriter and free up your time.

There is a world of difference between good writing and copywriting that excels.