Writing a Blog OR A terrifying, death defying leap into a combination of vertigo, self-doubt and primal fear without having to leave your PC!
OK but before all the adrenalin kicks in you are staring at a blank page..a page that is blank…empty…devoid of text…there is nothing on it…except your eyes….
Isn’t inspiration supposed to kick you in the head like a bolt of lightning – THAT’S IT! I GOT IT!! – and then your two fingers fly over the keyboard, inspiration pours liquid cohesive paragraphs on the page that explain the whole thing – the meaning of life is your product, how the universe revolves around your product, the psychology of your products’ value proposition relative to the competitor offering – smart and witty, delicately poised words that have the reader begging you to forgive them for tainting your prose with their undeserving gaze (after trying ten times to get the spam filter word combination right to submit this comment!).
The pace speeds up as the cobwebs clear on your motherboard, computer dust is vaporized, electric blue sparks in the circuits of your computer, responding to your superior intellect.
The office compacts, people are drawn to your blogging life force and gather behind your chair to bask in the glory of your talent. The office guys evict the Chuck Norris wall poster with fumbling barely directed fingers and someone is already in the copy-room feverishly super-sizing an image of you (doing your Captain Morgan pose) to put in the now empty spot on the wall for further hero worship. Your female colleagues are weak at the knees and flushed of face, a slow hand-clap begins quiet at first and then building in volume and tempo, the tea lady and the sandwich guy have handed in their serviettes and with stars in their eyes have dedicated themselves to become professional bloggers…JUST LIKE YOU!
…and then you wake up. Right???
Well wipe the drool off your chin and lets look at some tips to get you started. If the above did really happen to you then pat yourself on the back, give your best winning smile to the pretty girl who works in accounting, and marvel at what you have created… and then use spell check to cool those glowing words down.
Lets’ start at the beginning – Why have a blog?
For SEO – Things have changed in search engine land and if you want to stay on top you need a blog. Traditional SEO involved liberally seeding the websites’ copy with keywords and variations of those keywords e.g webdesign, website design, web-site design, web-design, etc. This was to ensure that the search engines got the message and figured out that (in this case) you may have something to do with websites (what was it again?).
For new content – Now the best way to introduce keywords into your website is by writing about your company, products and market. The benefit of this is that your product pages are relatively static so when search engines check your site for changes you won’t get any brownie points unless you have added a new product page, updated some existing content or have a blog.
The blog then allows you to easily create new content for your website and for the search engines’ approval. BUT the thing about search engines is that they do not kick up their feet, sit back in a comfy chair with a beer and read your well crafted blog article – you need some human traffic too, so your blog can’t be boring gibberish strung together with keywords!
For keeping customers – Customers are interacting with companies through social media and blogs. And while the ink is still fresh on your new blog article you need to promote it through your social media accounts and email list (unless you wrote it for the search engines entertainment alone that is!). As social media is comprised of both personal and business communications – the bond between the company and the customer can be strengthened and this also places the company intimately in the customers online life. An active social media presence ensures that the company, the product offering and the product value both monetary and perceived are viewed in a whole new dimension for the customer as the company and related product are no longer seen as a divorced entity but is part of the consumers life (see High-Brow below).
OK so you need a Blog – But what is your blog about?
Your product, market or company of course. But (yawn) sometimes thinking (yawn) about writing something about (yawn) this brings on some real jawbreakers (YAWN). If only you could write about that incident with the elevator, the cocktail snacks and the cheese grater that happened at the last staff party after the boss left early!
So you need an angle or niche topic. New product offerings, releases, competitions, road shows, promotions are easy fodder for blogs. Likewise any company community activities. The trick with these is you are not selling but promoting or informing – splitting hairs here a bit but there is a difference in the style. But what else is there to write about? Well once you get started you will be amazed at the possible content, you just need to be on the look-out for it.
Let’s look at a few blogging hats and perhaps one will fit.
High-Brow – This style is complicated and expect the reader to be conversant with some advanced stuff before reading the article (they should really come with IQ restrictions). The article is technical in nature and very serious. Sometimes the topic requires the use of this style of writing so please balance the wordy digress with some pretty pics so we can also understand.
Witty-Fun – this one explains itself, not easy to get right but works well. You sometimes need to be able to poke fun at your company, clients, products, etc. so check with your boss first before you hit send!
Short-Sweet – Not every blog article needs to be a lengthy dissertation! A punchy, to the point quick read is fantastic for people who just want a bit of info and these articles are smartphone friendly too.
Thought-Leader – A blog with clout! It takes some time to build a solid reputation but once you have it this is very, very effective!
Guest-Blog – Get someone else to write your blog. This gives you some fresh fodder for the search engines and readers alike and gives the guest blogger some handy links to their website too. Win-win right? Except most people are busy and barely get to their own blogs so consider yourself very fortunate if you find someone. Until then you will have to write your own blog or you could always contact us.
OK so you have a blog, a topic and a style – now what?
Do what your English teacher tried so long to bury somewhere into your head! (Don’t worry I’m talking about myself here – she used to say that writing is like making a sandwitch you need a base, a tasty filling and finish it with and ending – I must have looked hungry – my mom was adept at getting two pieces of bread to stick together with hope that dissapeared as soon as I opened my lunch box)
SO start at the beginning with an introduction. Sometimes a sentence will do the trick.
Have some filling in the middle – like the stuff you want to blog about.
Finish it with a quick summary or wrap up – i.e. so kids the moral of the story is…
…You need to blog to get noticed, to connect with your audience / customers and to stay in the runnings.
I know that this is hard, daunting and for some covered with the best intentions that may never see the light of day, but if you recognise that this is important but need some help please get in touch and we will help.