Greetings! As you might have guessed, today’s how-to video builds on last week’s “3 business blogging tips for beginners.”
While thinking about that post, Heather realized that there were definitely more than just those three blogging tips to share, and so she created three more to do with the realities of time management and scheduling, as well as the question of sales vs. blog writing.
So if you are one of those folks who resolved to do more blogging for their business this year, tune in as Heather shares three more business blogging tips for beginners (and for those who may be a tad rusty)…
Original 3 business blogging tips: a recap
Last week, Heather discussed these three business blogging tips:
- Brainstorm a list of possible topics
- Loosen up!
- Work with an editor
This week’s video focuses on the gritty realities of business blogging, starting with…
Tip #1: Be realistic
This first tip is focused around the time that you have to blog – realistically.
- How much time do you have to blog?
A lot of people start off with the goal of writing a blog post every single work day, or maybe even churning out a couple of posts a day. They may think I have a lot in my head that I want to say…so yeah, that’s reasonable…
- The challenge is that life gets in the way – and business gets in the way – of these ambitious blogging goals.
While you might have all these great ideas swirling about in your head, by the time that you’re able to actually sit down and write, you may well find that you really don’t have that much time to create a quality blog post… So think about how much time you really have to blog.
- Think quality over quantity.
If it turns out that you can only create one blog post a week right now, that’s okay!
One really good, quality blog post a week is far better than five so-so blog posts a week, cranked out at the 11th hour just for the sake of creating something. Think quality over quantity.
- Can other people help you?
Another thing to consider is if there are other folks within your company that can help you with writing blog posts.
This one can be tricky – because these other folks would need to be accountable for their blog posts, making blog writing an additional part of their normal responsibilities.
But if you have other people available within your business that could be good writers and have topic ideas, definitely see if you can bring them on board to help!
Tip #2: Schedule your blog posts
This tip addresses time management, and the editorial calendar.
- Set deadlines and put them in your calendar.
This means: know exactly what you’re going to write, when.
Last week, we discussed brainstorming ideas for possible blog post topics – this is where you put those ideas on paper and say, “Okay, I’m blogging twice a week, and for Wednesday’s posts I’m going to talk about X.”
In the writing world, we call this an editorial calendar. It is a visual tool that allows you to look at a given week and know exactly what you’re going to be writing, and know exactly when you need to publish the post online.
- Give yourself a lot of writing time.
If you’re just getting into blogging, be gentle with yourself: it may take a long time to write a blog post and again, that’s okay! Even for professional writers, it can take a very long time to write a quality blog post.
- So make sure you give yourself that gift of time. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself by thinking, “I have 30 minutes…I can kick out the post really fast.” Even an experienced writer might choke in such a situation.
Prevent that last-minute deadline stress and give yourself a lot of writing time before the deadline.
- Be faithful to your blogging schedule.
Consider your blog post schedule and deadlines with the same weighty level of seriousness you’d give to your clients’ deadlines, or those of the IRS. Make a commitment to keep to your blogging schedule and honor your editorial calendar.
Tip #3: It’s OK to link to your products/services – just don’t overdo it.
This final tip concerns the writing itself.
- Blog writing and sales writing are different – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some soft promotion.
Rather than thinking of your blog post as a sales medium – where you talk about all the wonderful things you can do or provide for the reader – instead come up with a general, informational article. Think of a topic that would address customer questions, or would otherwise be useful to your readers.
- If it makes sense to link to a product/service in your post – go for it.
You can easily direct traffic into your website’s inner product/service pages with links from your blog post, if it flows naturally and makes sense to do so. Such soft promotion is okay – just don’t overdo it.
- You can always put a sales “blurb” at the bottom of every post, too.
You don’t have to get heavy-handed with the sales writing. You can simply place a sales “blurb” at the end of each informational blog post, such as: “Would you like to learn more about our emergency plumbing services? Feel free to contact us at X.”
- Using a sales blurb provides you an opportunity to include a little bit of call-to-action, while ensuring that the integrity of your blog post stays intact.
Thanks for tuning in to this week’s SEO copywriting video! If you have a question for Heather, you can tweet it to her @heatherlloyd or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to check back next Monday for another hot Web-writing tip – it may well answer your question. See you then!
Just getting by with your copywriting business? Ramp it up this year: check into SuccessWorks’ Content Into Cash Business Boot Camp and make 2012 your best ever!
photo credit: mrbill (Bill Bradford)