Tuesday, August 29, 2023

How to Make Your Blog Posts More Interesting

You may already understand that blogging can boost your business in many ways, from increasing your online authority and raising brand visibility to directing potential customers toward your website. So you have every right to feel frustrated when the hours of work you put into blog content creation yields nothing but the sound of crickets chirping. What went wrong? Sometimes you can trace the lack of interest to an erratic posting schedule, faulty SEO practices, or other strategic goofs. But you must also consider another possibility: blog content that simply doesn't grab your intended readers. If you think your blog articles lack that special something, take a look at some things you can to spiff them up.

Write for Your Audience, Not Yourself

You might be thinking, "I don't get why my audience doesn't love this blog content. i wrote it myself, and I think it's fascinating!" That's great, but you're forgetting one crucial fact: You're not your target audience. Your blog posts might convey compelling or even brilliant information that you and your peers would gladly lap up, but your customer base probably doesn't care about the specific technologies you employ, trends affecting your industry, or detailed explanations of how your products work. They may not even understand the buzzwords you're using, leaving them feeling bored, confused, or feeling like you're talking to somebody else -- which you are, unfortunately. Always ask yourself what your readers want to read and need to know before writing Word One of anything.

Let the Readers Into Your World

Even if your target audience doesn't care that much about the particulars of your industry, they can (and should) still feel a bond with you through the blog content you create. Look for exciting inside news that might spark their interest and build a blog post around it. Have you hired a brilliant new team member who has a lot to offer your customers? Write a post focused on that person. Did you recently solve a huge problem for a client? Create a little case history that explains how you came to the rescue, implying (of course) that you can do the same for the reader. Are you poised to release an amazing new product or service? Release a series of teaser posts that spark public interest and get your audience ready to buy. Do you need to address a recent challenge that potentially damages your image? Blog about it openly, stating your plan for correcting course and regaining trust.

Leverage Hot Topics

These days it seems like everybody in the world has their eyes glued to a favorite news feed, faithfully following the latest breaking headlines on everything from politics to fashion. You might find it all but impossible to compete against those hot topics. Luckily, you don't have to. Ever hear the saying, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?" Hop on the bandwagon by thinking up ways to bring those topics into your blog posts, either as a passing reference that segues into your real topic or as a subject that directly affects your audience's need for what you do. When you consider the immense flood of breaking news that seems to surround us every day, you can see how your potential for grabbing your audience's interest is equally endless.

Give Advice

Many of the individuals who land on a blog page may have done so as the result of Googling a specific concern or question, a problem that they need to figure out pronto. Since they clearly have a strong, immediate interest in that subject, you want their query to lead them to your blog post on that very subject, right? Think about what kinds of challenges your target market faces regularly and what kinds of advice you commonly dispense. Then create blog posts offering simple explanations and helpful tips for one challenge after another -- not neglecting to include your own products or services as one potential solution. Once you've built up a formidable arsenal of such posts, they should continue to pay off for weeks, months, or years to come by directing a stream of new and repeat traffic to your business.

Now that you know how to make your blog posts more interesting, you're ready to start dreaming up those compelling topics. Would you like some help from a creative professional with decades of blogging and marketing content creation experience? Contact me today so I can help you light that fire under your audience!

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

How Is Content Creation Like Moving?

I'm in the process of picking up and relocating -- a process you've almost certainly dealt with at least once in your life. You know the drill: purchasing boxes, loading some items, discarding others, figuring out where everything will go and how to get it there, scheduling utility connections et cetera. While moving can seem tiring, boring, or annoying, it can also prove illuminating in some respects. In fact, as I was going through all these steps, I couldn't help but notice some striking similarities between the moving process and the content creation process. Take a look at some of the things these two activities have in common.

They Both Require Planning

Sure, you might throw everything you own into a van at random and set off for your new digs -- that is, if you don't mind opening the van to see a pile of jumbled boxes and broken valuables. Smart moving requires smart planning, from what order those boxes should be loaded and unloaded to what they should contain and what packing materials you'll need to ensure those items' safety. You also need to know that the electricity will be on when you arrive, your mail will go to the right place, and that you haven't left anything critical behind. 

Marketing content creation also requires planning, and not just in terms of organizing text and images. Ideally, you want to create an editorial calendar to coordinate and schedule your stream of content throughout the year. You must also select and nurture the right mix of social media channels to host that content and direct it at your target audience.

They Both Reward Efficiency

I've moved several times over the years, and every time I do, I manage to perform the move that much more efficiently. A move that once took several stages now only takes one or two. That's partly because I discovered the value of throwing stuff out. Where I used to simply pack up everything I owned without a second thought, I now start by asking myself, "How much of this do I need, and how much of it can I lose to streamline this project?" In the process, I've come to embrace a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle. 

Of course, that choice won't work for everyone -- but its equivalent in the world of content creation will. I'm talking about scrutinizing each and every line of copy you write. Are you using two words where one would do, or a four-syllable word where one syllable would make the point? the "slimmer" your content, the more powerful and readable it becomes. Less is more!

They Both Benefit From Outsourcing

Do you recall how you felt during and after your last move? It wasn't exactly a picnic, was it? Now matter how carefully you plan it and how efficiently you execute it, a move requires time and effort. The more of the work you do yourself, the harder it gets. (I've moved myself entirely without aid enough times to know.) At some point, you realize that you can save a lot of sweat, pain, and exhaustion by hiring a moving company for at least some of the labor involved. 

Well, you can take the same approach to content creation. Brainstorming ideas and polishing them into little jewels of persuasion can eat up a ton of time, keeping you from other necessary work while leaving you with double vision and a headache. A freelance copywriter can produce much of the content you need at a professional skill level. You know where I'm going with this, right? If you want to enjoy a speedier, less stressful, more successful marketing campaign, contact me today and move that content creation burden in my direction!

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

How to Get the Best Results From Your Freelance Copywriter

So you've finally decided to outsource your marketing content creation headaches to a freelance copywriter. Maybe you don't feel confident in your own skills in this area, or maybe you'd rather focus on what you do best in your business. Whatever the reason, you'll probably be glad you offloaded this time-consuming, brain-draining, expertise-requiring task. But you can't assume that simply engaging a copywriter's services will guarantee satisfaction with the final result, regardless of the writer's skill, experience, and reputation. Let's look at some important steps you can take to put yourself and your freelance talent on the same page, so to speak.

Make Sure Your Copywriter Understands Your Brand

The most brilliant marketing content in. the world may not suit your brand, like a stunning dress that simply can't be made to fit you properly. Your content needs to speak in a particular voice that matches your brand voice. What should your brand voice sound like? You and your marketing strategy team need to figure that out before you ask a writer to produce content. If you've already got a firm grip on your brand persona, you must communicate that persona to your writer during those initial conversations. Don't assume that your writer possesses some magical telepathic ability to convey your brand voice. Even the content you currently use for your marketing materials may not fit that voice all that well, potentially sending your writer down the wrong road as a reference source. The two of you need to discuss your brand, audience, style, and tone to eliminate any potential for confusion.

Take Advantage of Your Copywriter's Insights

Despite my 26 years as a professional writer, I occasionally land a client who wants to treat me as a glorified stenographer. They know exactly what they want and how they want it, with little interest in listening to outside opinions or insights. This is a mistake. When you hire an experienced copywriter, you're buying a lot more than just words -- you're also paying for that individual's industry knowledge, original ideas, and creative suggestions.  Hiring a copywriting veteran and then simply dictating to that expert is like engaging Wolfgang Puck and then forcing him to cook your own recipes. If you're buying expertise, make as much use of it as you can if you want value for money. Exchange ideas with your copywriter, be open to recommendations, and rely on that specialist's knowledge wherever possible.

Let Your Copywriter Start From Scratch

I once had a client who hired me for website content but not for blog content because "our web development company includes free blogging services." A couple of months later, this client sent me a pile of incomprehensible word salad from the company in question -- article after article that made little sense or had little to do with the client's business. The client asked me whether at least some of this junk could be salvaged, and if so, how much it would cost me to fix it. I replied that I could indeed save some of it, and it would cost him exactly as much for me to fix it as it would've cost to pay me for perfect content right out of the chute.

In many cases, editing disastrous content takes more time and effort than drafting fresh content from scratch. As a result, even if your writer charges less for editing than original writing, you may still end up with a higher bill than if you'd simply let your writer start over. The only exception to this rule applies to re-concepting, of course. If you tell your writer, "This content is fine but I've decided to make this post about something completely different," you'll pay the second full fee because you're requesting a second original article. but you can avoid that frustration by making sure you know what you want before you ask for it.

Once you've taken these suggestions to heart, you should enjoy a happier, more productive working relationship with your chosen copywriter. If you haven't chosen a copywriter yet, look no further. Contact me today so we can build your company's success as a team!