As a freelance copywriter, I have used blogging as a way of promoting my business, my knowledge and to help other people out there who need a bit of help when it comes to copywriting, marketing and general social media issues.
But if you are coming to blogging without any experience the whole concept can seem quite daunting.
Blogging is great if you do it effectively – so what steps can you take to make sure you’re doing it right?
How to be an effective blogger
If you want to blog well, blog regularly.
It’s a bit like social media – the more you do it the more exposure you’ll get. How frequently you should blog will depend on your audience and your own time constraints. Some people blog daily (some even several times a day), but to be a success you have to find a frequency that suits you as it is vital you stick to it.
I run 2 blogs (this one and www.freelancecopywritersblog.com) so I post 5 times a week across the 2 of them. This fits in with the time I have available and provides regular content for my readers. But whatever you decide is right for you, stick to it. As you gather regular readers they will grow to expect your next ‘instalment’ so don’t disappoint them.
To help me stay on course, I tend to blog ahead and schedule the posts so if I have a ‘quiet’ day I can write several posts, upload them and schedule them for publication – this can save a lot of time.
One of the most daunting aspects of blogging is coming up with a constant stream of new material. Here are a few tips to make sure those ideas keep flowing:
- keep a pad on your desk so when an idea comes to you, you can jot it down
- read other industry blogs and magazines to generate ideas
- comment on current affairs especially if you can tie them into your industry
- invite your readers to comment – you may get some spin off ideas from these
- write ‘how to articles’ and ‘top tips’ relating to what you do
Before you know it, you’ll have a stack of article ideas ready and waiting.
When you create a post make sure you know why you are writing it, it should have a purpose. Whether it’s to promote something through your writing, to start a discussion, or a way of attracting more business or trying to attract links.
Whatever it is, keep this in the forefront of your mind as you write.
If you want people to read your posts you have to give them something in return.
The information has to be of value to them and try and keep your posts ‘on topic’. By that I mean make sure your blog deals with the same type of issues. For example this blog is all about copywriting tips, marketing tips, how to use social media marketing and SEO related issues. So when a post is published you, my readers, know roughly what genre it will be about.
Make your blog an encyclopaedia for your area of expertise.
Write simply and with love
The layout of your blog post is very important.
Begin with a catchy heading. It should be interesting enough to draw in your reader so arouse their curiosity. To help your SEO, get your keyword in there – so if you are writing about copywriting, try and get that into the heading if you can.
Next comes an image. You may not see that as important, but a good image will draw readers in. Use something playful, something that will pique their curiosity.
Then comes the hard part – writing an interesting and entertaining post. Make sure the body of your post is packed with useful information. You know the audience you are targeting and therefore you’ll know what they are looking for – so give to them in spades.
Break up the copy with sub headings to make it easier to read. And finally don’t let it go out with a fizzle; invite comments or add in a call to action (depending on what the aim of your post is).
So that’s how I go about blogging. What do you do? Do you have any other ideas to help out the new bloggers on the block? All contributions are welcome so why not share your thoughts with us?