Category: Blog Writing

What Should I Blog About?

“What should I blog about?” is one of the most common questions we hear from people doing their own digital marketing.

Blogging should be simple, yet people often do too much research to find the right topic. The worst thing you can do if you have an existing audience is to write a blog post for yourself and not for them. The blog is not for you, it is directed to inform your target audience about your main idea. If you follow these components you will be well on your way to creating an engaging blog.

Start with your current customers

First and foremost, always know that your current customers are the ones who are already familiar with your business or brand. Even if they are familiar with your brand, there are still things they will ask you about. Write those questions down, and answer them in a blog.

Not only will this keep them in the loop, but it will also give your potential customers a taste of the knowledge and expertise you give to your clients.

Think about potential customers

Odds are when you’re doing sales, you get a lot of the same questions from potential customers. They’re usually about cost, or the product or service you are offering. Answering these in a blog post can cut down on your time, and it can weed out the customers that aren’t a good fit. Stay away from broad topics and get specific. Always be honest and write like a human, not a robot.

Your experiences

As a brand, you want to tell the current and potential customers about your customer service. Storytelling goes a long way, and engaging the audience on the projects and experiences that you’ve encountered will help them envision themselves being one of your customers or remaining one.

Your competitors

Don’t worry, looking at your competition’s blogs or websites is not cheating. It’s a useful way to gather information about them. Staying up to date with the competitors in your area can help your business and tackle the important topics that need to be written about. Find something that you can provide a different take on, or something that you can explain in a more simple way, and do so.

Google your topic

Always make sure to research different ideas that you have. Having about three options will help you in creating an engaging blog. Google a couple of topics and then narrow it down based on the information you’ve come up with. What would spark your customers interest the most?

What You Learn Going From Writing for College to Writing for Marketing

Writing for marketing

In third grade, I thought that if I wrote a story it would end up in every elementary school library. But it wasn’t. Luckily, I had a special teacher fulfill a little part of my dream. She went out and had it printed on a hard copy and put it in my school library. To this day, I owe my passion for writing to her.

Fast forward to today. What you’re taught you in school is how you should always write? FALSE. I am on the verge of creating a petition for colleges to teach writing for marketing, like how to write social media posts and how to write a blog post, and other things I am actually going to use in my future. Most people know college writing, if you don’t then you know high school writing. All in all they’re the same. College writing:

  • •Introduction
  1. •Thesis
  • •Body Paragraph 1
  • •Body Paragraph 2
  • •Body Paragraph 3
  • •Other Viewpoint
  • •Conclusion

Basically that’s how it goes… but you need stretch it out to 12 pages.

Now, blogs can be a similar structure, but not too similar in writing style. When writing for marketing, people want hear your voice (and in my opinion, that’s the most important part). But there are different ways to write a blog, some of my favorite are:

This type of blog post is all in the title. The how-to blog post is a blog post that tells readers, well, how to do something. First thing first, you need to deiced something to write about and or tell your readers what to do.  Now write down the steps you believe are necessary for this topic. Once you have your how-to skeleton give it life! Write out your blog. Provide helpful information to your audience. Write out the points and fill in the bubbles. You can provide detailed information but still be to the point. Visualize it, make it eye catching and have fun!

You need to pick a compelling topic that goes along with something you can make a list for. Similar to the how-to post this will also have to have a skeleton built first. The outlining process is where you build up your lists. Now tell a story!

This is also known as the entertaining post. This post’s primary intention is to entertain. This kind of blog post is most free blog there is because you can write about almost anything with no type of outline. This type of content is mostly humorous content but sometimes can be informational. Make the post effective beyond its simple entertainment value.

This biggest difference between writing for marketing and writing for college is that you don’t need to fill up pages. In fact, it’s best that you make it really simple and easy for the reader to understand. You don’t need to fill it up with big words and repeat yourself to fill up space. Getting your point across in as few words as possible is recommended.

If you’re just out of school, this should be exciting. No more term papers, time to really enjoy writing!

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10 Tips for Writing Snappy Headlines

snappy headlines

Blogs We Read for Content Marketing Inspiration

content marketing inspiration

Sometimes there is nothing more intimidating than a blank piece of paper. When you know you need to have a blog written and you don’t come to the computer with the topic in mind, you can risk wasting a lot of time looking for inspiration in the wrong places. Whenever I start writing for a client, I start by researching and looking for blogs to bookmark for inspiration. I’m not out to copy what’s already out there. But by taking a look at what’s working, I can try a different spin or angle and add to the conversation in a positive way.
Keeping up with industry specific blogs also just keeps you up to date on what’s out there. It’s easier to spot a trend if you keep your eye out, and reading more often simply makes you a better writer.

Here are some blogs I bookmark for content marketing inspiration.

There is always something new on the HubSpot blogs. They have a large number of qualified people writing on everything inbound. The type of content ranges from infographics to longer, research based posts.
Our favorite recent post: Compounding Posts Generate 38% of Your Blog’s Traffic: Here’s What HubSpot’s Look Like
Moz most definitely leans toward the longer, more in depth posts. When I read a headline I’m really interested in I tend to set some time aside and read through it thoroughly. Another great place for inspiration is their comment section. A lot of really smart marketers and SEOs put in their 2 cents in the comment section and it can really spark something worth writing about.
Our favorite recent post: How to Get Content into the Hands of Influencers Who Can Help Amplify It
Contently – The Content Strategist

The Content Strategist has a lot of examples of how brands are achieving success with content marketing. They have some great statistics and figures of how it’s done, and every piece is extremely engaging.
Our favorite recent post: How The New York Times Gets 70% Email Open Rates
Creator by WeWork
WeWork publishes content for business owners and freelancers as well as employees working in creative industries. I especially like scrolling through their newsletter and finding an article that looks interesting. Their website itself has a great layout and an awesome animation that shows you how far into an article you are.
Our favorite recent post: 6 Lessons from Football — Even If You Can’t Stand Sports Analogies
Entrepreneur has tons of writers and publishes a lot of content at a wide range. The articles are short and they have a nice feature that tells you how long an article is in minutes before you click on it. This is often where I’ll go for the quickest inspiration. And if I don’t find something that sparks a blog topic, I always find something great for sharing on social media.
Our favorite recent post: How to Save at Least 2 Hours Per Week on Social-Media Marketing

Inbound Marketing Checklist

Title Capitalization Rules for the Busy Blogger

Title Capitalization Rules

The Dangers of Small Business Blogging

dangers of small business blogging

According to HubSpot, companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.
While this data is true and valuable, it doesn’t speak to the quality of blog posts and how that affects inbound marketing.
Writing is hard. Grammar and punctuation aside, it takes a lot of work to create something from nothing. And it takes even more work to create something that other people find valuable.
Small business blogging has changed that a little bit. Now, we have data that can give writers a bit of how-to when they are writing for a brand. Keep your headline under so many characters, split up your paragraphs, use lists etc.
These are great statistics for a marketer to spout off to prove how great they are at marketing, but creating content needs to be more than that.
Now, it’s not SO much more that it becomes this mountain of a task, only attainable by the big brands and their highly paid professionals.

What are the dangers of small business blogging?

1. You basically become a robot, pumping out content every single day that follows all the rules but has no personality whatsoever.
2. You try really hard to follow what Rand Fishkin calls the “10X” rule, end up crying in the corner and never hitting “publish.”

Small business blogging can work somewhere in the middle. You can’t be afraid to put out content because you don’t think it’s good enough. Just like in business, you can’t be afraid to fail.
That being said, you shouldn’t be publishing 10 posts per month that get hardly any views, either. Even if your content is bringing in traffic, if it’s not bringing in leads or business you need to rethink your strategy. Publishing lots of the same kind of content isn’t doing anyone any favors.
So what should you do? When I blog for my business, I try my best to focus on improving. Every time I write, I am trying to improve my process as well as my end product. I also focus on improving the content that is already on my site. If I have a post that has been there for a while, gets a good amount of views but no one is converting, I’ll go back in and try to make it better.

Set Attainable Goals

Knowing that the odds of your blog post going viral are slim, it’s important to set attainable goals. Take a look at your traffic and leads today and aim to increase those numbers. If you can’t see the impact of your blog on your website and your business, it’s harder to keep it going on a regular basis.
Above all, you need to have patience. Creating content that people love takes a lot of time and energy. I’m trying not to get all philosophical here, but it’s really hard not to. Just take solace in the fact that no one really knows the perfect formula for creating great content. Keep learning, keep practicing, and always hit publish.

25 Tactics Great Websites Use

Content Creation doesn’t have to be hard

Content Creation

Content creation has become one of the most important avenues for driving traffic to your website. According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound report, companies that blog have 55% more website visitors, and generate 88% more leads than those companies that don’t.

Here are some reasons why you really need a blog:

  • It creates fresh content and more pages of content, which is great for SEO.
  • It helps establish you as an industry authority and thought leader.
  • It helps drive more traffic and leads back to your website.
  • It’s a great channel to converse and engage with your audience and customers.
  • It’s a great way to get valuable inbound links!

Most people have trouble with content creation because their topics are too broad, and they’re not thinking about their audience. They want to start with what they offer, when they should start with feedback they get from customers or potential customers.
You have a business that installs flooring for residential customers. It’s not a good idea to write a blog post about carpet, even though that’s a big part of your offerings. You’ll need to think smaller. Think back to your last customer and what led them to the decision they made to go with a specific brand or type of carpet. Maybe they wanted a carpet that doesn’t stain easily because they have small children. What did you recommend and why? There’s a blog post. Maybe there was no option for what they were looking for but you educated them on the best ways to keep their new carpet clean. There’s another blog post.
When it comes to content creation, thinking about specific interactions with your clients is a great place to start. And whenever you hit a road block and the task of blogging becomes a monster, you probably need a more specific topic.
Questions about blogging? Free free to follow Stacey for more content creation tips, or contact us.

25 Tactics Great Websites Use