Blogging for your business can be one of the most overlooked aspects of online marketing. On top of social media outreach, maintaining a website, and running a business, you may not see blogging as a priority. In reality, you are missing a lot of opportunities if (more…)
“I hate to write.”
“I’m not a good writer.”
“I don’t have time to write.”
Is this you? If so, then let me ask you this:
Could you use more website traffic? (Google still thinks content is king.)
Once there, would you like people to find something interesting and learn more about you?
In summary, would you like your business to grow?
If you answered “Yes!”, then suck it up and write anyway.
Writing is really important to online marketing success.
However, I don’t want you to walk away feeling frustrated, so let me give you a few pointers and tips for how to get over the hurdle and begin writing.
First, the What.
Your content does not have to be a book. A piece of content can be “Google ready” if it is 100 words long. You can write 100 words. This paragraph is practically 100 words.
Your content does not need to be epic. The goal is not to get 1 million hits. The goal is to allow your potential customer to get to know you before they commit to buying you or even visiting you. It’s about your brand: the total package of who you are and why what you offer is worth a shot.
Start by brainstorming ideas of what to write. Examples can include:
- Projects you worked on and why they were amazing (before/after)
- People/organizations you helped and how/why/when you helped them (case studies)
- Products/experiences/companies/information you find useful that relate to your business
- Experiences you’ve had that others might learn from
- Lists of stuff that is relevant to your business – for whatever reason, people love lists
- Events/news the average user of your business would find interesting written in your words (including why you find them interesting) with links to the source
- Lessons you have to share (like what I’m doing right now)
I also love it when businesses use content to improve their business. Ask your readers to give input about how you can grow your business.
“But I still stink at writing!”
OK, fine. If you just cannot write, talk. Get a voice recorder (your phone likely has one) and tell a story. Then have someone on your staff, your spouse, or your child transcribe the story. Edit. Voila.
Or Why Not Video?
Video is really the best content you can create and it does not have to be professional if you are just starting out. Get a camera. Point it at yourself. Or record yourself doing what you do. When you publish it, I would also transcribe it.
“But…some other reason I can’t write or talk or video”
Well, guess what? We love to write. We love to write about you and what you do. It’s our thing. Our sole existence in the world is to promote your business…to get to know you as if we were you and represent you. We do our thing, you do your thing, we both grow, win win.
We have written good content for just about every kind of business there is. Think of us as journalistic marketers.
And then there’s the How.
Now that you have content, what do you do with it?
I use a word at UplinkSpyder a lot: disseminate. I am pretty sure my staff hate that word.
It means to spread. Widely. Facebook about it. Tweet it. Take a photo, and pin or Instagram it. YouTube or Vimeo something related to it. Email people with it. Link it on LinkedIn. Send your physical customers to it and ask them for feedback. Ask all your employees to read it. Tell everyone you know about it.
Seriously. Pretend you just wrote that book you thought you’d have to write and the world will now know you crossed something off your bucket list.
And now do it again. And again. Don’t stop. That’s how the magic happens. *insert sparkles*
If you are spending time writing a blog or a page for your website, you want to make sure that people actually read it and that you get the most out of it where search engines are concerned. With that in mind, please consider the following.
The math equation in the graphic below may have already sent you running scared from this blog. But if you want to know whether your blog will actually be read by most users of your website, pay attention. Luckily, if you have MS Word, you don’t have to do any math (look at the bottom of this blog for instructions.)
The math equation is called the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score and it ensures you are writing in plain, understandable English. It’s important when writing for the web because psychologically speaking, people don’t want to do as much mental work reading your website as when reading a novel or newspaper.
In other words, keep it simple and they might stick around longer.
Readability Part 2
- Use white space, bullets, numbering, and good punctuation.
- Keep your sentences and paragraphs short.
- Use appropriate jargon. For instance, since ours is a technology related site, I could feel safe referring to search engine optimization or readability scores.
Search Engine Optimization
You really should leave Search Engine Optimization for the most part to your experts (hey, that’s us!) but when writing content, here are a few things anyone should do:
- Web crawlers can’t read images so tell them what the image is and include at least one keyword.
- Your title is the first thing the search engines read, so think about it and put a keyword or two in there, also.
- The same keywords in your picture and title should also be in your text.
For instance, for this article, my title keyword is website content and my image keyword is website readability. Hey look, those keywords are now in my blog a couple times. Yay me.
Figuring your Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score
Just in case the math equation still scares you and you don’t have MS Word, here’s a simple way to figure your score:
- Multiply the average sentence length by 1.015
- Multiply the average word length by 84.6
- Add the two numbers
- Subtract that total from 206.835
You want your score to be somewhere between 60-70 generally. 0-30 is WAY too high level for the average blog. 90-100 is probably too simplistic.
Here’s how you figure your score in MS Word:
- Go to Word Options
- Choose Proofing
- Ensure that the grammar with spelling box is checked
- Select the tick box for “Show readability statistics.”
Just in case you were wondering, the readability score of this blog is 66.3. Nailed it.