Monthly Archives: April 2015

Blogging for “boring” businesses

There are lots of reasons why your business should be blogging – not the least of which is the fact that that those who do, generate 67% more leads than companies that don’t.

But one reason why many companies don’t blog is that the business owner feels that their industry or niche market is too “boring” for people to want to read about. They can understand why someone would want to read about the latest technological toy or gadget, or why they might want to read about the latest trends in spring fashions, but they are not so convinced that people would be interested in reading about their product or service.

So let me just come out and say it. Your business is NOT too boring to blog about! If you’re business is useful and relevant to someone (and you won’t be in business very long if it isn’t), then your business blog can also be useful and relevant.

As a freelancer, I have written plenty of blogs for industries which not everyone finds interesting. But the good news is, you don’t need everyone to find it interesting – just your target customers. An article about asbestos removal isn’t going to appeal to everyone – but it sure is going to catch the attention of someone who needs that type of service!

Now, that you understand that you do in fact have relevant information to share – how do you share it without being – well – boring? Here are three tips that you can use right away:

1, Write in an FAQ format.

One of the easiest ways to figure out what to write about is to think about the kinds of questions your customers ask (or what questions they might potentially ask), and answer them. Many of your potential customers are likely to be more comfortable asking a question online than visiting your business where they might get (gasp!) as sales pitch!

For example, a person who has a question about their options for replacing missing teeth – might be more inclined to consult with Dr. Google at the start. So if you have a dental practice, that might be the topics of one of your blogs.

2. Be relevant

Suppose your business is a personal injury law firm. Chances are, your blogs will not be relevant to someone unless they or a family member have been injured in an accident. But when someone suddenly needs to information about no fault accidents – your blog can become very relevant.

3. Think outside the box

Suppose you are a financial advisor. It might not always be easy to only write about financial products – but their is always useful content that you can add to your blog if you get creative. For example, you might want to write an article about being debt free. This could be a great way to help potential clients relate – ones that might not necessarily be interested in reading about insurance or mutual funds the first time that they visit your site.

So don’t use the excuse that you business is too boring to blog about. If you take the time to think about the questions your potential audience might have, what information they might need, and even a few outside the box but still related issues, you’ll always have something to write about.

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Four Strategies for Better Web Content Writing

For many of your prospective customers, your website is the first impression that they will have of your business. It’s safe to say that you may win or lose your prospect based – at least in part – on the strength of your web content writing.

So whether you are doing your own writing in-house, or whether you are hiring a freelance writer, here are a few content strategies that can really help your website to sing.

Strategy 1: Write content that is easy to read in electronic format

When writing for a website – you have to remember that you are “screen writing” – no, you are not writing a Hollywood movie script, but you are writing content that is intended to be read on the screen of a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Anyone who reads often will tell you that reading a print book or magazine is not the same as reading from an electronic device. For one, screens are harder on the eyes. According to a study by Neilson Norman Group, we actually read screens 25% more slowly than we do print.

So when “screen writing”, we need to use strategies that make our content easier and more efficient to read.

  • Break up your content with short paragraphs and sub-headings
  • Avoid being overly wordy – get to the point
  • Use bullet points for lists

Strategy 2: Write efficiently

When people read website copy, it’s usually because they are looking to do something such as research a product, make a purchase, or find an answer to a question.

The same descriptive language that might draw a reader into a novel and make them fall in love with the central character, might only serve to annoy the reader who is browsing your site to purchase a product or learn whether the service that you offer can help them with their problem.

Write your content more efficiently by:

  • Getting to the point – tell your reader who you are and what you can offer them.
  • Use plain language.
  • Have a clear call to action – indicate how your visitor can make a purchase or get more information.

Strategy 3: Write for SEO

That’s right – as much as you have to write for your reader, you also have to write for the search engine spiders. The reason why SEO (search engine optimization) is so important is that 93% of web traffic comes through search engines.

And if people can’t find your content, they clearly can’t read it.

To write effectively for SEO, use the following tips:

  • Use keywords – do a bit of research to find out what keywords your potential customers are searching and make sure you incorporate those words in your headings and content.
  • Don’t overuse keywords – keyword stuffing used to be an effective technique for giving your website a good ranking in the search engines, but now it can get you penalized.
  • Make your content sharable – when others share your writing on social media or it is linked back to in blogs and professional articles, it helps your SEO.
  • Write often – new content in the form of regular articles and blogs will let Google and the other search engines know that you are still relevant.

Strategy 4: Write for People

In addition to writing for SEO, you also need to remember that you are writing for people. But not any and all people – you are writing for your customers and prospective customers. Your writing should be targeted to them.

  • Write quality, useful content – If visitors to your website find what you write helpful – even if they are not ready to buy today — they will be more likely to return to your site when they are. Writing helpful and relevant blogs and articles is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
  • Structure your writing in a way that makes sense – just as your website’s link navigation should be easy to follow, it should be easy to follow your writing from one point to the next. Clear headings and subheading are a way to accomplish this.
  • Keep your content up to date – don’t let your readers think you have gone out of business or simply don’t care because you have old, irrelevant content.
  • Be action oriented – make it simple for your reader to find and follow your call to action.

Writing compelling and effective web content does take some time, but your readers will appreciate content that has been written with them in mind – and your efforts will pay off if you keep at it.