Is This Schoolgirl Error Costing You Customers?

When I lived in London I endured it on a daily basis.  I could feel the blood pulsing through my veins ever faster and urgent, and every day I asked myself ‘is this really worth it?!’ Of course the benefits must have outweighed the frustration, the heat-stroke, and the bordering-on-illegal proximity to other human beings.  But it was touch and go at times.  I am, of course, talking about overcrowding.  On The Tube to be precise.  But what does that have to do with your blog posts? I see it on a regular basis: blog posts crammed full of ideas, information, inspiration.  Sometimes it feels as though the author is trying to shoehorn every last thing they know into one tiny blog post to the point where there just isn’t enough room to breathe.  Like on the Central Line coming into Bank.  At 8.45 on a weekday morning. Of course, you want to show people what you know.  You want them to see that you’re the person for them, and you don’t want them to miss any pertinent piece of information that might make them choose you.  The problem is, you don’t know what that pertinent piece of information is.  Which doesn’t mean that you should shoehorn even more information into your blog posts, in fact it means the exact opposite.  Overcrowding your blog posts turns people off.  End of.  They get lost, they lose sight of the point, they don’t know what the takeaway is, they can’t figure out if you are for them, they click away.    When your blog post has one point, one objective, the post can breathe.  It feels calmer...

No More Sugar Coating: This Is How Often You Need To Blog

I’ve been guilty of a crime.  The crime of sugar-coating the truth.  When you ask me how often you should be blogging, I fudge the answer.  I tell you that as long as you’re consistent, it doesn’t really matter.  Well it does.  Because if you want your blog to bring you business, if you want it to be a fully functioning marketing asset, you need to be posting something at least once a week.  Sorry. When you post something weekly (and tell people about it!), it does three important things for your business.  It keeps you uppermost in people’s minds, it helps people start to automatically associate you with what you do, and it quickly builds you a valuable set of resources you can use to show people how you can help them. If you’re not blogging weekly, or if you can’t imagine how you’ll ever manage to, please stay calm.  With a little help you can and you will.  Here are three methods you can use to get blogging every week. 1. Keep a store of blogging ideas on your computer, in a notebook, or on your phone.  That way you will always have something to write about.  Add to your list every time you have an idea; or a customer tells you what’s annoying them, or how you’ve helped them; or you hear something relevant while watching a film; or you read something your customers will love in a magazine.   I ran an experiment one evening and found three blog post ideas from The Mentalist, CSI and NCIS:LA.  Yes, busted, I love American crime drama. 2. Write your blog post early in...

How Andy Murray’s Blocking Your Blogging

Having a Brit as one of the top four tennis players of his time, has not necessarily enhanced my enjoyment of tennis.  Or at least my enjoyment of tennis tournaments.  I used to watch match after Wimbledon match, tuning into the BBC to enjoy whoever happened to be playing, with no expectation of anything other than some good tennis.  Even in Tim Henman’s day I could enjoy the majority of matches without the added anxiety of ‘what it means for my chap’.  Because of course now, I’m watching every match with an eye on Andy.  I have an added reason for watching that goes beyond pure enjoyment: I have an end objective. Like you have with your blog posts, if you’ve ever listened to me.  To my mind the best blog posts start with an end objective and meet it as efficiently as possible, while crafting a story around it.  But many of my clients complain they can’t do that.  They enjoy writing so much, that writing to one end objective isn’t much fun.   Their preference is for writing long, wordy articles and meandering to their eventual conclusion via several, well thought out, tangents.  Well, guess what?  Me too!  I love writing for the sake of writing: I enjoy putting pen to paper and just writing whatever comes to mind.  It’s how I do some of my best thinking, and writing ‘morning pages’ got me through a particularly difficult time. The problem these clients have, is that when it comes to blogging ‘my way’, they don’t enjoy it, so they don’t do it.  Writing to an objective means...

How To Get Your Blog Posts Read

One of the things my clients worry about, is whether people are reading their blog posts.  They worry that even if someone stumbles across their blog and reads a couple of posts, they’ll never find their way back again.  Or if those elusive people like what they read, how will they ever remember to take time out of their busy lives, to check whether you’ve written another mind-blowing post? Of course, you post a link to your latest post on Social Media – you do, don’t you?! – but that doesn’t guarantee that people will see it.  Newsfeed moves so quickly that it can be hard to catch up, and when something’s gone, unless you keep posting links, it’s gone. So how can you help your readers keep up to date with your blog?  One way is to make sure you have RSS activated for your site, and tell them about RSS Readers.  Back when I was setting up The Write Angles, my web developer wasn’t going to activate RSS for my site.  I’d asked him to do it, but he reckoned that RSS was on the way out, and so it’d be a waste of time.  I insisted.  And I’m glad I did. RSS Readers collate all of the blog posts that you want to read and present them to you in one place.  They make it easy for you to keep up to date with your favourite blogs, at a time and place that’s convenient for you.  Many only display the first couple of paragraphs of the blog post, so if you want to read on, you click through to the host...