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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Blogging services

purpose

What do you know about blogging?

On one hand, blogging is simple – put some words into a blogging platform and publish them. Make them good words and you’ll get lots of readers.

On the other hand, there is a lot of skill, strategy and knowledge that goes into running a good blog. And a lot of different measures for deciding if a blog is successful, or not.

leanring ABC of blogging

There is a lot to learn about blogging – but the important aspects are already with you

So what do you know about blogging?

What do you want to know about blogging?

Do you know why you care about blogging?

This isn’t a trick question I can give you an answer to.

I do think it is important to know why you are blogging (or thinking of blogging).

If you know why, you can make your blog suit that purpose and you have something to measure your success against.

For instance, if your aim is to build awareness of topic X, you can decide if 10 targeted readers is enough or if you need thousands of readers a week. Whereas if your aim is to blog to build  a habit of writing 200 words a day, a look at your post dates is an easy measure of your success.

I recently read a post by Rhianna which lists what she knows about blogging. It isn’t a technical list of how long posts should be, the best post frequency or choosing great titles, but a more basic list of what she knows about herself and her blogging purpose.

Like the Cheshire Cat said, how will you ever know you have arrived if you don’t know where you are going?

In a business context, I think this becomes even more important as time blogging could be spent elsewhere for perhaps greater profit – how do you know the blog is ‘working’ and worth the effort if you don’t know what it is meant to achieve for your business?

Even if you hire someone like me to help write or edit your blog posts, you need to know the purpose of your blog to assess it’s worth. And give direction to the writer.

So in the comments below, let me know why you blog. Or put in your ideas of maybe why you blog to help form your final answer and see if that changes how you blog.

* Images courtesy of 123rf

Make your offers relevant

Whether it is a direct email, marketing campaign or even a cold call on the phone, it’s really important to make the offer relevant to the other person – if you want results anyway!

Guest blog approaches

If you want to do some guest blogging and have found some potential host blogs, your next step is to contact the blog owner and offer your posts.

Today, I received a pleasant email offering me some guest blog posts. She wrote clearly, openly told me which site her bio would link to, provided samples of previous posts and offered to write on a topic I suggested.

Sounds good, right?

Yes, up to the point of looking at her URL and sample post topics.

She is representing a housing construction company (the name Word Constructions does mislead at times!) so was offering posts about building topics which is obviously completely irrelevant to my blog.

Check for relevance

alphabet building blocks

Letters are Word Constructions’ building blocks

It all comes back to knowing your audience and your purpose.

If I know my audience are people running a business, then they are not coming to me for building tips but could be interested to read a business book review.

If the purpose of my blog is to share writing and communications information, there is little point writing about the best time to prune a lemon tree.

A little bit of research on the part of the would-be guest blogger would get her posts into more blogs – you don’t have to read much of my site to learn I am a writer, not a builder, and that my name is Tash. I (and therefore my readers) are not her audience so her posts are not relevant and she wasted her time emailing me.

So for every piece of business communications, know your purpose and audience so you can make the message relevant.

Have you considered the relevancy of your blog posts to the people reading them? Are they at least relevant to the audience you want to attract?

Must your website be interactive?

In a series of 10 posts, we have looked at the steps required to get your business online. Hopefully you’ve seen that getting a website up doesn’t have to be hard or very expensive, and that it can provide a lot of value to your business.

Up to a few years ago, that would be all you’d have to do to get a website up and running – with good content and links, it would probably have done quite well.

Now you will hear that people have higher expectations and that static (i.e. simple web pages that are one way only) sites are not effective.

There is an incredible number of websites out there now so competing against them all probably does need an edge such as an interactive site (where others can provide content on your site). However, you will not be competing against all those sites.

If you have been running business for a while without a website, you probably don’t need thousands of visitors to your site every week to survive. Many service based businesses also don’t need large amounts of traffic as they just need localised traffic.

While an interactive site may be more interesting and may do better than an equivalent static site, it is okay to have a static site. Here are some of my thoughts on static vs interactive sites:

  1. a static site is fine for people needing basic information about your site (e.g. a friend referred me and I need to find your phone number)
  2. a static site is better than an interactive site that is not maintained and looks rushed or empty, so if you don’t have the time or expertise to do an interactive site a static site is still valid option
  3. content is king – having quality, relevant content is critical; keeping it updated and fresh will go a long way to making your site successful
  4. know the purpose of your site and the preferences of your audience – both of these answers will influence the need of more interactivity
  5. after you’ve had a static site for a while, built up some traffic and back links and have an idea of what you’re doing, you can slowly introduce some interactivity – it doesn’t have to be done all at once nor at the start of your site
  6. making your site interactive actually isn’t very hard – making it work well is time consuming and can be challenging
So what do you think – does your website need to be interactive? Do you think all sites should be adding interactive features?

Business profiles

No matter how descriptive your business name and tag line, not everyone will automatically know what you offer. And some will want to know more details anyway.

One way to explain your business well is to have a business profile.

The profile outlines the main purpose of your business; it will explain that you sell a certain type of product online, or that you serve businesses in certain ways or that you offer households a trade.

A profile can vary in length depending on how you use it, but it is usual to keep them under a page as people don’t want to spend too long reading about you.

Profiles can be written in different styles according to your business style and the particular market the profile is reaching.

What do I do with a profile?

A business profile can be a handy tool and used in a number of ways. Here are a few suggestions for you:

  • Send it as an email or fax to people making enquiries about your business. It can even be added to an auto responder
  • Send it when you are negotiating with a new supplier or joint venture partner
  • A number of network groups and sites will make your profile available for other members to learn about your business
  • Use it as an ad or editorial in a newsletter – shortened if necessary
  • Attach it to media releases you send out as back up information
  • Have it attached to websites where you are a contributor or expert

Writing effective ads

I have seen some ads lately that just don’t do justice to the product/service they are supposed to be promoting. Some are poorly designed so I won’t touch them, but others look great but the words let it down.

The key is knowing the purpose of the ad – is it to get website traffic, explain a new product, attract a certain type of person, increase sales, or …

Once you know the purpose, you can make the headline, graphics and text suit that purpose.

Next is knowing your audience – using terms like ‘lol’, ‘RAM’, ‘html’, ‘ftp’ and ‘ppc’ will work if you are attracting IT specialists but not so well if you are after people in their 80s.

The hard part is then adding enough information to meet your purpose but not so much you overwhelm or bore people. This is definitely the stage where it is valuable to write it, leave it and then review it a few days later.

As well as the above points, you need the basic writing rules, too – good spelling, correct grammar and an easy-to-read format and style. Put it all together and your ads will be much more effective than the ones I mentioned earlier.

Word Constructions
Word Constructions ~ for all your business writing needs

Keeping to the point…

I had a meeting with clients yesterday and they showed me a competitior’s materials as an example of materials they wanted. Well, the concept they wanted but not the materials themselves.

The document they showed me was 10 or 12 pages long, with a covering letter attached. I only skim read the document but it was clear who had written it – the owner of the business has written it about his precious business and service, and because of his passion and motivations, he tried to tell potential customers everything there is to know about his services.

It is important to know the purpose of any document and just stick to it. If your document (as was the one I saw yesterday) is more detailed than a flyer but is still meant to just give an overview of the service, then just give an overview. Your customers don’t need to know you use a PC or  Mac to produce their pdf – and what’s more, they don’t care.

Telling too much will just bore your customers which could well mean they’ll go elsewhere. If they want to know the technical details they’ll ask for them, but you can bet most people won’t.

When writing for clients, I frequently cut back  on the amount of information included in a document with the result being a cleaner, simpler document that works.

So as you’re writing ask yourself “Is this really necessary? Does this suit my purpose?”

PS I have a new article on knowing your purpose – you can read it here.

Word Constructions
Word Constructions ~ for all your business writing needs