14 Oct Copywriter Carole Seawert Answers Some Common Questions About Blogging
Copywriter and blogger, Carole Seawert of http://www.caroleseawert.co.uk answers your questions about blogging.
I keep hearing that I should be writing engaging content but what does that mean exactly! How do I know it’s engaging?
Engaging content is informative, provides value and is relevant to your audience. It needs to grab their interest, draw them in and make them want to continue reading to the end. In order to connect with your readers like this, you need to have a deep understanding of who they are and what they want to read about. What problems or issues does your target audience face? What information are they seeking? If you don’t know, ask them or run a quick SurveyMonkey poll.
Make sure that everything you write is a personal communication between you and your reader. Address them by saying ‘you’ and ‘your’ – not ‘I’ and ‘me’. You also need to write headlines that engage the reader’s attention. Because, if the headline doesn’t grab them, they won’t carry on reading.
The best way to find out if a post you have written is engaging is to ask a friend or family member to read it before you press ‘publish’. However, if you choose a subject to blog about that really interests you, then you will find that your enthusiasm will come across naturally in your writing.
Is it a good idea to have guest bloggers? Surely, I want people want to hear about my business, not other people’s.
There are three good reasons to invite guest to write a post for you:
1. The guest may have a high profile and a loyal following. They will want to promote the fact that their post has appeared on your blog, so you will have many of their readers coming to visit you. It can be a great way to reach a new audience and boost traffic.
2. If you are busy or going away on holiday, you might not have time to write a post. A guest blogger can be very useful in filling the gaps in your schedule.
3. If your readers have told you that they want to read about a certain topic but this is not your particular area of expertise, you can invite a guest who does have this knowledge.
OK, so you’ve persuaded me. What’s the best way to ask someone to do a guest post for my blog? Is there anything I should be asking them to do – word count or formatting, for instance?
It’s best to create a set of guest blogging guidelines – it will help both you and your guest writer. Here are the guest guidelines I have written for my own blog:
- The audience is freelancers/solo entrepreneurs largely based in the UK/US but there are readers from all corners of the world. So please bear in mind that a proportion of the audience doesn’t have English as its first language.
- Try not to focus too much on UK-centric issues. Sometimes this is unavoidable – eg if you are explaining about VAT or similar issue – but please add something along the lines of ‘this information is valid for the UK only and the situation may be different in your country’.
- There is a mixture of newbies and seasoned freelancers, so there is variation in how much knowledge they will have.
- The posts are largely informational/tips/hints etc as the blog is designed to instruct and inform. In some cases there are ‘my story’ posts which demonstrate how the guest author has tackled a particular issue.
- If you are familiar with html, please add in the code so the post can be pasted in directly with all the formatting. If not, don’t worry; just delete any line spacings, please.
- There is no set length. Make your post as long or short as it needs to be. No shorter and no longer!
- Please break up the text with subheads, bullet points, bold text etc so it’s easy to read on screen.
- Please provide a low res photo of yourself and a couple of lines describing what you do, including any contact details, web links you wish to include.
- I will correct any punctuation, grammar, spelling errors that I come across. If there is a need to edit any of your post, I will email it to you for confirmation you are happy with the changes I have made.
Carole Seawert is a marketing copywriter. To find out more about Carole click here