Five ways to turn beasts into great blogs!

Untitled  If you’re involved in the area of finance, super or property, and you’re still trying to tame the demands of a weekly blog – creating informative, yet interesting, content – then, perhaps, these few tips may be just the ride you’ve been looking for.

As a freelance content writer, I’m reasonably experienced at writing keyword websites and blog copy. I also have some expertise in real estate, so I’m quite at home (no pun intended) about writing around property, finance and even superannuation.

In my many years of advertising, I’ve written about everything from BMW to baked beans.

Recently, I was quite surprised when I wrote half a dozen blog pieces for a recruitment company, and the end result was a disaster – prompting this blog.

The agency I was freelancing to provided good reference, a tight brief, and substantial information to help build my prose.
Once written, the client was chuffed, and I felt more popular than a ham sandwich at Clive Palmer’s house.

However, once these blogs crawled through the client’s editorial mob of gnashing scissors, they read more like: “Ten Dull Things To Do in a Gulag”. These ‘editors’ just didn’t realise that, unlike a gulag, readers choose to read these blogs – or not so.

For blogs to be effective, they have to first stand out, as well as be engaging, and then provide something of value to the reader.

Sadly, their potential to be engaging as well as readable had been squeezed out of them. They should have, at least, left the following:

1.Tone
To get this right, as Curly said, “The secret to life is one thing…” And my blog writing secret is ‘One Word’. Think of your product as one word and write around that word. For example, when writing for BMW the one word I use is ‘Dynamic’ – all my copy has a dynamic tone to it. When working on Hyundai, the word was ‘Fun’, and likewise my copy. Here’s a tip, when I write around Super, investment, etc, the word I usually write around is “Reassurance”. Reassurance that your money is safe, reassurance that your money will grow, etc.

2. Headline
It’s simple, engaging headlines entice readers to drill into your copy. The easiest way to crank out a great headline is to write a straight line describing your blog content, and then fiddle with it. Also, make it inviting. Five ways sounds easier to read than 25 ways.

3. Aspiration
Most people reading about money, property investment, super, etc, are trying to see what’s around the corner, and how to better their future. So, make sure your blog fuels their aspirations. What is it about your brand/product that can make your readers’ life better?

4. Keywords
Jump on YouTube and punch in the keywords (key phrase): ‘How to use Google Keyword Planner Tool’. From there, you’ll start to understand the power of keywords, long tail keywords, what is searched for, and a bunch of other stuff that will help your copy get out there.

5. Visuals
Let’s face it, people are lazy. It takes an effort to read a headline. On the net, people are skimmers. They will only read a blog if their brain tells them there’s something worthwhile for them in it. Yes, a punchy headline may inspire the reader’s brain, but a great visual not only grabs the cerebrals, it also sets a theme/tone to your story. Plus, if you use something different – like cartoons, as I do – your copy immediately stands out from the rest. Further activating those cells.

6. Don’t waffle
One last tip (Hey, I know I said 5 ways, but I’m being generous), Try and keep your copy to around 500 words – 600 tops. Plenty of my SEO buddies tell me that’s best practice for keeping search engines happy. Now, hop back on that blog horse and enjoy the ride!