At the recent Marketing Writing Bootcamp course, instructors Ginny Redish and Erika Napoletano offered online writing and blogging suggestions for newbie bloggers and old ones needing to recharge their blogs.
Inspired by their MarketingProfs University courses, I combined my notes for each class and doodled up a slide show of their key tips for online writing and blog-building.
(If you want to bypass the slide show, you can read the transcript at the end of this blog post.)
1. Create an editorial calendar
Choose a method that best suits you, such as Excel spreadsheets, old-school paper calendars, sticky notes, and WordPress plug-ins. According to Erika Napoletano, an editorial calendar…
- Makes your publishing schedule predictable
- Keeps you on track
- Prevents repetition (so you’re not always writing about the same topics)
Include the following in your calendar: a blog post headline, subject, authors, deadlines, and list of ideas.
2. Make your blog easy to scan
Keep the text short. Break copy into segments, and use lots of bullets, recommends Ginny Redish. Use infographics and images when possible to tell the story.
3. Use active words
Active words grab your readers’ attention. They leap off the page and soar above boring copy.
4. Speak human to human.
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C, you are also a human. Be real in how you communicate with others. Start with context then get to the new info. Always consider your purpose for writing. Know who you are talking to.
5. Write captivating headlines
Use your headline wisely. A headline with a thumbnail image in the post gets 27% more click-throughs than one without an image. An eight-word headline gets 21% more. Headlines with odd numbers in them garner 20% higher click-through rates than those without them. A headline with a colon, hyphen, or subtitle gets 9% more click-throughs.
6. Be inspired
Read industry news, and jot down your ideas, thoughts, and opinions. Use those notes to write posts. Also, be sure to snoop. Check out what folks are discussing online. Let the work of others inspire you to create similar content (but don’t copy and take credit for others’ work).
7. Care for your readers
Honor your audience. Remember that it’s 100% about them—not you. Also, respond to your readers’ comments. And make it simple for readers to subscribe to your blog and contact you.