By Charlotte L. Hanna CMO & Director of PMR /CMBS Global
Have you ever just about driven yourself crazy with wondering, “How do I write copy for my blogs that will get noticed and speak to my target market?” Maybe you’ve even thought about hiring a copywriter, but figured, “How hard can it really be to write my own copy?” Like many other entrepreneurs, you probably wondered about the benefits compared with the costs and ultimately decided, “I can do that!”
So, how's that been working for you?
Content is really important, but consider this – strategy surpasses it as king! Why? Because even the best content, the most powerful combination of words, the most compelling copy imaginable will never be viewed and read unless you possess a clear strategy to get people to your blog in the first place. Right? You can write it…but it doesn’t guarantee that they will come.
Picture this: An excellent cook or brilliant chef has just prepared a sumptuous meal and placed it on a beautifully appointed table with all the shiny silver and sparkling crystal they could find. So…now what? I mean, everything is there awaiting those who are hungry for delicious fare presented in a professional manner with all the beauty of the right tools and accessories – but SO WHAT? Unless the strategy of sending out invitations, complete with date, place, time and directions on how to get there has been accomplished beforehand – the work, food and presentation is all a complete waste. No one will know it is available – or when, where, and how to enjoy it.
Strategy reigns when it comes to the preparation and delivery of anything truly worthwhile. Leave the “hit and miss” attitude to those who can afford to waste their time, energy and money. Believe me, that is never the successful business owner’s way of doing anything.
Of course, you would never consider inviting people who are allergic to strawberries to your “All You Can Eat Strawberry Buffet” – would you? And yet, if you don’t really know who you are writing your blog for, it can be just as disastrous. What can you give to someone who is really hungry and cannot eat strawberries, when strawberries are all you have to give? You won’t be able to satisfy their need and they won’t have much that is positive to say about what you offer… you will both be disappointed.
On the other hand, if you target only those who eat strawberries, you may be ignoring those who have no clue if they like strawberries or not. You will miss that group who may have always wondered about strawberries, wanted to try them, but needed to see the possibilities, a variety of dishes and ways in which strawberries can be used and enjoyed, that could convince them to “taste and see” for themselves. Invite the right people to your blog.
Still think that copywriting is a piece of Strawberry Cake?
Writing a blog for your business is a bit different than writing a blog for social purposes. Yet, there is one important similarity to both. If you know what this similarity is, you are on your way to understanding more than the average blogger. Miss this important similarity and you risk missing the opportunity that only knocks once. What is it? When you write, your content is an extension of you. You should write every blog, whether personal or for business, as though you are speaking as a friend – to a friend. Here’s why:
You relate to your friends in a more intimate, more familiar way than you do the rest of society. Long-time friends may be willing to give you a second chance when you mess up – but most will not tolerate obvious lies and deception, an uncaring attitude, or being routinely mistreated in any other form by you. Respect is expected among friends and business associates, as well. If you put something in a blog, you have put it in writing, and when you have put it in writing, it is an extension of you. Writing as though having a friendly conversation with someone you respect is transparent and helpful and an ideal way to keep your reader’s attention.
On the other hand, writing to get a sale at any cost can be as dangerous as marrying for money. It won’t be long until the love affair is over and you have been exposed for what you really are – just another salesperson who will say whatever it takes to make a buck! You could end up with very little as a result. Relationships matter! If you want the relationship to last – be honest. It is good to share from the heart, just remember that this type of writing will eventually expose you for who you really are, your true intentions. Be sure you possess integrity and sincerity. After all, getting them to your content is one thing – being relevant and informative, sincere and helpful, will keep them interested in what you are writing about and will be what keeps them coming back for more – which is most important. Repeat readers, like repeat customers, are necessary.
Knowing why you write will also help you to write better blogs. Are you writing to drive customers to your website or are you writing to educate others in your market? Is the objective of your blog to generate sales or simply to generate conversation with those of a like mind?
If you are creative, have writing experience, enjoy writing, and have the time to focus on creating compelling content for your online marketing business – then hiring a copywriter may not be necessary to your online marketing success. However, if you don’t know and understand the important differences between copywriting for print and online copywriting, are not familiar with SEO and how to use it in all of your online writing, have problems with spelling and grammar, don’t understand the concept of compelling copy, feel completely overwhelmed by constraints on your time or just don’t want to be bothered – then you should absolutely invest in an online copywriter. Online entrepreneurs cannot afford to ignore the power of words, the importance of content, and the success to be realized from what I advise, which is to “Write It Like You Mean It!”™
Employing a copywriter can increase your sales and pay for itself many times over. The content of your web pages, sales letters, solomailers, thank you pages – everything your clients and prospective clients see – is one of the most important tools for online entrepreneurs. The information you are offering your viewers must be written in such a way that they not only take a second look, but also read it with purpose, being compelled to take action. If you are not able to present your readers with this type of content – you are not going to realize the results you desire.
Remember the “All You Can Eat Strawberry Buffet”? One word can make all the difference in who you are reaching with your blog posts and how they respond to what you are writing. While the word “Strawberry” can be limiting, dropping that word can create unlimited opportunities for all involved – even those who can’t tolerate strawberries. All the same, if you offer an “All You Can Eat Buffet” – you must be able to deliver just that. Nothing less.
So, how do I write copy for my blogs? And how should you write copy for your blogs?
* Know your market. Whom do you write for and what do they want to know?
* Write about what you know.
* Have a strategy for getting people to your blog.
* Write above average content if you want to stand out. You must involve the reader, meet a need, provide a solution and employ correct spelling and grammar.
* Know and use SEO.
* Write to build relationships and keep relationships via repeat readers.
* Write with honesty, sincerity, and integrity.