Rebecca Writes © 2022

Blogging for businesses

How To Find Blog Post Ideas For Your Small Business Blog

Created: 09 Mar 2022 / Categories: Blogging for businesses, Content Creation, Small Businesses

Every so often, the perfect blog post idea drops out of the sky and into your lap. But for many small business owners and entrepreneurs, it’s rarely that easy.

Creating and maintaining a blog takes time and effort — and finding fresh new blog post ideas is no exception.

But with the right tools and inspiration, you can hunt down great new content ideas with ease. It’s all about knowing where and how to look.


Establish your audience

Before you start thinking of ideas, you need to know who you’re writing for and what they want to know. This will help you stay focused on your objective.

Consider the age, gender, income, wants and needs of your ideal buyer. Note these down. Now you have a broad picture of who your reader is, you should be able to focus on finding the most relevant content for them.

Knowing your audience is crucial to any good content marketing strategy. If you don’t know who you’re writing for yet, figure this out before you go any further.

Establish your objectives

Once you know who your readers are, you can start to hone in on your objective. Do you want to help them solve a problem? Spark their imagination? Educate them about a subject? All of these — and many more — are valid objectives in your blog.

You’ll also want to consider your objective from a business perspective. Do you want better SEO? To be seen as a thought leader? Or shareable social media content?

When you start searching for blog post ideas, hundreds will suddenly dawn on you — so knowing your objectives will help you sift through your ideas to find the golden ones.


8 ways to find great new content ideas

With your audience and objectives nailed down, you’re ready to start hunting for content ideas that will help your readers find your website with ease. Use these 8 tools and techniques to find brilliant new blog post ideas.

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner should be the first port of call for any business blogger looking to boost their SEO.

Open up the tool and enter some keywords associated with your product or service. Keyword planner will then tell you how often these terms are searched each month, and offer alternative keywords that could also be relevant to your business.

Choose the best keywords and form titles around them, using common phrasing like “how to” and “10 ways to.”

2. Google Trends

If you’re looking for ideas on a broader scale, take a look at Google Trends. You can search the popularity of your entered subjects and search terms over time, and use this information to plan future blog posts.

Google Trends also offers geographical search data, so it’s ideal if you’re looking to reach a global audience. Plus, it recommends other relevant topics, helping you find other topics you can blog about that you may not have considered.

3. Reddit

Reddit is a treasure trove for business bloggers. Find the relevant subreddit for your industry — trust me, there will be one — then sort by new and hot posts to see which posts Redditors are most interested in. You can then use popular topics and regularly-asked questions to inform your next blog title.

This is a great way for businesses to find blog post ideas, particularly in modern innovative sectors such as cryptocurrency and renewable energy.

4. Your existing content

Sift through your existing content to see if it sparks inspiration for a new post. Many blog posts only address some of the key questions on a particular topic, so if you feel there’s more you can offer on a subject, elaborate on it in your next post.

Repurposing content is a valuable skill, but self-plagiarism definitely isn’t. When searching through your previous content, resist the urge to copy and paste chunks of text. It’s not valuable to your readers (or search engines) to see the same content repeated throughout your website, so use your existing content for inspiration only.

5. Answer The Public

Answer The Public is a useful tool for finding popular search terms around a particular topic. It’s much more intuitive than Google Keyword Planner, although not as detailed. You only get 3 free searches each day, but used wisely these can give you plenty of great blog post ideas.

6. HubSpot Blog Title Generator

If you’ve already got some potential topics to write about, but just need to find the right title, use Hubspot’s blog title generator tool. Enter up to 5 subjects and receive 5 blog title ideas for these terms.

These are just ideas, so you shouldn’t use them blindly. Make sure they align with your audience and your objective before you settle on a title.

7. Social media

If you’re part of an active social media community, ask your followers and connections what they’d most like to read about from you. This is a great way to engage with your readers online, and show that you value their input and suggestions.

Trial Twitter and Instagram polls as well as open questions to find out the best way to communicate with your followers and get ideas for your next blog post.

8. Current events and trends

Everything from national holidays to industry news can be a source of inspiration for business bloggers. Take a look at the calendar and see what days of interest are coming up. As well as the big ones like Christmas and Eid, think World Book Day and National Apprenticeship Week.

You can then plan, write and distribute your blog posts in plenty of time for the big day.


A foolproof 3-step plan to writing a blog post

Coming up with blog post ideas is just the first step. You then need to write the thing.

Take a look at this 3-step blog writing formula that breaks the process down into simple, manageable chunks.


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How To Write A Blog Post In 3 Simple Steps

Created: 23 Feb 2022 / Categories: Blogging for businesses, Content Creation

Blogging can feel like a huge undertaking — but it doesn’t have to be.

With a simple formula, you can start writing great blog posts for your content marketing plan with ease. No matter how long your blog post will be, the same rules apply. All you need to do is follow these 3 steps.

Jump to:

  1. Planning your blog post
  2. Writing your blog post
  3. Reviewing your blog post

1. Plan your blog post

A detailed plan is the backbone of any great blog post. It gives your article structure, purpose, and direction.

During the planning stage, you’ll do all your research so you know your argument inside out — before you start writing. Create a list of headers you want to use throughout your article, then flesh out the topics in bullet point format. This should help you see how well the content flows.

Here’s an example plan for a blog post titled 5 Reasons To Visit London’s West End:

blog post plan example
blog post plan example continued

2. Write your blog post

With the skeleton of your blog post in place, writing it is a breeze.

Don’t get tied up in using fancy vocabulary or flowery sentences. When it comes to blog writing, simpler is always better. Feel free to get creative if the mood strikes you, but don’t let it hold you back.

If in doubt, write how you speak.

Above all else, though: just write. This is your first draft, so nobody will even see what you’ve written.

Which brings us to step 3: the review.

3. Review your blog post

You should never publish your first draft. Leave it in draft for at least a few hours — ideally a day — so you can come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.

When you return to review your blog post, read through and check for the following:

  • Spelling and grammar — use a free tool like Grammarly to help with this if you like
  • Overly long sentences — if you have to go back and reread a sentence to get the meaning, it’s probably too long or complex
  • Missing words — when you’re typing quickly it’s easy to skip an “and” or a “the”
  • Missing points — is there any missing information your reader would appreciate knowing?
  • Keyword density — if you’re writing for SEO, make sure your keyword density is 1-2%
  • Strong call-to-action — make sure your blog post encourages readers to take action

When you’re happy with your blog post, hit publish! It’s time to share it with the world.

Create your content marketing strategy

Blog posts are the cornerstone of any killer content marketing strategy. Find out why you should invest in a content marketing strategy for your business.


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Why Invest In A Content Marketing Strategy For Your Business

Created: 11 Feb 2022 / Categories: Blogging for businesses, Content Creation, SEO

There’s a saying in modern marketing: content is king.

Bill Gates coined the expression in a 1996 essay that would transform the world of marketing. And there’s a reason the saying endures.

In 2022, content marketing is arguably the most effective way to make your business a success. Even zeitgeisty digital concepts like video marketing, influencer marketing, and affiliate marketing all come back to content.

Without content, your website is just a shell — so even by having a website you’re already doing some kind of content marketing. But Google is constantly hunting for fresh takes and up-to-the-minute information. If you’re not continuously revisiting your content and analysing the results of your online presence, your website could already be outdated.


Skip to section:

What is a content marketing strategy?

To avoid letting your website waste away in the unvisited corners of the internet, you need a content marketing strategy.

A content marketing strategy is where your business objectives meet your web presence. By making a plan for the creation and dissemination of useful, informative content, you can transform your dusty old website into a thing of beauty.

With the right content marketing strategy, you can drive more traffic to your website, make more sales, and become an authority in your industry.

10 reasons to invest in a content strategy for your business website

Check out the top 10 reasons to commit to a content marketing strategy for your business in 2022.

1. Bring more visitors to your site

Stronger SEO is the number one reason many businesses turn to content marketing. Search engine optimisation has never been bigger for business success — and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be toppled by any other marketing strategy any time soon. A successful content marketing strategy looks at your current SEO success, and finds ways to produce content that will bump your website up the SERP.

Better SEO means customers will find you online more easily. It can take time to build up a bank of content that Google sees as trustworthy and authoritative, but once you’re in, you’ll soon start seeing an increase in leads and/or sales.

2. Get noticed online

Great content in the right place has the potential to get your brand noticed by a lot more people. With a strong content marketing strategy, you’ll plan highly shareable content — whether it’s a blog post, a video, or a podcast — and get it in front of readers, viewers or listeners.

As your band of content consumers grows, you’ll begin to see big leaps in brand awareness and social media engagement, which should eventually translate to a jump in sales.

3. Help your customers

Content may be king, but strong customer service is still the cornerstone of any great brand. That’s why your content should feed your customers with knowledge and information that helps them make the right buying decision.

Not only will they see you as a trustworthy brand that deserves their custom, but you’ll also weed out the customers who don’t align with your values before they buy. That means fewer unhappy customers, and more brand-loyal buyers who’ll want to shout about the great experience you’ve given them.

4. Revitalise your website

If your website is looking a little tired, an injection of fresh new content could be just what’s needed. You don’t necessarily need to invest in a full website overhaul — a refresh of your brand tone could be enough to pep up your web presence.

A content marketing strategy can also help you create alignment between your marketing channels. Fresh website content gives you something to share on social media, or talk about at your next networking event.

5. Put method into the madness

As a small business owner, writing blog posts is always the task that gets pushed to the bottom of the agenda. And it’s understandable — there’s always a bigger priority when you’re running everything yourself.

But a content marketing strategy gives you a structure and an objective, so you’re not blindly churning out less-than-helpful blog posts anymore. Instead, you’re creating purposeful content that’s informative, authoritative, and convincing — and is designed to get results. This structure and purpose can help you understand why you’re creating content, making it easier to get it done. And the sooner you get it done, the sooner you’ll start seeing results.

6. Make the best use of your time

For small business owners, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need to do. But with a content marketing strategy, you can get organised, and make sure you have enough time to get everything done — including posting that fresh new content.

A good content marketing strategy is built around a content calendar. Your content calendar keeps you on track, so your site is always being updated with new, relevant content. All you need to do is stick to it, and you’ll soon start seeing big strides in the success of your content marketing.

7. Become an authority in your industry

Google uses the principles of E-A-T to rank websites in its search engine results pages: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. To rank well, your content needs to meet — and exceed — these criteria.

If Google sees your site as an authority on a certain subject, chances are your readers soon will, too. That means great content can help you become a big name in your industry — even if you’re a small business.

8. Modernise your company

It’s never too late to join the content marketing game. Creating great online content is the hallmark of any forward-looking business, so give your company a modern-day overhaul with a content marketing strategy.

It’s more than a fresh lick of paint, too. Bringing more of your marketing online can help you reach a whole new subset of clients and customers, so it’s time to take the leap into content marketing.

9. Help people understand your product

This one’s for those B2B businesses who have a hard time conveying the value of your product or service to your potential customers. Your leads are more likely to convert if they understand your product — so make sure to provide useful information that helps them make a purchasing decision.

The beauty of content marketing is that it’s a slow burning process, so if your sales cycles are naturally long, it’s definitely worth creating a content marketing strategy to build momentum for your sales.

10. Make more sales

Ultimately, the goal of any business is to make more sales. And with a well-planned and well-executed content marketing strategy, you will.

Whether it’s because your leads have a better understanding of your product, a more informed mindset, or because you’ve reached that coveted #1 spot in Google, there are lots of ways a content strategy can help you win business.

Working with a copywriter to create a content marketing strategy

There are lots of digital marketing agencies out there who can help you craft a content strategy. They’re a great option for many established, larger businesses — but they charge for the experience of a team full of people, so the costs can quickly rack up.

For a small business, working directly with a copywriter with extensive digital marketing experience could be the way to go. I’ll work with you to create a bespoke content marketing plan that suits your business, and execute it to a T.

Find out more about how my content marketing service works here.

17 Free Tools To Make Blog Writing Easier

Created: 19 Jan 2022 / Categories: Blogging for businesses, Content Creation, Small Businesses

It’s not always easy to commit to writing a blog when you’re running a small business. Whether there aren’t enough hours in the day, or you find the blank page a little intimidating (which is a real thing even with the most seasoned writers), keeping your blog up-to-date is rarely the biggest priority for business owners.

But there are real benefits to having a business blog. From climbing in Google rankings to boosting your social media presence, a blog with a great content marketing strategy behind it can bring serious results. You can make more sales, connect better with customers, and grow your business faster.


17 free tools that will help you write better, faster blog posts

Sitting down to write a blog post becomes a whole lot easier with the right tools at your fingertips. These 17 tools are widely used by bloggers everywhere — and best of all, they’re free.

Use these handy links to find the right tool for your biggest blogging bugbear:


Free Tools For Blog Idea Generation


1. Google Trends

If you’re ever stuck for ideas, Google Trends should be your go-to website. Here, you’ll find tons of information about the latest searches, which you can refine by region, year, and more.

You’ll find out how popular your search topic is, and find other related queries you can research to add more value to your blog posts.

2. Answer The Public

For business bloggers, Answer The Public is a godsend. While only your first 3 daily searches are free, this is more than enough for small business owners looking for great ideas.

Simply enter a 1-2 word search term and find out what people around the world are asking about that topic. The easy-to-understand mindmap format is great for understanding which searches crop up most.

answer the public data example

3. Reddit

If you already use Reddit as a casual browser, you’re halfway to seeing how you can use it as a mine of information for your business blog. Subreddits cover all kinds of topics — seriously, all kinds.

Search your industry to find and join related subreddits, then take a look at new and hot topics to find out which questions are generating the most interest. You can then use these questions as the basis of your next blog post.

reddit data example

4. Portent Content Idea Generator

If you’re unsure what title to use for your next blog post, use Portent’s Content Idea Generator to find lots of ideas around your subject.

While this tool is useful if you’re really stuck for inspiration, it uses generic templates to come up with specific ideas for your topic. That means you won’t get suggestions that delve into the nitty-gritty of your industry, or help answer the burning questions your customers are asking. For those suggestions, use Reddit, Google Trends, or Answer The Public.

portent content idea generator example

Free Grammar Tools For Blog Writing


5. Grammarly

If you’ve browsed the internet for more than half an hour, you’ve probably encountered a Grammarly ad. And with good reason — the app is among the most popular writing software in the world. It’s easy to use, informative, and super helpful.

If you find spelling and grammar difficult to deal with, Grammarly is one of the easiest ways to tackle it. It will notify you when you misspell a word or misuse a punctuation mark, and even make suggestions for simplifying your writing.

screenshot of grammarly homepage


Get creative in your blog posts with a little help from If you’re sick of writing words like great or easy, find an alternative with an online thesaurus.

A word of warning, though: only use words if you’re 100% sure what they mean. And make sure they’re appropriate for your context. For example, obvious is given as a synonym for easy — but there’s a lot of difference between an easy solution and an obvious solution. data example


This is the sister site to, so you’ll notice a lot of similarities in the design and user experience of Here’s where you can check you’re using words correctly — which is especially useful if you’re also using a thesaurus.

It’s also useful to use a dictionary if you’re using a word with multiple meanings. Sometimes a word that sounds the same isn’t always spelled the same. For example, complementary colours are very different from complimentary colours. data example

Free Tools To Help You Write Better And Faster


8. Hemingway App

Writing with direction and finesse is an art — it takes a lot of practice to get it right. The Hemingway app (named after the famously spare-with-words writer Ernest Hemingway) helps you cut through the babble of your writing and get to the point.

Simply copy your text into the editor and watch the app work its magic. It’s a great way to help you get into the habit of writing concisely, with readability in mind. Plus, it takes a lot less time to write shorter sentences when you get used to it, so this app can help you save time on your blog writing, too.

hemingway app homepage screenshot

9. Google Docs

If you don’t already use a word processing program, sign up for a free Google Docs account. You’ll get all the functionality of a program like Microsoft Word, but your documents will be stored in the cloud, so you can access them anywhere.

Google Docs allows you to collaborate with colleagues, friends, or editors on a single document. Simply send the link to your blog post draft to someone you trust, and they can proofread it before you hit publish. It’s a great way to spot errors before your blog post goes live.

google docs demo screenshot

10. Trello

If organisation isn’t your strong suit, a project management program like Trello can help you get your ideas in order before you start writing.

Use Trello to write down all your blog post ideas on separate cards. Then move them between three separate buckets: To Write, Written, and Published. Not only will this help you plan future blog posts, it’ll also give you a little motivation boost to see your cards moving through the workflow.

trello demo screenshot

11. Evernote

Like Trello, Evernote is useful for helping organise your ideas before you start writing. I believe a good plan makes blog writing a lot easier, so by using a note-taking app like Evernote, you can plan on-the-go — so when you sit down to write, all your notes are ready and waiting.

evernote screenshot

12. The Most Dangerous Writing App

This one is only for the hardcore. The Most Dangerous Writing App is designed to force writers to concentrate on your project by deleting your work if you stop writing for more than a few seconds. I’ve used it, and it is pretty harsh.

When you stop writing, the screen begins to blur and fade. If you start writing again before the timer runs out, your work will be saved. If you make it to the end of the timer (choose from increments from 5 minutes to 1 hour) your work won’t be deleted, so you can copy it over from the app into your blog platform.

This tool is fantastic for helping you get words down on the page — but you should only use it if you’re confident you can write consistently for a sustained period of time.

most dangerous writing app text disappearing example

Tools To Help With SEO Blog Writing


13. Keyword Planner

Keyword planner is the number one tool you need to make sure your blog posts are SEO-friendly.

The keyword planner in Google Ads tells you how many people have searched for any given search term in a set period of time. You can use this information to decide whether it’s worth writing a blog post based on that search term — and whether or not you’re likely to rank well for it.

Keyword planner isn’t the most user-friendly tool out there for beginners, but it’s among the most useful tools you can use if you want to get serious about SEO in your blog writing. Google also offers this guide on how to use keyword planner effectively to help you get started.

keyword planner data example

14. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is the most commonly used plugin for monitoring SEO best practice on your website — and if you don’t already, you can use it for your blog, too.

Yoast tells you where you need to make changes to your webpage to give it the best possible chance of ranking in Google. You’ll enter the keyword you want to rank for, and Yoast will help you optimise your page. Best of all, Yoast SEO uses easy-to-understand language, so all business owners can make well-informed decisions about your website’s SEO.

yoast seo example

Free Blog Formatting Tools


15. You Can Book Me

Not sure where to send your customers when they reach the end of your blog post? This handy tool is ideal for lead generation. You Can Book Me enables potential customers to schedule a meeting with you or a member of your team. Simply link it to your calendar to show when you’re available.

By embedding this form at the bottom of your blog posts, you’ve got an automatic lead capture tool — and a strong call-to-action you can use whenever you need to. It’s a great way to make sure you can connect with as many potential customers as possible.

you can book me screenshot

16. Button Optimizer

Buttons are a great way to draw attention to the action you want your readers to take when they reach the bottom of your blog post. But it can be a bit fiddly to create buttons, especially if your design skills aren’t up to scratch.

Tools like Button Optimizer makes it easy to create and embed simple buttons in your blog post.

button optimizer screenshot

17. Canva

This one is great if you’re a whiz at writing blog posts, but less confident when it comes to design. Canva is a free design website that gives you tons of functionality over your images. So if you want to add photos, graphics, or other imagery to your blog post, you can give them a professional makeover with Canva.

canva screenshot

More Useful Blogging Resources This Way

If you’re looking for more ways to make business blogging easier, take a look at my resource pages. I’m always adding new content to help small business owners grow their online presence. To make sure you never miss a trick, sign up to my newsletter — I’ll only send you content I think you’ll love.

Why Word Count Matters In Your Blog Posts

Created: 12 Jan 2022 / Categories: Blogging for businesses

From food to fashion, one rule always applies: quality beats quantity.

Your business blog posts are no exception to this rule. As the cornerstone of any successful content marketing strategy, your blog posts should consist of high-quality content at all times.

So what constitutes high-quality content?

Writing 2000 words of poorly-researched, keyword-heavy content is unlikely to help your readers — so it won’t rank well, or convert them into customers. In fact, keyword-stuffing in content is often cited as an example of black hat SEO — meaning it can actually damage your ranking prospects.

In which case, you may have wasted precious writing time on a blog post that’s not only ineffective, but harmful to your website.

But while it’s far better to create shorter, more informative blog posts than it is to churn out long-form content that doesn’t contribute much to the conversation, word count is important in your blog posts. Long-form content often ranks better than shorter content — and understanding why is crucial for blogging success.

Here’s why you need to focus on word count in your blog posts — without compromising on quality and research.


1. Keyword density

Keyword density refers to the percentage of targeted keywords in the total word count of your blog post. For example, if your keyword appears 10 times in a 1000-word post, your keyword density is 1%.

Most experts agree that optimum keyword density is 1-2%. If you go much over this, it could signal to search engines that you’re using keyword stuffing techniques — and they may penalise you in your search rankings.

Long form articles allow you to include your keywords many times over, without overdoing it in terms of keyword density. It’s a great way to tell search engines what your article is about, while keeping your keywords in proportion to the full length of the article.


2. Format and reader expectation

Search engines know what kind of content readers are searching for. They serve up what they believe to be the most relevant, informative content that matches what searchers want to see. Search engines use article length as an indicator of subject knowledge — assuming the more you’ve written about a topic, the more you know about it.

This changes from format to format. Listicles are often shorter than whitepapers. News articles are typically shorter than online research papers. What’s important is that you understand the kind of word count a reader expects to encounter when they search for your topic. For example, someone searching for “gift ideas for friends” is likely to expect listicle-style articles; someone searching for “how to make new friends” is more likely to want in-depth guidance and advice. So a blog post targeting the latter keyword is likely to have a higher word count than the former.


3. Make your blog posts competitive

Here’s some great advice when it comes to blogging competitively: read your competitors’ posts.

Search the keyword you want to target. Open each of the top 10 ranking articles and read them. See what information they include; the style and format they use; the tone of voice; the word count of each article.

Then write something better.

Search engines should be unbiased — they should have no vested interest in helping certain sites rank above others, besides giving the reader useful information. If you’re offering something better than everyone else, your blog post should reach those coveted top 10 ranking spots in no time.


4. Grow your backlinks

The longer your blog post is, the more opportunity you have to include relevant research — and that includes linking to other sites.

Links are important because they help search engines a) find your website and b) see that you’re a trustworthy source. By linking to appropriate websites — popular news articles, academic journals, and other high-authority sites — you can signal to search engines that you’ve done your research.

When you’re seen as a reliable source, other sites may start linking to yours — which helps you build a strong network of backlinks. Backlinks are a huge factor in helping your site rank well, so by doing more research and increasing your blog word count, you can boost your web presence.


5. Write helpful content

This is the number one reason to increase the word count of your blog posts.

You’re great at what you do — and your blog is an opportunity for you to share your knowledge with your customers. By writing long-form blog posts that are informative, relevant, and easy to read, you can create a huge bank of knowledge for your customers to draw on whenever they need to.

No matter what industry you work in, the internet is a key tool for your customers. They’ll use it to solve problems, manage their day-to-day tasks, and find new brands to buy from. Your blog has the potential to put you front and centre - but only if you consistently write useful content that helps your customers.


How long should your blog posts be?

Word count is just one of a number of factors that impacts SEO, so there’s no golden number that will bump your post up through the search rankings. However, tests have shown that increasing word count does have a positive impact on SEO — provided your content adds extra value to your blog post.

That said, marketing experts recommend a minimum of 2000 words per blog post.

Yup — 2000 words is a lot. And when you’re running a business at the same time, it can seem almost impossible to reach that kind of word count without focusing full-time on your blog. Which, let’s face it, isn’t feasible for any business model.

If you want to make a big impact on your site SEO with blogging, you can consider hiring a content writer to write long-form blog content for you. Professional writers are used to writing thousands of words every day — so they won’t bat an eyelid at keeping your blog up-to-date with extended blog posts.


How to increase the word count of your blog posts

If you want to keep your blog writing in-house for the time being, here are some ways you can increase the word count of your blog posts, while maintaining quality in your content.


1. Do your own research

By conducting your own tests around your subject, you’re contributing valuable information to the content in your industry.

Whether your research results confirm or challenge someone else’s claim, new primary data is a great way to become an authority on your subject, add new voices to the conversation — and extend your blog posts.


2. Answer multiple questions in a single blog post

Don’t use a single blog post to answer a single question. If someone enters the search query “how to lose weight”, they probably have a lot more questions that follow on from this. Which is more effective: diet or exercise? Which diets are fad diets? Is it safe to count calories? When I’ve lost weight, how can I keep it off?

These are all questions you can address in a long-form blog post, giving your readers all the information they need in a single article.


3. Don’t add in unnecessary words

Remember how you used to add in a few extra adjectives to meet word counts in school essays? Don’t do that.

Your blog post should be as concise as possible. Readers want useful information quickly, and if you don’t deliver, they’ll soon find a site that does. Besides, flowery language and over-the-top adjectives are best left to the poets of the world.


How to make the most of your small business blog

If you're serious about improving SEO for your site, the most effective thing you can do is create a content marketing strategy.

An effective content marketing strategy uses blog posts and website content to help new customers find you online. You'll build a relationship with them until they're ready to buy -- and when that happens, you'll be their first port of call.


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5 Ways To Connect With Your Buyers Through Language

Created: 22 Dec 2021 / Categories: Blogging for businesses, Marketing

Whether most of your business comes from your website, your Instagram page, or word-of-mouth recommendations, communication is the common thread that binds businesses to their buyers.

Great communication isn’t easy. It takes more than the odd viral social media post or innovative email campaign to be consistently successful at engaging your prospects and turning them into brand-loyal customers.

Creating a content marketing strategy is the best place to start. This helps you understand the questions your customers are asking, so you can provide helpful, relevant content to give them the information they need.

But for business owners who don’t have time to create a brand new marketing strategy from scratch right now, here are 5 ways you can transform the language your business uses to better connect with your buyers.

What do your buyers want?

If you’re overhauling the tone of your business, the first step is to understand who your buyers are. Most businesses can be split into 2 categories:

  • B2B (business-to-business). B2B companies sell their products to other businesses. As a result, they often adopt a more serious, corporate tone in their communications.
  • B2C (business-to-consumer). B2C companies sell their products directly to individuals. B2C companies often have a more playful, emotive tone of voice.

While this split is nothing new, it’s important to remember that B2B businesses are run by people, too. Don’t assume that B2B content should be humourless or dour. Even the most corporate content needs to be engaging.

5 language changes you can make to communicate better with your buyers

Want to build better rapport with your potential buyers? Here are 5 changes you can implement in your business messaging right now.

1. Tone Of Voice

Your business’s tone of voice should reflect your brand, and the type of product you sell. Tone of voice is tricky to measure, but it’s designed to make you feel something. Take a look at these tweets from two fashion brands, Missguided and Christian Louboutin, and spot the difference in tone:

Missguided is a fast fashion brand aimed at younger buyers with less disposable cash than esteemed designer Christian Louboutin. The latter can get away with words like indulge and sartorial - the brand is built around extravagant elegance. Missguided, meanwhile, uses emojis and short, sharp phrases to connect with their buyers.

Look at the messaging of other brands in your sector, and decide where you fit. If you need help designing or adjusting your tone of voice to fit your company, consult with a freelance copywriter to find the perfect voice for your brand.

2. Punctuation

In long form content — such as blog posts, LinkedIn articles, and emails — your punctuation should be accurate. But in short form content — such as tweets and Instagram posts and stories — you can let things get a little looser.

On social media, gifs, memes and emojis do a lot of the talking for people, so it’s no wonder punctuation is hardly seen as a necessity online. A lot of young people scrap punctuation in their tweets and Instagram stories — and brands can reflect this to connect with them.

B2B brands, meanwhile, tend to use full sentences and punctuation to enhance that professionalism that helps them connect with other corporations. Take a look at the difference between these tweets from Netflix and Salesforce:

Notice that Salesforce’s tweet isn’t overly formal or dry — their approach is professional but easygoing.

3. Sentence Length

Short sentences are easy to read. They give you the information you need in concise, digestible chunks. But too many short sentences in a row are boring. Long, flowing sentences are more difficult to read, but can add variety to your content.

Lululemon, a B2C athleisure clothing brand, relies on short sentences almost exclusively. In the context of their website, these sentences are powerful and punchy — which is the way they want their buyers to feel.

Hubspot, meanwhile, is a multi-platform B2B software company with a much more complex product offering. As a result, their sentences tend to be longer and more explanatory. However, they don’t say more than they need to — which is a hallmark of all good copy.

Depending on the complexity of your product and the needs of your customers, it’s important for you to decide whether your sentences should be elaborate or to-the-point.

4. Word choice

Used sparingly, thesauruses are really useful tools for finding the best word for your needs. That said, it’s easy to over-rely on them (Friends fans will remember Joey’s experience with the thesaurus). Soon your writing can become overly complex and difficult to read — a surefire way to make your buyer leave the page.

No matter what kind of product you sell, you should aim to keep your vocabulary as simple as possible. That doesn’t mean you need to dumb down your text for your readers. It means you should find the best, most appropriate word for your requirements.

Jaguar’s company page uses language that’s both evocative and understandable to paint a picture of their company values.

5. Call your buyer to action

You can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. However, that’s not to say you can’t try. Don’t put in the graft writing a page of great copy, then leave your buyer in the lurch at the end.

No matter which format you’re writing in, it’s important to include a call-to-action at the end so your buyer knows what to do next. This can be the suggestion to buy a product, visit a related page, or sign up to your newsletter. Just make sure you include a relevant, useful call-to-action.

The Hubspot homepage is a great place to see this in action. Every segment of text tells the reader what to do next - making their sales process a total breeze.

Your call to action: work with a freelance copywriter to establish a distinctive tone for your brand

See what I mean? Now you know how to tweak your text to better engage your buyers, it’s time to take action. Find your brand’s voice and improve communication with your customers by working with a freelance copywriter to establish and implement your distinctive tone.

How To Find Time To Blog When Running Your Own Business

Created: 01 Dec 2021 / Categories: Blogging for businesses, Marketing

Running a business is beyond a full-time commitment. While it's incredibly rewarding to take the helm of your own company, most small business owners are rushed off their feet - so finding time to create and update a successful blog isn’t always easy.

But with almost two-thirds of purchases starting out online, a blog is a must-have for modern businesses.

Why do you need a blog?

Many business owners see a blog as a nice-to-have platform where they can share the everyday accomplishments of their business. And while these types of posts have their place, a blog has the potential to be so much more than that.

Your business blog can be a launchpad for drawing in new customers. It can help your business shoot to the top of Google. It can give you content to bolster your social media presence. It can even convert would-be buyers into brand-loyal customers.

But achieving all this takes time - so where can business owners find time to blog?

Decide what you want to achieve from your blog

Giving your blog a defined purpose is a great place to start. It means every word you contribute to your blog feels necessary and worthwhile, so you’re more likely to make time to write.

Your blog’s purpose can be to provide news and updates about your business; rise through the Google rankings; support your social media strategy; or all three. The more defined your purpose, the easier it will be to come up with ideas for your blog.

Strategise from the start

If you have a good blog plan in place, it makes things a whole lot easier - and less time-consuming.

By setting aside an hour at the start of each month to plan your posts, you’ll never be sitting at an empty screen, stumped for what to write. It’s a surefire way to save you time.

View and download your yearly blog plan template here (Google Sheets format).

Keep a list of blog post ideas

Don’t sit down and try to think of ideas for your next blog post. The pressure and expectation can lead to suppressed creativity and a lack of inspiration.

Instead, go about your usual work, and when an idea comes to mind, write it down. Keep an ongoing note in your phone of every idea that comes to you. That way, when you’re ready to plan your next round of posts, you’ll have a ready-made list of ideas.

Write blog posts that interest and excite you

There’s nothing less inspiring than churning out articles about subjects that bore you. Plus, if the article bores you, it’s going to bore your readers.

Even if your business doesn’t lend itself to kooky or fun content, you can find an angle that’s interesting to you. For example, see the difference between “How to apply for a job” and “10 tips to wow your next employer in your job application.”

Use subheadings to plan each post

For inexperienced writers, the blank page can be daunting. But with a little planning, you can make this prospect a lot less scary. Before you start writing, enter a few subheadings about your topic that you can use to guide your writing. If you can think of 6 subheadings, you’ll now have 6 blocks of 150 words to write, rather than 900 words of unplanned text.

Breaking things up like this makes the whole blogging process less daunting - and it means you can split your blogging time over multiple days, without losing your momentum.

10 things you can do while you blog

Now you have an arsenal full of great time-saving blogging tips, it’s time to put them into practice. For many business owners, it’s not just the process of blogging that takes time - it’s the rest of their day-to-day lives, too.

To prove that blogging doesn’t have to be a chore, here are 10 ways to multitask while you blog.

1. Write your social media posts

When you’re researching your blog post, you might come up with a great little titbit that your social media followers would love to know about. Post it there and then, or schedule it in as a future post. It’s a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

2. Make dinner

While this may not be the best time to write a new blog post from scratch, you can definitely squeeze in some planning while you wait for the pasta to boil. Create a few subheadings for your next post, or plan the titles for your next round of blog posts while dinner is in the oven.

3. Commute to the office

Your commute is a great time to work on your blog. If you use public transport, you can spend your train time wisely by hashing out some quickfire content on the go. If you drive to work, listen to an industry podcast to inspire some great ideas for your next round of blog posts.

4. Netflix and blog

You deserve some downtime, and watching a bingeable TV show is a great way to get some. That said, if you feel a whirr of inspiration while you’re watching, this can also be a good time to hash out the beginnings of a new blog post. Even if you’re distracted by the programme, it can help to get words on the page.

5. Delegate work

When you run your own business, it can be difficult to let go of the little things. After all, you’ve built your business from the ground up. But if you have staff or contractors, make sure to delegate tasks to them. This will free up your time so you can work on your blog. Better yet, hire a freelance writer to work on your blog for you - freeing up your time to work on your business.

6. Monitor your emails

If you’re waiting for the next big contract to come through, or for your suppliers to confirm their next shipment, don’t twiddle your thumbs while you wait. Plan out a few blog posts so you have a series of article plans ready for your next blogging session.

7. Scroll through social media

Replace your tenth scroll through the socials with some dedicated blogging time. While social media is pretty fun - and it definitely has its place in business - videos of cute dogs aren’t going to earn you the big wins a well-written blog post can. So put the phone down and get writing.

8. Network with colleagues

Networking events can be great for business owners. They offer a chance to meet potential customers and like-minded entrepreneurs. But not all networking events are created equal. If an event you’re at isn’t quite what you hoped it would be, make sure you have your laptop on hand so you can sneak out of the substandard lecture and work on your next blog post.

9. Write a marketing email

Keep in touch with your customers by penning a swift marketing email alongside your blog post. It’s a great way to share some quick wins, a promo you’re running, or a heads-up that your next blog post will be out soon.

10. Contact industry experts

Blogging can be a great way to connect with other experts in your industry. Whether you want a quote for your article, or you know someone who can help you fill in the blanks in your post, use your blogging time to reach out to big names in your industry. With social media sites like LinkedIn, it’s easier than ever. Plus, it’s a great way to network while you write.

Use your time effectively in all areas of your business

Finding time to blog isn’t easy - and it shouldn’t impact your downtime, either. For the success of your business - and your own wellbeing - you need to take a break.

But if you can find pockets of time among the chaos of entrepreneurship and home life to plan and write your blog posts, you’ll soon start seeing a big impact on the success of your business’s online presence.

For more time-saving business blogging tips, check out the rest of my resources.

Why Do Businesses Need A Blog? 4 Ways A Blog Can Transform Your Business

Created: 23 Nov 2021 / Categories: Blogging for businesses, Content Creation

Starting a blog is easy - but updating it isn’t. For many businesses, having a regularly updated blog doesn’t always seem like the most important task at hand.

Whether you don’t have time to update your blog, or you can’t see how a blog will benefit your business, maintaining a blog is rarely number one on the priority list.

But blogs aren’t just nice-to-have features that make your site look nice. They’re not just a place to keep your customers updated on company news. A blog can have a big impact on sales - you just need the right blogging strategy.


Climb Google rankings

The number one reason many brands choose to have a blog is to climb Mount Google. To reach that coveted first page, you need content - and lots of it. A blog is a great way to get relevant, informative content out there in the search engine sphere.

Hitting the top of Google can have a big impact on your business. You’ll start to see a lot more traffic to your website, which can lead to an increase in sales. To make the most of your newfound internet popularity, make sure you write a great landing page that is clear, concise, and optimised for making sales.


Boost your social media presence

If you find yourself reposting the same tired old memes, it’s time for a revamp. Writing a blog can give you fantastic, useful content that you can post across your social media channels. Each new article presents an opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with the world.

Great social media content is sure to earn you followers - so building a blog can be a great way to boost your social media presence.


Become a thought leader

From Steve Jobs to Malala Yousafzai, inspirational leaders are everywhere - and a well-written blog can give you a platform to join them. A blog allows you to become known for your expertise in your sector, helping potential customers see you as an authority - so they’re more likely to seek you out when they’re ready to buy.

Thought leadership is also an opportunity to boost your personal brand. With well-argued opinion pieces, you can help shape the conversation and influence the direction of your industry.


Establish a band of brand ambassadors

Regular, informative blog posts will attract regular readers. And once readers are on your site, you’re halfway to helping them make a sale. By giving people need-to-know information in your blog, you’ll be seen as a reliable source - so when they’re ready to buy, they’ll know just where to go.

Add widgets to your site to turn your blog visitors into social media followers and mailing list subscribers, too. It’s a great way to build a loyal collection of engaged customers.


How to decide on the goal of your business blog

Updating your blog becomes a lot easier if you have a goal in mind. But which of these goals best suits your business? Can you choose more than one? And how easy is it to achieve?

To decide on the goal of your business blog, consider the following:


1. What’s the most important goal for your business as a whole?

If you’re looking to drive sales, helping your website rank highly in Google is the most impactful thing you can do. SEO isn’t easy - but it’s very effective. A great blog enhances your chances of reaching those coveted top spots.


2. How much time can you dedicate to maintaining a blog?

If you’re already starting early and working late, it’s going to take a long time to generate enough content to help you impact SEO. If this is the most important target for your business, consider outsourcing your blog writing to a freelance content writer. Alternatively, select a goal that demands less time, such as creating content for social media - a single blog post can be reposted and repurposed at your leisure.

Time and targets are 2 key factors that can help you shape your blog. And once you know why you’re writing, the whole blogging process becomes a whole lot easier.


Find time to write a business blog

If you’re not ready to outsource your blog to a content writer, but you want to get the ball rolling, it’s easier than you think to get started. Find out how you can make time to maintain your blog.


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