How to write great content for your business
Blog posts should be “evergreen” therefore timeless. I’m breaking that rule because we are in the grip of Covid 19 and shit is getting pretty weird.
I hope you’re safely in your homes, eating your tinned goods. Now is the time to invest in YOUR business. No doubt you have experienced work dropping off, shoots cancelled and other really depressing stuff.
But your business needs you now more than ever and when it picks up again you can be ahead of the game in terms of your content and copy.
Anyone can learn to write good content. Every-goddam-one of you. You don’t have to be a copywriter or a marketing genius to communicate your message well. Content is a broad term so I’m referring to your marketing material, website copy, your blog posts and social media posts.
Firstly, don’t be intimidated
A guy once took the time to send me a private message. He felt so inclined to highlight a typo I made on a social media post. I thanked him, it was helpful that I could rectify an error that no one else had yet seen (or cared about).
However, he went on to explain that as the post was about content he just couldn’t bring himself to hire me because of it. To be clear, he had no intention of hiring me, he was concerned others wouldn’t – he was “helping” me. He would discount my entire body of work based on a typo in a social media post. Sorry – he wouldn’t because he wasn’t hiring me but someone might not hire me. To confirm, there are plenty of people not willing to hire me, a typo is never the reason.
That’s his call but I can’t work to that unattainable standard, no one can because we’re not robots.
As humans, we make mistakes. We are particularly bad at not seeing the mistakes in our own work. A proofreader friend tells a lovely tale of her finding a typo in a presentation she was giving. Did it kill her career? Of course not, she used it to illustrate the point – even proofreaders miss their own mistakes.
When to Hire a proofreader
Marketing material, PDFs, web-copy and if you can – blog posts should be reviewed by a proofreader. If it’s your own content then at the very least have someone check before you publish.
Getting a proofreader to check all your social media posts is hardly living in the moment and it will also get really expensive. Check them, sure. Even get a friend to if you want but don’t let it hold you back from speaking to your audience. The free version of Grammarly can be helpful too.
Struggling with words and spelling doesn’t mean you’re not good at content. That’s bullshit and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Example 1: Laura writes great content and it’s focused on her audience. Laura is also dyslexic. She works hard to get things right but mistakes still happen.
Example 2: Tim has an excellent grasp of language. But he has no content strategy and he seldom offers any value to his audience.
Obvious isn’t it. I don’t know you, so I don’t know how you talk or write but you do, and you need to be that person which is you. Understand?
Why are you writing content?
I write content for my ideal client – creatives. Everything I offer is for those people in mind. Of course some of my content will help others too, but I always think about them first. Like you would that hot guy, the one on that insurance advert (and no matter what search phrase I put in Google I just can’t find anything about him…). What is that hot guy interested in? Are you solving a problem for that hot guy by offering advice and/or a service?
Your content needs to be all about the hot guy/your ideal client. They will engage with it and contact you if they feel you are talking directly to them. You need to get good at doing that and that means practicing how.
What do you want your content to achieve?
Do you want sales? Do you want people to view you as an educator or mentor, someone who knows their onions? Do you want all of that, do you want to make people laugh? Figure out what you want from your content and stick to it.
And finally, consistency
You need to commit to regular content writing. A piece here and there just won’t cut it. You want to aim to be posting daily for your social media platforms and blogging no less than once a month. Create a content calendar if it helps and mix it up with different styles of content.
All your content should be your standard. It should be recognisable as you or your business. Let it be based on your values, writing style and words.
Use language that you would when talking to someone in person, this is especially true for social media posts. Being more formal might be more appropriate for your marketing and web-copy but that depends on the culture and nature of what you do.
If you want to know other stuff about content and blogging take a look at my blog.
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