• Writing Tips

    Picture this!

    A blog without the picture is like wet weather on your holiday. Disappointing.

    Your blog post is much more likely to be read if you have an image. Research has shown that articles with images get 94% more views than those without. Also the image you use can be easily carried over to social media sites such as Facebook so that the link to your blog post is much more likely to be clicked on.

    Natterjack toadWe live in a very visual age – people love to click on pictures! Interesting pictures. Interesting due to their content. Or maybe intriguing? Why is there a photo of a natterjack toad on this page? Just because I have a sense of humour!

    How to find the right image.

    • Search in Google for royalty free shops. This is probably the quickest way of getting an image and doesn’t cost anything as long as it is royalty free.
    • Invest in a library shot. I use the image bank, istock, but they have become very expensive recently, so you may just want to invest in a few images you can use frequently.
    • Organise a photo shoot to get a library of images, you can use. All you need is a decent camera and good natural light.
    • Ask customers or clients to send photos to you – this might be before and after they’ve used your service or used your product.

    Whatever you do, add an image to your blog post and see your number of readers rides, rise, rise!

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  • Writing Tips

    Write a blog post – Make it EASY

    Do you find the task of writing a blog post a bit daunting? You are not alone!

    Keep Calm and Blog onTry these six EASY steps and you’ll have written it sooner than you think.

    1. Headline – you need a compelling, eye-catching title. Don’t worry about it until the end! It will come to you.
    2. Opening paragraph – this might answer the question you pose in your headline but whatever you need to get straight to the point! (Alas some of your readers may get no further – attention span is low on the internet so you really need to grab them!)
    3. The filling – expanding on the opening paragraph. Get it all off your chest now and say what you really want to say.
      Use bullet points and lists to break it up. Sub headings are good for this too.
      It’s worth noting at this point that you are aiming for 300 to 500 words in total for your blog post. So don’t feel you’ve got to write ‘war and peace’ every time!
    4. Conclusion – and so, that means…. Sum up your main point here. It may well be a repeat of what you had in your opening line. Don’t worry about that; repetition is good!
    5. Find an image that illustrates your blog. This is very important! See my blog: Picture this!
    6. Back to the headline – this is going to be what’s on Facebook and twitter except to draw people in so many Kate, scintillating, funny and/or uplifting.

    Examples of headlines:

    • Are your feet a thing of beauty? (Podiatrist)
    • Have you got a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear? (Image consultant)
    • Do you put off writing blog posts, because you think it’s not fun? (Blogger)

    That’s it! You’re done.

    If you think you’ve got more to say on the subject, why not put it in another blog post and link the two? For lengthier subjects you could have a series of blog posts. Remember, people always scanning pages on the Internet, and only dwell when they find something that really resonates with them.

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  • Writing Tips

    I run my own business: what do I blog about?

    A blog is a great way to inform your audience about what you do in a non-salesy way. By putting out free information you attract new followers and ultimately new customers.

    So what do you write about? Here are five ideas.

    1.      Educate and inform your audience about what you doComing up with blog ideas

    Answer the questions that you often get asked by your customers or clients. This might be during initial discussions or treatments, workshops, classes, events or networking.

    • Maybe you get asked questions after you do your elevator pitch?
    • Clarify different concepts and ideas related to your business. Take the mystery out of it.
    • Develop top 10 tips on…. a specific area of your expertise – people love these on social media!

    2.      Share experiences

    This could be anything from living in a different country for a year or visiting and reviewing all the coffee shops in your area.

    You may be involved in a project and want to blog about your progress from beginning to the end result.

    3.      Significant days / changing of the seasons

    Write blogs on significant days or as a new season starts:

    • The start of spring (hoorah!)
    • 26 April – The London Marathon
    • 4th and 23rd May – Bank Holidays
    • 19th Chelsea Flower Show (I actually went last year – it was amazing!)
    • 23rd May – Eurovision song contest – always good for a laugh!

    4.      Who in your industry/life, do you really admire?

    Pick someone and do a profile on them. Even better: interview them if you can.

    5.      Guest Blogging

    This is where someone with a similar target audience to you allows you to write a blog post which they put on their blog site. You may want to reciprocate and invite them to guest blog on yours.

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  • Writing Tips

    10 ideas for blog posts that anyone can write!

    1. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3 things I can’t live without
    2. What’s in your hand bag? (Sorry, this clearly discriminates against men – pockets? car?)
    3. FAQ type of post – questions I am always being asked and the answers
    4. How to….. Share your knowledge
    5. Create a guide to something – e.g. A guide to buying and looking great in jeans
    6. 10 top tips for….. Again using your field of expertise
    7. A photo tour of a part of your town/city or where you work
    8. Review of a restaurant you like / local theatre / film / or book you’ve read
    9. Share a recipe on a theme (e.g. easy mid week meal) – one that you (and your family) enjoy often – mine would be baked risotto with pancetta, tomatoes and herbs
    10. Share your thoughts on the non-fiction book you have read that has influenced you the most in your life so far

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