Mmmm. It’s that time again when you have to come up with more content for your blog, and nothing is coming to you. Instead of staring at the blank screen and being a frustrated content copywriter, how about surfing the web to read articles about your industry.
That’s right; I’m encouraging you to procrastinate.
You can find articles in the trade press, from bloggers who cover your industry, mainstream and alternative media, or by checking out what your social media connections are discussing. When you find an article that interests you, think about how you could comment on it in a way that moves the conversation forward.
For example, if you’re in eCommerce, you probably read articles about the record breaking billion dollar Cyber Monday. For your blog post you can:
That’s step one. For step two, go to the original source and if there is a place to comment on it, do so. Offer a bit of the insight you wrote about in your blog, and, if you can, insert a link back to your post. If anyone reading that original story likes your comment, they might click on your link and read your article.
For step three, post on your Facebook company page and tweet about both the original article and your post. This way you share with your social network the information that you originally thought was interesting, and you position yourself as a bit of a thought leader as well.
Next Week: Controversy
(Photo Credit - TheYoungOnes1994)
MarketingSherpa’s latest Email Marketing Benchmark Report is about to be released, and judging from the table of contents, it’s substantial and important for those who rely on email for their marketing.
We all get way too much email, so I would have thought the most significant challenge to email marketing effectiveness would be deliverability and getting people to opt in. But apparently not. The number one challenge is targeting recipients with highly relevant content.
What’s interesting about these findings is that the one thing a company can control pretty easily is content copywriting. No one from the outside filters your copywriting while it’s being written.
MarketingSherpa says, “Email marketers continue to struggle with the challenge of delivering highly relevant content to their target audiences…Developing a sufficient amount of content is a time-intensive process that many marketers do not have the resources to produce.” (That last comment should raise the eyebrows of a few marketing consultants who make a living writing targeted, effective content.)
Growing your lists, deliverability and being perceived as spam are challenges that are out of your control, to some degree. But creating targeted content?
I understand that it takes time to segment your lists, determine what people may want from you, stay relevant, and provide value. But if you don’t do that, then don’t be surprised if your open and click-through rates drop and your emails are perceived as spam.
If you spend the time and money on your email content, you will see your email marketing ROI go up. And here’s why. Your time and effort limits will probably mean you send out fewer emails, but they will be far more effective.
And you'll be doing all of us a service by lessening the amount of useless email we receive daily.
Every industry has stats. Sports, automotive, financial, natural products, computers, education, music, you name it. They all have statistics and charts that show trends, sales, participation etc.
Some of these are proprietary, while others are made public. Let’s focus on the public ones, since those are the ones you can use in your blog for content copywriting.
These charts come with stories attached to them. Oftentimes, when they are published by the market research firm, they come with analysis which can help you get started.
Here is an example of what I mean.
This chart came from Natural Foods Merchandiser in their Market Overview issue. From this chart you can talk about a number of natural products marketing issues.
This post does not have to be long. The data alone is good information, and your insight positions you as a leader in that category. And best of all, you can do this in an hour or less. Blog writing made easy.
Next Week: Commenting on other articles
On this Monday, give yourself a break. Don’t wrack your brain trying to come up with something new or original. Today’s is content copywriting recycling day.
If you have a webinar, white paper, speech, press release, case study, podcast, or a video, you have material for your next blog post, or more.
The fact is your customers and prospects are a varied lot. Some prefer getting their information from video, some from a webinar, some from a white paper or ebook and so on. When you create any of these marketing tools the first time, you have content to recreate it in another form.
Let’s say you’ve just created a webinar. Chances are each slide or pair of slides makes at least one point. That’s a blog post right there and at the end of the post you can point them to your archived webinar.
White papers are a treasure trove for recycling. Often in a white paper you are logically setting up an issue which you solve. Just take the issue, briefly mention the solution with a link to the white paper and then ask your readership if they have any other solutions. Hopefully, that will encourage comments.
Other recycling tips include:
So if any of you reading this have ever recycled content, let us know. Just think, you’ll be able to recycle it into our comments which will link back to your website. See how easy it is.
Next Week: Love those charts.
Last Monday you came up with ideas for content by thinking outside of your company. This Monday you can find ideas for content copywriting by looking under your hood, so to speak.
But let me digress for second. In creative writing classes, to get people warmed up, the teacher often offers the class a writing prompt. This could be a word or a short phrase: something like “telephone rang” or “the last thing I remember.” From there the writers have 6 to 10 minutes to write the first things that come to mind, and if possible to make a story out of it. They can use the phrase at the beginning, middle or end. It’s a lot of fun, and once you get over the initial panic, you would amaze yourself with what you can write in such a short time.
Taking this notion of the writing prompt to copywriting for your business, I suggest you look at your keywords for your prompts.
Behind (or under) every search optimization strategy there are your keywords – those words or phrases that you want to be found by. Most SEO specialists that I know recommend inserting keywords into your web text, whether that be a product page, about us page or a blog. Pretty basic stuff.
What if you looked over your keywords and thought about making them the subject of your blogging? Here is what I mean.
Let’s say one of your long-tail keyword phrases is ‘natural products for anxiety.’ Since you don’t want to focus too much about your products when writing your blog (remember valuable content is not about “me” but about the interests of your customers), think about the problems that your customers might have when looking for you. So here are a few prompts that can get you started:
Now pick one and write as fast as you can for 7 minutes, and then stop. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or anything else. Just write.
By doing this you’ve put yourself into the head of your consumer. You may have a paragraph or a page of rough copy, which you can now craft into a more coherent blog post that:
A) Includes keywords that help your search optimization
B) Focuses on addressing a consumer problem
C) Probably offers your product at the end as a solutionNot bad for 7 minutes of work.
Next Week: Recycling content.