Keep Your Blog Informative

Photo on Flickr by Peter Nijenhuis

You have a blog and it’s up and running. Now what do you blog about?

A good idea is to pick on topic and write a blog post on each aspect of it. You will be surprised how you can break topics down into multiple topics quite easily.

You might be blogging on the qualities of stone for kitchen worktops. Blog posts only need to be 200-300 words long. You might include posts on the colours of the stones, marble or granite, the qualities of each, the uses of each, how the stones are made…there are lots of subjects that can be quickly thought up if you sit with a pen and paper for a moment and break the topic down.

The idea is to build up a body of information about the topic that you want to address on your blog. Bring in keywords that you want to emphasise naturally in the course of the article. The writing should flow easily and it should be interesting to the reader.

Use keywords in the heading and choose carefully what you use in the sub-headings. Keep sentences short in the article so that they are not too complex. Break up large paragraphs and place two or three paragraphs under each heading.

In this way, you will be able to add regular content to your blog. You should  aim to blog two or three times a week which will keep relevant updated information on your blog. This will help to increase your blog rankings on the search engines.

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Blog Comment Policy

This is a quick note to state that comments that do not appear to be completely relevant to this blog, repeat comments and obviously spammed comments or links to possible spam sites will not be approved on this site. The blog comment policy of The Creative Writer will be permanently shown on the ‘About; page.

Please respect the comment policy and leave helpful, relevant comments on this blog.

Admin’s decision will be final on moderating all comments.

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#Customer Love in November

LaVonne Ellis is launching another #customerlove challenge starting on 1st November. The last one was a great success and the Ebook is available to download from her website.

The idea of #customerlove is that you have 30 days of working for your customers and showing how much you love them! For me, the previous #customerlove that ran during September encouraged me to write for my clients rather than just for myself. My posts are aimed at being helpful to business owners rather than just writers.

To sign up, go to LaVonne’s site, The Complete Flake and let her know that you are interested. I signed up halfway through last time but hope to do the whole thing this time. I would recommend it if only because you meet some really great people this way.

See you there!

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Choosing the Content to Put on Your Blog

Used under a Creative Commons Licence by Svilen Milev
Photo used under Creative Commons Licence and credited to Svilen Milev

You’ve chosen a host for your blog, a domain name and hopefully by this stage, you know what your blog is going to be about.

Now it’s time to set up your blog so that it will be readable and easily accessible to visitors to your website. If you have a business blog, then you will want contact details, details of the services or products you offer and other information that customers may need to know.

Here are some of the pages that you may wish to consider adding to your blog:

About – This can be about you and your business. Consider carefully  what information you wish to put on there.

Portfolio – if you are offering services, then this is a good indication of what kinds of things you have been working on.

Services – Explaining exactly what it is that you do. Bear in mind Naomi Dunford’s post and ensure that your customers are left in no doubt as to what you can offer them.

Contact – This is one of the most important things a business blog can offer – a way for your potential customers to contact you.

Don’t forget to add RSS feed and Twitter details if these are ways that your customers can get in touch. It is possible to set up different Twitter accounts to keep personal and professional tweets separate.

There are other things you can add, like Ebooks or information pages, links and other subjects that are personal to you and your business. Make sure that these pages are a professional representation of you and your business so that potential clients get a true picture of what you can offer them.

It is tempting when you are just starting out to put everything on one blog, but what may suit your purpose better is to keep blogs true to their one purpose. Business blogs are better suited to being about business matters and it is not appropriate to put personal matter on there. If you wish to blog about personal things, even if they are related to your business, then you are better to set up a separate blog to avoid confusion.

Posting regularly to your blog is the best way to begin to get it known, so decide how often you want to post to your blog and try to stick to it. Many bloggers aim for two or three times a week; others try and write every day.

One thing to be aware of is that it takes time to build up a loyal following to a blog: this is not something that will happen overnight. Regular posting will help to establish that this blog is live and current and will encourage repeat visitors to check out the new content.

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Where to Host Your Blog

Photo on Flickr by MyDigitalSLR www.digitaldesktopwallpaper.com

Finding a place to host your blog can be bewildering: there are a lot of choices out there. Under consideration will be whether you want to pay for your blog, or whether you are looking for a free hosting. You will also want it to look as professional as possible if it is a business blog.

This is a WordPress blog and WordPress has transformed the world of free blogs. You can choose to pay for enhanced features, but to start off with you can begin with a free one.

WordPress come with a choice of free themes, which you can check through when setting up your blog. Don’t like your choice? Then change it and all the pages will change too. WordPress takes away some of the need to know code and offers a professional-looking finish to your blog. The behind-the-scenes features are set up to make blogging easy and you can install plug-ins to customise the site to your needs.

If you want something a little more special, then you can pay a designer to design a theme just for you. Some of the more popular sites such as All Freelance Writing and Copyblogger advertise their themes and allow other bloggers to use them. Some may charge for the privilege.

I also use Google Blogger for some of my more personal blogs. Again it is simple to use and you can use either your Gmail account or any other account to set it up. There is a choice of themes and the blog is very easy to use. One good feature of Blogger is that it allows you to include Google Adsense on the blog which may bring you in some money.

Otherwise, read the terms and conditions carefully if you want to include affiliate links or ads on your blog. There may be a clause in there that inhibits what you want to do with your blog.

Setting up your new blog is easy. You need to name your blog and this may be hard at first, finding a name which has not been already taken. Keep in mind keywords for your subject as you choose a name.

Then follow the instructions to set up your blog, choosing a theme, gadgets or plug-ins and the layout. Then you will be ready to add content to your blog.

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Choosing the Right Name for Your Blog

Photo on Flickr by Crystaljingsr

If you have been on the Internet for any length of time at all, then you will have heard of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. What is it and what can it do for you?

Optimising your website for search engines simply means choosing the right language to enable search engines to categorise your website correctly.

It is no good writing about what you had for breakfast on a business writing blog. That will confuse the algorithms of the search engines and ensure that your website does not appear in the correct search results. Writing about what you had for breakfast on a food blog, would however give correct results.

If you hope to produce good search results for your website, then choose a name that reflects its purpose. Putting keywords in the name will help it to rise higher in the searches. You may have to play around with it in order to find a name that nobody out there has chosen. Using the right keywords in the name of your website will also make it more memorable. Remember that you can use dashes, popular abbreviations or slang terms to help you find the right name.

However do not use slang terms or incorrect spelling if you are putting together a writing site. It gives the wrong impression to a visitor to your site and  does not give a good account of your writing ability.

Check out how your name will look when it is run together as an url. There are some very funny examples out on the Internet of companies that have unintentionally set up a name that reads completely differently when run together. Beware of hidden words that can appear in this way.

The best way to counteract this is to ask someone else to check it out for you. Also watch out for unfortunate acronyms and initials that may mean something different to your original intention!

Take your time to get the right name for your business blog and it will be worth it in the long term.

Photo Link: 3D Character and Question Mark

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So – What Exactly Do You Do?

Naomi Dunford of Itty Biz posted the following challenge today. She was following up on a challenge that she had originally posted two years ago when a regular reader of her blog asked her:

“What do you actually do”?”

She suggested that we might like to answer the following questions to explain to readers of our blog what it is we actually do.

I like a challenge.

What’s your game? What do you do?

I am a copywriter, editor and proof reader. I have written short stories, two unpublished novels, blog posts for four websites, articles for local magazines, web content articles and product descriptions.

Why do you do it? Do you love it, or do you just have one of those creepy knacks?

I love to write! I enjoy researching a new product, I love to plan out what I’m going to write and I enjoy the actual process of writing. I have no problem writing to a certain length and I even enjoy proof-reading afterwards and paring down the language so that it makes sense and does the job that you want it to.

Oh – and my deep dark secret is that I have a creepy knack with spelling and grammar – I can tell if a word looks right or not!

Who are your customers? What kind of people would need or want what you offer?

My customers are people who appreciate well-written articles, which are interesting to the reader. I prefer to write content that draws readers in; articles that they want to read. My work adds value to a website, not just filler. My customers also appreciate my professional approach, the fact that I keep contact with them during a project and that I turn my work in on time or even before the deadline.

What’s your marketing USP? Why should I buy from you instead of the other losers?

I take pride in my work. I enjoy each new challenge when it is presented to me. Buy from me because you appreciate the power of good writing and what it can do for your business.

What’s next for you? What’s the big plan?

I would love to move into ghostwriting because listening to people’s stories intrigues me. I don’t need a byline to get satisfaction from my work. I want this business to expand and grow and I want to be in a position to help other people fulfil their dreams too.

If you are interested in finding out more about my writing services, then check out my contact page.

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