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You’re ready to dip your toes into the wonderful world of blogging. You’re excited about the opportunities that await, but also a bit nervous. Will it be difficult? Will it bring you new clients? What if no one reads your content?
Not to fear. Blogging is simpler than you think. As someone who’s written or edited over a thousands blogs and studied the masters (such as Brian Clark, Jon Morrow, and Joe Sugarman among others) I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.
With that said, I know how difficult it can be just starting out. There’s a ton of information out there, and it can quickly become overwhelming for the beginner. To clear up the confusion, I’ve compiled these 12 guidelines to act as a “cheat sheet” to help Thailand business owners find success faster—without having to suffer all the setbacks I went through…
1. Identify your audience – the most fundamental stage of blogging happens before you even start writing: it’s figuring out who you’re writing for. Are your customers teenagers, single parents, or fellow SMB owners? The content you write will differ depending on that answer. Whereas business growth tips would be a perfect subject for SMB owners, it would do little for single parents.
The point is, put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Determine the interests of your primary customers, and then ask yourself, “How can I help solve their problems?” That’s what your content should focus on.
2. Focus on “You” – whether it’s receiving a personalized letter in the mail or your closest friends throwing you a surprise birthday party, everyone loves personal attention—and therefore, your blog should be personal too. The tone of your writing should be conversational, like you’re having a heart to heart talk with a good friend. To convey this, use the words “you” and “I” regularly to engage your reader.
3. Choose a topic that gives value – it will be tempting to write blogs that simply sell your product. The hard truth is, though, no one wants to read those articles. Keeping with our theme of the word “you”, your writing should have one goal: to provide value to the reader.
Share industry insights and personal tips that improve your readers’ lives. When you give valuable information, you’ll win your readers’ trust and get a chance to win their business.
4. Create unique content – this is getting harder by the day as many bloggers simply recycle the same old tips and insights over and over again. That’s why it’s important to create unique content that no one else is writing about—as it will delight your readers to find new tips on how to solve their problems.
But how do you go about this?
If you have an idea for a blog titled “5 SEO mistakes every new business makes”, Google this headline and see what other articles pop up. Once you see some common tips people are sharing, make a note of them and avoid adding these in your article. Then take some time to brainstorm some valuable insights no one else is writing about and put those in your article.
5. Plant keywords – a keyword is a word (or words) people type into search engines to find specific information. For example, if a person was looking for the best content writing agency in Bangkok, they might type into Google “best copywriting agency in Bangkok”, “social media marketing firm in Bangkok“. The words in these phrases act as one keyword, called a longtail keyword, that will bring up plenty of content on these subjects in Google’s search engine.
If you wanted to land on the first page of Google for one of these terms, you would incorporate this phrase into your article. You may even want your headline to be something like “What does a copywriting agency in Bangkok charge?“.
6. What reward does your headline promise? – your readers’ time is valuable, so you need to give them a reason to read your blog article. Would your readers benefit from learning how to cook a 5-star meal, be a confident public speaker or avoid a tax audit?
If so, here’s a few sample headlines from different industries to give you an idea of what I mean:
- How to dazzle with every presentation you give
- 5 Essential cooking tips sure to impress a Michelin-star chef
- Confessions of an accountant part one: 3 things nobody tells you about tax audits
Notice the two types of headlines I use: “How to” and lists posts. For new bloggers, these are the easiest types of headlines to write and are guaranteed to pique interest.
7. Tease with subheadings – the goal of each sentence in your article is to keep the reader reading. With that said, most of the time, your subheadings should pique interest and tease the reader into your next block of text. You can do this with a question like I did above, “What reward does your headline promise?” or a statement that builds curiosity, such as “The secret to a profitable marketing plan”.
If you’re writing a list post, this rule does not always apply. Many list posts featured on major publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur name the actual tip in the subhead. For example, in an article titled “5 accounting secrets to save a million baht on your business’s taxes,” one subhead could be “Choose an accountancy firm with a track record of saving client’s millions”
As a sidenote, if you claim something sensational like this, you must back the statement up—otherwise you risk damaging your business’s reputation.
8. Use block paragraphs – block paragraphs are the bread and butter of blogging. Essentially, everyone uses them. So forget indenting your paragraphs and just write them as a block as I’ve done in this article. Also, try to keep your block paragraphs 5 lines long or less. Shorter block paragraphs are less overwhelming and more inviting to read and, therefore, they keep readers reading.
9. Intro that identifies the problem – as mentioned above, your article should be focused on providing value. But before you do that, ask yourself, “What problem am I solving for the reader?” Whatever problem that is, use it as a hook in your introduction.
Nearly every movie narrative uses this same tactic: within the first 15 minutes, a problem is presented. This problem catches your interest, keeps you watching and asking “How are they going to fix this? What’s going to happen next?” After which, the characters begin to solve the problem.
10. Body that solves the problem – just like in a movie, when a problem is presented in a blog, it must be solved. This is the purpose of your body text. Give readers the value, the reward your promised in the headline. Show how they can solve their problem step by step.
11. Write a textbook conclusion – to keep things easy, I would recommend keeping your conclusion simple. Write it as you were probably taught in grade school: summarize what you said in your body or slightly expand on how things may change in the future.
12. Pitch your service – now the moment you’ve been waiting for…a chance to talk about your business. After your conclusion, include a brief pitch of your business to incite readers to contact you. The catch is, you should only focus on one service, whichever one most closely relates to your blog’s topic. By choosing one service, you give the reader a clear reason to contact you. If you bombard them with a handful of your offerings, you’re sure to overwhelm them—leading to no action at all.
For example, if Lexicon was to include a pitch at the end of this article, it may go something like this… “Blogging is an affordable way to market your business and climb up the search rankings in Google. If you’d like to learn more about our service, contact us today at email@example.com.”
Notice how I mention three things:
The service – blogging (directly related to this blog’s topic)
Benefit of the service – climb up search rankings in Google
Call to action – contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org
We recommend your pitch includes these three elements.
Ready to start blogging?
Having read these guidelines, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. It’s okay. Take a deep breath and just start writing. You may find it difficult to follow all these guidelines when you start, so if you want to ease into it, I recommend choosing 2 or 3 to include in your first blog and try to implement them as best you can. You’ll get better with practice.
Good luck, and if you need a hand creating a blog that attracts daily leads, don’t be a stranger. Get in touch with Lexicon’s content experts today at 022 358 868
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