This is another guest post by Chris Hoole on the merits of blogging, when done in the right way.
Make him feel welcome by dropping any questions or thoughts in the comment area below this post. 🙂
Ah, the fresh invigorating virtual air of the blogo-shpere; the Internet equivalent of a walk in the country.
Or is it?
Blogging, like any other Internet phenomenon began life as innocent past-time, indulged in by those who had something to say, rather than something to sell.
There have been some spectacular successes as a result of blogging, with some writers finding themselves plucked from the ether of the Internet to the real world of print publishing.
But over the years blogging has, like most other Internet innovations, been hijacked by marketing professionals and turned into a method to ‘monetise’ websites.
This can be great for bloggers looking to earn a living from writing but can pose specific problems. One problem for those looking to use blogging – or any other Internet platform including Twitter and Facebook – is that Internet users are not daft.
They have at least the ability to turn a computer on and to find ‘stuff’ on the Internet.
They are savvy enough to know when they are being advertised at, so simply turning your blog into another sales pitch is unlikely to work. The opposite is probably true – many users when finding themselves ‘sold’ at will click the handy back button.
So how as a writer do you use blogging effectively to engage potential clients?
A Little Light History
Some people will tell you that blogging is new. Even my spell check holds that opinion; OK the word is new, the act, however, is anything but.
Samuel Pepys (1633 – 1703) is a good early example of an off-line blogger, one who would certainly have been on-line had he had the chance.
During the 18th century the anonymous pamphlet got just about everywhere. In some cases these pamphlets set the world on fire. Ideas were circulated that helped to spread the American and the French Revolutions, bringing down monarchies and changing the political landscape forever.
Twitter and Facebook have been identified as the big movers and shakers in the current Arab spring, just as the printed pamphlet was over 200 years ago. The only difference is that things happen a bit quicker – and haven’t been quite so bloody this time round.
But what has this to do with those of us who pursue a life of SEO copywriting?
We aren’t in most cases out to overthrow our governments – although some of us may pursue that as a side-line – but when it comes to blogging for SEO purposes, we are simply trying to sell. Ultimately I think it’s important to see blogging as part of an older tradition in order to understand the power it holds.
Good writing captures imaginations and has done for centuries; as they say – the pen is mightier than the sword.
Once you understand the power that blogging holds, it’s easier to write effective copy. The first rule of selling via a blog is not to sell. This can be harder than you think and difficult to explain to some clients!
Blogging should be about engaging visitors to a site and encouraging them to return. Normally they will have to click through at least a homepage to get to your captivating, humorous or informative blog.
In many ways blogging is best understood as being very similar to ‘product placement’ on TV.
Most blogs for businesses will need to reflect the core products or issues around the company while avoiding the obvious temptation to sell.
For users, a good, informative, well written blog will be one they are keen to return to.
For those running websites a blog is perhaps their most effective tool to gain trust and promote interest in the rest of their site.
For copywriters, blog writing can be a great experience, not only a good way to earn money from your writing but one that provides an opportunity to be more creative and expressive than other forms of paid online writing.
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