10 out of 10 SMEs know that achieving visibility on the network is essential to attract new customers, today.
You well know, how 9 out of 10 managers of a micro SME, that writing in a blog helps to improve visibility, both in Google, and to exist (and hopefully someday) on social networks.
You well know, as 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs, that since they do not have a budget to do paid advertising actions (offline or online), your only option is to bet on a content marketing strategy.
Because you can always take time from where there is not to do something for your company. And yes, I mean writing useful content and sharing it for free to attract readers, who then you will try to transform into customers.
All this is clear to you.
Sometimes knowing is not enough. And fear paralyzes us.
Still, writing for you is hell.
You don’t know what to talk about.
And when you wear it, you face a 6 meter high wall, completely smooth.
And you look up, somewhat helpless, not knowing how to overcome this immense obstacle.
It is a challenge.
We will not deny it.
Nothing can stop you, because no one has yet
Now I want to reach the warrior inside you.
Perhaps you have let him settle into your comfort zone too much. And it even has a tummy.
Don’t lie to me that I have the same!
Well, what matters is that I know that this warrior is still within you.
Do you remember when you started your business from scratch, in this country that puts so many obstacles for entrepreneurs to generate wealth?
Close your eyes and visualize those days perhaps already a bit distant.
Back then, nothing could stop you.
- Everything was new.
- Everything was troublesome.
- You have never solved these problems before.
But you carried this force of the enterprising warrior who has nothing to lose.
And one by one.
You were knocking down obstacles.
Nothing could stop you.
Everything was holding you back, but nothing managed to break your progress.
Stay with this spirit in mind.
And continue with your reading.
You are one of those who face challenges by facing up.
Let me give you 11 tips to help you better carry this battle against the blank sheet, and get to get that great writer inside you without even knowing it.
1. Put a face on it! Visualize your ideal reader
The ideal reader.
What is this for?
Your blog has a mission: to attract certain types of readers. People really interested in the solutions you offer in your company.
Because if you manage to attract the right people to your blog, it is likely that some of these readers will become customers.
Describe the profile of your ideal reader thoroughly.
Socio-economic data, but also interests, hobbies, political ideology / religion. And one more thing
2. Get obsessed with the topics that worry you most … your ideal reader
You must understand better than anyone what your clients’ concerns are.
In every moment.
What is stopping them from sleeping.
How do you feel about these problems?
- Are they afraid?
Understanding and sharing this reality with your ideal reader will help you talk about the topics for which they are going to dedicate some of their super requested attention.
And to connect more deeply with them.
Computer scientists talk about Open Source platforms, wonderful for making web pages (Joomla !, WordPress, Prestashop), when the owner of a micro SME only thinks about how he is going to attract a new client this month, before having to close by not being able to pay your providers.
Nobody wants a website, and wait 6 months for customers to enter the web.
We all want to know how to attract new customers in this very troubled environment, 30 days away.
3. This is getting out of hand! Write down your ideas when you have them
Well you know you don’t have to write about anything.
But you should think about the needs of your customers and try to provide answers for them on your blog.
There is a fundamental process that I want you to put in place.
It is to write down your ideas … when they occur to you.
A post idea for your blog is valuable.
It appears without you knowing very well how, and it goes just as fast, if you have not written it down quickly, you will forget it.
Use a notebook or Evernote, but write down your ideas just when they occur to you:
- In a meeting, a customer raises a problem to which he finds no answer
- A phone call from a complaining customer
- A warm thanks at a meal with another customer
- Brainstorm in a training session on a new product
Anything goes for inspiration.
But think about your clients.
Put yourself in their shoes.
Don’t think about yourself and your services.
Try better to help them answer their questions.
In a blog it is not about talking about you, but about them.
Of your problems.
And how can you help them solve their problems.
Do it for free on your blog and you will get visibility and build trust. And when these same clients need a service like the one you offer, they will naturally hire you.
4. The anti-mess rule: One key message per post
Keep It Simple, Stupid!
I know, without a doubt you are a great expert in your sector.
But the great experts also tend to roll it brown. So we are not going to open this pandora’s box.
I bring you with me a very simple anti-mess rule:
1 single central message per post.
In this same post, I want to reactivate your ability to write great posts for your blog, which will surely be half dead.
And I focus on that idea.
I will not talk about SEO, nor will I talk about content management platforms to create a WordPress blog, and I will not complicate it further with a brushstroke of social networks.
I have identified a problem:
Many SME blogs are more neglected than far west towns.
I try to contribute proven ideas with my clients, to solve this problem.
And in this post, I will only talk about this topic.
5. Nail your ideas on paper and design the framework of your post
Writing aimlessly is exhausting.
Imagine the typical half-drunk writer who writes nonstop on his typewriter for hours and hours because he knows he has to produce 5 pages of his book a day.
Well, doing it without being clear about the plot or script of the story doesn’t make sense.
This way you will only produce noise. And while noise has ranked well so far on Google, things are changing very fast now.
Google wants value. He wants knowledge.
And luckily, you have knowledge.
And to avoid generating noise, it is best to organize your ideas before you start:
- Start with the title of your post
- List of 3 to 5 points, which are the ideas you want to address
- And maybe, if you don’t want to lose the thread of your reasoning, another 2 to 3 sub-points, for each of these main points
It is like hiking and preparing the route that you are going to crown the day before you go out for a walk.
It makes all the sense in the world, right?
You do not go wandering around 30 kilometers, but you have to prepare a 30 km route between 2 points, A and B, and you are going to go up a peak C.
Your post is going to be the story of this route.
6. A little step beyond closeness, let’s be intimate (even if we don’t know each other)
I want you to write as you speak to your clients.
You talk to your clients, right?
Sometimes you even eat with them.
They are not unknown, some of them are your friends.
Well, writing on a blog is talking in writing.
- It is not about writing a press release, cold and arrogant.
- It is not about writing as in a commercial brochure, abusing us to make you greater than you are.
- It is not about writing scientific articles and pretending to be the world’s No. 1 expert on these topics.
It is about being yourself, with your ideas, your way of speaking and your personality.
And talk about your Know How. What you know about your activity in your sector. Talk about what the years of experience helping your own clients have brought you.
Something you naturally do on the phone or in face-to-face meetings with your lifelong customers.
This is the tone that I want to see in your posts.
See for yourself how this entry is written.
I try to reflect a conversation I have with you in a city cafe.
7. Your reader acts like a scanner shit in a hurry: Make it easy for them to read your entries
Once again get inspiration from what you read in this very post
- A title with hook
- Subtitles to hook attention again
- Very short paragraphs
- List of points
- Single-sentence paragraphs
- A couple of internal links
- Another pair of external links
It is done.
On the Internet, people don’t read. Scan.
Facilitate this scan. It breaks with the monotony of the justified paragraphs to which we have become accustomed when reading books.
Reading a post is not done in the same way as reading a book.
8. You will win the battle before you start: your title deserves more attention than anything else
It is so.
If you understand that you are competing with 10 other free results and often another 10 paid ones on a Google result page, the first thing that comes to your potential reader’s eyes is:
The headline of your post.
In no time (not even 3 seconds), this reader makes the decision to read to you or someone else.
To ensure you capture this hyper requested reader, your headline should condense these ideas:
- What is inside for me? Present a benefit
- How hot is this song for me right now?
- Wake up your lizard mind: we are animals disguised as human beings. We still like things that shine, powerful, passionate adjectives and verbs.
We are going to do a practical exercise
- Title 1: How to self-publish your book? – Ok, present something useful
- Title 2: How to earn 523 euros in just 7 days self-publishing an eBook on Amazon? – Best. Sharper, concrete benefit. Real
- Title 1: List of online resources for ESO teachers – Ok, present something useful
- Title 2: 99 free online tools for ESO teachers that will amaze your students with your teaching materials – Best. Sharper, concrete benefit. Real
And one last more
- Title 1: New changes in VAT settlement – Ok, present something useful
- Title 2: Sex, Drugs and VAT settlement: discover the hypnotic measures that Minister Montorro has hidden in the last BOE of 2013 – Best. In this case a famous character is used in an unusual context. It intrigues and generates empathy, because I think that all micro entrepreneurs hate this man.
Obviously, you can’t go too. You will have to deliver later in your post the promise you made in the headline.
There is a real war for the attention of the readers.
And you are competing both on google (that’s why you have to optimize your blog’s SEO) and on social networks, in front of many other articles, sometimes much worse than yours, but much better prepared to capture the attention of readers.
If so, you should dedicate 75% of the time you have to write to sharpen the aim of your headlines. And the remaining 25% to occupy the space between title and title …
9. What next? Suggest the following action
You are right.
Since your reader has reached the end of your article, is there something else for him?
Other related items?
What is that reader supposed to do now:
- Share your ideas in the comment thread?
- Share the article on twitter?
- Do +1?
- Sign up for your newsletter?
Whatever you expect from the reader now, write it down.
Tell him in your words what your reader has to do now. What may seem natural to you is not natural to him.
Guide him to the next action.
In fact, this tactic is called Call-to-Action. There must be a reason.
10. The art of ending with the beginning
The introduction of your post is essential.
It is the first thing that is read.
And if you don’t like it, reactivate the option “umm… really, I’m going to spend 5 minutes on this post”
This is why this introduction is so crucial.
Therefore, I usually write my introductions at the end, once the post is already written.
11. Writing on a blog is, for writing, surfing for sports: cool!
But this does not exempt you from practice.
Great athletes reach the top because they repeat the same gestures over and over again. There is nothing like practice and repetition to improve your skills.
And it is true that surfing also conveys messages of good life. But first of all surfers are true athletes.
And something else. Why they play it on each wave.
It does not prevent them from going out for a next wave.
Much less enjoy it.
Think of your posts as waves that you surf. That fear will keep you alert and will make you reach the sand on the beach.
Safe and sound.
I hope you have lost the fear of writing, and that you have realized that writing on a blog is a different practice, less academic and much more fun than you expected.
Now that you know you can, you just have to practice, practice and practice.
If you found this post interesting, I invite you to consult my definitive guide And to share this entry with your followers on social networks. Thank you!
Franck Scipion is the author of the Lifestyle Al Cuadrado blog, where he shares proven strategies, tactics, and tools to help you design the lifestyle of your dreams.
If you are working on transforming your passion into a business, and your thing is to do it yourself (DIY), this site is for you.