Question: What do chocolate, slug pellets and daffodil bulbs have in common?
Answer: They can all cause serious toxic reactions in dogs.
There you have it… the making of a blog post! Having looked at why it is beneficial to your business and your client attraction to blog, I thought you might appreciate a blog post on how to blog.
Reasons people don’t blog
- I can’t see the point.
- It takes too much time.
- I can’t write!
- I don’t know enough.
- No-one is interested in what I have to say.
If you can’t see the point then please revisit this blog post, which speaks to the value of dynamic content, for your current and future clients. After that, do a quick Google search for “reasons a business should blog”.
If time is your issue, then look at what you gain from blogging:
- Increasing Google’s interest in your site.
- Creating value for your clients.
- Increasing the chance of new clients finding you.
- Demonstrating your expertise to prospective clients.
- Building client relationship and trust (they are getting to know you).
- Building a mailing list so that any future product or service you want to unveil, has a wider audience.
- Rising above your competition.
- Developing your own knowledge and skills.
- Speaking out of your brand. This will help to attract your ideal clients to you.
- Feeding traffic to your Facebook page and vice versa.
Do you have time not to blog?
If you feel you can’t write well enough, there are so many ways of blogging that don’t involve essay writing. Here’s a few:
Picture stories – “A day in the life of a dog walker.”, “How to groom your husky.”, “Great dog walks in Wallsend.” and “How to make wholesome dog treats at home.” all lend themselves to predominantly being pictures.
- Reviews of equipment, toys, food etc., you don’t even need to write them. Ask the other dog owners you know to do a review for you.
- Blogs of the “10 great articles about separation anxiety.” or “My favourite YouTube training videos.” are perfect for almost zero writing but great value to others.
- Interview – anyone of interest, like a groomer, trainer, behaviourist or vet.
- Interview – your clients about their experience of your business. Keep it real, by inviting them to express the niggles as well as the joys.
- Present a collection of dog poems.
- Write any list based post. Then the writing kind of takes care of itself. Things like “10 reasons why…”
- Invite others to write something for you.
If you feel you don’t know enough, you’re in good company. Almost all creative educators experience this from time to time. There are two responses to this.
Firstly, you don’t need to know all about every detail of a topic, to make what you have to say useful to someone else. If you need convincing this video might help. Secondly, the whole world wide web is available to you, to research a topic before you begin. This doesn’t have to take long. I generally start writing, and then Google things as they arise, if I am not 100% clear on what I am saying. This might be once or twice in the process of writing a blog post. Another option, is Googling before you begin and skimming the top 4 or 5 articles that come up. I tend to do this if writing about something I know really well, just to be sure I have all my ideas straight and haven’t missed anything out. It just save me time.
If you think no-one is interested in what you have to say, think again. I have a really high email open rate among my clients when I send newsletters out to showcase new blog posts. People are engaged. Your clients will want to engage with you; they actively want to know you better. After all, they are entrusting their canine family members to your care.
How to blog – the nuts and bolts
- Pick a topic
- Choose a keyword – a searchable word or phrase that your post will rank for in Google.
- Create a catchy title that includes the keyword.
- Decide on a suitable format (photos, bullets, question and answer etc.)
- Find a hook – something that will hold the reader’s attention at the beginning. Then, just write. If your inner critic tells you its not good enough, write anyway. Keep going, and don’t worry about perfection until the end. You can edit, improve and correct once it’s ‘finished’.
- Complete the body of the post using headings, short paragraphs, bullet lists and links to other interesting content. If you are writing, try story telling, and offer interesting examples to keep the reader focused. Try to use your keyword a few times in the headings and in the post.
- Keep the tone conversational – be authentically you. If you are ‘teaching’ you may want to be a little more formal.
- Include a call to action – this can be to sign up for your newsletter, to call you, to ask for comments, or even to purchase something, depending on the nature of the post.
Once you are finished, read it through out loud and check for errors, spelling and grammar mistakes. Tweak and re-read.
There are all kinds of apps and plugins that help with SEO, creating a meta description (that bit that you see on Google search results, under the website URL) and such like, depending on which web development software you use. I use WordPress, and Yoast SEO is an excellent plug in for that.
Above all enjoy the process. Use it to enrich your knowledge of subjects that interest you. Find out what’s new in the area you are writing about. Have fun!