SEO Content creation: it ain’t literature, that’s for sure. (By the way, when I use the acronym “SEO” with content, you should probably read it like this: “Search Engine Optimized Content.”)
Writing for a blog is certainly not the same as writing literature. My 16-year-old son, Nick, is a brilliant writer. His heroes are Kerouak, Kafka, Steinbeck, Milton and the like. But when it comes to blogging, his creative juices suddenly dry up. I’ve tried to interest him in blogging for my business, and his eyes glaze over. To him, blogging is simply not “writing.”
In order to succeed in the world of blogging, you first need to deal with it as a world separate and apart from traditional writing. One of the reasons for this is the ephemeral nature of the medium. I think deep down Milton knew he was writing for future generations. A blog, on the other hand, like journalism, is rooted in the here and now. In fact, from a business perspective, that’s the whole point. The immediacy of blogs is the very thing that makes them desirable.
We’ve documented our blog posts being indexed and showing up in search results, sometimes for pretty highly trafficked terms, in as short as 4 minutes (yes, that is “four” not 40, and yes I said “minutes” not days). That tells us that Google has a high sense of urgency about getting blog results in front of searchers. Therefore…
Blog Writing Tip #1: Urgency is Job 1
I’m not talking about the sense of urgency you need to have about writing for the blog (although that is pretty important as well). I’m referring to the nature of what you write about. The way Google treats blogs, namely as Internet content that must be indexed quickly, helps inform our blog writing. If you’re writing about some great feature of your best selling widget, and it’s a feature that’s been around for a number of years, you’ve chosen the wrong subject.
What if you have nothing urgent to write about? Create something. If you’re site is ecommerce, it could be a price reduction or new inventory. If you’re site is informational, it could be the latest developments, however minor, in the area that your blog covers. If it’s a company information site, it could be developments at your company.
Plan your marketing with this urgency in view, and with the idea that you will be integrating marketing with your blog content creation.
When I write an email I find myself going over it again and again. It might take me 30 minutes to write and send an important 4-paragraph email. When my wife writes the same 4-paragraph email, it might take her 2 hours of agonizing reappraisal. (And when she tells you that I exaggerate about her, don’t believe it, she’s always saying that and has been for 500 years.) In any case, this is my nice segue for tip #2:
Blog Writing Tip #2: Leave Perfectionism for Your Novel
During a recent training one of my students asked me for a list of the stupid things that bloggers do to defeat their blog. I fished around for a moment, and it wasn’t until later that I thought of one of the key mistakes: being a perfectionist. Many blog authors are hindered by a desire to find the perfect subject, the perfect voice, the perfect timing, and the perfect prose. In this case the perfect becomes the enemy of the good: they are so busy thinking about perfect that they end up frozen. Creating a good blog post never happens.
I believe that often the perfectionism has another component as well: as long as we insist on doing things exactly write, it gives us an unassailable excuse to do nothing.
“Whew!” This unconscious mindset exclaims, “Not enough time to write a ‘proper’ blog post (as the English might say), better put it off a bit longer. Certainly I’ll have enough time to do it ‘right’ next week.”
Urgency (see tip number 1) requires a “good enough” approach to this whole exercise.
After all, this week’s blog post will be lining digital birdcages next week. (And if you don’t understand that analogy, read a newspaper once in a while, will ya’?).
Warning!! Shameless pitch ahead.
At the Search Engine Academy, teaching you how to make your business blog useful to your website is part of what we do. Check out our SEO Training Course Catalog for more information on our workshops and how you can attend.
Here are a few more articles I found interesting on writing for a business blog: