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Blogging for beginners: creating content that grabs your customer’s attention


Blogs have been an important part of the online world since they first appeared in 1994. Nearly 30 years later, are blogs still a relevant way to reach and engage people? In short: yes! There are more than 600 million blogs online, and the number grows every day. We won’t lie: blogging takes time and energy. But it can be hugely rewarding - even if you don’t feel confident in your writing abilities.

Let’s look at how to get started.

Motivation matters: know why you want a blog

To sustain a blog over the long term, you need to have a clear sense of why you want to enter the blogosphere. The stronger your motivation, the more likely you are to keep blogging – even when you are running low on energy. Here are three good reasons to get into the blogging habit:

- To draw customers to your online shop. Eye-catching blog titles will draw visitors to your website, whether it’s via online search or posts on social media platforms. For a startup e-commerce business, this can be a low-cost, high-reward way of expanding your customer base and improving your search rankings – without having to spend money on advertising or SEO.

- To build customer confidence in your credentials. Customers who read quality blog posts are more likely to have confidence in the quality of your products. Especially if you use your blogs to talk about your ethos or expertise. This underlines that you are a brand with integrity.

- To sharpen your mind. Writing blog posts means taking time to reflect on your thoughts and experiences. This practice of reflection is a great way to sharpen your thinking. For entrepreneurs, having well-honed ideas can help you in many ways – not least when you’re talking to customers, suppliers, media or potential employees.

Define the ‘golden rules’ for your blog

People become loyal readers of blogs that have a consistent sense of purpose and tone. To make this happen, write a set of ‘golden rules’ to guide your choice of topics. Here are a few questions to get you started:

- What are your audience’s priorities? We all value people who understand us and solve our problems. Concentrate your blogs on your audiences’ biggest needs, and you’ll win a loyal readership.

- Short posts or long posts? Do you like to write short, snappy sentences? Or longer, more intricate sentences? And what about your audience – do they have plenty of time to dig into the details, or are they people in a hurry? Decide whether short posts or long posts are right for your blog – and stick to your golden rule.

- What are your stylistic rules? Professional publications (such as newspapers and online journals) use ‘style guides’ to help their writers take a consistent approach to language. These set out ‘rules’ for things like how you present numbers, dates, times and capitalizations. Write up your own stylistic rules, and you’ll make your readers feel like they’re in good hands.

Decide on your blogging cadence

How frequently should you be blogging? There is no hard and fast rule. The important thing is to be consistent. If you tell the world you’re going to blog every two weeks, then sticking to this pattern will reassure your readers (and search engines) that you are a credible, professional operation. Long absences can make your blog and website look like an abandoned shop.

Struggling to blog frequently? Think about how you can increase your capacity. Can you ask colleagues or friends to guest blog on your site? Can you pay a writer to produce blogs? This will result in diverse content and give your readers fresh perspectives.

If you take this route, don’t forget to give your writers your “golden rules” and “style guidelines” – so that guest writers deliver copywriting that lives up to your blog’s house style.

Create an editorial calendar

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin.

To take control of your blogging life, we recommend creating an ‘editorial calendar’. Sounds fancy, but it simply means a plan for what you intend to write about during the year.

A first step in creating a calendar is to note down the annual events that are relevant to your audience – such as public holidays, industry-specific events (like awards), sporting events – anything that comes up every year that you might want to write about.

Your calendar should also include a list of the themes and categories that you want to write about. Use this list to make sure you are blogging about all the themes that are relevant to your online shop.

Start collecting images and video links

The art of blogging isn’t just about writing – it’s also about using photography, illustrations and video clips.

Images can be a great source of inspiration for your blog posts. Start a folder of images, and every time you see an interesting photo that sparks an idea – save it to the folder or attach it to your pinboard.

Images and video links can also draw readers into your blog post – making your writing more enticing. Worried about copyright? Here are three easy ways to handle this issue:

- Create your own imagery. Shoot your own photos and create illustrations. This way, you own the images, and you can do what you want with them. Just make sure that they are bold and carefully composed – and that the images look good on mobile (not just desktop computers).

- Work with a graphic designer. Commissioning a graphic designer (or asking a friendly favor!) is a great way to generate original imagery that brings specific messages to life. Low on funds? Try online freelancer marketplaces, where you can find competitive rates.

- Use copyright-free stock images. Websites such as Unsplash offer a wider array of images, many of which can be used without paying a license fee. The downside is that these images are not unique to you (prepare to see them on other brands’ blogs). But we would argue that it’s better to use stock photography than no photography.

Use online tools to polish your writing

Don’t ruin good writing with bad spelling and grammar. Use AI-based tools like Grammarly to polish your writing and make sure it is clear and easy to read.

If you want to go the extra mile, use the ‘read aloud’ function to listen to your blog before you publish it. We guarantee this will help you improve your writing – try it and see!

Don’t forget: “Done is better than perfect”

The more blogs you write, the more confident you will become. So don’t worry about being a flawless writer. Start sharing your ideas, stories and observations with the world - and enjoy the process of building rapport with your customers.

Happy blogging!

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