In this episode of Starting to Scale with Emmie Faust I chat with one of my friends, Sara Bussandri, who is a digital copywriter. Sara and I talk about how to plan content so that you can get into the habit of blogging regularly.
We all have limited time to dedicate to writing content so Sara shares a process that she has been using for herself and her clients which seems to work really well.
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Planning your content
This is all about knowing what you are going to write.
Dedicate 20-30 mins at the end of each month to decide what you are going to blog about the following month.
- Pick topics that are relevant to what you are selling in your business.
- You need a depository of ideas to keep track of potential topics. Sarah suggests an ‘ideas bucket ‘in a spreadsheet/notebook/Trello.
- Record questions that prospective customers are asking as this is great content.
- Go through ideas bucket and decide what you are going to blog about.
Outlining your blog content
Pick your topics and have an hour or so at the beginning of the month when you sit down and work out what you are going to cover in the blog post
- Bullet points/ideas, a bit of a brain dump. This will be fleshed out later.
- Do it and then leave it – let some time past so that you can get perspective and sometimes ideas will come to you in the meantime, and you can add points/ideas.
- You can be at your most creative when you are out and about.
If you have the time and know-how to do it, it’s worth doing some SEO research as you can then decide what angle to take in the blog post. Pick your long-tail keyword to know if you can and pick the title. If you don’t have a good understanding of SEO, just concentrate on answering your customers’ questions and things that they might be searching for.
Drafting your blog content
Draft all the blog posts at the same time or as many as you can in the time you have – this is called batching your content and can really save time.
- Then fill in the outline. Turn bullet points into subheading and then short sentences.
- You are not editing at this point, you are just throwing stuff on the page, with the aim to create about 5-7 points with a couple of sentences under each one.
- Basically a brain dump but it needs to flow logically.
- The key here is not to worry about spelling and grammar – editing comes later on.
At this point, you can always hand the draft to a copywriter who can finish it off. For people that don’t like writing, this is a great way to blog.
Editing blog posts
Sara tends to 3 rounds of editing (however she is a professional doing it as a paid job), but if you are doing your own you probably don’t need to do this much.
- Structural editing – check everything makes sense. 5-7 main points and using the right paragraphs and words and sentences in that structure. Don’t make assumptions in the content.
- Line editing – grammar and spelling check. Use of vocabulary – can I use a better word or am I repeating words too much and need to use another one.
- Proofreading – just a quick once over, re-reading for the last time to check all is 100% good.
Install something like Grammarly which is free and it’s great. It can help you with spelling and grammar. It works on whatever platform you are using (WordPress, Google docs, etc). We also mentioned Hemingway.
Polish your blog post
This step is often skipped but is important – this is about the formatting and the way your blog post looks.
People don’t read every single word that we write – they scroll and skim through content, so it is important that the blogs are formatted correctly.
- Clear subheadings.
- Bullet points where you can.
- White space.
- Bold some of the text – keywords or sentences.
- Add images – more than just 1 (every 600 words have an image as a rule).
- Optimise images (if you know how to do this – great for SEO).
- Add internal links to other relevant blog posts that you have written (also great for SEO).
- Call to action – what do you want your reader to do next.
If the reader is using a phone with a smaller screen it is especially important as otherwise, it can be huge chunks of text.
Publish your blog post
If this sounds very overwhelming just start with one blog post a month.
Whilst long-form content is fab, don’t feel that you need to write really long posts. You can start with shorter ones and answer your potential clients/ customers questions – that is a good place to start.
Related podcast episodes
Related LinkedIn post
How to connect with Sara Bussandri
Her website: www.sarabussandri.com
Find her on LinkedIn
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More about me
If you want to find out more about how I can help you grow your business, then you can find out more on my Work With Me page. We can book a free 30-minute discovery call and chat more about the challenges that you are facing and where you might need some help.