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Blog Like You Mean It (And Keep Your Readers Coming Back)

Blog Like You Mean It (And Keep Your Readers Coming Back)

21 Ideas To Supercharge Your Blog Posts

The more you blog, the quicker you’ll become at writing effective, impactful posts that readers love and want to share.
Here are 21 ideas and tips to help speed up your blog writing process.

Try these tips for better, faster blog post writing.

  1. Eliminate Distractions.

    Close Facebook and other social media. Don’t be tempted to check email.  Put your phone on silent. Shut your home office door, if you can.
    Try to pick your ideal day of the week and time of day to write – for example, Wednesday at 9:30, when you’ve got that freshly-made cup of coffee sitting on your desk, the kids are safely in school and the dog is fast asleep.
    And make that time slot sacred: You’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes to start writing creatively, when it’s a weekly habit.  Of course, you don’t have to blog weekly – monthly or even less frequently is fine, as long as you don’t go months without writing.

  2. Keep It Short.

    One idea per blog post will easily fit within 500 or so words. (If you find yourself passing 750 words, you’ve got two or more ideas – split them up!)

  3. Re-use and Recycle.

    Do you have any old articles you’ve written? Reports? Blog posts that never got off the ground? Put them to good use and re-purpose them into new blog posts. Here’s how…

    • Go through your piece of old content and use highlighting to isolate individual ideas
    • Pick one
    • Write a short post (no more than 500 words) on that single idea alone
    • If you do this for an entire document such as a report or even just a longer article, you should have a great batch of related blog posts in an afternoon!
  4. Write about what you know.

    Your biggest problem, if you stick to subjects you know off by heart, will be keeping the word count down! (See Idea # 1)

  5. Write first, research later.

    This tip fits with Idea # 3. When you’ve finished your post, re-read it. You’ll know if you need to expand on a statement with a line or two of research to add credibility to it.

  6. Write first, find images later.

    If you start looking for the right photo in the middle of your blog post, it’s far too easy to become distracted by pages full of wonderful visuals as you scroll through your favourite image site.

  7. Share a gem.

    If you discuss a fascinating fact, helpful link, hidden shortcut or little-known resource, you won’t need to write pages and pages! All people will see, want and grab is that one golden nugget.

  8. Use a screenshot or video.

    If your post sharing that amazing resource doesn’t quite make the magic 500 words,  boost interest and value by adding a screenshot or a screenshare video, showing some aspect of the resource that’ll make the reader want more.

  9. Start at the end!

    (aka reverse engineering) One trick widely used by professional bloggers is to write a conclusion first. Then write the introductory paragraph and several bullet points leading to the conclusion.

  10. Leave your reader keen to discover more.

    It’s better to leave your readers wanting more than bore them with pages of weighty research or – even worse – your unedited, in-depth opinion. (Think “teaser”).

  11. Create a series.

    This is a great way to break up a lengthier topic, dealing with it point by point.  Your readers will be eager for the next instalment!

  12. Dig out that never-used PLR bundle.

    If you’re like the majority of business owners who spend time online, you’ve bought PLR (private label rights content) and never got around to using it (my hand is raised here!) now is the time to dig it out and use it. Reword, move things around, or just use as the basis for your own ideas.

  13. Keep an Idea Jar.

    -either a literal one (I’ve seen people with these on their desk) or a document on your desktop or phone. Every time you think of a new idea,  drop a post it note into the jar, or update your Blog Post Ideas document.

  14. Pick a keyword.

    This is important! Similar to the Idea Jar, keep a keyword list or Excel spreadsheet. This numbered list should contain keywords that are evergreen – ones that will never go out of date for your niche.

  15. Use online tools.

    Try answerthepublic.com and contentideagenerator.com for blog topic ideas – you’ll be amazed at some of the suggestions. And the grumpy man on answerthepublic will make you smile 😉
    Not all the suggestions will be appropriate, but you’ll certainly find something of value –  these tools are great to try when you feel totally stuck.

  16. Set a timer.

    If an idea hits you, just write the post (not while driving -that’s when I often get lots of ideas)! But before you begin, set your phone timer for a short period of time (no more than 15 minutes)
    If the timer goes off before you’ve finished, save your post into a folder called “In Progress” (or whatever name works for you). Go back to your regularly scheduled work. Much later – perhaps even weeks later – dig one of these semi-completed blog posts out, when you need to come up with an update for your blog (or for a client, if you’re a content writer).
    Finishing a half-written blog post is much easier than thinking up an entirely new one. It will feel like cheating – and you’ll gain lots of practice in self-discipline and  writing faster by using the timer. Basing your post on one single keyword can help you focus and streamline each post.

  17. Write (something) daily.

    Nothing speeds up writing time more than getting into the habit of writing. Daily is good – social media posts count too, but make them meaningful! One blog post a month is better than none – but why not make it 2 or 3 posts?   It’s fine to keep them short (up to 500 words), although longer posts (over 1000 words) are also worthwhile occasionally (Google values longer blog posts).  However you tackle it, regular writing is good for self-discipline!

  18. Use a template.

    -especially if you’re writing reviews. It’s not always easy to write a short review post. In fact, many times you will get better results if you write in more depth, but using a template helps make the process relatively painless.

  19. Stick to a basic structure.

    If you don’t want to use a template, make sure you learn the basic structural elements of a strong blog post:

    • A beginning paragraph that makes a statement and promises what the reader will learn
    • At least two or three middle paragraphs that expand on the premise
    • A summary to bring your post to a strong conclusion
    • A call to action, encouraging comments or click-throughs from your reader – it’s so important to tell people what to do next.  I see so many bloggers write a brilliant post but forget to include any calls to action…
  20. Don’t edit as you write.

    Doing the latter is the surest way to:

    • Take the momentum out of your writing
    • Go off on a tangent
    • Lose the conversational feel and immediacy of your post (side note – don’t use jargon and technical language, write as if you were explaining the subject to a friend)
    • Undermine your own confidence
    • Prioritise layout, spelling and grammar above your vital message
    • Throw off your pacing (story flow)
  21. Create a plan and use a blogging calendar or schedule.

    Brainstorming and planning all your topics for the month ahead is a wonderful way to get you into the habit of writing,  and will speed up the whole process (try this for a useful calendar) Knowing your post topics ahead of time also helps you to:

    • Grab a great graphic whenever you come across one
    • Note any useful research links
    • Mull topics over in your mind
    • Seize the opportunity to ask questions of experts
    • Read related material

Final Thoughts

Do use sub-headings (H2, H3 etc in HTML terminology) and/or a few bullet points, if your blog post is over 350 words long. Sub-headings and bullet points break up the text, helping the reader feel that your post is easier and quicker to read.

The outcome of following this method means that all the fiddly stuff is done in advance.

For example:  you are browsing online, looking for graphics for today’s posts. While checking out the “People” category in your favourite photo site, you come across a photo of a small girl in a lilac dress, holding a posy of violets.

You realize this photo is the perfect illustration for next Wednesday’s post on “Styling Bridesmaids For Your Wedding”. Download it, edit, add text, your logo etc – and save it. Your photo will be ready to instantly drop in and go.

I know from personal experience that image editing can take quite a while, so the more you’re able to streamline this process, the better!

Even if you don’t use every one of these twenty-one speed tips for blog post writing, adapt as many as you can. Writing blog posts efficiently and quickly is mostly a matter of habit and practice. And the best part is… anyone can do it. Yes, YOU can reduce your post-writing time.

Try it and see!

Over To You

I hope I’ve encouraged you to write more and better blog posts. I’d love to see some of them –  why not share in the comments,  or message me on Facebook.

Need Further Help?

If you’re not blogging yet and you’re not sure about the best way to get started,  message me and we’ll chat.  Maybe you’ve been blogging for a while but there are aspects you don’t understand, or you’re not happy with the way your blog looks?
Just ask, I’m here to help 
🙂

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How To Create An Animated Logo Using Powerpoint

How To Create An Animated Logo Using Powerpoint

How To Create An Animated Logo With Powerpoint

You’ve probably noticed that video is everywhere – more and more business owners are realising that it’s pretty much an essential part of any marketing strategy these days.  If you’re creating videos regularly for your business, that’s great.  But are YOUR videos getting lost in a sea of sameness?  With so many videos now being shared on social media, it’s important to ensure that yours are seen – what are you doing to make them stand out and get noticed?

An animated logo – often called a logo reveal or logo stinger – is a simple way to add your branding and identity to every video you create and share online, either at the start, the end, or even both.  And it’s very easy to create your own in just a few minutes, using a tool that the majority of PC owners have access to:  Powerpoint.

Yes, our old friend Powerpoint has capabilities you probably hadn’t dreamed of – it’s by no means limited to creating those same old presentations that cause people to fall asleep in meetings and workshops.  I’m sure you’ve heard of Death By Powerpoint 😉

Add Branding – Get Your Videos Noticed

If you want to be seen amongst the ocean of video content, your videos need to stand out and be unique to your business.  An animated logo adds a touch of essential branding!

As well as adding your animated logo to existing videos,  use it as a standalone clip to share on social media – it’ll work well on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.  It’s even possible to upload videos directly to Pinterest nowadays.

You could also convert it into a gif and include that format in your emails (gifs are equivalent to images and they’ll autoplay wherever placed).  Try the EZGIF site –  it makes the process very straightforward.

So how do we create a logo animation in Powerpoint?   The simplest way to explain is in a video –  watch below to follow the process step-by-step as I produce a simple animated logo and tagline.  Why not add music to your video too – there are many places you can download royalty-free tracks, including YouTube’s own audio library  (select “attribution not required”)  and Facebook’s “Sound Collection” –  find this under “Publishing Tools” in your own Facebook page.

NB the video has my previous branding, please contact me via this email if you have comments or feedback.

 

Over To You

I hope I’ve inspired you to try creating your own animated logo! I’d love to see what you produce –  why not share in the comments,  or message me on Facebook.

Need A Bit More “Wow”?

Want even more visual punch to your logo reveal?  Here’s a showreel of examples that I’d love to create using YOUR logo – can you believe they’re just £20?  Message me to get started.  I’ll need your choice of design (let me know where it appears in the video), and your logo in png format. Not sure what that means?   Just ask, I’m here to help 🙂

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Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Purrfectly Social
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