Since you’ve clicked here to read more about writing blogs, you probably know how important the process of blogging is to marketing. Which is why it goes without saying that it’s even more important to learn how to effectively start and manage a blog in a way that supports your small business.
Without a blog, you’ll find yourself experiencing problems such as poor search engine optimization, lack of content for social, low thought leadership with your leads and customers, and fewer pages that you can use to drive action.
Even knowing all this, why do so many marketers still have trouble writing blogs?
Perhaps it’s because unless you enjoy writing, business blogging might seem uninteresting, time consuming, and difficult.
Well folks, the time for excuses is over. With the sloppy copy method, we’re brought back to our second grade english class and taught to focus on the basics. We’ll cover writing blogs in a way that is simple, sloppy (only for a moment), and frankly….fun!
First and foremost, choose a topic. Let this be your guiding light and way forward as you craft content below. Try to keep the title simple and straightforward so you don’t confuse people from the get-go.
Remember this, a good blog post should be interesting and educational. Blogs should answer questions and help readers resolve a challenge they’re experiencing. Choose a topic you know will catch the eye of your readers and encourage them to dive deeper.
Once you’ve established what you want to write about, circle your topic and add 4-6 branches off to the side.
This “web” will have you fill in 4-6 details that will act as subheadings or important details to support the topic. Keep in mind, this step is meant to stay high-level so try and keep additional sentences and thoughts out of the web. Only write out the key details you need to break out your thoughts.
While this seems simple enough, trying to hone in on the top 4-6 ideas that support your topic can take some thought, especially if it’s on a fairly technical subject. Even if you’re writing about the history of C++ coding values (that’s about as technical as I can even venture to think at the moment), don’t get deep in the weeds. Think about your readers and they most important items they need to know once they read your title.
For example: If your topic is “What I’m Thankful For,” your details might be “Mom, Dad, Dog, Food.”
Next, you’re going to whittle down your details to three. Why three? The rule of three suggests that words grouped into threes are more appealing and easier to remember. Our brains are pattern-seeking machines, constantly looking for relationships and meaning in the world around us. Three is the smallest number we need to create a pattern, the perfect combination of brevity and rhythm.
When you write with three key supporting details, readers are provided with just enough information to understand what it is you’re talking about and move through the content. Remember, the key to success is keeping them engaged.
With this step, you’ll draw a big landscape box and break it into six smaller boxes. In the top three boxes, you’ll write in the top three supporting details as the header. Underneath each of those, you’ll include three details per idea.
If we’re following the example above, you’ll add “Mom, Dad, and Dog” into the top three boxes. From there, include three details that promote why you’re thankful for each. For “Mom” you might include three details like “Loves to give me lots of hugs, cares for our neighbors and friends in our community, helps me with my math homework.”
You get the idea.
Here comes the fun part. The real reason we tout this as a great exercise for those who seem to always get stuck in a writing rut.
Grab some notebook paper and write out your three paragraphs. Make sure each paragraph includes:
When you’re writing blogs, whether it’s on physical notebook paper or online, leave a space between sentences. Be sure to also write freely. Don’t get caught up in the fear of how the content will be perceived. Use the structure above, but leave some freedom to keep your thoughts natural and the writing voice unique.
Now, why the extra space? The extra space is there for the reviewer. At this point in the process, you’ll hand off your work (warts and all) to a reviewer who is asked to review and provide feedback on what you wrote. While this does leave some subjectivity, the intention is to guide you in cleaning up your spelling, grammar, and outline.
Once you get the blog back from your reviewer, it’s time to incorporate their notes, clean up spelling, grammar, punctuation, and fine-tune opening and closing remarks.
As a small business owner, be sure you also have some form of a call-to-action (CTA) woven in towards the end so that readers know what steps they should take next if they’re interested in engaging. This could be anything from a call to sign up for your newsletter, ask to join an online social community, or drive to download a resource.
Finally (I know, you thought the step above was the last one), it’s time to draw out what you wrote about. Some of you are probably thinking, “Say what now?”
We’ve heard it said before, a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures also help succinctly depict actions into one image.
Drawing out an image of what you wrote about helps you ensure the blog isn’t too detailed or complicated. If you’re having trouble drawing out what it is you wrote about, the content may be a bit much for readers. Of course, this is slightly dependent on the topic and industry it’s written on, but the purpose still stands – be sure the blog is simple enough to capture it in a drawing.
Sloppy copy has been, and continues to be, an excellent method for even the most tenured writers who get stuck. It allows you to gather your thoughts, outline clear ideas, draft supporting details, and put it together in a way that is both quick and easy. Once you get in a steady habit of blogging, you’ll be able to build brand awareness, become a thought-leader and expert in your industry, attract qualified leads, and boost conversions.