25 Blogging Angles For Your Design And Print Business That Work

The biggest barrier between you and a successful blog is creating the content.

Content that gets read, shared and acted upon takes time and thought to create. It’s not something you can rush up in 10 minutes so if you do plan to blog you need to make time for it.

And that doesn’t mean once in a while. It means consistently week by week.

So if you’re struggling to get going and your fingers are at a loss of what to write, try these 25 content ideas and you’ll soon find yourself whizzing through that dreaded writer’s block.

1. List posts

List posts are powerful, relatively easy to do and they work. If you’re stuck with a blog idea go for a list. You might think that readers will get fed up of them, but the fact is they don’t. Lists are easy to navigate, quick to scan and tell the reader exactly what they’re going to get.

Here are some ideas to kick your off:

  1. 7 Unusual Ways To Use Print To Attract Your Perfect Customer
  2. 5 Ways To Greatly Increase The Response You Get From Your Brochure
  3. The 10 Laws For Unbelievable Leaflet Success
  4. The 7 Surprising Reasons Why A Printed Newsletter Will ALWAYS Outperform Email
  5. Get Busy: 10 Print Advertising Techniques That Really Work

2. How To Posts

How To blog posts are another incredibly powerful weapon in your blog arsenal. Again they deliver value by promising your reader they will get an answer to something. They key is to tap into what your readers want the answers to. Need some inspiration? Then think about some of the common questions your customers ask.

And try these headline ideas as a starting point:

  1. How To Create Print Advertising That Works
  2. How To design A Business Card That Stands Out And Generates Enquiries
  3. How To Ensure Your Flyer Gets Read By Your Target Customer
  4. How To Save Money On Your Print Costs (Without Compromising On Quality)
  5. How To Get A Customer’s Attention Without Relying On Discounted Prices

3. Mistake Posts

Suggesting to readers that they might be making a mistake is a powerful way to attract visitors to your blog. If you want evidence of the potential impact, read this guest post I wrote for Jeff Bullas.

Mistake posts work so well because as a reader you just have to discover what the mistakes are. This type of post plays on people’s fears because they need to know if they are making the mistakes you mention. After all, one of the things that can be most damaging to your business are the things you didn’t know you didn’t know.

Here are five examples of how this headline could work in action:

  1. Don’t Make These 5 Stupid Mistakes On Your Business Card
  2. Do You Make These 10 Mistakes In Your Leaflet Advertising
  3. 7 Newsletter Mistakes That Make You Look Stupid
  4. Do You Recognise These Design Goofs That Make Your Business Look Amateurish
  5. 10 Print Advertising Mistakes That Waste Money And Damage Your Reputation

4.Warning Posts

If you can tap into the fears that keep your target customers up at night, the likelihood of your posts getting read will increase – dramatically. If you pick the right angle, warning posts can be hard to ignore. Have a read through these article ideas to see how you could use them for your business.

  1. Warning: Is Your Print Advertising A Complete Waste Of Money?
  2. 10 Warning Signs That Your Next Leaflet Is Destined To Fail
  3. Don’t Gamble With Your Business Card: 5 Simple Ways To Get It Right
  4. 10 Little-Known Factors That Could Transform Your Press Ad
  5. The 7 Danger Signs Your Advertising Will Turn Customers Off

5. Tricks Of The Trade

Blogging is a great way to position yourself as an authority in your niche. Here are some great title ideas which will showcase your expertise and subtly allow customers to understand how you add value.

  1. 21 Expert Print Advertising Tips
  2. 7 Reasons You Should Use A professional Designer For Your Next Flyer
  3. 7 Creative Ways To Promote Your Business In Print
  4. Here’s A Quick Way To Save Money On Your Print Costs
  5. How To Plan The Ultimate Offline Print Marketing Campaign

Ready for real results?

So you’ve got some content ideas, but that’s not enough. There’s a lot more to blogging that churning out  a few hundred words. Here’s what’s needed:

  • A clear strategy. What do you want your blog to achieve? Be specific. Is it more subscribers to your newsletter, more enquiries, more customers? Get those metrics clear and ensure each post is tailored towards delivering on that objective.
  • Relevance. Don’t fall into the trap of writing for your peers. Your blog will work harder if it appeals directly to your target customer. So get clear on your customer’s pain points, ensure it answers their pressing questions and work hard to add real value.
  • Depth. You’ll get the best results if you build an audience who are attracted by the value your blog adds. You’ll see this working over time as your content grows, links between posts increase and you offer more solutions and ideas to your knowledge hungry visitors.

Over to you

What’s your favourite blogging angle? What headlines have you found work every time? How could you use these ideas in your own design and print business? Please let me know in the comments below.

And if you’d like to talk with me about your blog, why not email georgina@gemwriting.co.uk now and let’s book a chat.

How To Hire A Ghost Writer Without Selling Your Soul

If you want to attract more customers, make more sales and build your reputation, you need a business blog.

Easier said than done” I hear you reply.

And it’s true. As a business owner you’re already juggling a stack of work. As a result, you’re probably more than a little reluctant to take on something else that will put pressure on your tight schedule.

However, focusing on your blog could be worth your effort. Here are 7 reasons why:

  1. Your blog can turn into a highly efficient and cost-effective marketing tool.
  2. Lots of quality, fresh content is highly valued by Google and can help drive organic traffic to your site.
  3. Customers buying habits have changed. They are more likely to research before they buy or even enquire, and a blog can help you get noticed amongst the noise.
  4. Blogs help demonstrate your authority and expertise – and we all want to work with people who know their stuff.
  5. Through a blog you can talk to customers without trying to sell to them.
  6. Use your blog to reveal your personality and allow potential clients to know, like and trust you.
  7. Allow your blogs to deepen website visitors experience of your business.
Convinced?

Blogging takes time, effort and a flurry of ideas

But despite all this good stuff, starting up and developing a blog is hard work. Here’s what you need.

  1. Time to create your strategy. You need to be clear what you want your blog to achieve and the direction you’ll take readers.
  2. Time to create research. Your blog needs to be topical. It must talk to your target market. It must be relevant.
  3. Time to write. You’ll need to schedule in regular writing time to create your posts.
  4. Time to promote: You need to network, work social media and generally make people aware of your blog.
  5. Time to respond. If someone comments, you’ll need to engage. Blogging is a 2-way process.

And in addition to all this you need to be able to write good content. In fact, you need to employ a lot of the conventions of copywriting to help you make an impression on your audience.

But that’s not all.

If you want to benefit from your business blog, you need to talk about the right stuff.

To stand out from the competition you need to reward your readers with information, knowledge and ideas that tackle their pinch points and offer real solutions to the challenges they are facing.

And you need to back this up with planning, patience and persistence.

Get blogging benefits without the hassle

If you lack the time, are not keen on writing but would still like to benefit from a blog, consider hiring a ghost writer.

This may feel like a big step to take. After all, as a business owner you feel very close to your business. It’s your baby. In fact, for many people it’s an extension of yourself. You’ve invested a lot of time, love and other stuff into it and it’s very hard to allow someone else in.

But here’s the deal…

If you want to grow your business, you need to take stock of what you can and can’t do.

And by outsourcing work that lies outside your core skill-set to another professional, your business could benefit.

But don’t sell your soul

Outsourcing your blogging works really well if you find the right blogger to work with.

Your blog will form part of your business reputation and your brand so avoid the temptation to pay bargain basement prices or by the word.

You see a blog is more than a word count. It’s a series of ideas and thoughts constructed together in such a way that it takes a reader on a journey that you have crafted. You want to leave the reader with a certain thought, invite them to take a particular action or build a relationship with them.

And you can only achieve this through your blog if you have a predetermined strategy – and if your blogger gets you and your business.

A good ghost blogger will of course be a skilled writer. But you need to look for more than that. They need exceptional listening skills. They need to tune into you and your audience. And you need to like them – after all you’re going to spend a lot of time talking and working together.

Whoever you chose, you need to feel totally confident that you can stand behind the words that they write on your behalf.

And you also need to remain a part of the process. I suggest you:

  • Get involved in editorial meetings and contribute to the editorial calendar.
  • Read each post before it’s published – even makes tweaks if you like.
  • Read and respond to comments – it’s a great way to build relationships with your audience.
  • Get involved with blog promotion and initiate relevant discussions on your social media channels.

And it’s up to you to decide if you’d like to tell people that someone else is writing the posts for you.

Over to you

Outsourcing your blogging is a simple way to free up your time and add more value to your business.

But what do you think? How could you business benefit from a professional ghost writer? What stops you outsourcing this important writing work? Please tell me in the comments below.

And if you’d like to chat with me about ghost blogging for your business, drop me an email to georgina@gemwriting.co.uk.

How To Get Great Blog Posts If You Have More Money Than Time

If you run a small or micro business blogging is a good thing.

It can establish your authority, attract more traffic, boost your search engine rankings, find more customers and lots of other good stuff.

However these benefits only appear if you invest in your blog.

And your number 1 priority must be your content.

So what do you do if your limited time is holding back your blogging plans?

Try these five ideas:

1. Stick to a realistic posting schedule

If you have limited time, it’s far too ambitious to post every day.

Instead stick to just once a week. That way you’ll still create fresh content, but you won’t over stretch yourself with a totally unachievable target – and then get down on yourself when you can’t deliver.

Pick a day that you’ll post. Schedule it in your diary and then make sure you deliver by making blog time part of your routine.

2. Develop discipline

Let’s say you’re going to publish every Thursday.

Schedule a time slot to write that week’s post and make it unmoveable milestone.

If you don’t, you’ll be tempted to skip on your blog when something else crops up (which lets face it is very likely).

A blog with no discipline will quickly appear dormant and your readers will look elsewhere to get their questions answered.

So when those procrastination pixies start tapping on your shoulder, remind yourself that your blog will attract customers, generate leads and make more sales. And do what;s necessary to spur yourself on and get to the point when you’re happy hit the publish button.

3. Keep it simple

You don’t have to write epic posts each time you publish.

Short and simple posts work well so long as they are relevant, useful and interesting to your target audience.

  • Post a thought provoking question or image to initiate a discussion
  • Use list posts – they allow you to write a collection of short paragraphs
  • Write about just one thing in each post and stick to the point

Find your own way.

4. Create a schedule one month in advance

You can waste a lot of time blogging if you don’t know what you are going to write about.

Instead find an hour a month and brainstorm posts four weeks in advance.

To do this well you need to consider:

  1. The key objective for your blog – how will you measure its performance
  2. The journey you want to take readers on
  3. The themes and topics you need to cover to deliver on your blogging goals

Next plan working titles for that month’s posts. If you’re planning to write one a week that’s only 4 titles to think about.

Finally plan those titles into your diary. Then the night before you write them, create a rough outline. You’ll find it stops you faffing, boosts your efficiency and will help you write a great post in less time.

5. Become an idea magpie

One of the most time hungry aspects of blogging is the idea generation.

And again this is where your advanced scheduling really helps.

If you look ahead, your subconscious will stay alert for blogging ideas. Which means all you need to do is have a process in place for capturing those ideas and storing them up. Then when it comes to planning your monthly schedule, you’re not starting from scratch.

To help here are five idea sparkers which you can use in your business blog:

  1. Write a post that answers a question you were asked at a networking event
  2. Trawl your comments (or LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages other niche blogs etc) for ideas
  3. Visit Quora.com to see what questions your target customers are asking
  4. Unravel a complex issue your customers struggle with
  5. Use anecdotes from your work to illustrate how you can help other customers

And avoid the tendency to think everything has been written before. If you haven’t written about it before, it’s new (because it’s from your perspective)

This all sounds good, but SERIOUSLY I don’t have the time…

What’s more I hate writing :-)

Sounds like you? No worries.

Here’s another solution.

If you know blogging would benefit your business but you’re really not keen on writing, consider hiring a ghost blogger (like me).

A ghost blogger will write content as if it were coming from you. It means you get to have a great blog without the effort. What’s more it frees up the time you need to focus on those aspects of your business that only you can do.

And with a ghost blogger you don’t suddenly lose control. You choose how much involvement you want. For example you may want a say in the editorial schedule. You may want to make the final tweaks and changes, or you may prefer a totally hands off approach and just publish and promote.

I’d really like to share some ideas with you about how you can get blogging through a ghost, so please contact me and let’s set up a time to chat.

Or if you’d rather ask a question, pop it in the comments below.

10 Crucial Questions To Ask Before You Start Your Blog

So you’re thinking about launching a shiny new business blog.

Great stuff.

After all blogging can help you find your next customer, attract organic Google traffic and build and nurture relationships with potential customers.

And who doesn’t want some of that?

But are you aware that all too many writers quickly get fed up and frustrated? What’s more, their good intentions are destined to join the growing scrap heap of abandoned, unloved blogs because these promised benefits never materialised.

And here’s the reason.

The start up phase lacked strategy and direction, and under-estimated what was involved in running and growing a successful blog.

So how do you maximise your chances of blogging success?

You answer these 10 key questions.

1. Why are you starting?

Don’t jump on the bandwagon blindly.

Successful blogging takes time and investment. You will only be satisfied of its progress if you have a clear idea of where you want your blog to take you.

What’s prompted your decision to start? Is it because your competitors are establishing their authority with a blog. Is it because you want to raise your own profile within your niche. Are you hoping your blog will attract more traffic? Do you want your blog to help sell your products and services.

Don’t set up a blog because you think you need to.

Instead have a solid reason that makes sound business sense.

2. How will you measure your blog’s success?

As with everything in business, you need metrics which you can track to see progress.

That way you’ll be able to justify the money you spend developing and growing your blog.

The metrics you pick will depend on what you want your blog to achieve.

  • If you want to boost authority you may track links from key influencers.
  • If your aim is to build relationships and to learn more about your target market you could monitor comments.
  • If traffic’s important, watch social shares and visitor numbers.
  • And if your aim is to grow your email list, monitor subscribers.

The key is to get clear on what matters to your business.

3. What will you write about?

This question is so important.

First you need a theme that has a clear connection with your business.

  • I write about blogging, content marketing and copywriting which ties in closely with the services I offer.
  • Paul Cox at SpinLessPlates writes the More Time, Work Less, Earn More blog which ties in neatly with his time saving software.
  • Nigel Botterill writes about how to run a successful business which closely links to his Entrepreneur’s Circle membership.

What’s it for your business?

Next you need to identify post ideas that your target audience will find relevant, useful and interesting. What’s more, aim to write about issues that address a real customer need.

Finally create your editorial schedule to focus your writing. Plan no more than one month at a time so you can maintain the flexibility you need to respond to what’s happening in the market as well as to your customer feedback.

4. Who are you writing for?

It’s not enough to write great content.

It’s more important that you write posts that directly attract and appeal to your target customer.

If you want your blog to attract more customers, your results will be disappointing if you are writing for your peers (or worse yourself!)

And this means that part of your job is to research.

Make it your aim to get close to your customers. Understand their drivers. Figure out what keeps them awake at night. Hone in on the emotional triggers that will entice them into action. Then write posts that position your business as the place to visit for trusted solutions.

5. How will you promote it?

It’s not enough to create content and put it out there.

In addition you need a robust strategy to encourage social sharing and attract attention to your blog.

As a minimum ensure your social share buttons are predominantly displayed. Then look at what else you can do to kick-start your blog and give it some momentum. Here are four simple ideas.

  • You could guest blog – this involves writing content for someone else’s blog where you know your target audience can be found.
  • Engage staunch supporters and ask them to share your posts and comment.
  • Get on the radar of key influencers in your field by sharing their stuff and commenting on their posts.
  • Share your articles on all your social platforms. Try Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and the social media groups you belong to. But avoid the self promotion. Instead pose a question, initiate discussion and use your post as a talking point to start up valuable conversation.

6. How is your blog incorporated into your wider marketing strategy?

If you run a business, your blog must be closely integrated into your overall content marketing strategy.

So get clear on how you will do this.

The following doodle models how various platforms can integrate with each other. You’ll notice that your blog is a focal point.

7. How will you encourage interaction with your audience?

In blogging, the real magic happens when people start engaging and interacting with you.

Whether that’s through social sharing, link backs or commenting.

A proven way is to ask a question at the end of your post. If you give readers a hook to get them talking and sharing there ideas and opinions, your response will increase.

You see, comments are invaluable because they provide an insight into the mind of your reader. What’s more, it’s a great way to build deeper relationships with the people you want to get closer to.

8. How will you use your blog to grow your email list?

You’ve probably heard the saying that the money’s in your list.

And this is so true. Your list contains the names of people who have signed up because they value your expertise and are interested in what you have to say. Work your blog as a tool to incentivise people to sign up. An incentive such as a free download or an eBook works well.

Later you can identify ways to communicate with your list. You could create an autoresponder (sign up to my list and you’ll see one in action), mail out a regular newsletter or send emails. For sure you can use this as a medium to warm up leads, but also aim to add value to your audience.

9. How often will you write your blog?

There is a lot of conflicting advice about how often you should write your blog.

Some say you should only post when you have something relevant to say.

Others recommend you post on a regular, predictable posting schedule.

I think it depends on what your want your blog to achieve. If your blog is an integral and primary method of marketing your business, it makes sense to post regularly. That way you train your reader’s when to expect posts. Once a week is a good minimum. Anything less than that and you risk being forgettable.

Figure out how much time you can afford – but never compromise quality over quantity. Poorly written, unengaging, irrelevant posts could harm your business and your reputation.

10. When will you write your blog?

You have to make time for your blog. It won’t write itself (unless you hire a professional ghost writer like me :-)

Your blog needs to be loved and cared for. It needs to be made a high priority otherwise it will face neglect – and it won’t work.

Plan your blog writing into your weekly routine. Don’t underestimate the time needed to write quality content and remember to factor in the time needed for research and blog promotion.

Use your editorial calendar to keep you focused. And to make it even easier, plan an outline for your post the day before you write it.

Blogging is such a fantastic business tool.

It’s flexibility offers up so many opportunities to the savvy business owner. And done well, it can shift your business up a notch or two.

Over to you…

How do you make time for your blog? What questions and considerations did you ponder over before you started up? What are your thoughts on hiring a ghostblogger to create content for you?

Please let me know in the comments below.