It has been a long-standing belief of mine that writers need to create headlines that sell, in order to persuade people to click.
A descriptive headline isn’t good enough, despite what the SEO Class Of 2006 might tell you, and neither is a clever pun, which will no doubt horrify traditional sports journalists all over the world.
Adding a punchy or emotive word to a headline is absolutely vital to enticing that all-important click, and it can really help encourage sharing.
This is where adjectives and verbs come into play.
Blast it. I can’t write. I’ve been sat at my desk all morning pontificating. Trying to get something down on paper and it’s just not happening.
In the age of content marketing, writer’s block is a big problem. And frankly it’s not the first time I’ve had this problem. So how do I keep those web impressions a-rolling?
Turns out the answers fairly straightforward: I take a leaf out of the Coen Brothers book, and I write a post about not being able to write a post...
I was prompted to write this post after a Twitter conversation was initiated by Simon Penson by asking:
“How long is too long for a blog post before people switch off? 1000 words, 2000 words? Trying so hard here to cut this one off...?!”
You can follow the strands of the discussion yourselves by clicking the link above, but the general consensus was that longer blog posts can work, provided that they’re a) interesting, and b) presented well with clear formatting.
But, this post is going to be about more than length, although that is certainly part of it.
Last weekend, more than five hundred bloggers gathered at Moorgate, London, for the biggest parent blogger conference in the UK.
The event, BritMums Live, attracted keynotes from Sarah Brown, Ruby Wax, Cherry Healey, and many respected bloggers, journalists and writers.
We’ve been blogging at Econsultancy for the past six years and it has been great for our company. I have long held the view that all businesses should have a blog.
Our blog now accounts for two thirds of site traffic and has claimed lots of valuable search placements on Google, which we’d otherwise have to buy. It also provides our social media manager with a bunch of fresh content to feed into the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
Furthermore, it has helped to grow awareness and perceptions of our brand, while establishing a warmer tone of voice than might otherwise be expected of a ‘consultancy’ (we’re actually a learning-based business, as opposed to an outright consultancy!).
When new writers start at Econsultancy I give them a handy cut out and keep list of blog post templates, which they can use for inspiration. Everybody gets writer’s block from time to time, and my checklist helps to provide a framework for the blog.
I have adapted these 34 ideas to make them less Econsultancy-centric, so that you can use them. I hope they prove helpful, whether you’re a writer, editor or content strategist.
We all struggle for content ideas from time to time, where a blank page and a deadline combine to give you a big headache.
If you’re wondering what you should, or could be writing to fuel your content marketing machine here are a few simple sources of great content.
In the past few weeks a number of people have asked me about the key characteristics of a good writer. How has this changed in recent years? What do we want to see when hiring writers?
I thought I’d outline my views in a handy cut-out-and-keep list. I’ve probably forgotten a few things but I hope you’ll be able to see where we’re coming from...
About a decade ago I lucked into a job as a technology journalist. I had no journalism experience / qualifications, but I could string a sentence together and was madly passionate about ‘the internet’. Still am, for that matter.
I had to learn on the job: it was very much a case of in-at-the-deep end. I remember doing a lot of reading to understand how users read online, and how best to write. A lot of the standards set by the likes of Jakob Nielsen still apply today.
Nowadays writing is a part of what I do, but it isn’t my whole job. But I still manage writers on a daily basis and wanted to share some of the rules for web writing that I’ve embraced, adapted or created.
Before we begin I should point out that Yossarian remains my foremost literary hero and rules are always there to be broken. These 23 ‘rules’ are just guidelines that you can adopt if you see fit. They work for me.