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How to write a killer blog post in 15 minutes, ten pro copywriters’ secrets for INSTANT content generation (PART 2)

30 September 2010

If you haven’t got your own pet copywriter chained to a desk producing hot content all day or you don’t enjoy the masochistic pleasure of constantly trying to find new ideas for blogs then this post is for you. You could, of course, always outsource to someone else. It’s easier and probably cheaper than doing it yourself.

01.  Throw in something controversial

Having a strong opinion is good – stimulating debate is also good. You want people to be talking about you, arguing about what you’ve said, linking to your blog posts.

While being controversial is good, being outrageous is probably not so good, although, if you know who you’re writing for then you know the people you DON’T want to offend (and those you can get away with offending).

It’s my belief, for example, that written content is the single most important factor in any Internet marketing campaign – way more important than web design. I don’t go around shouting about that because web designers NEED words for the sites they design and generally they’re really, really nice people who look kindly on copywriters – it’s an age-old partnership, and that shouldn’t be forgotten in these times of outsourcing and remote working.

I don’t have any such qualms about TV advertising – it’s a total waste of time and money.

02.  Use metaphor

Metaphor is a magic potion to a copywriter, turning him or her into an invincible warrior. Analogy is to a copywriter as Obelix is to Asterix. And simile is like a friendly druid, infusing every post with wit and wisdom. These are powerful weapons in any writer’s arsenal. Don’t get me started on neologism, the copycrats won’t like it.

03.  Respond to other people’s posts

How often have we been told that the Internet is a conversation? Blogs aren’t just a forum for spouting off about your own stuff, they’re about engaging in a dialogue. Responding to other posts in your sector not only allows you to express an opinion on a pertinent issue, thereby demonstrating your expertise (and the fact that you’re paying attention) but can also stimulate further debate. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions – if you have something interesting to say then post comments on other blogs and publicise your responses through social media.

04.  Keep something back for the next blog

When I really get into writing a blog post or article I often go off at a tangent. Rather than pursue too many points in one go, I chop off the tangent and there’s the starter for my next blog. It’s like making sour dough bread and will keep you in freshly baked blogs in perpetuity.

Maybe it’s better to think of your list article like a hydra – cut one head off and two more grow in its place. Each point on your list can generate individual blog posts, or other lists. I’ve already got at least 10 potential blog titles out of this list. For example:

  1. Six ways to create an unmissable article title
  2. Why lists ALWAYS pull in readers
  3. How to use your keywords to build your blog posts
  4. Why genuine insight always wins over opinion in article writing
  5. The Asterix and Obelix guide to copywriting

05.  Don’t be afraid to recycle

As I said in my last post, blogs have a cumulative effect on both readers and search engines. Success is about the consistent delivery of relevant content over time PLUS dogged promotion of that content through social media, commenting, guest blogs, email marketing and other channels.

Recycling is OK as long as what you’re recycling has value – rework ideas, repackage content – there are new readers out there who never saw your original post, there are old readers that want to be reminded of your insights. Feel free to rewrite old articles with a new spin, use new stats to rekindle old debates. It’s all grist to the mill.

06.  Don’t be afraid to over-deliver

If you have something interesting to say, get it out there. Share your knowledge but remember to deliver real value. There are too many blogs out there holding back on real insight and expertise because they are trying to protect their knowledge. As a copywriter with over 15 years experience, I’m confident that I can share any of my expertise without jeopardising my chances of winning a new customer or losing an existing one.

Those who genuinely value that expertise will recognise its worth and will employ me to improve their content. Those who wish to do it themselves are welcome to what I have to offer – experience and insight don’t come overnight and we still have training courses and products to sell.

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