Every golfer, even the lowest handicappers know what a “whiff” is. It’s when you swing and totally miss the ball. Grab a cart at any public course and go sit on the 3rd or 4th tee box and just wait, it will probably happen before lunch. Someone, somewhere, at this moment is whiffing the ball on a golf course.
As a true hacker, I’ve whiffed my share. It’s not fun when you are on the tee box with a group and another group is waiting behind you, watching. It’s painful, embarrassing and not for the “take yourself too seriously” types. When it happens you’ve just got to laugh. You whiff the ball when you swing too hard. You are trying to do what the club is supposed to do for you. By overpowering the club you miss.
Ever wonder why your company blog with a great title, or subject matter missed the audience, fell flat, or stunk it up with little to no response? There’s an art to blogging to generate a response from a search. When you try too hard to you can whiff bad. And whiffing on a 3rd party website, or your own can be costly. It’s hard to overcome. And if the content is bad, it’s like a double whiff.
Not every writer can write for digital media. It’s different. Just as many content writers can’t write a novel, or a technical manual. Different genres of the same discipline. Here’s 10 quick blog pointers and this isn’t meant to be exhaustive:
- Headline has got to be a grabber. Get their attention.
- The first few sentences need to be engaging, relevant and rewarding–prompt further reading.
- Break up copy with strong relevant images, but don’t get too cute. Smaller is better. (Use your images, purchase them, or give attribution to public domain ones.)
- A sub-header should move the reader to the main content with a promise/declaration. Don’t promise what the content can’t deliver.
- Content should be a solid story that connects on some emotional level.
- Have a strong call to action.
- You can break up your content into two sections with more than one call to action if you prefer, but a shorter blog is a better blog. Time, time, time is today’s commodity.
- Provide an answer to their question, or query. Solutions provide value.
- Humor is great, but be careful with it. We are not comedians and we write for our clients.
- Research keywords, phrases and tags to employ in the blog piece.
All of this presupposes the writer has researched the topic and chewed on it for awhile. If it’s how to string up a bow for hunting then stay on point. Research as much as you can on the competitors ideas, products and approach. Read, watch instructional videos on YouTube/Vimeo and comb the web for more data. Better to be armed with too much information than grasping for it halfway through.
Let your team review it before the client signs off. Be willing to edit, afterall, it’s going to be the client’s property and if they are pleased you’ve done three-quarters of your job. The remaining and most challenging ¼ is generating response, potential leads, forwards, converting clicks to the site, contact us replies, etc.
Storyteller for WebSpeak Media
102 Trade Street
Greer, SC 29651