Tag Archives: blog writing

Does Your Writing Touch People?

You know, last month I did a series of posts that began with the term “blogging tips”. The whole series was done with the intention of giving people some shorter pieces on blogging as opposed to some of my longer pieces on the subject. I’m not sure how much people liked them as opposed to my normal writing but I do know that traffic increased some, though I think it was for the post on Getty Images more than the blogging posts, as it seemed to have touched a nerve.


It may be polluted
but it’s my lake

I’ve always said that when you write a blog you should be aiming for one of three things: to educate, to entertain, or to inform. You can integrate them into each other if you wish, but you should at least achieve one of those three things with each post.

What I also hope to do with each post is touch someone in some fashion, most of the time in a positive way. If I can make a connection with someone that goes beyond “nice post” status, to the point where that person decides what I’ve given them is strong enough that they can use it in some fashion for their lives, then it’s all good.

I write a lot of motivational posts with that goal in mind, but there’s a post I wrote that was titled Know Your Audience Part II that touched a young man (okay, he’s 38, but that’s young to me) named Alan and encouraged him to write a post linking back to it because of some thoughts he’d been having at the time. The post he wrote was called Why Cicero’s 6 Mistakes Of Man Is All You Need. What’s funny about it is it’s the type of post that, had I read it first, it would have inspired me to write something.

I’m going to own up to something here. I’ve been in business 11 years, but the last 3 1/2 have been horrendous. I’m surviving by the skin of my teeth, which is never any fun. Frankly, there are times when I’m ready to chuck it all in and go jump in the lake; then I remember I can’t swim, I don’t want fish touching me, our lake is considered one of the most polluted in the world (yes, I said world) even though I like walking at it, I’m scared of dying, I know bugs would somehow be involved, my mother would blame herself for some reason, and my own mantra that states “Every day is another chance to start again.” I wouldn’t be true to my own mantra if I took myself out, would I?

And, of course, hearing about things like Alan being inspired by something I wrote, a guy I didn’t even know or know anything about until the middle of July, even though he wrote his post in January. And I realize that’s what it’s all about. It’s about having the opportunity to help change someone else’s life by being honest and forthright and calling out bad behavior when it’s exhibited and trying to teach and motivate and, well, sometimes just plain ol’ have fun.

I’m feeling pretty good as I write this; how many times do you get to feel this way when you write a blog post? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could feel it more often? I appreciate all of you; thanks for continuing to stop by and read what I have to say.
 

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Repurposing Your Own Blog Content; Good Thing Or Bad?

I wrote a post titled Repurposing Your Own Blog Content; Good Thing Or Bad?, where I talked about using things you’ve written before on your intended subject, maybe editing it a bit, and putting it out as blog content. It can work well for those people that have written a lot of stuff, as I have, when they don’t have lots of time to write new things, or now have a new audience to see some of what they’re written in the past.


by Cheryl via Twitter

Something I’ve wondered about lately is what the rules are, if there are rules, for repurposing your own blog content. What if you wrote something years ago that’s still pertinent and would benefit from being talked about again?

I’m not talking about this blog, though it would certainly qualify if I were. I’m actually talking about my finance blog, Top Finance Blog. That blog is now over 3 years old and has a lot of content on it. Some subjects like budgeting are timeless; I actually started a tutorial that I never took further than two posts because traffic indicated that it wasn’t a popular subject at the time. The economy was started to get bad, but hadn’t crashed, so to speak.

So, an a subject like that, if I decided to write about it again, how to budget, I’d probably tell people the same exact thing I wrote previously. As a matter of fact, if I were going to do that, I’d probably link to the previous post as well and use a lot of that same content, changing a word or two here and there.

But is that proper? Is it ethical? It’s an interesting question I’ve been pushing through my brain because, well, I see a lot of other people doing it, and often it irritates me. People who will tell you 5 or 10 things to do if you want to write a successful blog, but it’s always the same 5 or 10 things with nothing new added. I see a difference because budgeting taught as a tutorial is a process that never changes, but there’s literally thousands of ways to talk about better blogging, including some very creative ways.

But is it really different in the long run? And, if it’s something crucial, does it matter? Let’s put it out there for a conversation topic; what do you think?
 

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Can You Change Writing Styles?

Last week I was reading a guest blog post on another blog when the writer wrote one specific line: “Get to the point as quickly as possible, say it in as few words as possible, and you’re done.”


by Markus Rodder

And he was. For a guest post I was thinking how relatively short the piece was. Frankly, it didn’t have a lot of personality in it, but I overlooked that so I could think about it some over the weekend. I don’t remember the blog, but I’ve heard and read that statement many times before, and thought it deserved to be addressed.

I tend to believe that we all need to learn how to write for the moment and purpose. As you may know, I do a lot of writing, not only for myself but for others. When I write on this blog, you’re “hearing” my voice, the way I normally speak. When I write on my business blog, sometimes you don’t hear the same type of conversational voice, sometimes you do. It depends on the topic. Actually, even on this blog you’ll see that when I’m talking about something technical, or a step-by-step process, it’s pretty straight forward.

I write for a couple of different industry blogs. One is real estate, and for the most part it’s fairly flat writing because, well, there’s really nothing about real estate that allows for much conversation and deviation except for the news about the industry. Where I differ there is that I don’t just write about the news; I kind of give an opinion about that particular bit of news and then hopefully end on a happy note to encourage people to continue looking to buy. Overall though, it’s pretty straight forward; nothing extraneous.

That differs with a wedding blog I write. I have a lot of fun with that one. It’s a mix of news, recommendations, and opinions. I’ve gotten really good with that topic, and thus I have a lot of fun with it and I put a lot of personality into the writing. Yet it still remains upbeat at all times, as well as instructional. If you saw any of the posts on that blog (sorry, can’t share the link), you probably wouldn’t know it was me if you compared it to this blog because I use a different “voice” for it.

Same thing with writing papers for others, whether it’s white papers or term papers, so to speak. In those instances those papers are very straight forward, no personality whatsoever, because they’re purpose is to explain, not entertain. Also, I know that the person with a term paper is going to have to change up some of the language so it looks like they wrote it; it has to sound like them, and I don’t know those people to try to sound like them.

I think what makes a person’s blog different is how they decide to use their language to enthrall our mental ear so that we see them as unique, entertaining, and worth giving time to. On this blog, I often try to use a storytelling technique when I’m talking about things because I’ve found with my newsletter that people really started sharing it with others, and thus it started growing, when I went to that format. I think we all like stories; who here can honestly say they didn’t enjoy having their parents read stories to them as a child?

Of course, there are times when getting to the point is imperative. If you’re asked a certain question or want a certain answer, you don’t want someone to pontificate for 45 minutes then tell you what you want to know; you want your answer now. That’s one of my gripes with how many people conduct webinars and podcasts, and why the hairs on my neck go up with many of the free presentations that say they’re going to tell you how to do something, then spend hours telling you everything except that to get you to buy something from them. Promising something and not delivering; I hate that.

Just something to consider when you’re writing your blog. To me, this is imminently more important than sitting around thinking about SEO when writing your post. Boring keeps people away; entertain them, and they’ll keep coming back for more. Kind of like adding a video as an entertaining touch:

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Learning More Lessons About Writing

As most of you know, I’ve been talking more lately about writing for others. Indeed, I have been making money writing articles, and I have some blogging clients also.

The thing is, there are two problems with my model. One, I’m not generating the kind of money I thought I’d be generating; two, some of the things I’ve been asked to write about have been, well, kind of impossible for me to write on.

That’s hard to admit to because when I first announced I would do writing services, I assumed there wouldn’t be a topic I couldn’t write on. What I hadn’t thought about was if there’s no information to research on, then I’m stuck. And trust me, not everything is on the internet, it would seem.

So, this weekend, I went to the Digital Point forum to ask a general question about how much research people do on topics that seem impossible to write on, especially when asked about specific keywords and the like. I got some responses, and they seemed, well, a little harsh. Still, I decided to write two of the people private messages to explain to them what I was talking about and what I was getting paid.

Both of them enlightened me. They both said that I’m basically giving my writing away; I was stunned. I did know I was underpaid, but I hadn’t realized by how much I’ve been underpaid. If I were getting paid the rates that I should, research time becomes affordable, and easier because people aren’t asking for stupid stuff.

It was something I needed to hear, and sometimes something we all need to hear. With my main business, or what up to now has been my main business, I knew how to price my services because I understood just how exclusive they were. With writing, I thought I had to compete with the low ball folks and scratch out my living by trying to write so many articles that my mind goes nuts. Nope; turns out that, based on what some of these folks have been doing, and are recommending to me, I could actually make a very good living writing as few as 10 articles a week.

Wow; that would be great! I could still write my blogs, still have blogging clients because I enjoy that, but I could drop all the low dollar writing gigs and concentrate on other stuff all around. Man, life would be sweet doing that.

I share this with y’all because most of us go along doing things that we think is the right way to do it, only to learn that someone else is doing it easier than we are, and succeeding. This doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my affiliate marketing either; I have plans for doing more of that, as well as plans for adding at least two new blogs into my repertoire. It does mean, though, that I’m ready to embrace a new mind shift towards bigger and better things.

Anyone got a problem with that? 😀


Team Jerseys

Blog Writing Services

Time for an advertisement, but this one’s for me.

As you know, I’ve been writing for people for a few months now. I’ve started getting some blog writing clients, and I’ve decided it’s time to mention it here.

two businessmen shaking hands
Wirawat Lian-udom via Compfight

I’ve set up a contract through my other site where I’ll undertake writing blogs for businesses (actually, if you check my About page you can see my offering services there also). I have a price structure for how much I’ll charge based on whether the consumer wants 10, 15 or 25 articles written a month. The guarantee is that each article will be at least 200 words unless it’s a breaking news story; those always seem to work well on blogs. And, for an additional fee, I’ll even post the articles and maintain the blog; I just won’t be the one answering comments on the blog, so the blog owner will have to read the content at some point, or just ignore all comments. Yeah, that defeats the purpose of blogging overall, but some people fancy themselves to be Seth Godin.

What will I write on? Well, I did write a post mentioning what I wouldn’t write about, but there are some other things here and there. For instance, if it’s too tight a niche, one where there’s not enough information to research to make it something I can write on for a long time, I probably won’t take it. In other words, if it can’t really be researched, for the money it’s not worth it. A guy the other day asked me to write on battle strikers, and I had no idea what that meant. Then he showed me it was a toy, and he wanted 25 articles on it. There wasn’t any research that could be done on it for 25 articles at 500 words apiece, so I declined.

In other words, don’t back me, or any other writer, into a corner that’s impossible to work from. One of my clients has me writing on anything related to real estate and weddings. Another has me writing on travel. Those are broad subjects with lots to write about. Still another one has me writing on debt consolidation; it’s kind of a tight niche, but there are plenty of ways to go with that one, so it branches out into some other things. If you let me just write, it all works out well.

The question might be why someone would need a blog writing service. If you have a website and have a blog associated with it, and that blog has at least some kind of consistent activity, it can boost your website’s online presence and keep your website and web business somewhat prominent, even if most of what you do is offline. If you have a blog that links back to your website, you’ll get some kind of bounce off it if also. And if your blog represents all kinds of things about what your business is related to, you look like an authority on those topics and might get more offers for contracts that way. And, of course, you might just want it to sell stuff from, and need to try to draw visitors; hey, that counts as a business blog also.

No, I’m not posting the rates here, but if you or someone you know wishes to pursue this, send me an email on the QT and we can talk. You see there’s a contact area up at the top, and your identity will remain hidden, even if I happen to mention a topic here and there on this blog.

There’s the deal; let’s see how it all works out.