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Most of the "rules" about writing for ezines and newsletters apply to writing posts for your blog, but there are some important differences. Keep these 10 tips in mind and you'll be publishing great blog content that attracts prospects and clients in your niche market.
1. Write with the reader in mind. Remember WIIFM? It's marketing jargon for What's In It For Me? That's what you should be keeping in mind. Your reader will read your post looking for what's in it for them.
2. Make it valuable and worthwhile. Don't waste people's time. If you don't have anything to say, no problem, plenty other people do. So share their articles, do an interview, review a book.
3. Proof-read for typos and glaring grammatical errors. You wouldn't go out of the house with dirty hair or missing a sock, so why would you publish spelling mistakes? Respect your readers by polishing up your stuff.
4. Keep it short and simple, sweetie. (KISS). Most people are scanners. You may have a lot to say and think it interesting, and it may be. But people are reading online and out of time. Get to the point quickly. Publishing short posts more frequently is a better format than publishing lengthy articles every few weeks.
5. Keep it lively, make it snappy and snazzy. Even if you aren't a natural born writer, you can write for your blog. Just write like you're speaking to your friend?or to yourself! Remember though, get to the point quickly. Keep in mind the journalist's rule of 5 W's in the first paragraph: who, what, why, when and where.
6. Link often. This builds credibility and positions you as an expert in your field. People don't have time to know what others are doing, you should tell them. Linking to other blogs and websites also helps you build a network of associates who will in turn link to your blog.
7. Use keywords often. This will help you stay on purpose, and the search engines will love your blog. Your rankings will go up. This is one of the reasons we have you write out your purpose statements before beginning your blog. The clearer you are about your purpose, the more consistently you will deliver messages that are on target. And the more often your keywords show up, the better your search engine results.
8. Write clearly (short sentences, only one concept per sentence). No double speak or jargon; no more than one idea in one sentence- don't make your readers have to think about your meaning. Spoon feed them. Use commas and dashes liberally.
9. Write like you talk. It's okay to use common expressions from speech.
Don't even go there?
Now, I ask you?
Gotta love it?
(And, remember the age group of your readers?)
10. Use a clear headline, and don't be afraid to make bold statements (but don't mislead people either). Make it snazzy and use key words. Example: Ex-Techno-Weenie Masters HTML Code
BONUS: After you write a post and BEFORE you hit the save button
Use this checklist to ask yourself a few questions as you are reading through for typos and grammar:
__ Is the topic clear to someone who only reads the headline?
__Does the lead paragraph tell who and what the story is about and why the reader should care about it?
__ Is the angle you've used likely to seem newsworthy?
__Would someone who knows absolutely nothing about this topic understand this post?
__ Is the post free of jargon?
__ Is it written in journalistic style and does it make an effort to be objective?
__ Have you peppered the headline and the post with keywords and phrases that will be attractive to search engines?
__ Did you remember to ask your readers a question at the end, or something to stimulate readers to comment?
__ Did you remember to write with the reader in mind, always keeping in mind WIIFT? (What's in It for Them?)
Patsi Krakoff of Customized Newsletter Services, and Denise Wakeman of Next Level Partnership, have teamed up to create blogging classes and marketing services for independent professionals. You can read and subscribe to their blogs at http://www.coachezines.com, http://www.bizbooknuggets.com and http://www.biztipsblog.com