I wrote a blog this week. I’m not talking about this one that you’re reading right now. I’m talking about the other blog that I wrote. The one that didn’t make sense.
It was a brilliant blog, but it wasn’t what I wanted to say. Right now, you are meant to be reading about how to write excellent copy for your website that nails your brand voice. But you’re not because the blog that I wrote didn’t make sense to anyone other than me.
And that is a problem that we all have. We think of a subject that we’d like to write about and we go off and do the writing. We don’t often stop to think if anyone wants to read it (or get anyone to read it before we publish it) and then it doesn’t make sense to anyone.
So no one reads it.
BLOGS IN RETROSPECT
And when you look back in a few months and think: “What on earth was I wittering on about?” You’ll be glad no one read did it and chalk it down to a waste of time. At best.
At worst you’ll think that no one read your blog because when you re-read it, you thought it was rubbish, that you not very good at writing, and you’ll never write a blog again. Which sucks. Because you are good at writing and you should write more.
But just check that they make sense to people.
This survey came out this week. There’s lots of interesting information in there about blog writing. A few things stood out to me, including the bit about getting someone to edit your work. Having another person read through your blog and doing a sense check on it.
We all have moments when we think “am I even making sense?” You just don’t want those moments to be on your website when you are talking to your customer. You need those moments to really make sense and resonate.
Else you will confuse your customer, and they’ll click away to another site that does make sense.
HERE IS A QUICK LIST OF THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR BLOG MAKES SENSE TO OTHER PEOPLE:
1. Have one clear point – a blog that starts as one thing and then goes off in 15 different directions has no clear point to it. Your reader will get confused and give up reading it. Decide on what the one thing is that you want your reader to get out of your blog. This blog, for example, I want you to read it and go away thinking ‘yes, I now know how to make my blogs less rambling and focused.’
2. Structure it well – before you start writing the words, create a structure for them. A beginning, middle, and end usually help.
3. Think about what you want people to do as a result of your blog. Do you want to give them a task to do, read something else on your site like putting your brand into words or signing up to your mailing list
4. Research – Make sure what you are writing about is what people want to read about. Have a look online and see what else is out there. What folks are talking about.
5. Review – the easiest way to do this is to get someone to read your blog. A trusted friend, another business owner. Get them to check it makes sense. Some people even pay for people to sit on a video call and read the blog. Then they can judge their response from their facial expressions.
6. Edit – if you can afford to hire a copy-editor, then you should. I do this for lots of clients. And I even maintain their brand voice. But not everyone can afford a copy editor. In that case, go and have a brew, maybe even sleep on it, and then come back and read your blog out loud before you press publish.
It was doing that last point which stopped me publishing a blog that started out as one thing and finished as something completely different. It was confusing for me and I wrote the thing.