blog ideas, content ideas

 

For bloggers and online content providers, originality is the perfect way to attract visitors, engage your audience and keep the hits coming.

Unfortunately, creating original content on a continuous basis is a big ask and maintaining a cycle of fresh blogs week after week after week can be a tough slog for anyone.

Even the brightest of marketing sparks can hit the ideas wall from time to time, especially if the site in question has been producing content for a considerable amount of time.

So, how do you overcome this hurdle? We’re glad you asked!

Join us as we dive into the open waters of blog generation and explore some of the most effective ways to generate fresh blog content.

 

 

Brainstorming

The first port of call for any marketing mind running low on inspiration, a group brainstorming session can be just the impetus needed to reinvigorate your blog with fresh ideas.

As the old saying goes, many hands make light work and that is very much applicable to blog content. After all, two heads are better than one (although too many clichés spoil the broth).

Clichés notwithstanding, the fact remains: opening up the floor to the rest of the team and spitballing ideas with your colleagues can result in pure gold.

A new perspective can be just the spark you need to reignite your creative embers and not only keep your content fire burning but once again set it ablaze.

 

Straight to the Source

As simple as it sounds, what better way to get a handle on what your audience really wants than by asking them outright?

Consumer feedback is a great way to gain first-hand insight into what your target demographic likes and dislikes in a clear and concise manner.

Surveys, polls and social media monitoring are all excellent ways to get a handle on exactly what your audience is interested in and what they want to see more of.

To ensure a higher response rate from your audience, you may want to incentivise such an activity by incorporating a prize element to further grease the participatory wheels.

Meanwhile, it’s also worth noting that people are far more likely to be brutally honest in their feedback if they feel it can be done in a nameless, faceless fashion.

Providing your audience with a means of delivering their opinions in an anonymous manner could help ensure that such feedback remains uncut, uncensored and unrestricted – warts and all.

 

Explore Comments

As mentioned in the previous section, social media is a great window into the minds of your audience; however, you don’t even need to run a poll or survey to gain that feedback.

Simply exploring the comments section of your social media posts can be a great way to inspire blog content for the future.

Similarly, a post that has gained significant traction on your social media channels and recorded sizeable engagement figures is a bright neon sign of public interest.

Expanding on a popular post to incorporate its subject matter into a blog can be a simple yet effective way of providing content that’s sure to appeal to your audience.

 

Past Blogs

Winston Churchill once said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” However, in the case of blog content, historical repetition isn’t always a bad thing…

Retracing old ground by providing an updated version of old blog entries can be a great way to breathe life into a particular topic and provide new content at the same time.

For example, if you run a fashion blog and your “Fashion Tips for Summer 2019” had more hits than Mike Tyson’s punch bag, there’s nothing wrong with revisiting this topic with a blog on “Fashion Tips for Summer 2020”.

Naturally, this method is primarily useful for blogs that have previously performed well; there’s no use in revisiting an old blog that tanked. Meanwhile, it also tends to work better for blogs that are date specific.

 

Expand on Subheadings

As seen in the entry above, revisiting old content isn’t a sin punishable by digital exile and banishment to the realm of forgotten bloggers.

In fact, past blogs can provide more than just singular blog-spiration, they can provide a portal to a whole world of content – if you know where to look.

Subheadings (such as H2s and H3s) included in previous blogs can provide serious food for thought when viewed in isolation, with enough meat on the bone to feed an entire blog of its own.

For example, a blog titled “Tips for Starting a New Job” may include a section on appropriate work attire. That subject alone has legs to run on its own, so why not explore it further with a blog on “Dressing for Success in the Workplace”?

If you can gain inspiration for at least one blog topic from every old blog, you’ll soon have yourself a sizeable list of ideas that can help fuel your content calendar long into the distant future.

 

For more content writing tips and blog advice or to enquire about our own content marketing and copywriting services, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 01446 339050 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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According to WordPress statistics, over 70 million blog posts are produced each month on WordPress alone. Based on those gargantuan stats, it’s fair to say that competition is pretty high in the world of online content.

With so much content produced every single day, it’s all too easy for a mediocre blog to quickly become buried under the rubble – only the very best content can stay above ground.

That being said, there are a few simple rules that you can apply to your content in order to keep it unique and engaging. Check out these content writing tips from the masters...

 

content writing tips, writing tips famous authors

 

Content Writing Tips from Literary Icons

When it comes to content writing advice, a simple Google search will fire back an endless list of results from a myriad of “experts” and “specialists”, usually accompanied by unfamiliar names and unrecognisable faces.

Why take the word of someone you’ve never heard of when you could sit under the learning tree of the biggest names in literary history?

Get the most out of your blog writing by channelling your inner Hemingway and following these steadfast tips from the very best.

 

Rules Are Made to be Broken

Elmore Leonard once quipped “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it”. From a content standpoint, this can be an extremely valuable lesson to learn.

If strictly adhering to conventional writing techniques makes your content sound boring, don’t be afraid to bend the rules and play around with your wording.

Content that lacks natural flow can become laboured and quickly result in the reader navigating elsewhere. Let the content speak for itself: if you have to sacrifice writing technique for the purpose of rhythm and tone, so be it.

Keep in mind the audience that you’re writing for and mould your content accordingly. A conversational tone can be far more effective (and fitting) in a light-hearted blog than one that rigidly follows the codes and conventions of the Queen’s speech.

It’s worth remembering that this advice also comes from the same man who wrote “10 Rules of Writing” for The New York Times, proving that even the very best like to colour outside of the lines from time to time.

 

Don’t Be Too Wordy

In a 1906 letter to his eventual fiancé, Louie Burrows, D.H. Lawrence laid out some pearls of writing wisdom to his would-be lover after reading an essay of hers on the subject of art.

In the letter, Lawrence reminds Louie to “be careful of [her] adjectives”, reminding her that “there is so much more force in a rapid style”. Roughly translated in 21st-century lingo, what Mr Lawrence was so elegantly trying to say to his betrothed was simply this - “don’t waffle”.

If you too are guilty of waffling, Lawrence advises to “look at your piece and see how many three-lined sentences could be comfortably expressed in one line”. Remaining concise without losing the point is a key factor in maintaining reader retention.

Coincidentally, Lawrence also goes on to say in that very same letter “don’t use hackneyed adjectives” and instead to “try to be terse and in some measure original” – which brings us nicely to our next point…

 

Don’t Rely on Clichés

George Orwell once said, “Never use a figure of speech you are used to seeing in print”.

While Orwell may be best known for his novels and works of fiction, that piece of advice can just as easily be applied to anyone looking to create written content online.

In fact, Orwell’s rule is a fantastic tip for any writer looking to engage their audience in a unique and memorable way, while also providing a great opportunity to inject a bit of personality into your content.

Tired tropes and overused phrasing can become instant fodder for eye-rolling. Try to stray away from clichés and mix it up in order to keep your audience engaged and interested.

Enjoyable reading translates to longer page dwelling times which has a positive effect on SEO, as well as the user experience.

So, don’t be afraid to drop the clichés like a bad habit and avoid them like the plague.

…D’oh!

 

For more content writing tips or to explore the professional content creation services at Designer Websites, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 01446 339050 or get in touch online using the button below.

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For many businesses, professional copywriting services can be a Godsend. Providing sleek, readable copy that speaks volumes to your customers, a professional copywriter has the ability to raise the game of a brand exponentially.

A professional presentation can lend unrivalled credibility to a business, providing instant integrity and boosting customer confidence. Meanwhile, the alternative route can be the complete opposite, raising red flags and act as an immediate customer-repellent.

Professional copywriting is the tailor-made tuxedo of web content, while a DIY job represents a pre-owned hand-me-down. While both may get the job done, one will undoubtedly fit far better and leave a more memorable lasting impression to onlookers.

Like most things in life, the more you invest, the more you get in return. Professional content writing is no different – and here’s exactly why…

 

 benefits of professional content writing

 

Why Hire a Professional Copywriter?

Despite being a valuable skill that’s honed through years of practice, copywriting often gets held to a different professional standard than most specialisms, with many individuals opting to pen their own content unqualified.

To put that into context, that would be like a bride and groom sacking off a professional wedding singer in favour of their Uncle Steve on the basis that he sings in the shower. While undoubtedly the cheaper option, it’s also a real recipe for disaster (sorry, Steve).

The results of non-professional content writing can be dull at best and dire at worst, ranging from spelling mistakes and grammatical incorrections to verbose meanderings and unintelligible nonsense.

If you’re considering penning your own copy for your business, here are a few reasons why you might want to hire a professional copywriter to do your bidding instead.

 

Language

Any professional copywriter worth their salt will have a firm grasp of the English language so tight it could rival a boa constrictor on a budget.

Armed with a vast vocabulary and a mental spellcheck that requires no word processor, a pro will be able to turn the dullest of subjects into a textual feast for the eyes – error-free, well-structured and as engaging as a diamond ring.

A good copywriter will also be well-versed in the art of proofing and have an expert eye for faults and flaws. This should help to ensure that your finished copy is not only enticing and interesting to read but also grammatically correct with unwavering punctuation.

 

Research

Professional copywriters are often tasked with lending their wordsmithery to subjects outside their sphere of knowledge. As such, efficient and accurate research skills are paramount.

The benefit of this is that any statements made in your copy will, more often than not, be backed up with credible sources as evidence. Meanwhile, this process may also uncover additional details for inclusion that you may have overlooked out of familiarity.

If curiosity killed the cat, then a professional copywriter may need to have eyes in the back of their head for their own safety, because a healthy curiosity is key part of the job. A curious mind and thorough research skills, coupled with the ability to communicate the results is the perfect combination for golden content.

 

Perspective

If you’ve been part of a project from the get-go and are deeply rooted in the thick of it, it can be hard to see the wood through the trees. Hiring a professional copywriter can allow your company to take a step back and paint the bigger picture.

A fresh pair of eyes from an outsider’s perspective can be invaluable in providing accurate and unbiased content.

While a pro will naturally be able to create the message your brand is going for, they will also be able to highlight areas you may have overlooked through familiarity.

 

Engagement

One of the biggest perks of professional content creation is the ability to attract, entice and engage your target audience – an extremely important skill. Case in point: headline copy.

Research has shown that as much as 80% of people will read a headline but not the body of the article. Loosely, translated: a rubbish headline can leave the rest of your text untouched.

Imagine if The Ritz had an exterior that was dirty, decrepit and covered in graffiti. No matter how good the inside was, chances are, you wouldn’t venture past the front gate.

The same principle applies to headlines. A polished copywriter will be able to craft an attention-grabbing headline that’ll pique interest in a single glance.

 

Optimisation

With Google algorithm updates taking place multiple times a year, keeping on top of SEO best practices can be a near-impossible task for anyone not 100% focused on the task at hand.

A professional copywriter will be able to pen SEO copy effortlessly and optimising content will be second-nature, ensuring your pages are ranking as well as being perfectly readable.

In the long run, this can be the difference between being seen and your services

 

Professional Copywriting Services

Taking everything else out of the equation, professional content creation takes time, dedication and consistency – three things that are hard to commit to and maintain when your attention and expertise are needed elsewhere.

Even if you sell the greatest products/services in the universe, poor communication and clunky content can tarnish your brand instantly. Give your business the best chance of success with professional content from a pro.

 

For more information on our professional copywriting services, why not drop us a line today to find out more? Call now on 01446 339050 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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The world of online marketing has changed a lot over the last decade. Consumer habits have changed with every passing year and technological advances have altered the way we consume media and information dramatically.

As a result, certain marketing techniques have become virtually obsolete, particularly when it comes to SEO. By contrast, video has become increasingly popular in recent years and this trend doesn’t look to change any time soon.

There’s no denying it, video content is king, so you better learn how to bend the knee!

 

video content for business, video content ideas

 

Typical Video Content for Businesses

When it comes to online marketing, video content for businesses is a lot like protein for bodybuilders.

Avoiding video isn’t just foolish, it’s essentially starving your company of a vital nutrient it needs to grow and perform to its fullest potential.

For many SMEs, some of the most common video content comes in the form of the following:

 

Helpful Tips/Tutorials

There’s a reason why they used to call the internet the “information superhighway”.

The first port of call for anyone looking to find out anything, the internet is the #1 destination for those seeking a solution to a problem, query or conundrum.

Providing answers, walkthroughs and guides on how to do things is a sure-fire way to get brownie points with your customers.

What’s more, actions speak louder than words; the power of video wins over text any day.

 

Expert Interviews 

Calling on company experts with specialist knowledge of a particular field can be great for providing useful, topical content to your customers.

This added value can further endear your brand to the consumer, strengthening the relationship as a result.

An engaging alternative to this is to conduct a Q&A using customer questions as the basis for the topics, allowing you to get to the root of what the public really wants to know.

 

Behind the Scenes

Providing a peek behind the curtain into your business can be a fantastic way to let your customers and clientele get a feel for the people behind the brand.

Creative offices are particularly interesting when it comes to these kinds of videos, providing a unique insight into the quirky environments where day-to-day business is conducted.

This can extend to include additional content like staff introductions and mini personality profiles from key players in the company.

 

Product Reviews

If you’re considering using a service or buying a product, chances are you’ve looked at online reviews for guidance at some point.

From a content creator’s perspective, this can translate brilliantly into video and transform customer feedback into a personable, sincere testimonial.

You don’t even have to stick to the customer testimonial route either. There’s nothing stopping you from reviewing products relative to your business as well.

In fact, providing expert insight and opinion on related products can be extremely helpful and useful to the consumer.

Unboxing videos have also become hugely popular in recent years, so why not jump on the bandwagon and ride the wave while the tide is high?

 

How It’s Made

Whether it’s a physical product, an online service or something else entirely, providing background info on how something came to be can serves two purposes.

In addition to providing your customers with insight into the process, it also acts a great way to showcase your skills and show-off exactly why your company is good at what it does.

When it comes to creative tasks and large-scale projects, time lapse videos are perfect, providing an impressive overview of the journey in a perfectly digestible manner.

 

video content for business, video content ideas

Video Content Ideas

While the former suggestions are great for creating video content you can churn out on a regular basis, none of these topics are really reinventing the wheel or breaking new ground in terms of creativity.

If you’re really looking to gain some momentum and build some excitement through your video content, why not consider exploring some of the following options to really give your business a shot in the arm.

 

Product Reveals

If your company is launching a new product, offering a new service or unveiling a new innovation, a reveal video is the perfect way to go about it.

Reveal videos allow you to create a buzz behind your newest addition and get it off to a running start with the fanfare to suit.

Product reveals also allow you to demonstrate how it works right off the bat and showcase the features and benefits of this exciting new addition.

 

Teaser Videos

Much like a product reveal, a teaser video is the perfect way to pique interest without giving away any of the details.

Subtle hints and glimpses into your main announcement, drip-fed in an enigmatic fashion can be the perfect way to whet the appetite of your audience prior to a big announcement.

Inherently short in length and even shorter on details, teaser videos provide the perfect weapon to provoke intrigue and expand the reach ahead of your actual announcement.

Best of all, this allows you to get additional content out of one reveal, providing ready-made ammunition for awesome video content.

 

Competitions

From the very young to the very old and everywhere in between, it’s a trait that’s virtually universal – everyone loves a freebie.

Competitions make for great content. Better still, they make for great shareable content, expanding your reach with little effort at all.

Creating a competition announcement or laying down a challenge in video form makes for effective video content.

Better still, you can also film the results to get even more content out of the very same competition.

 

Promotional Activities

If your business is planning on engaging in unique, fun or colourful promotional activity, getting such actions on film should be a top priority.

Whether it’s a pop-up stand in a local shopping mall or a branded vehicle in a major parade, promotional activities, big or small, show that your company is so much more than MS Office and invoices.

Interacting with the public through such activities can do wonders for brand awareness and help shape the public’s opinion of your overall business.

Failing to record any promotional activity is a waste of Grade A content and a regret that is virtually impossible to rectify once the moment has past.

 

Team Building

Much like promotional activities, team building exercises can translate well into excellent content, particularly when it comes to reinforcing a brand image and strengthening your company’s relationship with its customers/clients.

After all, a business is only as strong as the people behind it and showing the human side of your company can be a great way to humanise your brand. It also shows that the company values its employees which, once again, does wonders for the appeal of the brand.

As such, getting it on video can be a great way to provide unique content while also positively reinforcing your brand in the public eye.

 

 

If you’re interested in professional video solutions for your business, why not drop us a line? At Designer Websites, we offer a variety of video options, from company showreels to drone filming, so contact us today! Call now on 01446 339050 or click the link below to get in touch online.

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It’s long been said that “content is king” in the modern world of online marketing. It’s no secret – Bill Gates famously made that statement way back in 1996.

Since then, it’s become a facepalm-inducing catchphrase for high-ranking bigwigs the world over, right up there with other classic business BS like “low-hanging fruit”, “moving the needle” and “peeling the onion”.

However, unlike the needle-moving, onion-peeling fruit-grabbers of the world, the “content is king” mantra is actually backed by some pretty solid substance.

Quality content that’s both informative and engaging is a winner on all levels: increasing leads, enhancing brand awareness and strengthening customer relationships, ultimately boosting revenue as a result.

That being said, if content is king, then quality writers are akin to royal advisors, entrusted with providing the king with a healthy supply of quality insight, accurate information and razor-sharp wit.

However, quality writers are hard to find – especially ones that are more gooder!

As such, companies often take one of two routes: hiring in-house writers or drafting in external ringers through outsourcing. Both offer their own pros and cons, but which is better?

 

sourcing content,in house content,outsourcing content 

 

Differences Between In-House and Outsourcing

While both options ultimately offer the same end-result, the fundamental difference between the two is as follows.

Outsourcing involves hiring a third-party that’s independent of the business to provide content for your company. Meanwhile, in-house production (aka insourcing) involves a dedicated team or specified individuals on staff who are assigned to the task of writing content.

Depending on your company’s approach to content marketing, you may be more familiar with one than the other; however, it’s well worth getting acquainted with both. You never know when you may need to flip the script and rely on the road less travelled.

 

Benefits of In-House Content

 Perhaps the biggest benefit of having an on-site team of content staff is their loyalty and connection to the company. An employed team of contributors that are a genuine part of the brand will likely care far more about the company than a team of non-partisan outsiders.

This affinity for the brand often results in a relationship that’s inimitable in an agency setting, leading the workers to be more motivated to positively contribute as a result. This contribution can also be incentivised further by the possibility of rewards, bonuses or even potential promotion.

Meanwhile, a team of on-site staff will also have an in-depth knowledge of your company goals, values and services, effectively streamlining the whole content creating process – from briefing to proofing – while also providing a better level of content contextualisation.

Additionally, a team of on-site workers will answer to one boss and be both governable and supervised, undistracted by other clients’ demands and deadlines. If you need some content done by a certain time, no other tasks will take precedent over yours.

That being said, hiring staff that are inexperienced or underqualified in the pursuit of saving money can be a fruitless labour that does more damage than good. If you are going to invest in an in-house team, don’t cut corners and hire the best candidate, not the cheapest.

 

Benefits of Outsourcing Content

While in-house content can be great for familiarity, outsourcing can be the perfect way to provide a fresh perspective from someone outside of the office bubble. This can often result in new and exciting ideas, a novel approach and a fresh tone of voice that is both engaging and notably different from an in-house team.

Meanwhile, outsourcing also provides you with a team of widely experienced professionals that don’t need any training, coaching or development. From a budgetary POV, this can be extremely useful; not only does it give you access to an entire team of on-demand professionals but it also allows you to fluctuate the workload depending on budget constraints.

Speaking of budget, outsourcing can also be a great option for those companies working to tighter purse strings, that may not have the financial resources to hire full-time content staff. Meanwhile, some businesses may not require such a high volume of content to necessitate a dedicated staff member or team, making outsourcing a cost-effective alternative.

However, while it can be more financially beneficial for businesses that don’t require a high-frequency of work, the phrase “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is also very applicable here. While it’s always important not to overpay, content writing is very much a business where you get what you pay for and this is one area you won’t want to penny-pinch.

 

Best of Both Worlds

Even if you do opt for the in-house approach, you may find yourself in a situation where additional workload, unforeseen tasks and looming deadlines can see you snowed under in no time. Should this be the case, outsourcing can be a great safety net to have.

A blended approach can be extremely useful, offering the best of both worlds. As such, it may be worth having a trustworthy source in mind for third-party content, should busy periods warrant an extra pair of hands.

What’s more, a cocktail of in-house/outsourced content can be a truly symbiotic relationship that serves to boost both methods. External content can motivate in-house staff and vice versa, creating a healthy competition of sorts.

After all, as they say, you’re only as good as your competition and it’s a lot easier to run fast when you’re being chased. Creating an environment where you’re not restricted to one option can be the perfect sweet spot for a thriving creative environment.

 

For more information on content sourcing or content services from Designer Websites, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 01446 339050 or get in touch online using the button below.

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