Tips on Preparing a Content Plan

When it comes to blog writing, thinking up ideas can be a real stumbling block. A blank sheet of paper seems to wipe out all creative powers and you find yourself lost for words. If this is a familiar situation, I strongly advise you to prepare a content plan.

Yes, a content plan might take a few hours to compile, but it will become a valuable resource. With a structure in place and themes for each blog, you can avoid starting from scratch time and time again.

Start your Content Plan by Considering your Business Values and Objectives

Blogs provide a great forum for showcasing the developments of your business, as well as the underpinning company values. Jot down a few points that relate to your current focus.

  • What is the thought process behind current decisions?
  • What sparked a shift in direction?
  • Have you or your team recently attended any training?
  • What collaborations with other businesses are you working on?

This should help you highlight a couple of key points that you would like to share in a blog.

Working Example of Initial Idea Generation for a Content Plan

I recently worked with Helen Pettifer to put together a 6-month content plan. Helen offers corporate training in customer service. The themes we focused on were:

Vulnerable Customers – Helen has developed specific training around Customer Service for Vulnerable People, which she is keen to promote.

Customer Service Training – We talked about some recent training delivery and how these could be used as case studies to showcase her services.

Public Speaking – Helen has also been developing her public speaking skills and was keen to share this personal development.

Complain Handling – A popular course that Helen offers centres around Complaint Handling. She wished to share some insight on Root Cause Analysis, which is part of this training.

Now bring the Customer into the Picture

Blog writing is a careful balance between engaging with potential and existing customers, whilst also ticking search engine criteria. Yes, it is important to include keywords, but you need to add value to anyone reading the blog. For this reason, it is important to consider what blog content is of interest to readers. What is in it for them?

  • Explain how the new member of the team, training, state-of-the-art equipment or a new policy will have a positive effect on service delivery
  • Give away advice and information that will help the reader
  • Provide a product demonstration or review to help customers to gain a better understanding of what you offer
  • Consider how assembly instructions, aftercare advice or serving suggestions might ensure that readers can get the most out of their purchases
  • Add value by explaining the history, traditions or skills that relate to specific goods or services

Working Example of Adding Customer Focus to a Content Plan

Back to Helen; with four key topics in mind, we considered what her prospective readers might be interested in. We identified the following points:

Vulnerable Customers – Building a strong reputation for delivering great customer experiences, for every customer, every time

Customer Service Training – Having skilled motivated, confident and supportive staff who consistency provide great customer service

Public Speaking – Understanding how Helen can aid their team and gaining confidence in her skills

Complaint Handling – How to diagnose the root cause of complaints in order to make small changes that have a big impact

Adding Dates to a Content Plan

It is easy to put blog writing to the bottom of the pile. With so many other demands on your time, it is seldom the top priority. It is, however, an important means of engaging with readers and adding, fresh relevant content to your website. This will help to attract visitors and extend your potential reach.

By adding dates to a content plan, you start to hold yourself accountable. It gives a deadline, which can prove to be a good motivator!

My advice is to be realistic and consistent whenever possible. How frequently can you find time to prepare and post a blog?

Working Example of Adding a Timeframe to a Content Plan

In Helen’s case, she decided that once every 3 weeks would work for her business.

With the dates mapped out, we could consider the best time to talk about the themes. Dementia Week in May offers the ideal opportunity to talk about Vulnerable Customers, when awareness is already heightened.

Incorporate Extra Information into your Content Plan

When the dates are listed and the theme for each blog identified, you can help your future self a little more with a few added details.

  • Which page of your website will the blog link to? Copy and paste it into the plan
  • Will you include links to other sites and if so, which are relevant?
  • Do you have some ideas in mind of points that you want to cover in the blog
  • Is there a report or news article that you’ve read recently, which has a few key points that relate to your theme?

The more pointers you can incorporate, the easier it is to focus when you have time to prepare the blog.

Working from a Content Plan

With a content plan in place, you’ll have a starting point and initial ideas to work from. It will prove far more efficient than staring at a blank screen! If you still feel at a bit of a loss, get in touch: In a content planning session, I can help you to develop ideas and compile the information you need to move forward.


What can I Write About?

Compelling content may be an integral part of your marketing strategy, but what should you write about? When it comes to blog writing and preparing social media posts, where do you start?

The answer is simple; you start with your CUSTOMERS.

Any marketing campaign should focus on engaging with your ideal customer, so what matters to them? Below are five options to inspire you to get started with blog writing.

Respond to Frequently Asked Questions
Is your company regularly asked the same type of question? Now you have the opportunity to provide a full response. On several occasions, I was asked what should be included on an About Us page, so I decided to write a blog on the subject.

If you keep a record of the blog titles and when they were posted, it is easy to send a link to future customers who ask the same question.

Provide Product Reviews/ Recommendations
It’s difficult to make a decision when there’s so much choice, but you can help by providing clear information that enables customers to compare and evaluate the options. By helping to filter down the selection, you can help customers to find the best option to match their requirements. That can be incredibly helpful.

Present Aftercare Advice/User Guides
Aftercare can help your customers to get the most from your products or services. From practical guides, to ‘did you know?’ posts that explain specific features and how they can be used, the customer can get greater value from their purchase. Other related ideas include serving suggestions, design ideas or related recommendations.

Share Recent Case Studies
A great way to illustrate the difference that your goods and services make is through recent case studies. Remember to include the problem, as well as the solution (supported by before & after images). Case studies help your potential customers to understand the value of what you offer and the difference it can make.

Celebrate Success
To build trust in your brand, it is great to share tangible success. If your company have gained accreditation or have been publicly recognised in business or community awards, let others know. It is also great to share the success of your suppliers, employees and customers.

REMEMBER: When you publish a blog, add posts and links to the article on your social media profiles.

If the task still feels overwhelming and you’d rather focus on other areas of the business, my blog writing service could be of value.


Spark Ideas for Blog Writing

It’s National Writing Day, does this make it the ideal time to put pen to paper? Possibly not.

As with many activities, you have to be in the right frame of mind in order to write something of value. You may be on a roll and a poem, a letter or a blog post just flows. That would be fantastic, but it isn’t usually that simple.

As well as being a technical process, writing requires creativity. Inspiration doesn’t strike simply because you are asked to write. It takes time to develop an idea and the best place to get started is often away from your desk.

As a freelance copywriter, I have a monthly list of blogs to write. I prepare a rough content plan for the upcoming posts and keep these in mind whilst I’m out and about. Forcing an idea seldom leads to something worth posting. I find that ideas are often sparked in the strangest of places; the supermarket, during a conversation and most commonly, whilst I’m out for a walk.

If you have experienced writer’s block, keep the initial idea in mind, but go off and do something else. You’re more likely to find inspiration when you’re not expecting it.

Tips on the Writing Process

1. Decide what you intend to write about and consider the context (are you writing a blog post, a product review, a letter to Grandma, a training manual, a persuasive report or a full-blown novel?)

2. Branching out from your central theme, what ideas immediately spring to mind? Research those ideas on Google – is there a topical story that relates to your subject or stats that back up your idea with evidence?

3. Look through the information you’ve collated and identify the key points that you wish to communicate. (These could become headings for your blog or chapters of your novel). Then write the first draft without being too concerned with spelling, grammar or presentation.

4. Go away and do something else before revisiting your draft. Read it through, check the spelling and start editing. Should you add elements or be more concise?

5. When you feel you are getting there, read it out loud. This makes it easier to notice mistakes. (If you are writing a novel or other lengthy document, ask someone else to read through it if possible).

6. Finally, return to Point 3 – have you covered the main messages that you wanted to share? If so, it’s time to publish, send or submit your writing.

As with any skill, don’t expect to get it right first time. Take any feedback as an opportunity to improve, rather than a personal attack on your efforts. The more you write, the easier it becomes to formulate and develop ideas.

If you’ve been tasked with business blog writing for your company website and don’t know where to begin, a content planning session can help kickstart the process. Feel free to contact me for further information:


Before Starting Blog Writing

If you are new to blog writing, or regularly struggle to write your business blog, these five points may help you get on track.

Blog Writing Plan
Staring at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration to strike is a waste of time. You need to start with a 3-6 month content plan. Consider topics that would be of interest or value to your website visitors, as well as the frequency of posting.

Another benefit of a plan is that you could set aside a day when you feel in the right frame of mind and prepare a number of blogs in one go. These may be rough drafts that you revisit or a finished article. If you are happy with your blog writing, scheduling tools make it possible to load the content onto your website in advance and even prepare social media links.

If you need assistance with content planning, get in touch.

Word Count and Keywords
Blogs can vary in length, but you should aim for a minimum of 500 words, ideally more. A high word count will increase the chance of the search engines recognising the blog content as relevant to search terms. It is important to find informative and relevant content to achieve your word count target; don’t waffle.

Consider the primary keyword that you want to feature in your blog writing. This should ideally appear in the title, subtitle and core text. Secondary, related keywords should also be included a couple of times. If you need help, there are free and paid for tools for researching keywords.

Researching your Blog
There is a wealth of data, reports and information online. Use this to build on your initial blog writing idea. As an example, studies and surveys can provide insightful data and conclusions that support your point. You do need to check the information is up to date and of course, credit the source.

Break up the Text
It is difficult to read a lengthy blog, so break it up into manageable chunks. Subtitles help readers to skim through and find the information of interest. Bullet points are another way to break up the text; you can apply them to lists and in a summary.

A common issue in blog writing is the use of very long sentences. On a screen, it is easier to read and follow shorter sentences, so split any that are too lengthy.

Include Links in your Blog Writing
A link should provide an interested reader with an opportunity to find out more. The link can be internal – leading to another page (or blog) on your website, or external – leading to a page on another website.

With links, it is important to use the most effective anchor text and ensure that you are directing the reader to the most relevant page for expanding on the point being made.

With these five tips and a little time on your hands, you can regularly update your website’s blog page.

Dementia Week Blog Writing

An inspiring lady called Benedicta Lasoye (Bee) recently visited my daughter’s school. Her aim was to increase awareness of Dementia in the younger generation.

With many of the children knowing someone with Dementia, Bee also shared ideas on how they could still interact with grandparents and friends. The suggestions included enjoying songs and music together, or looking through photos from the past.

My grandparents suffered from Dementia, so my daughter understood that conversations were often confusing or repetitive. She did make an effort to learn some songs and Christmas carols, so my Grandma would sing along; on one occasion, she even got my Grandma up dancing to The ‘Hokey Cokey’!

During Bee’s visit, the school pupils all agreed to become Dementia Friends. The teachers encouraged the children to write a blog based on what they had learnt. To mark Dementia Awareness week, I thought I would share my daughter’s blog writing skills.

Do Your Grandparents Have a Secret?

Bee from Dementia Friends recently visited TJS and we’ve become the biggest group of local supporters that she’s ever made in one day!

Although I am proud to be a Dementia friend, I think that it is important to spend time with elderly people, such as your grandparents, before they start forgetting things.

My Grandad is a bit wobbly on his feet now, but used to play county cricket. He’s taught me to play chess, but he hasn’t told me his ‘five moves to win’ secret, so he usually wins!

My Granny used to be an English Teacher. We share a passion for fossils and both enjoy word games. She spends a lot of time looking after Grandad, so we both enjoy going out together. I think Grandad likes it too (because he can sneak lots of chocolate whilst Granny is out).

If you enjoy reading books such as Grandpa’s Great Escape and Gangster Granny, you might be interested in the stories that your Grandparents have to tell you. Who knows, maybe they have some secrets too!



If you are an Aylesbury based business or organisation that is keen to build your awareness of how to become more Dementia Friendly, you can contact Benedicta:

Barriers to Blog Writing

Breaking Down the Barriers to Blog Writing

“Continuous Improvement is better than delayed perfection”

This quote popped up on my social media this morning. I don’t know who to credit for it, but sums up the reason we often hold back when it comes to creativity.

Getting Started with Blog Writing

Last week I spoke with a business owner. She was proud of her new website, but very aware that it had an empty blog page. Then she admitted that she had written a blog, but was apprehensive about posting it. Was it too long? Had she effectively communicated the key message?

With a little advice and a nudge in the right direction, she took a deep breath and clicked ‘Publish’.

I’m not sure how long she’d be contemplating that blog, but as soon as it was out there, her mind filled with ideas for future blogs. Her creativity was unlocked; she had broken down the first barrier of blog writing – getting started.

Concerns about ‘getting it wrong’ often hinder creativity.

I enjoy activities that spark creative thinking, so enrolled on a one day block printing workshop at my local arts centre.

After a brief introduction, the tutor gave us each a crisp, white t-towel and a carved block. She squirted thick, black fabric paint into our trays and told us to get printing. She’d imparted some basic instructions on applying the paint, but provided no rules.

This lack of structure threw some into momentary panic. Where should they start? What if it goes wrong?

A tea towel – at best it would be used to dry the dishes. Did it really matter if it went wrong? To some people, yes, because we feel a failure if we don’t get it right (even on the first attempt).

Once we all bit the bullet, the process was simple, fun and quick to deliver results. As each participant took printed the first black blocks onto their white fabric, the tension dropped. Creativity flowed and by the end of the workshop, we all left with a colourful selection of beautifully printed fabrics and papers.

Learn from the Creative Process

So many people hold back from creative activities because we’ve become so results focused. If you’re worried about making mistakes and what people will think, it’s difficult to really open up to new possibilities.

Our early attempts may not be fantastic, but we learn from the creative process. Experience and feedback help us to improve. The more we break down the barriers to creative thinking, the easier it becomes. As a result, we open ourselves up to fresh ideas and new approaches.

Blog Writing

If you are keen to write your own blogs, it’s time to get some ideas down on paper. Don’t expect to write the perfect piece on your first attempt, just start by:

  • Writing a few ideas on paper
  • Considering what related points your customers would find interesting or useful to know
  • Researching information that relates to the idea and see where this leads you
  • Building on the formative thoughts to develop the idea
  • Writing a draft blog
  • Re-reading and editing
  • Finding or taking a suitable picture
  • Posting!

The minute you click ‘Publish’, expect to feel both panic and excitement. Your blog is live.

People can read it and form their opinions about it. Some may not be favourable, but which is worse; giving it a go or having an empty blog page? It’s time to get creative!

If you need a little more assistance, I offer content planning packages. We’ll consider relevant subject matter, key events and frequency of posting before a final blog plan is prepared. Simply email me to arrange a content planning meeting:

Anchor Text

Blog Writing Tips: Anchor Text

A good blog will provide the reader with information, yet you want to avoid information overdrive. This is where links come in.

Creating a Link

Any blog or article should include a link. The link should direct the reader to further information that expands on the topic of the blog. It could be a webpage, another blog or a published paper on your website (internal link) or on another website (external link).

You create a link, by:

  • Highlighting a word or phrase in your blog (the Anchor Text)
  • Clicking on the ‘Insert’ tab
  • Selecting Hyperlink
  • Adding the website URL that you wish to direct readers to


The anchor text will now be highlighted and if you hover the curser over it, the URL will show.

The Anchor Text

For SEO purposes t’s important that the search engines can see a direct link between the anchor text and the page that it directs to. Ideally, there should be an exact match between the text and URL.

Avoid Common Mistakes

Weak anchor text

If you want your website to be well ranked, you need to keep the search engines and your website visitors happy. This includes making every detail count, including good use of anchor text in blog writing. The example below shows that a small change can make a big difference when it comes to relevant anchor text.

“For further information on our catering packages click here – ‘here’ lacks the exact match that the search engines are looking for and it isn’t sufficiently specific for the reader either. It’s a missed opportunity to show the relevance of the link. An alternative could be:

“We are happy to provide further information on corporate catering and sample menus.” –  In this second option, there is the potential to link with two relevant pages of a website, using an exact text match. It’s a small change that will improve the effectiveness of your website.

Directing to the Home page

The match works both ways. In the example above, anyone clicking on Sample Menus will expect to see exactly that – a page of sample menus. If they are taken to the Home Page and then have to navigate to the Sample Menus page it’s frustrating.

It may only take seconds to navigate to the right page, but why should they? It is enough to put some people off and it doesn’t score any points with the search engines either.

Open Links in a New Tab

There are arguments in favour and against setting up links to open in a separate tab. When it comes to internal links, a separate tab isn’t necessary, but it’s a good idea for external links. This is because you don’t want to send your visitors to another site and not provide them with an easy way back.

If you have a WordPress site, as you highlight the anchor text and click on the hyperlink icon, you’ll see a cog icon; click on this for Link Options.

A box will open up for you to add the URL and there is a tick box option to ‘Open link in a new tab’.

In Summary

It’s a good idea to make us of links in your blog writing. Keep your readers happy by directing them to the page where the conversation naturally continues and ensure that you match the page URL with the anchor text. When it comes to external links, opt for opening in a new tab. If you prefer to outsource your blog writing, get in touch.


Why Write a Blog?

Why Write a Blog?

In order to value of my blog writing service, you need to clarify the purpose of blog writing.

Every company will have its own reasons for adding regular blog posts to their website. Here are a few reasons why it could be important for your business:

Showcase your Expertise

There are limits to the information that can be communicated on your web page content. Blog writing presents the opportunity to fill the gaps and share the breadth of your knowledge.

An Extension of your Customer Service

Blog writing is a way to share valuable information. This could include new product reviews, aftercare advice, how to tutorials and top tips.

Inspire Prospective Clients

People respond to fresh, exciting ideas. With inspirational content, you can encourage web visitor to book, request further information or buy, whilst avoiding the overt sales message.

Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Do you find yourself repeating the same information to customers time and again? Blog writing provides a means of giving a detailed response. By keeping a note of blog titles and URLs, it’s easy to send a link that directs customers to the information they seek.

Highlight your Company Values

Your company may support your local community, be passionate about the environment or be at the cutting edge of new developments.  Blog writing allows you to qualify how your team are putting your values into practice.

Promote Events

If you are exhibiting, organising a product launch, running a networking event or taking part in a community fundraiser, blog writing can encourage others to get involved and join in.

Respond to Topical News

As relevant news stories hit the media, blog writing is a means of presenting your web visitors with the key information, your response and action points.

Supporting your Social Media Activity

Blog posts give you a wealth of potential content that makes it far easier to maintain active social media profiles. A brief snippet a link to the full blog will help to drive traffic to your site.

Increase the Likelihood that your Website will be found on Google

Seeing blog writing as an SEO exercise is a missed opportunity. There is however no doubt that regular, original posts increase the chances of a match between the search criteria and your content.



I hope this explains why blog writing should be seen as more than a tick box exercise. Do you recognise ways in which it could help your business thrive?

If you do, but you haven’t the time to commit to blog writing, get in touch: