5 Tips for Blog Writing in 2020

In my previous blog, I discussed why written content continues to play an important role in online marketing. With that in mind, here are some ideas to get you thinking about potential blog articles.

How to Add Value through Blog Writing

Writing a business blog should focus on building the trust of your audience. You are an expert in your field, so let’s put that to good use. The best content is that which is of interest and value to your customers and below are five blog writing suggestions:

Provide Answers to FAQs

What are the questions that you are frequently asked? Answer these with clear, plain English explanations.

Write Blogs that Develop Knowledge and Understanding

Can you help potential customers to better understand your products or services? Think product comparisons, examples of industrial applications, assembly instructions or serving suggestions.

Showcase your Problem-solving Abilities

What problems do your customers face? Your advice could help them to resolve simple challenges. A top tip to help eliminate a common frustration is a great way to be seen in a favourable light.

Share your Commitment to Delivering the Best Service

Are you working towards a particular goal or accreditation (quality, sustainability, customer service etc)? If so, let your customers know, along with what this will mean for them. You can then post again when you achieve that outcome.

Respond to Topical News

If a breaking media story relates to your business, use it as an opportunity to explain, reassure and offer advice.

These are a few ways in which you can prove your authority and expertise, whilst providing written content that is of value to your readers.

Is it Worth Hiring a Freelance Copywriter?

If this all sounds great, but you never find the time, it could be worth hiring a freelance copywriter.

Remember, that strong blog content is one factor helping your business to remain competitive. Yes, you can write, but are you the best person for the job? I am sure you can also kick a football, but would you be the best person to get signed up for your team?

An experienced copywriter can see your services from a fresh perspective. They will tailor your message in a way that appeals to prospective customers and search engines.

Take time to discuss your objectives and your target audience with the freelance copywriter. They can then create a content plan for you to agree. You can then focus your attention on other demands, simply reviewing, approving and posting the articles as they are written.

Blog writing is a straightforward task to delegate. According to HubSpot, 62% of companies with a blog outsource the task. Freelance copywriters typically produce articles on a monthly basis, or more frequently if you desire. You can opt to publish them on your website. Alternatively, if you trust them and provide Admin access to your website, the copywriter may offer to publish it.

In short, hiring a copywriter could be a cost-effective way to help build brand awareness. For further information, contact:

written text on mobile

Is Written Content Still Important in 2020?

Over the last decade, content writers have focused on keyword-rich text on web pages and in blogs. As we move into a new decade, is this approach still relevant?

A growing number of clients are asking me to minimise the text. They have seen the statistics that show that video is a preferred medium for website visitors. They know that mobile-first website design means short, concise messages that are ideal for the small screen.

So, is 2020 the year that I have to give up being a freelance copywriter? Thankfully not.

It seems that written content still has an important role to play in showcasing expertise, authority and trust. Google is still giving value to the words on your web pages and in your blogs, especially when that content is customer-focused.

What Changes are Affecting Content Writing?

Voice Search

It is estimated that, by the end of 2020, 50% of search queries will be spoken, not typed. When typing, we tend to keep the query short; ‘copywriter Aylesbury’, but we use a lot more words and ask more questions when speaking; ‘Who can I get to write my business blogs in Aylesbury?’.
With an idea of the questions being asked, there is a great opportunity to respond with useful, informative content. This benefits your customers and your Google rank.

Intent Marketing

Another change to keywords is that Google is moving away from direct keyword matching, in favour of intent marketing.

In the past, copywriters have needed to include keywords in the text for SEO purposes. Advancing technology means that Google is better able to identify whether page text and blogs provide an appropriate response to a search query. For this reason, there is expected to be a shift towards topic-focused content.

Consumer First Marketing

Businesses marketing is all about delivering what the customer wants. This takes priority over pushing out messages that the company wishes to share.

With an objective perspective, content writers can see the business through the eyes of the customer. They can undertake customer research to find out what is important to this target group in 2020. A subtle shift in angle could transform engagement.

Writing for Mobile-First Websites

I mentioned in the introduction that there was a growing demand for concise copy for mobile-first websites. The user experience on a small screen is certainly an important consideration. Although clear, succinct copywriting is great for mobile devices, it leaves little room for gaining trust and proving the expertise and authority of your brand.

Mobile-first means starting with a tight design that works on mobile devices, but building on this to create a full screen, desktop website. Added content should be added, both to pages and through blog writing. This will help to differentiate your company from the competition.

Video, Photography, Infographics and Written Content

Many of us prefer to consume information through visual media. A strong infographic, a powerful image or a well-edited video can speak a thousand words. Ideally, a website will include the presentation of content in a range of forms; each reinforcing a coherent message.

How Do I Ensure my Company is Found Online?

For now, the search engines still rely on written content to understand the relevance of your web pages to search queries. For this reason, video scripts and page copy still have a vital part to play if you want your products and services to be found online.

Regular blog writing is not a quick win. It will take time to see the results but patience is a virtue. According to Hubspot, websites with blogs generate an average of 67% more leads than those without. They also have considerably more indexed pages in the search engines, boosting the chances of their pages appearing in the search listing.

A freelance copywriter can help you to create web page content or blogs which meet the requirements of your business, your customers and the search engines. With an understanding of your business objectives, your target audience and search engine optimisation, they can help you to engage with potential customers.

If you are looking for an Aylesbury copywriter, please get in touch:


Writing for the Web

Writing for the web is a little different from other forms of correspondence. If you were to write a letter, it would be addressed and sent to the recipient. They would know it was for them. On the internet, they need to find your message and recognise that it is more relevant to them than all of the other messages that are available.

As a freelance copywriter, I visualise writing for the web as a triangle. I have to balance the requirements of the company, the target customer and the search engines.

Common Challenges of Writing for the Web

The challenges are writing for the web can be illustrated by the Family Law pages of two solicitor websites that I have come across.

Content on Family Law Page of Website One

This read along the lines of:

“Our experienced family law solicitors are aware of the financial and emotional cost that family proceedings can bring. Timely, focused legal advice can be crucial in cases of:
• Divorce and Separation
• Paternity and Parental Responsibility Issues
• Adoption Proceedings
• Domestic Violence and Injunctions”
(and the list extended to cover every other element of family law).

Now, this clearly states what they offer, but my first question is, how does this differ from the message that any other family law solicitors are sending out?

The content is full of keywords that people might search for and included geographical location, which can help them to be found online. However, when someone reaches their web page, it is impersonal. Despite stating that individuals needing their service are likely to have financial concerns and be in an emotional state of mind, they have not addressed this in the written content.

What is more, the list was so long that it was overwhelming. If you were going through a separation or divorce, do you need to speak to have a separate meeting to discuss parental responsibility? How much is that going to cost?

Content on the Family Law Page of Website Two

The second was at the opposite end of the spectrum:

“As an established firm, our committed team have earned a reputation for providing responsive and caring advice.

We offer all new clients a free 30-minute consultation. In this session, we ascertain your situation and advise on how we can use our expertise to help you. We recognise that this is a stressful time, so to get the most from this consultation, it can be beneficial to note down any key points in advance.”

It continued in this caring tone, which addresses the emotional and financial concerns by providing a clear idea of what to expect.

The issue in this example was that no relevant keywords could be found on the page. There was no mention of ‘divorce solicitors’ ‘legal advice’ ‘parental rights in a relationship breakdown’ or any other words or phrases that someone needing their services would search for.

Updating Website Copy

Both of these solicitors were in the process of upgrading their websites. As part of this process, they asked me to review the existing page content and provide feedback. I was then involved in creating fresh copy for the web pages; balancing the requirements of the company, the target customer and the search engines.


What do your Customers Think?

As a freelance copywriter, work is always varied. Each project involves research to gain an understanding of the subject matter from the customer’s perspective. I need to convey the message that the company wants to deliver, in a manner which appeals to the reader.

No task has involved as much customer research as a three-month project that I took on at the end of 2018.

Gathering Views from the Community

A local charitable organisation wanted to submit a funding application. The funding body wanted clear evidence that any allocated funding would be used to directly benefit the community. Rather than look at demographical data, the funding body required that the organisation went out and spoke with the community.

I took on the challenge of compiling and executing a plan to get over 300 representative views, through direct conversations with community members. It was no mean feat!

I compiled the findings into a report, which accompanied the funding application. The outcome of the research was fascinating. Many of the reasons that people liked about living in the area would not have shown up on standard data; including the green areas, or the close proximity of family or friends.

The areas for improvement from the community’s perspective focused on cleaning up litter, making it easier for school children to cross the roads and more information about local activities and events. These points would not have been priorities if an outside agency was to look at employment, crime, free school meal allocation or other such statistics on the area.

The Importance of Speaking Directly to Customers

As a freelance copywriter, this community project highlighted the importance of speaking directly to customers for feedback on my services.

Every business knows that they need to meet the needs of their customers in order to survive. Many companies spend money researching their target client group. They sit behind a desk reviewing data and may even send out the occasional survey to get customer feedback.

Data can certainly offer insight, however, when it comes to customers, it can also lead us to make assumptions. We read data from our perspective and impart our own values and opinions on what it tells us. As the community project clearly illustrated, this does not necessarily tally with the experience of others.

Placing Value on Personal Interaction with Customers

I know that personal interaction has been fundamental in developing good customer relations, as well as future referrals. I enjoy meeting my customers in person and it is a skill I observe in many other freelancers and small business owners. It is this personal touch, combined with a willingness to adapt, that can give micro-businesses an advantage over large corporations.

If it has been a while since you last spoke to one of your loyal customers in person, I would recommend dedicating a little time to having an open conversation.

Bid Application

Unfortunately, this particular bid application was unsuccessful, although there was very positive feedback on the research.

“Everyone involved did a great job in reaching a large and diverse group of residents and gathering feedback from the community. The range of methods used was positive. The engagement process seems to have provided the opportunity to build new relationships with residents and local groups, which we hope will support your work into the future.”

Alex Kerney – Senior Partnerships and Learning Officer

All is not lost. The report is now being used to inform future funding applications that clearly tie into the priorities of the community.


How to Reach your Ideal Customers

Getting in front of your ideal customers, at the point when they need your services, is a challenge for any small business. As a freelance copywriter, many people don’t immediately see a value in my services. They can write, have a good command of language and know their business inside out. Writing website content is something that they can manage in-house.

I can drop optimisation into the conversation, or highlight the advantages of an object perspective, but these aren’t sufficiently strong convincers at that moment in time.

The trick is to identify the point at which writing content became an inconvenience. The moment when they realised that writing page copy was more hassle than it was worth. At this ‘pain’ point, it becomes far easier to sell my services.

Is it really cost effective to prepare content in-house?

Having previously worked in a Web Design agency, I had insight. When a web design project is commissioned, a high proportion of customers would decide to produce the content themselves. Against advice, they believed that their photographic, video production and writing skills would suffice.

Preparing all content in-house certainly helped to keep the cost of the website build down. For a start-up company, this budget conscious approach is understandable. For established, professional organisations, it seems short-sighted.

Content creation is a time-consuming task and their efforts could be put to better use in their area of expertise. Several weeks, or months, into the project, when content creation was still at the bottom of their ‘to do’ list, they realised that this was a stress they could do without. At this ‘pain’ point, they asked for help.

Small Business Networking

At small business networking, I’ve met with a number of web designers. By recommending my services, they provide a solution for their customers in the hour of need. This collaborative approach keeps the project moving, which leads to satisfied customers. It also helps to complete the job, so they can get paid.

In my local small business networking group, we considered who we should be working with, in order to reach our ideal customers at their point of need. These were the results of our discussion:

  • A High Wycombe based Interior Designer is looking to connect with independent bathroom companies to create showroom displays that would showcase her work.
  • A Berkhamsted based Will Writing Solicitor is interested in speaking with parenting groups regarding the importance of creating a will to clarify child care intentions.
  • A Stratford-Upon-Avon based Communications Specialist is keen to make connections with industrial estate managers, especially in areas with unreliable broadband.
  • A Watford based Cashflow Expert wants links to Business Coaches, Accountants and IFAs that have built trusted relationships with clients.
  • A Buckinghamshire based Commercial Photographer wishes to talk with event managers about capturing public interactions with displays, activities and exhibitors.

So, speaking directly to your ideal customers at the right time can be a challenge, but build up strong connections and you may find a way. Who should you be talking to? If you believe that I can help you, please get in touch: