Write a killer blog post in just 7 steps

You don’t want to publish any piece of content on your blog that isn’t screaming to be read.

But it can also be hard to keep churning out new, insightful content every month.

That’s why we’ve put together this concise, 7 step guide to help you craft awesome, readable content.

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Writing Blogs for Readers, not Google

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If you’re marketing using a blog, or if your blog is a large part of your business, then chances are you’ve heard of keywords.

Keywords do what they say on the tin – they’re the essence of what you’re writing about, and they’re also what Google uses to decide how and where to rank your content.

Now, the old way of thinking was very much “the more keywords the better” … but this doesn’t make for very good reading for humans, and Google has started to realise this. It’s already made changes to its algorithm to prioritise blogs that write for their users, and not for search engines.

Here are 5 tips for keeping your blog content keyword-rich, without ruining the reading experience and landing yourself a hefty penalty:

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4 Digital Marketing Trends We Think are Here to Stay

If you’re trying to market your show, your service or yourself, chances are you want to read up on digital marketing. However, trends move so quickly that it’s sometimes tough to keep up.

Here we’ve rounded up four that don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, which will hopefully make your strategy a little easier to plan.

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6 Skills to focus on in 2019

We’ve rounded up the top 6 skills to help you grow your career in 2019. Whether you’re a freelancer that runs their own business, or a creative mind marketing your work to the masses, here are 6 skills we think might be useful for you in the coming year.


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Negotiation skills

A recent study by Harvard University showed that men tend to get better economic results out of negotiation, and that whilst women negotiate assertively on behalf of other people (or their company) they’re less likely to be as forceful when negotiating for themselves. 

Whatever stage of your career you’re at, negotiation skills are crucial- whether you’re bartering down a third party provider or sat in front of your boss, asking for a payrise. The study also showed that the gender gap when it comes to negotiating narrows when women have been on a negotiation training course… if you needed another reason! 

 

Analytical skills

Analytic skills aren’t just for digital marketers and finance managers, they’re for anyone responsible for calculating business growth, forecasting results or problem-solving an issue. Having a solid analytic foundation is key as you work your way up the career ladder and are expected to be more and more involved with big-picture business plans.

You don’t have to be a numbers-whiz either: data analytics skills can help you calculate things like employee turnover, identify fraud and manage your own business.

Strategic skills

Honing your strategic management skills is a great way to ensure you’re ready for the jump between middle management and being part of the senior team. Despite this, Forbes reported that less than 10% of leaders exhibit strategic skills, and tend to fall-back on fire-fighting operational skills, which can lead to a lack of overall direction for the company or team they’re working in. 

If you can sharpen your own strategic know-how you’re putting yourself in a very strong position versus your competition. 

Entrepreneurship skills

Did you know that in 2018 only one in five small-to-medium business were run by women? And that in the UK, there are nearly twice as many male entrepreneurs than women?

If 2019 is the year you strike out of your own and put your business-nouse to use for your own projects, then an entrepreneurship course might be just the thing to give you a the competence (and confidence!) to make it on your own (and balance out those statistics).

Whilst you can’t learn the passion that entrepreneurship demands, you certainly can learn how to manage every aspect of your business (as likely you’ll start as your own CEO, CMO, CFO and office administrator). 

Writing skills

It might sound basic, but excellent writing is one of the most common skills asked for by employers – and it’s also one of the biggest employee skills gaps according to a 2018 report. 

This doesn’t just mean writing in a way that’s grammatically correct: different industries needs different types of writing. For example, you might need to learn shorthand in order to take business minutes accurately, or you might need to learn how to write bid proposals, reports, white papers or specifications. 

Think about your current career path and whether there’s any writing elements that feel like they’ll push you out of your comfort zone, because those are great places to start building your skills.

Presentation skills and public speaking

Public speaking seems to evoke one of two reactions in people: either they shrug, or they immediately break out into a cold sweat. If you’re in the latter camp, then you’re not alone. In fact, nearly 25% of people say they have Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. 

A study by Psychology Today suggests that a large part of the fear comes from how skilled you perceive yourself as being at public speaking (and on the flip-side, being a confident public speaker does not entail being a skilled public speaker). So whether you’re a shrugger or a sweater, put public-speaking on your “done” list in 2019.

 


Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is a group of creatives with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping our way into the arts industry and helping other creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact us any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to our website: www.penguinintheroom.com

Grow your know-how: 3 Free Online Writing Courses

We all like to think we’re good at what we do. But that’s not to say we can’t get better!

We’ve rounded up 3 of the best free (yes, totally free) writing courses for you to grow, develop and generally become more awesome.

An Introduction to Screenwriting – UEA (Online)

When is the Best Time to Blog?

Blogging sometimes feels like you’re just shouting into the void. You write some super awesome content, get some fancy-looking images together, hit publish.

And then nothing happens.

And you wonder, what did I do wrong?

Well, in theory, nothing. But there are two things you need to think about before you hit that tempting, tempting ‘publish’ button and check it off your list.

Is it the best time to blog?

You might be up writing at 2am on a Tuesday morning, but chances are people aren’t reading blogs at 2am. Or if they are, they’re over the other side of the world (and probably not your client base, your audience, or the people you want to reach.)

So you need to think about when to post your blog.

Now, WordPress can do some of this work for you. It has a neat feature in ‘Insights’ that tells you exactly when the best time to blog is. So head on over to ‘Stats’, and then ‘Insights’ at the top and scroll until you see this beauty:

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Voila! You have the time and the day you should be posting your blog. So if your current schedule doesn’t match up to this, consider changing it.

The important thing is: check this every week! Because it changes

When is the best time to promote your blog?

Now you’ve sent your blog out at the perfect time of day and maximised all of the chances that people will stumble upon your site, what about the people who already know you exist? Those you have on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, the people you see down the shops?

You need to promote your blog. And that means sharing it on social media.

More than once.

You can set up WordPress to auto-tweet for you, and it can also auto-post to your other channels, but that’s not all.

Screen Shot 2018-06-16 at 10.51.17.pngYou want to keep drip-feeding your content.

So once you’ve written something awesome, be prepared to share it once a week for the next 5 or so weeks, providing you’ve got enough tweets/posts in between to cushion that (otherwise it will look like all you’re doing is yelling about your awesome blog post, which most people will then spitefully ignore.)

You can use a tool like audiense to see when your Twitter followers are online and post it at the best time for them too.

Social media is all about good timing. And don’t forget to check out our previous post about social media tools that will make your life easier, because these will help you with the whole timing thing, too.


Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is a group of creatives with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping our way into the arts industry and helping other creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact us any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to our website: www.penguinintheroom.com

How To Write A Killer Guest Post Pitch

If you read our previous blog, you’ll know that guest posting is the quickest and easiest way to drive new traffic through to your blog/website.

New traffic = more subscribers = more fans = more money.

(At least that’s what most marketing manuals will tell you.)

But what they don’t tell you is how to write a great pitch for a guest post.

Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’ve written something that spells out the meaning of life. If you can’t sell it, no one will read here.

So here’s our step by step guide to getting your guest post secured:

1. Subscribe to their blog

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Think about it. If you had someone telling you how awesome your blog was, and then you realise they don’t even subscribe, you’ll be pretty peeved.

So once you’ve selected your list of targets, go through and subscribe to them all. You want them to know you’re serious – and invested – in the success of their blog. That’s going to sound a whole lot more convincing coming from someone that actually follows it.

2. Make it personal

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Nine times out of ten, someone will have their name somewhere on their website. Use it. Addressing the email personally will mean it’s much more likely to get opened, if not read. “Hey, Tanya” is so much better than “Hey there” or (even worse) “To Whom It May Concern.”

Never start a pitch email with that, because whoever is reading it will automatically decide it probably doesn’t concern them.

3. Show them how good you are

Include some links in your pitch that are the best possible examples of your tone and writing style. You want to wow them with the quality content you’re creating, so send them your 2 or 3 best pieces of work.

If you’re lucky enough to have featured elsewhere already or have been interviewed, include one of these as a third link underneath your own work.

4. Don’t go into too much detail

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They will want two things. One of these things is a title, and the other is a reason why their readers are going to open that blog in the first place. This does not mean you have to send them the blog in its entirety.

What you should do is include a little 2-3 sentence outline so they know where the blog post is heading, like this:

How To Blog: A post focusing on the common pitfalls most bloggers make and how to avoid them. Your readers will walk away knowing how to write killer blog posts that bring in more traffic and convert that into paying customers.

I mean, sounds like a blog you want to read, right?

Right. That’s exactly what they want.

5. Track the emails you send

Gmail has some great extensions that you can download that track whether or not your email has been opened. Streak is awesome because it tells you when your email was viewed and when it was opened. It also keeps tabs on how often someone visits the conversation so you can see exactly what’s happening once you’ve sent your pitch into cyberspace.

6. Set up a chase system

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Now that you’ve sent your emails, you don’t just want to sit there and wait.

No.

Like a flower, you need to tend to your precious pitches by watering them every now and then. Or, at the very least, following up with an email a week later.

People are busy, so you don’t want to harass them, but a simple chase email 7 days later is more than acceptable.

If your chase email doesn’t get a reply, you can cut that time in half and email again 3 or 4 days later.

So here’s what your chase schedule should look like:

  • 7 days – send initial chase email if no open
  • Send another chase 4 days after first chase
  • Send a final chase 7 days after previous chase
  • Send new email 14 days after last email

7. Follow up

You don’t want to nag them. After all, you’re asking for a favour, essentially, even if you’re creating awesome content for them.

So you need to keep your follow up emails short, sweet and to the point.

Make it easy for them to come back to you with a one word answer, a simple yay or nay reaction. Because we all have way too many emails and never enough time:

Hey Tanya,

Appreciate you must be super busy, just wanted to see if you had a quick yes/no based on my previous email?

I can get started on it straight away and wouldn’t need anything from your side at this point – other than the OK!

Thanks so much, hopefully catch up soon.

8. Follow through

You’ve promised them the world – or at least a great blog post – so make sure you follow up and keep your word. Deliver on time, deliver with photos and deliver to whatever specifications they ask for (Google Doc, HTML or otherwise.)

Don’t fall at the last hurdle!

Have you got any tips you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

penguinPenguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is a group of creatives with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping our way into the arts industry and helping other creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact us any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to our website: www.penguinintheroom.com

Writers: what are your goals for 2016?

year goals - writers

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing are some penguins with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping our way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact us any time for penguin chats via email: info@penguinintheroom.com 

 Facebook.com/penguinintheroom 

twitter.com/prartsmarketing

or waddle over to the website: www.penguinintheroom.com

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Social Media for Writers

So you are a writer and you are interested in social media, you might even have a Facebook profile but what social media channels should you be using?

You should be present on: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a have a blog.

1. Twitter – over 500 million members and the one every one is obsessed with. Great for people on the go – you can tweet anywhere if you have a smart phone. Perfect for inspiration, promoting your writing and finding opportunities.

2. Facebook – over a billion members! The Facebook membership is getting older so you will find more and more industry folk on there. Lots of theatre companies and film companies have pages so a great place to make connections. Great for finding opportunities and promoting your writing.

3. LinkedIn – widely known as the biggest lead generating social media network, which means that people get the most work out of this one. Great for keeping tabs on your connections and promoting your cv online. Take a look at What is LinkedIn? A Straightforward Guide for more info.

4. Blog – lots of blog providers out there but WordPress is my favourite. A great way to keep yourself writing regularly and to have an online portfolio of your work to show others. Write about whatever subject you want and you can even get a following going. Blogs can lead to paid work for magazines, papers etc. and even getting a published books so pick your topic wisely!

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website:www.penguinintheroom.com