The 3 most important things to consider when writing a blog

Margi Ross has created a body of work with regards to the next stage in the development of the Feminine, the ‘Conscious Feminine’. Margi is a published author and she gives talks on the Conscious Feminine and the issues surrounding it.

Margi is a member of The Marketing Compass and she asked me: “What are the 3 most important things to consider when writing a blog?”

Of course there are many things to think about, however, here is my reply:

Hi Margi, Thank you for asking this question. There are two approaches to blogging:

A) As an SEO technique. This would start with the blog headline which would comprise a long tail SEO phrase. I have looked through your blog headlines and I don’t think that you are using this approach. I suggest that some of your blog headlines are ‘Google friendly’ i.e a search for “What is feminism?” generates an astonishing 152 million page results. If you haven’t already done so, you could write a blog with the headline: What is feminism? …and include that phrase a few times within the blog.

Therefore the first important thing is to: “Think headlines.”

B) The second approach is ‘just to write’ as, for example, Seth Godin does here: …notice that Seth does not write his headlines with Google in mind. Seth blogs every day and writes interesting, thought provoking blog entries.

The second important thing is to “be interesting”. Clearly, this is a big subject in its own right. For example, you can take a position on something; share some research; provide a new perspective; or talk about your experiences.

The third important thing is to increase your blog frequency. The more you write and the more frequently you post, the more awareness, shares, likes and interactions will be generated.

Kind regards, Nigel

Photograph courtesy of VeggieVision:

Google Analytics and deciding what to blog about

Have you ever been stuck when it comes to deciding the next blog topic for your website? If you blog frequently, coming up with new topics can be a challenge.

Here is an idea for you. Log into and click on Behaviour / All pages. [I am assuming that you have Google Analytics installed within your website; if you don’t, you may be using a different stats package that should reveal the information that we are looking for].

This will show you a list of the most popular pages on your website. The first result will probably show a forward slash / ….this is your homepage, so you can ignore this.

The first thing to do is to change the date range in the URHC (Upper Right Hand Corner) of the page, to at least a year’s worth of data. Experiment with this and see what happens to the list if you look more recently: is something new on your site attracting attention? You can also extend the date range: are some pages / blog entries of continual interest?

Once you have ascertained the most popular URLs within you site, think about the blogs that you could write. Could you reword a blog title and write about the subject from a different angle? Could you combine two topics into one? What has changed since the original blog or page was published?

You may well find that your most popular blog entries contain ‘long body copy’ (i.e. a lot of words). For example, this post on brand strategy is one of my most popular posts during the last decade:

Brand strategy

Here are some of my other blogs which may help:

How to generate ideas for content marketing / blogs …part 1

How to generate new ideas for content marketing / blogs part 2

Who reads blogs?

wordpress logoI have just been asked an interesting question within The Marketing Compass website: Who reads blogs?

Google loves bloggers. Their algorithm scores a website higher if it can find a blog there. The key issue is that Google is moving towards semantic search.

Semantic search = a search query that determines the intent and context of the search phrase.

Google likes subject experts who write regularly and at length about their area of expertise. This thinking lines up with semantic search. For example, a brochureware website is arguably not as helpful to a searcher as a content rich blog that provides in depth information on a given subject.

Googles does not like websites that attempt to ‘game the system’ by using keyword stuffing, link farms and discredited black hat SEO techniques. A business contact of mine told me recently that she had lost 60% of her turnover when Google removed them from organic search listings. They had inadvertently used black hat search techniques. Why bother to go in that direction, when you can write about what you know and let the search engines do the heavy lifting?

Adding new pages to your site does not produce the same results, even if you add meta data – because of the way that blog technology works. A blog is a journal of your thoughts. When used for business purposes, it is used to focus on a specific subject area. Within a WordPress blog, for example, categories and tags give a different level of
experience for both Google and human readers. In addition, RSS functionality, ping backs and a vast array of blog related WordPress plugins all help.

A well written and interesting blog is something that people want to return to and recommend, like a good novel. When was the last time that you recommended a sales brochure to a friend?

If your competitors are not blogging, then this is a digital marketing opportunity for you.

Blogs are an easy to read, easily accessible form of online content. They behave well on smartphones and tablet computers – which is where many blogs are consumed.

According to Wikipedia, a blog is published every second:

So the answer to that question is ‘a lot of people’.

Written by marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author Nigel Temple.
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How to generate new ideas for content marketing / blogs part 2

Following on from Part 1 of How to generate new ideas for content marketing / blogs

….here are  14 more ways to produce new ideas for content marketing / blogs:Content marketing - photograph copyright holder Nigel Temple

15.  Can you write about seasonal or cyclical issues?
16.  Ask your customers what they would like you to write about.
17.  Write about trends within your industry / sector / niche.
18.  Think about technology: there is probably a story there.
19.  Human interest always attracts readers.
20.  Study your blogs stats (i.e via Google Analytics). What are the popular topics?
21.  Run a survey and write about the results.
22. Scrutinise your blog categories – what could you add?
23. Read your blog tags out loud.
24. Could you combine two previous blog topics and create a new blog?
25. Analyse your website / blog search box (i.e. for interesting keywords / phrases).
26. Have a content marketing plan, stretching a whole year ahead.
27. Read a cross section of blogs from other industries and countries.
28. Use creative thinking techniques (would it help to hire a creative thinking trainer?)

The more frequently you blog, the easier it gets. One idea sparks other ideas. The hardest part is getting started.

Photograph © Nigel Temple

How to generate ideas for content marketing / blogs …part 1

I recommend that you blog at least once a week. Serious players blog every day. Producing new ideas for your website content can be a challenge, can’t it? Here is a checklist of 14 ways to produce new ideas for content marketing / blogs:Content marketing - photograph copyright holder Nigel Temple

  1. Have a whiteboard in your office where you can write new ideas.
  2. Carry a notebook around with you: when an idea comes – write it down.
  3. Have a monthly content marketing ideas brainstorming session.
  4. Write customer stories, as people love a good story.
  5. Write about the blood, sweat and tears which go into your products / services.
  6. What are you currently doing. What’s new / interesting / innovative?
  7. Reveal some of your plans for the future (and I hope that you have one).
  8. Create a  Google Drive (or similar) spreadsheet (easy to search).
  9. Pick up media stories and commment on them.
  10. Experiment with video blogs.
  11. Create a giant Mind Map, as Mind Mapping helps you to think in a different way.
  12. Read non-competitive blogs as this will spark ideas for you.
  13. Keep a pen and paper by the side of your bed.
  14. Talk to anyone who will listen about your blogs. As you talk, new ideas will arrive.

By the way, IMHO don’t analyse what your competition is doing. You will just end up copying them. It is important to be original and lead the field. I’m often asked by clients and seminar delegates how to generate ideas for content marketing / blogs and I hope that this checklist helps you. 

Click here to read Part 2 – with 14 more ideas for coming up with content marketing / blog ideas

Photograph © Nigel Temple

What I have learnt from Seth Godin

Seth Godin wrote ‘Permission Marketing’ in 1999 (I have a copy on my bookshelf). This phrase is now part of everyday marketing terminology. On the front cover of the book it says: “Turning strangers into friends and friends into customers.” The central idea of the book is that as opposed to forcing your messages onto consumers / business buyers, a business should ask their permission to communicate. An example being the concept of the e-newsletter ‘opt-in’ process.

Seth is a prolific and well known blogger:  I often show his blog to clients and seminar delegates. Without fail, I discover that he has uploaded a new entry that day, which is impressive. So a key learning point is the power of consistency.

Recently, I have started to write a daily blog within this website. My challenge being that I also write blogs for The Marketing Compass:  So I have decided to focus on this site and write something every day (and write once a week within The Marketing Compass).

Getting back to Seth, he thinks outside of the box and I imagine that he reads widely. He is also an established author, having published 19 books. Successful authors will tell you that it is important to write regularly, so that it becomes a habit. Writing a daily blog means that your subconscious is set on autopilot looking for new ideas (I know that mine is!) It is no accident that consistent bloggers become authors. There is nothing quite like a book to establish credibility and open new doors.

Seth Godin writes on marketing, business, learning, his books and whatever is on his mind. Sometimes the entries are quite long and sometimes they are remarkably short. The key point being that there is always something new to read every day, seven days a week (and sometimes more than once a day). Readers can share his blog content via Twitter, GooglePlus, LinkedIn and Facebook. (There social media sharing buttons at the foot of my blog entries – do you have these?)

He uses free technology to promote his personal brand and attract followers, book buyers and public speaking engagements. It doesn’t sound like a bad life, does it?


Blog:  …..notice that Seth does not upload images with his blogs. This must cut the time involved down. (Note to self: should I do the same?)

You may also find this post of mine to be helpful:  7 benefits of business blogging

Nigel Temple’s services include:  Social media training

7 benefits of business blogging

There are numerous reasons why you should have a business blog.  Here are seven of them:

1.  Google loves a blogger. The search engines (i.e. Google, Bing and Yahoo) send out software ‘crawlers’. When they visit your website, the crawlers look at your sites’ log files. If they notice that something has changed (i.e. that you have uploaded a new blog), it makes them happy. Imagine being a crawler and visiting a website which never changes. You would probably think “how boring!”  You can keep their interest by blogging frequently.

2.  Writing makes you think. Talking about your area of expertise is fine. Writing about it is another thing entirely. In order to write something which is worth reading, you really have to think about it. I know, as I have written books, manuals, guides, articles and blogs.

3.  Your blog feeds your newsletter. If you write three blog entries a month, this is enough, as three stories within a newsletter is fine.

4.  Regular blogging improves your writing skills. Talk to a novelist. They will tell you that you they write regularly (quite often, every day.) Writing is a learned skill. You can improve your writing skills by frequent blogging.

5.  The more you write, the more you sell. Customers like to read blogs about your products / services. When someone enters the marketplace, they are hungry for information. If you blog frequently, it is more likely that they will find you in the first place and – having found you – your blog will give them more material to read which in turn makes it more likely that they will buy from you (as customers do not have an infinite amount of time to make a buying decision).

6.  A creative, researched and thought provoking blog can differentiate your business.  Anything that you can do to ‘stand out from the crowd’ is a good thing. Here is a lblog about: Creative thinking skills

7.  A blog can turn into a book. An Amazon Kindle book can be as short as 5000 words. If each blog entry that you write is 250 words, it only takes 20 blog entries and Voila!, you have your book.  Here is a blog entitled: How to get the writing done  ..which may help.

If you have questions about blogging / social media, you can ask them via The Marketing Compass website.


Nigel Temple is a marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. To find out more about his services email or call Joanna on +44 (0)1628 773128.

He welcomes media enquiries about 21st century marketing, social media and digital marketing. He has appeared within the national, international and broadcast media.

Nigel is the founder of The Marketing Compass – join thousands of business owners, tell us about your business and ask some marketing questions!

Follow Nigel on Twitter:


How to get the writing done

When I am asked ‘how to get the writing done’, I ask a question: “What is the first thing you do when you start working, each morning?” Most business people tell me that they answer their emails. Here’s a suggestion for you. Leave the emails alone. Start a little earlier and write 300 words. If you did this every morning, for the next 21 days, you would have 6,300 words. Enough for an e-book.

Many of the most influential people on the planet are authors. They didn’t get there by saying: “Oh. I don’t have any ideas today.” They made writing a part of their daily routine. Ask any novelist and they will tell you that writing takes discipline. You have to make it a habit.

Early morning is a great time to write (before you open those emails!) Your mind is fresh. The house / office is quiet. The phones aren’t ringing. I say this because I am a ‘lark’ (early riser). I know that you may well be an ‘owl’ (someone who can work late into the evening). The important thing is to make writing a routine (no matter what time of day you do it).

It’s amazing what happens, once you get started. My advice is not to wait for a sudden bolt of lightning / inspiration. Remember that “little and often” beats “big and infrequent”, so write something every day.

You will find that once you get started, the ideas start to roll. At unexpected times, new ideas will come to you. Why not get started today, by jotting some topics down.

For business people, the writing could take the form of a blog, which can feed your newsletter. Regular blogging (about your area of professional expertise) helps to clarify your thoughts. In addition, when you write, you learn.


Nigel Temple leads a Copywriting training seminar for The Marketing Compass.

Other blogs which may help:
* Copywriting tips
* Blogging tips
* Creative thinking skills

Via The Marketing Compass:
* How to write – five top tips for small businesses

To find out more about Nigel’s services email or call Joanna on +44 (0)1628 773128.

He welcomes media enquiries about 21st century marketing, social media and digital marketing. He has appeared within the national press and broadcast media.

Nigel is the founder of The Marketing Compass – join thousands of business owners, tell us about your business and ask some marketing questions!

Follow Nigel on Twitter:

Blogging tips

Here are some blogging tips for you:

Q. Is it a good idea to have a blog?Content marketing - photograph copyright holder Nigel Temple
A. Yes, it is, as it can help your search engine rankings, feed your newsletter and generate sales enquiries.

Q. Where is the best place to have a blog?
A. Inside your website, as every time you blog, you will increase the size of your site and demonstrate to the search engines that you have a dynamic, active website.

Q. What should I write about?
A. Business owners and marketers should write about their enterprises’ professional knowledge.

Q. What if I don’t want to give my knowledge away for free?
A. If I read a doctor’s blog for 10 years, I wouldn’t turn into a doctor. Remember that your competitors are already blogging, so there is a danger that you will be left behind. By the way, you don’t have to share it all!

Q. How many words should I write within a blog entry?
A. 400 will give Google enough for a square meal. (Increasingly, in depth blogs are getting better results).

Q. Any SEO tips?
A. Choose a short keyword phrase which you want to be found for. An example from my blog is: website review service (am I still on page 1 within Google?)

Q. When is a good time to write?
A. Either early in the morning (BEFORE you open your emails) or in the evening, if you still have the energy. (I laugh at 12 hour days).

Q. Any writing tips?
A. Write quickly. Edit later.

Q. How do I get blog subscribers?
A. Ensure that you display the RSS symbol which enables your readers to subscribe to your blog. Oh, and write useful, interesting, relevant and helpful stuff!

Q. Should I allow comments on my blog?
A. Yes. (It’s a good idea to moderate them, though!)

Q. How often should I blog?
A. At least once a week.

Q. How on earth will I find the time to do this?
A. If you are a ‘Lark’: get up half an hour earlier, you’ll love it. If you are an ‘Owl’, extend your index finger. Press the ‘Off’ button on the telly / computer game / whatever. Notice the strange rushing sound of silence. Start to blog.

The above answers are based on 10,000+ website reviews, including 1-2-1 client work, workshops and seminars (I have been teaching internet marketing since 2000).

You may also like to read:
The benefits of business blogging (via The Marketing Compass)
Can you write your way to riches? (via The Marketing Compass)

Join 12000+ people who follow Nigel Temple on Twitter:

Join The Marketing Compass – the small business marketing mastermind group.

Photograph © Nigel Temple