Blog & Content Packages

How to Blog on LinkedIn (When You’re Not a Writer)

If your goal is to improve your online presence, as well as that of your business, and establish yourself online as a thought leader – to show authority and drive influence within your industry – then LinkedIn is an ideal place for promoting your personal brand and networking with your peers.

One of the best ways to showcase knowledge and expertise is by publishing blog posts on LinkedIn’s blogging platform – or Pulse, as it’s now known. A social hub for professionals looking for professional advice, you can use Pulse to drive a focused business readership to your thought leadership efforts.

The advantages of using LinkedIn Pulse are that both your connections and followers get to see your published posts and often the reach is greater than on any business blog – plus you can drive traffic to your business website through web links and calls to action.

Engagement can shoot up through comments on posts, giving you the chance to take the conversation with commenters offline and grow those relationships. Pulse is a great way of showing who you really are and building your profile – you become the trusted advisor who has something useful to say.

But here’s the problem – what if you’re not a writer or blogger and don’t know where or how to start?

We’re all told that we need to write more content to boost our profile, but what if you have a phobia of writing? What if you’ve never published anything online before? How do you know what to write and whether your post will be any good? Our worst fears might be realised if we publish something terrible and end up looking like an idiot rather than expert.

If these sound like your fears and you’re unsure where to begin or what to do, follow these five simple steps to becoming an online influencer through LinkedIn Pulse:

1. Identify your purpose for blogging and make a decision

First, you need to understand why you want to blog – is it to increase brand visibility and promote your business to a much wider audience or do you have something important to say?

While most people share updates and some will have a go at improving their profile, taking that first step to blogging is a whole new ball game. The key is making a commitment to sharing your know-how, then following it through. Once you figure out your purpose for blogging, make that decision to get started.

2. Understand what it is you want to say

What are you going to talk about and how often you going to say it? Are you going to write about an aspect of your industry, which might appeal to a niche market but probably won’t drive significant reach, or are you going to write on broader topics – sharing your many years of business experience on topics such as employee communication, sales excellence and project management hacks?

A combination of both is best – and a focus on quality, insightful writing that will start a conversation. Always repeat the mantra – is it useful, interesting, audience-friendly and unique? Aim to write fortnightly to start with, then adjust based on audience response and your own workload.

3. Know your target audience

There’s nothing worse than writing for the wrong audience – they won’t respond and your post views will tank. Determine your ideal reader (customer, colleague, employee?) and ensure your blog posts are professional and business-focused.

If you plan to write for your peers, show them how they can get better at what they do. If you’re writing for clients, current or potential, don’t give them the hard sell – talk to them about the issues they face and ways to fix them, whether it’s through the work you do or not. Give them business advice and industry updates or insights first.

4. Outsource your writing to a professional

If you’re time poor or inexperienced at blogging, then it makes sense to engage a content writer. A professional will work with you to develop your thought leadership ideas, draft the articles in line with preferred style and voice, while using relevant keywords, catchy headlines and appealing images.

A professional will also edit and proofread the piece, then publish it for you on Pulse. This not only frees up your time for the work of running your business but ensures that someone with digital content skills can get your first few blog posts off the ground.

5. Learn from the professionals then jump in yourself

Once a content writer has published a few posts for you and you’ve been part of the content creation process, seen how it’s done and figured it out, then it might be time to try writing a blog post yourself.

With increased confidence and a growing audience, you can build on the work of your contracted writer and start to write from the heart and with conviction about issues and topics that matter most to you and to your reader.

If you’re ready to promote yourself as a true industry expert and start blogging online, LinkedIn’s Pulse platform could easily be the best way to maximise your online efforts to drive visibility and customer engagement – and all with fairly minimal effort.

If you’re still unsure where to begin, let’s have a conversation about getting you started blogging on LinkedIn today.

Download this free eBook if you're craving change in your life but don't know where to begin. I'll show you how to turn a dream into reality

Learn How to Do What You Love Most With This Free Manifesto

Are you thinking about changing your job but are fearful of doing so?

Have you been offered an international assignment but the prospect of leaving loved ones is too much?

Or do you watch other people lead a more fulfilling, exciting life laden with opportunities and adventure, wondering why the same thing never happens for you?The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto - a guide to living a better life

I’ve experienced all of this and more. I changed my location, working world, way of life and approach to lifestyle. I wanted to live my life to the fullest, not watch it pass me by. I wanted more from this life and I point-blank refused to settle for less.

So I created a blog called In Search of a Life Less Ordinary, which has gone on to become a leading expat, travel and lifestyle site. The blog is about making major life changes for the better – from moving abroad to changing your working world, exploring the great outdoors to learning to make time for the things that matter.

I recently relaunched the blog and, with the relaunch, I released a new eBook called The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto. Best of all, I want to let you know that it’s completely free and now available to download.

The site and eBook are awesome. Russell’s openness and willingness to share his knowledge and experience are what make him one of my favourite online voices.
Katie Mayors, Host of Wanderlust on Bondi Beach Radio

About the Manifesto

I wrote The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto as a call for people to declare their intentions to live life differently – on their terms, not the way others expect.

It’s about knowing when it’s time to make those major life changes, whether changing a job, moving location or simply making tweaks to a currently unfulfilled life.

I wanted to create a short eBook based on popular blog posts that showed the challenges you might face in changing your life for the better and how to take those first small steps towards living a life with more fulfilment and purpose.

Helping you learn how to do what you love most. How to be who you want to be. How to find wonder in the world.

A truly original voice with a pen overflowing with insight and positivity. This book is packed full with gems of wit and wisdom.
Jack Scott, Bestselling Author of Perking The Pansies and Turkey Street

The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto - your guide to turning a dream into reality

What You’ll Learn in the Manifesto

If you’re facing difficult decisions and crave change in your own life, then this manifesto is for you. You’ll learn:

  • The steps I took to improve my life and give it greater meaning.
  • When the time is right to make those changes to live a less ordinary life.
  • That change won’t be easy but it will be worth it.
  • How to take those first steps to turn a dream into an exciting new reality.

How to Get Your Own Free Copy

You can get your own free copy of The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto by joining my newsletter list at the Manifesto landing page here.

Once you confirm your email address, you’ll receive a link to your free PDF copy of the manifesto.

This is excellent. I love it. But then I knew I would because it’s exactly what I believe too.
Vicki Jeffels, Award-Winning Expat and Travel Blogger

The Ways You Can Help

This manifesto is free and is being downloaded around the world. If you have already downloaded it yourself, then I want to say a heartfelt thank you. It means a lot to me.

If you would like to see the manifesto reach more people, please share among friends, family and within your circle of influence. Post the link on Facebook, email the manifesto page URL here to a friend, download the eBook and make copies for the people around you.

Most importantly, please tell me what you think. Did you enjoy it? Could you relate to it? Leave a comment below or email me directly using the contact form on the blog.

Download Your Free Manifesto Today

Time to change your life? Ready to stop dreaming and start taking positive action to make those changes?

Let’s do this.

Just enter your email in the sign-up box to get your FREE copy of my eBook. Once confirmed, I’ll send a PDF straight to your inbox — at no cost to you whatsoever.

I hope you love the new look site as much as I do and enjoy reading The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto. Don’t forget to let me know what you think below or on the blog itself.

The Secret to Blogging Success

The Secret to Intentional Blogging Success (Hint: It’s Not A Quick Fix)

Much is written about the art of blogging and the ways to achieve blogging success.

From the application of leading SEO techniques to the structure of paragraphs, using dot points and throwing in a couple of links, we’ve all read about those quick tips for becoming an overnight blogging sensation.

But there’s something you need to know.

Because it’s not just about structure, layout and headline. It’s about something more instinctive and naturally grown over the longer-term.

While it’s true that a blog’s readership can be improved by back links, opt-ins to newsletters and exposure on popular sites, tactics and techniques aren’t the be-all and end-all to creating a blog that matters.

The world’s top bloggers don’t reach millions of readers by employing enough white space, a few top ten lists and a daily stream of 400-word posts. The world’s top bloggers create success through time, patience, hard work and inspirational writing. The world’s top bloggers write from the heart with passion and emotion – and this is what is driving loyal readers to their sites over years, not months.

I started writing In Search of a Life Less Ordinary six years ago. After a slow start, the site picked up pace becoming one of Australia’s most popular expat sites and drawing in thousands of readers to its pages every single day. Earlier this month, I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post based on the experiences I share on my blog. The post reached hundreds of thousands of people, with up to 80,000 likes and 13,000 shares on Facebook alone.

And none of this success was achieved through an SEO quick fix or fast trick.

Create a niche

The best blogs have their own distinct, unique identity that comes from an authenticity that cannot be created overnight. The best bloggers do so with a sense of purpose that is obvious the moment you read their blog. They have a clear approach springing from a unique philosophy that they want to communicate. So what will yours be?

What will make your blog different? What experiences and projects make you unique? What authentic purpose can you bring to the table to grow long-term influence?

Stand out

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of competition but there are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs out there. It can be discouraging when nothing you do seems to work. The only way to survive is to focus on creating your own unique, high quality content.

Be the best you can be and the rest will follow. Write with passion and inspire others to share. Be creative, write from the heart, show the world that you really care.

Stick with it

Blogging requires perseverance and long-term dedication. You won’t create overnight success unless you have a radically different idea. And success built over the longer-term will bring a greater respect to your brand. It will also create a stronger blog that comes from posting consistently good content highlighting your voice and authenticity.

Businesses often struggle with the notion of blogging because it requires time and patience to build an audience and drive people to a site. But, as with any decent business, the path to success doesn’t always bring instant recognition or reward. All successful businesses are built one good decision at a time and the same is true of any good blog.

Think long-term

Create a blog for the long haul flight, not the quick domestic option. Don’t burn the blog too early on because it isn’t giving you a fast enough result. Think outside the box and consider the different directions and avenues the blog can take.

Take small steps to achieve bigger goals. By starting small, you’ll make inroads without becoming disheartened by the lack of traction you might see. Invest in your blog to achieve those future dreams. Remove distraction and think about bringing others on board who have a track record of blogging and know how to engage through their writing.

Above all else, remember the secret to blogging success isn’t a quick SEO keyword or a post’s structural fix. The key to creating something exceptional is patience and perseverance… plus a knack for incredible writing.

What are your secrets to blogging success? What have been your experiences in writing a blog?

Image credit: Secrets | Shutterstock

Newspaper Headlines

4 Ways to Write Powerful Headlines that Make People Click

The headline is the most important element for getting your business content read.

In a world of online noise and distraction, your article or post headline has the power to grab a reader’s attention and entice them into reading more about your business and your work.

With the ability for everyone to now post on LinkedIn, it’s more important than ever to know how to write a headline that makes people click. These readers could become your next customers so you need to create something that makes an unforgettable, irresistible promise to them.

With this in mind, here are 4 ways to write a headline that rocks.

1. Keep it short and snappy

No-one pays attention to long-winded, over-blown headlines. We don’t have the patience and we’ll lose interest. As a rule of thumb, never use more than 100 characters in a headline, tell your readers exactly what you have planned for them, and make the headline punchy, to-the-point and understandable.

Still, feel free to throw in an interesting adjective or two. Consider “unbelievable”, “incredible”, “essential” or even “free”.

2. Show how you can help but don’t be afraid of negativity

Appeal to your target audience by telling them how your article will solve their problem or fix a growing issue. Promise them something valuable or teach them a new skill that they’ve not known before. Try writing ‘How to…’ or ‘Get started by…’, which often draws the reader into wanting to know more.

Play around with the word order and be creative. Ask questions, demand answers and even employ a little negativity. You’d be surprised at how well ‘The Questions You Should Never Ask Your Mother-in-Law’ might do.

3. Appeal directly to the reader

One way of including the reader in your work is to show them that you understand their needs and that your expertise will assist them. Writing headlines using “you” and “we” appeals much more directly.

Example are, ‘What Would You Do if You Lost Your Job Tomorrow?’ or ‘How We Can All Avoid Making Huge Financial Mistakes’. Speaking in this way to the reader is a powerful tool – it can seem as if you’ve written the piece specifically for them or that you’re standing in solidarity with them.

4. List the benefits but try to be unique

Lists are effective because they tell the reader exactly what to expect from your article or post and can grab them from the start. For example, ‘7 Ideas That Will Change Your Life Forever’ or ‘3 Tips For Becoming a Brain Surgeon’.

If you’re going to write a list, don’t rely too heavily on the use of “Things”. Instead, look at using “Tricks”, “Ways”, “Ideas”, “Lessons” and “Facts” as possible alternatives.

Remember that a headline is your first point of contact with the reader. The type of headline depends on who you’re writing for and what you plan to write about.

By keeping a headline short, punchy, relevant and engaging, you’ll get extra attention, more clicks and hopefully lots of keen new customers.

What have I missed? What other ways are there to write a killer headline?

LinkedIn Profile Writing

Why should you care about business content anyway?

Without business content, you’re an organisation with nothing but a name.

Nobody knows what you do, why you do it and who you’ve done it for. Without business content, you’re a ship lost at sea – the words you put out anchor you to your customers, current and potential.

Content is communication. Whether it be a website, a blog post, newsletter or press release, I believe that content is the mouthpiece for your business message and it’s the key thing that brings people to your doors.

Whether it’s online or in traditional print, here’s why I think it matters most:

  1. Content builds and grows customer relationships. Business content is a means to connect with your current clients and reach out to those waiting in the wings. By reading your website or subscribing to your blog, the customer gets to know your product, learn more about you and hopefully come back for more.
  2. You become the trusted advisor. Well-written articles that inform, engage and inspire create a deeper connection with the reader and position you as an expert and advisor. As long as the messaging is authentic and relevant, not full of sales talk and propaganda, you will be known as the trusted, believable source of industry information.
  3. Content drives traffic to websites and blogs. If you write great content, they will follow. And by linking across social media, you’ll drive bigger numbers to your site, which may result in new leads and more sales. Don’t be fixated on numbers but do be sure to write well, share often, and interact with your readers. Often what they like is noticed by others and you should soon see the numbers start to grow.
  4. Your business will appear higher when people search online. Writing regularly and keeping a fresh stream of content flowing on your website and blog is key to beating your competitors in the search engine results page. Include keywords that represent your business and write original, high quality pieces every time.

Business content is arguably one of the most important facets of your business.

Regularly creating and updating the written words on your website and blog are crucial to communicating with your customers and helping you reach new clients and opportunities in the process.

Drafting and developing exciting email newsletters, brochure copy and social media posts tells the world that you’re a professional, committed, informative, interesting service provider.

Whoever said content is king wasn’t messing about. Creating content-based conversation is even better.

Vary-Your-Content

Variety is the Spice of Life! Are You Varying Your Content Enough?

At The International Writer, we’re fortunate to work on any number of diverse and interesting things that come across our desks each week.

It might be a press release or a website page, a social media post or an online article for a leading retailer.

Our latest job was to write a news story for Edelman and General Electric here on wind turbines and the development of a wind farm at Boco Rock in eastern Australia. It’s fascinating stuff being a content writer and no day is ever the same.

We’re creating an incredible mix of content for our clients which tells us one key thing: it’s more important than ever for a business to vary what it puts out – and where it puts it – in order to satisfy an increasingly content-hungry audience.

So what can you do about it?

Use all of the avenues at your disposal

The great thing about the Internet today is that you can be as creative as you like in getting your message out there via a number of recognised (and often free) ways.

First, figure out what works best for you.

Facebook is king for mainstream content sharing but is it the most appropriate venue for highlighting your latest specialised product or service? A LinkedIn company page might be better or consider the ability to reach mass audiences through Google+ and Twitter. And what about using a blog or news page on your website?

Then, once you decide on the methods for varying your content and getting your message across (and try to aim for at least three or four to ensure good variation), start to consistently use them on a regular basis.

Know what your customer likes and wants

Next, look at the type of information you’re sharing (or want to share) and make sure it has enough variety and relevance to ensure your reader remains interested and engaged.

Instead of posting weekly pieces on how to do this or why to do that, share news about your company or industry, let us know where you’ve been and what you’re working on.

Tell us a bit about your people and why they do what they do. Show and tell – we want to see pictures and graphics, not just text and a wooden tone. Incorporate infographics, audio and video, and include longer, more in-depth posts that your reader (and Google) will prefer.

But don’t just rely on the blog post because there are lots of other ways you can connect and engage with people. Think Google hangouts, Twitter chats, Instagram meet-ups and more.

Keep it fresh and original

Whatever platforms you use and the types of content you share, make sure you keep it all fresh, original and compelling.

You’ll need to revisit existing content regularly and update where you can – tidy up web pages and reinvigorate a blog that appears stagnant. Put out a new press release or review your post scheduling calendar.

And if you’re struggling for ideas or motivation, come back next week where we’ll show you how to fill up your writing well of inspiration.

But keep writing, creating, publishing and sharing. Focus on quality and variation, not quantity and low cost.

Follow some of these rules and you’ll be putting some varied content spice back into your business’s life.