Here at Studio Cotton, we love featuring some expert advice and ideas from our favourite creative Bristolian ladies. For this week’s guest blogger, we are super lucky to have the multi-talented Janine Doggett. She’s an ace copywriter, triathlete pro, and dedicated plant-lover.
Want to write fresh articles for your website but need a hand getting started? Scribble a content plan, and then use these 5 top tips to improve your penning prowess.
1. Start somewhere, anywhere!
Half the problem with writing is starting. As a creative pursuit, there’s no right or wrong way; this makes it more fun than maths but also more confusing at times. ‘Just begin’ is one of those really annoying tips that, also annoyingly, works almost every time. If you care about or know your subject then, once you begin, the words will eventually flow.
2. Pen with passion
It’s easy to command C all over a Wikipedia page but an interesting read comes from first-hand experience and something you heart. When you’re into your subject; a unicorn gallops across the keyboard, leaving a trail of rainbow farts that intoxicates your fingertips. Your audience can tell when you’re writing from the heart and – sorry – the opposite is true. If you don’t care, your article is more likely to fall into guff territory (no rainbows this time), and nobody wants that. So, find the angle that you care about. Alongside passion are knowledge, and relevance. Two is good. Bonus points if you can nail all three.
3. Keyword yo’self up
SEO optimised is one of those terms that can make one’s pits sweat. Switch on the desk fan and chill, sister. Inserting (snigger) words that people search for, plus a few relevant links is simple. With tools like Answer The Public, Google Trends and Studio Cotton’s blog on finding your words, you’ll soon be an SEO badass, dishing out keyword tips to friends. Slide key words or phrases into the title or strapline, then into the text a few times. This paragraph is full of ‘em. Sneaky.
4. Find your format
Writers have a mountain of varying terms and styles for how they order text assets. It’s confusing! All you need to do is define your own style and stick to it. Consider the title, subtitle, strapline, intro, body and call to action. Be consistent, in length of each (with the obvious exception being the body text) and order. Keep the intro’ snappy and the title catchy. Not only will your website thank you, but so will your readers. People like to know what they’re getting, and it will be easier for your brain to write to a regular format, too.
5. Check it, then check it again
There’s nothing like a misspelling to make people want to shut a browser window. Once you’ve penned your masterpiece, ask a pal to proof it, or do it yourself later with fresh eyes / coffee breath. Look for quotation, hyphenation and US/UK grammar inconsistencies, misspellings and the oft-spotted crime of yarning on unnecessarily. Use Twitter skills to condense text without losing meaning. Finally, once you hit publish, do it again and again to get better – but not on the same article, Google will hate you.
For more writing tips, or for someone else to do it for you, hit up Janine Doggett at Inkwell. Janine is a freelance writer specialising in sports, fitness and health.