Blog post ideas, Blog post mistakes, help writing blog posts, professional writer, Lyndall Guinery-Smith

Are you making these mistakes when writing blog posts?

Writing blog posts is something many people enjoy, while others just don’t know how to get started and would rather do anything but write a blog post.

When it’s done well, blogging is a great way to build your profile and be seen as an expert in your industry. However, you can so easily detract from the way your business is perceived if you get it wrong – and that’s not the outcome anyone wants.

If writing blog posts is challenging for you, it may be because you’re making some classic mistakes. Below, you’ll find an outline of the most common mistakes – and how to fix them.

The top 10 mistakes people make when writing blog posts are:

1. Failing to plan and outline before writing

Rather than staring at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration, it’s a good idea to plan out your topic and the main points you want to make before you start writing. Some people find this easier to do with pen and paper, rather than on a screen – just do what works for you.

Not sure where to start with your outline? Once you have a topic in mind, try writing it in the middle of the page, then draw 6 lines coming out from the central topic and write one of the following headings on each line: Who, what, where, when, why and how. Then explore each of these and write notes next to the headings. This will give you an outline.

2. Not thinking about your reader

The most important thing for you to consider is – who is my reader? This is one of the first things to think about when planning your blog post. After all, you’re writing the post for them, aren’t you? What level of understanding of the topic does the reader have? What questions do you need to answer for them?

3. Using jargon or buzz words

Readers may not be familiar with your industry terms and the jargon you use. Unless your article will only be read by those working in your industry, don’t use jargon or buzz words unless you explain them. Use language the everyday person will understand.

4. Not correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes

While spelling, punctuation and grammar might seem like boring topics, they’re important if you want to make a good impression on your reader. Mistakes not only make a blog post difficult to read, they can make you look unprofessional and inefficient. It’s often difficult to see your own errors, so be sure to ask another person to read your blog post before you submit it or hit the publish button.

5. Not correcting typos

Typographical errors, or typos, as they are more commonly known, are another avoidable issue which can make you look unprofessional. Again, it can be difficult to see your own typos, so ask a colleague to check your work before sending it out.

6. Posting paragraph after paragraph of text

  • Keep paragraphs short, sharp and straight to the point
  • Use headings, bullet points or numbered lists to break up text
  • Insert images where appropriate
  • Use numbering or bullet points to break up big chunks of text

7. Using too many different fonts

Using a larger font for headings and sub-headings is fine, but try not to use more than two different fonts throughout your blog post if you want to make a good impression on your reader.

8. Rambling on 

Everyone is time-poor. If you can convey your message in fewer words, do it! Your readers will thank you for it. If you think readers will have further questions at the end of the blog post, add a link or your email address. A call to action at the bottom of your post invites readers to contact you and provides a further opportunity to engage them in a conversation and potentially do business together.

9. Forgetting to use images or diagrams

Some readers are visual, so images and diagrams can enhance the reader’s understanding of your topic. Visuals also help to break up large chunks of text. It’s a good idea to use at least one image or diagram per blog post.

10. Not tying into your brand

Every blog post is an opportunity to reinforce your brand by portraying your company’s approach to business or your “brand essence”. Be sure the topic and your post are in alignment with the way you do business.

 

I hope these tips are helpful to those struggling with writing blog posts. You may also enjoy – 5 ways to generate blog post ideasHow to set up a simple blogging schedule21 blog post ideas for small business owners

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all over Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.

Startup About us page, about us page for startups, Professional Writer, About Us page help

How to write an awesome Startup About Us page

Wondering how to write an awesome startup About Us page? Never fear, help is here!

Did you know that the About Us page is the second most visited page on most websites? The Home page is no. 1. The content of your About Us page is really important in helping to build your credibility. People do business with those they know, like and trust. If a prospective buyer is looking for your product or service, and they land on your site, most often they want to know something about you and learn why they should trust you before they click the BUY icon.

Your startup About Us page should tell your story and build a relationship with your audience, but it must be written with the reader in mind. Most business owners are great at what they do, but it can be quite challenging to be able to look at the business from an outsider’s perspective. I like to tell my clients that the About Us page isn’t just about them, it’s about the partnership between them and their customers and what the business can offer the customer.

Who Are Your Customers?

Before you start writing, you need to have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is. It’s a good idea to set up one or more Ideal Customer Personas or Avatars, each of which describes a type of customer. The profile includes their needs, wants and likes, their demographics – age, sex, education, where they live, their job, their income levels, interests, hobbies, etc. It’s  a good idea to give each one a name and even use a stock photo on their profile so that you can really identify with this “person”. When you’re writing your marketing materials and website copy, you must keep this target person in mind and write to address their needs.

What makes your startup About Us page different from other About Us pages?

Writing a startup About Us page can be a little challenging and some people find themselves wondering where to start. Take out a note pad or open a blank document on your computer and start noting down points you may want to make. Think about your reader – What they will want to know about your business?

Consider telling people you’re new. Being new isn’t necessarily a disadvantage – it can be fresh and exciting. A lot of people are happy to deal with a small home-based business or a startup, as long as you prove you are a credible option.

One good thing about being a startup is, you can’t write a dull and boring company history as your About Us page! Nobody really wants to read those company history documents unless there’s information in there that is directly relevant to them. Try writing your About Us page as more of a story than a chronological list. This will make the page more interesting for your reader and therefore more likely to engage them, make them want to find out more about your company and then do business with you.

Tell Your Story

Introduce yourself as the owner of the business, tell people why you love what you do, why you’re passionate about your industry and how you came to be in the business you’re in. Be sure to detail your credentials and experience, including the most relevant information that will help people get to know, like and trust you. If you’re involved in any volunteer or charity work, include that if it’s relevant to your audience too.

Using a friendly and approachable tone is a good way to engage your reader. This doesn’t mean using too much slang, bad spelling or grammar, just writing the way you speak when you’re face-to-face.

Include A Photo

While some people don’t like having their photo taken, including a photo on your About Us page is really important for building the trust factor with prospective customers. A photo can also help to nurture relationships with those you may already do business with. Most people want to know exactly who is behind the business and what you look like. If possible, it’s a good idea to use a professional photographer to capture you in your best light. If you don’t want to use individual headshots, you could also use a group shot. Wearing your company colours and including a background of your building or vehicles can also look impressive, but isn’t essential.

Let Them Know What Makes You Different

Put an emphasis on your values, your mission and what you’ve set out to achieve. What innovations do you offer? Can you offer more flexibility in delivery, customisation or quality than your competitors?

What’s your USP (Unique Value Proposition)? What can you offer that others can’t?

Is there a gap in the market that your startup is filling? If so, tell the world about it!

Tell Them What You’ll Do For Them

People want you to solve their problems. What service do you offer? How do you solve your customer’s problem? Tell them exactly what you will do for them.

For example, let’s say you sell security products. What problem do you solve for your customers? Your product keeps them and their families safe (it’s not about the hardware itself, it’s about the outcome it achieves).

Or if you’re a hairdresser, you help your customers to look and feel their very best (you don’t simply cut hair).

Boost Your Credibility

You need to prove that you’re a credible option over and above your competition. If you’re brand new to business, consider giving some free or low-cost products or services to family and friends or potential customers in exchange for a testimonial or review. The social proof which comes with a third party endorsement cannot be overstated. People will buy based on positive reviews and testimonials. Post as many testimonials on your site as you possibly can (include a photo where possible) and ask your customers to post reviews on Google, Facebook or a third party site which is relevant to your industry.

Another great way to boost credibility is through the use of case studies, including before and after photos. This is basically a longer version of a testimonial, where you show the “before” photo and tell the reader what problem the customer was having. You then detail the process you went through to solve the problem, before showing the “after” photo which highlights the great outcome and results you’ve achieved. A brief comment from the happy customer further endorses your credibility.

 

I hope these tips have been helpful and will assist you in writing an awesome startup About Us page. If you have any hints or tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments box below. Or if you need any professional help with writing your About Us page, check out my website copywriting services and email me to discuss your requirements.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to read:

How to write an engaging About Us page and

How to write the best About Us page for your website

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I love to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers – and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all around Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.

 

Real estate ad writing, property ad writing, property marketing, professional writer

How to write the best Real Estate ads – Tips from a professional

Want to know how to write the best Real Estate ads?

Getting results from your property marketing can be challenging at times. Many fledgling agents are thrown in at the deep end, told to write real estate ads – often without any prior experience and sometimes using questionable English.

Writing ad copy is such an important part of the job of a salesperson (or Personal Assistant), yet there are many who are not confident in their ability to accurately draw potential buyers through their way with words. Following are some great tips from a professional property copywriter with more than 20 years of Real Estate marketing experience.

Ask questions before you start

Rather than simply filling in the specifications of the home on the listing form, think about what a buyer may be looking for in the home. Before you write your ad, spend some time asking questions so that you have as much information about the property as you can gather. You may want to put together a sheet of questions that you take to each property inspection.

Interview the vendor

They know their home better than anyone else. Ask them so or all of the following questions (where appropriate):

  • What attracted you to the property when you bought it?
  • Can you give me a list of the things you love about living here?
  • What are your best memories in this home?
  • Why are you selling?
  • Have you made any improvements to the property? If so, what and when? Cost?
  • What do you see as the main selling points of the property?
  • Did you have any plans for the property and have they been approved?
  • What do you know about any future developments planned for the area?

While this can take some time to do, all the information you gather can help you with marketing the property, especially in writing the advertising materials and talking to prospective purchasers.

Talk to potential buyers

Now I realise that you’ll only be talking to potential buyers for this new listing after you’ve written the advertising material. When I say “talk to potential buyers”, I’m referring to buyers in general – at other nearby properties you may have Open for Inspection or you may be showing another property to.

Most buyers have done their homework on the area and are looking for a specific type of home. You could ask them:

  • What attracts you to this area?
  • What are you looking for in a home?
  • When two properties have the same no. of bedrooms and bathrooms, what do you think makes one better than the other?
  • How do you assess which properties are good value for money?

The purpose of asking these questions, and listening to the answers, is to tap into the buyer’s mindset and then try to write advertising copy which will appeal to their wants and needs.

Get to know the area you work in

  • Talk to the locals – shop owners are often a mine of information about what’s happening in the area. Ask them what’s going on.
  • Stay up-to-date with new developments in the area – talk to your local Council about proposed and approved developments. Most information is available for public access and comment.
  • Know the actual distance from the property to: All locals schools – primary, secondary, public & private, local shops, larger shopping centres, bus stops, train stations, recreational facilities such as parks, waterways and boat ramps, access to major arterial roads, hospitals and healthcare facilities, and any other services which buyers have on their wish list. Google maps is a great tool for this.

If you want to write real estate ads that stand out, and you’d like more tips on Real Estate copywriting, check out How to write Real Estate headlines that work.

If you have any questions, or you need the assistance of a professional real estate copywriter, please email me via my Contact Page.

Real estate headlines that work

How to write Real Estate headlines that work

Want more buyers at your Open Homes? Yes? If you want to get more buyers through the door, you may need to work on your ad writing skills, particularly your headlines. Headline writing is a critical skill for all Real Estate agents.

The headline is vital in engaging the buyer’s interest in a property. You only have a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention and the headline makes that all-important first impression.

Don’t underestimate the power of the headline. In fact, up to 80% of people won’t read past the headline – unless it grabs their attention!

These days, most Australian Real Estate advertising is placed online on portals such as RealEstate.com and Domain.com, as well as agent’s websites. With time-poor readers and a vast range of other properties drawing the reader’s attention, you must ensure your headlines are captivating, effective and clickable.

The purpose of your headline is to clearly communicate the main benefit of the property, while establishing an emotional connection to the home. Your headline should help readers visualise what it’s like to live in this home, which can establish their emotional attachment to the property.

Here are 7 top tips for writing Real Estate headlines that work: 

Know your audience

Who are you trying to attract? What type of lifestyle do they aspire to? Write the headline (and the body copy) with these buyers in mind.

Marry your headline with your photo

There’s no point in using a shot of the front of the house if the outdoor area and pool is the main selling point. A great lifestyle shot of the outdoor area/pool will do much more to attract a prospective buyer. Some agents even write their ad first, then have the photos taken to match their copy.

Keep it brief

The most effective headlines are 8 words or less, and you’re often limited with space on Real Estate websites. Use the KISS principle – Keep it Short and Simple!

Don’t try to be clever

Unless you were a professional copywriter in your previous life, don’t try to be clever or play on words, it rarely works. Readers will scan your headline, so it needs to convey your message clearly and simply. If they scan it and don’t “get it” on the first read, they may not bother to read it a second time.

Ask a question

You may wish to pose a question in your headline, but only use one which you know your prospects will say YES to!

Write more than one headline

Try writing at least five different headlines, then ask someone else which one they think works best – show them the photo if you already have it.

Keep a swipe file

Study the headlines that work for you and others. Make a note of them and keep a file just for headline ideas. This can provide future inspiration, and save you loads of time – and money!

 

Try these professional tips. They’ll help you write better headlines and draw more attention to the properties you have for sale or the article you’re writing.

If you’d like more tips on Real Estate copywriting, try this article – Top 5 Real Estate copywriting tips from a property copywriting veteran.

If you have any questions, please email me via my Contact Page.

Real estate copywriting tips, How to write a real estate ad, Property Copywriting tips, professional real estate copywriter, property writer

Top 5 Real Estate Copywriting Tips – from a Property Copywriting veteran

If writing property descriptions is challenging, check out these Real Estate copywriting tips.

Writing Real Estate advertisements can be difficult, particularly for those who are new to the industry. Following are some Real Estate copywriting tips from a Professional Property Copywriter with more than 20 years of industry experience.

1. Headlines are key

You only have a split second to attract the attention of your potential buyer, so make sure your headline has impact. What’s the most attractive thing about the property? Put it in the headline.

Boring: Three bedroom family home with pool

More interesting:  “Splash into summer “ or “Cool down in the pool” or “Your kids will love the pool”

Try writing at least three potential lines and see which one works best. Swap the words around if necessary. While your headline must stand out, make sure it’s truthful.

If you’re having trouble writing a headline, try writing the ad copy first, then write your headline. Or check out this article on writing headlines that stand out.

 

2. Features or benefits?

Features are factual yet boring, while it’s the benefits which attract buyers.

A feature is: A covered outdoor area.

A benefit is: Relax and dine in the comfort of your alfresco entertaining area.

Don’t just list the property’s features, highlight the benefits of living there.

 

3. It’s all about the lifestyle

These days, lifestyle is key. Tell the buyer why they will love the property. How will living there save them money? Give them more time with their family? Allow them to appreciate nature? Provide an opportunity to work from home?

Put them in the picture – “Imagine early morning walks on the beach, followed by breakfast on your expansive ocean view terrace.”

 

4. Target your audience

Who is likely to buy the property? Don’t say ANYONE! An apartment located up three flights of stairs is unlikely to appeal to retirees. Think about your target buyers and what they’re looking for in a home – address the ad to them.

For example, if you have a top floor apartment in a three-storey walk up, highlight the views, the location, the breezes you get or the fitness aspect – “Don’t mind stairs?” Sure, this will deter some people, but it’s better to narrow down the buyers with honesty than to attract them with false promises.

 

5. Use the space wisely

Whether you’re buying newspaper ad space or an internet listing, you’ll have limited room to write about the property. Most of the time, you can’t fit EVERYTHING about the property into the ad. You definitely shouldn’t list every single feature anyway (see point no. 2!).

While it’s important to mention the highlights, it’s also good to surprise the buyer with extras when they inspect the property. In fact, hinting at extras in the ad copy gives them a reason to attend the inspection.

 

Bonus tip – Get someone else to read your ad BEFORE you publish it. Consider their opinion and perhaps make some changes if necessary.

I hope these Real Estate copywriting tips have helped you. If you need a professional to help with your property descriptions, feel free to email me with your requirements.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith is The Professional Writer. She loves to write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your customers, and improving your bottom line.

Lyndall has a strong background in Real Estate and is a specialist Property Copywriter. She happily works with clients all round Australia. Email her to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.