Category Archives for "All Posts"

Oct 13

Should You Write A Script for Your Next Presentation?

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts , Blog Writing , Script Writing

Fake a seizure! Fake a seizure! My inner voice screamed at me. Imploring me to do something. To do anything. All I could muster was a feeble fake cough. All my hard work and preparation had been for nothing. I’d written a script. I’d rehearsed it countless times. But now, when it mattered, when it was showtime when the CEO and entire executive team of NCR were my audience – I was dying a humiliating death in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Untitled design (1)

In hindsight, the outcome was to be expected. I was presenting something that I had little knowledge of and decided the best solution was to write a script.

My mistake was thinking I could memorise it.

I couldn’t.

As the 15 strong executive team left the neighbouring demonstration and made their way towards me, my heartbeat quickened, while everything else went into ‘Super Slow-mo.’

Then the music started.

The iconic opening title music from Reservoir Dogs, no less.

Reservoir Dogs

Mr. Pink, Mr. Brown and the gang were pussycats compared to Mr. CEO, Mr. President of Marketing and a collection of expensive suits.

My strategy was simple. Delivering my opening line perfectly would give me confidence. Then the magic would happen. By the laws of association and the power of the human brain, my entire carefully prepared script would magically come alive.

This would be my ‘I have a dream’ moment.

What I didn’t consider is this – what happens if I DIDN’T remember that first line?

I found that out the hard way.

The lesson I took from this is an important one, and it’s never left me.

When it comes to delivering a presentation, a demonstration or any form of public speaking, there are only two options.

  • You can read from a script OR
  • You deliver it off the cuff.

Writing a script, then attempting to memorise it, word for word, simply doesn’t work.

I now mix up my approach. Sometimes I read from a script, and sometimes I just go with the flow. Either way you need to do what makes you the most comfortable version of yourself.

I died in Las Vegas – So You Don’t Have To

So why am I sharing what might seem like obvious advice?

Yesterday I delivered a presentation coaching session for one of my clients. It’s not a service I offer, but he asked, and I answered.

He’s delivering a 20-minute presentation later in the year and initially, he wanted me to write the script for him. After I’d offered him some tips and advice, he asked if I’d coach him on how to deliver it.

I thought I’d share my process with you.

The Process

Source Material

What came first the blog or the script?

I’d ghostwritten two blog articles related to the event for my client and recommended that we use those as the source material for the script.

A blog post is one of the most personal forms of writing, and I think they can serve as a solid foundation for a script.

But this isn’t a copy and paste job. Writing for the page and writing to be narrated isn’t the same. The blog post gave me the structure, but with the exception of a few key phrases, it was entirely rewritten.

Say it loud and proud

Once I’d completed the first draft of the script, I read it out to check the initial flow. If I tripped up on any phrases or identified elements that sounded robotic, I made a mental note to correct it in the next stage – but I pressed on to establish the initial timings.

Paragraph by Paragraph

Next I read each paragraph out loud, this time though I stopped to correct phrases that didn’t work. If I couldn’t decide on how to fix the issue, I made a note and moved on to the next paragraph.

The Recording Artist

2nd draft crafted, it was time to try a slightly different review process. This time, I’d become a recording artist. I used the ‘Recorder’ app on my iPhone and this time delivered the script as if I was delivering it for real.

A bonus piece of advice – if your kids are on holiday, and you work from home, be prepared for interruptions. “Daddy, I need toilet roll!” can clearly be heard on the first draft!

Reviewing the recording with pen in hand is a great way to identify more areas for improvement.

The Coaching

I recommended to the client that we meet at the venue to have a run through. To help break the ice, I decided to show, rather than tell. I jumped up onto the stage (OK I clambered!) and delivered the presentation.

We discussed some changes and then I offered some fairly rudimentary presentation advice, demonstrating each step as I did.

Next it was his turn.

He did really well.

With each run through, he gained more confidence. I scribbled notes to make further changes to improve the script.

By the final run through he was combining reading from the script with the occasional ad-lib. He took my advice and slowed down his speech and varied the tone – the difference from ‘Take 1’ and ‘Take 4’ was dramatic.

He told me afterwards that it had been a really valuable experience and that he was now far more confident about delivering a powerful presentation.

And of course, I saved my best advice for last.

If things go wrong – just fake a seizure.

Oct 11

Personally Speaking | Injecting your personality into your blog

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts , Blog Writing

The site of a blinking cursor can turn the most mild-mannered person into a blinking curser. Fingers hover over keys. They waggle in mid-air, waiting for inspiration to strike. Nothing happens. Wistfully looking out of the window doesn’t help either. Nor does stroking your chin thoughtfully.

Untitled design

Sound familiar?

Sometimes it’s because you simply don’t know what to say. But sometimes you know EXACTLY what you’d like to say, you just don’t know how to say it in the right way. And by ‘right way’ I mean – YOUR way.

Writing a blog post isn’t easy. Writing one that captures your personality and unique voice is even harder.

I’ve spoken to some people recently who have had some very kind words to say about my blog writing style. The theme that comes through consistently is that they like my mix of mirth and message.

In other words, they enjoy that I write content that helps or informs while at the same time letting my personality come through.

But it wasn’t always like that.

Some of my earlier blog posts were, in hindsight, a bit stuffy. The writing wasn’t terrible, but it lacked something. What was missing was me.

I was deliberately holding myself back. I had created two versions of myself; the online Kev and the off-line Kev. In short, I wasn’t authentic.

The Real Me

Being authentic simply means – being you. It shouldn’t be a task or activity. It’s not a tactic or a strategy. It’s spontaneous. It’s warts and all. It’s ‘take it or leave it’ – this is who I am.

In my case, the real me is an attention seeker who gets the greatest joy from making people laugh. For me, it’s a form of Tourettes. I just can’t help myself. Funny things come into my head all the time, and I get the purest of joys and highest of highs when I share them. The audience might be my kids, my family, my friends or strangers – it doesn’t matter – if I draw out a laugh, or at the least a genuine smile, then I’m happy.

The real me is also brutally honest, open and emotional. I’ve shared a lot of personal ‘stuff’ online. Touchy, feely stories, particularly about my family and the stress related illness that almost broke me.

That’s the real me. The authentic me. The ‘me’ that I need to share in my blog posts.

Find your personality NOT mine

As much as the compliments I’ve received have meant a lot to me (#AttentionSeeker), your writing shouldn’t aim to replicate my style or any other writers style for that matter. You need to find your voice. It means writing ‘filters-off’.

There are a few reasons why people find it hard to let their personality come through in their blog writing.

1. Corporate Social Irresponsibility

They’ve been forced to write bland, uninspiring copy in the form of formal reports & proposals in a corporate environment. Although they have left that World behind them – they suffer a form of writing hangover.

2. School Daze

For some, writing a blog, will be the first time they’ve written anything for public consumption since they left school. For them, the association can be understandably terrifying. They were judged at school. They don’t want to be judged now.

3. They Don’t Think They Have A Personality

Some people genuinely don’t think that they have a personality, or at least, a personality that anyone will like. They hide their real self. They play it safe. They write neutral content because they think that’s what the World wants.

Injecting the real you into your blog writing won’t just make the process more enjoyable, it will make your content sing. Opening up lets people get to know the REAL you. The authentic you. The best version of yourself.

Blog writing is one of the most personal forms of writing their is. There is an intimacy that you don’t get in other forms of writing. Have the confidence to be yourself.

“Easier said than done.” I’m sure some of you are thinking.

Here are three quick tips to get you started.

  • Write Like You Talk

Remember, this isn’t a formal piece of writing it’s a blog. Keep it conversational and write how you talk. Take it a step further by reading it out loud to see how it sounds. Does it flow like a natural conversation or is it clunky. Don’t worry if it’s the latter, it’s easy to fix.

  • Filters Off

The natural reaction is to self-edit as you go. An amusing thought, a play on words or a left-field anecdote doesn’t even get into your first draft. Why? Because you let your logical brain get in the way. You talk yourself out of it. You rationalise. Include everything in your first draft, don’t leave anything out. You can edit later. For now, capture everything.

  • Talk to one person

Having a specific person in mind helps focus your blog writing. It keeps the tone consistent and acts as a roadmap. It might be a friend who would relate to your blog topic, or it could be a specific client who needs help with a specific challenge. Think of it as an open-letter to your ideal reader.

Remember, this isn’t about being a stand-up comedian. It’s about being you.

I’ll leave the final words to a far wiser man than me –

People don’t buy from a website. They buy from people. Let them see who you are.”

Mark Schaefer


 

Personally Speaking
I’ve started writing my first eBook – “Personally Speaking – Finding and Sharing Your Real Blogging Voice.” (Working Title!) I’m also in the process of creating the ‘Personally Speaking Coaching Programme’ for those that would appreciate some 1-1 support from me. If you’re interested in either – leave a comment or get in touch.
Oct 08

Does your business need a tagline?

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts , Taglines

Something was missing. An intangible gap. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then I realised; my brand was naked. Butt naked. Starkers.

The ‘clothes’ that my business so obviously lacked were actually words. Words that would help tell the World what my business did.

I needed a tagline.

Unless I was in the ultra ‘niched’ speciality of marketing “Square Trees” – the name of my business – “Square Tree Marketing Ltd.” doesn’t share what I really do.

My business has evolved from being a generic marketing consultancy, to become a freelance writing business – but you’d not know that from my brand.

I had considered a complete rebrand, but ultimately I am a ‘marketer’, who writes. Plus, I like my brand name, it was inspired by one of my kids – so I was reluctant to make the shift. And yes, I couldn’t bring myself to bin the 1,495 business cards that I’ve still got. (I started with 1,500!)

A tagline; to borrow from Jerry McGuire, would complete me.

What is a tagline

Let’s take a step back, what exactly is a tagline? In simple terms, a tagline is a catchphrase or small group of words that combine to identify a product or company. For some, it’s an opportunity to spell out explicitly what they do, while for others, they’re used to define the philosophy behind the company.

  • Nike – Just Do It
  • Apple – Think Different
  • McDonalds – I’m Loving It
  • Tesco – Every Little Helps
  • The Content Marketing Academy – Creating Better Customers
  • Saddleback Leather – They’ll fight over it when you’re dead

(Thanks Chris Marr for the last on that short list.)

The Anatomy of a tagline

There are many different takes on what a tagline should consist of, here’s my thoughts. A tagline should be:

  • Short (3-6 Words)
  • Simple
  • Clear
  • Direct
  • Memorable

(I’ve shared some links at the end of this post that will give some more detail and different perspectives.)

My Tagline

My own tagline came directly from the positioning statement I created last week.

“I help passionate and committed content marketers grow their business by writing engaging content and coaching them to do the same.”

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I wanted my tagline to do just 2 things – 

  1. Say what I do
  2. Say who I serve

After much beard stroking, pondering and a Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle – here is what I settled on.

“Content Writing for Content Marketers”

STM 350x128pixels

It won’t win any awards, but it’s given me the clarity that I needed, and in terms of meeting the brief – I think it’s spot on.

I’ve had a number of conversations with the Content Marketing Academy community on the subject of taglines. There’s a consensus that although they are incredibly short, taglines are among the most important words you will write. It’s worth spending the time and seeking the council of friends, business associates and countrymen.

I’m just glad the Square Tree Marketing empire finally has some new clothes.

My modesty is restored.


Resources

10 Companies That Totally Nailed Their Taglines

Anatomy 0f a tagline

The Anatomy of a great strapline

How to create a rock star tagline

Caveat Superlative (How to Write a Good Tagline)

Sep 29

Writer v Editor | How to be a more efficient writer

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts , Uncategorized

The biggest breakthrough in my writing career came when I finally separated writing and editing. It was a bitter divorce, but one that had to be made. Before they went their separate ways, I would type a sentence of 15 words and then promptly delete 10 of them. It was a slow and frustrating process, that I’m sure many of you have experienced.

Writer v Editor

The good old fashioned notebook can help with outlines.

Now I divide the two stages. By not correcting myself as I go I type my initial draft relatively quickly, even if there are glaringly obvious typos. It’s quite liberating to type, knowing that the many typos I’ve ignored will be corrected later. It speeds up the writing process dramatically and has made me a more efficient and creative writer.

I’ll not lie, it takes a while to get used to the concept that writing and editing are entirely different processes. Here are a few tips I’d like to share to help make things a bit easier.

Tip 1 – Outline To Keep Focus

Create a clear outline for what you’re writing. Might sound obvious, but it helps narrows the focus and stops your mind drifting off. (Bonus Tip – I’m a lover of all things digital, but I love handwriting the outline in a notebook.)

Tip 2 – Different Tools for Different Tasks

Use different writing apps for your writing and editing. I use the iA Writer application that is synched across my iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air to write my first draft. I edit final drafts in ByWord (another Mac-based writing app) or Microsoft Word. My brain has made the association that iA Writer = Writing and ByWord or Word = Editing.

Tip 3 – Time Out

Take a break between writing and editing phases. I prefer the ‘sleep on it’ approach, but if you are up against a deadline then at least take a break, or work on something else. Task switching is my preferred method if I have to. It keeps my brain in ‘work’ mode.

Tip 4 – Keep Proofreading Until The End

Take the separation a step further by leaving proofreading to the end of the writing project. I use Grammarly.com to help automate the process before I re-read the content to check for any other errors. If you have a particularly pedantic amateur proofreader (hi Mum!) then hand over your masterpiece to them for inspection.

Tip 5 – Say it loud & proud

A proofreader will catch spelling & grammatical errors, but they might miss flaws with the flow of your writing. A great way of picking up on these is to read the content out loud. Better still, record it on your iPhone or dictaphone (do you still get those?) and listen back to yourself. You might cringe and hate the sound of your voice, but it’s a fantastic way to identify any issues with the flow of your writing.

Tip 6 -Delete the Delete Key

Ban yourself from touching the delete key at all during the writing phase. Some take this a step further either obstruct the Delete key or in some cases – remove it entirely. I couldn’t bring myself to deface my keyboard in such a brutal manner – but with a bit of discipline, such extreme measure aren’t necessary.

Final Thoughts

Writing is a creative, right-brain activity, and editing is a logical, left-brain activity. Keeping those two opposing beasts as far away from each other is the quickest way to become a more efficient writer. Give these tips a try and let me know how you get on. If you’ve got any of your own tips on separating writing and editing I’d love to hear them.

Sep 28

Blog Editing – How a New Service Was Born

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts , Blog Editing , Blog Writing

I know that many business owners want to write their own blog posts and online articles, which is something I’ve recommended in a previous blog post. I also know that some lack the confidence or just need the support to get their content to a standard they’re proud of. After discussing the idea with a number of colleagues at The Content Marketing Academy Master Class Group, I’ve decided to launch a Blog Editing Service.

Blog Editing Post

The Blog Editing Service – The Trial Run

I spoke with Pam Laird, owner of the fantastic Fin and Co. hair salon in Carnoustie about editing one of her first blog posts. As well as being a highly respected salon owner, she’s also a fellow believer in the benefits of Content Marketing – and a regularly updated blog will be a central component of her new website.

I offered the first edit for free, but it turned out to be hugely valuable for me. It helped me develop the process and put the theory to test. And of course, it gave me the opportunity to see if it was something I’d enjoy doing.

Pam sent an email with her first draft. It was 604 words in length and was about how to find your ideal hairstyle and stylist. As a first draft, it was really good. It was authentically Pam. Her personality and passion shone through.

So there were two challenges I needed to address – firstly I needed to make sure that I didn’t lose Pam’s voice during the editing process. Secondly – lacking hair that merits a stylist – I needed to familiarise myself with the World of hairdressing!

The Blog Editing Process

Step 1

I read through the blog post three times to make sure I understood the meaning and establish a feel for Pam’s tone of voice.

Step 2

I copied the content and pasted it into my writing software of choice. (iA Writer).

Step 3

I reviewed the ordering of the paragraphs to check the flow of the piece. For Pam’s post, the structure worked well.

Step 4

I rewrote each paragraph immediately underneath Pam’s version so that I could clearly illustrate the changes that I had made. (Pam’s original paragraphs were coloured BLUE with my edited version being written in plain text.)

Step 5

I copied the final version without Pam’s paragraphs and created a new page in the document that had my completed version. This way Pam has two versions – one that showed the changes in relation to the original content she created and one that was easier to read on its own.

Step 6

I re-read the final piece and made a couple of alterations before I put it through Grammarly (Online Proofreading App).

Step 7

On reading it one last time, I had a moment of inspiration and added a ’Top Tip’ to the article that I thought would add value to the piece.

Step 8

I saved as a Word document and a PDF and sent to Pam.


The process took me 41 minutes to complete. What surprised me, was just how much I enjoyed it. I love to write and had no idea if I’d feel the same way about editing. But I absolutely did.

My editing process isn’t about merely correcting spelling or grammar errors – it’s about adding value. I get a huge amount of pleasure taking a raw material and turning it into something better. Ironically a similar feeling I know Pam gets when she transforms someone’s hair.

Pam’s Perspective

So did Pam like the final edit? She can say it better than I can! (And no… I didn’t edit this!)

“My initial reaction was one of total relief. Relief that Kevin had taken what had been written and turned it into something of value to our clients keeping our own voice throughout.

Having the security that Kevin is editing our blogs before they go public gives me the confidence to write for our audience. The fear of people reading and thinking “what’s that all about” is now gone thanks to Kevin.”

And yes – Pam has become my first paying blog editing client as a result of this little experiment.

The Service

This blog is more about the process than promoting the service. A sales page will be worked on over the course of the week, but for now here is the pricing that I have set, again following discussions with my Content Marketing Academy colleagues. A one-off edit costs £35 while a prepaid voucher for 6 edited blog posts costs £150 or £25 per blog. The blogs can be up to 750 words. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on the pricing. Leave a comment or email Kevin at squaretreemarketing.co.uk

Although I wrote quite extensively about my experience at the Content Marketing Academy Conference, I’m delighted that I continue to benefit from the generous community that Chris has created. Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

Sep 22

5 Reasons Why You Should Write A Blog For Your Business

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts , Blog Writing , Content Writing

I wanted to share with you my 5 top Reasons Why You Should Write A Blog For your business. It’s a subject that’s come up in conversation with a number of clients – so here’s what I’ve shared with them.

Personality

A blog gives you the opportunity to show a different side to your business. It can be the platform that introduces you and your team on a more personal level. It’s a great way of humanising your website content. And although it’s a cliche – people buy from people.

Visibility

Google likes blogs. If you have a website with static content that never changes, then the little Google Robots won’t pop by as often as they should. Each blog you post reminds Google, and your audience that you still exist. Remember though – you’re writing content for real humans.

Trust

A consistently written blog, shared with a relevant and engaged audience is the key to building relationships online. And one blog post at a time, that growing relationship will eventually be a trusting one. And trust, is the most powerful asset your business can have.

Authority

Your blog can be the strongest positioning tool for you and your business. It can share your expertise, experience and knowledge. Each blog post yiur write gives you the opportunity to teach something new and connect with your audience.

Leads

If all this sounds a little bit fluffy or touchy feely then you’ll be glad to know that a blog can become a stone cold lead generator for your business . Sharing valuable free content in a blog post and then directing your readers to a free ebook or White paper is a hugely successful lead generating strategy.

That’s my top 5 reasons why you should write a blog for your business –

  • Personality
  • Visibility
  • Trust
  • Authority
  • Leads

What’s your top 5. Leave a comment or tweet me @kevanderson with #WhyIBlog

 


If you’re looking for more inspiration on why you should blog, here are 3 sites that I think will help.

  1. 19 Reasons why you should be writing a blog.
  2. The Benefits of Blogging for business.
  3. 10 Reasons you should be blogging.
Sep 21

What Should I Pay For A Blog Post?

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts , Content Writing

I was recently asked what I thought was a “fair price to pay for a blog post.” The interrogator was a friend, and, to be honest, it caught me off-guard. I’ve been asked to provide quotes for my content writing services before, but this was a good friend who will never become a client of mine.

I could have answered with an existential “what is anything really worth?” But I thought I needed a deeper, more profound response. After some consideration, I dug deep and summoned all my intellectual might and replied “It Depends.” Well actually, it sounded more like a question – “It Depends?”

When it comes to blog writing, you can pay anything from $5 to £500 for a blog post. That’s a huge gap and a completely unreasonable one on the surface. At least it would be if the $5 and £500 blog post were the same. I can’t be sure, but I’m reasonably confident that the quality of the £500 one will be higher than the $5 version.

Fair Enough?

Ultimately each business owner needs to determine the value of anything they choose to invest in. £500 for a blog post for a business that sells low-cost ‘widgets’ that retail for £1 would probably be extreme. But a £500 blog post for a company that sells commercial property, that nets £500,000 in profit, could be a worthwhile investment.

Only you as the business owner can determine what fair means. If you are looking at content writing as a means of creating blog posts that are simply SEO fodder to drive people to your website – then low cost, high volume content could work. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for ghostwritten blog posts that sound like you, share your values and make an authentic connection with your audience – then those will cost you more.

I’m not a commodity

A lot of writers accept that the words they write are commodities. Arrogantly, I don’t buy into that. There is only one of me. I’m unique, and therefore, I can’t be a commodity. I might have a similar command of the English language as my blog writing compatriots, but the experiences I’ve had are different.

Fair Do’s?

I’ve developed a process for ghostwriting blog posts, and other writers will have their own. I’ve set my prices based on that process and in a roundabout answer to my chums question – what I charge, based on my experience is fair.

But I’m a realist – and my advice is that you should only pay what you can afford for your blog posts.

For another perspective on the tricky question of blog writing pricing, I recommend you read Carol Tice’s excellent blog post on the subject. 

Sep 16

How Much Does It Cost To Write A Blog Article?

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts , Content Writing

I know that trusting a stranger to write something as personal as a blog article is a big step, one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’ve made the decision to do so, the next logical step is to ask  – How Much Does It Cost To Write A Blog Article?

The truth is, whether you want to deal with someone locally or outsource overseas, you have a host of freelance writing suppliers to choose from. And many of them will offer their writing services for less than I do. Some, considerably so. On the flipside, there are many copywriters that will charge significantly more than I do.

Why The Difference

How Much Does It Cost To Write A Blog Article?

Kevin Anderson | Copywriter & Business Writer

Let’s take Blog Ghost Writing as an example. For the uninitiated this is where I write a blog post for your site that you take the credit for. I charge anywhere between £70 and £100 for a 500-650 word blog post. (You can find detailed pricing on my Blog Ghost Writing page).

I know local copywriters that will charge £35, and there are freelancing websites where you can get articles written for as little as $5. I’m sure you can see; that’s quite a difference.

I could quite easily tell you all about my 21 years marketing experience. Throw in some witty anecdotes, drop a few names and give you a brief history of my career in a bid to justify my pricing structure. But that wouldn’t answer the question.

The reason I charge what I charge is down to the process I employ to create copy that has a voice you recognise as your own.

The Process

Step 1 – Getting to know YOU

If you’re looking to fill in a form and have copy created without ever speaking to me – then I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I need to understand your business, your objectives, and more importantly I need to understand you. What makes you tick, how do you speak – because ultimately your personality should come out in the work I write for you. I can’t represent your voice if I’ve never heard it.

If you’re local (Dundee or Perth) we can meet in person or if you’re further afield – we can use Skype, Facetime or the good old fashioned telephone to talk through your requirements.

These meetings or calls typically take between 30 minutes and an hour. They are an essential part of the process.

Step 2 – The Blog Brief

Next, I take the notes from the ‘Getting to Know You’ session and create a more detailed Blog Brief, which acts as our roadmap.

Step 3 – Research (Light)

Armed with the brief, I start the process of gathering background research on your business, your competitors and, of course, the subject of the blog. This is a light piece of research to help create the outline of the post.

Step 4 – The Outline

Once I’ve got a handle on your business and your industry, I’ll be able to sketch out the structure of your blog post. This will usually consist of a list of 3-6 sub-headings along with any notes and typically a sentence relating to the conclusion of the post.

Step 5 – Green Light?

I send you the Blog Brief along with The Outline for you to approve, or amend. This makes sure that I’ve not misinterpreted anything from our initial conversation. The First Draft won’t start until you have agreed signed-off this element.

Step 6 – Research (Detailed)

The signed-off Outline gives me the confidence to undertake more detailed research. In some cases, this will simply be an extension of Step 3 although you may well introduce new source material during the Green Light phase.

Step 7 – Write First Draft

Finally! I can start to do what I love – writing. But steps 1-6 are vital to creating a blog post that does you justice.

Step 8 – Edit First Draft

After a short snack, a hot beverage of my choice or on rare occasions, a kebab, I re-read the first draft and make any necessary alterations.

Step 9 – Proof First Draft

I use a combination of online tools to proofread the first draft to make sure that grammatically, the writing is sound.

Step 10 – Send First Draft

I send you the first draft in Word (or PDF if you prefer) for you to review.

Step 11 – Feedback

After a review, you might have some changes you’d like to make to your blog post. Don’t worry, I won’t take this personally.

Step 12 – Write Metadata

The final writing task is to create the metadata for your post, to help with your Search Engine Optimisation efforts.

(Meta Description, Page Title, H1 Tag)

Step 13 – Send Final Draft

I send you the final draft for you to publish on your site. We exchange a ‘high 5’ or ‘fist bump’ (your choice) to acknowledge the start of a beautiful content writing partnership.

And that’s what this process is all about – partnership. It’s the only way I can create valuable content that captures your voice. You and I know that I’m essentially putting words in your mouth, but to your clients, and your website visitors – they’ll read words that are authentically you.

That’s why I DON’T charge $15 or £35 for a blog post.

Sep 15

Is your Headline Writing Killing Relationships?

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts , Content Writing

What NOT TO DO with your headlines

How many times have you clicked on a link or opened an email on the basis of the headline, or subject line? If you’re like me, the answer will be ‘frequently’. How many times have you felt like a sucker as a result? I know I have. The headline promised one thing but then failed to deliver the content you expected. Ask yourself a simple question – how do you feel as a result?

If you’re anything like me, the initial thought will be one of disappointment. But that quickly morphs to anger. You’ve deceived me to get a click, to get my attention – to steal my time. The website owner or e-mail sender has in one sentence, one phrase, one undelivered promise – killed our relationship. Trust is the most valuable of commodities. It’s difficult to gain, and almost impossible to win back if you lose it.

This practice is known as Click Bait – a headline with the soul purpose of getting clicked.

For example, I could have gained more click-throughs for this article with this eye-catching headline –

Raccoon Drives School Bus.

be EXTRAORDINARY

It would certainly get more attention. It would peak people’s interest. It would entertain, to a certain extent. But it wouldn’t deliver on the promise – certainly not in this context. If you’re a satirist writing for the likes of The Poke and The Daily Mash, then fair enough. But if you’re simply using it as a means of generating traffic, you’re making a massive mistake.

The job of the headline is to get people to read on further, click on the link or open the email. Headlines are hugely important and often overlooked by writers and bloggers. They’re often the starting point of what you hope will transform into a relationship. Trust begins with the headline.

I’m all for clever, funny and thought-provoking headlines AS LONG as they deliver on the promise. If the headline leads me to content that adds value, then I will trust the writer more. If it turns out that the headline is the highlight of their writing – trust will be eroded.

Don’t compromise trust by getting too cute with your headlines.

NOTE: No Raccoons were harmed in the writing of this blog post.


In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing a series of articles relating to Headline Writing.

If you’ve got a question relating to writing headlines or have any great examples of Click Bait Headlines that have over-promised and under-delivered, please share them in the comments.