Blogging

Writing a News Style Blog

It is funny how a word can evoke such strong emotions. “Blogging” seems to be one of them! I meet quite a few business owners who understand the advantages of blogging for SEO purposes, for sharing knowledge and for explaining their business better…but just can’t stand the term ‘blog’!

However, there is no need to fear because whilst there can be a section on your website that operates as a blog, with an easy way of adding regular posts, categorising them and giving them tags, etc. However, it can be called anything you like in the same way that you can name any of your other pages on your website whatever you like!

A popular option is to call the blog page ‘Latest News’ or ‘Our News’ – this sends the content and the expectations in a different direction and gives the blog a different purpose, but can work very well for many business types.

Why to Choose a News Style Blog

As I have discussed in the past, there are lots of styles of blogs, such as a diary style. A news blog, allows you to report on what your company has been up to. It is incredibly useful for PR and for those style of posts which tell your website visitor and potential clients what your company is up to in ‘real time’, as opposed to a more general descriptions of what you are up to or offering advice.

By offering regular news posts, it really helps to make your company seem busy and active.

What to include

You may worry that you will not have enough ‘news’ to regularly add, but be assured there is often plenty to share, including:

  • Events you attend
  • Special offers
  • Important clients or meetings (with their permission)
  • Sharing finished projects or products
  • Involvement with any local charities
  • Sponsoring local events (or even just donating a raffle prize)
  • Attending events, networking meetings or conferences
  • Funny or amusing stories
  • New staff starting
  • New tools or equipment purchases
  • Sharing reviews – offer the testimonial and then explain a bit about the work involved

News is news – anything about what has happened with your business!

If you name your blog page ‘Latest News’, then it may seem strange to then include blog posts that describe an area of your business or a product or a set of FAQs. However, it is not impossible, you just need to frame it appropriately.

For example, if you want to talk about members of staff, then it would be best framed when a new recruit arrives. You latest news is about the new team member and who they are, but you could then introduce current members using something like “Jo Smith joins X, who does this, Y, who does this and Z who is our ….”

Similarly, if you have a new product or service, your latest news is to tell everyone about the new thing but then the main bulk of the content can cover other products or services, explaining how the new item fits in.

How to write a news style blog

In terms of overall style, try to think about how a newspaper article is written, especially one in a local newspaper. If you have experience, also consider how a press release is written – ensure the article contains all of the key information (What? Where? When? Who?) and include an interesting quote from someone involved if possible.

The other thing about a news style post, is that for good quality content, you don’t have to be writing over 500 words. It is a news article after all. The average article in a local paper is not much more.

Also, don’t forget to take photos to accompany what your news story is about. A stock image can look a little odd – so get in to the habit of taking at 2-3 photos of events, of products, of people, ready for when you write up your ‘Latest News’.

How often to post

I think a blog entitled ‘news’ gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of how often you post. You don’t want to leave it months at a time, as this gives the impression that nothing is happening with your business and everything is a bit ‘inactive’, but ignoring the SEO implication for a moment (which isn’t the be all and end all!) you don’t need to be so rigidly regular. It is more important to be prompt…so if you attend an event, you want to publish news of it, within a couple of days, for example. If that means that you post three times in one month but then only once the following month then with a news style blog it makes more sense…sometimes there is simply more news to share than other times.

No news. Not true!

Firstly, try not to think like that. Think instead…there is always something newsworthy to share I just need to find it and shape…there is always a story to share…hence why newspapers continue to be published every day!

As I briefly mentioned above, what seems like a very small piece of news – such as a new product, can also be turned in to a longer post about similar products or how the product is made.

You can even schedule your news when you know something newsworthy is coming up so that you have a regular supply of stories.

Share your story

I love reading a company’s Latest News, it is interesting to learn what they have been up to other than the normal, standard services they offer

So, if you are turned off by the name ‘blog’ or just don’t feel inspired to write advice or information style blogs, then consider instead sharing regular stories.

For help with blogs or press releases, do contact me. I have lots of ideas to share!

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