Guest Blogger Ann Mullen
I seem to have sparked something of a debate by saying that you are likely to get more clicks with a great headline and mediocre content than with a dull headline and great content. Many people rightly mentioned that if the content were mediocre, people might be enticed to look with a great headline once; but they wouldn’t be fooled twice. Others said that it took both to get repeat readers.
I have to admit that I occasionally start with the headline and then work on the content, but for the most part I write and then try to create an entertaining headline. So let’s turn our attention to the content since I think, in chicken and egg parlance, the content most often comes first.
There it sits in front of you looking as blank as you feel. It’s the proverbial blank page. I don’t care how many of those suckers you have filled with great prose and sage advice, each one of the blank ones is a stressor. You are overwhelmed with an obligation to your readers to live up to your own previous great works.
I suggest you go dig out your marketing strategy if nothing comes to mind. What is the purpose that you spelled out when you decided to add blogging? What did you decide you were going to do with this blog? In my case I wanted to add information on social media and its uses to business people, especially those in marketing and sales. I have wanted to provide value in a blogosphere of millions of great writers wanting to provide value. I suppose I also wanted people to read what I wrote. I am an average egotist, after all. Aren’t you?
Here is a suggestion for those of you who have faced the blank page once too often or gazed in horror on the millions of great writers already providing value.
The first thing I think of when it comes to providing value it that it involves someone having a problem. Just like the ad on television about the insurance person who creates two badly damaged identical cars, we have all had car accidents and that is a problem. The next problem is that we want to get insurance at the lowest rate we can while still getting our car fixed.
Look at your business. You are in business because someone has a problem that they hope you can fix. There are plenty of things for you to write about based on fixing people’s problems using your business.
Do you need to come up with the ideas all by yourself? No, do some research, read those great writers and see how they added value to a problem like yours. It isn’t nice to quote them without giving them credit, but you can use their work as a jumping off point for your own blog. Since your business is fixing these problems daily, I’ll bet you already know enough to write and add value without a lot of research. When you show your readers that you know what you are talking about, they will be willing to come see you when they have a problem. Before you know it, your blank page isn’t blank anymore and you have a lot of other great ideas as well.
That’s what I do some times. Then I come up with a catchy title (if I’m lucky). How do you defeat the blank page?
Ann Mullen has been writing most of her life, some of it even for pay. She wrote as many as 3 columns a week in a newspaper in South Texas. For the last year she has been learning about websites, blogging and social media managing. Lately, Ann has been a team member of Broadvision Marketing. Ann's blog is Media-Ann-Such.com.