Do you think blogging is dead? It doesn’t need to be if you know how to stand out with blog headlines and content that actually builds trust with your audience!
In this episode you will learn how to write enticing introductions that get people to read your content, headline strategies, and best repurposing practices to generate more content by working smarter, not harder!
Connect with Tracie:
- how to stand out with blog headlines (and content) that actually builds trust
- how to infuse your personality into your content
- how to write enticing introductions that make people excited to read what you wrote
- the best repurposing advice for your content, including podcast episodes
Full Transcription at the bottom of this blog post.
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Hey everyone. Welcome back to the show today. I have a pretty juicy topic. I’m going to talk with Tracie about the non-boring blogging hacks you need to know, but before we get into all the fun jazz on blogging, welcome Tracie!
I am really happy that you’re here, but before we get into the, “what everyone needs to know about non non-boring blogging”, go ahead and introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your business.
Yeah, so I am the founder of Okay Okapi and what I do is I help online business owners, coaches, and creatives, write non-boring (notice that keyword there) personality packed content to help them build their brand online, create a connection with their audience and book more clients. So I usually work as a copy coach and an editor to help my clients create unique brand voices and onboarding content that helps them connect more and convert a bit better.
That’s really cool. And I know this will be such a great episode for our listeners because I’m definitely one of those people where I have the great idea ideas right. In my brain. It’s just getting it out of my brain and into copy and out into the world. And that’s basically what you help people.
Yes, for sure. I think, and you’re totally not alone. I think that’s a big sticking point for so many people is that they have all the ideas in their head, but when it comes time to sitting down in front of the computer and like extracting the ideas, they get completely stuck or they don’t know how to turn it into whatever it is they want to create, whether it’s a blog post or a social media caption or whatever, it just doesn’t quite translate the way that they envisioned it translating.
Yeah. That’s really a key point there. And I think that’s probably why I went into podcasting and not so much blogging because I can just like verbally vomit on my show and it doesn’t really matter. Right,
Right, right. And it’s funny that you say that because, you know, podcasting is another form of content. Right. And I think that people, first of all, they don’t always think that podcasting counts as content for some reason. But I like to tell them that if they want to write, but they feel a little bit more comfortable speaking out loud. That’s a great way to get started with your blog. Post is just start talking like you can do like a voice note or whatever. I don’t know how else people really record themselves these days. But you know, like just kind of see how you are talking about the topic and see what comes up and kind of then use that to help formulate the ideas as you start writing. And
I think too, when people do that, that’s kind of how you find your brand voice, but we’ll get into that. Cause I know that’s a question that I have for you, but my first question is how can we stand out with blog, headlines and content that actually builds trust?
It’s so funny that you asked this because literally I think yesterday I was ranting about this in a blog post. I saw some something on Pinterest and the headline was so misleading because the content of the blog post wasn’t, it wasn’t even close to what the headline was out. So I’d say for headlines, that’s, that’s a big one right away, right? Like make sure that your headline actually matches the content. If your blog post is about, you know, Alison is probably something near to your heart, Instagram calls to action, the headline should be related to that and give the reader a hint. That that’s what you’re going to talk about in the blog post.
So basically no clickbait really.
I mean, please, please try not to. I mean, there’s, to me there’s like a very fine line between being like clickbait and being like mysterious and getting people like interested in clicking, but you know, it’s another one that I saw recently. It was like, it’s super over promised and it’s kind of telling you, like, you can learn how to do this really complex topic in just one blog post, which that’s not really realistic. So I, I just always kind of cringe a little bit when I see you like the click FOMO stuff. And I always encourage people to maybe steer clear of that if they can.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s really good advice. And speaking of headlines, I know that I got trapped into this probably a year ago. I would actually try to come up with my headline first, before I created the content. Well, big mistake. What’s your advice on that?
I think, I mean, I think it’s okay to have a general idea in mind because if you know what the topic is ahead of time, that’s going to help guide the content itself. But if you write your headline first, you’re going to kind of feel trapped into that headline and worry that, oh my gosh, like this sentence doesn’t relate to this topic. Or, you know, you might go down a different path than what you like naturally or wanting to say as you’re writing. So I think it’s a good idea to, okay, sure. I have something in mind, but once you have the content written the topic and exactly what your point is, is going to become so much clearer and it’s going to be that much easier to write a headline that’s compelling for your audience. And
Speaking of compelling, do you have any like tips or strategies when we want to come up with a really juicy headline to pull in our audience? Like, is there a formula that you follow? Are there like certain like buzz or keywords that you tell your clients to use?
I try not to follow formulas. I know that there’s so much advice about how to write a headline that gets people to click. And I mean, I talk about it too. I’m guilty, like raising my hand, but sometimes when you try and write formulas, it comes across just like that. Right. It comes across formulaic, but I know that any headline that’s like how to, you know, whatever your audience wants to learn, how to do or seven steps to whatever your audience wants to do. Um, you know, the best way to do this, any, anything that is kind of giving them a little bit of a hint and telling them like, Hey, I see what your pain point is, what you’re trying to solve. And speaking to that, that’s automatically compelling to them.
Now my next question is how do we infuse our personality into our content? And that’s kind of top, you know, touches what I said earlier about brand voice.
Yeah. So this is a huge topic and I could talk about this, not even kidding all day long, I mean, you should see how many blog posts, if I had to give just like a few tips. The first thing that I would say is to start weaving in expressions that you naturally use and to write like you talk, that’s when you’re getting closer to your, your voice and your brand voice. And one really easy way to do that is to start to pay attention to any words or phrases or expressions that you use when you’re chatting with your best friend or anytime you’re on the phone with a family member or even a client. And I know sometimes when we’re trying to think of this, like, you know, as a concept, it can feel like what I’m, I have no idea where to even start with that.
So if, if nothing comes to mind right away, because not everyone has a catch phrase, right. You can do a couple of things. Um, like we talked about earlier, you could record a conversation with a friend or a client to see what kinds of expressions naturally pop out of your mouth. You know, maybe you say, you know, a lot, like I just did, maybe you start sentences with here’s the thing all the time. Maybe you have some sort of favorite exclamation like, oh, snap or what the fluff that every time you talked to someone, it comes out. Right? The other thing too is trying to read your content out loud. And I know that it can feel kind of weird and awkward at first, but it gives you really clear insight into things that feel out of place and unnatural. So if you’re reading it out loud and you notice that something’s not really flowing, or it’s not rolling off your tongue, then it’s not, you, it’s not natural. It’s not your voice. Right. Right.
That’s actually something I do all the time with my Instagram captions when I am preparing them, I always read them out loud.
That’s so it’s so smart because not only is it a great way to catch any like weird typos or anything, but it is just when I read things out loud, I notice where I get stuck and I find myself editing it as I’m reading it out loud. Like I would never actually say that or this, that just sounds weird. That’s not me. Right. So it’s weird shore, but really, really helpful. Absolutely. Yeah.
Yeah. I think that’s probably the biggest takeaway when it comes to writing anything really. Or even when I’m preparing like podcast notes, I will read it out loud. Just even see if this even sounds like me.
Yeah. Cause I think it’s so easy for people to get, to have like an idea of what they want to sound like when they’re writing, but they sound completely different when they’re talking and it can be kind of disconcerting for your audience. Let’s say you’re writing this certain brand voice, but then you get on a call with someone and they’re like, what? Like that is not how I thought she was going to sound. So the more consistent you can be with your voice, the better, and again, reading it out loud really, really helps you see where you might be missing those pieces.
And here’s a little like hack or tip for our listeners. Um, what you could do is you can actually, let’s say there’s a topic that you want to write about, just start talking into your, you know, your memo app on your phone, save it. And then you can actually upload that file to, um, I don’t know if you know about this, Tracy, it is a website called, uh, is it TIMI or TMI? It’s T E N i.com. And they will transcribe word for word your audio. And it’s like, twenty-five cents a minute or something it’s super cheap. And then you can just go in and edit it.
Yes. I, I think that’s such a great way for people that don’t feel as comfortable writing as some other people might to just talk about it, see what comes up, that’s going to help you get going and take some of the pressure off. Because a lot of times when we’re writing, we like we make it this stressful, like pressure filled thing. And if you’re just talking about it, that really helps like keep it calmer and less of a like, oh my God experience.
Absolutely. Now my next question is how can we write an enticing introduction that makes people excited to read what we wrote?
I love this question because you really need to grab people’s attention, right? Like super quick and convince them to keep reading. I don’t know what the latest research says about like how quickly people decide, whether they’re going to keep reading, but it’s seconds. Right. So I think it’s really helpful to build on the momentum from your attention grabbing headline. And there’s a few different ways that you can start your blog post, um, same way you might start at a headline, honestly. Like, do you remember the old school, like five paragraph essays you would write in high school, but you would always wouldn’t you always like, kind of start with a question, right? So it sounds silly, but it’s, it’s a tactic because it works, it immediately draws the reader in and kind of helps start a conversation with them. As soon as they see the question, they start thinking about how they would answer it and then they start wondering if you agree with them. So then they keep reading to know how you’d answer that question.
Okay. So start with a question is one strategy. Do you have another strategy? I have several,
I think, um, a really quick one is, you know, the, I like to say truth bomb. Obviously I didn’t come up with that, but it’s really just a straightforward statement. That’s usually, but not always like a little bit of tough love, like, you know, your clients, aren’t looking for alignment or no, one’s reading your blog posts there. They’re really simple, but they make your reader snap to attention, like really, really fast because they’re like, whoa, I can’t believe she just said that. I think, uh, another one that I like to use is, um, starting with the story, that’s always really helpful to draw people in because the story hopefully helps them see themselves in what you’ve written and the more specific you can get, the more it resonates with them. And the more they want to keep reading. I also talk a bit about, um, another version of the story, which is opening up with a client conversation, which is really great because first of all, you probably have plenty of examples to pull from. And it serves a couple of purposes. Like it immediately establishes some credibility access, social proof, and, and of course draws people in. So, you know, you can start like the other day I was chatting with one of my clients or jump right into something that your client said like, oh my God, I can’t go back to the office tomorrow. Right? Like it’s using those storytelling tactics to really draw people in and get their attention.
That’s really good advice. Um, was that the last one?
I mean, I have more, if you want to hear them, how about two more? Okay. One, one of my personal favorites is starting a blog post, or even an Instagram caption, whatever, a piece of content with raise your hand. If so, I love this because I love mean girls, but if your readers are mean girl fans or pop culture aficionados, they’ll immediately get the reference and know that you speak their language, which helps build trust, but kind of using this method gives them a chance to self-reflect. So they’re like, Hmm, do I do that? So then they kind of just jump right into reading the rest of the blog posts because you’ve, you kind of piqued their curiosity and they’re like, huh, I do that. What should I do about that? Right. So they feel seen and they feel like maybe you can help them.
So they’ll still keep reading. And then this one’s a little bit similar to, I guess, the truth bomb. And I use this one personally on Instagram all the time. And it’s, it’s opening with an unpopular opinion when you start with something polarizing, whether it’s a little bit, or a lot, people are naturally going to have like an immediate reaction, right. It could be like, yes, hard agree. Or it could, what, no. And they’ll want to read more to either validate their opinion or to see why this crazy person you has this ridiculous view and sharing an unpopular opinion is also a really easy way to set yourself apart and showcase your thought leadership that, you know, you’ve thought about this, you have different ideas and here’s what you think
Those are really cool introduction types. I love those. Um, now do you have like a freebie or something before I get to my next question? Cause I think a lot of people are really going to want to know how to write some really enticing introductions or what kind of freebie do you have for our audience?
I have a freebie about writing spicy headlines. It’s a kind of like a plug and play. Um, I know I said I don’t like formulas, but it’s kind of like 200 put in your keywords that like ideas to get you thinking about how to write more compelling headlines.
Ooh, that’s super juicy. And I kind of liked that we can play around in there’s over 200 of them.
There are. Wow,
Cool. I know our audience is definitely going to want to get their hands on that one. I think I even want it now. Here’s my last question, because I know that we are now in kind of this podcasting world. So many people are launching podcasts. It’s so easy just to talk behind the mic, have interviews, you know, or just talk about what you want, but what’s your best advice on repurposing podcasts episodes into blog posts?
Yes. I love talking about repurposing content. Um, so I think let’s just use this podcast episode here as an example, right? So I obviously I’m going to want to repurpose this into a blog post for myself because now I’m sitting on this awesome new piece of content. So I could do a couple of things. I could post a transcript, obviously like a cleaned up version, right? Because a lot of times transcripts in their original state are kind of unusable weird, like trailing off and you know, like UHS and ums and you know, whatever. But what I would personally do as the guest on a podcast is to create a blog post on the same topics. So this could look a couple of different ways, depending on how long I’ve been allowed to rant for. If it’s a shorter episode, I could literally just use the title of the episode or something similar to the headline and then use the questions as my subheadings.
So let’s say I want to get some SEO going to, I would plug in my keywords to those subheadings. And then the content is just basically the answers to the questions. But if the episode is a little bit on the longer side, I could break it down into a few different blog posts. Let’s say I spent 15 minutes talking about infusing personality into your content, which is not out of the question. That could be one big blog post. And then maybe I spent another 10 minutes chatting about attention, grabbing introductions, boom, one more blog post. And then no matter what the end product looks like, I’m going to make sure that I link to Alison’s website and the podcast episode. Because again for that SEO stuff, that’s basically like a vote of confidence from my site to yours and vice versa, vice versa, like saying to the search engines, Hey, this is really good content. Right. So I think it’s just helpful to think about how you can use it as a big piece and as a smaller piece as well. I
Love that. And then it just made me think too, when you said using the individual questions as an individual blog post, um, this is a little hint for podcasters out there. You could take the individual questions and use them as individual Instagram posts as well.
Yes, for sure. I think for repurposing content because a podcast or a blog post is usually like your meaty piece of content. It’s so easy to break that up into smaller things. You could probably easily get like three, four, five Instagram posts out of a blog post or a podcast. And you could even turn it around into an email as well. There’s, there’s so many ways that you can use it. And I think it’s just important to remember that no one seen every piece of content that we create. So it makes sense to reuse what we’ve already got so that we’re working smarter, not harder.
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