TGIF Blab Blast – Blog Anatomy: Prompts, Solution, Teaser, Call to Action
Hey there Business Bloomers! In this post you’ll find a Blab video in which I talk about Blog Anatomy: Prompts, Solution, Teaser, and Call to Action. Before we get into the Blog Anatomy however, I want to tell you a little bit about how I was able to easily create this video.
What is Blab?
Blab is a new social video chat forum still in beta development at the time of the writing (Oct. 2015). Blab is a very user friendly platform. When you go to a Blab page, you’ll see the host and guest video feeds in the middle (4 total), the Blab topic and a “Tweet This” button in the sidebar to the left, and the participants chat box in the sidebar to the right.
There are 4 available seats in a Blab chat, and to join you just click the “Join” button that shows in the empty seat video screen when the host opens up the seat.
Last week I hosted a short Blab during which I spoke about the topic of Blog Anatomy: Prompts, Solution, Tease, and Call to Action. I purposefully kept this Blab very short and sweet in recording so that it would make a great video to use in a blog post. Voila! Twitter audience building and blog video creation was had in one stroke by hosting a short Blab! I did a little bit of post-Blab editing in iMovie to cut the original video down from 15 minutes to only 7 minutes so it would be nice and short and sweet for viewers.
Now let’s get onto the topic of Blog Anatomy. Watch the 7 minute video below, or if you prefer you can skip the video and scroll down further to read the rest of the post about Blog Anatomy.
Blog Anatomy: Prompts
What is a blogging prompt?
There are times when you might find yourself burnt out, experiencing writer’s block, or just coming up blank when you’re trying to think of topics to write about for your blog. Blogging prompts are meant to jog your creative juices to get you writing again. A blogging prompt is a starting point for your writing – it might be a short story setup, a simple phrase or question, or even an image. You take in the prompt, then write something inspired by it.
For example, let’s say this image was your blog prompt:
You’re now tasked with writing something inspired by that image and/or caption. The challenge here is to make a connection between the prompt and your business. If you are just doing a creative writing exercise, you can practice setting up the actual photo scene descriptively – what colors do you see, how is the sunlight falling on the scene to create shadows and light, what does the air smell like, etc.
But if you’re writing for a business blog, you need to relate it to your business. Since I am a small business consultant who writes about branding, marketing, and being a solopreneur in general, I might go in a few different directions using the image above as a prompt:
- I could write about the colorful image, and how the colors and scene relate to branding in terms of subconscious messages and what might this image be used to promote. Example: This peaceful image features deep blue skies and water, with rich, golden browns earth tones and leafy greens. It imparts a sense of wholeness, of well being, the peaceful feeling you get when you are out in nature. This would be a great image to use in marketing outdoors products such as camping gear and hiking attire. This would also be a good image for holistic and organic products made with ingredients sourced from nature.
- I could write about fighting business burnout by taking time off to immerse yourself in nature, or meditating and visualizing being in peaceful settings.
In summary, a blogging prompt is some device such as a phrase or image that gives you a starting point to give you ideas for your blogging.
Blog Anatomy: Solution
The next part of the Blog Anatomy discussed in the video is Solutions. When you are writing a business blog, one of the goals is to attract your target audience to your web site. Those would be the folks who are interested in and in need of your goods and services. Here’s a few simple steps to remember when planning and writing your blog post:
Step 1: Put yourself into the mind of your clients and customers.
What do they want? What do they need? What challenges are they facing, for which you provide solutions?
Step 2: What would they search for in a Google Search?
In Step 1 you’ve identified what your potential clients want and need, or what challenges they are facing. So if you were them, and going to do a search to find what you need, what would you search for? Go to your search engine of choice and type in your searches. See what results come up, and take note of how those results are worded in their headlines and descriptions. Are they stating the challenge and giving the solution right up front? This all helps those posts and pages show up in the search results.
Now, write down those search terms you used and keep a list of them – this is now your personal list of blogging prompts for your business posts! How awesome is that! You’ve just identified what your potential clients and customers are searching for, AND created a list of custom blogging prompts to refer to whenever you need a writing push. Woohoo!
Blog Anatomy: Teasers
When you have identified a challenge and are writing your blog post that offers the solution to that challenge, remember to make it an overview only. Offer a few tips for how they can solve their problem or challenge, or how they can improve in something. Do NOT write a long winded, 7 page post listing every single thing they need to do in detail! First of all, who’s got time for that, and second, chances are your readers will not make it through 7 pages of minute details!
So make your posts overviews. This one for example, lists a few point of discussion: Prompts, Solutions, Teasers, and Call to Action. Each one of those points is a headline, with only a few paragraphs giving the overview explanation and maybe an example or two. It is not a full page worksheet complete with brainstorming guide to help you, dear readers, to create your own perfect blog post line by line. It is just a simple post offering a few blogging tips. The detailed, multiple page worksheet complete with brainstorming guide comes when a client books a private consulting session or a workshop with me!
Summary of Teasers: Your post is intended to attract your target audience, provide a solution to their challenge, show them that you have the valuable goods and services that they need or desire, and reinforce your brand identity and reputation as the resource they will go to when they need what you have.
Blog Anatomy: Call to Action
Now that you have have provided a solution to their challenge, and established your business as a valuable resource for your potential clients and customers (the tease), it is time to include that call to action:
Hey… psst… was this post helpful to you?
Did you find this info useful, and valuable, and learn something that will benefit your business?
Would you like to learn more about building a strong brand identity, reputation, and attracting your online target audience through strategic use of social outreach tools like blogging and posting to social media sites?
Well then hey I can help you!
Contact me to book an online workshop or private consulting session, or if you are in the Palm Springs or greater Coachella Valley area, contact me to book a local workshop for you and your staff at your business location!
There…see how I did that?
You’ve just created your list of prompts, used them to identify a challenge your target audience faces and written a post providing a solution, let them know there’s more where that came from, and told them to contact you. Oh wait… that’s what I just did!
Now I want to hear from you – what is the call to action that you include in your blog posts? Do you keep a list of blog prompts? Will you start doing so now? What solutions do you provide to your audiences challenges? I’m all about networking so do leave a link to the blog post you wrote after you read this, and identify for us the prompt, the solution, the tease and the call to action! Check out each others blogs. Leave nice comments. Ask questions. Be social!
Meilani MacDonald is a brand identity and outreach strategy consultant who runs Meilani's Blooming Business Club. Club members enjoy affordable monthly workshops and "Consultant is IN" Hangout sessions focusing on marketing, social media, task and time management, and business coaching and brainstorming.
Meilani also offers editing, proofing, copywriting, book doctoring and graphic design services.