12 March 2014 By Northern Lights
Guest blog by Gabriela Castro-Fontoura – director, Sunny Sky Solutions
“How to write a top-ranked business blog”. I had to buy it. I own a boutique consultancy and I’ve been blogging for nearly three years. I’ve received a lot of praise for my blog, I’d say I’m quite good at social media, I love writing and I never run out of content. So what could I learn from Victoria Tomlinson’s ebook that would really make a difference?
The answer is: a lot. I never worried about keywords before, for example. And I’m still not that worried, mind you. The ebook reminds us that we have to write for content, for our audience, not for Google. But it doesn’t hurt that from time to time to spot ways of improving. Like today, I was writing this blog post about a famous retailer leaving Brazil and I changed “overseas company” for “exporter”. You see, my target audience is exporters, so put the word in, it won’t hurt.
I’m still not that good at subtitles – the ebook explains why to care and how – but I’m getting better with main titles. I am trying to make them more attention-grabbing and include some of the advice on what works, as I did in “5 truths of business meetings in Latin America”. Hyperlinks is something I normally naturally do (have you noticed?), but after reading the book, I quickly check that I’ve included at least a few links.
One of the top tips for me from the ebook is to embed videos, whether your own or not. I haven’t quite fully exploited this yet but I think it would really make my posts so much more current and lively. I did make my first attempt today on the post about Brazil – hope you like it!
I did have a very clear idea why I want to blog and why I make time for it: for our boutique export consultancy specialised in supporting British companies in Latin America, it’s essential that we are seen as the experts in our field. We need to show that we know what we’re talking about and that we are up-to-date with what goes on in countries like Mexico, Brazil and Chile so that UK exporters (spot the keywords) can feel they trust us enough to get in touch. However, in my personal enthusiasm to share my passion for business between Latin America and the UK, my posts can lack some structure. That’s why Victoria’s tip on how to structure a blog post is something I refer to every time I blog now.
Having an engaging question at the end of your posts is another great advice and I am making a conscientious effort to leave each post open to engagement. It’s not always a question, but blog posts are meant to be interactive, not one-sided academic papers, so I do try and leave the conversation open.
Would reading an approachable, down-to-earth, well-written and well-researched blog make you feel like doing business with Latin America? That’s the power of blogging.