Now Christmas and New Year are over, graduating seems very close (and scary) so the pressure to gain work experience is getting real. With work experience comes jobs that are pretty new to most of us. I’ve recently begun work experience with the lovely girls at M.A.D Communications in Sunderland, and the first job I was given was to write blog posts for a few different clients.
Obviously I can’t discuss the clients, but let’s just say I didn’t have a foggiest about the topics the clients required. Hypothetically we’ll say one company wanted a blog post about gardening. I’m an English graduate doing a PR Masters and I still live with my parents- safe to say I haven’t got a clue about gardening. I panicked a bit, but after the experience and some words of guidance from Amy and Marie, I feel more confident about how to tackle assigned blog posts. So, here are a few tips on how to get through those dreaded random topics and become a pro in whatever PR needs you to be.
Check out the clients past blog posts
This is probably the best place to start. In the past the company could have written similar blog posts to the one you’ve been assigned, or if you haven’t got a certain title to work with you could gain ideas from their past topics. It’s important that your blog post fits in with the current ones so the feel of the blog isn’t jeopardised- the client doesn’t want it’s readers going ‘well you definitely didn’t write that yourself.’ You can also see what’s been previously covered so you don’t submit a repeat of what’s already been published.
It’s important to sense the tone of the clients writing too. If the tone is serious, and the client is aiming to appear an expert in a field, it’s probably best to avoid cracking jokes and sticking the odd meme in there. However, if the blog is more laid back and conversational it will be best to keep this tone in your post. Consistency is key.
Do some online research
Google is your best friend. Imagine how difficult life would be without Google at our every beck and call (how to write a blog post, how long to boil an egg for…). If you don’t know much about a topic, just do some research beforehand. Read up on the subject and get to know your stuff before you start writing. Check out websites, blogs, magazines- anything there is available in the time you have. The client wants to look like they know their stuff, so it’s important you do. Get Googling, it won’t hurt.
Eye up the competition
If you’re writing a blog post about gardening, it’s always going to be helpful to check out what other gardening blogs are talking about. Not only can you make sure you’re not writing the same stuff, but you can also get some inspiration, or give your own spin on a topic they’ve covered. It can also be helpful to see what posts they’ve had which were popular as this could indicate something that readers really want to see.
Check social media
It’s not going to hurt if your blog post will transfer well to social media. Titles that ask a question, strike up conversation or include odd numbers (apparently) attract people to a post. Checking out what’s worked well on the clients social media in terms of engagement in the past can give you an indication of what to include in yours. Linking back to eyeing up the competition, it can’t hurt to have a peek at their social media too.
I’d love to hear if you have any extra tips to add to the list so don’t hesitate to pop them down below or message me over on twitter.