Blogging for Roofing Contractors
Demystifying the process
By: Henry Staggs, RRO
November 1, 2020
Henry Staggs, RRO went from homeless and hopeless (that's me folks). To a lifelong career in the roofing industry. Overcoming one obstacle after another. Now Henry wants to give back to the industry by sharing his insights and advice in articles like this one. Do you have specific questions, would you like to speak with Henry? It is easy. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will schedule a call for you. FREE OF CHARGE. Thank you for being part of the solution. Henry is always on the hunt for great content for his many blogs and sites. If have something interesting to share you can reach Henry at email@example.com or call Henry at (480) 265-1613
Do you fear the pen? I sure did for a long time. Writing is challenging for most people and it can seem like an impossible task. Today if you want to succeed in the roofing business. You must be online and that means you will have to write content. Or hire someone to write for you. This article will help you to learn how to write blog post easy, fast, and painlessly.
The Buying Cycle
How and why do people buy?
We all go through the same mental process when trying to decide. The less we know, the more frustrating and scary deciding can be. And a roof is a scary thing to buy. Most people know little about roofing. And what most people do know about roofing, is way off base. The idea that people are coming to remove the roof. That protects their stuff and themselves. And then put on a new roof that will hopefully continue to protect them. Can be scary.
Most people end up making decisions based on what they do know. Like cost, or what it might look like. Not about what really matters. For example, is the contractor qualified? Can their crew do the work? Will the work be to code? And several other questions that are far more important. Then what the cost or color of materials is. After all cost and quality go hand in hand. A badly installed roof will always be more expensive overall.
We start with “curiosity.” For one reason or another someone becomes curious about getting a new roof. Could be they had a leak? Perhaps it’s just getting old? They want to sale their house. Whatever the reason, something piqued their curiosity. That my friend, is where your blog topics live and breathe.
Your blog posts are for cold visitors. People who have never been to your site before.
Your topics should answer the questions, people who are curious about a new roof are asking. I hear you asking, “Ok so how do I know what people are curious about?”. The answer is simple, you ask them. Sites like quora.com are places people go to ask questions and get feedback from others. A few hours of research should give you more than enough to start writing.
The next step of the buying decision is the “investigative” phase. When your prospect has satisfied their curiosity. And they are ready to select a contractor. You should provide them with the tools to do so.
And lastly. The “resolution” phase. This is what it sounds like. Your client has decided and is ready to move forward. You can never guarantee you will end up with their business. But the more that you do to help them. The better your odds are, right? Especially. if it means they keep coming back to your site for more information.
Now that you have a list of topic ideas, what now?
This is the hardest part for most of us, including me. This article for example took me three or four attempts before I finally got to this point. And honestly, I think it could be better. You are likely to feel the same way. We are all our own worst critics. Maybe you are one of the lucky few who has a great writer on staff now? And if you really cannot get it, call me and I can help. I want to help in fact.
This part might get a little confusing. It was for me, but it did all fall into place eventually. And once it did. The mysticism of it all vanished. Having worked with my hands all my life I need to see a set of plans. The manufacturer’s instillation instructions or building code as a guide. Something and anything that tells me HOW to build the roof.
My objective in this post is to give you a simple “blueprint” for your blog writing. Something you can use to build your own blogs. Keep in mind that you are not restricted to my blueprint. Please use mine as a jumping off point to create your own. Over time, you will develop your own style and uniqueness. You will find your voice, don’t worry.
Wait! I can’t write!
Before I move forward, I want to talk about writing. It can be intimidating if you let it be that way. Or it can be a relaxing way to settle down and express yourself. I would encourage you not to be too worried about your spelling and grammar. Get your thoughts on paper first. And then use a web site like www.grammarly.com or www.readable.com to proof and edit your writing. I personally use them both. Not only does it help me write better. But I have noticed that over the past two years. Writing is becoming easier. Still a challenging work though.
The Type of Blog
There are several established blog types; The “how to”, the “what is”, the “list”, the “news jacking” or one of those nice looking “infographics”. The way that you format each one is going to be different. In this blog we will look at the “what is” and “how to” blog types.
Your blog blueprints
The Blog Title
Your blog title should be simple, to the point and less than 60 characters. Think about all the topics you found in your research. For example, a lot of people might be asking “how much does a roofer charge?” That is a good question, right? Cost is one of the things that people are the most concerned about. You might write a headline something like “How much does a roof cost and why”. Or “How to get the best price for your new roof” or maybe “What are the most common ways roofers cheat homeowners”. You get the idea, right?
The introduction is the copy that people will see on their google search under your headline. Keep it somewhere between 100 and 200 characters. The introduction is like the sales message on the product package on any store self. The potential buyer is standing there looking at all the labels and flashy packaging. Trying to decide which one they will pull off the self and read the back panel. Your headline and introduction tells the reader why, they should click your link over the millions of others. For example, “How much does a roof cost. In this Article we will discuss how contractors determine cost. And how you can negotiate the best deal.”
Now you can start writing your blog.
What is _____________ (your topic)
In one or two short paragraphs tell the reader what they are about to read. Tell them what they should expect to know after reading your blog.
What does _____ matter
Talk to your reader about why this information matters to them. What will knowing this do for your reader? How will this information help your reader decide who to hire, or better yet hire you, right?
Some real-life examples will help to show your blog topic is more than an idea. People might lean more your way if you can show them the reality of the matter. Show people that what you are saying is true, relevant, and helping people now.
Tips and advice
Offer your readers something more, something more investigative to be specific. You might share a video that demonstrates your point. Or you might link to articles or papers written by some authority on the topic. Perhaps you might include some helpful work sheets.
This part is the hardest for me personally. This is where you want to tell the readers what they have learned. To reinforce what you said in the start of the blog in the introduction. Basically, change “you will learn” to “you have learned.”
Call to action
The reason you are doing this in the first place is to make your phone ring right? A call to action is exactly what is sounds like. You are asking the reader to do something, to read more, to click a link. What ever it is that you want the reader to do next.
Here is the trick though, and once I tell you this you will say “Oh so … that’s why I see that”. The end of the blog is not the only place for a call to action. You should start calling your readers to action from the start of the blog. You and I have no idea where the reader is in their decision process. You’ll want them to be able to act at any time they want to act.
A call to action can be text, it can be a graphic, or even an advertisement. Place one toward the start of your blog. Another one toward the middle of your blog, this would be a great place for a graphic. And then finally at the end of the blog. That gives your readers three chances to act while reading your blog.
End the article with your name, your title and contact information.
Clear as mud?
I realize that this blog might not be enough to make you a fantastic blogger. And no how to article will ever be able to do that. The more you write, the better you’ll get, and eventually you will become the local go to expert. Questions?
Henry Staggs RRO