The Ultimate Instagram Stories How-To Guide

If your business uses Instagram, you’ll have probably used the Stories function once or twice. Swiped from Snapchat (more or less), it’s an instant way to share thoughts and boost your visibility on your followers’ feeds.

If you’re not a confident Instagrammer, it’s also another confusing feature to feel intimidated by.

Some businesses hammer Stores all day every day, and some barely use it at all. This ultimate Instagram Stories how-to guide has been created to help you get the most out of this quickfire feature, no matter how you intend to use it.


So let’s get started!

Create a Calendar

If you’ve been running your business for a while, you’ll already be familiar with the concept of an editorial calendar, whether you know it or not.

Your editorial calendar is a foolproof guide, created by you, to help you create and post the right types of marketing content, advertisements and offers at ideal moments throughout the year.

Whether you drill right down to the hours and minutes or you simply keep track of your busier times of year, your editorial decisions are based around these timings. It sounds difficult, but it isn’t: think about how you plan campaigns around Christmas, or summer holiday season, or even in the run-up to the weekend. It all counts!

Creating a calendar for your Stories content will help you out because it means you won’t be left stranded without content on a busy day. It also means you can really take advantage of my next tip…


Schedule Your Stories

Creating your Stories content in bulk and scheduling them across the day, week or month is a fantastic way to keep on top of your Instagram Stories and ensure you’re not leaving your followers drawing a blank when they want to see content from you.

There are apps and scheduling platforms that allow you to do this easily, such as Tailwind and Later. Use their tools and let technology do the hard work for you.

What content should I share on Instagram Stories?

Good question. Every Instagram account is different, and it depends on what you use the platform for as to what you’ll be publishing on Stories every day.

Your main options to choose from are:

●      Photo

●      Video

●      Boomerang

●      Sharing posts.

With photos, you get a static picture, but you can add gifs and other adornments to them in the editing process.

Using video is great to share news or product releases in a personal way, and you can choose to have volume on or off.


Boomerang is a more compelling way to share a relatively dull image – think shots of packaging – but it can eat into your users’ data and become annoying if used too much.

 You can also add to your story by sharing posts from your main feed or from any other feed you choose. This is really useful for highlighting review posts, or drawing people to your main feed for your latest post.

Use Stats

If in doubt, follow the numbers. If you’re not sure what types of content your followers are enjoying, take a quick look at Instagram Insights to see what’s been playing out well and what’s been flopping.

Armed with the facts, you can head back to work and create content you know will hit your targets.

See, Instagram Stories are easy once you get the hang of it! But if you’re really struggling, ping me an email. I’d love to talk to you about how I can help boost your Instagram game.

Until next time…

5 Quick Ways To Improve Your Website Today

Websites are vital to business, but we all know how time-consuming their upkeep can be.

That’s why I’ve come up with five things you can do today to improve your website. Not tomorrow at 9am; today. Even if it’s 3pm now. You can achieve these small tasks.

Consider this a collection of easy wins. Let’s get to it.

  1. Check Your Contact Page

Can your customers reach you if they want to?

You’d be surprised.

Take a look through your contage page and see if all the information is correct and visible. Here’s a checklist for you:

●      Is the phone number right?

●      Can you highlight the phone number on mobile so someone can easily pick up the phone and call you?

●      Is the email address right?

●      Can the email address be clicked on or tapped to send a message immediately?

●      Does the contact form go anywhere?

●      Is your address and postcode visible?

●      If you have a map here, is it working?

Some of these might be issues for IT to deal with, but at least you know now that your customers can contact you without any trouble – or they will be able to soon.

2. Plan Some Blog Posts

You might not have time to write them today, but you can definitely come up with five blog post ideas for your website’s blog.

Blog posts are one of the best ways to improve and update your website’s content and bring new visitors to your website. Taking fifteen minutes to research some compelling blog post titles and then planning out some time to complete and upload them will improve your website by 100%.

Stuck? Try this blog post generator by Hubspot.

3. Update Your Imagery

You’re bound to have some images on your website that are out of date. Times change, things move on and inevitably, websites get a little tired.

Take a look at some of the stock imagery on your website’s main pages and think about photography you could replace it with instead.

Your customers and website visitors find original photography much more engaging than obvious stock photos, but don’t worry. If you have no photos and can’t organise a photoshoot (or take a few new ones yourself), stock imagery can work as long as:

●      It looks natural

●      It works in context

●      It matches the tone and feel of your website.


4. Check Your Links

Are your pages full of hyperlinks?

Well, they should be.

Google loves links that aid the reader to research more, and using links in context is a great way to boost your Google ranking.

However, broken links bring your site right back down again and not only that, they frustrate your visitors too.

Click through your links to make sure they aren’t leading to dead ends, and replace any that do.

5. Check Your Comments

Bots love to leave nonsense comments on blog posts. It’s just robot nature.

While there are very good, very useful spam detectors available for website developers to install, some comments just slip through the net and onto your website.

Take a few minutes to scan through your comment sections (doing this via the back end will be the easiest way) and nip off any of those weird, nonsensical comments that make your site feel a little overgrown and unloved.

I really hope these tips help motivate you to get improving your website. If you think you need a little more help, or would like to talk to me about the website content support I can offer you and your business, let’s chat.

Until next time…

Will copywriting ever be automated?

It sounds like something out of Black Mirror or Bladerunner (or Fifth Element…did you see that? One of the best films ever made, seriously) but one day, automation is going to affect our lives. Big time.

In some cases we already trust automation to take care of things in our everyday schedules. If you’ve got an Alexa taking down your shopping lists, or a Hive switching off your heating while you’re out for the day, you’re already enjoying the advantages of an automation-led future. How exciting is that?!

But what if computer programmes could help streamline your workflow? Would you use a robot to make your copywriting tasks easier?

Hyperspeed Headlines

You might not know this, but there are already programmes out there that are used regularly to write basic news reports for news agencies. The odd thing? You can barely tell the difference between a short court report written up by a human and a traffic update composed by AI. Ouch.

This technology has been used to create advertising copy, too, using Google’s ‘cost-per-click’ system to train tech to make ads that play it safe, thereby encouraging more clicks while driving costs down.

However, marketing corporation Dentsu Aegis Network decided this wasn’t ground-breaking enough for them. As advertising giants, they knew that creativity is what drives the best marketing campaigns. So, they set off on a journey to teach their algorithms how to ‘think’, ‘feel’ and ultimately, get funny.

According to a fascinating news story about the project on, managing director of Dentsu Aegis Network Audrey Kuah said: "Our ambition is to train this AI copywriter to learn how to inject a little bit of that human creativity.”

The robots are coming…

The robots are coming…

The Human Touch

Does this spell the end of the road for creative copywriters?

I honestly don’t think so. While algorithms can be trained to write snappy, empirically interesting copy, the only creativity they can offer is learned.

In that respect, a human element has to exist, in order to push the creative boundaries.

I love writing heartfelt, engaging copy that informs, attracts and moves readers to act. I can’t deny that the idea of having an AI assistant I can send repetitive tasks to is actually a dream come true, for both me and my clients. Imagine all the time I could dedicate to producing thoughtful, creative content! Imagine how much more efficient the processes involved in setting up a website – for example – would be?

 I’m not concerned that robots will take my job. Well, let’s hope not; I quite like doing what I do.


At the end of the day, creativity comes from your lived experiences, your personality, your likes and dislikes and your own personal hunches. What works for one agency might not work for another. Ads that bring home thousands of pounds in revenue for one company might fall flat for others. That’s why humans, with our amazing adaptability and problem-solving skills, could never really be replaced.

I’m actually excited about where AI might take the creative marketing industry. How about you?

Until next time…

How to Write a Blog Post

If you’re new to online marketing, or you’re setting up your own startup, or even if you’ve started to use social media a bit more lately, it’s likely that you’ve searched the term ‘how to write a blog post.’

So many online marketing gurus assume that everyone has a working knowledge of blog posts and their power. But what if you’ve never had to write one before?

 As a marketing copywriter with over a decade of experience behind me, I can tell you that blog post writing is an art that can be learned via three things: practice, and trial and error. What works for your competitor might not work for you – and equally, what your readers might be interested in might be totally unexpected and out of the industry norm. The best thing you can do right now is get started, because the sooner you start writing blog posts, the sooner you’ll start creating engaging posts that grip your readers and keep them coming back for more.


To help you get going, here are some of my best tips for writing blog posts your customers, clients and followers really want to read:

Research Your Readers

Ideally, you’ve already got a really good idea of who your customers are, and who you’d like your customers to be. The thing is, every group of customers has individual reasons for heading to your website’s blog. You can find out what they want by looking at your site’s analytics.

 Using analytics you can see:

●     Your most popular web pages

●     What people are searching for

●     The pages that cause visitors to leave your site

●     Where your visitors are based.

 …and much, much more. Use this data to come up with related topics to write about and you’ll be laughing!

 Write Your Conclusion First

 It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you’re struggling to write a 500 word post about your chosen topic, start with your conclusion.

Once you’ve defined what your post is about and how it’s going to end, filling in the gaps can be a lot easier. Writer’s block is real, but you don’t have to listen to it!

 Find A Topic

In my recent post about creating a blog post editorial calendar, I talked about a blog post topic generator. There are lots of tools like this all over the internet, and I find them really useful.

Remember: you don’t need to use the topics these tools generate for you, but they can help inspire you on days when you’re really struggling.

 Use a Template

 When you’re starting out on your first few posts, it can be difficult to know where to begin. That’s why Hubspot have created a blog template resource with several different styles to choose from. It takes the guesswork out of getting started and gives you space to think about the really important stuff, like the content!

 Sharpen Your Writing

 Finishing typing doesn’t mean you’ve finished your blog post. The next task on your agenda is proofreading. Proofreading is checking your work through thoroughly for errors and typos, and also to see that is ‘scans’ well – that is, it reads naturally and engagingly.

Over time, your skills will sharpen and this process will take less time. Do make sure you proofread every time, though. You never know when spellcheck will let you down. In fact, NEVER rely on smellcheck. See what I did there?!

 There are other tools out there to help you, too. Feeling like your post lacks a bit of pizazz? Head to to give your descriptive words a little boost. Worried your work feels a little cheesy? You might have a minor cliché problem. Zap those overworked phrases with this handy little tool that seeks them out for you.

 Keep At It

 Nobody becomes a great blog post copywriter overnight. It takes time, practice, experience and patience. What I can promise you, however, is that blogging is really important for your website and you’ll see definite benefits if you stick at it.

 Still struggling? That’s what I’m here for. Ping me an email today and let’s talk about how I can help your business or website with some fresh, engaging copy and blog posts.

How to Set Up and Run Business Instagram Account

According to Instagram’s own data, 200 million people engage with at least one business on their platform every single day. In addition, 60% of Instagram’s users say they have found new products through the app – and more and more businesses are using the platform as their main advertising and customer generation outlet.

It’s easy to see why. Instagram became far more revenue-driven after it was bought by Facebook, and by using its customer algorithms, Instagram has enabled business accounts to thrive using bright, engaging adverts and instant purchasing options. It has become one of the first places millennials and generation x consumers head to for inspiration and to beat boredom. And bored thumbs mean quick purchases.


Setting Up Your Instagram Business Account

If you’ve used Instagram before, you’ll already understand the basics of uploading images. What you might not be familiar with is the separate ‘business’ accounts available, which you can sign up for to give you extra control over your account.

Things business accounts include that regular accounts can’t offer you:

●     Insights and metrics

●     Business details such as your phone number and address

●     Instant links to your website or online shop.

The most powerful part of your business Instagram account is the insights and metrics it can offer you. This will show you what your followers are looking at and engaging with in real time, and you’ll be able to learn which posts they react to, so you can start posting stuff they really want to see.


Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

On your profile page, there is space for a short bio about your business, with a link you can send anywhere.

My tips would be:

●     Be clear and grab attention – if you can be memorable, do it!

●     Use a couple of emojis to help describe your business - well, why not?! It is Instagram

●     Send the link to your newest products or latest blog post

●     Add your location

●     If you have more than one account, you can link them in your bio using the @ handle.

Practise Taking Engaging Shots

You don’t have to be a pro photographer on Instagram, but you do need to post photos that tell a story, or are genuinely good to look at.

There are plenty of YouTube videos out there, but this one is a personal favourite. It’s really simple to understand and doesn’t assume that you have an expensive camera, and it’ll really help you to make the most out of the products or people you’re taking photographs of.

Think About Scheduling Your Posts

If you’re low on time – and who isn’t? – scheduling your posts using a tool like Buffer or Tailwind is a great way to make sure you never miss a day of posting.

You can also use your insights and metrics on Instagram or on your chosen scheduling tool to see when the best times to post on Instagram are. This can be based on the number of engagements, or even the times when most of your followers are online. Never waste a great post during a Tuesday afternoon dead-zone ever again!


Of course you might not have the time or resources to run your Instagram account yourself. If you’d like some more advice on setting your business Instagram account up, or you’d like to talk to me about how I can help you boost your Instagram account’s profile, get in touch today.