You may think writing a blog is easy. You just sit at a computer, pick a topic and write. But for a successful business or promotional blog, there are some key steps you can take to ensure your information is organized and readers keep coming back for more.
If this is a personal blog, pick a topic and think through the message. Is it a blog about fall dinner recipes? If so, come up with a catchy title for each post that describes what it will be about while catching readers’ attention. If you plan to include bullet points, or steps as in a recipe, start with an introductory paragraph that leads into the main content of the blog. localmilkblog.com combines country recipes, beautiful photos and clever writing about how each recipe came to be and a personal narrative about the food. It’s inviting, warm and informative.
If you are promoting a skill, such as carpentry or cake decorating, use headers that include a story about yourself, your expertise, products you offer, videos or media clips and a link to order. Include videos. A blog can be arranged like a mini website and if the content is well organized, people will come back for new information. Ana-White.com is a good example of how information and her carpentry services is well organized and well written. She posts excellent how to videos that explain each project step by step. She keeps the tone light and friendly so readers feel as though they know her, her work and her family. A blog is different from an editorial in the New York Times and should have a friendlier tone.
You could write a blog with lower case and text abbreviations that is meant just for your inner circle, but for any kind of business or professional blog, correct sentence structure and grammar are a must. Grammarly.com is a good website to check your grammar. You can find spell check, which will raise red flags about improper grammar in Microsoft Word. Also, try to find your voice and be consistent. Find your audience and fine tune your voice.
For example, if you’re blogging for a ballet barre company, you should be familiar with ballet terminology and identify your audience. Is it ballet teachers? Ballet studios? Ballet companies? Become familiar with your product and your audience and people will come back to read what you have to say.
You want readers to remember whom you and what you have to say. The blog drillbitsharpener.com is exactly what it says it is. It provides information on drill bits and how to sharpen them. Coming up with a blog name that describes exactly what someone will find on your blog is a great way for people to remember who you are.
If you are a cake decorator try to attach your name to the blog, such as Joannesuniquecakes, for example. Since there are so many domains with generic names, having your name, or the name of your company attached to the web address, will help you and your blog to stand out.
Utilize blog writing websites such as Writerswrite.com, that offers information on how to start a blog, how to write and organize content and how to use SEO text that will help people find you on a Google search. This is key if you blog for a business or any organization that you want readers to know about.
The website rankingcoach.com provides software that will optimize your blog text through SEO portals. It’s a valuable investment if you want your product or brand to come up at the top of search engine lists.
Be sure to include badges for all of your social media platforms, especially Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Vimeo or YouTube. They should be placed right up front on your blog-landing page so people can easily link to them. If you don’t have social media platforms, it is a wise investment in time and money.
If you don’t have time to post on social media, you can find a college student to post your social media if you provide them with the content. Keep the content fresh and announce special sales, or new items if you’re selling a product. Hootsuite is a great and easy-to-use tool to link and manage your social media. This way you’re not posting the same content on different platforms. Hootsuite manages it for you.
If you need help writing content, there are plenty of quality blog writing services that are cost efficient. Many businesses do not have the staff to write daily blog posts and outsourcing is a good idea. How it works is you post the topics you want blog content for along with guidelines and timeframes and these companies have a list of freelancers on hand that write them. You pay the company and they pay the writers. If there is one writer you really like, you can request that specific writer.
godotmedia.com, blogmutt.com, and solidessay.com are just some highly-rated writing services. Better yet, post a message on your blog’s social media that you’re looking for a writer. This means you may find a good writer who is also familiar with your brand or product.
Your blog can stand out from the thousands of others. Organizing your thoughts and content, creating visual content that is engaging and writing in a style that addresses your audience will surely help your message and brand.
Author bio: Ben Russel is a content marketer who writes for godotmedia.com and solidessay.com. In addition, Ben also works as an academic writing expert at several educational websites.
Blogging isn’t easy, simple, or a single shot to financial freedom. It’s not anything like you’ve been trained to believe and buy into. The gurus can scam you all they like but you’ll eventually get to a point that you’ll understand. Either that or you’ll just take my word for it and avoid years getting wasted away launching half-hearted blogging adventures.
Avoid buying into the hype. If it were so easy, everyone would do it. Sweat, blood, and tears go into blogging that make it worth the effort. But what sweat? What exactly do you have to do? Here’s what you should be doing every single, for years to come:
You can’t blog if you don’t read. Reading books, magazines, and your niche specific sources is the single biggest investment into blogging that you’ll ever make. While reading like your life depends on it is also one of the secrets that some of the greatest politicians, entrepreneurs, and other successful people rely on, we’ll ignore that for the moment.
Reading gives you vocabulary. It introduces to different styles of writing. More often than not, your mind begins to form patterns that help you to write stronger and better. Further, reading what others write not only expands your knowledge but also helps you explore your own inner voice. JJ Wong of Inspirationboost.com took the trouble to list out how exactly reading helps.
Blogging requires strong, opinionated writing justified by experience, deduction, insights, attitude, and of course, facts. Without reading, you’ll never be able to blog – be it for yourself, your business, or others.
Writers could take long sabbaticals and head off to exotic tropics to get their mojo back – a break has the potential to revive their mind, give them inspiration, and help their brains get back to writing better. Blogging, however, isn’t like writing a novel. Blogging is more like publishing a magazine, which includes working well into unearthly hours, tight deadlines, collaboration, and planning.
Further, you can’t spit out anything that doesn’t make sense. You can’t rewrite, regurgitate, and sew three other articles into one. According to Ashley Robinson, it’s one of those 12 reasons you won’t make it as a blogger.
Your writing tasks don’t end there: writing also involves email copy you send out to subscribers (you are building your list, aren’t you?), reaching out to other guest bloggers for your blogger outreach programs, leaving comments on other blogs, and responding to comments on your own posts.
Your writing will also include your contributions on forums, groups, and other communities. You’ll also end up writing articles not only your own blog but also ones to go on your peers’ and friends’ blogs as “guest” posts!
All of that writing, by the way, has to consistent. Consistency, according to Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com, is one of the keys to your growth.
There’s also the aspect of “being in the know.” Bloggers just have to know, for which they have to use the right tools!
Who visits your blog? Where are your readers from? What are the geographical areas that your reader base represents? If you are selling digital products or memberships, who are your customers? Do you know your shopping cart abandonment rate? Use Google Analytics to gather data on this. If you have WordPress as your CMS, use the Jetpack plugin for insights on traffic, social sharing, subscription and other data.
Are you targeting an authority site or reputed blog to share your thougths over there? What do you actually know about a site itself? While you can easily find out metrics related to your own site, it’s a tad difficult to dig out those of sites you don’t own. Don’t despair – you can use Wmtips.com to fetch Whois info, Alexa, Compete, Technorati and other third-party stats. You can also head over to Who Is Hosting This to uncover hosting information or even compare reviews of hosting providers.
When you are interacting with others, contacting other bloggers, leaving comments, and responding to comments on your blog, pause to think – who are these people to whom you are talking? Not everyone has an “about” page on their website so how do you find out? Drill down to any and every social media or Web 2.0 network they use – you’re bound to get some information from their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, or Disqus profiles.
For most others, reading and digging is optional. Not for bloggers.
You started a blog, made an editorial calendar, and started blogging away. You’ll begin to get marginal visits and trickling traffic to your blog and that’s a good start.
Marginal won’t do for you though. You’ll need more visits, and much more relevant traffic. So, you’ll now have to sit and make a marketing plan. More importantly, you’ll have to actually lift the boulders and sweat it out. Marketing a blog isn’t easy, but it’s not difficult either:
No marketing. No blogging success.
If you find it overwhelming already, it’s not over yet. You’ll have to work on the design, administration kinks, graphics, and a hundred other things that’ll go into making your blog shine. You’ll have to take care of links that eventually break, people who try to steal your content, reply to readers and subscribers who ask you a question, etc. If you are doing it right on social media, you’ll have to respond to followers and fans on your network immediately and whole-heartedly.
Apart from the regular blog management, you might have contractors who work with you on content development, design, coding, and support – you’d have to learn to delegate tasks and manage them too.
None of the steps above are one-off. In effect, that would mean that you’d have keep at all of this every single day, for years.
Yes, you’ll have days when you cannot bring yourself to write. You could face a big black hole when it comes to ideas for blog posts. Your social networks could look like a plague-infected, deserted village and you’ll probably not attract any comments for the first couple of years you get into blogging.
It’ll depress you, suck the soul out of your life, and make you completely miserable. But, it’s worth doing it for the sake of doing it.
How do you blog? What tasks are including in your blogging routine? Have you seen miserable days during blogging? Please share your blogging journey with me!
Tracy Vides is a content strategist who likes to keep her finger on the pulse of the latest small business products, services, and apps. Hit her up on Google+ for a chat. She’s @TracyVides on Twitter.
Writing a blog post is not just about slapping up some content and crossing your fingers. It is about strategy, implementation and execution. There is a reason why some blogs are so much more successful than other blogs.
The folks at DivvyHQ recently put together this helpful infographic piece showcasing all the major steps each blog owner or writer should be taking when constructing new blog posts.
Here is a quick break down of the info below:
Writing blog posts is a wonderful thing, writing blog posts that stand the test of time is an even more wonderful thing. It really comes down to what your blogs goals are but when you really get going with your blog writing it is nice when your posts are still delivering good quality traffic years down the road. Writing posts about hot topics occurring right now is important but having some timeless pieces bouncing around so readers will still find your content valuable down the road is an important part of blog writing as well.
From an SEO stand point a timeless blog post that can bounce around for many years also has the ability to generate a nice amount of inbound links over time. As more and more people bump into it eventually other bloggers will link to it and cite the source.
Here are some ways to keep your blog posts timeless:
Writing about today’s news can be important depending on how you spin it but news items tend to dissolve quickly leaving behind information that might not really be useful after some time has passed on. Posts surrounding news items also lose their stickiness once the new item has passed the time of importance. Everyday news items have a shelf life and if you don’t leverage your posts right after you write them you might find your posts having less of that residual power that many look for.
If you have experience in your space and have seen a lot of changes that can be turned into valuable insight for others to conduct their work write about it. Valuable industry experience is something that can stand the test of time. Experience coupled with industry keywords can help others in your business space overcome an obstacle that you had to go through. A post like this can be utilized years down the road and even bookmarked for later use if positioned & written correctly.
Certain industry tips can linger for years and still be very useful. We bump into blog posts that where written almost 5 years ago online that still offer great value to readers. Posts like this can generate a great deal of SEO power overtime simply because they linger for so long and still provide value. Overtime as more and more eyeballs bump into a specific post eventually other bloggers might find it so useful that they cite some content and link back to you.
Keep in mind that this all depends on what your blogs goals are but if you have a business that targets either B2B or even B2C there are ways you can incorporate some of these strategies if you are serious about attracting visitors for the long term.