If you don’t create it, there’s nothing to be found. And you do want to be found right?
This is a follow up from The Emergence and Explosion of Blogs, Blogging and Bloggers. The numbers don’t lie and they tell an even more compelling story for the future.
Consider these current insights about the blogosphere from Blogging.org:
- Primary content marketing tool.
- Major revenue producer for key online blog companies.
- Key part of corporate online branding and culture.
- Vehicle of self expression for anyone with a passion or niche.
- Social media allows blogs and bloggers to build bridges and reach.
We’ve come a long way baby, in a short time, with the blogosphere and it will continue to be an unfolding and enduring communication activity. It’s not an option any more, it’s a best practice and a content linchpin in today’s sales, marketing and branding process. Blogging is not only for companies, but the leaders that run them and the independent bloggers who represent various content niches, products and services.
More compelling 2012 data, which should make blogging more of a commitment and priority:
- 60% of businesses have a blog.
- 77% of internet users read blogs.
- 61% of consumers made a purchase off a blog recommendation.
- 71% report better visibility.
- 329 million people view a blog monthly.
In working with small businesses, entrepreneurs and professional consultants, on starting, developing and upgrading their blog activities, many tell me they just don’t think they can’t do it. What they really need is a better outline, plan and process they can follow.
If you can have a conversation with someone, then you can write a blog. Blogging is a more personal take on a subject that welcomes the personality of it’s writer. That is actually why people not only like blogs, but follow the bloggers who write them.
Be a better blogger and writer with these 7 easy steps that can help you get focused, write better and deliver your blog to stand out, get noticed and be remembered more.
7 Steps to Become a Better Blogger and Writer
1. Make a Decision and a Commitment to Blog
Invest in and create a branded WordPress blogsite or add a blog page to your existing WordPress website. There are sites that offer free options, but make sure you hire a professional to customize them, so they look good. WordPress.com, Blogger.com and Wix.com all offer lots of templates and options to fit your style and industry.
2. Schedule Time Into Your Day and Week to Write
Part of the commitment must be to set aside time to write daily if possible, or at least 2-3 times per week if you can in the best place and time of day where you are most inspired and focused. Go to your place, muse, think and write.
3. Brainstorm Yourself
What are your 5 key areas of expertise and 10 more that compliment those key ones? Who is your target audience and who are you writing for and speaking to? What expertise can you share with them?
Start and keep a blog idea journal and notebook with you at all times. Use your daily and real life experiences to generate ideas. Here are 16 tools To help you come up with blog ideas.
4. Create an Outline for Titles and Topics Based on Your Top Content Categories
Research your topics via Google, Bing or your industry using specific keywords and always use the most current studies and research. Write a 5-7-9-12 word, branded keyword title that has some snap and alliteration to it. Develop 3-5 content bullet points for your post so it flows with a beginning, middle and end. Study the blog posts you enjoy reading and notice their outline and process.
5. Develop the Outline and Content Points
Find the heart, soul and sweet spot of the topic content, so that it fulfills the promise of the title. Develop the content of your outline with your take, knowledge and expertise. What do you want your readers to remember and get out of the post?
It’s your expertise so feature it. By following your outline, you take people through a process of thought.
6. Accessorize Your Post So That it Snaps, Pops and Engages
Using visual enhancements, great quotes and compelling statistics can increase opens and engagement by 65%. Accessorizing your blog posts with memorable titles, trending topics, videos, images, podcasts links, infographics, case studies and white papers can all add major value to the readers experience and retention.
7. Deliver, Ship, Publish and Promote
Create an integrated marketing approach using all the top delivery tactics you are currently using: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest, Google+, podcasting, eMarketing, video. Check out the top content marketing tactics and don’t forget to Google yourself to see how you are doing.
Practice, practice, practice. Be consistent and stay true to your point of view and your authenticity.
People are hungry for good blogs, bloggers and content and are willing to share them and promote them. If you have something to say and offer, there is an audience for it and people will find you. Build your blog fans by being consistent.
Start, continue or take it up a notch and remember to use your blog to educate, inform, inspire and yes – sell.
Where’s your favorite place to muse and write?
Blog Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Content Marketing
Step 1 & 2 are where I see most blogs fail. Consistency is the key to success with most things and blogging is no different. And even if you miss a post, you’ve got to get right back on the wagon instead of letting a small setback totally derail you.
Robert, in working with people those are the two they struggle with the most. Even moderate consistency can work. Blogging once a week or twice a month can have residuals.
What step/s do you have insight about? Where do you enjoy writing and musing?
I am following most of what you are saying to do. I post twice a week and my blogs are informative, I write about what I am passionate about but I just don’t seem to get consistent traffic. I can’t figure out what I need to change. I social network constantly, make sure my articles are well written put a lot of time into them. Don’t have the funds to hire someone to advertise. Have any suggestions.
Marla, thanks for joining us here. One thing that can help is to identify some key blogs in your industry and ask if you can guest post to expand your reach. That’s what I do here.
Thanks Deborah for answering me. I have quest blogger on one major site that was about health quite a while ago. I do summit some of my articles to another site that I am a contributing writer for several times a month normally.
I would appreciate any help I can get.
Just to comment on Nick’s comment – typo errors are so easy to make and as you said as many times as you try to eyeball it you still miss them. I normally have my husband proof read my articles and then I also do the WP check but not everything shows up in the check. I also have seen many typos in major websites. I have gone back through some of my articles and found errors and that’s when I decided I needed someone to proof read them. Thanks in advance for your help.
Marla, be more consistent and strategic with which ones and monitor the shares when you post. Use social media to promote posts anywhere they are. It takes time but it works. Happy blogging.
I’d like to add a #8 – Review. Before you hit publish, you need to review your content to make sure that it is free of grammatical errors as well as syntax and structure issues. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a blog post from an industry leader that has typos in it. If you are representing your brand through your blog, make sure that your content is error free.
Hi Nick, that is very important indeed. Sometimes a typo slips through in content no matter how many times you eyeball it, so taking extra proofing steps is a great suggestion. Thanks!
Great tips to get any ones blog rolling. You hit the nail on the coffin with promoting. I think that is something people son’t take into consideration. They tend to think if you write they will come – bu the key is to get out there and promote your posts!
Thanks Britt, “if you write they will come” biggest misconception about it. If you don’t create it there’s nothing to be found and if you don’t tell people, how are they supposed to know? right?
#2 has to be the simplest yet most difficult to do. Making a plan… simple. Sticking to said plan… Not so much.
I find that if I do this part of my business first thing in the morning, BEFORE checking emails and voice messages, it’s done!
Joselyn, you ain’t kidding, and you seem to know when your best time and energy is and you take advantage of it. Smart. I’m a morning writer as well. We all need to jump on inspiration whenever it presents itself!
I agree with you that planing your timing and sticking to it is essentially important to grow your blog
Hi Peter, thanks for your comment and joining our conversation here. Timing and consistency are not only are good for us but our readers.
Great article. To be a good and successful blogger, one should be committed towards writing and do proper research about the topic.