When I hear clients discuss lack of visibility, I realize that I have much to learn from my cat. When I inform them of the benefits of writing a blog I feel like a seashell in the ocean when the tide goes out. They smile and nod, and nothing happens…
According to Hubspot 92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog.
Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.(Source:Hubspot)
One of the greatest barriers that I witness is starting that blog. Life as a small business owner is tough. Besides the actual work that we do, we need to market, learn new technologies and perform a gazillion tasks that have no connection to the work we love. We actually do not have to handle all blog content ourselves. There are many professional bloggers available who will help you publish great content on your website.
If you are ready to figure it out yourself, the tips below will help you to get started? Roll out the blog!
Step 1: Plan
- Choose a topic that you are passionate about.
Be authentic. Write with your own voice.
- Do some Research: No one knows everything and you may learn something new.
Wikipedia is a great starting point for an outline, but does not constitute a reliable resource. Always verify information that you research is accurate before you publish.
- What are your competitors doing to generate traffic?
- Write an outline
- First Sentence- hook
- Second sentence – benefit of reading the blog
- What is this section about?
- Why is that important?
- Research and examples
- Take aways?
- Rewrite and Optimize
Step 2 – Writing:
In January 1996, Bill Gates famously said that “Content is King“. This remains true even today. Good content is more likely to be shared on social media and in turn generates incoming links and traffic.
Before you begin writing a single word, you need to figure out who your target audience is, what their interests or pain points are, and how you can respond to those. How do you figure this out? By talking to your clients and discovering their interests, going through your database and finding common trends, and using forms in your business to capture trends.
The title needs to be catchy. Start with a general topic and try to make it more specific. If you are trying to drive traffic to Facebook, you may write :
- ”Facebook: Where Selling Meets Social – Entrepreneur”,
- “3 Tips to drive conversions from your Facebook Page”,
- “How businesses sell on Facebook”, or
- “5 Common Facebook Mistakes”.
Posing a question can hit the spot:
- “What do Facebook and Pinterest have in common?”
Avoid making the question too obvious, like “Do you want to drive traffic to your Facebook Page?”
The first line is the hook. It should grab the readers’ attention. Begin with an interesting fact. “The Nation’s job growth is expected to increase10% in the coming year. If you, as a Baby Boomer count yourself among the job seekers, consider creating your own income stream.” The second sentence should explain what the post is about and how the article will solve a problem or offer new information.
Organize your Content
Reading a lot of information is overwhelming. Avoid monotony by breaking up the content with :
- Bulleted lists, and
White space is a good way to differentiate between sections.
Many readers scan articles rather than reading them, so bear this in mind when you plan your content.
Write the blog
Roll up your sleeves and allow the creativity to flow…while you are about it, here are some milestones to remember along the way:
- Use short sentences. Write clearly and simply.
- Solve a problem. Provide a tutorial on a topic that challenges your audience.
- Using targeted keywords in your copy will improve the chances of being discovered by search engines.
- Links: link to similar content within your own blog or other similar resources. Linked articles, resource lists, and infographics, are more likely to be shared by others.
- Tell a personal story, use a quote, or humorous anecdote.
- Write the way you speak.
- Share a Powerful Opinion. Donald Trump gained his audience’s attention by verbalizing what others were afraid to say out loud. You may disagree, but there is no question regarding the power behind these statements.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
That is why bloggers use them to grab the readers’ attention. Posts with attractive photos or illustrations will receive lots more attention on social media and encourage readers to share. Images break up the text and reinforce the content. Many people scan blogposts without actually reading them, so images are part of the content.
Performing a live video show is the fastest way to get seen, be heard, build trust and connect with your ideal blog readers. Include a call to action to subscribe and share.
Step 3 – Review
Even if you are the best writer, have compassion for your reader. Can you shorten the content and still get the message across? Is there something humorous you can add? Be brave and rewrite, especially the intro.
Proof read and Format
- The most serious omission you can make when writing is not turning on the spell checker.
Don’t let all your secrets out!
- Improve your grammar – review important grammar rules where necessary. Try the Hemmingway app if you are challenged.
- Explain use of jargon.
- Format the content so that it is visually appealing.
Step 4 – Grow your Online Presence
Every time someone reads your blog, you have the opportunity to convert an occasional reader to a subscriber. Invite people to subscribe to your feeds and provide tools to enable them to share your posts on social media.
Step 5 – Be Persistent
Growing your online presence takes time and effort. The best method is to regularly write great content. Is there another high level traffic authoritative site who will accept a guest blog from you? That is a good way to drive traffic to your site.
Writing takes practice. At any point in your post, you are in danger of losing your audience. However, I believe that if you go above and beyond to provide value, write with your own unique voice and genuinely offer your opinions, your readers will begin to trust you and subscribe.