Here's what I have learned from blogging over the past two years. I am going to make this post short and sweet.
Blogging first came about as a way to express yourself and tell stories. The problem is that people are way to self indulgent and that adds little value to the reader...if any. So what do you write about? Some people blog to get something from others. Human nature is the other way around. People reading want to know what's in it for them.
First ask yourself why you are writing, and then ask yourself what do you want readers to take away from the piece. If you are blogging for your business, then you might want to ask what information would my customers like to have? What would make them remember my brand or name when they are ready to buy something?
I spent some time on linked In this holiday season. I began to see flaws in my own and other people's blog posts. Yes...blogging is a process, and you learn as you get more practice. We are inundated with loads of advice. Who is really qualified to give advice?
Having said that, I have found some excellent posts out there, but I have also found that some well published bloggers are doing exactly what I have been taught not to do. It's not that they don't have great information to present, but it's how they do it. You can get information on any subject on the internet, so it's hard to engage readers period.
Here is a short list of things you should consider Not doing
The two big ones for me are, the negative and harsh language (even if you mean well). An example would be "You'll never succeed at blogging if you..."
Remember your purpose for writing is to increase awareness, entertain, and give the reader a takeaway. Tone is something that has to be considered with the target audience in mind. Tone is very important unless you are talking to a 12 year old audience.
If You want to attract a business audience you need to use a certain amount of formal language, but at the same time keeping it conversational. You can do this without abandoning all language skills. If you aren't sure, check out the linked In course by Shani Raja, an editor with the Wall Street Journal. He teaches a really good editing course. You will learn a great system.
Writing has changed over the past ten years. Less formal is more popular. But try not to get sloppy with language, you will insult your reader. Don't make yourself superior to the reader. Make them want to read your next blog.
Marketing is a big topic in today's digital world. Trends change, but basic human nature doesn't change. The type of business you do may dictate the kind of marketing approach you use. See what you may have overlooked.
Many experts believe that you should develop a marketing plan. Personally, I have found that writing down goals is achieved quicker for some reason, even my daily to do lists. You can create specific goals for timelines. Make charts, and put them in a place you can see everyday.
Here Are A Few Tips To Consider:
What works best for your type of business depends on many factors. Don't forget to try something new if what you are doing isn't working. Do some research on pricing strategies, so that you know if your pricing is too high or too low.
Some people engage in social media marketing, but that's not enough. You need a human presence. Blogging is helpful, it certainly increased traffic on my websites. Give readers some value in your posts. I like writing "how to" posts. You might consider guest blogging, or have guest posts on your site.
Create newsletters, they give value to your website. The reader takes away something.
After you make contact, you can mail a brochure with a letter and business card. Peter Bowerman, Author of The Well-fed Writer, suggest that you always give a person two business cards. One may end up in another person's hands.
More About Blogging
I come from an academic background, so I had to make adjustments in my writing style. After blogging for two years, I discovered something valuable.
This summer is published a post that was emotionally charged, and it was something many people have experienced. Guess what? My readership increased almost overnight. I guess it's fair to say, emotionally charged content is good for your blog. As a copywriter, I have been taught that appealing to people's emotions is a valuable marketing tool.
You will hear many people out there giving advice about marketing. Different types of marketing work for different types of clients. Check what your competitors are doing. Most of all, keep an open mind.
Finally, here is the post that follows 7 ways to increase blog Traffic. Summer has got in the way again, but I'm back from my holidays. The information comes from a book written by Robin Houghton, and it's new. Great read!
Post by Debbie L. Belair
Use more long tailed keywords. You can use a number of different free keyword tools. Every single post should be keyword optimized to help readers find the content they are searching for. However, avoid keyword stuffing, because Google is set up to have radar to detect keyword stuffing and other abuses. It depends on the platform you use, but usually, you will be given a limit of words to enter. Not sure about WordPress, but Weebly, shows you where to put meta tags and descriptions used for SEO.
Make comments on other bloggers Posts
If you make comments and "like" other blogs, often they will reciprocate and check out yours as well. This is a great way to give exposure to your content. It might mean that a person who wouldn't have found your post otherwise, reads it. This happened to me recently, and now I have gained several new followers. If you are lucky, they may even share the post with other readers.
Don't get too hung up on Numbers
It takes time to build traffic to your blog. People have a lot more to read now then 10 or 20 years ago, and often, they won't read, they might just skim content to see if it catches their interest. If you follow a few basic principles, and you make your content interesting and easily read, you will find that the numbers come eventually. Don't give up blogging just because you aren't getting a lot of traffic yet. It comes with persistence and hard work.
Post often and Regular
You don't have to post every day, but maybe once a week or every two weeks. It's more important for the content to be of high quality, and if it means less frequent posting, then so be it. Others may disagree, but I think quality content that offers value to readers is more important than how often you post.
Teach or inspire Others
Write content that inspires or teaches hands-on tips. Many people blog on their personal experiences and that's fine,but remember, that reading is optional, and you have to give them a good reason to read your post. Telling stories tends to draw in a lot more readers. I like writing information centered content, about health and writing tips. If you write about topics that are important to everybody, you can't go wrong.
Email and Newsletters
Not everyone has time to write newsletters, but having a sign-up email list helps you keep track of your readers. This is helpful if you have some news or you are going to be off somewhere for a few months. Yes, it takes a little more work to make up one, but you might find that you it increases your leads (if you're selling something). It saves time to use the same template each time.
Hopefully, this little post has been informative. Remember, there are differing opinions on how blog posts should be written. The ideas I have put forward come from ideas that I hear the most, from experienced bloggers. One thing I still struggle with is the length of blog posts. If you have ideas on this please feel free to comment or send me an email.
People blog for different reasons. Here are 7 ways to make your blog a success. Here's how you can rank in search engines without spending a lot of money.
By Debbie L. Belair
Proof reading and editing are not the same thing. This post includes 5 strategies you should consider when editing a piece of content. Here are 5 simple but often overlooked elements to writing great copy.
It's still number one. Watch out for those spell checks sometimes they can give false underlines. If you spell a word that is a real word the spell check will miss it. The big thing is typos. One thing that helps me is making a list of the words I have trouble spelling and pin it near my desk. It saves time looking up the word each time you forget its spelling.
2) Voice and tone
You should always read your copy aloud to check for the sound of the voice and tone. If it isn't consistent all the way through you risk confusing your reader.
3) Always add Value
There are no better ways to serve your reader than adding value to what you write. In other words make sure that they take something away from what they read. This is one way to keep your readers coming back.
4) Grammar and sentence structure
Again reading aloud will allow you to find the tripping points in your writing. Then you tweak the areas that need changing or rewording. If you leave that job to the reader they may click off the page right away. Having said that... some readers will be more forgiving than others.
The idea is to give your reader the best possible experience. Adding headings and sub-headings
can make it easier on the eyes and the reader can decide whether or not to read the rest of the copy. In general, people hate reading ads. If you add extra work for them they aren't likely to read the rest of the piece.
Pin this up near your writing desk. These simple 5 elements will make a difference between bad copy and good copy.
Do you compare yourself to other writers? Here's what you can do instead.
Why role model?
Instead of comparing your writing to others you can emulate the habits of other authors. You can take the qualities of a writer you admire and use them as a springboard for your own writing. Read author bios to find out how they got where they did. Sometimes they discuss challenges they had and how they were overcome. You can be inspired by other authors says Kelly L. stone, and author of Living Write. This is a great read if you are serious about writing. Visit www.KellyLStone.com.
I"ve heard of writers who copy out whole pages or chapters from their favourite writers hoping some of their qualities will rub off on them. Other writers interview successful writers.
You can pick and choose qualities of different writers to improve your own habits and routines.
Both Fiction and non fiction writers copy or type out content from authors they admire. I suppose you could try this with blogging too as long as you keep your material original. If you are afraid of plagiarizing you can always use the software tool Copy Scape.
Build an Avatar
The biggest reason for role modeling is for inspiration and motivation. It's useful to learn new sets of skills and insights from other writers. Have you thought about attending a writer's conference?
Stone talks about creating an Avatar similar to the kind of writer you want to be, and keep it close when you are writing--She has some great exercises you can do. Role modeling helps you recognize that you belong to a group of people with the same ambitions you have. All writers have unique backgrounds-- this experience should be eclectic.