Blogs. Word on the street is that they’re pretty important, and most of the marketing world agrees. For businesses, blogs do lots of things like increase SEO, increase traffic to your website, enforce your business as an expert in your field, etc. Whether you’re writing a blog for business, or a personal blog, the true goal is branding. Developing a personality and style that sets you apart from the crowd.
But where do you start writing? A hard question to answer, but possible with some direction. Here are my guiding lights for blog posts:
The one and only Brooks Christol (movie buff, pen enthusiast, marketing expert) once said, “If you don’t want to do something, it will show in your work.” Although he wasn’t talking about blogging per say, his wise words apply. Be interested in what you’re writing about and the enthusiasm will show. If you’re not interested in something, find an aspect of said topic that does interest you. For example, I’m not terribly interested in sports, but I love a good underdog story. If I was tasked with writing about the US Open or NBA draft, I could find an interesting story about a player and tell how he got to be a star or talk about a team that is new to the game. Those I could be interested in while still talking about the subject matter.
Know what’s going on in the world. Know what your readers, clients, customers are talking about and will want to read about. If you’re content isn’t relevant, it will go unnoticed. Time is precious and if a post is not worth someone’s time because it’s irrelevant, they’ll stop reading after a few seconds. Let’s say you’re a tech blog writing about the “new iPhone 5,” no one will be interested in your old news and they probably won’t read much else you write.
Talk like a real person. Use words your people will know. Talk about life and real experiences in the words you use daily and people will come back for more, simply because they can relate. There is a time and place to use words like amalgamation or sesquipedality, but your blog might not be it. (Unless you write for a dictionary blog, then it might be appropriate.)
I love my planner. I love knowing what’s coming up on my schedule and being ready to face it head-on. That’s why I love having a blogging schedule (formally known as an editorial calendar). It helps me keep all my ducks in a row for constant content. To get started, grab a notebook and a great pen (here’s to you Brooks) and start brainstorming. Jot down all the things that you could write about for your blog or pick a theme and come up with three ideas for each. (If you need a creativity boost, read this.) From there, decide when would be best to post your blogs. Is a post about buying gifts for the man in your life? Plan to post it around father’s day. Do you plan on writing about the importance of exercising? Schedule it for January for all your new years resolution needs. If you have a plan and know what’s coming, you won’t be overwhelmed by the idea of constant content and your blog will thrive as a result.
So if you want to be more than boring words on a screen and a name people know, be these things. Show who you are as a brand or an individual, and people will respond and remember that you’re more than just another face in the crowd.
Next time we’ll talk about how to get people to read your blog the first time (a.k.a. how to make your blogs as irresistible as a hot slice of pizza).