New to the online world? Recently converted your old five page website to a WordPress blog platform? Chances are you have more questions than answers at this point. Your goal is to reach out and connect with more people online than ever before. But what’s the first step? Where should you go from here? As a professional blogger, and a person that presents blogging classes on a regular basis, here are 8 blogging tips that everyone should follow online (and yes, sometimes even the experts overlook these important strategies).
1. Create a strategy upfront
Sitting down and writing generic content will get you absolutely … nothing. What is your goal? Who is your target reader? What do you want them to do after reading your material? If you haven’t answered these questions and more, how do you know if you’re doing it correctly? I will tell you from experience, if you don’t have a plan, chances are you are missing out on key items that are limiting the exposure of your blog. I make the process easy with my Blogging Planner (its free) and it will guide you through the process of how to blog on a regular basis in a way that will attract the most attention.
2. Start with the headline
What’s the most difficult part of writing a post? Many would say the content. I would tell them it’s the headline. You see, the headline is what sets the stage for whatever you’re writing about. Write a poor headline and know one will want to read it. Write a poor headline and it won’t gain traction in the search engines. Write a poor headline and know one will want to share it on social sites. Headlines should always be very specific, have your keywords or key content in the title, and tell people exactly what they should expect. As you would guess, number posts always do well – the title of this post is a good example: 8 Blogging Tips For Beginners. And remember, you don’t have to have a post provide all the information you know about your subject. The more narrow, the more detailed, the more specific you can make it, the more you’ll attract a readers attention. If they can’t read it, understand it, and apply it in 3 minutes or less, you’ve lost your potential.
3. Focus on problem/solution
This should always be the first place to start. Why are your readers searching in the first place? What questions do they have? What are their “pain” points? Everything – good and bad – always has its pain point. Lets say you want to buy tickets to a concert. Your “pain” may be How To Buy The Best Tickets For The Cheapest Price. Or maybe you teach people how to succeed in the stock market. A post 8 Ways For A Beginner To Invest $100 In Stocks may be the perfect way of attracting first time investors with very little money to spend.
4. Less words and lots of white space
People are intimidated by copy, copy, copy. The more they see, the faster they will run away from your site. Which is good news for you. You don’t have to write a novel every time you post. Instead, concentrate on writing quality information that makes a point and gives your readers specific advice. People like:
- White space
- Short sentences
- Bullet items
- Short paragraphs
- Graphics and pictures
As long as it makes a point your readers can understand, you’re on the right track. Think 350-500 words a post, and you’re on the right track.
5. Link posts to tell a story
Hopefully you’ve had a chance to sit down and create your blogging calendar from the first tip above. Once you start seeing themes, you can pull together multiple posts that feed to each other, and in some cases can actually build complete stories that you can use to connect to new clientele. For example, this post is 8 Blogging Tips For Beginners. I can also create 8 Blogging Tips For Advanced Bloggers. Or 8 Blogging Tips For Solopreneurs. Or 8 Blogging Tips For Coaches. Or 8 Blogging Tips For Service Businesses. Each posts will provide completely different content, yet by linking them together, business owners can see themselves in multiple ways and keep reading the information I’m providing. I’ve also created “30 day programs” in which I write 30 posts on one topic – 30 Days To A Successful Marketing Plan – then link them all together and create books, free reports, or even Kindle products based on the entire outlay of content.
6. What do you want your readers to do?
Your title is important. Your action item is equally important. Remember, most of your traffic will never come back. If you can entice them with quality content and a reason to check back in with you, you’ll succeed overall. Some of the best action steps your blogs should promote include:
- Download our free report
- Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Download our ebook
- Sign up for our free webinar
- Request a demo
- Check to see if your date is available
- Take a free quiz
7. Build up your expertise
Your blog is all about proving who you are and what you can do for your readers. The more they trust you, the more likely you’ll build a relationship with them, and ultimately do business with them. Content proves your expertise. So the more content you can provide that shows off your skills, the more that relationship will form without and direct work from you. Think about your free consultation or your sales meeting. Usually people sit down with potential clients for 30-60 minutes to provide their expertise. What do you cover? These are the things you can provide in your blog content. You can do it through writing, audio files (podcasts), or even video files – Google Hangouts also work. The key is letting the potential client do the work and satisfying their own curiosities long before they connect with you.
Have you read The E-Myth by Michael Gerber? It’s a classic small business book, one I highly recommend to all start up companies. One of the first things you’ll learn is that in order to succeed and have anything beyond your own glorified “job”, you’ll want to outsource all you can to provide yourself with the time you need to do what you’re truly good at. Your money makers. When it comes to adding blog posts, a great writer can provide the details and focus in on what people are searching for. Even if you want to write and love doing it, you can provide the little details that show your personality. Your writer can quickly discover your voice and help you fill in with the facts. It’s a win/win situation for you every time.