All of us are either writing a blog or thinking of blogging. As the end of one year and the start of another begins it’s a good time to either audit your current blogging activity or finally start your blogging journey. Today with colleagues I attended StockportExpo event. The workshops were excellent and one of the speakers, Alex McCann from Altrincham HQ gave some simple advice regarding blogging. It was a short session and the basics are shared with you below, I am sure Alex won’t mind.
Make sure your content is shareable. Make sure your content is relevant of interest to the audience.Is it relevant to your sector? Are you showing that you know your stuff? Look around you at other blogs like BuzzFeed, Feedly etc to generate ideas. Remember content is king. You should probably have this tattooed somewhere on your body. Content is King.
Know your audience. Its normally the first thing to address and ask yourself. Don’t make your audience too broad, its easy to do this but try to avoid it. My audience are people like me, freelancers, consultants, small businesses, startups. Most of my clients come from this background who either are not currently making the most of their marketing or haven’t got the time or expertise. They need a fresh perspective or some sound reliable advice. Know who you are writing for. What do they need to know, what would be useful for them?
Whether its sexy, funny or engaging. Make sure your title is clickable. So a title like 10 things you can learn….. works well. You want a title that makes people want to know more or catches their eye. Humour can work well but short and punchy has impact. Don’t mislead though you don’t want to be confused with clickbait.
Add value. Too many blogs are internally focused, perhaps making assumptions. Make sure your blogging content adds value to your readers. We are getting back to knowing your audience and giving them useful tips and audience.
That call to action is essential. People are in reality lazy, too busy so you need to make it really simple, almost irresistible that they get in touch with you. Make sure you include a call to action within your content. Not sure what I mean, then call me or send me an email.
I bet you have heard the terms Lead Magnet, Click-funnels, Landing Pages. These are all terms and methods of capturing useful information. Often this is as simple as offering a freebie for someone’s email address. Just luck giving a business card to win a free meal at a restaurant. Remember, the quality of the freebie has to reflect the quality of your service and product. Don’t give out something thats not very good. Also, GDPR is coming in for the EU during 2018 so the rules about data are changing. Make sure you are following good practice and safeguarding your data.
This is where social media can be your best friend. It’s great having a beautiful looking blog with interesting up to date content. But what if no one is reading it? Traffic is essential and your audience needs to be growing. Distribution across various social media channels can help grow your online presence.
Look at your data. View your Google analytics or your blog’s data. It can tell you lots of interesting details about your audience and how they behave. Which blogs are popular. Pages of your website which are not popular. Do certain images with your blog attract more readers, which language and tone appeals the most. Hive this information to impact on your future content, test ideas and themes.
Now this top tip caused the biggest surprise. Repeat your content. Not just the same thing again and again. Once you learn what type of blog appeals revisit, rewrite or look at it from a different perspective. Don’t be afraid to go back to your subject matter from 6 or 12 months ago, what has changed in your sector – what could be utilised in a different way but is still relevant?
Remember tip 7? Don’t be afraid to repeat how you distribute content. Change the titles and images you use with social media.
Use a content calendar. Even if it changes plan your next few months. Keep ideas, good titles and quotes for future blogging. Articles that inspire you or drive you mad. Feed all this lovely juicy information into your blogging plan and revisit when you need to write. Think seasonally what’s relevant for spring, summer, autumn and winter. You will notice a lot of blogs at the moment about goal setting, priorities for the future, review of the year.
The session ended with some great questions including the difference between vlog vs blog. The answer depends on where your strengths lie. Are you good on camera and video, do you come over well.
Oh and how often should we be blogging? Daily is probably too much and unsustainable long-term so aim for once a week (so I need to improve!) and for the future quality rather than quantity will be important.