Beginning a blog can be daunting. There are many things to consider all while trying to creating content for the audience. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you build your own brand.
Make your blog useful
- The only reason people will read a blog post is because it offers something they want or need at that moment.
- To write a compelling blog post, it must serve readers, raise their awareness, move them to action, make them laugh or cry, or change their minds.
- Consider what your audience needs and how you can help them solve a problem, achieve a common goal, or understand a complex issue.
- A blog post doesn’t need to have lofty goals to be compelling; it can just be meant to amuse.
- Keep your audience’s needs and interests in mind and offer them something of value.
- It helps to establish credibility and authority on the topic being discussed.
- It enables the writer to provide accurate and reliable information to their readers.
- It allows the writer to provide a unique perspective or insights that may not be available elsewhere.
- It helps to avoid errors or misinformation that can damage the writer’s reputation and credibility.
- It can lead to increased engagement and interaction with readers who appreciate the writer’s expertise and knowledge.
- When writing a blog post, be mindful of your readers’ time and stick to a single, clear point throughout.
- Writing a headline first can serve as a guide as you craft the rest of the post.
- Structured posts, like listicals, are a great way to keep content focused and scannable.
- Even with more conversational posts, stay focused on the main idea in the headline.
- Be disciplined in editing yourself and putting aside ideas that are off-topic.
- Use the day’s news as a springboard for your own topics to draw readers into your posts.
- Don’t just rehash what others have said; come up with your own spin on the news.
- Find a fun and thoughtful way to put your own spin on the news.
- Use a major news organization’s article as a jumping-off point for your own topic.
- Use the latest topics and trends to come up with a fresh point of view.
- Show readers that you’re tapped into what’s going on and have a unique perspective.
- Be consistent when posting in order to create an audience that relies on your voice.
- There is no hard and fast rule on how often to post, but posting a few times a week or once a week or even a few times a month at fairly regular intervals will establish a consistent pattern.
- Post as often as you can commit to producing compelling content on a regular basis.
- To come up with posts frequently, get in the habit of jotting down related ideas as you go about your life.
- Establish yourself as an authority by posting regularly on your area of expertise.
How long should it be?
- A blog post should be as long as it needs to be to make your argument or convey your message.
- The average person reads between 150 and 300 words per minute.
- Shorter posts (300 words or less) may generate more comments, while longer posts (1,000-1,500 words) are shared more on social media.
- SEO ranking favors longer posts (2,500 words or more).
- Quality is more important than quantity – make sure the content is engaging and not repetitive.
- Spruce up your blog post to keep readers engaged:
- Include colorful, compelling images and video
- Use homegrown photos if relevant images are not available
- Write your post as a list to impose structure and provide an inviting format
- Use bullet points to break up long blocks of text
- Use subheads to break up long posts and provide hints as to what is in each section
- Aim for an image for every 350 words to keep readers interested
Add call to action
- Calls to action (CTAs) are invitations for readers to do something, such as follow you on social media, buy your product, or donate to a cause.
- Blogs with CTAs have higher engagement rates than those without.
- CTAs should be placed at the end of posts to avoid distracting readers.
- CTAs can be used to demonstrate knowledge of a subject, show helpfulness, and boost search engine rankings.
- Ask readers a question at the end of a post to create a give and take conversation.
- Voice is the distinct personality, style, or point of view of a piece of writing.
- Reading other blogs and imitating other writers’ voices can help you discover your own voice.
- Voice in writing is not just what you say, but how you say it.
- Use language, sentence and paragraph length, and punctuation to make your point.
- Use words and phrases that convey attitude and emotion.
- Writing should be engaging and have a distinct “you-ness” to it.
- Think of writing as stepping up to the microphone and letting your voice rip.
- Passion is contagious and can help create an impression on readers.
- Writing about a subject you are passionate about is more compelling and enjoyable than writing about something you don’t care about.
- Consider the topics that keep you up at night or draw you into conversations with strangers as potential blog post topics.
- A passionate blog post should still make a clear and compelling point and develop a well-organized argument.
- Blog posts are like opinion pieces published by news organizations, often making an argument from a particular point of view.
- News organizations adhere to a set of journalistic principles such as truth and accuracy, fairness and independence.
- Bloggers don’t have to follow an official manifesto, but the best blogs practice integrity and maintain high standards.
- To become a thought leader, consider adopting principles of truth, accuracy, fairness and independence.
- Respect readers by verifying information before publishing and correcting any false information.
- Consider the long-term impacts of anyone you’re critical of in your post, and give them a chance to respond before publishing.
- Avoid conflicts of interest by not taking gifts or favors in exchange for favorable mentions.
- Be truthful, fair and authentic to gain readers’ trust and establish yourself as a credible expert.
Have a thick skin when blogging
- Having a thick skin is important when blogging and engaging with readers.
- Encourage readers to leave honest feedback, but don’t take negative comments personally.
- Monitor feedback to learn valuable insights, and weigh the good with the bad.
- Don’t engage trolls in dialogue, and aim to make the next blog post better.