So how often do you blog?’
Now that’s quite a common question these days, which is passed around frequently amongst content writers and the likes of Inbound Marketing Strategists.
And the question (though it seems casual and light hearted), does hold its ground very firmly – because the statistics currently say;
Yes, ‘blogging’ and especially ‘Business Blogging’ has grown rapidly into this ‘super tool’ for attracting traffic to brand websites. It has evolved into this ‘must-have’ arsenal for any Inbound or Content Marketing Plan – which helps create attention, fosters engagement, nurtures desire and compels action through intriguing content.
But to truly bear the fruits of blogging, brands need to pump out quality content ‘consistently’ and ‘frequently’ – as each blog is sent out to attract more visitors and convert them into leads.
Every new blogpost published creates new opportunities; to get found in Search Engines, to get inbound links from other authority sites, to get shared in Social Media platforms and to fetch new visitors to engage with the brand.
Unless you’re a big business house with plenty of resources and a pool of content creators at your disposal, dishing out 16+ blogs per month could be a bit stressful. However, having said that, today we'll look into some very useful tips to help us furnish blogs on the fly - when we're strapped for time.
Our Influencer for the BLOGSpeak Post today, is Diana Urban. She blogs under her own social media blog, U Stand Out and on the portal, Diana Urban. A former Head of Conversion Marketing at HubSpot and current Marketing Manager at BookBub.
Diana is also the author of the U Stand Out marketing eBooks, including The 20 Day Twitter Fix, as well as the novel Stealing Paris.
Let’s now explore some of the neat ways which Diana recommends we try, when we need to create blogs on the fly:
1. ‘Idea’ Banking – Create a backlog for immediate Kickoffs
We often tend to consume a lot of time brainstorming for content/blog ideas. Diana recommends we invest about an hour or two every month to sort this out, for the rest of the month.
If we plan to publish 2 blogs per week, we’re looking at 8 new blogposts per month. Diana suggests we follow different themed topics such as;
- Come up with two ideas on ‘How to Topics’ - An easy step-by-step method guiding readers throughout the process. (Log these for Week # 1 and Week # 3)
- Come up with two ideas on ‘List posts’ – Here we can play the number game, i.e. Top 3 ways to solve XYZ. For instance, ‘3 Effective Call-To-Actions – To Boost Your Click-Through Rates’. (Log these for Week # 2 and Week # 4)
- Come up with two new ‘Industry Trends’ – These topics can be generated from popular industry blogs like; Digital Doughnut or HubSpot. For example; ‘Social Selling, Drone Delivery and the Future of E-commerce’. (Log these for Week # 1 and Week # 3)
- Come up with two pertinent questions asked about your industry, by your Sales Rep or team mates – through inbox scanning. – For this, you can use the questions as the blog topics and simply put your answer as the content for the blog. (Log these for Week # 2 and Week # 4)
This way, you’ll have stacked up all the ideas/blog topics for the entire month and you don’t need to dwell on generating titles - but will instead get a head start into writing the actual content.
2. Ditch long, ‘dense’ paragraphs
These are the most ‘annoying’ chunks of content for the readers. Dense paragraphs with never-ending lines of text, without section headers, images or say ‘breathing space’ in-between the lines, overwhelm the readers.
For the writers too, such a style of writing can be time consuming, whereas paragraph breaks with bite-sized number of text lines with white space in-between them, keeps the focus and speeds up the writing.
Normally, we’re looking at no more than 4 lines of text in a paragraph, before we hit ‘enter’ for a break. A good example of this is practiced by Neil Patel in his blogs.
3. Distractions ‘drag’ you behind
Most of us are very much aware of this distraction ‘beast’, though very few can stay away from it. Distractions such as; the frequently interrupting emails that pulls us away from our writing, or the nosey colleague who doesn’t seem to run out of questions to ask you, or that interesting conversation you had during your coffee break that extended over 3 cups of coffee.
These subtle and yet seemingly ‘light’ engagements can play havoc with your timings and drag you behind, on your deadlines. In this instance, Diana suggests you:
- Close your email inbox for an hour (or whatever time you’ve allotted for writing the blog).
- Close your instant messaging for an hour.
- Find a different work enviromnent – maybe the Conference Room.
- Put on a huge set of sound blocking headphones – to imply that you’re busy and not to be interrupted.
4. Building Section Headers and using ‘bullet’ points.
An easy way to populate your content is by first compiling the tips you want to provide or the steps you’ve outlined in your ‘How To’ instructions.
Then each one of those Tips/Steps/Ways, etc. can be turned into a H2 Section Header, having a number each. It's now much easier and quicker to populate or elaborate the content under the Section Headers. Working on each tip with a small paragraph is much less daunting than coming up with, or having to think of content ideas for the entire theme of the topic.
Diana recommends a similar concept can be applied with bullet points to list ideas, takeaways and processes and to shorten or summarise longer narratives.
5. Splitting longer posts
Sometimes, when we're in the ‘flow’ of writing; or when the content is extensive, we could go well over 2000 word count for a post. At such times, it pays to split the longer post into two separate short Blogposts.
Splitting longer posts means generating two Blogposts, each finding its space with the Search Engines and fresh new posts, thus helping with fetching its own traffic. This also helps to keep the readers engaged as they can look forward to read the ‘extended’ version of the first blog.
Although this goes without saying; but it’s not over, until your work is proofread. Diana advises you should ask a colleague to proofread the work, as there may be typos and other errors, as the blog was written in a hurry.|
And it's always possible to overlook your mistakes while proofreading your work by yourself. A quick spelling and grammar check with Word is the way to go, if there's no one to help you around.
That brings us to the end of this Blogpost. We'll return with more insights and tips on blogging, with yet another Influencer in our next BLOGSpeak post.
In the meantime, if you'd like more assistance with keywords, or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Website is element7digital.com.au