Why Blog ? How to write a blog
Blogging – Good or bad?
Here we will cover some dos and do nots when it comes to blogging. The focus should be on what you are good at, have a passion for or have something to pass on. Will visitors be educated or entertained when they visit your blog. Do you cover any particular area very well, answering questions, solving problems in a well laid out form, with graphics and backed up with video and audio. Help not hype.
OK – lets get to the simple answer or answers first.
- Blogging is not a quick fix option.
- Blogging is not or should not be a blatant Sales Pitch
- Blogging is a long term project.
- Blogging is time consuming and getting traction can be, usuallyis, slow.
- Blogging is a way to show competence or authority.
- Blogging needs to be consistent in quality of design.
- Blogging needs to have a structured plan.
- Blogging needs to be consistent in delivery, every Monday at 6.00 am or every 1st of the month whatever – critical
- Blogging needs to be effective for you and your audience, so ask for feedback, get direction, tweak your offering to make it useful
- Blogging needs to be seen, so ask people to share your content, make sharing easy and share it yourself at every opportunity
Blog article size
It is recommended to be about 2000 words of useful content, well laid out and structured, easy to navigate and sharp to look at, so the reading experience is good. Some items may only merit 1000 words or simply be a short news item. Make sure you cover the why, what, how and what if, even if you only manage 500 words. Google likes to see authoritative articles which probably need to be long and cover every aspect of the answer. Having said, be aware, that Google now try to answer any question with the shortest possible answer, so they are now answering within their own Google interface ecosphere rather than link out to other websites. Look at Neil Patels posts which are very long, interesting and useful. Get over your inhibitions, start writing and get the first one done – you can get better as you go, so stop stressing.
Blog article content
Content should be something you are qualified to write about, have a definite focus, if you are creating genuine content. It should flow like a story or handbook, so that it makes sense as the reader moves from paragraph to paragraph, chapter to chapter. Credit sources where you use content from someone else. Curate the article and add to it or improve it as time goes on, build on it. Use a House Style so that all articles look similar and do personalise the content, so the reader gets a sense of your own personality, your take on the subject. Invest the time in creating some key content material – show your authority.
Blog article headlines
Need to be sharp as people really skim over pages and pages, so you have to make it easy for them to see what the article is about. Make the headline hooky such as “5 Ways to Blog well” or “How to write a successful blog”. Use sub headings to help with layout and add breadcrumbs, so readers can see where they are at any time. A further sub heading should explain what you are about to explain and why.
Blog article width
Keep width to less than 100 characters, so that it does not look too much like a newspaper, which is physically easier to read, but again use your own house style
Blog article layout
“Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them and finish by telling them what you told them.” Make the headline snappy and easy to understand. Sprinkle sub headlines to make it easy to read. Use Bullet points or number lists to highlight groups of points. Make good use of punctuation, italics, bold and styling. Add some relevant images for colour – a picture can paint a thousand words, add video and audio to appeal to all the senses and preferences. Keep paragraphs short and delete any fluff or unnecessary words. Be consistent in your presentation, make it familiar for readers, so they get used to where you put everything. Include any Call to Action and finally your contact details and disclaimer.
Blog Menu structure
Use categories to help people find their way around your Blog items, to find the category they want and it should only include logical articles for each category
CTAS Calls to Action
Have one or more CTAs or a Contact Form at the end of the article to encourage readers to make the next desired move. Include Social Sharing buttons at the bottom of every article. Include in-text links to other relevant pages. Ask readers to take action, to do something as a result of reading the article. Sharing would be good ! Offer an eBook or a calculator.
As with any article include Matadata, so a page title less than 70 characters and a description of about 100 characters. Add in your keywords for good measure
Get your own domain name and create your blog in your own website, rather than doing it on Rented Land in a third party website, where you just generate traffic for them.
You can have a blog in your website which we recommend, because you own that space and you may have loads of related content but you can have a blog on Googles Blogger or on a simple WordPress theme which works well, Tumblr or Medium, even in your Google Business Profile or Blog.com. You could use Weebly or Wix to create a simple blog web presence. We use WordPress and the Divi theme. Here is a useful 23 minute video by Mak at Elegant Themes on how to create a Blog template to use in Divi.
Revisit your blog items regularly and update them with relevant information, making them bigger and more useful with time. Build up a library of useful articles, in an area where you are competent, that offer value and categorise them so that it is easy to navigate through your articles. Link them together using tags and hyperlinks within the articles.
Blog Broadcasting or Marketing
Do not keep it a secret. When you have created good blog content or articles, share it via your social media on a regular basis, make it shareable and invite people to share. Do related guest blogs for other bloggers that have a link back to your own website. Also use this information to answer questions in Forums to help people and get some credibility which will bring them back to your own website. Share blog material or snippets via LinkedIn, Youtube and Facebook, images via Instagram or Twitter etc.
You need to do a bit of SEO Search Engine Optimisation for every blog item. Check out your articla title and see if anyone searches that term – use Google Adwords Planner the keyword tool. When you have chosen a logical title, add a description with less than 140 characters and a Page Title of less than 70. Optimise for one keyword or term and have it in the article title, page title, description, article and keywords. Add a link to your blog in your email signature.
You can make money from a blog in one of two ways. 1. Offer valueable information to attract visitors and sell books or courses or 121 coaching as a recognised authority or expert in a particular area 2. Attract very large numbers and sell advertising or get affiliate commission which is more like a media website, where you keep your material up to date, to generate visitors and focus on conversion.
WordPress is the obvious platform and works well for bloggers, with loads of plugins or apps if you want them. Warning: Every app or plugin will slow down delivery and they need to be updated regularly. Joomla offers a plugin called Zoo which offers the facility of a good dynamic blog tool. You may want to use an offline client to allow you work without internet access, but nowadays you need this less and less.
You can host like a website on shared or defined hosting, but you do need hosting, preferably secure.
Questions about Blogging
Did something get overlooked ? Are you still asking yourself a question ? Send it to us and we will reply, plus add it to this article.
Reasons you do not want to blog.
What should I write about?
Where will I get inspiration or topics?
I am not a writer.
Should I write once a day, a week or month? Or bulk write posts?
How will I find time to write?
How many words should I write?
Why would anybody read my writing?
How will I know what the readers want to read?
How will I create a mailing list?
What if I come across as stupid or lacking in some way?
How will I know if people like my writing?
What if my newsletter or blog emails end up in spam?
Will I be perceived as a fraud or someone with very little to contribute?