A Few Blogging Tips

Like me, many of you struggle to get that next blog post published on time.  There are so many excuses:  nothing to write about, not enough time, or even the “what’s the point” excuse.  Blogging is a great way to create content and give people a reason to visit your website and use your services.  Blogging can show people that you are an expert in your field. Here are a few tips to help you get back to blogging the easy and excuse-free way!

Picking a Topic

Look at your field first.  Think of things that you do everyday that may not come natural to those starting out in your field or even something that makes you an expert in your field.  For example, I blog mainly about social media, so I am always trying to look for new and exciting things going on.  I also try to look at things I normally do during my day that may be helpful to others.  Even if you may think it is trivial, it may still be helpful to someone.  Once you pick a topic to write about, think about a few more and have them available for future blogging.  This will cut down on the stress of wondering what to write about.  Also, anytime you think of a topic that would be great for your blog, write it down immediately!

Make an Outline

This is the most important part of blogging for me.  I may have a great topic, but if I do not have an outline, I struggle to recall all of the details of my previous thoughts on the topic.  Struggling to think = Too much time spent on blog.  It does not have to be the most elaborate outline, it could just be a few thoughts and a few sources, depending on what you are writing about.  If it is a case study or a tough topic, you may want an outline that has more detail.  Do not spend too much time on the outline, though.  Your thoughts will come together nicely even if you do not have every thought written down first.

Use Sources and Credit Them

If you found a topic that someone else has covered, use some of their insights, but make sure to source them in your blog.  Sometimes, it is okay to write about something that has already been covered by someone else.  It is also good for your SEO to put links to other sources in your blog.  You never know who might return the favor!

Make It Your Own

Write how you feel.  Some blogs are hard to want to read because they are filled with stats, unnecessary wording, and long boring paragraphs about nothing.  If you want to get your point across in a short post, do it!  If your posts are a bit shorter than 400 words,  make sure to post more often.  If you are long-winded and generally post more than 1000 words, remember that people do not always have time to read a long article.  Cut out the unnecessary elements.  Your post will still be just as good!

I hope these tips help you; I try to keep them in mind every time I write a blog post. Content creation is a great way to make yourself look like an expert in your field, and also a great way to boost your web presence.

If you need more blogging tips, contact me or follow me on twitter- @freshviewjax

What is Content Marketing?

There is a ton of buzz out there right now suggesting that Content Marketing is as important (if not more important) as Search Engine Optimization for your website and ultimately your brand.  It is true that the more information you put out there, the more likely you will be to get more people looking at your website.  If people believe that the information is useful and relevant, they will be more than willing to forward it on to their network as well. 

So, what is Content Marketing?  According to Wikipedia, “Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action”.  Content Marketing takes on many forms.

Whitepapers.  Whitepapers are usually written by an expert on a specific topic to inform the reader or help them make a decision.  The benefit of writing a whitepaper would be to show that you actually are an expert in your field.  You give yourself and your business more credibility when other people can see that you are, in fact, good at what you do.  Many whitepapers tend to be marketing related, but if you have something you are knowledgeable in and you believe it would be helpful to others in your industry or to your customers, go for it!

EBooks.  The difference between an ebook and a whitepaper is that, generally, ebooks tend to be more how-to.  Hubspot does a great job with ebooks.  Ebooks will normally have pictures, links to other related sites, and great colors for a more interesting read.  If you are an expert in the marketing or social media fields, ebooks are for you!  Here is a guide on writing successful ebooks.

Blogs/Vlogs.  Blogs are a great way to showcase your talents and expertise on a particular topic or set of topics.  A blog that is engaging and interesting will bring in visitors from all over.  This is a great way to get people  to visit your website, and gather leads.  Vlogs are video blogs and can be just as important as a blog, although they may not be right for every company.  Vlogs can also be helpful if you feel you are not the best writer, but are a great speaker.  It is just another way to get your message out there.

Infographics.  These are the newest craze among graphic designers and bloggers alike.  Infographics give information through a flow of pictures and charts.  Some can be extremely helpful and others can be too crammed full of information.  You must be careful to fully plan out your infographic topic and find a graphic designer that you can work well with.  Daily Infographic has a few great ones (and one for Halloween too!)

These are just a few of the great ways you can utilize content marketing for your business.  Another great way to use content marketing, although not considered a traditional content marketing channel, is through Twitter.  There is so much information on Twitter that, the more you look and sort through it, the more you will be able to find that is relevant to your clients and people in your industry.  You can retweet tons of links, ebooks, pictures, infographics, and links to other people blogs, thus creating content.  You can also go out and search your favorite topics on StumbleUpon to get even more information on your topic of choice and tweet it out to all of your followers.  Mashable and email newsletters are also great places to get more content for your Twitter feed.

Do you use content marketing for your business?  If so, do you use any of the ideas above, or do you have your own?