Blogging Basics – How to Get Started Blogging for your Inbound Marketing
Nearly everything you read these days about inbound marketing for business includes an exhortation to maintain a blog. You know all the reasons why.
If you check out blogs regularly, you also know not all blogs are created equal. Too many blog writers forget their blogging basics, which means their readers are moving on to the next blog.
Blogging basics comes down to a few key fundamentals, few of which you learned in your high school English class. Let’s review what makes the difference between a blog someone looks at once to a blog someone follows regularly.
We get it. Finding time, energy and ideas to regularly update your blog is hard. But, it’s also the first blogging basics and a key to success. Too many blogs update posts sporadically, going on a writing tear one month and then letting the blog languish for the next quarter. (We have all done this at some point)
The goal of any blog is to gain regular readers. You will begin losing those readers if you fail to provide new content.
Figure out a blogging schedule and stick to it. You could even post your calendar somewhere on your blog so readers know when to check back and you have just set up a very public system to hold yourself accountable.
[note]Tip: If you know you can’t commit to regularly posting to a blog but know a blog is key to success, hire someone to do it for you.[/note]
That’s right, your audience comes first. Not SEO. Not your latest marketing pitch. Not your call to action.
This means you need to write your blogs with your audience in mind. What would they like to read or know about? Why do they follow your particular blog? Figure out the answers to these questions and then provide the content your audience will find useful, educational and engaging.
[note]Tip: If you’re not sure what your audience wants, ask them. You will get great blog ideas and engage your readers in an ongoing conversation, which is one goal of blogs.[/note]
Develop a Voice
This is a blogging basics you probably did learn in high school, if you paid attention that day. All writers should have a distinct voice. Or in other words, your blogs should sound like you (or the corporate image you have created for yourself).
You’re not writing a formal proposal, a report for the boss or a white paper. You’re writing a blog post. Blogs allow for imperfection because they are meant to serve as an online log of your thinking. If they truly live up to that goal then they should reflect your personality.
Readers respond to strong writer voices as well. They want to know there is a real person behind that bio picture and those words on the screen. A strong voice in your blog connects to a reader and brings you to life on their screen.
Tip: If you’re not sure what your voice is, ask someone to read a few of your posts and provide honest feedback about what voice they “hear.”
It’s a Conversation
Blogs are not edicts issued down from on high. Blogs should invite ongoing conversations with the reader. Ask questions, encourage comments and reply to relevant comments promptly.
Encouraging a give and take in a blog will keep your loyal readers around, because they feel a part of the final product, and will attract new readers who catch wind of the dynamic conversations taking place.
Be the blog everyone talks about rather than the blog no one notices.
[note]Tip: Mine the comments for future blog ideas. What readers say in response to each post reflects topics of interest to them and shows you pay attention to what they think and say.[/note]
Returning to your blogging basics can remind you of the joy and excitement blogging first held for you before you got caught up in the ROI, SEO and CTR of your blog. Happy writing!
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