Whether you're thinking about starting a blog, just getting started, or have had a blog running for a few years it's important to look for ways to boost your blogging skills. Blogging is an important tool for anyone wishing to grow an online brand. It's not enough to have social media accounts because these can disappear [I'm looking at you Vine] or lose public favor [poor Google+].
I spoke about blogging in a recent Facebook Live which you might enjoy. I asked my friends on Instagram what they loved about their favorite blogs and shared their thoughts here.
People look for different things when they go to blogs. Great content comes first but it also must be packaged well.
I love to create articles for people with social media optimization and I follow this with SEO. But I never focus solely on SEO, it's more important to me that when you come here to read my content that you love it. I hope that you love it so much that you're inspired to pin it to Pinterest or share with your colleagues.
These are some of the areas of blogging that I feel are important as you get started and work forward with your blog.
Master these blogging skills:
1. Be consistent
Your readers want to know that they can count on you for content. Just like you loved to watch Friends every Thursday at 8 PM, your readers like the same continuity.
The kiss of death for television shows was being moved around on the schedule. If the show was on Must-See TV and then moved to Sunday nights at 10 PM, they kissed many viewers goodbye.
People love routines and repetition so pick a day and time that works for you to publish new content. It will also help you to stay on track knowing that you'll be publishing on a certain day and time each week.
Build this important skill into your blogging and it will help your blog grow over time. I publish weekly on Monday's
GOAL: Block off time on your schedule to create content for your blog and time to promote it after you hit that publish button.
2. Be interesting
Guy Kawasaki might say this is a duh-ism but there are many blogs that just aren't interesting. A few indications that a blog isn't reaching people are no comments or social shares. People love to share content that they find interesting or to start conversations with people.
Strive to be unique in your voice and share ideas that come to you. I like to keep notes on my phone and in Trello for blog post ideas.Create content that's so good that people will say OMG, I need to share this ASAP. Click To Tweet
3. Stay on topic
Your blog needs to have a niche and focus so people will get what they expect when they click on a link or a Pinterest pin. Your all-important blog title is a promise. You need to live up to that promise by delivering the goods.
One recent trend is writing “ultimate guides.” If you're writing the ultimate guide to anything, your article needs to be seriously comprehensive and in-depth.
Keep tight on your topic for your overall blog and each article so readers know what to expect and so that you can build thought leadership with your ideas.
4. Share the love
Of course, you need to promote your new post to drive traffic back to your blog. Distribute your post across various channels such as email, social networks and forums. Here are some pointers to cross-promote effectively:
- Use the top social media networks
Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest to promote your post.
- You must optimize your post for each social network.
For maximum engagement, make sure to create a unique title, write a short but relevant description, use high-resolution images and mention people in your post, if applicable.
- Use active communities in Google+ or groups in Facebook or LinkedIn
Be sure to add relevant descriptions and attractive images to get more engagement.
- On Pinterest, include your post’s link in the “source” and in the “description” part as well.
Don’t forget about group boards! Find group boards with a lot of followers, ask to join, and repin your post.
- Reshare your post every few days (or weeks).
Use automated apps such as Sprout Social or Buffer. Remember, not everyone will see your update the first time around.
- Take advantage of your email newsletter.
If you regularly send out newsletters to your subscribers, it’s best to include your blog post links in your email.
Applying these strategies every time you make a blog post will definitely excite your readers and even push them to bookmark your blog. What about you? What are some other ways to make a blog post effective?
5. Design great visual media
Your blog needs to have a tight brand look and feel. When you can afford it, have a professional create a logo, brand palette, and brand guidelines for you.
If you can't afford this yet, make sure that you're consistent with the colors that you use for your designs. Try not to use a wide variety of different tools unless you can customize all the colors to match exactly.
Graphics to design for each blog post:
Each blog post should have a featured image as well as graphics for social sharing.Help make your readers superstars when they share your article by providing great visual content. Click To Tweet
Pinterest 2:3 ratio or 1000 pixels by 1500 pixels
Twitter 2:1 ratio or 500 pixels x 1000 pixels
Facebook and Instagram 1:1 ratio or 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels
There are many places to brush up on creating graphics such as Canva and PicMonkey tutorials.
If you're super swamped, hire out your design work. There are many options from having someone do all the work to finding templates that you can customize or having someone create templates for you.
I wanted to share a great new app that I found: A Design Kit [for iOS only] It's a sister app to A Color Story and you can work with them together.
A Design Kit easily adds modern, colorful designs to your photos anywhere and everywhere. Start with the realistic brushes (maybe in gold!) to draw whatever you want. Then choose from over 30 modern fonts to say it exactly right. Anchor it with classic designs. Or maybe just cover the whole thing in stickers. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.