Since I can safely presume that you are convinced about the need for blogging and how it will benefit your business, it would be a good thing to probably learn the nitty-gritty’s of blogging. But just in case you are not, a quick glance through this post might help.
In every event relating to social media, the one question that we are always asked about blogging is this – How do you manage to post regularly? While this was our main concern too, when we had just conceived the blog a year and a half ago, we have realized quite a few things on our way. The foremost thing towards creating regular content is to love what you do, be ready to learn everyday and always with the intent to share as much with your readers. Everything else will fall into place.
In this post, I will try to answer this most frequently asked question in a list form and hopefully that should help you.
1. Know what your blog is about:
This may sound weird but all it really points to is that you should be sticking to your objective at all times, however tempting a story may be. Let’s suppose you run a local flower store and you want to grow big. You know everything about flowers and related areas and start blogging about it. Your blog is a hit as long as you stick to blogging about flowers, their cultivation, their symbolic meanings, etc. The problem begins when you stray away from flowers and your readers will let you know. Same is the case with any other niche topic – finance, gardening, health, food, technology, baking, etc.
You could go through this amazing baking blog, ‘Passionate about baking’ by Deeba Rajbal and financial planning blog, ‘Jago Investor’ by Manish Chauhan to understand what knowing your blog is all about.
2. Build a blogging schedule:
Just like fitness experts would advise you to build upon a daily jogging schedule, I would advise you to build a daily blogging schedule. As for me, blogging was a late night activity when I had started at a personal level four years ago. Now that we (my partner and I) have to write fresh content every day, we have found out what time suits each of us. You could begin with identifying that part of the day when you are the most creative and then stick to the same time daily, come what may.
This approach has really helped us although it seems too tough to maintain. Surprisingly, the human mind accommodates a new habit (or even forgets an old habit) if done repeatedly.
3. Keep jotting down post ideas:
‘What exactly do I blog about?’, ‘I’m exhausted out of topics’, ‘I can’t think at all!’ – these are the usual concerns of a wannabe blogger. But have you ever realized how your mind is completely charged up when it is not preoccupied with work. Do not sit and brainstorm for blog topics, instead forget about your blog and let go. Think about your readers - Who are they and what exactly are they looking for?
Ideas are bound to flash through your grey cells as your mind is on fire. Jot them down at once – on a piece of paper, stick-it note, tissue or your cellphone or maybe a little notepad you carry for the same purpose. Get into the shoes of your reader and creating content for her would be a breeze!
4. Create a weekly editorial calendar:
This may sound like rocket science to you but it isn’t really! When we had launched our blog, we listed down all kinds of topics that we would write about in a Word document. We hadn’t heard about an ‘editorial calendar’ until then but strongly felt the need for a document that would help us organize our weekly content. We don’t know about the format for an editorial calendar yet but a ‘Weekly content Plan’ Excel sheet works well for us.
Put the days of the week in the first column and the main categories you blog about on the topmost row. Put in the topics at the beginning of every week; you can use your content notepad here. Assuming that you are the flower shop owner, you could broadly blog under – Flower Decoration, Gifting Occasions, Flower Power, DIY Flowers and so on. Put these at the top and the topics for each of the weekday below that and voila, you are set for the week!
5. Comments as a source for future topics:
If you try to understand what your readers want, then your life as a blogger is made! But how does one go about it? Begin with reading the blog comments carefully. In the beginning you may not have a large number of comments as you and your readers are just experiencing a new source of information. In that case, you can read the comments section at other sources in your area of expertise.
Supposing you are the flower guy again, go to other popular florist’s blogs. Interact with the author and the readers, trust me you will learn a lot. The comments section is a wonderful source to understand what readers are looking for. So get inspired and influenced by useful topics that will also help you grow in the process, but do not copy topics from other blogs!
6. Feature an expert interview:
Sharing expert opinions on your blog is a good thing but if it is from topline thought leaders in the industry, it is excellent! You may not be able to cater to all your readers appetite. Hence, it makes good sense to feature an industry expert interview on a regular basis. This will also increase the value proposition to your readers.
How do you go about it? Just shoot an email or tweet introducing yourself and your blog and request for an interview, assuming that you are aware of the leaders in your area of business. Everybody loves to share, so it is very likely that you will get a positive response. Keep your questions restricted to 5 or 6 and see the feedback from your readers.
7. Invite for guest posts:
Like I said, everybody loves to share. It is also true that we love to be known and appreciated for our work. Ask for guest posts and you will be surprised to know how many of them are ready to share their thoughts on your blog! So if you are that flower store owner, you could invite for guest posts from your suppliers or better still the local farmer who brings you fresh cut flowers every day.
You will need to be particularly careful about guest posts though. Firstly, the post should be aligned to your subject. If you blog on a niche topic like ‘Personal Finance’, do not put a guest post on the country’s budget analysis if it doesn’t have any analysis relating to the common man’s finance problems. For example, we receive a lot of guest posts on marketing, ecommerce, etc. We sift through them to find any relation to our niche topic i.e. Indian Social Media, before deciding whether we can post them on our blog.
8. Curate posts as per your objective:
As a consumer and a florist, wouldn’t you love it if somebody created a list of articles just for you? That’s called a curated list and that’s what everybody loves in this age of information overload. Putting a curated post on your blog would do you a world of good, as well as your readers. Apart from finding more articles on their topic of interest, readers also save on time and are thankful to you. Now that you are the flower shop owner, create a document and fill it with the interesting links you come across during your daily reading schedule. Put the links in a curated post every week for your readers and see them lap it up!
We have got some maximum traction on our curated articles post. Besides giving more options for our readers, we also gave backlinks to the curated article links, which brought us traffic from there as well. Remember sharing is growing!
It’s good that you have now overcome your fear of blogging and I’m thankful to you for reading until here. My aim is to create more bloggers and more stories!
Slider image courtesy: hubspot.com