When I started writing this GetFound blog at the start of the course, it was my very first attempt at this type of writing and boy did I learn a LOT. While I had definitely heard of blogs, I did not fully comprehend the amount of work, time and dedication that goes into producing one on a regular basis. Finding topics, researching the details and then gathering the information into a format that is somewhat interesting and of value to the reader was much more of a challenge than I had ever imagined.
Previously, when helping friends GetFound online, I always told them that a blog was a great tool to get your name and information out to your potential clients and to build the valuable content that search engines look for all the time. They usually all told me the same thing…..I’ve got a business to run, I don’t have time to blog. I can now somewhat understand where they were coming from.
I did learn a great deal though about blogging and I’d like to share just a few of the tips and ideas that I learned along the way, usually by making mistakes. I hope these tips help you make your blogging experience successful.
1. Pick your topic well
Picking the topic that you are going to blog about for an extended period of time shouldn’t be a quick 5 minute decision. Pick a topic that you are passionate about and have experience in. I made the mistake of picking a highly technical topic and the time spent researching, experimenting and testing took far more time than I had expected or allotted for writing the blog. Next time I’m writing about Tim Hortons coffee and The Simpsons…;-)
This was probably some of the best advice I got early on in my blog writing ‘career’ . Taking time early in the writing process to develop a calendar of blog topics that you will write about allows you to get your thoughts in a logical manner that flows for your readers. It also allows you to time your posts better to take advantage of special occasions or seasons that could impact your topic. Of course an editorial calendar is just a planning tool and like all plans, sometimes it needs to be changed due to new circumstances or information that you would like to share. In my editorial calendar, I had not planned to be writing about Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and his amazing public relations success with a silly story about delivery drones, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to comment at that time.
WordPress is an amazing tool but for some reason the way I think something should work and the way it actually works in WordPress can be drastically different. Don’t let problems with the tool frustrate you or turn you off of blogging. Continue to work at it and try new things and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. I couldn’t find a pie chart that described what I wanted to show on my blog so I learned how to import one I created in MS Excel into WordPress and it was a great feeling of accomplishment when I finished.
4. Write Often
Not as easily done as said, I found out initially and it was very much in line with what my friends had told me…finding the time to blog is tough. I found that by developing a schedule and trying to stick to it worked the best for me. For example, I tried to write and research for my blog on Sundays as this was the only day in my schedule that was usually open. I would develop the drafts on Sunday and either post them that day or let them ‘ripen’ for a few days and then tweak them and post. Building in that schedule helped me a lot.
Writing a blog can be a lot of fun and you can learn a lot in the process, particularly if you took my advice in point #1 and picked a topic that you really like and want to share your knowledge of. While it took a lot of time, I truly learned a LOT about my subject and enjoyed writing about it to try to help small business people GetFound online.
For me this first blogging attempt was a trial and error exercise but in the end I learned a lot and can now fully appreciate the time and work that goes into building a really good blog….especially when compared to the amount of time I put in on a bad one. Good luck and happy blogging!
- 10 Tips To Build A Successful Business Blog in 2014 (business2community.com)
- Creating an Editorial Calendar (linkmedia360blog.com)