Love blogging or hate it, it we’re all looking for tips which will simplify our blogging. Although I’m in the “love” camp, I have lots of other writing I need to do, so I look for shortcuts.
Here are my top tips to help you to blog more effectively in 2014, so that you can turn your blog into a powerful marketing tool for your business.
1. Before you start writing, decide what you’re selling.
We discussed thinking about conversions, rather than traffic. Ideally, each blog post you create will have a call to action. If you ask your visitors to do something, some will.
Way back in 2004, when blogging started becoming mainstream, commercial blogging was frowned on. A little of that “content for content’s sake” mindset remains. You don’t need to blog with a “buy this!” mindset, but you do need to include a call to action.
Tip: each month, look through your list of posts, and edit your calls to action. Your business and marketing goals change over time. Update your blog posts to reflect this.
2. Batch-create, always.
If you’re creating a blog post, you might as well create two. Or more. Here’s the key to batch-creation: always have blog posts in draft form.
This simplifies business blogging, because your brain hates unfinished tasks:
After starting a task, your brain will be more enticed to finish it to its “conclusion.” You also tend to see that it’s not as big a mountain as you initially imagined, and that the work involved in completing this task won’t be so terrifying after all.
Here’s how this works. Let’s say you’re writing a blog post. Create a list of keywords for the posts, as you usually do. Then in addition to the article you’re writing, begin another couple of articles.
As the old saying goes, “well begun is half done”. Just writing working titles, and a couple of sentences for each draft, helps you to conquer procrastination.
Add the drafts to your editorial calendar. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you complete the posts you’ve started.
3. Before you create, decide how you’ll get more value from each blog post.
You can get more value from a blog post by: using it in a short report or ebook, creating a podcast or video from it, or by using it in your company newsletter.
4. Write fast, edit at leisure.
Writing and editing are two separate mental processes. If you try to combine these two processes, you’ll get frustrated, and will decide you hate blogging.
Batch-creating comes into play again. Give yourself 20 minutes to write a quick draft. Use a timer. I like Repeat Timer Pro. Then spend ten minutes adding content to a couple of your draft posts.
You can edit your posts another day, or later in the same day. I always say that professional writers expect to write cr*p, because they know they can improve on what they’ve written. You write to discover what you think. Just get something written, and let your subconscious mind do the grunt work.
5. Get out of your office: use your camera.
Your cell phone camera is an amazing blogging tool, so get out of your office, and wander around, snapping some photos.
It doesn’t matter much what you photograph. Your photos act as triggers to your inspiration. You can use them on your blog, or not, it’s up to you, but if you frequently find yourself thinking: “I don’t know what to blog about”, take photos. Your images will inspire you.
Try these simple blogging tips. They work. You may discover that you love blogging too. :-)