Blog Power: 2 More Essential Content Tips

Blog Power: 2 More Essential Content Tips

Everyone’s blogging today; if you don’t have a blog, you feel guilty. However, blogging isn’t for everyone. It takes time. Your time may well be better spent. On the other hand, if you feel that a blog would benefit your business: create one. A blog can be immensely valuable for your business, in ways you’d never expect.

Well over a year ago, I created My Top 10 Content Tips; I’ve just updated the post. Its accompanying slide deck has had over 3,600 views on SlideShare. Reading over the post, and considering the amount of content that’s produced daily, here are two more essential content tips.

1. Keep It On Your Blog!

Many companies decide that rather than blogging, they’ll devote all their resources to their Facebook or Google+ page, and send out streams of tweets. Blogging just seems too time intensive, and demanding.

That’s true. However, your blog is media that you own. Content you post on other sites is at another company’s mercy. Not to mention, it’s hard to find again. Put your content onto your blog first, then tweak it for use elsewhere.

2.  Automate Sharing, But Don’t Turn Into a Robot.

Apps like Buffer make it easy to schedule your blog post reshares, and social media messages, but don’t schedule everything. Show up on social media websites, and get social.

You’ll find many useful content tips on social media. For example, I’d never considered “plussing” my own posts and comments on Google+, but Mike Allton advises that you do:

First, within Google+, you’ll need to understand that there are three possible “Social Signals” on every post: a +1, a Comment and a Share. Every Google+ user can take any of those actions on a single post, including the original post owner. Creating the post itself does not count. But as each social signal is effected, the +1 count on any one single link included in the post goes up. To a maximum of 3 +1’s from any one unique user.

You don’t need to spend hours on social media websites, but after you automate, pop in every day or two and plus your shares, and those of others. And of course, interact. Social media networking is called that for a reason.

If you missed the previous article, read the first of the top ten blog content tips here.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

More Blog Content Ideas Than You’ll Ever Need

More Blog Content Ideas Than You'll Ever Need
More Blog Content Ideas Than You’ll Ever Need

You’re a blogger, so you’re constantly looking for blog content ideas.

If you’re like most of us however, when it comes to formats, you rely on the tried-and-true. Your favorites may include, as mine do: tip posts, reviews, customer and product information, and  the latest news in your industry and business.

It’s time to revitalize your content and your thinking. Russ Henneberry at Digital Marketer’s produced The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas, and it’s a doozy. You can download the PDF, or view the MindMeister mind map. I counted approximately 53 ideas.

New blogger? Share your insights

Russ has divided his post ideas into “how to blog” considerations, such as: “be useful, be human, and be generous. ”

If you’re a new business blogger, you’ll want to include some “be promotional” posts. Of course you want to talk about your company. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, that’s vital. Who will toot your horn if you won’t?

Primarily however, you’ll focus on your readers, and their needs. This can be a challenge. You need to put yourself into your customer’s, or client’s shoes, and consider how you can best help them. We discussed writing to build your brand, so look at the mind map, and consider posts you can schedule which help you to brand yourself.

Be wary of creating too many off-topic posts if you only post once a week. If you post several times a day, you can post whatever you like. I enjoy The Australian Newsagency Blog, because the blogger’s a prolific publisher, publishing several times a day.  If you’re as prolific as he is, no one will notice if you publish off-topic posts occasionally.

If you own an established blog, consider new blog post formats. Blogging is instant publishing; you have immense power to reach your audience. Take advantage of it.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Not in the Mood: 3 Blogging Tips To Get Over Bloggers’ Procrastination

Not in the Mood: 3 Blogging Tips Get Over Bloggers’ Procrastination

Not in the mood to write a blog post? Although I love blogging, half the time I’d rather be reading – or doing something else undemanding. If you allow it, procrastination can kill your blog. For hobbyist bloggers, that’s okay. It’s not okay if your job or your livelihood depends on writing more content.

Check out these three blogging tips for those times you’re just not in the mood.

1. Get Inspired by Google Suggest – Tip Toe Through the Alphabet.

Google’s the savior of recalcitrant bloggers. Hie yourself off to Google, and enter a topic – any topic. Add the letter “a.”

google suggest

As you can see in the image above, I entered “blogging”, plus “a.” I haven’t anything to say on blogging away debt, but I could create a post on any of the other three ideas, even if I wasn’t in a blogging mood.

2. Write a List of Words. Use Them in Your Blog Post.

Challenge yourself. Write a list of words – any words. Author Ray Bradbury used nouns:

These lists were the provocations, finally, that caused my better stuff to surface. I was feeling my way toward something honest, hidden under the trapdoor on the top of my skull.

You can use any words you like. Example: summer, drizzle, sly, sky blue, river, petunia… Now write a blog post, and include those words. Or not, your choice.

Writing a list of words primes the pump. You’ve given the logical side of your brain something to think about. Before you know it, the creative side of your brain gets in on the act, and you’ve written a blog post.

This exercise works well if you need to create your editorial calendar for the month.

3. Temper, Temper – Think About Something That Annoys You.

Got a temper? Me too. I’ve calmed down over the years, but I can create a list of annoyances which get me into a temper without any effort.

Think of something which annoys you. No, don’t blog about that. Use the energy and make a word list. Anger is just energy, and you can direct it anywhere you like. Direct that anger into creating a blog post. Tip: keep your post positive.

So there you have it. Next time you’re not in the mood, try one of these blogging tips. They’re fun.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

photo credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ via photopin cc

Get Out Of Your Content Marketing Rut 3 Ways

Get Out Of Your Content Marketing Rut 3 Ways

Are you in a content marketing rut? You create and post a set number of items to your website, your mailing list and social media accounts regularly. You’re proud of yourself, as you should be: consistency counts, and your content assets will grow.

You get traffic reliably, but you’re not seeing the jumps in traffic you’d like, not even when you post stellar content. You’re falling into a content marketing rut, and don’t know how to get out of it.

Try one or two of these three ways.

1. Try a new format.

Content comes in many formats. If you’re producing text content, with the occasional slide deck, why not turn some of that text content into audio, or video? Jing is free, and easy to use. You can post your videos to YouTube, and find a completely new audience.

Other formats to consider:

  • Q and A: you get a stream of customer service and other questions each week. Why not develop some question and answer content from great questions people ask? If one or two people have asked a question, hundreds of others may want answers too.
  • Tutorials: I love foodie blogs. I’m in awe of some of the wonderful content they produce. Food p0rn, indeed. Grab some ideas for tutorials from food or other blogs which use the tutorial format.
  • Micro content: you don’t always have to produce content which takes hours to create. Post a link, or a quote, or a fun piece of information.
  • Quizzes. Why not create a quiz each month? I love quizzes, and search for them in magazines. Your quiz doesn’t need to be confined to topics about your industry. Consider a seasonal quiz, or a trivia quiz.

2. Take it on the road: offer your content to new venues.

Please don’t wince. I know that Matt Cutts has taken a big stick to guest posting. But he’s not talking about genuine ghost blogging. He’s talking about link-hunting.

Find a couple of websites on which you’d like to see your content. Don’t worry about the links. Think about branding, and relationship building.

If any of your clients have a blog, offer them some great content which would appeal to their audience.

3. Experiment. Then create a case study.

Create an experiment – any kind of experiment you like. Set the parameters of your experiment. Then conduct it. Keep regular notes. Everyone loves case studies. You think you know what the results will be, but you may be surprised.

Announce your experiment, and its parameters. Tell readers how the experiment’s going, as it progresses. Ask readers to help, if possible. When the experiment’s over, announce your results.

It’s easy to fall into a content marketing rut. Challenge yourself to get out of it by with new content formats, and new venues.

Want more content marketing ideas? Create better content faster

, and on Twitter: @angee