Blogging Short: Itty Bitty Blog Posts Anyone Can Create

ittybittycontent

Who’s got enough blog content? No one, that’s who. I’ve shared my big content time-saving trick – plan your content on Sundays. If you don’t want to plan on Sundays, do it anytime you like, but don’t do it in your office. You need time, and a calm, relaxing atmosphere. I hike myself and my iPad to our local park, or on cold days I snuggle up on the sofa to plan.

My big secret for the Sunday planning sessions is creating draft posts using the Drafts Dropdown plugin on my WordPress blogs.

On most blogs, I’ve got at least ten draft posts, so I know that on my worst day, I can create content.

Here’s my second big blog content secret: SHORT posts. Little itty bitty posts… You may find as I do that these little posts get more attention than long screeds.

Here are some ideas for itty bitty content you can create FAST.

Instant content: embed tweets

I save all my tweets to Google Docs using an ITTT recipe. Just activate Twitter and Google Docs in your If This, Then That account, and your tweets will all be saved for you.

Tweets saved in Google Docs
Tweets saved in Google Docs

I can click on an individual tweet, and embed it in any blog post.

Here’s one:

Facebook and Google+ allow you to embed content too – these embeds create short, fast, blog posts.

Create a tips list (just the list – expand later)

Create a list of tips about anything at all. Don’t bother expanding on the tips, you can expand on them later. If you have a blog post with ten tips, each of those tips can expand into a brand new article.

Create a roundup of posts from your own, or others’ blogs

Roundup posts are short and simple to create.

Some bloggers create roundup tweets, and roundup Google+ posts. Bring your older content to reader’s attention.

In similar vein, update older content with a fresh tip, insight, or with the latest news on the topic.

Post photos: quote images are HOT

We’ve talked about quote images:

Love them or hate them, quote images are everywhere. Here’s why. They work. They get Likes and attention. There are another reasons too — they stand out, and they’re FAST and EASY to create.

Create a poll

Do a Google search for “create a poll”, and you’ll come up with many sites which create free polls for you.

I use Polldaddy, because it has a WordPress plugin. Whatever blogging service you’re using, Polldaddy has embed codes, so you can add a poll to any blog post with copy and paste.

Other options for itty bitty content

There are many other options for short content. Create a post, and insert: a link, a YouTube video, an aside (short comment), a status update, a quote, a chat…

Blogging needn’t be a chore – it can be fun. Have a planning session once a week, and use itty bitty posts. :-)
, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

Business Blogging in 60 Minutes a Week 3: Outline and Collect

Outline and collect

One of the most useful books I’ve ever read is A Writer’s Time: Making the Time to Write, by Kenneth Atchity. I read it years ago, and commend it to you. Although I haven’t read it in decades, here’s what stuck with me — Atchity points out that starting a project is difficult. You’re fighting against inertia. Once you’ve got a project moving, it proceeds quickly.

If you can avoid this “starting” time in your blogging, you’ll be able to create a powerful business blog in under sixty minutes each week.

The easiest way to fight this natural inertia is by scheduling some “collection and outline” time.

Batch-create starting points for your blog posts: weekly, or monthly

Schedule 20 minutes each week, to outline your blog posts, and collect resources for them.

Your resources might include:

* Images;

* Facts and figures;

* Quotes from customers;

* Marketing materials for inspiration.

Once you’ve collected your resources, make a list of topics you want to cover on the blog. Keep the list somewhere you’ll find it easy, so you can add to it when you get an idea. I keep my blogs’ topics lists in Simplenote.

Your next step is to do some keyword research. Use your favorite tool. My current favorite is Keyword Eye.

Keyword Tool

As you can see in the image above, Keyword Eye gives you a word cloud of keyword terms related to your topic. I used the term “website design” and ended up with the image above.

Next, brainstorm blog post titles. Don’t agonize over this, you can always change them later.

Add several points you want to make in each post underneath the title. If the post will be a photo, just make a note: “need ten office photos’. (Why ten? Any number will do, but always take more photos than you’ll need.)

If you’re using a WordPress blog, you can use the Editorial Calendar plugin, to create draft posts. Most blogging platforms will create draft posts for you, so check the Help files of your platform if you’re not sure how to do this.

All done. Your blog posts are almost ready.

On another day, complete a post or two, and schedule their publication time and date on the blog.

Image credit

Business Blogging in 60 Minutes a Week 2: How Many Posts?

Business Blogging in 60 Minutes

We started our new series, Business Blogging in 60 Minutes a Week yesterday, and said:

“Can you afford to spend 60 minutes a week on blogging? Although a mere 60 minutes over the course of a week may not sound like much, if you can spare that time, you can develop a blog which will help you to meet your business’s goals.”

If you’ve committed to 60 minutes of blogging a week, your next step is to decide on content for your new business blog. That is, how many posts will you create, and how often will you post them to your blog?

Usually when I mention blog posts to a client, he thinks in terms of articles. That’s fine. However, if you’ve only got 60 minutes a week, you don’t need to spend that time writing just one article — or half an article, if you’re a slow writer.

You can do better than that. ;-)

On my freelance writing blog, I talked about “5 minute a day blogging”, referring to Tumblr:

If you’re familiar with Tumblr, you know that you have a choice of seven blog post formats: text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio and video…

These formats mean that you have the option to create long blog posts, or you can make them very short. For our purposes, most of your blog posts will be short. How long does it take to post a photo? Half a minute, perhaps?

The Tumblr platform is brilliant if you want an “instant” blog. Many businesses are using it successfully, because with Tumblr, you can just click a “Share Tumblr” button on your Web browser’s toolbar to create a new blog post.

Here’s a list of 60 brands which are using Tumblr, and Bergdorf Goodman’s Tumblr blog:

Bergdorf Goodman on Tumblr

WordPress.com has taken a leaf out of Tumblr’s book so to speak, and also encourages you to create very short posts, as you can see in the image of WordPress.com’s “New Post” selection dialogue box below.

Post formats on WordPress

Choose blog post formats, and decide how many posts you’ll create each week

Think in terms of SHORT blog posts. As we’ve said, image marketing is now huge. When you focus on short blog posts, and images, this will not only make your blogging tasks easier, it will ensure that you don’t go over your allotted 60 minutes a week.

Each week, you could post:

* Two images (one post per image, then repost the images to Pinterest);

* One short 250 word article; and

* One quote.

Decide how many posts you’ll create each week, and the kinds of posts now. Tomorrow we’ll talk about outlining your posts, and collecting resources.

photo credit: Graphic Dix via photopin cc