Trying to navigate the blogosphere and find your own voice? It’s easy to have an identity crisis as you work to create the persona of your dreams.
I find that blogging
isn’t that difficult until educated, professional, bright grownups begin to overanalyze things.
Most know the basics; hell, we got through high school, college, and years of work. Suddenly we can’t put together some rudimentary thoughts on a topic we (probably) have been involved with for years.
Be brave. It’s a new world. Kind of.
Consider these 12 things—and related links—that every blogger should know how to do:
1. Make your own rules.
Don’t get stuck with someone else’s belief about word count, frequency of posts, and editorial calendars. Work your blog based on what feels right for you and your readers.
• 6 reasons to “Go Your Own Way”
2. Stick to what you know and enjoy.
• The No. 1 reason to break the rules of blogging
When you write about topics you’re well-versed in and passionate about, it comes through loud and clear. This will help build your credibility as an expert in your field. It could also be enjoyable.
• How to create your own super niche
3. Identify your audience.
• 5 ways to find your blogging niche
• What is your blog niche?
Take time to analyze where your ideal clients hang out online. Who are they, and what can you do for them? Do you know their challenges? How can your knowledge add to their success? Hints: Use Survey Monkey, Google Alerts, chats, and Twitter.
• 8 things you must know about your audience
4. Write to express, not to impress.
• Social media worksheet to target your audience
• How to find your target market
The secret to blogging lies in the writing
. Yes, a business blog must be professional, but it’s not a dull white paper with stuffy jargon. Be conversational, say exactly what you need to say, and be done. It may be 50 words or 500. No one will care about word count if you write in a compelling and helpful style.
• How to easily write brilliant blog posts
• How to write a good business blog
5. Understand the art and science of writing headlines.
In our crazy, busy world, you’ve got eight words in your headline that must compel someone to read on. It’s about psychology, emotions, curiosity, and marketing. Master this.
• How to write magnetic headlines
6. Forget writer’s block.
• 7 rules for compelling headlines
There’s no such thing. Pay attention to people and the world around you, and you’ll have a steady pipeline of topics to cover.
• Dispel the myth of writer’s block
7. Use video.
• 13 ways to find content
• Mind mapping improves creativity
Video continues to be a hot trend in social media. Not everyone is a writer, and not everyone is a reader. We all learn through different communication
modalities. Some of us are more visual; others are more auditory. Enter video blogs (vlogs). Bonus: Record your video and have it transcribed so you can repurpose it.
• The impact of video blogs to promote your business
8. Weave your personality into your posts.
• 5 reasons to use videos in your blog
• Why you should start video blogging
Give readers a glimpse into your world. How can you do this while focusing on their needs and challenges? Always connect your experience back to them. Take a look at this first link, and see what I mean.
• What it means to Get in Front
9. Encourage people to comment, and respond to them.
• Using your blogging persona to attract readers
Invite your audience to get involved by asking for their feedback, experience, or opinion. Be sure to check your comments daily and respond to everyone. After all, no one likes to be ignored. Blogs are interactive, not static. Invite the dialogue.
• Comment etiquette
10. Find good images.
• How to record and edit video for PR
Interesting visuals, pictures, and video snippets all add to the reader’s experience. Collect images, and build your library. Entice visitors with visuals that help drive your message. Tap into their senses while showing your creativity.
• 19 ways to enhance your blog with images
11. Understand the next steps.
• 9 ways to add personality to your blog
After people read your post, what do you want them to do? What’s the call to action? Sign up for a free newsletter, video, or webinar? List-building and landing pages are essential to building a following, keeping in touch with your readers, and marketing to them in the future.
• How to create a landing page
12. Write and upload your own post.
• Building an effective and optimized landing page
Be sure you can do this from beginning to end in less than 30 minutes. That means without the help of tech support.
• Best practices for writing and posting
• WordPress for beginners
Building your online community takes time and focus. Commit
to it, and you will reap the benefits, both personally and professionally.
A version of this story first appeared on the blog Get in Front Communications.