"Where the Internet is about availability of information, blogging is about making information creation available to anyone. "
— George Siemens
How Blogging Works
The purpose of blogging is to attract people to your niche product(s) or service(s). By writing about topics that encompass your niche, you will attract subscribers, followers, and loyal readers that will become customers and fans.
Your goal for blogging is to generate Leads. Leads are...according to Wikipedia: In marketing, lead generation (/ˈliːd/) is the initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads.
Your Blogs are an avenue
They share valuable information to your readers. It is to give them information that will help them solve a problem. The majority of people that "Google" are searching for information to help solve a problem they have. If you can provide valuable information to them, they will want to stay connected. That is your goal.
How to Collect Leads
There are a number of services that help you collect and manage your leads. I use Aweber (per the AD below):You can create sign-up forms with Aweber for people to subscribe on, like their first name and email address. Once you have people signing up for your subscription to a newsletter and blog post-up-dates, then you can continually keep in touch by sending them more valuable information and promote sales periodically.
Important note: Don't inundate your subscribers by spamming them continually. You will annoy them and before you know it they will unsubscribe from you. It can be hard to get subscribers but once you do, do what you can to give them value, nurture your relationship, give more than they expect and don't feel guilty asking them to buy something you strongly recommend too, periodically. Before anything, just give lots of value before pushing any sales.
Aweber allows you to send broadcasts to your subscribers...on a schedule that you set. Having automation on your side is an incredible gift because it frees you up for researching, writing, promoting, and so on.
How to Start Blogging
Blogging can actually be a lot of fun, especially if you are passionate about the topic you are writing about. When you write blogs you need to be aware of certain elements that need to be considered when Blogging.
Here is a list of items that are part of a blog (in random order):
Title Heading - Your title provides the promise that your readers are researching for. It needs to be short and sweet and includes the Keywords your readers have searched for.
Image(s) - These should be eye-catching and relate to your article. I use a royalty-free site called Pexels.com when I am in need of pictures for my blogs.The good rule of thumb is to use a picture for every 150 words but can vary per blog.
Body - this could actually have its own blog post because of the amount of information it contains. To be blunt you need to deliver your promise first. Your promise is in the title that contains information about your article. Be sure to deliver the specific information first to satisfy your reader. From there you can intrigue them to read-on.
Keywords - To Reference MOZ : "Your goal in ranking on search engines is to drive organic traffic to your site from the search engine result pages (SERPs), and the keywords you choose to target (meaning, among other things, the ones you choose to include in your content) will determine what kind of traffic you get."
Advertising - Adsense is a great way to include advertising links to your site. You can set them up with Google Adsense and it automates automatically.
URL - your blog will have a URL connected to it and it is best to include your 'keyword'.Affiliate Links - Bloggers often blog to market their preferred affiliate companies therefore, they will include their affiliate links within their blog posts. You can do that too or add banners and links to these affiliates in your blog post or on your pages.
Comments - In Wordpress, you have the option for people to comment on your Blog by a check-box allowing comments.
Credits - Having pictures for your Blog posts is not always easy to find but when you do, you should promote the artist that took the picture.
BIO- At the end of a Blog you may want to have an Author Bio to explain who you are to people, your mission, your picture, and a website to connect with you.
Social Media -When you write a Blog, you will want people to find it, share it, and like it. Therefore, you will want to add some social media buttons so that your readers have various ways to connect with you and share your content.
Snippets (Meta Tags)- According to WordStream: "They are snippets of text that describe a page's content; the meta tags don't appear on the page itself, but only in the page's code. We all know tags from blog culture, and meta tags are more or less the same thing, little content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page is about."
Links - It is good to have links in your Blog. These links can be added to keywords that relate to the keyword. When people click the link they must relate to relevant information that your readers may be interested in. They can link to other blogs you wrote or to other peoples articles that you feel will help your readers understand the subject further.
CTA - Call To Action ... after your blog post you should get the reader engaged. This is done by asking a question that they can answer, ask them to share your content, or even inform them of a limited time to react.
Focus Keyphrase - Your title, first paragraph, and meta tag should include your keywords to help attract readers. They should also be mixed within the Blog/ Page that you wrote. Don't be overkill with them, just sprinkle them around appropriately.
Disclaimers- Privacy and Affiliate - You are going to need references to disclaimers if you are promoting products or asking for personal information such as name and email... make sure you have references in your posts and page to your disclaimers.
Structuring a Blog should be consistent and attractive to the reader.
White Space - this improves the visual experience for your readers. It helps break text from visual and retains readers attention...as they absorb the information you are delivering.
Small Paragraphs - keep paragraphs short and sweet. It helps readers stay connected to the content you are delivering. If the paragraph is too long, your information will seem too cumbersome to read and you will lose their interest or at most lose them from reading some very good points you want them to learn. According to Grammarly: "They may say that a paragraph should be 100 to 200 words long, or be no more than five or six sentences. But a good paragraph should not be measured in characters, words, or sentences.
The true measure of your paragraphs should be ideas."Wordy Words - the majority of people searching the web for information are not highly educated and therefore if you use words that are not regularly used (causing them to look it up in a dictionary) will immediately lose their attention and not stay to read more.
Don't dumb down your words but don't use specific words that will separate your readers from ones that are fluent with your type of word structure vs those that are not. You need to accommodate both.
Bullets - adding bullet points for readers to skim through helps them remain interested in what you have to share with them
Length - Googles likes lengthy blogs but please keep the reader in mind by being sure they get the information they seek at the beginning of the article.
Content is King 👑 - Content is Value for your readers. It can come in many forms other than Blogs, like video, podcasts, pictures, webinars, quotes, and so on. When delivering value to your readers, change it up a bit and add various content within the content.
What to Blog
If you have a topic in mind, begin to write everything you know about it.
If you don't have a topic in mind, then you can brainstorm ideas. Write anything down that relates to your website and it's niche. Pinpoint a subject that intrigues you to share with others. What can you teach others about it? What quotes can you find that will compliment your blog? The same goes for a picture or two to add to your blog.
Freeform - dismiss the elements above when you write your first draft of your article because this will allow you to be open (no restrictions) with your thought pattern. Just write what comes to mind and if you aren't sure of something that you want to include in your blog, then write that down too...flag it for further research for later.
When to Blog
Blogging should be done consistently, every day. I am guilty of that but I plan on improving my turn around time😉 . The reason you need to be frequent is to keep your readers interested in you and to have them looking forward to what you are going to write and share with them next. The trick to Blogging is to persevere.
Be diligent at Blogging daily...and to not give up. It is easy to give up because you won't see results immediately. You will eventually get a following but only if you keep your nose to the grind and generate blog after blog after blog.
The Frequency of posting a blog varies. As soon as I blog, I post it to my WordPress website right away. I am so excited every time so I am a bit impatient. You don't have to do what I do. Wordpress has the option to schedule your blog posts any date and time you want.
After you have posted to your website, you really don't have an audience that knows about it. That is why I create my links to the blogs in Aweber and send them to my subscribers.
Where to Blog
Your Website is the first place you should blog. This is where your readers will find you and it is a home for all your content.
Social Media - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin to name a few are a great place to put links to your blog.
Social Bookmarking - Reddit, Stumble Upon, Delicious are a few places that you can copy and paste your blog as well.
Ezines - Article Base, Ezine Article, Hub Pages are places to share your email - Aweber is my tool to share my blogs with my loyal readership.
Value vs VolumeYour blogs are content driven. They need to contain the value to your readership and to deliver unique information that others don't provide. Your blogs should be streamlined and not wordy. They need to deliver information at once and not drag the reader through an entire article before they find what they were promised. Putting too much information in your article can be cumbersome for readers and they may close the article and move on with google searches if they get bored or frustrated.
If you have a lot of volumes to add, make it value driven and to the point.
I hope you enjoyed this article and I am wondering How do you Blog or What have you learned that has helped you. Do you have specific techniques or questions to ask?
Please let me know.
Feel free to share the Blog too, I would greatly appreciate that and so would your fellow readers :)
Best Wishes from the Cloud
Entrepreneur and Owner of Cloud9 Marketing Online
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