Blogging is the perfect way to get your message out to the public and promote business or perhaps an event you have coming up. Rather than waiting for someone else to discover or talk about your ideas, talents or services, you can bring the message directly to them.
There are many benefits to blogging, including getting your message out there and sharing information with a global audience, generating powerful referral networks, improving online search ranking results and boosting your reputation as a subject matter expert.
It’s relatively simple to start blogging and building your reputation as a coveted expert in your field. The best part is, blogging gives you complete control over the message you send and the information you share.
There are a few hard and fast rules for blogging, although here are some guidelines that will help you along the way. Over time, you’ll discover what audiences are hungry for and what works best to help you achieve your goals.
1: Be yourself
Blogging is a more casual form of writing than an essay or even a newspaper article. Readers expect a certain amount of personality when they are reading even the most informative of blogs. Use that to your advantage and let your real personality shine through. It’s always important to follow basic rules of usage and grammar of course, but don’t worry about your posts being constructed in perfect “Queen’s English”. As long as what you are saying, and how you are saying it, will be clearly understood by your intended audience.
2: Have a purpose
Be clear at the start what type of post it is that you are writing. Are you writing a “how to” intended to teach readers a skill?, Are you analyzing case studies or real-life scenarios?, Are you detailing problems and solutions? Telling a story? Creating a list? Your purpose will guide the format of your post, and should be clear from the beginning.
3: Make it easy
Readers online don’t have the same attention span as print readers. Often, They’re not looking for the same experience. Many online readers want “just the facts” or even “just the highlights,” while others will be in the market for more detailed information. Your posts should work on both levels, simultaneously.
You can create that two-level experience by using subheads, lists, bolded text and outlines. Use hyperlinks to allow readers to dig deeper into specific subjects, and to link to previous writings on similar topics, or to sources that elaborate on the current post. Make sure your posts are easily digestible – 500 words is a good standard length to use. Keep paragraphs short and to the point.
4: Know your audience
The better you understand your audience, the more easily you can tailor your content to appeal to their interests. Actively solicit feedback and keep track of analytics to build your understanding of just who it is who is reading and sharing your posts.
You can post your blogs to your website and then post the links on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and in your e-newsletters. This will ensure your blog drives traffic to your website which will promote your brand.
Most importantly, pay attention to what is working and what isn’t, and learn from your mistakes. Blogging is an ongoing process and finding your niche can take time. Stick with it and you’ll be a pro before you know it!