In the world of content marketing, starting a blog feels like a rite of passage. As any marketer will attest, there's a saturation of different blogs out there: from lifestyle to education, recipes to fan clubs. They all understand the biggest benefit of blogging: having a podium to share your business offering and expertise.
Like in any new skill or venture, it's important to have a strong foundation. Knowing the basics of blogging will help you garner more traffic and gain credibility.
School of Blog
Good blogs follow some foundational rules that help them stand out and succeed among their competition. According to marketer, Neil Patel, the key to a great blog is not just tactic, but strategy.1 Neil argues that too many writers spend time fussing about the details of how they'll write, rather than focusing on the smartest ideas to write about.
In his article about blogging principles, he offers new bloggers suggestions to keep in mind before starting a blog. We've listed a few that might be relevant or most helpful to you:
- Pick a niche: Your blog doesn't have to cover everything: just what your expertise covers. Stick to a niche topic that you can really explain and expand on. If you're not sure what to choose, maybe Google Trends can give you a hand.
- Be platform agnostic: There are tons of great platforms to launch and host your blog posts. Share your work on multiple platforms, and attract readership from different channels.
- Reply to All: It's all too common to post and let it be. Engaging with your audience is a huge aspect of blogging. Comments can provide valuable insights and feedback, and responding to them shows activity. This is especially important on a social media platform like LinkedIn.
- Blog to People, not numbers: With analytics and statistics, it's easy to forget that there are people reading the content you're pouring your time into. Remember to sound human and use your content to start a conversation with them.
- Ask away: If you'd like engagement, ask! Invite answers and opinions by including CTAs (calls to action) in your content. You'd be surprised with the responses and the engagement you may receive.
Ready, Set, Blog!
While these suggestions scratch the surface of blogging practices, they are good resources to get you moving. The golden ticket lies in that latter thought: to actually begin writing. While it's daunting to begin something new, it's the only way you'll pass the amateur threshold. As Stephen King says, "amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work."
Next week, we'll continue with the second part of our Guide to Start Blogging, where we'll discuss ways to make your expertise shine through your blog.
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