Last week I talked about finding the time to blog. Now that you've found the time, let's continue talking about blogging with how to write a great blog post.
The first step is to decide what to write about. This is an easy step if you follow my suggestion from last week to keep a list of possible topics to blog about. Determining the subject of your next blog post can easily take up much of the time you allow yourself to write. Save yourself that time so that it can be spent actually writing. Here are some quick ideas on where to look for content for your blog:
- Common questions your customers ask. Each question can be a blog post.
- Common keywords that bring visitors to your website. Your analytics can tell you what keywords people are searching that brings them to your website. Write a post once a month or so targeting one of those keywords or phrases.
- Seasonal events. Winter is fast approaching. A blog post on safe driving tips for snow/ice would be very relevant and helpful to your customers. Or for summer, backyard bbq tips.
- News or community events. Whether it's national, state or local news, like an update on healthcare legislation, or news about your agency, or a fundraiser/drive you are hosting to raise money or donations for a good cause, news and community events make great blog posts.
- Repurpose content. By repurpose content, I mean take some content that you use elsewhere, and share it on your blog. For example, if you have a newsletter, those articles are perfect for your blog. And vice versa. Share a snippet of a blog post in your email newsletter with a link back to your blog.
The second step is to outline the main points of your blog post. You don't need to spend a lot of time on this step. Just a few minutes roughly sketching out your thoughts so you don't miss an important point.
The great part about outlining your post is that all you do next is fill in the blanks. Focus on saying what it is you want to say. There will be time to edit later in the next step. The important thing in this step is to get all the words out.
Okay, now you can edit. Read your post out loud to help you identify sentences that don't make sense, typos, wrong words or anything else that may affect the flow of your post. It's a great way to spot mistakes.
Next, add a title and images. Your title needs to describe the blog post while grabbing attention and getting someone to click on it. The right image can add to the story of your blog post and encourage visitors to read it. It also makes sharing the blog post more interesting as people like to look at pictures. Be careful of where you get your images though. If you're not obtaining images properly, you might be fined. If you're not sure about your images, reread our blog post on getting photos for your website.
And finally, once you've published your blog post, it's time to share it. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and anywhere else you are involved in social media are great places to share your blog post. While you don't want to share it too many times, it is perfectly okay to share it multiple times or over a couple days so others in different time zones or people who weren't online when you first shared it will have a chance to read it.
What's your process for writing a blog post?
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