Blogging – a necessary part of your online strategy
Writing can be tedious. At some level, the first question is ‘What do I write about?’ and the second is ‘Will anyone read this?’ The answer to the first question is easy. Everyone has some form of knowledge that will benefit other people. Businesses, in particular, have industry-specific knowledge and experience that is new to other people. The issue is that you could become so immersed in your expertise that you fail to realise how valuable that information is to other people.
The second question is trickier. People will read your blog if, firstly, they find it, and secondly, you have relevant, useful and well-written information to share.
Three reasons why people would read your blog articles
The title is eye-catching. For instance, instead of a heading like ‘Building a strong congregation’, why not say ‘6 Ways To Destroy Your Congregation’? Now that will get some attention!
The content is relevant to the audience, but evokes curiosity in a non-intended audience. Using the example above, the content in the blog is obviously meant for church leaders, but congregation members would also want to read the article out of curiosity, so keep the content relevant.
Say something useful. There is nothing worse than a title that promises to be relevant, informative, with a new outlook, but it does not deliver these expectations within the content. People will learn to avoid your blog.
The one thing you must write about
So now we know why people will continue to read your blog, here is the one thing you must write about to make your blog stand out from the crowd.
Are you ready? It’s to write the one thing that your audience is thinking about.
Your target audience is bombarded by posts, information and suggestions daily, but what are they thinking about in respect to your industry? Do they want to know the latest government policies? Do they want to know how to save money? Do they want to understand the latest technology? Find out, and write about this.
A successful blog will position you as a leader and expert in your field. It increases your visibility and credibility, whilst allowing you to extend your learning and help other people.
HOT TO BLOG INTELLIGENTLY
Here are a few top tips on how to blog effectively. These principles are generic, and will apply, regardless of your industry level or expertise level.
Set time out to write
This is probably the number one rule of blogging. It is easy to run out of steam and to get out of the routine. But, if you set a consistent time to write, you will end up with a library of articles to use.
Capture ideas daily
Learn to listen. Listen to complaints, to feedback; listen as your customers ask you questions. Listen to social media. Join forums, where your intended audience can be found, and listen to their conversations. You will pick up ideas of what people are talking about.
If you cannot find any relevant conversations, then ask questions. Ask your target audience what they want to read about. Send out a survey. Find out how you can help them. Find out what their areas of difficulties are, and then help them.
So, you are listening and asking questions. Then plan ahead. Keep a list of future topics; arrange these in categories and subjects. Link them to key seasons in the year, or to key times in the industry. Do you have an article on tax returns? Publish this in the first week of January. This is when most people start thinking about tax returns.
Express yourself briefly
The most effective writers are concise. Blaise Pascal famously said once, ”I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” Intelligent bloggers know how to say the most important things using few well-chosen words.
The Christian faith is about persistence, and we should take this valuable trait into our blogging activity.
Success does not happen immediately. Consistency and persistence is the key.
Lastly. Some things are a no-no on a professional blog.
Spelling errors, jargon, mobile text language (even ‘lol’). These elements portray you as careless, and display a lack of attention to detail. Your well-written message may be lost, as people get distracted by these errors.
APP OF THE MONTH
Success Vision Board by Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield is one of the most respected names in the leadership, motivation and life coaching fields, with sales of his Chicken Soup series and Success secrets impacting millions across the world. He advocates the use of a ‘Vision Board’ as a powerful way to visualise your goals and keep you focused. In its simplest state, a vision board is a sketch of the goals and dreams that inspire the life you want to live.
The Vision Board App brings the same application to the mobile space, and is available on IOS and Android.