If you find yourself saying the following things about your blog writing:
“I’ve run out of topics to write about”
“How do I know people are reading it?”
“I wrote this killer blog, but nobody responded”
Put down those hands and step away from the keyboard!
It looks like you’ve lost your way or maybe you’ve put in a lot of effort but it’s just not paying off in a way you can see. Either way, we need to fix that.
My mini guide to blog writing
1. Get yourself sorted
I know everyone keeps banging on about this but content takes planning. You need to know what you are doing.
Not only that, you need to build the foundations for both inspiring yourself through dry times, and also being able to track the failures from the successes as opposed to sit in relative silence.
Make sure you know what you want your blog writing endeavours to do for you. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up in a wordy rabbit hole.
And no, it’s not to late to start. You can always revisit an existing blog and add things like SEO, direction and intent.
2. You need to establish a blog writing routine
As romantic as it seems to sit down and have the writing pour out of you like baby vomit, you are a bit of an idiot if you think that will continue. Of course when you start your blog, it’s super easy to think of topics. You’ve probably been mentally and physically capturing ideas for posts for ages.
But there will come a time when your head will move from an attic full of great ideas to a place that will slowly eliminate this seeming clutter through writing them out, or even disqualifying them.
So you need to establish a routine. You need to pick a time to daydream up topics, like on the bus or when you read someone else’s work. You need to capture those ideas.
3. You need to write on a regular basis
Writing is a lot like running. When we are kids and we’re fit and excited by it all, it’s easy to run. The older we get and the less practice we put behind it, the slower and less able we get. So if you want to be fast or have endurance, you need to train at it.
Force yourself to write right through the bad ideas that lose steam half way.
Make yourself write something publishable for your blog, even if it’s 100 words.
Push yourself on the mind numbing days when you don’t feel like it and enjoy the painful burn because even if the end result isn’t a personal best, or even anything you’d qualify as writing, at least you’ve exercised your mind.
The more you practice, the better able to write when you need you will be.
4. You need to TRACK what you are doing
Blog writing needs structure as well as an understanding of how things are going with your readership, too! After all, how do you know where you are going if you don’t look around and see where you’ve been?
If you want to be inspired and keep blogging, you need to be able to see the small wins you’ve accumulated along the way.
This means chasing after those wins, too.
Measuring the popularity of your blog means:
- Setting up some kind of social media to help you promote your writing
- Using that social media in tandem with a scheduling tool
- Sorting out a way to measure what you do by reporting on it
- Capturing things like comments and anecdotal evidence
- Measuring website traffic via Google analytics
Yes, this is marketing and reporting. And yes, it seems as dull as dishwater to some, but it’s the only way you are going to know what you are doing and if people respond to it.
You may be in it for the blogging, but if you don’t self promote and track what people respond to, what’s the point?
5. How do you report on your blog?
Make sure you’ve installed Google Analytics on your website- it’s free and not hard to do.
If you want to know about Twitter, BufferApp is both a good scheduler as well as has its own easy to use reporting. If you want to go that little step further, you can get a social listening app that will tell you who to follow, talk to, who you should be talking to, engagement spreads and so forth.
Facebook’s insights are good enough to see you through life.
Connect up 360 Analytics if you use Mailchimp. Ditto the free happiness if you still qualify for free account.
There are packages out there that can pretty much pinpoint the exact moment the Hubble telescope is 23degrees from your website, but if you aren’t dealing with investors, $100K+ turnovers or a boss that touches themselves gently to the soft caress of excel, you don’t need them.
6. If you are struggling, go back to blog writing basics
Lose the doubts and do something about removing the barriers to your content production and start working on knowing what your wins are and you’ll feel much better for it.
Being organised makes it easier to keep up your blog writing, and it also makes it easier to grab at the small wins associated with knowing people appreciate that effort.
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