5 Ways to Get Started Blogging
June 16th, 2011 by Brian Posnanski
Blogging is the golden goose of digital marketing. It helps you establish a more immediate connection with readers and potential clients and customers. It keeps you churning out valuable content – both for informational and organic SEO purposes. As we are fond of saying, content is king in the search game, and there is no medium that is better suited for quickly and consistently generating quality content than a blog. You can write it with an eye towards the long view, with feature-length posts that act as case studies, white papers or articles, or you can write it with an eye towards the short view, commenting on breaking news and providing updates on your business and services. Most businesses that are successful at blogging, of course, do both and more.
But the hardest thing about blogging is starting a blog, by which we mean really starting a blog, by which we mean planning and developing a long term strategy that will stick. A blog that is infrequently updated or constituted entirely of aggregated content will not get you very far. With that in mind, here’s a checklist.
1. Get a Free WordPress Blog. The hard part about blogging should be generating ideas, giving yourself time to process them, and then executing them on the page. It should not be figuring out how to post the darn thing. WordPress offers the best in functionality and ease of use. WordPress is free to use and offers tons of different themes, making it a perfect lab for trial and error. It can support the needs of someone who wants a barebones, small-scale set-up, but it can also support the outrageously ambitious with its scalability. What’s more, WP blogs are highly customizable – and we suggest you customize to your heart’s content.
2. Develop an Editorial Calendar. It would be nice to generate a bundle of content in advance, but few people have that kind of time. What you can do, however, is devise an editorial calendar, which will set a pace for your blog, give you an advance on any necessary research, and simply mentally prepare you to work with the subject matter. This is especially helpful for content development teams for businesses that have a few bloggers at their disposal. It’s a good way to divvy up the work and keep the pipeline running smoothly.
3. Don’t Be Perfect. Any writing or composition instructor will tell you that the hard part about writing is translating your ideas from your brain to the page. Generating ideas and research aren’t particularly difficult; they merely take time and concentration. Writing, on the other hand, can be frustrating. It may take a few drafts before you really figure out what you’re going for. That’s why you need to get into the practice of writing, whether you get yourself a tidy Moleskine notebook to work out your ideas or open up a Word doc and type out whatever comes to mind. Don’t be perfect. Just write.
4. Enlist Collaborators. Generating content can be hard – that’s why you’ll want some help. The easiest way is to find a few people in-house who can set aside a little bit of time each week to develop a post. That way requires less orientation and probably less time acclimating them to the keywords you want to stress on your site. Another way is to sign up with a listserv like Blogger LinkUp, through which you may find guest-posters or even long-time help. Blogging can be a great way to cross-pollinate and build relationships with other marketers, and Blogger Link-Up is one way to do it.
5. Get Some Attention. Positive attention, of course. Use your other channels – Twitter, Facebook, heck, even old-fashioned networking meet-ups – to draw some eyes to your blog. At other blogs, leave thoughtful comments that add something to the conversation. Under no circumstances should that comment look like this – “Hey, cool blog! If you like reading about sprockets, check out my blog at blog.sprockets.com.” Develop a rapport with like-minded bloggers. Become part of the conversation. Don’t ask them to add you to their blogroll; give them a reason to.
If you have other questions about blogging, let us know!Tags: blogging, Blogs, seo best practices