blog

Why should i write a blog: It’s a calling.

Blogging is not just a duty, it’s a calling. If you think of your blog as just a marketing gimmick and you go about without feeling, it will get tired fast. A blog is writing and writing is a personal art. It needs an investment. When you write your blog, you should focus on topics you are fascinated by.

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Become an author.

A blogger is a weekly columnist in the online newspaper. While you have to write blogs regularly, it should not be a dreaded duty. It should be a joy. If you are in business, you are probably a very interesting person. You have passions. You are also one of the world experts on the thing you went into business for. You have a large natural audience. You should always remember that. A blog is an essay about the things that interest you. The point of the blogging exercise is to show people how much of a “thought leader” you are and how much your knowledge can influence the opinions and actions of those around you.

Writers are like baseball players because they are people of ritual and even superstition. That being the case, many bloggers have little crutches that they rely on to carry on. You may or may not need these, but a small list of possible crutches may be helpful.

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Here are some idea generators.

  1. Don’t call what you write, “blogs.” Call them articles. Most people assume that blogs are either free-wheeling personal diaries or all company and product updates. You may put your articles on a blog site, but they should be articles in your mind.
  2. Blogs don’t really have to be that long. Two-hundred and fifty words is typical. That’s only about 4 or 5 paragraphs. You can say a lot in that space. It works very well in a tightly organized website.
  3. If you have an old piece of blog writing that you really like out of the past, update it with new information and take advantage of it again.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use guest blogs. Solicit essays from your friends, employees and associates. Give credit where it is due. You can create excitement by becoming something of an editor and creating a community of opinion and information.
  5. For the really rough spots when you really feel completely drained of original ideas, try to hire a blog writing company. Give it a try. The expense is not that great and there are some wonderful writers out there. Furthermore, blog writing companies can guarantee you will get blog posts regularly and as frequently as you need them.
  6. It’s often a good idea to collect posts of “curated” images or quotes from other people’s blogs related to a single subject. Create scholarly style articles with lots of authoritative quotes and interesting links. Often this practice of including links in your blog really increases your search engine presence.
  7. Write about things you know. Describe your daily activities at work or make a story about your daily commute. The personal always interests and stimulates readers. Let your natural wit and humor shine through.
  8. Use an editorial calendar to plan your blogs weeks in advance. Begin with ideas and add tidbits to them as they occur to you. You can even plan your blogging schedule around the seasonality of your business or special events.
  9. Become a list maker. Make a top ten list related to your industry or product. Product consumer rankings based on your expert experience can be a very useful blog. Lists of people, places and things that interest you make excellent subjects for essays. Even if your essay is just a justification for putting items on your list, it will show how you think and demonstrate your expertise.
  10. Make a list of books related to your interests and write a bibliography, abstracting what each publication is about.

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Writing for the screen is different than paper.

Then there is the matter of technique, grammar, spelling and necessities like that. Writing online content has rules all its own, unlike writing on paper. Research has shown that people read online content differently from the way they read books and newspapers. Online reading is more dynamic and less concentrated. Readers like bullet points and a subtitles that break up the content. Blog readers tend to scan around looking for the very bits of content that interest them. Blog readers almost never plod through a long essay word for word. However, the easier it is to read your blog post, the better it will work.

  • You should make your writing “scannable.” Most people read blogs by scanning the page for individual words or phrases, headings or other visual cues. Studies have shown that reading from a screen is more tiring than reading from a page. People want to make it easier for themselves. Put important points into a form where they are easy to find.
  • Use lists with bullets or numbers. Use bold face and capital letters for emphasis. Italics and under-linings help people locate the important points.
  • Organize your essay into headings and subheadings. The headings should be almost like newspaper headlines that tell readers what is about to follow.
  • Pictures draw readers’ eyes onto a page. Make them relevant and place pictures near the points they illustrate. Use illustrations to divide the page meaningfully. (This implies that you have control over the location of your pictures. Many blog sites make the location of pictures very tricky. Just do the best you can.)
  • Borders and boxes around quotations and key points helps get the attention of readers and make your page look more graphic.
  • Use lots of space. Claustrophobic web sites often drive people away like claustrophobic rooms.
  • Don’t beat around the bush when you write. Get to the point and state it succinctly. Try not to bury your points in a lot of words. Important points should be right out front.

Send readers down the chute.

Blog writing has a certain style. This is not to say that you can’t successfully buck the trend, but blogs usually have very bare introductions. The introduction may be a simple sentence that is easy to read and builds curiosity about what will come next. The blog gets right to the meat. The sentences are short and punchy.

To quote from Russ Henneberry in Digital Marketer,

“The first sentence is intended to create a ‘greased shute’ that forces them [readers] down the page. … Once you get someone started down the chute it’s much easier to keep them moving. The tough part is getting them started.”

Experienced blog writers often use a technique called open loops, derived from advertising copy writers and adventure story novelists. Novelists sometimes refer to an intriguing future event. Open loops ask a question that will be answered later, as Ryan Deiss does here.

“Even a small subscriber list, if you nurture and manage it effectively can produce an income most ordinary bloggers could only dream about. And, as you’ll see in just a second, if you follow our model you’ll also be doing less work than most.”

Another trick to create interest is “hiding Easter Eggs.” Add little puzzles like inside jokes in your writing. These can generate strong curiosity that will hold the eyes of readers. One experienced blogger, Sonia Simone says,

Don’t buy links, man. It’s a worse bummer than brown acid…

This reference to the Woodstock generation causes some head-scratching in most young readers but for others creates a bond and makes instant fans.

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