So you want to be a blogger?
Your brain is buzzing with ideas of your first blog post. You are so excited and enthralled by the notion of sharing your ideas and creativity with the rest of the world. You cannot wait to structure them into words and sentences to tell your story.
But when you get down to actually writing something down your mind goes blank, you do not know where to start. Or better yet, you have succeeded in writing your first blog post and after agonising and hovering your mouse or finger over the publish button, you press it. Your thoughts are live on the web. You congratulate yourself and pat yourself on the back.
But Lo and Behold!
After sharing your article a few times the only people to read your blog are maybe your mother or colleague but the rest of the world doesn’t seem to care.
Does this feel like you?
The web can be an extremely cold and lonely place. After agonising with words and sentences and pouring your heart and soul into a post, you realise that no one cares.
It can be heart-breaking.
But here’s how you can avoid this from ever happening to you.
#1 Write a Catchy Headline
You have great content and great ideas but how do you get people to read it? Headlines are what compel readers to go through your post. It is what draws eyeballs to your content. Did you know that 8 out of 10 people will read the headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will go on to read the rest of the copy? This is the secret that Media Companies and newspapers have mastered.
Examples of some proven headline types include
How To, Tricks of the Trade
Best and Worst
Crystal Ball and History
Example: The History of Content Marketing
Problems and Fears
Get What YouWant (In Health, Wealth, Relationships, Time and Lifestyle)
#2 Write Sub titles
Sometimes you cannot put everything in a headline. Sub articles are teasers that offer promise and intrigue of exciting and inspiring content to follow. They are what tempt and entice the reader to continue reading the post.
Headlines are what draws people to your content, sub titles are what keeps them interested.
#3 Tell a Story
I am the sit around a fire and tell stories kind of a guy so it’s only natural that I share stories in my blog posts every now and then.
The thing is, it works. People love stories.
People would rather read a story about how so and so made it rather than an academic block of text that only your professor or lecturer reads because she is duty-bound.
Do interviews and share personal stories of successful people in your field.
#4 Keep It Simple
I am a firm believer of the cliché KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!
While it was cool back in the day to flaunt your knowledge using BIG words and JARGON that no one with exception of yourself and a few of your colleagues understood, it’s probably not a good idea now.
Always tone down the jargon and pompous words so that people understand what you are talking about.
#5 Break Your Content into Bit Sized Chunks
The reality is that we live in an era of decreasing attention where there is so much clutter and content competing for your audience’s attention. The art of keeping a reader engaged has become an ongoing creative and scientific experiment of verbal and visual seduction.
There is nothing more frustrating to a reader than finding a block of content which says to the reader if you want information, good luck in finding it.
Write in short easy to read snack bite sized paragraphs which make it easier for your audience to skim through your content.
#6 Use Images
We have said it before it’s about seduction and the visitor needs to be continually visually arrested to keep them interested and on the page.
There is real seduction in imagery.
Picture this you are reading productive content on the web or catching up on the results of last night’s game you missed. But before you know it you are off chasing 15 Most Insane pictures of the Amazon. Why? You were drawn to click on it because of the image. Not only do images help in keeping interest but they also do a darn good job facilitating clicks. Brains process images faster than they do words.
#7 Include Keywords
This is absolutely one thing you should not ignore.
Keywords help determine how you rank on Google or on major search engines. Just like how a Sea Vessel Captain uses a compass to find course and directions to their destination, search engines rely on keywords to bring up relevant content to people’s search queries. Make sure you include keywords that people will use when they are looking for content.
The challenge is to write naturally and be mindful of Google.
#8 Include Calls to Action
What is the take home point you want to put across in your article?
What is it that you want the reader to do after they have read your article? This might be a phrase like, “What will you do differently from today onward that you have learnt from the post?”
This adds purpose to your blog posts.
Always close your blog posts in style.
Remember those movies that you keep rewinding and watching so you can watch the closing over and over again? That’s how your closing needs to be.
Okay I stretched it a bit.
But do try to wrap up your post in a style that allows you to deliver the message to your readers in the most exciting and unique way as possible.
#10 Promote Using Social Media
So you’ve gone through the trouble of writing content that you believe will change people’s lives. You probably dedicated a lot of time creating it and forgoing watching your favourite TV show or stole a few minutes of your employer’s time just to finish it. The next question is, how do I get people to read this?
This is where social media comes into play.
Whilst Social Media is something that others do for fun. For bloggers it is something that accelerates and amplifies their reach due to its ability to, using the power of the crowd, to share your content and brand for free.
Share your content on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The secret sauce is to create a social media synergy where the sum is greater than the individual parts.
Wrapping it up
The world is your oyster, we are now living in a knowledge economy where you can be whoever you want to be if you are willing to put in the time. Some of you will read this and carry on as if nothing ever happened.
But you are no like them.
Act and take one step at a time to create the future you want that you deserve.
To your blogging greatness.
I appreciate the time you took reading this post. It would be great if you leave a comment on the blog or share it with your audience.