How to become an Expert Blogger

cat-on-computer-300x279
Why is a blog so necessary for today’s businesses? And what do you need to know in order to be a successful blogger?

Two huge questions, and ones that I could spend hours and thousands of words talking about.

However, we all have to start somewhere, so here is the summary of the short talk on blogging that I was privileged to present recently at a networking event.

The topics that I covered were:

  • What’s a Blog anyway?

  • Why should you Blog?

  • What makes a good Blog?

  • What makes a good Blog post?

  • How do you plan a Blog post?

  • What do you write?

  • Tips for successful Blogging

What’s a Blog anyway?

The idea of a blog began in the dim and distant past of maybe 15 years ago when people began to put their diaries up on the web.

Originally this was called a web log, but it soon became a ‘blog’. Some people still use their blogs as a diary – but using your business page to write a diary or a journal is a bit like posting pictures of your dinner for all your customers to see.

A business blog is a different animal. A business blog is used for a totally different purpose. It is used to give valuable information to your audience.

 

Why should you Blog?

There are many reasons that you should be blogging for your business and today I’ll mention what the probably the top three:

  1. To attract an audience

Blogging attracts an audience because it provides value to your customers, and you’re not asking for anything in return. That makes you appear generous with your knowledge and an overall good person.

  1. To establish yourself as an authority

If you have a blog and are writing about the topics that are relevant to your audience, you become an authority in your audience’s mind. Your professional image is enhanced. A blog is as important today for your business as a business card was in the past.

  1. To stand out in your field

Ninety-nine percent of people who use the internet only read what is written. Only one percent of internet users create content.

If you write a blog you become part of that top one percent. This makes you stand out, which is important in today’s business world.

 

What makes a good Blog?

Many times I’m asked what makes a good blog, and the answer to that question has several different parts:

Firstly, what do you write?

A good blog covers the things that you know most about. It’s about your area of expertise. It’s about the things that your audience wants to know.

Secondly, who do you write for?

A good blog is for your audience. It is written in the language that they understand. It covers topics that they want to know about.

Your audience is:

  • people that you do business with
  • people that you have done business within the past
  • people that you would like to do business within the future
  • people that are on your list.

 

Thirdly, when do you send out your blog?

Research has shown that you should connect with your audience at least once a month, although some people would say once every two weeks. More than once a week gets annoying and people stop opening your blog. If you go more than a month between blog posts, people tend to forget you.

Fourthly, where do you post your blog?

Apart from posting your blog on your webpage, you should send it out in your newsletter, link to it or post it on Facebook, link to it or post it on LinkedIn. If you have other social media accounts such as Google plus, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblir, then link to it there too.

Finally, how is a good blog written?

The most important answer to that question is, ‘with passion.’ You must show that you love your subject, believe in what you’re writing, and are passionate about the advice that you’re giving.

What makes a good Blog post?

There are many things that are important in writing a good blog post, but here are the main ones:

  • It needs a good title
  • It should be well-written, with no mistakes in punctuation, syntax, grammar or spelling.
  • It should be well structured.

A lot of blog post writers ignore the structure, but there are many reasons why they shouldn’t.

  • For your audience it is easier to read
  • Your audience will find your advice easier to implement
  • And for you, if you have a good structure, you’ll find that the post is faster to write.

How do you plan a Blog post?

Obviously, a lot of thought goes into planning a blog post. However, there is a very simple template that will fit nearly every blog post.

Brainstorm

Write down everything that you think could be included in the post. Then look at the information that you’ve written down.

Could some of that go into a different blog post?

Are there lots of blog posts that you could write from that information? Remember that a blog post only has to be between 300 and 500 words! When you’ve decided what needs to be in this particular blog post, you can start writing.

The introduction

The opening paragraph usually describes the topic of your blog post and why readers should be reading it. You need to explain why it will help your audience.

The body of the post

  • Decide which order is the very best for presenting the material to your reader.
  • Use bullet points or subheadings.
  • Include examples here if you want to.

The conclusion

The conclusion should include a summary of the post, reminding your readers of the valuable information that they have read.

It should include a call to action, telling your readers what to do as their first step.

It should encourage your readers to reach their goal.

What do you write?

I could write thousands of words giving examples of things that could go in to blog posts. Today I’ll only give a few suggestions to get you started.

  • Keep a list of any ideas that come in to your head. If you are out, make a note on your phone (use the notebook or the record function), and add it to your master list on your computer when you get home.
  • Check the comments on blogs in your area of expertise. Often people ask questions in comments which give you topics that you can blog about.
  • Make a note of the questions that people ask you at networking events. These are things that they really want to know about, and make excellent blog posts.

Ask your audience on Facebook what they would like to know. People like to help and they will be happy to tell you.

Tips for successful Blogging

  • Write good titles. Read a blog post on title writing. Use questions, list benefits, use how-tos, use numbers. There are lots of tricks in writing titles that will get your blog post read.
  • Write the introduction last. Many people tell me how much trouble they have when starting a blog post. The obvious answer is to write the main part of the blog post first and don’t write the introduction – the part that you struggle with – until the end.
  • Ask questions in your blog.
  • Use the language that your audience speaks.
  • Once you’ve written an outline, stick to it.
  • Share your stories.
  • Split any blocks of text that go over six lines.
  • Use plenty of white space.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Use 14 or 16 point font.
  • Add plenty of your own personality to your blog posts.
  • Add links to your services.
  • Encourage feedback.
  • Try vlogging – video blogging is the way of the future.

Most important tip:

  • Edit, revise, and proofread your post. If you want to be thought of as a professional, your blog posts must make you look like a professional. Silly mistakes with the English language reflect really badly on your business.

This is just a short list of tips. What other tips can you suggest that will make a blog the best it can be?

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in workshops, writing
2 comments on “How to become an Expert Blogger
  1. Penny Magro says:

    This is marvellous information Rie, thank you so much!

Leave a Reply to Penny Magro Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Hire Dr Rie Natalenko

Australian Women Bloggers Directory by Blog Chicks

Your free report : The 7 Most Common Symptoms of Unhealthy Business Writing

Subscribe to Doctor Write's Awesome Updates!