Can I get advice on how to write a blog?
I would like to start a blog to gain more attention about what I am doing. I run a startu p on digitizing educational content and a digital agency. Is a blog advisable and if so, how and which type?
What a great question. (and loaded) :)
"I would like to start a blog to gain more attention about what I am doing."
Which leads us to "its about you". (Though I know what you mean, it can be misunderstood)
How about " We want to start a blog to give more students a chance to experience and interpret concepts, utilize the senses of both visual and audio in learning. We can reach more students by using a blog."
"I run a startup on digitizing educational content and a digital agency."
Yes...I see it here: http://www.boresha.co.ke/ Excellent!
"Is a blog advisable. "
Yes. For too many reasons to list here.
"...and if so, how and which type?"
Start fast and easy. Your website designer "Smart Series Creative Studio" might have the ability to add a blog quickly to your current website. It depends on the platform you are using.
I have used Hubspot for five years but it is a full blown marketing machine, not just a blog tool.
There are tools such as Wordpress, Weebly, Tumblr, Typepad and the list goes on.
Mashable has a great list of tools: http://mashable.com/2014/05/09/16-minimalist-blogging-platforms/
The tool you choose will depend on goals, audience and the expertise of the person blogging. (i.e. if you decide to video blog, it may change which platform you choose.)
The tool is not as important as the "why" and "who you will connect with". If you can harness the tool and own it, its all good.
As to how,
There are no rules to blogging. Everytime someone says there is a rule, it is disproved. Longer, shorter, charts, infographics, videos, etc. Who are you serving and what are they hungry for? (Interested in)
You have an objective and you need a place online to offer information, support and include an invitation to connect for more.
To blog, I like listening to the question people ask. The question then becomes the blog title. The answer I share becomes the blog article. Every time someone asks the same question, the answer is ready...in a blog article.
Thus in my case, the blog is a tool to give service, make an impact.
What happens next is more emails, calls, subscriptions, forms, etc --- more connections.
The blog can be for customers, getting found on Google...whatever you decide. No rules. :)
Here is your next best step:
Subscribe to http://sethgodin.typepad.com - This is very important.
Seth blazes the trail of breaking the rules and will inspire you to share new thoughts with the world.
Then ...Every day, write down: "What did I learn today" and "Why is it important?"
As you do so, you will prove both your character and expertise which will have people looking your way. If you are boring, dull and don't connect --- you will learn soon enough. :)
Here is the rub: "Building it and they will come" does not work. Sorry.
After you create something to help people learn something new, you will invite people to read it, share their thoughts and share it.
The most difficult part of blogging is not the software or creating the content. The most difficult part is the connection. Understanding what motivates people to care...that is the real hurdle.
Read Seth's Blog. You might like it so much that you sign up for Typepad.com It is a good tool.
Best of luck.
This is an example. This could become a blog article to help others with a similar question. "Advice on how to start and write a blog" Great question. :)
Hi Joe - yes, typically it's a good thing. Keep it short and sweet (2-5 paragraphs) and talk about an issue that affects the business, not about your solutions. E.g., if "x topic" is happening in the digitization area, explain how it affects the consumer's business or role. If you pitch your wares too soon, readers will be wary. Instead, brand yourself as the expert and attract more readership - and organic views - to your page(s) that way. I think, depending on how your network is set up, that LinkedIn blogging is effective, but you should set up your social media so that it's all tied together. There are some great, free tools for that.
As an answer to what you can use, there are lots of free hosted platforms if you don't want to code:
and many more --> http://mashable.com/2014/05/09/16-minimalist-blogging-platforms/
There are plenty of platforms that allow you to download and install them on your own website, but many hosted sites let you use a custom domain name, which is easier because they manage the technical stuff for you and you make it appear as though it's all part of one website. If you don't need to add totally custom widgets or functionality, this should be more than enough to get a blog up and running!
Hi Joe ~
A blog is simply a short, very focused article. What many people don't realize is that the term is actually short for "web log", and at the beginning, blogs were more like online journals. The form has exploded in recent years, and at last count there were more blogs in existence than people on the planet!
I blog for a number of clients who either don't have the time, writing chops, or interest in doing it themselves, so even if you're a great writer yourself, you may want to consider outsourcing this aspect of your marketing toolkit.
Given your current startup's focus, I'd suggest beginning with a series about how digitized educational content can help your target market, or perhaps a focus on the educational field (e.g., do you digitize content for primary schools, colleges, in a specific geographic region, etc?). Think about your potential clients' "pain points" and address these with crisp, clear, helpful posts. As the others have stated, content that focuses on your prospect's needs is valuable to them; the very fact that you are writing the post points to your business as a potential solution.
Whatever platform you choose for the blog, be sure to cross-promote it on all social media. You may also wish to email your list each time you create a post, alerting them to its availability with a catchy sentence that informs the recipient that the blog will help them do xx.
A few tips:
Catchy headlines are key - write ones that will make your target audience desperate to click through and see what you have to say.
Short numbered lists are always a good starting point (i.e. 4 Must-Follow Twitter Feeds for Teachers).
A blog is an ongoing commitment, so set goals and meet them. Whether it is posting once per week or once per day, you want to create an editorial calendar and try to stick to it. If you have more than enough content, keep it in your "drawer" so you have more to publish when the ideas run dry. Depending on your goals, you might need to farm out some of this content creation, which is where helpeful folks like us come in :)
Even though there are many conflicting opinions, and many blogging pundit whose views remain remarkably fluid, you will likely receive some sound advice about how to blog here Joe.
My advice has remained consistent (so far) for many years, as I am regularly asked whether a blog is a practical marketing strategy. As your stated purpose is to “gain attention” you firstly need to clearly define whose attention you want to attract. Then research what social forums, on-line professional groups and blogs that target group subscribe to. If and when you identify any viable mechanism through which you can contribute to their discussion then blogging may be an option.
Consider tracking down an active blogger that has already established an influential following within the market you want to attract, and then constructively engage with him or her on topics you have a thorough knowledge of and an opinion on. (Never try and sell your product/service).
Competitive due diligence is always essential, seek out organisations whose commercial aims are similar to your own. See if they have a blog, when it was last updated and how many people are engaged (this is always most illuminating).
The last research I conducted proved to my client that there was little value or return in investing the time, energy and funds into a traditional blog within his industry.
So review any blogging in the context of your marketing and business strategy, and then require that those who recommend that you direct your resources to the blogging task provide quantified evidence of how well their advice has been previously applied in support or their assertions.
My recommendation is to think like a publisher. Publishers create content with their audience in mind. Determine who makes up your audience and create content for them.
Your content should educate, entertain and engage.
Believe it or not people don't care about your business. They want to read content that will help ease their pain points and make their jobs easier. If you use your blog as a platform to promote your business you will alienate readers. Think of yourself as a thought leader, an idea innovator and a source of inspiration for your readers.
Set up a wordpress account at www.wordpress.com then you can very simply and easily write anything about a topic of interest and click post. If you can use word you can use wordpress.
Yes, a blog is a valuable way to add fresh content to your website and to answer customer questions. Consider what people are searching for online and how you are the answer to specific questions. You can also download our blogging checklist here. Good luck! http://creativeco.hs-sites.com/better-blogging-checklist-for-inbound-success
Its great to start blogging to share your views, thoughts of topics you may want to attract clients to your business, educate them about advantages of digitizing educational content.
But to get started, do put a blog strategy and blog calendar in place, you may start with one blog once a week. or once in ten days, but once you get started don't stop. And ensure that you gradually build a follower base who would look forward to your blogs :)
Other best practices have already been shared by other experts in response to your query.
All the best!
I am approaching my fifth year on my blog - I write one each week - this has been our number one source of new business. People become subscribers and at some point hopefully realize that I can help them solve an issue in their business.
I have traditionally had a very high open rate - more than 50% - this is a good indicator - that what you are writing is of interest to your audience - also we have had an extremely low number of people that unsubscribe - less than 10 per year.
Good advice in the answers - I write to help my readers to be more successful - I do have a couple of links to our programs and products at the end - this is to make it easy for people that are curious to learn more.
I write very conversationally - meaning - I imagine that I am speaking to a prospective client or a client - mine is not perfect English - I believe that for me it fits - so finding your style is important - my client niche is construction so I think you can see how a conversational approach would fit - that won't be the case in each industry.
A couple of years ago - I did a quick survey asking my readers this question - "If you could ask me three questions - what would they be?" I got hundreds of responses and boiled them down to a manageable list and then used that list to write my blog for the next 6 months.
I have been fortunate to have other experts in my industry recommend my blog - that will help you build your list.
Best of luck.
Hi, Joe. There are many benefits to blogging.
Here are 3 videos and an article that might help on how blogging and social media work together.
What is Inbound Marketing: http://youtu.be/5qoHtUVLhjc
What is Content Marketing: http://youtu.be/kJMzeepcIR8
Understanding the Social Media Networks: http://youtu.be/Hi8DUJoINk0
Blogging: How, Why, What & When to Blog
How to Really get Known as an Expert in Your Field: Write for LinkedIn:
Hi Joe --
I'm an avid blogger (about branding and marketing) and have found it an excellent way to build my business. I do content marketing for clients and it works for them as well (in addition to blogging, incorporate email distribution of your blog and repurposing your posts (as a guest blogger, via syndication, etc.) to get "marketing mileage" out of it. I wrote an ebook called "The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Create, Publish and Promote Your Business Blog" -- its available here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Cure-for-Blogophobia-ebook/dp/B00BFZ80MO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361375576&sr=8-1&keywords=the+cure+for+blogophobia.
well simply you can create a blog in blogspot.com and get started. If you do not have time to do all this then you can surely hire me :)
I hope Christopher has pictured out the best aspects to be focused on writing blog. However, different styles of writing can be shared up to exhibit the feel that you have in your business arena.
Just make sure that your writing makes your readers to travel to a different scene than usual ones that really drills them. This would probably win the readers heart with no doubt. Never forget to interact with your readers through interesting and selective posts once in a week.
Certain things will really contribute to the progress of your composition.
Your blog is a critical piece of your marketing, if in fact you want to grow your reach and make sure you're growing in with your exact right clients. It's one piece, along with your newsletter, social media marketing, and networking.
Which kind? Your blog should be a top-nav item on your website. Ideally, a self-hosted website — joesawesomedomain.com
How? Get an amazing web designer / developer who also provides social media marketing strategy, and email marketing [ahem, someone like me!], and work with that person so that by the time she's done setting you up, you can keep the momentum going.
Writing a blog is a very good attempt, where people may come to know more about you and your activities. This might help you in many ways. Categorize your ideas in many sectors and work on it. Because as you mentioned, that you are focusing on digitizing educational content and a digital agency choose apt theme. Try to grab more followers and traffic through your content. For better content you may find many experts via twitter. Post unique content which is very important to hold a blog for a long time. All the best.
Yes, a blog is helpful. It allows you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your space. I read this article earlier today, and thought it had some good insight on how to keep the content machine running for your blog; hopefully, it's helpful: http://www.business2community.com/blogging/create-engaging-content-boring-business-blog-01044068