Good idea! The thing is, creating a blog involves much more than just writing.
In this series I will address some web basics and will teach you:
- What to do before you blog
- Give you tips for being a better blogger and
- Share some secrets about how to promote the work you’ve written
Before you write:
- Understand the Basics of Values-based Marketing
- Decide why you are writing
- Get to know your audience
- Have a website and blog in place
- Decide which social channels you will use
- Do key word research
- Put analytics in place on your site
- Create a production process
Now let’s take each of these points and go a little deeper.
So let’s get started in learning how to create a blog.
Understand the Basics of Values-based Marketing
Last week COLIBRI wrote a post on values-based marketing. Here’s a quick recap:
Content marketing is creating a body of work that makes you findable on the web while providing real value for your audience and potential customers. That means understanding who they are and giving them written material that matters to them because it helps them solve problems, understand how to do things or entertains them.
Values-based marketing is content marketing + ethics. This means that the work you do is helping the world (online and off) be a beautiful and functional space.
It’s important to understand that values-based marketing takes time to show results. For one thing, you have to create a body of work. For another, you have to learn to connect with your audience and to grow your audience.
Accept that patience and persistence will be part of the game and you are halfway there.
Decide Why You Are Writing
If you are new to web writing, chances are you are starting a new business or project. This means you are probably writing in order to build an audience, establish trust and eventually sell products or services.
Whatever your goals, make sure that your writing supports those goals.
Get to Know Your Audience
Web writing is about breaking through all the noise on the web and touching people directly. COLIBRI posted about how to write a persona, so take a moment to review creating personas and then make one for your own business.
When you write for the web, don’t make the mistake of writing for the masses. Get to know your persona and write for him or her.
If you are just getting started, your only audience may be you (or your mother). Or maybe you already have a client or two. That’s okay. As you continue to write, you will get a larger audience and you will earn more about them. You will improve as you go.
Have a Website And Blog in Place
A misconception about social media is that you can be successful just by using social channels such as Facebook. Facebook isn’t even searchable by Google, so it doesn’t directly help you build your web presence.
In order to have a web presence that is truly yours, you must have your own website and blog. Make sure they are attractive, professional and easy to navigate.
Decide Which Social Channels You Will Use
That said, social channels such as Facebook are great for promotion and sharing content. Based on the research you did, choose the places your persona already hangs out on the web (such as LinkedIn) and then hang out there, too.
Do Key Word Research
As part of creating a web presence, you have to find out what people are searching for when they try to find you and you have to be findable.
Key word research is an ongoing process and COLIBRI is not going to kid you: it’s not that easy. In fact, some people base whole careers on it and there are many services online devoted just to keyword optimization.
Don’t get scared. As a beginner, it’s your job to start learning. Even if you outsource this part of the process, it is important to understand it.
This is what COLIBRI recommends: set up a Google AdWords account and use their keyword search tool. Start experimenting. Don’t get worked up about it; just start playing.
Put Analytics in Place on Your Site
This may not be something you do yourself, but it is very important. If you need help, get it.
Google can help you here as well. Get a Google Analytics account and get a bit of code to add to each page of your website. Again, if you need help, get it. For people who are in the know, this is a snap. If you don’t know much–or anything–about programming, this might be a little advanced. So don’t be afraid to get help.
If you have a WordPress site, this process is easier because you can use plugins and WordPress tutorials. However, it still could be tricky and you still might need help.
It’s okay to have help.
Once your analytics are in place, start exploring your Google Analytics. Google offers tutorials as well, so just start the learning process. Don’t stress. This will be an ongoing learning process. It’s okay if you don’t get everything at first.
What you will notice as you continue writing is that your numbers are growing. In the beginning, especially if you’re not a techie type, this will be enough.
Create a Production Process
Get organized before you write. This will make the whole process easier and more effective and whole lot more fun.
Here’s what to do:
- Create an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is a list of topics with the dates you will publish on your blog. It can also include things you need and may not have, such as photos and images. It’s also a good idea to establish when you will update your website. Quarterly is standard because, on the web, the only constant is change.
- Decide who will do what. If you are a solopreneur, you get to do everything! If you have staff, assign tasks. Who is the writer? Who takes the photos? Who promotes? Decide in advance. Who updates the site.
- Promotion schedule. Make a list of where and when you will promote your writing.
Great! Now you know what you need to do before you get crackin’ on the writing. Next week COLIBRI will give you some tips on how to write for the web.
Your turn. Let us know in the comments section if we missed anything important.