Blogging for Beginners: 8 Easy Steps to Putting Out Epic Content
Blogging is a timeless marketing method that should be a part of EVERYBODY's strategy. It adds value to your audience, positions you as an expert, brings in more customers, helps with SEO and stack of other useful benefits. Whilst you might appreciate how handy it is, it can be intimidating if you've never done it before. Don't worry - this is normal! Today you're going to learn how to put out awesome content in 8 easy steps.
1. Think of your audience.
This is the most important part of the entire process. Most people skip to the analytics, trying to optimise their reach and clicks, but this is pointless if you don't even know who you're optimising it for! Begin by getting as clear as possible on who your customers are. Who are they? What are they like? What do they read? One of the best ways to really define your audience is by creating Personas - hypothetical characters that represent your audience. You can create your own for free here.
2. Create a topic.
Once you know your audience, you should be able to figure out what they're into. What do they want to know? If you're in real estate it might be about how to cheaply improve your property value. If you're in music it might be that latest tracks they need to check out. If you're an accountant it might be how to save money on tax. There are hundreds of possibilities for everybody. If you're having trouble, look up competitors and see what they write about for inspiration, then create similar topics. This can be an effective strategy for finding the most popular posts, and re-creating them in your own way.
3. Create 3 different headlines.
This part is important. A crappy headline will make or break your article. Even if you have straight fire in your article that is incredibly valuable, nobody will click on it if it doesn't grab their attention. A rockstar headline on the internet is the equivalent of an impressive sign that stands out to you when you're driving along a highway. You've only got one sentence to make readers stop and read what you have to say - make it count!
Headlining and copywriting takes time and will be continuously evolving as you continue to write. For now, create 3 exciting ones and then show them to some people to see which one is best.
4. Write down 5 dot points about that topic.
Now that you have the topic, list 5 different things you can talk about. You can do more, but 5 is a good place to start. Literally just jot down a few of the things that come under that topic. This part is easy!
5. Expand on each dot point with 3 - 4 sentences.
Under each of those dot points you wrote down, expand on them a little bit. Explain it. Describe it. Discuss it. This might be writing a few sentences on how to do something, telling readers why something is important, summarising a key piece of information you've learned, you just want to write a little bit more to explain what you mean. You'll often end up writing more than a few sentences - this is a good thing.
Once you do this for each point - you've literally got a blog article!
6. Edit and fix the headline.
You've got yourself some content, now let's make sure it sounds good, and that there are no grammatical errors. Go over what you've written and read it out loud. Take out unnecessary pieces, add in missing points, make sure it flows and make sure your grammar is correct. Once you've done that, go and make the headline better. You know you can! If you were your customer, what would make you want to click on this? Headlining is crucial!
7. Choose a high quality image.
After a kick ass headline, an image is the most important factor when it comes to grabbing your reader's attention. make it powerful, make it high quality and also make it relevant and descriptive to your post. A picture paints a thousand words, and your feature image should not only get attention, it should reflect and somewhat subtly describe what your post is about. You can use sites like Pixabay to get free photos that you can use on your posts.
Time to post that bad boy!
Note: It's often a good idea to shorten your URL so that it's neat and tidy. For example, as I made this post it originally auto-filled as www.masteredmarketing.com/blog/2016-09-21/blogging-for-beginners-8-easy-steps-to-putting-out-great-content. Obviously that's an enormous, clunky URL! It's best to change it to something like www.masteredmarketing.com/blog/blogging-for-beginners which is much tidier. For Twitter purposes, you can use Bitly to make it even shorter, as well as customising the link. It will display as www.bitly.com/blogging-for-beginners (if the URL is available).
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With these tips you'll now be able to put out regular blog content! I bet it was easier than you thought! The best thing you can do to up your writing skills is practice. So keep going, keep adding value and reap the rewards. Happy blogging!