For some, blogging provides a simple release, a place in which to give voice to their thoughts, but for others the significance of their contribution to the ‘global conversation of ideas’ has a much more profound impact on their lives and indeed their business. Here are nine quick tips on how to manage your blog.
Over 14,000,000,000 (14 billion) blog posts have been created on WordPress alone, that's two posts for every single person in the world. Trying to make your voice heard over such an incredible roar of information can begin to seem like the proverbial needle / haystack search… you can try but it’s never going to happen!
Perhaps the biggest problem faced by business owners is finding the time to write. As your business expands it can seem that there is always something more urgent that needs your attention.
To lend a little hand with some of these blog management problems we have put together nine quick tips:
Keep in mind the purpose of your blog. When deciding what to write about, the most important question to bear in mind is 'Why am I doing this?' Your content should reflect the interests and needs of the people you are trying impress. Remember that a generic blog with little relevance to your business might ensure some page views, but these are essentially futile unless the folks on the other side of the screen have a particular interest in your business.
Post regularly. This doesn't mean that you need to publish a post every day, but it does mean that you should commit yourself to blog at least once every two weeks. Setting a target like this can change your personal perception of your blog as an open ended exercise to be completed ‘whenever’ and start making a concerted effort to meet your own deadline.
Spread out your posts. If, in a whirlwind of creativity one day, you manage to complete four posts, don't be tempted to publish them all in one go. Arriving on a blog only to find that the last post was a month ago can give a negative, disengaged impression of you and your business. If you manage to stockpile a few posts, publish them at regular intervals to give the impression of a person who is active, engaged and dedicated to their work.
Write about what you love. If you have little or no interest in the topic of your post this will be abundantly apparent to anyone reading your blog. What's more, writing about something you love can make blogging less of a task and more of a hobby, meaning you are much more likely to actually get it done.
Make sure you are adding value to people's online lives. This sounds like an obvious one, but remember there is often a big difference to what you believe people need and what they actually need. Things like tips and advice posts can be a great way to add value to your blog and are the kind of things which will keep bringing people back to your blog.
It’s not Shakespeare. There’s a temptation (especially in the beginning) to labour over each and every word, analysing its effectiveness and scrutinising its literary value. In the vast majority of cases, this is wholly unnecessary and a colossal waste of your time. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in the quality of your work, so long as the post makes sense and there are no glaring mistakes, it will be effective.
Create a conversation. Many folks who blog on a regular basis miss a trick when it comes to engaging with the audience of their blog. One of the best ways to do this is through social media. Not only will this help to spread your work to a wider audience, but it can help give you feedback and provide you with inspiration for future posts. Make the process of sharing your work across social media platforms into a standard part of your blogging process.
Use WEB analytics. This provides encouragement because you can see that your work is actually being read, but it also offers opportunities to identify how you can improve your blog in the future. You will be able to see very clearly the types of posts which are reaching a wide audience, and assuming that these posts are relevant to the goals of your blog, you can alter your approach accordingly.
Don’t take it personally. Whilst online people feel that they have a certain level of anonymity and can be forthcoming with criticisms of your work… this is almost guaranteed to occur. Take negative comments on the chin by responding to them in a positive way, and try to understand the reasoning behind someone's comments and make changes to the way that you work if you think that you need to.
Let us know if you come across any particularly good blogs - we’d love to hear about them so please tweet us @ClubWorkspace.
Follow Eoin on Twitter @StartacusEoin