Why Blogging is Still Important First, let’s deal with an issue that might be on some people’s minds. Some people would like you to think blogging as we know it is over. But as my point of view, there are 7 reasons why it is still important. Foundation for all your social media activities – Think about it this way…a blog offers a headquarters for your entire social media hub. It’s where you drive readers to content that expands on who you are and what you are trying to do. Build your brand as an expert – In the last ten years a blog has become the conventional way in which to show that you are an authority on a subject. Successful bloggers like Robert Scoble andHugh MacLeod are great examples. Build trust – A well-designed blog with in-depth articles delivered with consistency will help create a bridge between you and potential readers. That bridge is called trust. Exercise your creativity – If you are a writer, a blog is unlike other social media in that it gives you plenty of room to work out ideas you might have. Growing stream of organic search traffic – Because of your steady stream of content, a blog will get a ton of traffic from both SEO and the social web. There really isn’t a proven method that can do better. Consistency is the key – You can become famous with a blog…as long as you are consistent and hang in there for at least two years. People like Fred Wilson and Rand Fishkin have proven it works. Proven business model –Monetization of a blog is also make profit for you, so it will suffice to say that a blog run right will make you profit, which is important to running a business. How to Write a Blog Post for Reader Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of actually write a blog post. Here’s how I do it: Use simple words – Keep it easy by not using big, fancy words in your blog post. As a rule of thumb keep the language at a 5th grade level. If you use SEO WordPress by Yoast you can check the reading ease of your copy in the advanced features. Use the word you – Avoid using we, them or I when you write your blogs posts…instead you should use the word “you” a lot throughout your copy. This is the word that people love the most…and it’s the word they like to hear the most…making them feel like the blog post is just for them. Write how-to posts – One of the most important lessons you should learn about writing blog posts is that people want useful information…they want practical advice they can apply immediately. How-to posts are a great way to deliver this kind of content. I built my first blog into a Technorati top 100 blog by writing a ton of how-to posts. Write detailed posts – I do need to warn you…don’t write simple how-to posts. Make them advanced and detailed, providing a ton of information, statistics, graphs and images. I learned this lesson when I first started Quick Sprout…my first posts weren’t very detailed and my traffic suffered. It wasn’t until I started writing detailed posts that the traffic shot through the roof! Hook your readers – You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of readers…so you need to do that with compelling headlines that create a sense of urgency or curiosity that you can’t resist. Study blogs like Problogger and Copyblogger…they use all the tricks, including putting in stats, which hooks readers big time. Create a conversation – You know there’s worse than having someone talk at you rather than with you, don’t you think? That’s why it’s so important to create a conversation as you write…ask questions, use the word you and genuinely care about your readers and they will care about you. The number of comments you get will jump dramatically! Prove your points – The best way to build credibility in your posts is to back up all of your claims. Like I did above where I said that half of Twitter users are on the East coast…I provided the proof for that claim. That builds credibility and proves you can be trusted. Show your authority – Because the competition among so many blogs is so stiff it is super important to make sure you show people why they should read your posts and not someone else’s. But I’m not saying you need a PhD or something. No, it’s easier than that!You just have to be the expert on a subject…which in the world of blogging you can fake it until you make it. What do you like to learn about? Well, whatever interests you, pick up as many books as you can about it and start reading. Read blogs on that topic, listen to podcasts…totally immerse yourself in the subject. Once you start to write about the topic you will naturally not be very good at it. In fact, a lot of your first posts will be crappy and weak. But don’t worry…you are like a baby just learning how to walk…and what do we know about babies? They fall a lot but eventually get up and walk without falling. Eventually you will start to develop a very clear and compelling voice when it comes to your topic. You’ll be writing confident posts that show people you are an authority…and the cool thing is people will start coming to you for advice! Your readers are waiting for you to lead them. What are you waiting for? Care about your readers – Like I’ve alluded to above, caring for your readers will be the single greatest factor to whether you succeed or not. Blog because you have a mission to help people…not because you just want to share your thoughts. Respond to people’s comments, reply to emails and write posts that make people feel like you care. Write posts anywhere – I’ve found that some of the most effective and productive times of blogging come when I shut down everything online and focus on writing. I don’t check email or hop on Facebook. I just focus on writing. A great tool to accomplish this is to use Writer for iPad (a steal at 99 cents!). It helps you focus on nothing but the words on the page. The results will surprise you!
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