Writing a blog is difficult for many people. Writing in general can be cumbersome for those who are not ‘writers,’ pre say. An athlete who lifts weights every day in the gym would be hard pressed to go running every morning if they’re not a ‘runner.’ The same holds true for blogging with marketing plans and strategies in mind. If you’re not a ‘writer,’ it can be a daunting task. So we’ve broken it down to three easy steps.
Step One: Become an Observer
This is the ultimate secret to writing for the web, and the toughest for most to follow through with. Effective communicating begins with active listening, and consistent blogging begins with paying attention to what people are talking about. This is the best part of writing a blog, because it involves no action, but really a lack of action. Take a deep breath, set a timer if you have to, and read the paper, watch the news and become familiar with pop culture. If there’s an awards show on tonight, make it your homework to watch it. If there’s a medical show or documentary about the health care industry, and you’re in that business, commit yourself to watching it.
Listen to what is going on around you and truly try to understand what is important to people. You’ll read a thousand marketing and public relations plans that will tell you to listen to your audience, but no one ever tells you how to listen. Stay conscious and aware of what’s going on around you, what’s going on in your neighborhood, your state, and your industry.
There’s a reason why this step is never truly explained; because it’s the most difficult step in the blogging process. Everyone wants to jump right in when it comes to blogging. They think, “how hard can it possibly be to write a few paragraphs?” Sitting down and writing the blog is not the hard part, deciding what to write about is not the hard part, it’s being able to open yourself up to the endless possibilities for blogs that are happening all around you at every moment of every day.
Step Two: Always Be Thinking of Topics
This brings us to step two. Observing your surroundings on a consistent basis is where it begins; remembering to recognize possible blog ideas is where it should progress. As we go through our busy days we tend to forget to pay attention to the little things, because it’s these little things that can turn into very big blog topics. Carry around a small notebook, or perhaps have an app on your mobile where you can record ideas as quickly as you get them.
Do you know why ‘mommy bloggers’ are so successful? Because they remember to write down the crazy things their kids do, a topic that was on Oprah, or an interesting dinner recipe they’re going to try. They write about absolutely everything, and can turn anything into a short piece of content. You’re probably thinking that it’s easy for them to do that because that’s their niche and that’s what they are enveloped in every single day. But if you really sit back and think about it, how is that different from your niche?
You spend at least 8-hours a day, 5-days a week, at the office. You are enveloped in every aspect of your industry. I understand that the last thing you want to do is think about work when you’re not at work, however in order to be truly successful at blogging you’ll need to train your brain to notice things that will make for good blog topics. This is why step two is the most difficult, because observing is one thing, but training your brain to notice what might make a great blog is another. As you figure it out, though, it will come easier to you and you won’t feel like your ‘working’ at it any more.
Step Three: Putting it in Words
And finally we get to step three, the last step in your blogging quest. You have your notes written down, scribbled out or saved on your phone, telling you what topics you should be focusing on for the week. It’s time to take those scribbles and turn them into quality content. At this point you should have a list of keywords that you’ve researched, the ones that will generate the most traffic from your target audience within your target region. In the beginning, think of the blog as a homework assignment, the assignment where your teacher would tell you to use the words of the week in a paragraph. Incorporate those keywords ‘of the week’ into your content, keep the paragraphs short, and stay between 400 to 600 words. For 400 to 600 word blogs, consider using your keywords just a few times scattered once or twice within each paragraph.
That should do it! Writing an expert blog is not so much about the writing, or even the expert part, it’s about understanding what’s going on in your industry, observing your environment, and training your brain to always be on the look-out for that perfect blog topic.