6. Re-purpose: This one runs two ways. If you don’t like to write, speak into your smartphone and have your post transcribed by a person or technology like Dragon Naturally Speaking. If you use video in your marketing, YouTube does a marginal job of transcribing every video loaded. Get that transcription and use it to round out a blog post. Podcasters – transcribe those podcasts and use them for blog posts. I said this runs both ways, because if you do like to write, the blog posts you’ve written can be turned into audio, podcast or video. Don’t reinvent the wheel; repurpose your content.
7. Keep is short?: There is a debate about how long a blog post should be and there are credible statistics backing both sides so I’m going to give you my opinion. If your post exceeds 1000 words, consider chopping it into part 1 and part 2. You’ll get two blog posts out of it, which are two opportunities to get found by the search engines. Target the same keyword or change it up. They’re your blog posts, you decide.
8. Title it right: The title of your blog post is very important. Search engine listings use the title of a blog post in that first big headline in the search results. Think like magazines and newspapers; grab attention with your title headline. Create a title that people will want to read but use that keyword phrase in it. We tend to favor headlines that use numbers such as the top 10…, or 7 ways to…, 5 secrets that…you get the picture.
9. Promote that post: Use your Social Media channels to promote your blog post. There are many plugins that will alert your social media accounts and automatically update them when your post publishes. This is useful, but not enough. You should promote your blog posts on a regular basis to the various social media sites you frequent. Keep in mind that the rule of thumb for self-promotion is also 80/20. For every one self-promotion in social media, you should promote 3-4 other things that your followers would appreciate. News articles, other bloggers posts and upcoming local events are good resources to share.
10. Answer comments: Hopefully, once you’ve set the expectation for your blog and an audience is building that looks forward to receiving a new blog post, that audience will begin leaving comments on your posts. Don’t leave those comments floating; answer them on a regular basis in a timely manner. That will encourage more interaction. If you never respond to comments, readers will stop bothering. And the whole point of this endeavor is to communicate.
Follow these 10 tips and you will be that much closer to running a blog that achieves what you need it to.
How to start a blog if you are a total beginner
There are free blogging platforms like Blogger.com and WordPress.com, which are good options but I like my clients to own their real estate. That means installing a blog on an existing domain or buying a new domain name to start blogging. You will have more options in the functionality, look and feel of the blog if you own it.
My preference is WordPress on your existing website domain. It’s easy to install at hosts like Hostgator that make use of cPanel interfaces and Linux servers. Okay, that’s too much jargon, just know that WordPress can be installed on any server to the best of my knowledge and is a simple and well-built architecture for blogging.
There you have it. How to start a blog in 2014, now get going already!