This is part 4 of a blogging series about bad blogging advice. In part 1 I shared 11 pieces of bad blogging advice and dove right into some details about the first bad tip. Below I will provide a brief summary of each item and then we will dive into bad tip #4 Write Amazing Content.
#1 If you just write it they will read it.
This first tip is flat out not true. Just because you write blog posts and release it, it does not mean that your readers will find you. There are so many reasons for this. Read the full blog post here: Bad Blogging Advice Part 1
#2 Design doesn’t matter.
There is much more to design then pretty pictures even. Design includes the font type, the spacing between the lines and how the text fits on the page. Read the full blog post here: Bad Blogging Advice Part 2
#3 Blog on a free domain and move it later.
This is a subject that I am so passionate about that I wrote a three part blog series on it. The links are listed below and so in this post I will make one statement. Invest in your company and believe in it enough to buy your own domain name and host it yourself. Read the full blog post here: Bad Blogging Advice Part 3
Now we are going to discuss another piece of bad blogging advice about writing but before we do I am going to rant a bit here. I love studying blogging and how to do it better. The process of blogging is a passion for me and I appreciate all of the advice that I read but sometimes it winds up feeling more like pressure than advice. Am I alone in this feeling? My goal with this blog is to break down ideas to their most basic concept and talk about basic ideas. I also want to share my experiences, failures and success but more than anything I want you to feel inspired. I want you to feel as though you can handle the idea of blogging because I know that you can do this.
Now let’s get down to it!
#4 Write amazing content
This is a controversial topic and frankly it is a vague tip.What exactly is good content? How do you define it other than to say that you know it when you read it. The problem with the statement is that it stops people, I sure know that it has stopped me plenty. This statement stops insecure writers in their tracks. If you run a party rental supply company you probably have some really wonderful and valuable tips that people would appreciate. However, you may not be an amazing writer and when you hear “write amazing content” all of the time it keeps you from blogging. This lack of blogging keeps you from better promoting of your company and that is why the statement is controversial.
Perhaps we should say “write valuable content” instead. Writing valuable blog content removes a great deal of the pressure and puts the focus back on thinking about your customer instead of thinking about your writing insecurities.
If you are not the greatest writer but still have value that you can add, I suggest that you create a formula for yourself and your writing.
Start with a headline.
If you can not think of one, consider using this handy tool by HubSpot: http://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator. It will ask you for three nouns and then it will make some suggestions. The first time that I used this tool I was determined to put in verbs but don’t do that. Use nouns instead. I used this tool with the nouns: blog, Seo, content and got the results listed below. It is actually how I came up with this blog series idea.
Make a list of tips based upon your headline
This part will be the body of your blog posts. At this moment do not over think your tips, just start making a list. Write down as many tips as you can think of and you can edit, scratch things off the list and add to the list later.
Review your list
Now go back and review your list and if you have more than 5 items pick your favorite 5.
Time to expand
Can you write a few sentences about the first item on your list? Can you give sub tips or explain the tip better? Can you find a list of resources to share about this tip? Go through this process for all five tips.
Tip: Try and write at least four sentences on average for each tip. Do not force it though.
Review what you have so far
At this point you should have a working title that you may change later, a list of 5 tips and some supporting content for each one.
Read and edit
Now go back to the beginning read the writing all of the way through. At this point we do not want to edit anything but you do want to take notes. What could you add? What should you take away? Now on the second read go ahead and start editing and adding.
Write an intro and outro
Now that you have the body of your fist blog post go ahead and write an intro and an outro. Basically here you want to tell them what you are going to tell them and then end with what you told them. Sounds weird right?
I give you the freedom to make this simple. Yes, it is true that the opening of a blog post or a book or an article has to be attention grabbing but this is your first post so take it easy on yourself. Consider starting with:
In this blog post I am going to give you a list of tips on ______________ and I am going to explain these tips in a bit more detail.
Consider an outro like this:
Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope that it helped you in some way. Again my five tips were #1, #2, #3, #4, #5. What did you think? Do you have any additional tips on these topics that you could share in the comment section below? Have you tried any of these tips and if so what were your results?
Ending a blog post with questions gives the reader something to respond to and a reason to engage. If you do nothing in a blog post but make statements there is not room for engagement and you want an engaging blog.
Go back and read your blog post one more time. This time start making any final edits and tweaks to the post. Once you have done this consider using this tool: http://hemingwayapp.com/. This is a handy tool that is free and will help you with such things as readability and voice.
In this blog post we talked about the difference between writing amazing content and valuable content. There is enough pressure on us bloggers as it is without the added of pressure of needing to be amazing right out of the gate. After going through the steps in this post do you feel like you can write valuable content? What tips would you add to this post?