When I started a blog on my website a few months ago I felt overwhelmed by the sudden responsibility to post fresh content often. It was as if the minute I created a section on my website called "Blog" I was inaugurated into a writer's hell where I felt both stumped and compelled to write all at the same time, all of the time. Then I realized that I was missing the point of blogging, which is to keep a lively conversation going (even if it's sometimes only between you and the WordPress Dashboard). And if you're a decent conversationalist, you can get more than decent results.
For example, a few months ago I blogged a little ditty about my decision to outsource all of my company bookkeeping. The post was exactly 222 words of candid banter about how incredibly silly it was of me to have held on to a task as
tedious as bookkeeping for so very long. And how truly valuable it is to my business, and my sanity, to have talent to outsource such tasks to.
A journalist picked up that post about two weeks later while researching a story she was writing about small business outsourcing. She contacted me through my website and arranged to interview me by phone. The result? Some rather invaluable publicity in a highly regarded business magazine.
What's ironic is that the blog post took just minutes to write. I had something to say that I wanted to share with other entrepreneurs. Simple huh?
Okay, there is maybe a little
more to it, but not much. If you want your own blog posts to get noticed by journalists, prospective clients or whomever, there a few blogging basics you should stick to:
- Post titles should become page titles. Most blogging platforms do this by default but make sure. And make sure your "blog name" or company name isn't at the beginning of the title tag but that the individual post title is.
- Per above, write descriptive titles for your posts using phrases that someone might use to find information on the topic you're writing about.
- Keep it conversational but proofread for brevity and clarity. Again, no need to be Hemingway here. Just get to the point and make sense doing it.
- Be concise. The most difficult part of blogging is writing with focus, even granularity. You can write about big picture stuff, but write about it in a series of blog posts as opposed to one gargantuan post.
- For goodness sake, make it easy to leave a comment and just as easy to find your contact information should someone want to send you an email or inquiry.
That's really about it. Sure, there are lots of nitty gritty things you will want to do to push your blog closer to your audience, but if you can't get a grip on a simple, easy to manage strategy for posting content that is audience aware and search friendly, nothing else you do will help much anyway.
It starts with you.
Oh yeah, that reminds me. Remember to be yourself.
Don't be or try to be something you're not. That's boring and boring is bad. (And if you're a boring person, uh, it might be time to rethink some things, existentially speaking.) Being yourself is the most fundamental strategy for publishing a blog that people actually read and care about enough to act on.
October 1, 2008
Karri Flatla is a business graduate of the University of Lethbridge and principal of snap! virtual associates inc., a virtual consulting firm providing business communications and Internet marketing services to the progressive entrepreneur. Karri also produces Outsmart, the email newsletter for small business with big purpose. Visit http://www.snap-va.com for more information. Click to follow Karri on Twitter.