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5 Steps to Streamlining Your Blogging Process and Blowing Your Competition Out or The Water

Blogging, otherwise known as content marketing, is a task that cannot be overlooked if you’re going to have success online.  Blogging drives traffic to your site better than any other free method, but it takes time, especially when you’re new to it.  Take these steps to streamline your blogging process to start whipping out blogs like a pro!

How to come up with ideas

This is definitely the main hurdle that is setting people back.  If you can’t think of something to blog about, then how are you going to create a blog? Thankfully, the internet has given us some amazing tools to ensure you never run out of ideas again.  Use these 20 resources to come up with 20 or more topics right now!

  1. Twitter –Enter a keyword that represents your business, put a # in front of it (e.g. #starups #internetmarketing), and see what people are discussing. Pick a broad topic that sounds like a good fit.
  2. Google Analytics –Click on “Behaviour/ Site Content/ All pages”. Make sure you have a decent time period selected, and you will get a good feel for your most popular content. Pick a topic that relates to content you have created successfully in the past. This only works if you have content on your website already
  3. Google Webmaster Tools –Click on your site, click “Search traffic”, and then click “Search Queries”. This will list your top keywords. Choose the keyword that seems like the best fit for your blog. Again, this only works if you have already created some content.
  4. Meetup –Search for a broad keyword (“ Websites” or “Startups”, for example) and see what sort of topics people are meeting up about. If something catches your eye, add that as a broad topic to your list.
  5. Ask Your Audience –Use your email list, blog posts, or social media to ask people what they would like to hear your opinion on. One really simple way to do this is to have an automated email sent to people when they first sign up to your list that asks them what topic they are most interested in learning about.
  6. Guest Authors –Look through blogs from others in the industry and find articles written by freelance writers. Get in contact with them and ask if they have any ideas about what to create for your site.
  7. Personal Story –People love stories and everyone has a unique one. If you have a story that you think would help your audience, make sure you tell that on your site. It could be your personal story, a story from a team member, your business founding story, or customer stories.
  8. Help Desk –If you have a support desk or enquiries email box, log in and have a look at the common things people email about. If people are often asking the same questions, it could be a good indication that it’s a common problem you can help solve with some useful content.
  9. Google Trends –Put in some broad keywords. Scroll to the bottom right for additional keywords and see if you can tap into some hot topic areas.
  10. Inbox –Open your inbox and look for emails from customers to find common questions. Replies to your autoresponder emails will be a great source of ideas. Just make sure you aren’t using a no-reply email box and remember to specifically ask people to reply with ideas.
  11. Google AdWords Keyword Planner –Click “Search for new keywords and ad group ideas”. Enter some broad keywords and click “Get ideas”. Look at the ad group ideas and the keyword ideas to find a few topics to cover.
  12. Forums/ Groups –Use forums or social media groups in your industry to see what people are discussing. Groups exist on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google +
  13. Competitors –Visit your competitors’ sites to see what posts are doing well.
  14. BuzzSumo –Search for broad keywords. It will list high traction articles from top blogs and give you more ideas for other topics.
  15. Top Industry Blogs –Visit top industry blogs and see what they are covering. They often have a decent team who can find great topics to cover. You can offer a different spin on the same topics.
  16. Thought Leaders –Use Twitter to search for industry thought leaders and see what they are sharing. You can simply search for keywords or one or two influential people you already know of, and Twitter will point you to other people to follow. Most influential people on Twitter are good at sharing the important content from their industry, which will be an easy way for you to see the popular topic areas.
  17. Amazon –Look at the topics of popular books in a broad category relating to your industry. You can also read through the comments people are making about a certain book to learn what people are interested in.
  18. Quora –Enter a few broad keywords into the search option. It will specifically list questions people have, along with the answers if they have been provided. This can be useful for a general topic and can also be a good source of quotes or answers for the content itself.
  19. Reddit –Find a subreddit for your niche and look at the trending threads. There is a subreddit for almost every topic you can think of, and they are often quite active. Most of the time, Redditors are constantly sharing useful content from around the web.
  20. Podcasts –Search iTunes for popular podcasts in your niche. Look through the episode titles and listen to some of the more popular episodes. This will show you some great general topic areas and also help you identify the influencers worth getting input from on your content.

Creating a General Layout

I’m sure you’ve heard that content is King.  Don’t overlook this saying.  If you don’t have stellar content then people will not be sharing your website or they will just stop coming to your website all together.  Here’s my 3 steps to creating content that gets shared.

Step 1 – Take your topic and write out a problem as well as an aspiration.
Problem – Can’t find time to create blog posts
Aspiration – Creating top quality content that will leave your competition in the dust

Step 2 – Choose a content type, but make sure you don’t always use the same one.  Alternate between 5 or more.  There are almost endless types of content you could create, but I’ve listed a few so you can get the idea.

  • Case Study
  • Guide
  • Roundup
  • How to
  • How not to
  • Infographic
  • Comparison/ Review
  • Cost/ Price
  • Data Driven
  • Best of/ List
  • Opinion

Create a Title That Doesn’t Get Overlooked

Let’s start with a just a basic description.  Something that will let the user know what they’re going to be reading about

Example 1 – How to Create Content That Get’s Noticed

Example 2 – Why You Need a Mailing list

Example 3 – Things Worth Doing to Gain Customers

Now we’re going to add a hook to get the users attention.  Here are some examples of hooks you can use

1 – Contrarian –give them information that is the opposite of convention.

2 – Surprising –give them a fact that will surprise them, something simple that is the opposite of what they might assume.

3 – Overcome Objections –consider what their objections might be and directly respond to them in the title.

4 – Guarantee –Give them a guarantee of success.

5 – Interest –Give them interesting facts to chew on. Percentages or real world examples could work well.

6 – Fear –Appeal to their inbuilt sense of fear.

Example 1 – 5 Steps to Streamlining Your Blogging Process and Blowing Your Competition Out or The Water

Example 2 – Why Not Having a Mailing List is Losing You Sales Potential

Example 3 – Perform these 3 Simple Tasks to Increase Your Customer Base by 500%

Time to Start Writing

Now that you have your title and your general layout it’s time to start with the content.  Every blog you write needs to pass the following criteria

  • Useful – Make sure your target audience will find the information found in the blog useful
  • Easy to Read – Don’t confuse the reader.  Create an easy to read blog with plenty of bullet points and white space.
  • Emotionally Relatable – What challenges does your reader have?  Make sure you address them to ensure they can relate. 
  • It’s not all about you!  Your goal should be to write the blog about the customer, so stop saying I so much. 
  • Be specific – General content is rarely useful, so ensure you dig a little deeper.  Make sure that your reader comes out of your article with new found knowledge. 
  • Be Generous – Are you creating your blog to just get a sale or are you trying to give your reader useful information?

Don’t forget to Let the Search Engines Know what Your Talking About

Never leave your meta information unfinished.  The meta information is what you see when you search on Google.  There’s a meta title and meta description.  Ensure your title related to your actual blog post or uses the same title.  Then make sure your description utilizes the full space allowed and gives the reader something they want to click.  You can use tools like Yoast to make this easier on you. 

Now you’re ready to get out there and start blogging.  If you have any questions then please put them in the comments below.  Every comment on our blogs gets put in our monthly draw for a free website and hosting for an entire year.

Happy Blogging!

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1 Comment

  1. Vanessa

    Great post. Keep it up

    Reply

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