Is there a process to blogging?
Yes, absolutely, there is a process to blogging, especially if your intention is to do it well.
Whether you are blogging to make money, or simply to share ideas on a topic you are passionate about with no monetary gain, the information in this post will make the process of blogging easier for you.
Put simply there are 10 steps to the blogging process.
This of course is on the assumption that you already have a theme for your blog, a platform for publishing it (think WordPress) and have taken the time to plan your content calendar.
The 10-step blogging process:
+ Find books in your local library on your topic of interest, or research online to find 3 to 5 sources on your subject.
+ Integrate ideas and aspects from as many sources as is necessary to give you a quality article that isn’t too long. (600-800 words in length is reasonable, although longer articles can be warranted depending on your readership and purpose for the article).
# 2 Write
+ Come up with a title that includes your keyword, and one that will intrigue your audience, but isn’t obscure.
+ When writing the actual article, consider if your content shows personality and is conversational. It should be.
+ Will your readers get value from reading the article?
+ Does it address a topic that your readers want to know about, give them solutions to their problems, or answer their questions?
+ Use evergreen content (content that is not time sensitive and won’t date) so you can repurpose the article in the future.
+ Have you included some facts, figures or statistics?
+ Have you run your article through a spell check?
+ Have you ensured your content is not plagiarised? You can run it through a plagiarism checker like Grammerly.
+ Have you read the article out loud? (It’s a great way to proofread and pick up on mistakes you may have missed otherwise).
As you structure your writing, make sure you consider if the blog post is easy on the eye. To do so:
+ Use subheadings, bullet points, or numbering, add quotes.
+ Keep your paragraphs relatively short.
+ Include hyperlinks to make it easier for readers to click through to more information within your article where relevant.
#4 Find an image
+ Find a relevant image and ensure it is copyright-free. There are paid as well as free stock image sites you can find. istockphoto.com is a personal favourite, but googling free stock photos can give you plenty of options also.
+ Note: the best images come at a cost.
#5 Add a call to action
A call to action doesn’t always have to be ‘sales-y’. In fact I recommend that you mix it up instead of always going for the ask.
+ A simple prompt to ‘Take the next step today’ with a short explanation of the next step can also do the trick. If you can convince the reader to take action, they are more likely to remember you and your blog post in future.
+ You can also ask people to leave their opinions on your topic.
+ When going for a more sales oriented call to action, you can insert a banner ad at the bottom of the article.
#6 Link to other related articles
If you’ve done any online shopping before, you’d be familiar with online stores saying “You bought this, and we thought you might be interested in these products”, so within your article integrate some hyperlinks that lead to other related articles or websites. Alternatively, on the bottom of your article, it might be good practice to list related articles. For WordPress users, the plugin Zemanta makes this process easier for you.
#7 SEO your blog post
This step might be one that you learn along the way and cannot perfect straightaway, but the basic checklist for a ‘Search Engine Optimised’ article is to make sure:
+ your title has keyword
+ you are using H tags for your title, headings and subheadings and appropriate tags
+ you are adding 1-2 meta keywords
+ you are including a meta description (which is the short description that appears when your article shows up on Google/search engine results)
+ you are adding Alt Tags to your pictures which helps Google ‘read’ what your images are about. Google can read text, but it cannot read images.
Finally if you have done all of the above, you are ready to publish! All up, once you have a bit of experience the whole blogging process can take from 1 to 2 hours (for beginners expect 3 to 5 depending on your researching/writing abilities). Most blogging platforms such as WordPress will allow you to write and save your blogs and even schedule them in advance.
Utilise your creative days to pump out several articles.
Share your articles on the social platforms that you have an active and meaningful presence on (making sure it’s a platform frequented by your readers). If you are posting your blogs on LinkedIn, as I do, there are built-in ways to share your article.
#10 Monitor the metrics
Now this is the exciting part, especially if your article does exceptionally well. Monitor the metrics (the likes, the views, the shares of your blog post). There are built in methods to view stats on LinkedIn and you can set up Google Analytics to do this on your website.
Feeling overwhelmed? Did you know you can outsource blogging?
For those who want to ‘build their personal brand’, Give Me Marketing (a digital marketing consultancy) offers Business Blogging Packages and works with multiple organisations to produce articles every week. For those looking for content creation help, this gives you access to the Give Me Marketing team who will research and write between 5 to 15 articles a month for you to post on your communication platforms. All rights for the article will be transferred to you and you can edit and use the article as you wish. We don’t claim to be the expert on every industry (that would be impossible), but we have an intelligent team who know how to research, write and engage readers. Working as team with you, we will help you achieve more and engage your prospective clients more effectively. Contact us for more details.