5.1 Steps to Blogging

Have you seen them?  Are you on their email lists?  Those amazing businesses who send out these incredible looking e-newsletters on a weekly basis, each one leading to yet another fantastic blog post?

Maybe you’re inspired?  Perhaps intimidated?

Remember, we all have to start somewhere! 

You’ve got a to do list that’s really long.  The days fly by.  Things come up.  You dread wrestling with the technology of it all.

Look at the upside.  If you could increase your blog posts your customers will find you more interesting and their loyalty will increase.  You’ll have more content to share on Facebook and Twitter.  You’ll run into someone and they’ll comment on how they enjoyed a certain tip you suggested.  You might even get in a routine and enjoy blogging!

Try these steps to get started!

#1 Start a blog idea file.Tip 1 Start a Blog File

Perhaps it’s a file folder stuffed with pages – like mine in this photograph.

Maybe it’s a page on your fridge you write ideas on.  Or it’s a small notebook you carry with you.  Start it right now.  Decided on a spot and put something there to indicated it is your blog idea file.  Great!

#2 Brainstorm topics.

Review this blog post on topic ideas.  Take 30 minutes (time yourself) and wander the Internet to see what others are writing.

Write each idea on a separate piece of paper if possible.  You’ll want to leave room for any notes to include in each post.

Place all these ideas in your blog idea file.

#3 Just write.

Sit down and start writing or typing.  Often 3 to 4 paragraphs I write will end up in the scrap pile.  That’s ok.  They helped me warm up.  The important thing is to get started!

Aim for 400-600 words for a post.  Use the “Word Count” button in the Review tab of Word to keep track.

Just can’t write that many words?  Take it slow – start with a couple of paragraphs.

Alternately, include mainly images in your post and simply include 1-3 sentences describing each image.

#4 Edit.

Take a look at it on screen for sentence structure and obvious typos.  Print a copy out and make notes on it.  Take the print out to a different location to help you concentrate.  (More proofreading tips here.)

In addition to looking for basic errors, consider the flow of the post.  Move what you consider to be the most interesting point to the top.  (You will want to try and grab the readers’ attention with it.)

If possible, have someone else read it over.

#5 Get it out there.

Once you are reasonably happy with it, get it posted on your website.  Talk about it and provide links to it from your social media accounts.  Send out an e-newsletter that includes the start of the article and then a link back to your website. Or it could be the entire article if it’s short.

If you have a hard time wrestling the content out into the online world, consider finding and/or hiring someone to help you with this.

#5.1 Avoid perfection.

It’s much better to add a short post every 2 weeks than it is to post an 800 word essay every 3 months.  Quality is important but so is keeping in touch.

Give yourself credit for what you are able to accomplish.  Keep in mind that many of those other businesses with weekly posts have teams of people working with them to make that happen.

Is there a certain aspect of blogging that you have difficulty with?  Drop me a line to let me know, and I’ll aim to tackle it in an upcoming post!  You can reach me at susan@milkweedmarketing.com.

 

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