Every writer experiences it. Every writer wants to avoid it – “writer’s block”. I’ll be honest with you, I had a bad case of it and decided to check the “comments” section of my blog to see if it would generate any ideas for a blog post this week. Lo and behold ! Look what I found:
“I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there. I do enjoy writing; however, it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Many thanks.”
This writer appears to have a topic but doesn’t know how to get started. In this post, I am going to share my blogging tips with you. You will learn how I discover topics; how I structure my blog post; how I center myself to start writing, and how I select my blog titles.
The ideal way to have topics to blog about is to make an editorial calendar. Have a topic for every month and write about it that month. You’ll need to choose topics that twill give you at least 4 blog posts a month. For example, if you are a home stager, let’s say you use Paint Colors for Staging Your Home as your topic for April. You might want to write about these 4 sub-topics: interior paint colors, exterior paint colors, front door paint colors, paint color mistakes to avoid when selling your home. Your readers will be learning all about the paint color topic for that month.
If you are not that structured, and prefer to write on a different topic every week, you’ll still need to have strategies to get ideas.
Blogging Tip #1 -How to come up with the topics:
1. Think of your ideal clients’ problems. Why do they contact you? What do they ask you in their fist phone conversation? What are they searching for in Google? Check out popular keywords your audience might use by entering them into the Google Keyword Tool.
2. Set up Google Alerts for topics in your industry – home staging statistics; reasons for staging a home; what’s involved in home staging? What are the different types of home staging? There are your 4 blog posts for May.
3. Use Hubspot’s topic generator
4. Review group discussions on your social media sites. What are people discussing in your industry that might help your client?
5. Check Google Trends, Scoop It, Twitter Trends.
6. Look at your old blog posts and find a commonality. Perhaps you wrote 4 blog posts about “For Sale By Owner Properties”. Repurpose those old blog posts. Make a slideshare, video, infographic, or podcast of them showcasing the major points discussed in each post. Change the title of the post and see if you can add/change some content to update the post but keep the same keywords and leave the URL the same.
7. If you’ve attended an industry trade show or some new training , write blog posts about your experiences there. How did you prepare for attending the tradeshow? What did you learn? Why did you decide to attend ? What types of exhibitors were there? How does it compare to other tradeshows/seminars you’ve attended? Include photos, of course.
8. Write about some of your customer experiences so people understand how you work.
9. Do interview posts. If you sell window treatments, interview the owner of the fabric shop about the latest fabric trends. If you are a real estate agent, interview your home stager about tips for selling your home faster.
10. Ask others to guest blog for you. They write the post on an agreed-upon topic and email it to you. You post it on your site.
Blogging Tip #2 -Formatting your blog post:
After you have your topic and your keywords, use an outline like this to help you organize your thoughts:
Topic: Writing Blog Posts
Introduction: (HOW TO GET STARTED)
1. Ask a question about the topic.
2. Relate an incident you experienced relating to the topic. (tell a story)
3. Relate to the reader’s sense of imagination, Imagine this, Picture this, Do you remember when?
4. Use an analogy – a comparison. Do you think blogging is like climbing up a steep, treacherous mountain?
5. Cite a shocking statistic. According to (cite source), blogging increases your search engine optimization by at least 25%.
3-4 Key points :
1. Getting Your Topics and Subtopics
2. Formatting Your Blog Post
3. Clearing your mind to start writing
Summary –This is your last paragraph to reiterate your key points.
Call to Action – Include this at the end either in the summary paragraph or in a stand-alone paragraph. Tell the reader what you want him to do next. “Subscribe to our blog.” ” Contact us today to get our blog-writing service.” “Leave a comment and let us know how you write a blog post.”
1. Make sure you are in a quiet area with no distractions.
2. Listen to classical music. Check out Pandora for free music. It really helps me a lot. Apparently, college students listen to classical music while studying to concentrate better. Try it and let me know if it helped.
3. Review a few other blog posts by other authors that speak to the same topic. How did those authors start their posts?
4. If you absolutely can’t write, leave your office and do something else. Take a walk. Clean the house. Take a nap. Read a book. Watch TV. Sometimes writing in a new environment can spur your thoughts. Go to the library or coffee shop and try writing there.
Blogging Tip #4 – Selecting a headline
I prefer to write my post around my topic or subtopic first, include my keyword about 1-3 times in the content, and then select my title. Some prefer to write the headline first and then write the post. Whichever method you use, ensure your keyword is in the title of the blog post, too, for improved SEO.
Take your subtopic or topic and use one of the following tools to help you select an appropriate title for your post:
Your blog post’s headline should evoke curiosity when possible. To increase readership of your post, include a negative word in the title – Don’t Fall for This Blogging Scam ; include odd numbers in your titles – 5 Amazing Blogging Hacks; include the reader in the headline – 3 Ways to Clear Your Head Before Blogging; appeal to emotions and curiosity – 7 Secrets Your Parents Never Told You About Blogging
To make your writing easier, remember my 4 main blogging tips. Set up an editorial calendar giving you one topic per month and 4 subtopics per month. If you have difficulty thinking of titles, use the tools and suggestions listed in this post. Outline or format your post before writing. It will improve the flow of your writing. Include your keyword in the body and title of your post. Write a headline that will entice your audience to dive right into your article. Before hitting “publish”, proofread, proofread, proofread. Read your post aloud to ensure your writing speaks to the purpose of your post.
I now provide SEO blogging services if you don’t have the time to blog. See my Social Media Marketing Services page on this website and give me a call or text me at 904-553-0366. Blogging can help give your business more online visibility. I’ve actually received business from my blog. Let me share the secrets of my success with you.
By the way, if you have a topic you ‘d like me to write about, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org