This morning, I came across an article via Twitter about why bloggers quit blogging. Many of the former bloggers quit blogging because they found it demanding, and did not see any results of their efforts. According to the article, many bloggers have developed aspirations based on just a few success stories like the Julie/Julia Project (author and blogger Julie Powell to master Julia Child’s recipes from her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking). I even have a very good friend who recently had her first book published after a publishing company in England came across her blog.
As part of my job at Matrix Group, I ghostwrite for some client blogs. I also have a personal one, ironically called Sher in the City, where I tell tales of life in the nation’s capital. (I do it more for fun than anything else.) I have learned a lot since crafting my very first blog post, and I have seen my style progress with each one I write. And, similar to what this article stated, I spend time crafting each post, marketing them on my Facebook page, my Twitter profile and commenting on other blogs. I also contribute to other blogs like this one.
Like other public relations tools, a blog requires work and patience. Whether you are starting a blog or looking to improve it, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Write about what you love. It’s important to love writing, and to write about what you love, or you will find yourself struggling with each blog post. Also, consider posts an opportunity for you to position yourself as an expert in your field, because when it comes down to it, blogging is really about thought leadership.
- Prepare an editorial calendar for your blog. Like any other relationship, you’ve got to be committed to posting a blog post once a week, especially if it’s part of your business’ or organization’s outreach, or it’s just not worth it. To help ensure consistency in your blog posts, take some time to put together a list of topics that align with your current campaigns.
- Make sure your headlines are punchy and SEO friendly. Similar to your website, you have to have an SEO strategy. Haven’t you heard the line, “Don’t expect people to come to your website because you built it!” This is the same for blogs. Instead, determine the top keywords and phrases you want to help drive to your site. Incorporate them into your headlines and tags.
- Market your blog. As I mentioned earlier, it’s very easy to market your blog with Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to always tweet about your posts and post a link to your Facebook page. Also consider contributing to blogs you follow, promote your blog on your online and print collateral, and seek out opportunities to link your blogs to other websites and blogs.
- Track your conversions. Like any other marketing or public relations tool, you want to see results. The way to do this is by tracking conversions, i.e., how many people went from the blog to your website, or how many people sent you an e-mail from your blog or called you. You can track conversions in Web tracking tools like Google Analytics, or by asking questions to your potential clients and customers about how they came across your blog — it’s as simple as that!
- Be patient. Remember the first big article you garnered for your client? Remember how long it took? Your blog isn’t going to be an overnight sensation. It takes time to build a following.
Blogging is a commitment, so be sure you are ready to take it on, market your individual blog posts and be patient.
Do you have a blog? What challenges have you encountered with blogging? Share your thoughts.
Sherrie Bakshi is communications maven at Matrix Group, and co-founder of Stylee PR & Marketing, which is now run and managed by its co-founder, Vladia Jurcova Spencer. Bakshi has more than 10 years’ experience in the field, working with a variety of clients. She specializes in everything from traditional public relations to now working with clients on effective social networking and online strategies. When she’s not working, she is involved with her local community, serving as a volunteer and a committee member for The Reading Connection, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk families throughout the DC metro area create environments that encourage family reading. Follow Sherrie on twitter @Sher_32 or connect on LinkedIn.