Blogged Down: What makes a good blog
March 1, 2011
I recently 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 from their efforts.
According to the article, many bloggers developed aspirations based on just a few success stories like the Julie/Julia Project (author and blogger Julie Powell’s attempt to master Julia Child’s recipes from her book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”).
As part of my job at Matrix Group in Arlington, Va., I ghostwrite for some client blogs. I also have a personal one —Sher in the City — where I tell tales about life in the nation’s capital. (I do it more for fun than anything else.) I have learned a lot since crafting my first blog post, and I have seen my style progress with each one that I write. And, I spend time writing each post — marketing them on my Facebook page and my Twitter profile — and commenting on other blogs. Like other PR tools, a blog requires work and patience.
Whether you are starting a blog or looking to improve one, 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 post. Also, consider your posts as an opportunity for you to position yourself as an expert in your field. When it comes down to it, blogging is about thought leadership.
- Prepare an editorial calendar for your blog. Like any other relationship, you have to be committed to posting an item 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. Have 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 that you want to help drive to your site. Incorporate them into your headlines and tags.
- Market your blog. It’s easy to market your blog with Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to always tweet about your posts, and to post links to your Facebook page. Also, consider contributing to blogs that you follow, promoting your blog on your online and print collateral and seeking out opportunities to link your blogs to other websites and blogs.
- Track your conversions. Like any other marketing or PR 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 with 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 that you placed in a publication for your client? Remember how long the process took? Your blog isn’t going to be an overnight sensation. It takes time to build a following.
Sherrie Bakshi is communications maven at Matrix Group, and co-founder of Stylee PR & Marketing. She specializes in working with clients on effective social networking and online strategies. Follow Sherrie on Twitter: @Sher_32.