“Learning How to Blog Effectively in the Sin City” by Mike Marko.
At the recent Empower Network event, that’s exactly what happened and here’s one of the reasons why.
Thanks to our incredible guest speakers, I came away form the Empower Network event with many ah-ha moments. But when Tracy Walker did a breakdown of the steps to building an online business, and how doing these steps in order is key to your success, a light bulb went off.
Today I’m going to talk about how to blog effectively, and be able to create a solid foundation for your blog posts.
How to Blog Effectively
Tracy Walker spoke about blogging, using the acronym BLOG to illustrate the major points. The acronym helped make it easier to remember the different elements of the blog.
“B”stands for Building a Strong Foundation, and there are several elements to this first element of a successful blog. A strong foundation is paramount to having a long term successful blog.
Telling your story. Everyone has a unique story, and an effective blogger makes sure their reader knows all about it It’s best to be as transparent and authentic as you can be. There is only one you. Now while it is great to tell your, don’t say anything negative unless you have overcome that obstacle. For instance, if you went through bankruptcy then don’t mention it until you have successfully come out of it.
Find your niche. Before you start blogging, it is extremely useful to understand what your niche is. For example, the niche of this blog is “make money online” combined with “Law of Attraction.” It is typically best to focus your blog (mostly) on one niche. For more information on how to select a niche, check out How to Blog – How to Choose a Blog Niche [5 Tips for Picking a Profitable Blog Topic] and How to Pick a Blog Topic – When You Think “All of the Good Blog Niches Are Already Taken.”
Determine what is your passion. You should think about what excites you. Are there things you would love to write about? If you an pick material that matches with your passion, then blog posting is really easy to do. Ask yourself, “What would make you get up at 3 am without hesitating?”
Determine who is your target audience. Do you know who your target audience is? This is also called your avatar. When you try to target everyone as your audience, you end up targeting no one and your blog isn’t as effective. Get clear on who you are writing to in your content. Consider gender, age, socioeconomic group, education, what they do for hobbies and interests, etc. Get a crystal clear picture of who they are. For more information about how to determine your target audience, check out How to Determine a Target Audience for Your Blog or Online Content and How to Determine Your Target Audience Profile for Your Blog.
After you have built a strong foundation, it is important to start to leverage your brand and your image. Video is very powerful when to help you do this. Video allows people to see you and hear you and get to know you. This is a way to bridge the gap where you can’t meet the person in person. Brick and mortar businesses naturally have face time with their customers.
Video allows audience to see you are a real person, and get to know you. This is important because people don’t buy products, then buy into people.
Logo. It helps to have a symbol, or logo, that is congruent with your content and easily recognized. If you don’t have the skills or software to help you make you own, you can hire someone on Fiverr to help you create one.
Tagline. A tagline is text you use to help clarify the theme or niche of your blog. A good tagline helps draw people in. For example, our blog title is “Bren & Mike Prosperity Tips” and our tagline is “Part time entrepreneurs, Full time Income.” Our tagline helps further clarify and focus the niche of our blog.
Headers. Headers are an important way to break up your content so that it is easier to read. Be consistent throughout your blog post with font size and colors. You should also make sure that the headers are easy to read. Put some thought into this early on, create some basic rules for your headers, and then make sure it is the same for every blog post.
Colors. When selecting colors for your blog be consistent. You want your colors to be the same throughout the entire website, and congruent between all forms of communication such as the banners, headers, etc.
Font. Pick a fond that is both appealing, and easy to read. Take the time to consider your blog’s font ahead of time. You should not choose a cursive font or something difficult to read. Be consistent with your font throughout the entire website.If you use different font style throughout the different pages and blog posts, your website will start looking cheap and sloppy.
Blog theme template. To help you with a consistent look for your blog without having to do a lot of coding or formatting, there are usually themes you can select from. Fortunately Kalatu (this blog platform) comes with several integrated themes you can pick from. Themes make it easy to quickly choose from different looks for your website.
Pictures you yourself. Use as many pictures as possible of yourself throughout the website. Pictures are a bit less effective as video, but they still help brand yourself and make your readers become familiar with you. I like to use a picture of ourselves in the signature section of a blog post to help the reader get to know us.
Next we organize and create your content, or blog posts. By this time, you may even find that because of the legwork you have already completed that it is easier to create content for your website. It will be more natural. You already established a good foundation and look for your website.
Blog post categories. Categories are a great way to break your content into buckets, to help organize your content. It can help to do some basic keyword research for your category names because they will have an impact on your search engine results. Only select one category per blog post because otherwise you end up inadvertently creating duplicate content, or an exact copy of your content, that Google may penalize you for. Google and other search engine either only select one version of the duplicate content (only one category), or sometimes decides to dismiss all the content associate with the multiple categories.
Keywords. You should do some initial keyword research prior to writing a blog post. First know your topic, and then use a tool like Google Adwords: Keyword Planner to help determine the most effective keywords that go with your topic. – you want to blog around your keywords. Most of the time we create a blog post we research a keyword first and blog around that keyword
Metadata. – Metadata is this is what Google uses to determine what’s in your content that might be relevant to someone’s search. It is a very good idea to strategically put your keywords within the metadata to help ensure your blog post comes up in a search result.
CTA or Call to Action. Determine your call to action before you start writing your blog post. You want to make sure that whatever your write that you are writing toward your ultimate goal of what you want your reader to do. This call to action could result in your reader watching a sales video, liking or sharing your blog post, commenting below, reading another related blog post, etc.
Now that you have created your content, it is now time to tell the world about it. By getting eyes on your blog post, you get website traffic that can result in leads, and then sales.
SEO- Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the practice of helping search engines find your content by both optimizing your blog post for keywords, etc, and also building backlinks to your blog post. For more information about SEO check out the article, How to Get Leads with Kalatu.
Syndication. Syndicate your blog by posting links on social media sites to your blog post. This helps tell people about your blog post and gets traffic to your content. Social bookmarking can be done on free websites by posting a link to the blog post on a platform like WordPress.com with a picture and short description. We like to automate social syndicate using a tool called Onlywire. Learn more about how we socially syndicate our blog posts in the article, How to Blog – 3 Things to Do Right AFTER You’re Done Writing a Blog Post.
Email. Sending your email list links to your blog posts regularly is a great way to get traffic back to your blog. This is important because they will see all the value you have, and it is a way to help get traffic to the site.
Comments. Be sure to ask for comments towards the end of your blog post. Not only will that help generate a conversation between visitors, but it will help help you for SEO purposes. You should also comment on other blogs because that will help attract readers to your website (plus creates backlinks if you setup your guest comment setup to point to your website address.
Forums. Be sure to participate in forums related to your niche. Not only will you start to build up a reputation and colleagues within your niche, but you can use the signature to backlink to your blog post to help drive traffic.
Guest blogging. Guest blogging is where you approach a more popular, higher traffic blog, and ask if they are interested in a blog post written by you. A blog post on a popular site like Huffington post with links back to your website and/or some of your blog posts can really help increase traffic. But most likely you won’t get a guest blog on the Huffington post when you are just starting because you haven’t proven yourself. You need to first create content on your blog to showcase your skills. Then I recommend starting with less popular blogs and build up your pedigree. These other blogs will still generate traffic with backlinks, plus help your blog posts rank higher in Google.
Indexing. Indexing is where a search engine like Google crawls a webpage and then creates an index so that it knows exactly how to look things up (much like the index at the back of a book). You can tell a search engine to index your blog post right away.
Pinging. Tells Google, or another search engine, that you have made changes to a website (even just creating it). It is like nudging Google that you site has made an update, and it is supposed to help get your site index faster… though this isn’t guaranteed.
Opt-in Form. Opt-in forms are used to collect emails, and other information like name, from your visitors . The information then gets collected and managed by the email autoresponder.
Webinars and Hangouts. This vidoe format is a powerful way to not only brand yourself, you can give great content and then close with an offer.
How to Use B.L.O.G. to Blog Effectively
You want to follow these in order (starting with “B”) because one builds off the other… much like having a prerequisite for a class. You need the foundation of knowledge to go to the next level.
No skipping ahead. We have seen people market just capture pages on Facebook, but don’t take the time to tell their story or create content. It’s like putting the cart before the horse.
It takes time and effort to build your business the right way. But there are no short cuts to sustainable success. You get out what you put in. It takes at least 3- 6 months to cash in on a blog post, but once you have it is evergreen. This means that you can benefit from your blog posts for years after it was published.
If you follow these steps, you’ll find that your blog posts will be a lot more effective both in how much traffic you get, and developing a loyal following.
Author: Mike Marko