4 Easy First Steps to Blogging

4 Easy First Steps to Blogging

Content is king. We know already!

It's 2014 and it is an accepted fact that in order to improve your SEO, and ultimately lead generation, you need to be producing fresh content. This is not new news, but for many, it's still a daunting task that has constantly been pushed to the back burner.

Well, like those pesky gym instructors many of us face in the January of a new year, I'm here to get you in gear! I've outlined four first steps to blogging.

These steps may take you some time to really dive into, but that's okay!  They will play an essential role in starting your blog, essential in that they will help you get organized before you start writing.

While we often see articles advising us to just start writing, I disagree! The very first steps to blogging should be, more or less, to get organized!

Step 1: Create a list of categories.

For most well organized blogs we will see a list of categories that easily consolidate information.  Think of the library.  When you go in the library (or when you used to go in the library) to look for a book, all the books were categorized by mystery, non-fiction, historical, travel, etc.  Much like the aisles in the library, you want your categories to break down the different types of information you offer.

For example, let's say I sell golf clubs that supposedly improve your golf swing.  What are some of the categories of blog posts I could write about to offer valuable information to my ideal target market?

Some examples:

TechnologySwing TipsPractice Tips

When trying to decide if something is a category or not, ask yourself if you can write multiple blog posts under that category.  If the answer is "no," then that might not be a good option for a category, but rather a keyword. (See Step 2)

To give an example of a blog that I think does a great job categorizing information, check out HubSpot's Marketing Blog:

first steps to blogging
first steps to blogging

Step 2: Create a list of keywords.

Create an extensive list of keywords that you think people would search for in order to get the expertise that you are going to offer in your blog. What are the questions and search terms that your ideal target audience would search for on Google?

Let's go back to the golf club example. When creating a list of keywords to include in blog posts on my website that sells golf clubs, here are some keywords I would consider using:

how do I improve my golf swing improving your golf swing improve golf swing steps to improving my golf swing

You get the idea.  Put yourself in the consumers shoes.  What are THEY looking for?

Ask yourself some of the following questions:

What are the problems my product or service solves? How does my product or service solve these problems? What are some problems my product or service solves that people don't know they have?

Create an extensive list of keywords.  Try to revisit this list every few months.  Are your keywords still relevant?

Step 3: Create a list of styles of blog posts.

This will probably be your shortest list.  First, take a weeks worth of notes of blog posts you enjoy.  Content aside, why do you enjoy them? In most instances the answer is because the content is easy to consume, technically.

How you format your blog post is essential to whether or not people will read it.  By breaking up and organizing the content in your blog post, people won't be as intimidated by the content and will more eagerly dive into your article.

Some examples of "types" of blog posts:

Lists News SlideShare PostsHow-To Pieces Q-and-A's

Create a list of several styles you feel comfortable writing and, more importantly, styles that will resonate with your audience.

first steps to blogging
first steps to blogging

Step 4: Create an editorial calendar. 

Now that you have three lists: categories, keywords and types of blog posts, plan out an editorial calendar! Set an objective at the beginning of the month for how many blog posts you want to write per week.  Set days you will write them.

Then simply go through your three lists picking one category, one keyword and one style of blog post, making sure all three vary of course, and voila, you have a month of blogging planned out.

NOW it's time to just sit down and write! Good luck!

P.S.- Still think your company is different and you have nothing to write about? Check out these "10 Phenomenal Blogs in Totally Boring Industries" for some inspiration.

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