It sounds obvious. Blogging is about writing. What d’ya know? But blogging is about research, imagination and teaching. It’s also about instruction, inspiration, business and story telling.
I could fill this page with my own thoughts about what blogging is about. All of them could be right. There are actually no ‘wrongs’ in blogging. It depends on your passion and what you want to say. If you need to get things out of your head, blogging is the ideal way to do it. Sometimes publicly committing yourself is all that is needed.
If you want to lose weight, document your travels, show your worship for Justin Beiber or achieve some other lifelong goal (or even just tell your story), blogging could be the ideal medium for you to do it. However, you must be able to articulate what you know and feel and that means writing. Oooh, scary!
Most of us haven’t written creatively since school!
A lot of us haven’t written anything but a letter since we were at school. Who remembers writing essays? Some essays had to be factual, but others gave us more of a free reign to tell a story or two. That was pretty much the only opportunity we had since we were very small to be creative (before we all had our creativity ‘educated’ out of us).
Since then, people spend a lot of time online, but the writing that is done tends to be pretty simple stuff on Facebook and Twitter. From what I can see, a lot of that posting is negative drivel about purile subjects. In the UK at the moment, the preoccupation is with Brexit and in the USA it’s Donald Trump. The negativity contributes to the mood and the mood therefore isn’t good.
This started as a Property blog
As you may have noticed if you read through the posts here, I started writing about our property journey and what happened to me after I was made redundant in 2016. It felt pretty bad back then, being effectively thrown on the scrapheap at age 56, but after a couple of months dragging myself around the house, I bucked my ideas up.
We began sourcing and buying houses. I began writing about buying houses. It was only then that I realised I could write stuff that people would read online. I gained a small following and built a small subscriber list who would receive an email every time I created something new. It was great fun.
The house buying continued, but I found myself being drawn into marketing. This was because property investment required a good deal of networking and self promotion, and I recognised that I wasn’t particularly good at it.
We were going to property seminars and on courses and time and again the presenters were telling us to set up sales funnels and build lists. We didn’t know how at that time, so when a property trainer said that he wouldn’t sell his contact list for £10m, I knew I had to sit up and take notice.
The blog was changing.
I started looking for training that would allow me to do the things that the gurus were telling me about. I had a website and a fair bit of property knowledge, so I decided that my blog was going to change direction away from just property and more towards showing people the stuff i’d discovered, as I discovered it. It was quite easy.
It wasn’t a conscious thing at the time, the blog just evolved. As I jumped into the Marketing training i’d found, I realised that i’d automatically but accidentally found my ‘niche’. I began learning about how to do it properly.
One of the courses we went on mentioned ‘sales funnels’, ‘inbound and outbound marketing’ and stuff like that. Most of us looked on blankly and the seminar guy that presented just said ‘it’s too complex to cover here’, so most in the room didn’t learn anymore about it. I was different.
I’d turned into a property AND marketing blogger
I’d turned into a property and marketing blogger as I had to learn more about this. My training was telling me that everyone can blog, you just need a niche and a passion for it. So, as you are reading this, I want you to think about what your niche would be and why you think that niche will work for you.
If you can’t decide and you need a little help with niches, try downloading my guide here for inspiration:
When you start to write, there are many different methods, depending on what you are writing about. There are also special ways of writing articles to make sure people are going to read them. That’s the whole point, right?
Short posts are no good
The first thing you should bear in mind when writing an article is that a post should have a minimum length to allow Google and the other search engines to establish the context. It also gives you much more opportunity to get your keywords and key phrases into the article that you want to rank for.
Make your posts a minimum of 1,000 words. This is an absolute minimum. If you can hit 1,500 words that would be a whole lot better. Now, that amount of words might seem a lot, and it would be if you wrote it all in one session, so
Split your writing into 500 word batches.
You’ll find it a lot easier if you restrict yourself to smaller chunks, and 500 words is manageable. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to do that. Then you know, if your article is going to be 1,500 words in total, you’ll have three sessions at it.
Writing in small batches like this is the key to producing quality articles of the required length. Bite size chunks. I’ve been writing this post in exactly this way. This is my second session and a look down at my word counter indicates 996 words, so i’ll come back to this later.
There you go, I had a break. I’m refreshed and suddenly the 1,500 word article doesn’t look anything like as daunting does it?
Now, further up the post I mentioned getting your keywords into the piece. This is important as we all want our 1,500 words to be read and digested by our target audience. So, you need to think about and research your post before you start it.
You need to write with intent
What does that mean? Well, it’s a bit like working backwards. Firstly, research the keywords in your niche that you want to rank for. This means finding keywords that are searched for, but don’t have too much competition. That is easier said than done.
However, there are some great tools out there to make life easier. The one I use most is an online research tool called Jaaxy.
Using Jaaxy, you can search for a keyword and it will offer other keywords around it and tell you how many other competing websites there are in the Google rankings and how easy it will be to rank your site.
Once you’ve built a list of keyword options, make a list of your top 5. From the lists, pick your most important. This will be your prime keyword target for the article.
You should then set about composing your post with your prime keyword included in
a) The page title
b) The first paragraph of your text
c) Internal navigation links
d) H1 and H2 Headings
e) alt text in any pictures you include
Then try to also include the other 4 key phrases that you identified in your link. Don’t overdo it though. You don’t want Google to decide that you are ’keyword stuffing’ to try to get better search engine rankings.
The most important thing of all. You need to write for human beings, not for search engines.
I know this is a pretty abbreviated guide to writing for your blog. Hopefully I’ve given you the encouragement you need to be able to start generating high quality posts that will rank in Google.
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As I get to the end of this post, I glance down to my word count and hey presto! 1,481 words. That’s near enough to my 1,500 word target and was written totally on my phone!