What I’ve Learned about Blogging (the Hard Way)

3-2-15 Content is king by Frances CaballoFirst, I owe you an apology.

I should have known better than to write a blog post about the San Francisco Writers Conference.

It’s a great conference – the largest writers conference on the West Coast – but it wasn’t appropriate for me to promote the conference on my blog (even though the organizers wanted me to).

And it wasn’t right for me to accept a blog post about mobile marketing that did not directly address my readers, Indie authors.

Furthermore, after posting my show notes on Fridays for several weeks, I suddenly switch to an older format. That wasn’t right either.

So I’m apologizing to all of you who have been reading my blog and subscribing to it and expecting the type of content you have become accustomed to reading.

Why I Appeared So Lazy Suddenly – the Whole Truth

On January 25, I was cleaning the bathroom and after washing the floor I took a step.

What a mistake that was.

I slipped and fractured my wrist.

Since the pain was extreme, and the break was fresh, I stepped away from my work for a week and when I returned I felt overwhelmed.

So I naïvely took a few shortcuts.

You see, since the fall I have only been able to use one hand. So everything I do in my personal and professional life I have to accomplish with my right hand.

I quickly purchased voice recognition software (Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking) so now I am able to dictate almost everything I do including my web searches, my blog posts, and even my social media work.

So I’m back!

Great Content Is Indeed King (Or I Like to Think Queen)

We always hear that content is king, right? While the truth is, pushing out irrelevant content means diddly-squat and it will destroy for your platform.

The content needs to be great. The content needs to answer your audience’s questions. The content needs to inform.

And the

Your content needs to be great and consistent with your brandClick To Tweet.

If you are pushing content that doesn’t meet these parameters on your author website so that you can say that you have a blog, well, you have the wrong strategy.

In fact, you don’t have a strategy at all.

Blogging Tips for Writers

How to Craft a Winning Content Marketing Strategy

I recently read a great blog post on content marketing on the CoSchedule Blog.

Here are some of the points the author made.

  • Each post must have a rational appeal. In other words, conduct your research before you write your post and write in a journalistic style. Include facts, data, and expert advice.
  • Don’t be afraid to include emotion in your posts. CoSchedule cites research from physician, psychologist, and evolutionist Dr. Robert Plutchik who believes that “winning the hearts and minds of your audience is crucial to gaining social shares.” According to Frac.ti research the top 10 emotions inspired by viral content are: amusement, interest, surprise, happiness, delight, pleasure, joy, hope, affection, and excitement.
  • Every blogger needs “reputation appeal.” This is what CoSchedule says,

“If your audience can’t trust you, they simply won’t care about your message. … It’s the art of translating expertise into meaningful content marketing and a significant following.”

  • Your blog post will be phenomenal if you create content that your audience needs. When you blend that parameter with emotional, rational, and reputational appeal, your social shares, subscriptions, and readership will increase.

My Pledge to You

From now on I promised to write well-researched blog posts that include data and statistics from educational sources.

It will be hard for me, but I will try my best to insert some emotion into those posts to make them either more appealing or perhaps more entertaining. (I believe I just started doing that, right?)

I will endeavor to do my best to answer the types of questions you have about social media. I will use the survey results as my guide.

I have made the decision not to allow any guest posts on my blog. I’ve noticed that whenever guests write for my blog, traffic to my website and subscriptions drop precipitously.

If you have a blog and people ask you to send you guest posts, I recommend that you have very clear parameters

Let me explain why. Before I fractured my wrist, I received about 50 blog subscriptions daily. After the three posts that I mentioned above, subscriptions disappeared.

Scary, eh?

To me, this is a sign that I failed you. I failed to address the questions that you have, and I failed to provide the type of content you need to succeed as an Indie author.

For that, I am humbly sorry.

Want a Great Blog? Follow These Tips

Here are my blogging tips for you (and me):

  1. Write your posts on a regular schedule and never deviate from it. Try to at least write one new blog post every week.
  2. Always include an image with your blog post. I now use Social Warfare for my social share buttons and although you don’t see the image (well, today you can see it) I create for Pinterest, when someone pins a blog post image, the image I created for Pinterest pops up.
  3. If you can, include other forms of media on your blog. I used to include PowerPoint presentations using Slideshare. Now I include my podcast. I haven’t ventured too far into video, but I will be doing that as well. You might want to try it too.
  4. Don’t forget to publish your new post on LinkedIn as well. But wait a couple of weeks so that your website will get all the Google juice it can.
  5. Always write well-researched content that will engage your audience and make them wait with bated breath for your next post.
  6. If you want to accept guest posts, set up a policy and make sure they adhere to every sentence of it. Help these writers understand that if their guest post doesn’t address the needs of your audience then you won’t publish it.
  7. Never take your audience for granted.Click To Tweet The moment you deviate from your routine practice of delivering awesome content that your readers need to have, your audience will leave you.

FRANCES CABALLO

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Frances Caballo

 

Frances Caballo- Author of Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Comments

  1. Hi Frances,
    I’m interested in your tip about delaying a post to LinkedIn for a couple of weeks. I use WordPress and each post will automatically post to my twitter, FB and LinkedIn accounts. Does posting to LinkedIn like this decrease the Google impact?
    Thanks
    Gail

    • What you’re doing is fine. I was talking about LinkedIn’s publishing platform. If you go to LinkedIn, in the share box you will see two options: a grayed out pencil and a grayed out paperclip. If you click on the pencil, you’ll navigate to the publishing platform where you can add your entire post and image. LinkedIn is changing this feature. Today I noticed on a client’s account I still had to click on the pencil; but on my account, I added the new post from my profile. I advise you to take advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing platform. It will give new zest to your posts. The other thought I have is I don’t auto post from my blog. I instead use SocialOomph.com to schedule my social media posts and to create recurring tweets. The way you’re doing it is definitely the most efficient but I don’t like the way it looks on Facebook. I always schedule my posts on my Facebook page using Facebook’s built-in scheduling feature. I hope I haven’t confused you!

  2. A very helpful post! It validated re-purposing my blog for LinkedIn at intervals. Always nice to know I’m doing something right. I try to promote other authors on my blog as well by having them guest post, but I insist on nothing I wouldn’t post myself. I always enjoy your writing tips. Sorry about the injured “wing”–what a nuisance! Hope you’re back to flying free soon!

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