As you are turning up the spotlight to illuminate your role as a thought leader, blogging is a powerful tool that can be used to increase your profile and reputation.
Blogs are a fluid, dynamic medium, more akin to a ‘conversation’. It allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors by easily allowing you to publish your ideas, and it is where you can interact and build relationships with your readers.
When starting a blog, consider the following:
Before you set up your blog, do some research and take a look at blogs in your area of expertise, blogs you’ve read before and blogs your currently read. Look up your competitor’s blogs and people you admire in your industry for inspiration.
2. Type of blog posts
One way to remain creative and relevant when writing your blog is to use different types of blog post formats. For instance:
- How to/tutorial posts – educates your readers and give them practical information about a topic, a task or an issue.
- List posts – go through a number of tips, hints, strategies and tactics that help the readers.
- Case studies – as a business person or an expert in your field you may be able to share case studies that illustrate how your knowledge/area of expertise has helped your client or organization you have worked with.
- Problem and solution – allow you to pose a problem that you think is face by your target audiences and to solve that problem using your expertise.
- Stories – a more personal blog posts using your personal experiences to convey a point.
- Curating news – by curating newsworthy content and providing your opinion on it you can build your reputation as an expert.
3. Content planning
You need to be posting often to achieve your goal of being a recognised thought leader. Here are some tips to keep you going:
- Set a posting schedule
Just like a magazine or newspaper, your blog should have a publishing deadline. If you have a set schedule, it takes the “I’m too busy, I’ll do it tomorrow” argument.
- Editorial calendar
Plan ahead and map out a content publishing schedule for 6-12 months in an editorial calendar. It should include blog post ideas/themes/topics and dates.
- Set time aside to blog
Block out a time in your diary dedicated to writing a blog post.
4. Writing tips
Writing online is very different to print writing. People tend to scan information online and browse your sites quickly before making a decision to click through to another page or site. You need to adapt your writing style to suit online reading.
- Length – posts should be a readable length, about 300-600 words.
- Keep paragraph short – Keep your writing concise and avoid repetition and over explanation.
- Use subheadings – useful signposts to guide readers through your content and enable easier scanning.
- Use dot points where necessary – draw attention to the important facts without having to go into large amounts of detail.
- Know your audience – understand your audience and write content that will appeal to them.
- Check your spelling and grammar – Good grammar and spelling ensures professionalism and increases credibility.
- Hyperlinks – great way to link to other online content and a useful way of providing additional information.
5. Drive traffic to your blog
One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your blog is to write often and write well. Here are some more tips to get your blog busy:
- Add share buttons – Great content gets shared more often.
- Use images – Images are important for sharing on social media and makes your post more readable and noticeable.
- Share your blog on social media – share your blog posts on all your social media channels.
- Comment on other blogs – Comment on other blogs so that it links to your own blog.
- Tag your posts – adding metadata to your blog posts will make a huge difference to how easily that post is found by people and search engines.
- Offline – add your blog URL in your email signature and your business card.
Starting a blog takes commitment but if you spend the time and energy to build a great blog where you share your expertise, advice and insights, you’ll be surprised at the impact it can create for your personal brand. So get blogging today!
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