Five steps – that’s all it takes for you to blog effectively and put aside all that procrastination and frustration.

We are passed the personal blog era. Blogging is now an essential marketing tool in any company. It helps connect to your clients and establishes your expertise.

But often non-trained writers don’t know how to manage a blog, costing them time and energy.Here are five steps you should be aware of if you want to blog effectively.

Here are five steps you should be aware of if you want to blog effectively.

1. Know your Audience

Blogging for the sake of blogging gets you nowhere. You blog for a reason, and that reason has an audience. Whom you write for and what you talk about are key to your blogging success. You must feed the needs of your audience. If you have been blogging, check out the most popular blogs you’ve written and understood what they have in common – there lies the secret. If you haven’t written a blog post before, conduct a survey among your potential readers and find out what they would like to read about.

2. Set up a Calendar

Consistency is key. Even when people don’t set up an alarm to remind them of when your next masterpiece will pop up, they do expect a certain level of regularity. By creating a routine, you’ll attract more readers, who will start recommending your blog to their peers. Begin with one post a week.

3. Create a Content Pot

In order for your calendar to work out, you should have ideas. In fact, you should never run out of ideas. Anything can be the origin of a great post. Something you read, something someone told you, something people keep asking you about. Whenever that light bulb turns on over your head, write the idea down and save it to your content pot. It doesn’t have to be a physical pot. A note app on your phone, a folder in your laptop, or a notebook you always carry will do the trick.

4. Commit to Writing Appointments

So now you know your audience, have a bunch of ideas and a calendar – wow, that’s progress! All you have to do is sit down and write. Don’t find any excuses. Set up a writing appointment and honour it like you do with any other business meeting: you show up and you deliver. Dive into that content pot and write more than one blog post per appointment. Like this you’ll be able to pre-publish your articles, saving time to do other things. Think about it: if in one day you write three posts, that’s three weeks of blogging covered.

5. The Inspiration Fairy is Called SEO

The idea of a muse stimulating you to produce a great piece is very romantic but that is not what will get you to blog effectively. Instead of sitting around hoping for a wave of writing inspiration to take over, look at your content ideas and analyse their SEO potential. Your blog post should be found in the wonderful world of the web. And there’s only one way to do it: keywords. Find the terms that are relevant to your post and that your audience would search for. Include them in your writing (especially in your title, first paragraph, and url).

More importantly than anything else is that you start. Trial and error is what has led to some of the greatest discoveries of our world. You cannot assess success if you don’t take that first step. And once that is done, there are only four others to go.

January 11, 2017

How to write shorter

 

 

When you were requested at school to write an essay, you probably attempted at arguing with the teacher about how short it should actually be. Back then we thought, the shorter the easier. 

What we didn’t know, of course, is that writing shorter texts is, in fact, more of a challenge than writing longer pieces. With fewer words, you must:

  • convey the same message,
  • present a structure,
  • ensure it all makes sense and that no relevant information is left out.

You probably have heard a variation of:

“I would have written a shorter letter if I had had the time.”

It’s often connected to Mark Twain, but the origins of the saying date back to the 17th century and to French philosopher Blaise Pascal.

Regardless of its real origin, the truth contained in that sentence remains relevant. Particularly in a digital world, where people don’t actually read anymore – they simply scan.

So here are a few tips to help you make your writing more concise, simple, and thus, shorter.

 

  1. Write in the present simple tense    (“We are selling” -> “We sell”)
  2. Use the active voice instead of the passive    (“Made by us” -> “We make”)
  3. Avoid the negative form    (“It is not necessary” -> “It is unnecessary”)
  4. When possible, use contractions    (“We are” -> “We’re”)
  5. Try bullet-points
  6. Have one thought per sentence
  7. Cut! Cut! Cut! Keep only the relevant information
  8. If writing for the web, use links instead of explanations.

 

Another example of a misquoted literary genius is the six-word essay wrongfully attributed to Hemingway. It shows us how simple and short a story can be:

“For sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”

What else do you really need to know?