9 blog post ideas your audience will love

blog post ideas

There you are…blank screen, fingers poised over the keyboard, coffee going cold. Ugh. You need to get your next blog post written. But where to start?

In this article I’ll walk you through 9 ways to slice and dice your way to a brilliant blog salad. Follow this recipe and you’ll never run out of blog post ideas again.

First, you need to think about your main theme (the big problem you solve) and sub themes (individual solutions).

Let’s imagine you’re a realtor. Your main theme is that you list and sell homes.

Sub themes could be:

  • How to sell your home
  • How to buy a home
  • Money and financing
  • How to choose a realtor

From those four sub themes you can come up with hundreds of topics, all pointing back to your main theme. The idea is that whatever article your reader discovers on, it will point them back to what you sell.

Now, this might seem pretty obvious – right? But, the reality is that far too many personal brand blogs read more like a rambling diary, instead of a helpful guide that solves their clients’ problems.

The reality is there are lots of personal brand blogs that read more like a rambling diary, instead of a helpful guide that solves their clients’ problems. Click To Tweet

This article will get you back on track and converting readers to followers and followers to customers.

Let’s get started with our list of 9 blog post ideas.

1. The Opinion Post

blog post ideas to get more business from your blog
The opinion post lets readers know what you stand for, and how you solve problems

The Opinion post might be the most popular blog theme for personal brand blogs (like authors, consultants, coaches, public speakers). You take a stand.

The opinion post lets readers know what you stand for, how you solve problems—it separates you from the competition. At BlogWorks our goal is to get our clients more business (like this article “51 ways to get more business from your blog”) A pretty blog is nice for compliments, but a blog that attracts more business is even better. So our blog posts have centered around the opinion that if your blog isn’t bringing you business, it’s broken. Of course, there are hobby bloggers who could care less about traffic and results, but that’s not our market.

A pretty blog is nice for compliments, but a blog that attracts more business is even better. Click To Tweet

2. The Mistakes to Avoid Post

This is an easy one—build a blog post around a common mistake your clients make. This is also a powerful way to get attention, because your prospects will recognize you as a problem solver. Our post about procrastination was designed to help our readers and clients overcome their own challenges with getting stuff done.

3. The Facts and Statistics Post

Your blog can set you apart as an authority. One way to do that is by bringing important facts or statistics to your audience. It could be trends in your market, statistics that support a solution you offer (like % of employees that leave a company because of their boss).

9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

 

4. The Research Based Post

how to fix broken windows in your life
Including research into your post makes you stand out as an authority

If you work in the areas of human development, personal success, fitness or mental health there are tons of articles documenting research that you can build a blog post around. You can also be a bit creative with the application of that research. For example, I once used the broken window phenomenon as a base for an article about productivity.

5. The Resources Post

What are tools, books, templates or software you rely on in your work or life that your readers would benefit from knowing about? As an authority, part of your brand could be as a problem solver and resource for clever solutions. At BlogWorks we like to share tips that are easy to implement and operate, like installing a Click to Tweet or Editorial Calendar plugin (watch the video).

6. The Question Post

blog post ideas if you're thinking of quitting blogging
We are suckers for questions

Want to grab your readers’ attention? Ask a question (oh! I just did).

We are suckers for questions—we want to answer them and immediately engage in that topic. Start your blog with a question (even put the question in the headline) and you can stop readers long enough to get them reading (like in this example).

7. The Contrarian Post

This is a fun one for blog post ideas! Think of a problem you know your ideal client has and recommend the opposite. Of course, this has to make sense, but if you can get your reader’s attention (like this post about killing your To-Do list) you can present the solution you know they really need.

8. The Controversial Post

Take a stand and be noticed! In a world of vanilla blog posts you can be the maraschino caramel that stands out when you take a stand and be a little controversial. Think about a bold statement that got your audience’s attention in a recent sales presentation or the middle of a speech – that could be the start of a great blog post.

In a world of vanilla blogs you can be the maraschino caramel by being a little controversial Click To Tweet

9. The Warning Post

blog post ideas to improve a boring blog
The goal is the get your readers to stop skimming and grab their attention

And finally, there is the warning post. Like the mistakes to avoid (#2) post, the warning post helps your prospects avoid a common problem, but with a little punch. The goal is the get your readers to stop skimming and grab their attention. We did that with our “Excuse me, but your blog is boring!” post.

There you have it – 9 ways to repackage your main product and service topic to keep your readers coming back. And if your readers are coming back, they’re becoming followers – and followers build business.

Time to start writing!

Enjoyed this article about blog post ideas? Here’s 3 more all about writing and getting more readers.

7 words that make your readers stop and take action
6 ways to get more blog traffic this year
10 surprisingly simple tune-ups to make your blog sexy (and get better results)

57 remarkable blogging facts, statistics and insights for 2019

blogging facts

Every day there seems to be the newest, latest, greatest, must-have online social media strategy that digital marketers claim will blow your blog away. Instagram stories have replaced Facebook Live, which replaced Vine, which replaced Snapchat.

Well, good luck with all that.

Sure, you can bury your head for a month, take courses and maybe — just maybe — get an iota of the results promised by the guru you got the idea from. But sometimes it’s best to stick with what works.

Like blogging.

In our books, a blog is still the best way to showcase your brilliant skills, talents, and solutions. Blogging the right way can keep prospects coming back to your home base — your web site.

But how do you blog the right way to keep prospects coming back? Well, we use social media to bring prospects to our blog — and it works.

To prove how important your blog can be to your online presence, engagement, and traffic, we have collected some blogging facts that will give you some insight into what you should be doing to grow your blog in 2019. Feel free to share these facts so other people can start getting better marketing results with their blog — just like you.

Blogs work (still)

1. 85% of B2C marketers and 91% of B2B marketers actively blog or use other content marketing. (2018, Content Marketing Institute)

2. Small businesses with blogs get 126% more growth in leads than those without a blog. (2018, Orbit Media)

3. 55% of companies surveyed report that their blog is one of their top marketing priorities for 2018 onward. (2018, State of Inbound marketing industry report)

4. 80% of bloggers surveyed report that their blog delivers positive or strong business results. (2018, Orbit Media)

5. 55% of marketers say blogging is their #1 most important inbound marketing channel. (2018, Hubspot)

55% of marketers say blogging is their #1 most important inbound marketing channel. @Hubspot Click To Tweet

6. Consumers use blogs to make buying decisions: 47% of buyers view 3-5 blog posts or other pieces of content before starting the buying process. (2016, Demand Gen Report)

7. 38% of businesses report they rely strongly on vendor-generated content like blog posts and eBooks to help make purchase decisions. (2018, State of Inbound marketing industry report)

8. 95% of marketers consider blogging to be a smart marketing tactic. (2018, State of Inbound marketing industry report)

9. 43% of business-to-business (B2B) companies say blog posts are the most important content they produce. (2017, Social Media Examiner)

10. Blogs work! Written articles (when compared to all other forms of content creation) still get the most engagement on social media (followed by videos and images). (2017, Clutch)

11. Of over 2,000 top marketers surveyed, 57% plan to increase their use of blogging in the near future. (2018, Social Media Examiner)

12. Content marketing (like your blog) gets 3X more leads than paid search advertising. (Content Marketing Institute)

Bored already? If you’re also bored trying to get your blog written, edited, scheduled, published and promoted (whew!) we can do all that for you — and for a whole lot less money and hassle than you think! Packages start at $97/month.

How’s your headline?

13. Headlines with 6-13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic. (Hubspot)

14. List articles (listicles) still work! 36% of people prefer list-based headlines. (ConversionXL)

15. The “How-To” headline is a close cousin to the listicle. “How-To” headlines also get lots of traffic! (ConversionXL)

16.Common words/phrases used in the most highly-shared headlines are “you/your”, “free/giveaway”, “how to”, “DIY”, “I/me/my”, “easy”, “win”, “new” and “aardvark” (kidding). (OkDork)

Common words/phrases used in the most highly-shared headlines are “you/your”, “free/giveaway”, “how to”, “DIY”, “I/me/my”, “easy”, “win”, and “new”. @OkDork Click To Tweet

17. 3, 5, 7, 9’s work! Odd-numbered listicle headlines outperform even ones by 20% (like this one!) (Content Marketing Institute)

18. Here’s an odd one: Including a colon or hyphen in your title can result in a 9% traffic improvement. (CMI)

19. Make me cry! Emotional headlines get shared more. (hint: speak to their problem, not your solution). (OkDork)

Headline, schmeadline. Do you really want to be messing around with long-tail keywords and headlines when you could be taking care of your customers? We do all that for you. Packages start at $97/month.

Is your blog long enough?

20. The average length of a first page blog post is 1,890 words. (2017, Backlinko)

21. Over 50% of bloggers who published articles over 2,000 words in length reported strong results, compared to only 10% of bloggers who wrote articles under 500 words. (2018, Orbit Media)

22. Longer, in-depth blogs can generate 10 times more leads than shorter content (they provide a better connection for long-tail keywords). (Curata)

23. Blogs are getting longer! The average blog post length has gone from 808 words in 2014 to 1,151 words in 2018 — an increase of over 42%. (2018, Orbit Media)

24. Longer posts get shared more! Articles over 1,000 words consistently receive more social shares and links than shorter posts (over 85% of online content is less than 1,000 words long), but the benefit starts to wear off past 2,000 words. (2015, Moz)

That old SEO stuff.

seo & blogging facts

25. Long tail keywords: 50% of search queries are four words or longer. (Wordstream, 2016)

26. 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence (what prospects search for) is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2018)

27. Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results compared to plain text. (Omnicore, 2018)

Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results compared to plain text. @Omnicore Click To Tweet

28. Organic SEO results are about 6 times better than paid search ads. (New Media Campaigns, 2018)

29. Are you mobile-friendly? Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic. (Jody Nimetz Co., 2018)

Successful bloggers get help!

30. Editors are worth it! Bloggers who use editors are 50% more likely to get strong results from their blogs. And the number of bloggers using professional editors has doubled since 2014 from 12% to 24% in 2018. (2018, Orbit Media)

31. Ready to outsource? 56% of B2B and 62% of B2C companies outsource at least one part of their content marketing or blogging (like editing, or publishing). (2018, Content Marketing Institute)

32. Ready to recycle? 55% of bloggers update older posts and those who do are 74% more likely to report strong results. (2017, Orbit Media)

33. 99.99% of bloggers who rely on BlogWorks to write and promote their blog sleep soundly at night, knowing our amazing team is saving them hours of work and getting them better results. (Learn how we do it!)

A little content strategy goes a long way.

content strategy & blogging facts

34. Stop the skimming! 73% of visitors skim rather than read the blog post thoroughly. (Hubspot)

35. Better content gets better results and can drive traffic to a blog by up to 2,000%. (Omnicore)

36. Does your blog help solve problems? 94% of people share posts because they think it might be helpful to others. (Impact)

37. 79% of B2C marketers and 74% of B2B marketers say their companies focus on creativity in their blog writing and content creation. (2018, Content Marketing Institute)

38. Recycling is good for the planet: 29% of leading marketing professionals reuse and repurpose old blog content (Curata). Learn how we do it at BlogWorks.

Pictures and video work!

39. Images work! 45% of B2C marketers consider visual content to be their most important type of content. (2017, Content Marketing Institute)

40. Our minds process visuals 60,000 times faster compared to text. Blog posts with images get 94% more shares as compared to those without. (Adpushu)

41. More images are better: Articles with an image once every 75-100 words get shared twice as much. (Hubspot)

Blogs with an image once every 75-100 words gets shared twice as one without. @Hubspot Click To Tweet

42. Blog posts with images get 94% more views than those without. (Jeff Bullas)

43. More images? List? Video? 54% of bloggers include more than one image in their article, 49% include a list, and 19% include video. (2018, Orbit Media)

44. Including a video in a post increases organic traffic (from search results) by 157%. (Search Engine People, 2017)

45. Using photos of real people — instead of stock photos — can result in a 35% conversion increase. (Marketing Experiments)

Hey, did you really think we would put together all these amazing statistics without a little plug for our business? Do you want your blog to start kicking %#$ and getting you more business? We do all that for you. Packages start at $97/month.

Sharing is caring.

sharing your blog is one of the most important blogging facts

 

46. Is your blog helpful? 94% of people who share blog content do it to help other people. (New York Times Study)

47. Blog posts are the most successful kind of linked content shared on Twitter. (Expresswriters)

48. This is kind of obvious, but you have to make it easy for readers to share your blog — like have a floating social share bar (read this post about our 3 favorite WordPress plugins).

49. Support a worthy cause? 84% of people will happily share a post to support causes or issues they care about. (New York Times Study)

50. LinkedIn is the preferred network for buyers looking for advice on business-related content. (Curata)

51. Women share more blog posts than men (so there!). (AOL)

Promote your blog to get performance.

52. Social media for traffic: 87% say that social media helps them boost their exposure. (Social Media Examiner)

53. Emailing content marketing pieces (like your blog) generates a 38x return for every 1$ spent. (Campaign Monitor)

54. Bloggers who use BlogWorks to promote their blog save an average of 8 hours per month (and a whole lot of frustration!). (Learn how we do it!)

55. 61% of B2B content marketers increased their use of social media for content marketing (including blogging) compared to one year ago. (Search Engine Watch)

56. LinkedIn works! LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for delivering content and getting audience engagement. (Hubspot)

57. Are you emailing? 21% of all business bloggers send posts through an email newsletter to their subscriber base at least weekly; 39% of best practitioners do this weekly. (Curata)

There you have it — enough statistics to fill a boatload of statisticians and keep them arguing for a month. Meanwhile, you have a business to run — and we can turn your blog into a prospect converting machine. We do all that for you. Packages start at $97/month.

Enjoyed this blogging facts article? Here are 3 more of our favorites:

7 Types of Call To Action to Move your Blog Readers to Action
Why you should be re-loving your old blog posts
How to never run out of blog ideas ever again

Sources:
https://searchenginewatch.com/2018/11/21/7-content-marketing-stats-2019/
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2018-b2b-research-final.pdf
http://text-ex-machina.co.uk/blog/new-york-times-study.html
https://expresswriters.com/blogging-statistics/
http://bit.ly/2DtAcaL
https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/email-marketing-new-rules/
http://bit.ly/2Dsjn03
https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/08/26/seo-strategies
http://www.curata.com/blog/content-marketing-statistics-the-ultimate-list/
https://marketingexperiments.com/digital-advertising/stock-images-tested
https://www.impactbnd.com/
http://www.curata.com/resources/ebooks/content-marketing-tactics-technology-planner
http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/06/headline-click-through-rate/
https://conversionxl.com/blog/5-characteristics-high-converting-headlines/
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/10/stats-invest-content-marketing/
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2017_B2C_Research_Final-rev-10-26-16.pdf
https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/8-blogging-stats-2017-strategy.html
https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/blogging-statistics/
https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
https://www.demandgenreport.com/resources/research/2016-content-preferences-survey-b2b-buyers-value-content-that-offers-data-and-analysis
http://www.stateofinbound.com/
https://clutch.co/agencies/social-media-marketing/resources/social-media-survey-2017
https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/report/
https://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking
https://moz.com/blog/content-shares-and-links-insights-from-analyzing-1-million-articles
https://www.omnicoreagency.com/digital-marketing-statistics-2018/
https://blog.hubspot.com/news-trends/content-trends-preferences
https://okdork.com/we-analyzed-nearly-1-million-headlines-heres-what-we-learned/

A proven 3 step method to finally overcome procrastination and get it all done.

procrastination

You had the best of intentions.

Heck, you even coloured it with a highlighter, put a star beside it and blocked time on your calendar.

Then you procrastinated.

Or, at least you thought you did…

The reality is you didn’t procrastinate and – better still – with a 2 minute secret action you can overcome pretty well any resistance you have to any action.

Let me show you how.

You are NOT a Procrastinator

“Everybody procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator” – Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D

This might surprise you, but you are not a procrastinator. Nobody is (even though 20% of people think they are.)

Let me explain.

You respond differently to different situations. You don’t procrastinate about buying groceries or thanking a friend for listening to you or flossing your teeth (more on flossing below.) You’ve got those actions nailed.

If you were a “procrastinator” you would be completely unreliable – that’s not you.

You are a responsible person…you just put somethings off until later.

Get it?

This is an important point. If you think you are a procrastinator then please stop reading right now, because I can’t help you (of course I can help you, it just will take longer 🙂

STEP 1: Before you move to the reason behind your resistance, catch yourself thinking you’re a procrastinator and to stop and to remind yourself you are NOT a procrastinator – you are simply resisting this action.

Now, let’s look at what’s really happening.

Why you DON’T take Action

It’s all about value.

You do something because the value of that action is better than the alternative. You thank your friend for listening because you know that 5 minutes from now you’ll regret it if you didn’t.

You floss you teeth because the alternative is an expensive trip the dentist.

And everything you procrastinate about happens because, in the moment, it gives you more value than the alternative. This applies to refilling the chip bowl instead of stopping at one serving, allowing Netflix to load the next episode of Game of Thrones, instead of turning the TV off or checking email instead of calling the client you’ve been avoiding.

So, it comes down to what you value. Yes, you can build habits, but habits are built on values, so you have to start there.

STEP 2: Stop and think about the value you attach to the alternatives. That sounds more complicated than it is.

In other words, before you take action decide what will give you the biggest reward, long-term.

>> I know that if I go for my 15 minute morning walk I have more energy later in the morning (the walk gives me more reward than not walking.)

>> I know that if I work in blocks of no email, no social media I can plough through my work uninterrupted (focussed work gives me more reward than distractions.)

>> I know that if I take a few minutes before I finish my work day and plan my next day I am far more focussed and productive in the morning (making a list gives me more reward than just ending my work day with no list.)

Now, that you understand what action will give you the biggest long-term reward, let’s take action.

The 2 minute rule will help.

The 2 Minute RULE and how it Works

“Once we start a task, it is rarely as bad as we think. Our research shows us that getting started changes our perception of a task. It can also change our perception of ourselves in important ways.” – Timothy Pychyl, Ph.D

One of the simplest ways to overcome procrastination is also one of the fastest. It’s the 2 minute rule (Stanford Professor B.J. Fogg popularized this idea by demonstrating how to start the habit of daily flossing by starting with just one tooth.)

One of the simplest remedies to procrastination is also one of the fastest. It’s the 2 minute rule. @bjfogg Click To Tweet

Here’s how it works.

When you realize you are about to put something off, take a 2 minute action.

For example, you are trying to get traction on a big project, like redesigning you web site, or cold calling prospects, or doing your taxes.

Start with just 2 minutes of action.

But, that’s not all…

Yes, you will start up the mountain with 2 minutes of walking, but you must also finish by planning your next step – what will you do and when will you do it.

It works like this.

Let’s say you want to redesign your web site (we can show you how to save thousands$’s from bad advice) – that’s a humungous job! Of course, you’re going to put it off—you have all sorts of other priorities that can be finished faster.

But, it has to get done. You know this is overdue and, if you get it done, it will help your business long-term (more value than putting it off.)

Step 3: Enter the 2 minute rule: what can you get done in just 2 minutes that will be a step in the right direction up the mountain?

>> You could bookmark competitor’s web sites in your browser for future reference.

>> You could make a list of changes you want to make to the existing site.

>> You could email 3 designers you know and ask about their availability (no point getting quotes if they can’t start for 2 months).

You get the idea.

You can make progress, break the ice and get a tiny dopamine reward by working uninterrupted for just 2 minutes. And then plan your next step.

We can all make progress, break the ice and get a tiny dopamine reward by working uninterrupted for just 2 minutes. Click To Tweet

Block time in your calendar for the next step (read this article about blocking time), to list what you like about your competitor’s sites, or prioritize the changes you want to make, or reply to the designers and ask to see their latest work.

Time investment: 2 minutes.

Reward to you: feeling great about making progress!

What You Must DO the Next Time

“So let’s get started. I’m ready to be heard. Before the dear departed. Can have the final word.” Get Started, Paul McCartney

It’s normal to put things off until later. We all do it. We’ll always do it.

Sometimes it’s a smart strategic move, like waiting until the morning to make a tough phone call, or ignoring your email in order to finish a proposal uninterrupted.

And then there are the non-strategic, wimpy moments when you caved. We all do that as well.

Here’s the thing. Those moments of uncertainty or hesitation don’t define you—those were just human moments.

Let it go and go back to your 3 steps:

Step 1. Don’t define yourself as a procrastinator. You aren’t.

Step 2. Consider the long-term rewards: what is most important for you right now?

Step 3. Take 2 minutes, take some forward action and then plan your next step.

It may not look heroic working on a project for only 2 minutes. But, it could be the most heroic thing you did all day. And you might just impress yourself with the ice-breaking momentum you just started.

Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more all about procrastination and getting more of what you want:

A simple lesson in Time Management (that will make you money)
How to Blog More Consistently (And Stop Missing Deadlines)
9 expert bloggers reveal their best strategies

3 Amazing WordPress Plugins to Power up your Blog

more blog traffic

This might be the most important article you read this year.

Okay, a bit of hyperbole, but if you’re trying to get bigger results from your blog, this will be damn good.

In this article we are looking at the 3 plugins we use the most often on this site.

Think of a plugin like an app on your phone. They can be a waste of time and actually slow down your site…or they can be amazing and make life oh-so-much-better. Add to that, most plugins are free, or at the very least have a free version.

Here they are:

1. Better Click to Tweet
2. Insert Post Ads
3. Editorial Calendar

I’m going to spell out the steps for each plug in below. You can also grab some popcorn and watch this 12 minute video.

Video roll:

01:00 Better Click to Tweet
4:38 Insert Post Ads
10:26 Editorial Calendar

1. Better Click to Tweet

This might be the simplest improvement you make to your blogs results—make it easy for readers to Tweet about your blog. In our goldfish-like attention world, nothing is better than saving your customers’ time.

[In our goldfish-like attention world, nothing is better than saving your customers’ time.]

Better Click to Tweet is a simple, free plugin that makes it super easy to let your readers, with just 2 clicks, share your post to all of their followers on Twitter. And that one tweet can put you in front of thousands of followers loyal to that reader.

There are similar tools, like Click to Tweet and plugins like sumome and social warfare offer a click to tweet option.

This video explains how to install the plugin.

Once you have the plugin installed adding a click to tweet is easy:

Copy a quote from your blog you want readers to share. Click on the location in your post you want to insert the click to tweet. Click on the blue bird in your menu bar, paste the quote and you’re done!

more blog traffic

2. Insert Post Ads

This plugin is amazing! I first came across it on Mike Stelzner’s Social Media Examiner’s blog (which has become like a Wiki for how-to social media). I noticed there were ads for his conference on every blog post. And I knew he had thousands of posts – clearly it wasn’t possible to have inserted the ad manually. That’s when I had a peak at his source code and viola!..Insert Post Ads (Thank You Mike.)

On any WordPress site, you can insert a banner for a webinar, live event (like Stelzner did for his conference), book sales, optin, content upgrade, a sale event or your daughter’s lemonade stand.

Within a few minutes your advertisement/offer/announcement is on every blog post on your site. And just as quickly you can remove it.

more blog traffic

Here’s how this clever little plugin works…

Once you have the plugin installed (did I mention it’s free?).

1. Drop the banner image you want displayed into a draft page on your WordPress site. You won’t be publishing this page – it’s just there so you can quickly get the html code from the image.

2. Click on the image, go to edit, and select “Link to Custom URL” and paste the link to the event or sales page you want to promote. Click “Update” to save the banner. Now that you have a linked banner, you need to load that into the Insert Post Ads plugin.

3. Click on “Text” to display the HTML code for that page (if you’re getting confused, watch the video on this page.) Copy the code for that banner into your clipboard. Click “Save Draft” to save your page in WordPress.

4. Go to your Insert Post Ads plugin “Post Adverts > Add New Posts.” Enter the name of the new insert where it says “Advert Title.” Paste the HTML code into “Advert code:” Choose “Display the advert After Paragraph Number” and choose a number. Click “Publish”

That’s it. It’s going to seem like Greek (no offense to all the Greeks who read my blog), but once you’ve done it, oh let’s say 114 times, it gets easier!

I encourage you to write out the steps so next month when you go to replace the banner it’s much quicker.

3. Editorial Calendar

I think I saved my favourite for last.

Imagine having all your blog posts – past and future – nicely organized and displayed on a calendar. Automatically! That’s what the Editorial Calendar plugin (yup, free as well) will do.

[Imagine having all your blog posts – past and future – nicely organized and displayed on a calendar. Automatically!]

All you have to do is install the plugin and presto! it populates with all your posted blogs and – this is my favourite part – it lists all your draft posts in a tidy list in a right-hand side bar.

But, wait, there’s more! (thank you Steve Jobs for that one.)

more blog traffic

You can do a quick edit of a draft right from the calendar. You can also move your draft posts on the calendar and it will automagically update the posting date on the draft.

If you aren’t using a more robust tool, like coschedule or post planner, Editorial Calendar is a slick, nibble alternative. And if you collaborate with an editor or assistant, this tool will save you tons of emails back and forth about dates.

You’re welcome.

Ready to learn more? Here are 3 of our most popular articles on this topic:

7 Types of Call To Action to Move your Blog Readers to Action
Your end of year blog tune up
51 ways to get more business from your blog in the New Year

7 Types of Call To Action to Move your Blog Readers to Action

get more blog traffic

It’s hard to imagine a sales person not asking for the sale or a Amazon not having an “Add to cart” button. So why do so many blogs not have a call-to-action?

Does yours?

Before I get to my 7 favourite call-to-action (CTA) options, let’s take a step back and talk about what your blog is for.

Your blog is there to help people. Even blogs that share travel stories or pontificate about the pro’s and con’s of nose piercing are there to help.

And if you want to help people, you need to offer more than your written advice. It could be coaching, an online course, live events, consulting, or your book. That’s where you CTA comes in – helping people.

Alrighty, with that out of the way, let’s look at my favourite CTA’s.

1. Internal link

By far the simplest and most essential CTA is to link to another blog on your site. The reader can go deeper with related content and you get them on your site longer. Longer on site means more time to visit your products and services pages.

Of course, you can also link directly from your blog to pages that lead your reader closer to a sale. When I’m writing my draft blog post I will underline a word if it relates to another post I’ve already published. That way I don’t interrupt my writing (like that) to go search for the actual link. I’ll go back and add the actual link before I publish.

One last point…a quick fix strategy is to go back to your top half-dozen posts and add internal links to other posts and to your products and services pages. Don’t over do it, but 4-6 links in a 400-1,000 word post is not going to seem overkill.

blog traffic

2. Bottom of post

Did you know that 30% of people buying a book on Amazon will buy a second book from the list “Customers who bought this item also bought”. Why not use the same strategy in your blog?

At the bottom of each post simply list 3 more posts they might enjoy. After all, if your reader gets to the bottom of the post they probably want more on that topic.

We started offering a list of 3 additional posts at the bottom of every new post on our blog. It such a simple task, you’d be crazy to not do it. Again, just like the suggestion above for retrofitting older popular posts with internal links, you can easily add suggested posts at the end of those same posts,

blog traffic

3. Social shares

One of the easiest ways to increase traffic to your blog is to have readers share it on social media. The math is impressive:

One of the easiest ways to increase traffic to your blog is to have readers share it on social media. Click To Tweet`

Imagine if only 20 people share your post. But those shares go to some 20,000 of their followers. It doesn’t take a big percent of responses to see how your traffic will increase.

There are a few tools, like sumome, addthis, sharethis and social warfare that make it super easy to share your blog on social media. All of these tools should work perfectly on mobile (your mobile traffic could be as high as 35-45% of all traffic) with share buttons that stay at the bottom of the phone’s screen as the reader scrolls.

blog traffic

4. Content upgrade

This CTA is a little more complicated to set up, but the results can be impressive. The idea of of ‘content upgrade’ is to deliver a report, or guide or check list that supplements the blog post the reader is on.

For example, if your post is about 5 ways to give feedback to employees, your content upgrade could be a check list that helps you choose the right feedback to use in your next coaching session.

Ideally, the gift can be consumed in one sitting and has high value for the prospect. After all, this is their first impression of you and your business.

To receive the download the reader has to optin to your mailing list.

The trick is to take the reader to what’s called a “landing page” where the offer is presented and there’s an invitation to join your list if they want to receive the gift but also receive future updates from you. The simplest way to do this is to create a hidden page on your site (like www.yoursite.com/offer) with the offer. You can also create custom landing pages in most CRM’s, like Convertkit, Ontraport, Active Campaign, etc.

blog traffic

5. Click to tweet

One of the easiest ways to encourage readers to share your post is to set up a click-to-tweet option. Your reader sees an interesting quote, identified with the Twitter bird icon, they click on that quote and your blog is shared onto their Twitter channel with a link back to your blog. This makes it super easy or your reader to share and you get exposed to their followers.

The set up for a click to tweet option is simple. At BlogWorks we use the plugin Better Click to Tweet. This video explains how to install the plugin. And there are others, like Click to Tweet and plugins like sumome and social warfare offer a click to tweet feature as an option.

Once you have the plugin installed add a click to tweet is easy. Copy a quote from your blog that you want readers to share. Click on the location in your post you want to insert the click to tweet. Click on the blue bird in your menu bar, paste the quote and you’re done!

blog traffic

6. Sidebar CTA

Most blogs have a menu of sidebar displayed options. It might be your most popular blog posts, advertising a product, like your book and it can be an invitation to join your mailing list.

Building your mailing list is an important strategy for marketing your business. Even with the explosive growth of Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and other social channels, you will always get stronger sales by directly emailing a list of loyal followers.

The sidebar CTA is an invitation to grow your list, usually in return for receiving a gift, or “lead magnet”.

Many of the mailing list tools, like Mail Chimp (called a signup form) or Convertkit (create form) make it super easy to design and load the “widget” box, complete with image of your gift, into your website. The full sequence of events, like Thank You page, optin confirmation email, etc are easy to set up.

More robust CRM (Customer Relations Management) software, like Active Campaign (create form to capture contacts) and Infusionsoft (create WordPress optin form) also allow you to create the form.

The beauty of these sequences is that once you jump through all the hoops (there are loads of videos on YouTube explaining how to do this), it will run 24/7 for years. Your job is to check the numbers and change to a new gift if you aren’t getting the results you want.

7. The Pop-up CTA

Finally, we come to the much maligned pop-up CTA. But, before you run away screaming “I hate pop-up’s!” You need to know something.

Pop-up’s work. The trick with pop-up’s is to not annoy your reader! All of these tools are designed to select who sees your popup and how they see it. For example, you can delay the popup until the reader has been on your post for 2 minutes or they are about to leave you page. You can also set the popup to not show to returning readers. 

Some of the most popular popup plugins are Optin Monster, ConvertPlus, or WP Subscribe Pro.

One more thing I’ve got to do!!

At this point you might be freaking out and thinking “One more thing I’ve got to do!!” Here’s the deal:

Just like investing in professional pictures of your products (or your profile picture), adding CTA’s to your blog are an investment. Every day you can be helping your readers with your blog or you can be helping them and you by getting them to respond to a call to action.

A small investment now (like 5 minutes to add internal links to a post) could pay big dividends day after day for years to come. So, stop screaming, pick one and get to work.

You’re welcome.

If you enjoyed this article (You new this was coming, right?), you’re going to want to check out these as well:

Why You Should be Re-Loving Your Old Blog Posts
How to Ensure Your Posts Look AMAZING On Social Media
Why You Need A Standard Operating Procedure For Your Blog

90 seconds to becoming a better writer

writing a blog

“Finding success is all about taking action. You can read all you want, but nothing will happen until you execute.” – Pat Flynn

Your blog is a reflection of you.

Sloppy writing that might have got a passing grade in high school won’t help.

Fear not loyal reader!

In just 90 seconds you can transform your writing from a C- to an A+.

Better yet, your readers will stay on your site longer and that means more business. Lucky you.

Here goes: 7 ways to sharpen your writing and cut to the point in 90 seconds (or less):

1. Make me want to read this

“A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others.” – Lee Odden

Compelling writing starts with targeting your avatar, or ideal customer. If you can help them reach their goals faster, cheap or better they will become loyal readers.

Rambling thoughts about unrelated topics that caught your fancy is great if you flew in space, wrote a best-seller or your last name is Branson. If not, stick to solving problems for your target market.

This article walks you through the 5 step process – including how to pick killer topics – we use for every blog post. Start with that.

Compelling writing is first about targeting your avatar, or ideal customer. If you can help them reach their goals faster, cheap or better they will become loyal readers. Period. Click To Tweet

2. Start with a template

“The first thing you need to decide when you build your blog is what you want to accomplish with it, and what it can do if successful.” – Ron Dawson

I’ve written about using a writing template before, like this article and this article. A writing template is not cheating! You will save time and your writing will improve.

I start with a rough outline of what I want to write about and then move content to slot into my template. It might sound rote or mechanical, but my writing always improves this way. The template hauls me back from side trips and reminds me to include important parts like a summary and call-to-action.


3. Put your reader in the story

“The key is, no matter what story you tell, make your buyer the hero.” – Chris Brogan

Great salespeople use ‘you’ more than ‘I’. So should you.

This is a quick edit. Simply scan you post before publishing and look for all the “I”, “my”, “our”, “me” and starts swapping them for “you”, “your”, “your’s” and “you’re.”

When you put your read in the message they begin to envision how they could be applying your solutions.

Before: “When I block time I make an appointment with myself.”

After: “When you block time you make an appointment with yourself.”

4. Clean up sloppy writing

“Not only are bloggers suckers for the remarkable, so are the people who read blogs.” – Seth Godin

More words do not make your blog better. Instead you force your reader to slow down and stumble through run-on sentences, bloated paragraphs and awkward grammar.

Not good.

More words do not make your blog better. Click To Tweet

The simple test is if you remove the word and the sentence still works, leave it out.

Before: “If you have staff members who are well-organized, their productivity levels can go through the roof with remote working.”

After: “Staff who are well-organized can benefit from remote working.”

5. Remove dead words

“Qualifying words, such as very, little, and rather, add nothing to your meaning and suck the life out of your sentences.” – Copyblogger

Improving your writing can start with removing unnecessary words and helping your reader get to the bottom of your post. Readers that finish reading a post are more likely to share your article and more likely to spend time on your site looking at your products and services.

Get ready to start deleting!

That

In many cases, removing that improves the sentence: “This is the most amazing blog post that I’ve ever read.”

Book marketing expert and author Diana Urban suggests, “If a sentence still makes sense after removing ‘that’, delete it.”

Then

For example: “I stepped on stage and then the audience went quiet.” can be “I stepped on stage and the audience was quiet.”

All, every, totally, always, completely, absolutely, literally

For example: “If your employee doesn’t respond to your feedback you can always try coaching.

Better: “If your employee doesn’t respond to your feedback, try coaching.

6. Use words correctly

99.9% of great bloggers are not awesome on day 1. Their awesomeness is the accumulation of the value they create over time.” – Darren Rowse

Bad grammar is a bad reflection on you. Here’s a quick check list of what to avoid:

  • Everyday means common or normal. Every day means today, tomorrow, the next day and so on.
  • If you adapt something you change it. To adopt is to take it as your own.
  • Already is talking about the past; all ready is about the future.
  • Regardless is a word, irregardless is not.
  • Especially means particularly, whereas specially usually means “in a special or careful manner” or “specifically.”
  • Then is about time. Use than to compare something.
  • You write on stationery that is (hopefully) stationary. Get it?

7. Break up looooong paragraphs

“The shorter your paragraphs are, the less dense and threatening the post looks.” – Jon Morrow

Your blog is not a technical thesis written for tenured professors paid to read your writing. Your goal is to keep readers on your site.

A simple fix for most blogs is to break up paragraphs and add what I call ‘cliff hangers’ (just like I’ve been doing in this post.)

Cliff hangers are like teasers that compels the reader to keep scrolling. For example: (that’s one)

But, before I get to that solution, let me ask you a question…

Here are three quick ways to start a conversation.

Has that happened to you?

Ready to turn your blog magnet on?

The theme of this post is less is usually not only best, but stronger—stronger results for your traffic and your business.

Invest 90 seconds to chop, cut, cull and shape your blog and you will keep readers on your site longer. More time on site means more readers into prospects and more prospects into business.

Nice.

Ready to write your killer post? Here are 3 more articles to get you started:

Excuse me, but your blog is BORING!
Write killer blog posts with this template
How to Build a Better Blog: 5 Industry Experts Share Their Top Tips

How to never run out of blog ideas ever again

Never run out of blog ideas ever again

This post was originally published in July, 2016 and has been updated and re-loved for you. Enjoy.

The biggest mistake bloggers make is, well, they don’t blog.

Those gaping holes between posts make everything on your site look a little suspect – like going into a grocery store and seeing food past its due date. How long before you question everything in the store?

The bottom line is you can’t attract new prospects and build loyalty if you don’t consistently work to attract them. That’s why content marketing (sharing valuable, problem-solving resources) is still the best way to grow your business. And this is true whether you’re a food blogger or a baker, a keynote speaker or you teach online – it’s all about sharing your best content AND proving you are the best choice.

To avoid running out of ideas for your blog you have to have lots of ideas for your blog.

In this post, I’ll walk you through 5 ways to keep great blog ideas rolling in. Let’s jump in with reading…

1. Read blogs

Nothing beats reading other people’s blogs to stimulate ideas for your own future posts. I use feedly to pull my favourite blogs into one location where I can read them while I’m eating lunch. I also make it a habit to write comments on blogs I’ve read (hint, hint) to show my appreciation.

But, reading blogs is only the start—you need to think about your market. What problems need solving? What questions are they asking you? What has worked in the past?

Feedly is a super easy tool to quickly organize all your favourite blogs into one place.

For example, I got the idea to write posts about Google Analytics because I was searching for answers for my clients. I found a lot of articles answering my questions, but they were either too long or too technical. So I wrote this one and this one.

Now that you’re reading great content, you need to organize the best blog ideas…

2. Build an Inventory

In the old days (like 10 years ago) you might have saved magazines or used sticky notes to mark ideas in a book you’re reading. Those systems can’t keep up with our online world where a great idea might be in a blog post you read, an online magazine, a Tweet – even an Instagram post.

You need one place to collect, organize and retrieve your best blog ideas.

Evernote is a brilliant (free) online tool that allows you to easily grab articles off the web, store images, record audio or even accept pictures of hand-scribbled notes from your phone. It syncs in seconds on all your devices and, with the paid account, you can even search off-line as you head to the grocery store to collect ingredients for your favourite Thai salad with peanut sauce recipe.

To fully unleash the power of Evernote, install the Webclipper (I remember it as the Elephant head) extension on your favourite browser. That will allow you to quickly grab the article you found, strip it of advertising, tag it and store it for future reference.

find blog ideas

And here’s my favourite trick with Evernote (h/t to Michael Hyatt):

Instead of creating lots of Notebooks in Evernote, which can get messy and confusing, I have all my notes in one Notebook and use tags to search for what I want. And I tag all future blog ideas (including articles I saved using the Evernote extension) with the tag “unused blog post”. The tag allows me to easily pull up all my unused ideas and choose the one I want to work on. As soon as I use that note I delete it.

evernote
I use the tag “unused blog topics” to easily organize all my future blog ideas into one search.

Okay, you’ve collected lots of blog ideas, now it’s time to organize them on a calendar…

3. Build your Editorial Calendar

A simple way to organized future blog ideas is using a spreadsheet, like Excel or Google Sheets. Or you could use planning tools like Asana or Trello. That’s great, but I’m a visual person and prefer seeing future projects in a calendar format.

If you have a WordPress site, you can organize all your blog ideas with a clever (and free) plugin called Editorial Calendar (watch our quick video to learn how this works).

Editorial calendar
The Editorial calendar plugin makes it easy to schedule posts and to see your draft posts in one place.

When you start putting dates to topics, think about seasons and buyer behaviour. What seasons do your customers respond to (like winter, summer, Christmas, etc.)? When are your customers more likely to buy? When does your customer have certain problems (like Spring cleaning, budgeting, staff hiring, etc.)?

Your Editorial Calendar doesn’t have to be perfect. The idea is to promote the writing and publishing by planning ahead and avoiding writer’s block.

Now you have lots of blog ideas collected in Evernote and you’ve started to plan future posts in your Editorial Calendar. Great! This next strategy is a way to boost traffic without writing a new post…

4. Repurpose old content

This strategy will save you time and could get you a big traffic boost. Here’s how it works…

Start by making a list of posts that are pulling in strong traffic but are over a year old. These are gems that could be working harder if they were “re-loved” and republished.

To get to your analytics, first, log in, then navigate to Behaviour > Overview.

best blog ideas
To get to your analytics, first, log in, then navigate to Behaviour > Overview

This part is a little technical, but hang in there – you only need to do this research a few times a year to get the full benefit.

There are at least 3 metrics you can use to choose the blog article to republish:

  1. old posts – if your post is older than one year there’s a good chance you need to update the images, and facts in the article and maybe add more detail to the content.
  2. low Bounce rate – “Bounce rate” is the per cent of people who left your site after one page (they didn’t explore the rest of your site). A lower bounce rate (like 60-70%) can be a good sign. Think of it this way: out of all your published blog posts, there are some that keep readers on your site longer. Those posts could be worth updating and republishing.
  3. high time on page – “Time on site” is the minutes a reader spent on that page. The higher the time, the more likely the reader is to share the article and spend more time on your site.

You can combine the metrics. In other words, look for blog posts older than a year, with low bounce rate and high time on site. Find 3-5 of those posts and start with them.

Here’s another example:

We republished our post “Facebook Page vs Profile: Everything You Need To Know” and within 10 days our traffic increased by 229%!

blog ideas
In just 10 days traffic to this post increased by over 200%!

The blog post you’re reading is another good example. It was originally published in July 2016 and I added more content and images and republished it in February 2019. It only took about an hour’s worth of chopping, adding, and changes to turn it into the post you’re reading – much easier than starting from scratch!

Whew! You’ve collected amazing ideas into Evernote, organized them with Editorial Calendar, planned a post you will refresh and republish. Now it’s time for a bit of psychology…

5. Give ‘em more of what they love

It might be tempting to pour a cup of coffee and just start writing your next blog post. But what about what your market wants?

Every day your readers are leaving bread crumbs – clues – about what they want. It could be a comment on a post, social shares or an email that asks a question about a recent post. You need to watch for these clues.

A simple first step is to check what posts are most popular (see #4 above). You can also think about the psychology of your reader. What keeps a person on your blog for more than a quick glance?

It’s about solving a problem.

Readers, don’t announce this – but they are looking for a solution to something. It could be a great travel destination or how to save for their retirement.

If you provide that solution that gets them from where they are now to where they want to be, faster or cheaper, they will come back for more. But, there’s more…

If you provide that solution that gets them from where they are now to where they want to be, faster or cheaper, they will come back for more. Click To Tweet

The trick is to always give’em more of what they love. Blogs that wander off down rabbit holes about unrelated topics might work if you are already a celebrity off-line, but don’t work if you are trying to build a business online.

Stick to what your readers want and you will build valuable traffic that will come back for more.

 

Why you should be republishing your old blog posts

Maybe you work too hard?

It’s the end of the day, you’re exhausted – all you want to do is veg out and watch Marie Kondo spark joy in someone else’s cluttered bedroom.

Instead, you’re writing a new blog.

You know your blog is important, but maybe there’s an easier way? A way that could even get you better results.

We call republishing old blog posts “re-loving”.

Before I get to that, I want to explain a very powerful discovery we’ve made at BlogWorks.

Every week we’re working with business owners who have blogs. They have come to us either because they want us to promote their blog or help write their blog, or both.

But what we discovered is that the good old Pareto 80/20 principle is hard at work. And about 20% of their posts (these are the “hot” topics) attract about 80% of the traffic.

Most blog owners need to look at the 80/20 rule. About 20% of your posts attract about 80% of the traffic. Click To Tweet

Your blog and the 80/20 principle

Pareto 80/20 rule
Data tells us that the good old Pareto 80/20 principle is hard at work

Think about it: if you knew that 20% of the products in your store or services were hot sellers, you’d promote them more, right? Of course you would.

But, of course, nobody bothers to check the data (not you, of course) because the data is hidden in the techie world of Google Analytics.

So, there you are: sweating over another blog post and not knowing what topics are hot topics.

Let’s fix that…

How to re-love your old posts

The strategy with republishing old blog posts is to give each article a quick make-over to update the content, refresh the look and then to republish with a new date. And the goal is more traffic and you get a blog posted without a lot of effort.

Before, I get into the steps that we use, I want to emphasize “without a lot of effort” – this can either be a four hour project or a 30 minute one. Your goal is the latter. That means one cup of tea, coffee or glass of wine, but not longer than 30 minutes.

Boundaries created, let’s dive in.

Instead of always writing new posts, why not republish old ones? Click To Tweet

Step 1: Make a list of old blog posts to re-love

Remember the principle here is to find blog posts that are performing well, but need an upgrade. Start with your Google Analytics list of top 50 blog posts. Open up Analytics, change the date range to the last 6 months. Next, go to Behaviour > Overview. Once you see the chart (bottom right-hand corner), click “see full report” to get the expanded version and click the drop-down “show rows” to “50.”

Google Analytics list

Now you have the top 50 pages, by traffic, on your site. This is chart if full of bread crumbs: you are looking at how your readers have voted on your blog—essentially they are telling you what they want more of.

A good place to start your republishing old blog posts exercise is with the most popular blog posts that are more than one year old. To get that list, print the chart and write the published date beside the top 20 blog posts.

The oldest posts in the top 20 are the ones you’ll be re-loving.

top blogs and dates

Step 2: Create a publishing schedule

If you find yourself trying to remember what blog topics you’ve already published and keeping track of future topics, you are going to love this solution:

A great (free) plug-in we’ve started using is called Editorial Calendar. Once installed, Editorial Calendar will self-populate with all your published blog posts. Cool right?

editorial calendar

A neat trick is to click “Show unscheduled drafts” to see a list of all your draft posts and then click and drag them to the date you want. You can “hold” a publishing date by starting a draft blog post with the date you want (watch this video to learn how).

A simple plan is to mix one new post with one re-loved post per month. Or double it up if you publish weekly.

Step 3: Give the post a quick make-over

Now for the fun part!

The goal here is to update facts, clean up your writing, maybe refresh images and then be DONE. Google is looking for a “substantial update” for it to do the magical reindexing we want to move up to first page. But you don’t need to make this another writing project!

Here’s a quick shopping list of what to look for:

  • Break up those looooong paragraphs and keep your readers moving down the page.
  • Insert “cliffhangers”, like: “But, before I get to that…”, “And there’s one more thing…”, or “Has this ever happened to you…?”
  • Include keywords into your post. Don’t overdo it, but if your post is about “change management” make sure it’s in some of your subheading (h1, h2 tags.)
  • Insert a Click To Tweet to make it easy for readers to share.
  • Update your Featured Image.
  • Insert links to “anchor posts” – these are posts on your site you want readers to go to, or to your products and services pages. While you’re at it, remove unnecessary links that take readers off your site.
  • Update your CTA (Call To Action) – do you want social shares, the reader to take action, or just comments? Make it clear what action you want them to take. As a friend once said, “If you don’t A-S-K you won’t G-E-T.”

Your final touch before changing to the new publish date and hitting publish is to add a short announcement at the top of the post to let readers know this is information is current, like:

“This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been completely updated.”

or: “This post was originally published in 2017 and was completely updated Jan. 2019 for accuracy and your reading pleasure.”

Step 4: Make some noise

Once you’ve launched your newly republished post it’s time to make some noise. Send some posts to your social channels (of course if you are using BlogWorks, we’re all over that), fire off an email, maybe shoot a quick video.

Remember, you’re newly republished post is going to be new to your audience. So, don’t be shy about announcing it’s arrival.

Note: if your permalink setting includes the date your blog was published (like: www.myblog.com/blog/2012/12/leadership) republishing old blog posts will change the date in the URL and you will lose any existing SEO links. This article explains how to avoid that.

Well done! You’ve been strategic and re-loved your hard work from the past. You’ve also saved time AND published exactly what your readers told you they want more of.

Plus, now you have more time to watch Marie Kondo spark joy.

Why You Need A Standard Operating Procedure For Your Blog

Why you need a standard operating proccedure for your blog

This post was originally published May 12, 2017, and has been updated with new information, facts, and advice. Enjoy!

You’re ready to blog. You have a topic you’re passionate about. Your laptop is fully charged. Ready, set… wait a minute.

There’s one more thing you need: an SOP. Huh? No, not an SOB. A Standard Operating Procedure.

To produce the best results, it’s always important to have guidelines, especially if you plan on repeating this action. The best blogs are routinely published, so if you’re going to be churning out a new blog post every month or even every week, a handy SOP can really help you out.

The Big Ideas of a Standard Operating Procedure

Before you put pen to paper, or more likely, fingers to keypad, be sure what you’re writing about is actually meaningful. While some people don’t mind if their blog enters the dark corner of the internet that nobody finds, most people want their hard work to be seen and read. Click To Tweet

Think about these questions:

  • Is this content/topic useful to my target reader?
  • Is the post well-written and formatted for easy reading?
  • Is the post actionable and easy to follow?

The answer to all three question needs to be YES. If not, go back to the drawing board. Don’t despair, however, as you can probably just tweak your brilliant topic. Here are a few examples.

How to use twitter  —– 5 ways Twitter can create traffic to your website

Cats are better than dogs —– How cats have evolved to make you think you’re their owner

Extra ways to make income —- Learn how to make more money so you can afford a trip to Hawaii

Make it SEO friendly

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, basically means when a person tries to google a topic, your blog will have a chance of coming up in the search engine results. The more optimized your SEO is, the higher the ranking of your blog post.

Think carefully. When was the last time you went to page three of search results? Exactly. If your blog post is buried deep on page 10, then casual readers won’t be able to find it.

on-page SEO - Part of your SOP for your blog

The most important part of SEO is to come up with a target keyword. For example, this post’s target keyword is standard operating procedure.

Once you have a target keyword, be sure to include it in the following places:

  • The title
  • At least one header
  • A few times throughout the content
  • At least one image alt text
alt text
When you upload a feature image, be sure to fill out the alt text area with your keyword or name of the blog.

Now, you’re probably wondering if we’ve followed our own instructions. Go ahead, check.

See, we do know what we’re talking about.

Proper Image Formatting

Great blog posts use lots of high-quality, relevant images (at least one). We’ve quickly moved to an image-based society, so know your audience.

If you’re writing more serious, business blog posts, be sure to include graphs and other analytics.

blog post image

If you’re writing a social blog, it never hurts to include fun memes.

standard operating procedure for blogs

Be aware of these criteria when selecting an image for your blog post:

  • Size – too large of a file and your blog page can take too long to load
  • File type (jpg, png, etc.) – jpg is the most common, but png will work as well
  • Positioning – make sure the picture doesn’t cut into text or interupt the flow
  • Branding elements – if you have a logo, use it so that your readers have another point of reference to remember you by
  • Length guidelines – too short and your readers will wonder why they bothered to click; too long and readers will lose focus.

In general, your posts should adhere to a rough length guideline. Your posts should never be less than 300 words if you hope to rank for a keyword, but you have a better chance around 1500. See this post on the ideal length of a blog post for more info.

Publication date

We are all creatures of habit. If my cat isn’t sitting on my head at 7AM, then there must be something terribly wrong. Pick a time to publish your blog and stick to it. This time should make sense for both you and your readers. Weekday mornings are usually the best.

If you do the bulk of your writing on the weekend, you can always publish at a later date through WordPress.

Final checklist

Think you’re starting to understand what an SOP is? Here’s a recap.

  • Answer “yes” to three questions above
  • Target a keyword
  • Have proper on-page SEO
  • Use proper imagery and branding
  • Hit your minimum post length
  • Publish on time

It’s even a good idea to print out this list and keep it next to your computer. Especially for your first few blog posts, it will be nice to get into a rhythm. Keep writing, and remember to follow your SOP!

Liked this post? Here are more posts about keeping organized while you write.

4 Powerful Blogging Tools That Save You Time

Tips of Writing a Blogpost Faster and Better

How to Build a Better Blog: 5 Industry Experts Share Their Tips

 

 

 

 

Facebook Page vs Profile: Everything You Need To Know

Facebook Page vs Profile

This post was originally published May 16, 2017 and has been updated with new information, facts and advice. Enjoy!

It’s a no-brainer: Having a Facebook presence is a must. To get the most out of this important social channel you need to first understand the difference between a Facebook Page vs Profile.

Most business owners understand the potential of having a Facebook Page, but understanding the specifics can still be hard figure out. Confused about how your blog can bring you more business? Book a free, confidential call today to learn how BlogWorks can help.

Specifically, many business owners aren’t sure whether to create a Facebook Page or a Facebook Profile.

If you’ve been confused between the two, don’t worry. This post will break down the differences and help you pick the best choice for your business.

Facebook Profile

A Facebook Profile is a personal account assigned to you when you sign up with Facebook.

You’re only able to create one profile, which includes only your personal information – no business information.

Your Facebook Profile is where you connect with family, friends, and colleagues. You’re able to see personal posts and updates from your friends in your newsfeed as well as share your own photos and posts. 

Your Facebook Profile is for personal use only and shouldn’t be used for business in any manner.

Note: It’s technically against Facebook Terms to use a Facebook Profile for business.

Facebook Page

A Facebook Page is a page created on Facebook that’s separate from your Personal Profile.

A Facebook Page is set up simply by selecting the “Create a Page” link from the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of your Facebook Profile. Once your Facebook Page is set up, you can begin to promote your page to gain more likes.

In order for Facebook users to see your business’s updates in their feed, they must like your page.

If you can help it, start with a business account from the beginning.

Social media Examiner states, “When you go to www.Facebook.com without logging in, there’s a link to “Create a Page” underneath the signup form. This will create a “business-only” account.” This makes your personal profile and your business account easy to keep separate.

Differences between “Like” and “Follow”

You guessed it- Facebook has made things more confusing (again). When you “like” a page, you automatically sign up to “follow” that page, too. This means any updates posted by a Facebook Page will be seen in a person’s newsfeed.

The good news is that individuals can opt to “unfollow” a page, while still “liking” it. While this is still good news for a business, as the more “likes” the better, it’s still important that you have as many people “following” your page as possible.

If people don’t follow your page, they don’t get your updates. And without news updates and blog links, it is far too easy for people to forget about your company.

The reason for someone to “unfollow” your Facebook Page is pretty simple: they don’t like the content of what’s being posted. Either it’s too much and seems like spam, or it’s simply uninteresting.

Bottom line, it’s important that posts from your Facebook Page are interesting and meaningful – you want to keep your customers interested in both your product and your company.

Benefits of a Facebook Page vs Profile

A Facebook Page should be included in every business owner’s marketing plan.

One of the key benefits of Facebook is having access to the social site’s 2.27 billion active users. A well-focused Facebook Page can yield your business more results than a website while costing you less.

facebook historical user count graph

Let’s get into more of the Facebook Page vs Profile benefits.

Target Market

Defining and targeting your ideal audience members is easy to do with Facebook. Facebook makes setting up advertising campaigns an easy process and you’re able to measure and track your results with Facebook analytics.

Build Trust

As a business owner, it’s important to build trust and loyalty among your customers. Facebook makes this easy by allowing you to constantly post updates and photos about your business.

The beauty of using a Facebook Page is that you’re able to automate your posts so that you can share great content anytime.

Want to take it one step further? Delegate your entire Facebook promoting duties to someone else, by adding an admin user.

Grow Your Fan Base Quickly

Want to grow your fan base quickly? Facebook lets you throw contests, conduct surveys, and promote coupons as a way to motivate new and current users to connect with your business.

Facebook contest example

Facebook also allows you to promote posts. If your business is launching a new product or doing a flash sale, a promoted post is a great way to get your fan’s attention.

Market Research

Creating contests and surveys are also a great way to learn what your audience wants so that you can give them more of what they are craving. 

By running surveys and contests, you can see which campaigns spike the most engagement. The information you receive back will be invaluable. You can turn it into engaging shareable posts, blog posts, and even products.

Search Engine Optimization

By having a Facebook Page vs Profile, Google will index it for you. That means your business page will show up in Google’s search results. 

This makes it easier for customers to easily view your information while also giving it a layer of authority.

Growing Your Facebook Fans

You’re going to want to grow your fan base if you plan to be successful on Facebook.

Your focus should always be on attracting quality fans over quantity. Those who are clicking the like button and don’t feel the need to interact with your page, are not who you want as fans.

Be sure to pay attention to both the number of “likes” and the number of “followers.” If there is a large gap between the two, then you need to increase the quality of your posts.

Good fans will take the time to share your content and buy your products. Just listen to the experts:

Jon Loomer Social Media ExpertJon Loomer shares a simple, yet straightforward strategy in this article to obtain authentic fans.

He believes, “Even if you only reach a fan with paid ads, you know they are interested in you and are willing to hear from you — as opposed to blindly targeting people, selling your crap.”

Make it Personal

One of the best ways to build a highly-engaged audience is to add personal touches.

This can be done by sharing photos of your team or of your office space. This adds an element of relatability, which builds a bond with your fans. As blogger Neil Patel says, “Not every update you send out on your Facebook Page should sell.”

Share a Mixture of Content

Instead of sharing nothing but photos or blog posts, switch up your content by doing a mixture of both.

Your fans want variety and posting all of one type of content can get boring very fast.

If you’re looking for ways to double the amount of content you have, look for shareable tweets from your blog posts that you can add to some of your photos. This is an easy way to create more content without creating entirely new posts to share.

Apply Your Knowledge

Now that you know the difference between a Facebook Page vs Profile, you’re ready to get started with your Facebook business promotion. Our BlogWorks social plan makes it easy to stay top-of-mind with your fans and save the frustration and time updating your social media channels.

If you’ve been using a personal Facebook Profile to promote your business, it’s time to switch over to a Facebook Page. The value of a Facebook Page is definitely worth it.

If you take the time to map out your social media marketing plan, you can make this social site work for your business and enjoy the results.