Blogging Basics: I talked about the importance of having an editorial content calendar. And now it’s time to go over some beginning tips for creating content. The content calendar is the guide, the building blocks, and now you get to let your creative juices flow and get to writing.
500 vs 1,000 words, SEO keywords or catchy titles, stock photos or your own pictures, every day or every few days, social media involvement? These are the questions to ask yourself when crafting content for your blog.
Here are a few things to consider, pros and cons, and tips that will turn content creation into a breeze, and help ensure that you post consistent, share-worthy, write worthy, content that speaks directly of your unique voice and niche.
First of all, remember the age old saying of quality vs quantity? Now chuck that out the window and decide if you want to be the type of person who posts content every day, or just posts every few days? Do you have a social media plan to accompany your blog posts? Will you post the same thing across all your platforms? Quantity vs quality is important to consider, but chances are you are not planning on hosting a blog just to be a content mill. You probably have a goal, something you want to write about, and what you could cover under that main umbrella niche.
If you can comfortably post an article a day, that’s great. It doesn’t have to be a 1,000-word thesis statement with a million quotes and heady wordage. A 500-word post about your day is fine, as long as it ties in with your goal and vision.
If you’re a lifestyle coach and blog about finances, it may not make sense to post an article about how much you loved seeing Chris Pratt in Passengers. (Although we all love Chris Pratt!) But if you can talk about Chris Pratt in Passengers and relate it to your lifestyle coaching then go for it. The point is it should be consistent with your mission statement.
Follow the Intro, Body, Closing format. I know, this is what you learn when you have to write your first essay for school. But honestly mastering an intro paragraph that both grabs a readers attention, quickly summarizes what the post is about and your takeaway, will do wonders for your future content creation.
Less is more in terms of content.
What are you trying to say? Can you say it one sentence or draw it out to a paragraph? Take this for example:
“When writing content for the body of your post be consistent, meaningful and get to the point.”
“When you are a writing a paragraph that you will put in your post, look at how you are phrasing it. Make sure your writing voice is consistent with the other content on your blog and has the same style and format as most of your other posts. This will make it clearer for your readers. You also want to make sure what you are saying has substance. Don’t beat around the bush with a lot of fluff. The quicker you get to the point, the better for your readers.”
Now you tell me, which you would rather read on your blog. The first one, right?
Don’t restrict yourself. I talked about Passengers as an example of what not to do. But if you want to talk about something that’s not related to your brand, mission, or business, don’t deprive yourself. The worst thing you could do as a writer is to have a topic or idea sitting in your brain space and just leave it there to stagnate. Bring it out, play with it, and if you can, find a way to link it to your blog. If you can’t, pitch it elsewhere. Someone might say yes and then it wasn’t writing lost.
And any writing practice is good practice, so go for it.
And above all, make it you. Your content should be trackable. Say, in three months you post 48 articles. That’s a lot! The question is, does every single one speak to you.
If you gained a new follower on Twitter because of your latest post, would they be confused if they went back and read your very first post? Would it be different? Would the style stick out? Part of building and boosting traffic is keeping “the you” all the way through.
After you’ve built an editorial calendar and have your vision and targets worked out, don’t just rush to get that content going. Make sure that whatever you post has your stamp of uniqueness, and isn’t bogged down with heavy wordage or long paragraphs. This will help with content creation in the long run and stall blogging burn out.