Generate Blog Content

Posted in Content, Getting Started / 1 Comment

Your blog content is more than just your regular posts (though it’s mostly your regular posts). There’s also a number of other pages and snippets to write as you launch into your blogging journey.

Pages

Most blogs have a handful of static pages containing information about you as a blogger and about the site in general. It’s helpful to have these pages in place before you publish (I couldn’t resist).

About

You’ve probably seen About pages so you know essentially – it’s information about you. It can veer into personal or professional lanes based on your preference (and the nature of your blog). It can be glib or sincere, preferably whichever reflects you best. This isn’t a biography so you don’t need to tell readers EVERYTHING about you; just relevant bits.

About pages can be tough because WHAT DO YOU SAY??!?!! I’m always a fan of learning by example so read other About pages. See what you like and why you like it. Then figure out how to apply that style to your page. Remember also there’s a difference between inspiration and mimicry. Be inspired. Don’t be a copycat.

And remember you can include links in your about page to features on your blog or your central category of posts (like recipes if you’re a food blog). It’s like the center of a wonderful spider web where you can bring together all the things you like most.

It’s also good to include contact information and especially social media links on your About page.

Contact

And you can have an entire Contact page. While readers can comment on posts, or reach you via social media, a contact page is a nice way to provide all the methods by which you can be reached (links to social media and possibly an email form).

Privacy/Disclosure

If your blog is a business then you need a privacy or disclosure page. Particularly if you display ads, collect information (like email addresses for your newsletter) or track your visits using analytics (which Google Analytics totally does).

Since I’m not a lawyer (nor do I play one on tv) I recommend the following actual professionals for learning more about writing (or buying) privacy statements and disclosures:

BloggyLaw

How to Write Legal Statements to Protect Your Blog (Audit Your Blog)

How to Create Your Blog Privacy Statement

Snippets

Beyond pages and posts you need bits of writing.

  • A tag line for social media
  • A few sentences in a profile widget that may lead to your About page
  • A few words to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter

Posts

Once everything is set and ready, the most frequent thing you will do is write blog posts.

Create a headline. Remember that your readers don’t have to see the title (Tweak Me let’s you remove that if you’d prefer to use an image).

Start writing.

Worry about SEO when you’re done.

Consistency is important to SEO and to building an audience. Search engines don’t care if consistency is once a day or once a month. Readers, if they like your content, probably prefer new posts at least once a week.

How often you post is up to you, but keep this in mind. Our running metaphor is that your website is the office building of your business. It’s not really the thing that makes you money, it’s simply where you work. (ok, not simply. There’s marketing and brand value but that doesn’t serve my metaphor well so go with the office building for the sake of this post).

Your posts are your product – they’re the things you create when you’re at your office building. Whether you use affiliate links or ads or sponsored posts or even e-courses to actually generate revenue, the blog posts contain whatever you’re selling.

More blog posts not only provide more revenue opportunities (more posts = more links or more ads) they also provide your audience more value (more posts = more information) and they diversify the audience visiting your office building (more posts = different information = different interests = variety of readers).

You’re probably going to write a lot more in the early days. You can wait to launch your blog until you have a nice stable of 15-30 posts written up. Or you can launch, generate revenue and build your audience off whatever posts you have as you go.

Or you can use my favorite trick of scheduling posts in the past. Follow your pattern for posts to maintain consistency. Stock up your library of posts so readers find a lot of good information when they visit your site. And you have plenty to promote on social media. I find it an excellent balance between launching fast and offering a nice library of posts when you launch (or shortly thereafter).

Don’t be intimated about writing posts. Be yourself, start with these tips for writing quality blog posts and remember that it’s ok to learn as you go.

SEO

Ok, you’ve got at least one blog post written and it’s a gem! You want the whole world to find it, so help them out a little with good SEO (Search Engine Optimization or how to convince Google your post belongs at the top of search results).

If you’ve installed the Yoast SEO plugin then you have little dots on the right of your post in the sidebar, in the top “Publish” widget. And you’ve got a whole widget below your posts with not only little dots but also information on why they’re the color they are.

Make all the dots green to improve your SEO.

Yoast is going to tell you that headings help (h2 and h3 and so on through to h6. but not h1 since that’s usually your post title. think of them as an outline, don’t go h4 and then h2 because you like the way the font looks! change your theme options so that h2 is the font you want and then h3 and then h4…).
It’s also going to say that passive voice is bad and eventually it will make you a better writer (and by you, I mean me).
Link it up, to other blogs and to your own other posts.
Pick key words that you can put into a sentence without sounding like a doofus. Then put those key words in your permalink (the url under your post title that you can edit and make whatever you want) and in your title and in your meta description (the box in the Yoast widget at the bottom – edit it by clicking Edit Snippet).

Keep in mind though that keywords are different than your headline. You can use two or three keywords in your headline as longtail keywords but search engines will recognize them if you don’t have them in the exact same order every time you include them in your content.

Schedule posts

I don’t know about you but there’s no way I could sit and write blog posts twice a week if I wanted to post twice a week. I’ll write 6 blog posts in a day and not want to think about writing again for a month. I do the same with twitter and pinterest and email (Tailwind is my scheduling saving grace). I like to focus on one thing at a time and get it done and then do whatever comes next.

Changed my entire life when I figured out how to schedule posts. Because then if I’ve got a weekend to focus on the blog for a bit, get a lot of work done, then it’s all in place for you over the next few weeks. Scheduling means you’ll have products for your audience to consume; ready to generate revenue as your audience connects with what you’re sharing. Scheduling 5 – 10 posts ahead each month lessens pressure to meet deadlines and allows you to focus on social media or interacting with other bloggers.

So, write your posts. Get the SEO all shiny and attach pretty images. Use the Calendar (Posts >> Calendar) to put them on the right day so they’re all nicely spaced out and then go set them to publish on that day and time. And use Tailwind and Hootesuite to schedule social media to go live with your post.

Take a break from writing with some customization to display your branding. Or spend some time on social media.

Or if you’re not sure where to go next, let the tutorial page spark some ideas with all eight steps to create a blog you’ll love!

Posted December 22, 2016 by Annie in Content, Getting Started / 1 Comment


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