10 Key Steps to Blogging Success
Emma is a 11 year old girl who has created her own YouTube channel titled “The Emma Creative“. It started from a passion for making clay Chibi charms and producing online videos.
She has mastered the skills required for designing and filming video tutorials on how to make these figures.
Most nights she goes up to her room and instead of watching TV she produces her own tutorials on how to make Chibi charms that she ships around the world.
Her Dad has become a constant visitor to the local post office.
She doesn’t have a million views on her channel or even 100,000. She describes her YouTube channel as “I’m just a normal girl that has a passion for being creative”
Emma is a video blogger.
The expression engine
YouTube is the social media channel that is her “expression engine” . This is how and where she expresses her passions. All around the world social media is allowing people to express themselves easily and in new and exciting ways which is supercharged by online sharing.
They can be a video blogger or a blogger that writes. Blogging provides a platform to display your creative side.
Self-expression has indeed become the new entertainment.
What is blogging?
In essence it is an online publishing and self-expression platform that allows feedback and comments. It is a two way communication channel. It has never been easier or so much fun.
Back in the 1990′s blogging involved the activity of creating and publishing online diaries quaintly called “Web logs” which over time became shortened to “blog”. It was text based and cumbersome.
Blogging has changed since then.
Today if you know how to use Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr or WordPress you can be a blogger.
Traditional media is being threatened by this new media with many major blogs such as Mashable, Engadget and Huffington Post receiving tens of millions of views every month.
As a measure of how this is impacting the media landscape, just over 12 months ago the political news blog the Huffington Post sold for over $300 million.
Starting a blog is sometimes a challenge and some of the most frequent excuses I hear are these.
1. It needs to be perfect
The solution – Just start as no one has reached perfection.
2. I can’t write
The solution – Read a lot and write a lot and you may surprise yourself. I did. If that isn’t possible then start a video blog or even a photo blog. Many passionate fashion bloggers aren’t great writers but they know a good photo when they see one.
3. My ideas are not original
There is nothing new under the sun so copy, curate and add your own mojo.
4. How do I find the ideas and inspiration?
Finding inspiration can be achieved through reading books, blogs and online videos. TED talk videos often provide a spark for me.
Don’t let these obstacles stop you. It wasn’t a barrier to Emma!
Blogging has many advantages. These include but are not limited to the following.
- Position you as an expert or a thought leader on your topic of choice or in your industry.
- It will open doors to new networks and global connections that may surprise you.
The biggest benefit is that through the research of information and the wrangling of content you will learn… a lot!
The system for blogging success
There are some fundamental keys to making your blog a success. Starting with the right foundation is important.
If you have an inkling of what your passion is, just start. The magic is in the motion of beginning. The art of creation will distill and reveal innate abilities and passions that will become unveiled in time.
You need to know who your audience is that is going to be reading or viewing your content. Questions need to be asked.
- What are their problems?
- What are their interests?
- What types of articles do they read and what videos do they like to view?
- What conferences do they go to or what classes after work do they attend?
Knowing this will ensure that you create content that is relevant and will be shared on social networks.
You goal should be to always add great value to your readers and viewers by asking even more questions when creating content.
- Is it entertaining?
- Is it educating?
- Is it informing?
- Is it inspiring?
Do all four and your readers will love you.
We often get trapped into trying to be too clever and using big words and acronyms. One syllable words are powerful and can illustrate that less is indeed more. In this context you need to consider that most readers are just beginning to learn about your topic and need to led by the hand.
Give them simple frameworks and systems that take them from A to Z.
Learn the art of the headline. David Ogilvy, who was one of the greatest ad men of all time was known for writing over 100 headlines for some of his copy before selecting the best one. The reality is that 5 times as many people read your headline as your article.
You only have a few seconds on the web before they click away.
Produce a wall of text and watch your readers run. Structuring your articles so that they can be consumed in bite size chunks is gold. Most readers and viewers are time poor.
Write an introduction that grabs their attention and then create content for skimming and scanning. Use Sub-titles, short sentences and bullet points.
The power of words is never to be underestimated but on a media rich web the power of visuals and video needs to be considered. The younger generation would rather chew their arm off than read a paragraph of text. Create content that presents the information in a variety of formats.
People are now used to watching a video, reading an e-book, listening to a podcast and viewing a Slideshare presentation
Content creation that is spasmodic and stop start will not produce loyal fans and followers that will turn up to your YouTube channels or blog. Think of it along the lines of a magazine or newspaper. Think like a publisher.
Build your expression engine for sharing. Don’t put the social media buttons at the bottom and so tiny they can’t be seen. Just make it easy for people to share on the major social networks.
Many writers think that marketing is beneath them. Successful authors and bloggers understand that increased awareness and traffic means more money and the freedom to create without the fear of unpaid bills and eviction.
Marketing your blog can take many forms.
- Building email lists
- Creating social media followers, fans and tribes
- Build promotional promotional partnerships with online influencers and corporate and media power players in your industry and niche These will turbo charge the spreading of your content.
- Optimize your blog for search engines. Do this well and free traffic will come your way.
The global social web has opened a major door of opportunity to a blogger that understands that there is now a world of billions of readers and viewers that can access your content.
If I was going to choose three golden nuggets to put in the bank then here they are.
Passion. Creating a blog that taps into your passions will provide you with the energy that will keep you up late at night and get you up early. It will support you when it all seems futile.
Start. If you just have a bit of an idea don’t agonize over the design or the logo just begin “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.” – William Murray, Scottish mountaineer and adventurer.
Persist. Anything of value is achieved through persistent and consistent effort. Beware of anyone that tells you anything different.
What is the key to your blogging success? What are your thoughts?
I look forward to reading them in the comments below.
Want to Learn More About How to Create a Blog that Your Audience Wants to Read, View and Share?
My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.