Good Content has survived all of Google’s algorithms. I write “survive” because the shit ones are already 5 feet under the grave cursing the writer who wrote them 🙂 .
2011 was the year when i started learning digital marketing.
Back then, I wasn’t actively involved in digital marketing. I was just another “Digital Marketing” enthusiast learning from the experts.
One form of content which was famous back then and is still ruling the charts (list of digital marketing methods) is “Blogs”.
All the talks about the importance of content marketing started with Blogs.
Blogs, over the years, have managed to hold on to the number one position amongst all forms of content published all across the internet.
You can say “Blogs is where it all started”.
No wonder, content and copywriting agencies are so relevant to Digital Marketing.
Over the years, I have lost count of the number of blogs I have written. I have written about politics, digital marketing, startups and entrepreneurship. You must be thinking, I am a professional blogger.
Well! I am a decent blogger who has learned to the art of blogging by following a method.
A method that allows me to systematically place my thoughts in the form of well-structured blogs.
How to write a good blog post?
Trust me, it is easier said than done. (don’t get scared. By end of this blog, I promise you that you will have a method to write a blog)
I have personally spent days finding ideas to write my first blog and when I started writing one, it was a directionless blog – A disaster.
Over the years, I have gotten better (the amount of grey hair on my head and on my beard are a reflection of the experience I have gained, learning the tricks of blog writing).
In this blog, I am going to answer all your questions/queries/doubts with reference to “Blog Writing”.
This blog will help you learn how to write a blog, using a method. A method which will teach you how to write long, interesting, engaging blogs without losing direction.
Before I start, you must promise me you will stick until the end of the blog. I ask you to stick to the end because most of us want to be good bloggers without developing a habit of reading.
Always remember – To be a good blogger you must first be a good reader.
Let’s start with the basics.
What should be the theme of your blog?
I usually ask bloggers to start with topics they are passionate about. For ex, I started as a political blogger who eventually shifted to writing on startups and entrepreneurship.
Today, I write on Digital marketing – Entrepreneurship and contribute on various other topics as a professional blogger for businesses I have no clue about.
How do I do that?
I follow the process which I will describe in this blog.
Moreover, like a bottle of wine – I have become better with time.
But it did not come easy.
Let me cut to the chase.
If you are a first-time blogger, start with your passion.
You will write from your heart and will not struggle to share your ideas.
Also, don’t worry about the audience with your first blog.
Don’t panic thinking “OMG! What will they think about what I wrote?”
Well. Since you are a new blogger, there are very high chances no one will care about what you write.
Even if they did. Don’t go bananas thinking what they are thinking.
You are just starting. If you are good – within a few months, they will be waiting for your blogs.
How do I get ideas to write a blog?
Let’s start with – how do you get an idea to write the first blog?
The first blog we write is the most difficult one (especially for those who have never written).
As someone rightly said, “The Journey of Thousand miles begins with a single step”.
The first step here is your first blog.
Initially, you will either have 100 ideas or no idea. I still cannot forget the first blog I wrote years back.
In the blog, I shared my journey from Delhi to Rudrapur on a State Roadways Bus. Those of you who have stayed in India and have travelled in local state buses (10 years back) would know – how adventurous it is to travel in those rickety buses.
My friends say – I have a knack for cracking lame jokes. (PJ King types) and this first blog of mine had a lot of them.
I don’t know if anyone laughed or not, but I had a good time writing this blog and then I shared it on FB.
Most of the friends did not give a damn about what I wrote (they were always at the receiving end of my lame jokes in college. So, I can’t blame them for not encouraging me 😊 but few noble souls said – it was nice and they had a good laugh reading it).
I have no idea how I wrote it. I just went with the flow.
Again, for your first blog. Just share a story, experience, tip, trick. Anything which falls into your “zone”. Anything you can write without thinking a lot about.
The first blog is just to get you started.
Do not Overthink!
if my above words do not help you and you are still struggling to get ideas to write?
How about you go to google and search bloggers in your field.
For ex, you are writing a travel blog. Go to google and search for travel bloggers.
Look at what they are writing and get some ideas from their blog.
I usually ask first-time bloggers to refrain from this strategy, as they get overwhelmed by similar kind of content written on the web.
Rather than finding a reason to write, they find a lot of reasons not to write.
One of the prominent one being “I have nothing new to add to the topic”.
The journey of a thousand miles which was, to begin with, the first step – Never Starts.
I am confident. You – my fellow blogger, are not one of the souls, who will give up so early.
Always remember – Your idea. Your experience. Your journey is unique.
Take my example. I am a late starter to digital marketing blogging. Before I started, there were hundreds if not thousands of bloggers who had written on digital marketing.
Why am I writing the articles they have already shared?
I am writing them because I have my own experiences to share and my experiences are unique.
They are unique because I teach digital marketing for a living. All the blogs I write, are written keeping in mind the questions I am asked during training conducted by me.
Another strategy is to look at other ideas and find a topic people are afraid of sharing or have not shared.
I will give you an example. When I was to write my first blog on entrepreneurship. I went around looking for topics.
Every VC, Entrepreneurs on the internet was talking about how to raise funds, how to run a successful business, why everyone in the country should be an entrepreneur, etc, etc.
I didn’t want to start by writing what everyone had already written. I did some brainstorming and asked myself a question “why is no one talking about the problem with everyone wanting to be an entrepreneur?”
I have had quite a few failures as a business owner and there are times, I just want to run away from entrepreneurship.
Why is no one teaching this generation about thinking thoroughly before starting a venture?
I started by writing a blog with the topic “why not to start a startup”.
How do you decide the tone of a Blog?
I won’t confuse you here. This question has got nothing to do with the English exam where you might have almost flunked most of the times like me. (I was thrown to wolves in class XI. From CBSE to ISE board and asked to understand the Shakespearean style of English within a month. You guys have no idea how I slogged to “just pass”).
When I write “tone of a blog” – I refer to two simple styles of blog writing called as “Conversational style of blogging” or “information style” writing.
Conversational style of blogging is where you write in a casual tone.
The idea is to help the readers feels that he/she is having a conversation with you. (don’t read it in a literal sense).
This blog you are reading currently, It uses the conversational style of blogging. Without you knowing, you will always feel that I am telling you a story and I will be with you until the end of the blog.
That’s the beauty of conversational style of writing.
All the blogs I write are conversational styled blogs. The other tone or style of writing is more like the essays you wrote in school.
Frankly speaking, there is no hard and fast formula on how you should write a blog or the tone you must use.
I prefer, conversational style as it makes easy for my blog’s readers to easily understand what I write and (suspense!) It hides my struggle with the language gifted to my forefathers by British. (grammar, vocabulary, tenses – all the technicalities confuse me!)
How should you structure a blog?
The answer to this question will help newbies. Especially those, who have never written before due to fear of writing.
Do not think of a blog as a single blog. Approach the blog as a piece of writing constituting of multiple sections.
Simplifying it further for you. Try to think of your blog as a blog comprising of small blogs wherein each small blog, you stick to a topic.
It’s like fighting small battles rather than fighting one big battle.
For example – this blog comprises of sections (which are answers to questions asked about blogging):
- What should be the theme of your blog?
- How do I get ideas to write a blog?
- How do you decide the tone of a blog?
- How should you structure a blog?
- What should be the first paragraph of the blog?
- How to conclude the blog?
I could have easily written a long single blog without any subheadings or sections.
I could have…but I didn’t because:
- I would have lost track of topic in between.
- My blog would have come across as an unstructured blog with random thoughts placed here and there.
- I can never write an in-depth blog without knowing the subtopics, I plan to cover in the blog.
And I am no Jeffery Archer or Salman Rushdie.
Well. Most of the bloggers aren’t!
The longer you stretch the story without any breaks, the more are the chances you will lose track of the story.
And 8 out of 10 times, the result will be an insipid blog – without any structure.
What should be the first paragraph or the starting lines of a blog?
The first para or the first few lines of the blog is “your pitch”. They decide whether the reader will continue further to read the blog or not.
I usually try to build a story. if I was to write a blog “What is Facebook Marketing?”
I will try to gather a few statistics related to how Facebook, as a platform has performed in the last 5 to 10 years and the money advertisers have spent on facebook. I might also start by linking all this information with how much time an average user spends on facebook.
Or I might link the number of users on facebook with the population of some country and present it as the starting line of the blog.
Something like “Facebook today is the biggest social media platform in the world. The number of users on Facebook – 1.94 billion is roughly 25% of the world’s population”.
Now, I usually do this in the first few lines as I am setting the tone of the blog.
If I can hold the attention of a user in the first few lines, I know they will go until the end of the blog.
And that’s what we are writing for. Right?
We are writing because we want readers to enjoy our blog and share it with the world.
One of my blogs which has also been “loved by masses” starts like this:
“The best questions are reserved for the end of the show.
Why wouldn’t they be? The show is about to end. The host will walk away will the ticket’s money you paid him and you are left wondering “Was the show a Paisa Vasool?”.
I have not been doing shows but conducting digital marketing workshops.
Yes. I have graduated to the next level of becoming a trainer after slogging so many years in a career, which has seen me don multiple hats. The sales person, marketing head, project coordinator, HR Head are just a few of the designations I have lived with as an Entrepreneur.” (source : http://lessonsatstartup.com/2017/09/13/how-to-quickly-get-rich/)
The topic of the blog was “How to Quickly Get Rich?”
I used a casual style of writing to build a story.
Here is another one for you, where I have started by focussing on the keyword I am going to write about:
Quote “In layman language, crowdfunding is a concept where a lot of people commit money to a venture or a project to raise a target amount of money in a stipulated time frame. i.e. rather than relying on one individual to fund the project we get a lot of people (crowd) come together to fund the idea/project.” (source : http://lessonsatstartup.com/2017/07/25/why-crowdfunding-does-not-work-in-india/)
The topic of the blog is “Why Crowdfunding does not work in India?”
Again, I emphasize on a “Good Start”. You must know how to hold your audience.
The starting lines will decide whether the reader to your blog sticks with you till the end or not.
Remember, you are a newbie and you still have not built that “trust” with the reader.
So, you cannot get away with trash content. Believe me, some established bloggers have started using ghostwriters to dish out absolute trash to their readers and they get away with it because they are “established”.
You are not. Hence, you better follow the rules 😊
The only way to build trust is to write “good content” on your blog.
How to conclude the blog?
Well. If the reader has reached till the end, you have won half the battle.
The rest is only about making this user a regular visitor to your blog.
How do you do that?
You end it with a BANG! (forgive my dramatics. It’s a long blog and it’s almost midnight. The only thing keeping me going is my love for writing and you).
I usually end the blog with quick tips (I will demonstrate this technique in this blog) or with my lame humour.
Here is how I ended, the crowdfunding blog (the lame humour example):
“For us, weighing the pros and cons of crowdfunding always tilts the weighing scale more in favor of cons. Hence, the apprehension about investing in crowdfunding.
And if it’s only about gaining good karmas by helping crowdfund someone else’s Startup dream, we would rather invest in religion backed crowdfunding projects than the ones on internet.
Always remember “For Good Karmas, we only Trust in God!”.”
Oops – did I hurt few godmen with the ending?
I guess….i did😊.
But it was lame humour and on my blog, I am forgiven for writing a few lines to “smartly” offend people.
I am hoping against hope that you have reached the end of the blog and haven’t dozed off.
Before I end, here are few tips for you:
- For free blogging, use platforms like Blogger, Tumblr, medium, wordpress. On these platforms, you can write for free. These platforms can give a lot of exposure to your blogs as they have a good readership. Here is my profile on medium.com (https://medium.com/@jasmeetsingh904). Don’t go by the lack of claps. I haven’t been a regular writer here. I use my blogs lessonsatstartup.com and thesharpbrain.com to share my views. The platforms like medium are recommended by my team to help with promotions.
- You go for your own domain name when you intend to promote your profile using all the digital marketing techniques like search engine optimization, social media marketing, etc. You buy a domain name, server space and use a platform like wordpress to get started (you can visit our YouTube channel for tutorials on how to get started).
- Always have social media share buttons to help readers share your content
- Use email optins to build your email list
- Try to write frequently. Remember – The more you write. The better you get.
- Install Grammarly plugin on chrome to help you cut down on grammar mistakes.
- Do not write for search engines. Write for readers.
- Do not write fluff. Blogging is not “till you make it fake it”. Blogging is a lot more than just filling content. Write relevant stuff.
- To make your writing interesting, add quotes and statistics.
- If you do not have enough information for your blog, do your research and then write the blog.
- Write in-depth blogs. 2018 is the year when Google gets stricter with its algorithm. Short articles with no meaningful content will soon lose all relevance in google because they don’t provide any value addition. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of google 😊. Right? So, get out of your comfort zone and start writing.
- Learn Digital Marketing or hire help to promote your blog. Without any readership, you will lose all enthusiasm. It’s a good idea to plan your promotional strategies before you start blogging.
- Trust is not built overnight. It will take you time to build trust with your online readers. Have patience and write regularly.
- Follow the trends to get topics idea for blogging. I usually rely on Quora to get blogging ideas. The questions asked there, help me get blogging idea.
- Last but not the least, enjoy blogging!
I have been writing for quite some time now. The best compliment I ever got was:
And that ends the blog.
Did you enjoy the blog?
If you did, do not forget to drop a comment or share it with your friends.
And it is high time you get a few compliments of your own.
What are you waiting for?
Go and Break a Leg!