If you tend to be lazy with your blog at times then rejoice. Creating content doesn’t have to be a struggle nor should it take all day. This guide will help even the laziest Realtor create effective blog posts.
There are times when I know I need to be productive but I’m feeling a bit (or a lot) lazy. If you know what I’m talking about then you also understand the saying:
“Laziness is the mother of invention”
Okay, maybe that’s not quite how the saying goes but it’s still valid. And, that’s why I always try to orient much of my creative activities towards a process. Processes are easy to follow even when your mind isn’t quite on track.
Let’s delve into the process of creating an effective blog post.
This guide will help give you direction in how to write your blog post, along with building your readership and spreading your content across the web.
1. Brainstorm Topics
Picking what to write can be hard, especially when there are so many things to write about. A couple of suggestions are to:
- write about what you’re interested in
- write what’s on the top of your mind
- write an answer to a question you received
- write about what’s in the news
- write about a recent experience
I tend to carry a small pocket sized notebook for writing down post ideas. I then try to add those ideas to an ever-growing mindmap where I collect them.
2. Choose Keywords
If you’re looking to rank for a specific keyword then select it at this time. Remember, though, use the keyword naturally in the post. Don’t stuff it into every other sentence. People are more important than search engines.
3. Research Topics
Let’s face it, you can’t know all the details about every topic so you may need to do some research first. Obviously, reference sources if you’re citing their content – it’s the proper thing to do. Besides, that citation will turn into a trackback which will help folks find you.
4. Pick Your Hook
Hooks are darn important. If there are multiple articles on a topic, your hook (or angle) will help yours stand out from the rest. Information is information, but the determining factor for if it becomes recognized is oftentimes that hook that’s used.
A few good hooks are:
- The resource hook. Disucss your topic and compile a list of resource that will help your readers.
- The news hook. Note what’s hot in the news and make a connection between the news story and your topic.
- The contrarian hook. Go opposite the popular slant on a topic.
- The attack hook. Take a stand against something (a company, legislation, trend, etc) and explain why it’s wrong and how it impacts your readership.
5. Write Your Post
Here are a few tips and suggestions…
- Write as if you are talking to a friend. Not only will this help you write in a simple, easy to understand manner but the tone will be warming to readers.
- Use images, bullet-points, and subheads to break up the article into easily digestible pieces.
- Keep your pargraphs short. I aim for no more than a couple sentences per paragraph.
- Use your keywords naturally. Don’t just force them into your writing.
- If appropriate, link to further material on your site or abroad.
6. Publish Your Post
Sometimes the hardest part of an article comes after it’s already written. Sometimes it’s damn hard finding an appropriate image to go along with the post but finding that image is important. I usually turn to Flickr’s Creative Commons section.
I also write an excerpt. Most of the time this is the first paragraph or two of the post but sometimes I write some fresh teaser text for the excerpt.
Either schedule the post to go live at a later date or publish it now.
7. Share It
Share the post with friends and associates in the networks you’re a member of. It doesn’t hurt to ask some of them to give you a Stumble, Tweet or Top.
Monitor some of the conversations around your post and chime in or thank folks. There are a few plugins that’ll help you do this.
Also, respond to folks with further info. It’s a great way to keep the conversation going, build relationships, and get source material for future posts.
What do you think?
Now, this is a process I typically follow. Yours may be different or you may take this one and modify to suit your needs. But, I’d love to hear yout thoughts on it and how you approach the writing process…