One of my first blog posts was about gaming to my tech co-working space as a way to meet new people hence the opening sentence of this blog post. Revolutionary? No. But it helped me start to build that publishing muscle which is the most important thing in the beginning for someone who wants to use content creation to build their personal brand.
Over time as I started to write more and more, I began to find my voice and find topics that people who I wanted to influence gravitated towards. But this only happened because I was publishing regularly, allowing me to get feedback and ultimately hone in on how I wanted to shape my brand.
Here’s how you can do the same.
Creating a blog
If you don’t already have a blog, you’ll need to create one.
Below are some popular options and why you might want to consider them:
- WordPress.org you’re able to have your own domain and can add cool plugins, like Sumo.me!
- WordPress.com: a free option that enables, easy customization with themes.
- Tumblr: incredibly easy to get started and use built-in features.
- Squarespace: beautifully designed stock sites with plenty of features.
- Blogger: From the house of Google
I used blogger in the first phase and then later on moved to WordPress
If you already have an HTML website, but need to add a blog and aren’t currently using any of the options above,
But getting the blog set up is the easy part. The REAL key to getting more traffic by blogging is to actually publish consistently. This is where many people get stuck…but fear not!
Here is a system and a few ideas to get going in the right direction.
The first part is knowing what you want to write about…even if it’s just personal musings (which are great!)
I recommend keeping a list or spreadsheet of potential ideas, and then every time you have one putting it on that sheet.
I use a Google Doc for this called BPO – which stands for “Blog Posts Organized.” Every time I have something I think others might get value out of I just jot a note down in this doc so I have it later. You could also use a tool like Evernote and add a new note for each new idea.
If you’re thinking about writing a blog for your customers or business, an excellent practice is to keep a running document of questions people frequently ask you. These are all potentially great topics to write a blog post about and then direct people to when they ask you these questions.
2. Actually writing
When it comes to creating content I find the process is much easier in a distraction free environment.
Most of the posts I write start out in a Google Doc which makes it easy for editing and even sharing with others should I want to get feedback.
I also really like the program 750 words which is a free form text environment that encourages you to write 750 words a day in order to build a writing habit. Many of my blog posts start as a brain dump entry within this program.
3. Fine Tuning
If you’re new to writing, one thing to understand is that it is a very iterative process. It’s completely okay if your initial draft of a post is just a bunch of cobbled together thoughts. This serves as a skeleton which you can add, remove and fine tune as you go back and re-read.
To fine tune your drafts, one great practice is to share with friends. The best people to ask for feedback are other people who are interested in a particular topic you suggest or other bloggers. They’ll give you feedback on how you can improve your post and ultimately make it the best it can be.
Once you feel good about your post, upload that bad boy to your blog and click publish! I know it may be nerve wracking when you’re getting started, but getting your work in front of other people is the only way to get better and begin to get more traffic from this channel.
Regular publishing is also good for your SEO. Google favors sites that are regularly updated, and a good way to do that is to keep pushing out new content.
It’s important to stay on top of the feedback you get which is why I highly recommend enabling comments on whatever blogging platform you use. This way you can see what is resonating with people which will inform future content. It’s also important to pay attention to social media interactions for the same reason.
Where many people fail when they decide to use content to build a brand for themselves is consistency. So many people get all excited, write 3 blog posts, and then stop. You will never build a brand through blogging unless you consistently publish. One more time because this is important:
YOU WILL NEVER BUILD A BRAND THROUGH BLOGGING UNLESS YOU CONSISTENTLY PUBLISH.
I think I wrote 30 blog posts before anyone really started reading anything. I don’t say this to intimidate you, but I cannot stress this point enough. Using content creation to build a brand is a long tail opportunity, but for those that commit to it, the upside is high.
This is especially true for starting to get search engine juice from Google. This is pretty typically what your SEO growth will look like, slow and steady:
Two recommendations I have to foster consistency are creating a publishing schedule, and eliminating constraints.
A publishing schedule could be as simple as “I want to write one blog post a month” or as concrete as “I want to publish every tuesday at 8am.”
It’s completely up to you, but to start I recommend keeping your goal light so that you can succeed and build momentum. You can always up the intensity later.
One thing that frequently messes people up is putting constraints on what they should write about and how thorough the content should be. When you only allow yourself to write about certain things, it makes it much more difficult to write consistently enough to build the habit. The same goes for length.
Look at Jijo Sunny most consistent (and popular) bloggers in their fields. Their posts are often only a few paragraphs and are mostly just commentary on what they’re seeing or thinking about. Aside from creating great content, one reason why they’ve been so successful is just pure consistency.