A blog is a great tool to post your own opinions, build a community, network with other users and direct traffic to your website. Many website owners and entrepreneurs already know that. But how to start or what to write about in the first place often remains a mystery. So we are summarising here what we think is important in order finally to be able to get started.
Successful blog content grows from inspiration. And that can be found everywhere, in many different ways and in different places. You only have to realise it.
Random internet search
Everyone who deals professionally with a topic turns more and more to the Internet in search of information matching the subject that they are working on. You can also often find articles on issues that are not relevant at the moment, but are so interesting that you notice them. Exactly these issues are the ones to collect.
Targeted internet search
If you spend five minutes every day seeing what competitors, friends, editors or the web community is currently up to, you will soon find a subject on which it is worthwhile to write. Anything being discussed on news sites, in newspapers, magazines and other blogs is obviously worth considering. It is not just a matter of duplicating the same content. But if the topic is relevant, it may be worthwhile giving your own opinions on it. Note: Old issues are only of interest if they provide something new for your own target group. Otherwise it is recommended to follow current issues in order to show that you are up-to-date.
Proper subject collection
Sometimes you stumble across an interesting topic, but it does not need anything new. Link collection sites such as Delicious help you sort the topics and sources and have them ready to hand. Simply save the link in order to keep it for later, and then use the content for your next blog entry. This often saves valuable time when you have to switch rapidly to a new article.
Only your own counts
All subjects of your own research or accidental finds are potential blog articles. Summarising them, or simply rewording them, is not enough. Blogging lives above all on your own thoughts and your own opinion on the subject. Even if something is being objectively presented or described in the blog.
Take over without copying
You will obviously have your own thoughts on any subject in which you are interested. So do not just steal the content from other people. For example when writing an article about the presentation of five new tools, you can use the idea of presenting five tools, but preferably present your own favourite tools. It's as easy as that.
After the inspiration it's time for thorough research. The purpose of research is to find out where the subject has already been discussed and thus obtain sufficient reference material to make your article lively.
Through the search results, you can rapidly find out on which pages, when and by whom the subject has already been discussed. This will help you to avoid excessive similarity with other articles.
Your own sector
It is very important to do research on thematically relevant blogs and companies. If a theme has already been very extensively discussed in them, you had better look for a new one. Unless you have something special to offer. Sharpen your own profile and do not blend too much into the ranks of colleagues.
Twitter and Facebook are a good barometer of the relevance of topics. You can easily discover from them the popularity of various topics. Whether there is a lot of discussion, and especially whether it is positive or negative plays an important role in social media.
Look and Listen
You often talk to colleagues, clients, friends and acquaintances about your topics. Take note of what is being discussed and debated. This could perhaps be the subject of next blog. Bonus: You will, if you refer to your blog, easily find out when your conversation partners have time to read articles and what subjects have in this way ended up in real conversations.
Just start writing. There is still plenty of time afterwards to polish the blog post. This procedure is recommended not only for fluency but also for scientific credibility. Although everyone has his own working style, which he has developed over time, it always pays to generate a flow. And that comes easier if you separate tasks and focus on only one at a time. So write first, then format.
Formatting and editing is intended to make the text readable. That means that the text must have a clear line of content, and this can also be seen graphically. Move paragraphs to where they really make sense. Put in subheadings, highlight words and make paragraphs. They bring in daylight and provide orientation for the reader.
Images capture the attention of your readers, but they are relatively worthless without information. Be sure not to use uninformative placeholders. The images must definitely fit the theme in terms of content. It goes without saying that professional images must not be stolen. Screenshots that are recognisable as such can however be produced by anyone and are also good in terms of quality.
For professional images, there are sites on the Internet like iStockphoto and Flickr, where an infinite number of images can be acquired on every subject in every price range. Many of them are very bland, however, and in particular the good ones have already been used far too often. If the subject allows it, your own images, inappropriately attractive, are always best.
The preview function can be used to find faults, to optimise the formatting and to put the images it the right place. It should definitely be used.
The right time
The best time for publishing your article is not the weekend. All experience suggests that that is the best time for private topics. If the blog material is created at the weekend, it is advisable to set the timer and publish the posts at regular intervals during business hours. It is best to do it when your audience is most likely to be interested in new topics.
Advertising for the blog
Take advantage of all the portals, the comment function and real life in order to make your blog known. Tweet about new posts. Send automatic emails to your followers and customers, when you publish a new post. And because your readers are the most credible advertisers, entertain them. Then they will recommend your blog.
Whether a blog is well received depends not only on the topic but also on the blogger himself. Readers remember whether the writer is familiar with the topic, whether he is writing with conviction or just to produce content for the Web. Many readers of a blog appreciate specifically the personal style that many blog entries have. They are in this way unlike edited, professional articles from news or marketing agencies. That is also the reason why blogging only really works if the blogger writes about his own subject. It is best to remain honest and authentic and to dare to develop a personal style.
Once you have started, you should stick with your topic and remain faithful to it. Write regularly. Over time, you will get better, your article archive will get longer and longer and your readers will become loyal customers.