EDU SERIES – Blogs: Part 3 of 4 – Writing
Step 7: Write The First Article
If you’ve been following our series, you would’ve worked so hard at putting together such a rich list of topics by now, that no doubt you’ll be inspired to start creating your first blog post. So it’s time to pick an article, and get cracking.
First we’re going to cover overcoming the ever dominant writer’s block. The way we like to approach it here is to break things down into its smallest parts. Write down the main points your article is looking to cover, and then convert those into bullet points. At least with that you avoid the dreaded blank page and flashing cursor staring you down.
Once you have the key points you’re going to cover, you can carefully start to expand accordingly and really get into the meat of what you’re trying to cover. However, maintaining the focus to plough through 1,500 words is never easy. Thankfully, there is a brilliant time management technique that can truly help you zero in your thoughts to write more effectively than ever.
Step 8: Writing With Laser Focus
You may or may not have hear of the Pommodoro Technique. I hadn’t until a few months ago but since using it, my word count per day has practically doubled as well as the wonderful benefits it’s had on all aspects of my workflow.
Essentially, you set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on a singular task (in this case writing), followed by a compulsory 5-minute break that must not be task related. Pop to the bathroom, get a coffee, refill your water etc. Then repeat the cycle again, and keep repeating until you hit 4 or 5 cycles, at which point you take a longer break.
The key to making those 25 minutes fully productive is to be absolutely focused on one task and not allow any distractions. Whether it’s phone calls, emails or even conversations with colleagues. These can all wait, and trust me when you are that focused you won’t want to break concentration either. By breaking work up into smaller chunks, you maintain a higher productivity throughout the day and ultimately, get more work done at a better quality.
So with that technique in hand, it’s time to plough on with creating our amazing article.
Step 9: Key To Making Your Article Great
Here are some crucial rules that are well worth following to really make sure your article is as strong as it can be.
- It must be actionable.
- Focus on ONE core idea.
- Think of how you can make it the only article the reader will need
- For length, think 1,000 – 3,000 words.
- Use pictures. No random stock photos.
- Chunk it up. sub headings, short paragraphs, bold text, etc.
- Links links links. Include any relevant links in your article.
- Link to your other articles. important for SEO and for keeping people on your site.
Don’t worry about your keyword appearance just yet, but make sure it is in the title. Aside from that, as long as the article is about the topic you’re going for, you should be fine.
If you want to be safe though, you can install Yoast, and use that to check your article for how well it’s set up to rank for your keyword.
Article done? Good. DON’T PUBLISH IT YET. There’s one more important step…
Step 10: Create a Content Upgrade
Before promoting the article, I’d make sure that it’s setup to capture as many email addresses as possible. The best way to do this is through content upgrades. A content upgrade is any bonus piece of content that builds on what they’re getting for free, and is worth giving up their email address for.
In this demo case, since the topic is different kinds of tea, I’d put together a 1-page PDF comparing the main differences of each kind of tea with nice visuals, and offer that to the readers.
I’d put it in three places:
- A page-specific Welcome Mat. Instead of a site-wide Welcome Mat, I’d make one for that article specifically. This catches people’s attention right when they show up to give them the first offer.
- A page-specific Scroll Box. Just like the Welcome Mat, I’d make a page-specific scroll box that offers the same thing as the Mat. Why the same thing? Because people who didn’t opt in on the Mat might want an opportunity later into the article.
- A click-triggered List Builder Popup. Last, I’d have a call to action at the end of the article that triggers a List Builder popup to give them another chance to sign up for the bonus.
With the content upgrade in place, it’s time to publish that baby and promote it!
Come back next week for our final part of our educational series on blogging that will cover the final and absolutely crucial part of blogging. Promoting your article.
Thank you as always to our friends over at SumoMe for their wonderful advice and guidance on this week’s post. Without their wonderful knowledge and expertise, we ourselves wouldn’t be blogging so effectively.
See you next week!