It Ain’t What You Do That Gets Results

“It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it; it ain’t what you do, it’s the time that you do it; it ain’t what you do, it’s the place that you do it; and that’s what gets results!” Or so sang Bananarama and the Fun Boy Three in 1982. And their advice still holds true today, for blogging as for so much else. Anyone can blog, but if you want results, you need to heed Bananarama’s advice. Getting clear on what results you want from your blog will help you decide the way that you blog. So make sure you’re clear about your business objectives, and how your blog can help you to meet them.  Then make sure you’re blogging from your customer’s or reader’s perspective: will they be able to relate to your blog, and will they recognise that you’re writing for them? Write with intention and purpose, so that what you write is informative, interesting, and/or entertaining. And most importantly, write as yourself: let your personality shine through, and write in a way that people can hear your voice. Time is important when it comes to blogging. Blogging every week gets you better results than blogging every month. For a start you’ll have more blog posts to share, and new readers will find a lot more material that helps them get to know, like, and trust you. It also builds momentum, and if you commit to a post a week, you’re less likely to forget to write it. Of course, as my coach discovered, you’ll get even better results if you blog every day, but...

Setting Your Blogging Intentions

At this time of year it’s traditional to be looking at the year ahead, deciding what you want to achieve, and figuring out what you need to do to get there. Once upon a time I’d have set New Year Resolutions, but not anymore. Resolutions seem so set in stone, so absolute, that if I set one and then deviate even slightly, I end up feeling like a failure and give it up altogether. So now I set intentions and goals. It’s the same principle, but I find words can be powerful motivators, and the words ‘intention’ and ‘goal’ seem to give me more lee-way for veering off course, or changing course altogether if I find a particular goal doesn’t work for me. And all without making me feel like an out and out failure. Each year I make sure that I set some blogging intentions. I give blogging the importance and priority I know it needs if my blog’s going to work for me. Blogging intentions aren’t just about writing. They’re also about how you’re going to generate ideas of what to write about; getting clear on who you’re writing for; deciding how often you intend to publish your posts; and working out where you’re going to publish your posts. Last year my Blogging Intentions centred around getting clear on who I’m writing for, getting into the habit of publishing once a week for The Write Angles blog, and figuring out what my personal blog is all about. I haven’t set my intentions for this year yet, I’m still formulating them. But in terms of People, Objective, Storycupboard, True To You, and...

The Benefits Of Blog Week

At the beginning of December I held the very first Blog Week. Blog Week is an intensive taste of Blog Club; a chance to try it out, and reap the benefits of Blog Club for a week, for free. When you run something like that for the first time, you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out. I had a vision of how I thought the online community could work, and what I thought the benefits of that community would be for all of the Blog Week Bloggers. So you can imagine my relief when that vision came true, when people got stuck in: posting their intentions, chatting about blogging in the Blogging Parties, and sharing their blog posts. Everyone was very supportive and encouraging of each other, and people used the energy of others’ blogging to spur them on to blog. They all benefitted from having a community that answered their questions and gave them the help they asked for. They got to see people’s different approaches to blogging, and learn from them, and they had a supportive group of people to read their blog posts. And most important of all, they blogged their socks off! There were many realisations and revelations, individual and collective, throughout the week, and the three that stand out for me are: Blog Posts Don’t Have To Be About Something Brand New You don’t have to look for a brand new idea for every post that you write. In fact, you help people to choose you by writing about the same things, just in different ways. It’s rare that someone who comes across your...

The Thirty Minute Blog Post

Write a blog post in thirty minutes. Impossible right? Wrong! It’s actually quite easy when you get down to it. Last week in Blog Week I posed this challenge to the Blog Week bloggers and they took it up in spectacular style. Many of them didn’t believe they could do it, but as one after the other proved to themselves and everyone else that it could be done, more and more proved it possible too. There are three key components for a successful thirty minute post: a timer set for 3o minutes time; a simple framework on which to hang your post; and some focus. A buddy can also be helpful: you can encourage and time each other, and keep each other accountable. Timing yourself is probably the easiest part! Set the timer on your phone, or the cooker, or download one of those timer apps for your computer. Having a simple framework makes lighter work of all your posts, whether you’re writing them in 30 minutes or not. Resolve to write about one thing, and then sketch out the three key things you have to say about that one thing. Top and tail with an intro and a call to action, and there’s your framework. Focus is easier for some than others. I get distracted easily, so I close my Facebook Window, and if I’m in my office I switch on Coffitivity or Brain.fm, both of which help me focus. The fact that I’m timing myself also helps me to focus on the task in hand! There are certain types of post that particularly lend themselves to the...

Setting Up A Blog

The other day I ran into the ex-employee of a client of mine in the hairdressers. She and her husband are taking their young daughter to live abroad for a few months, and they want to write a blog about their experiences and adventures. So as we sat with our hair all gloopy (you didn’t think I was a natural blonde did you…) she took the opportunity to pick my brains. What to write about is pretty much going to take care of itself: she doesn’t need any help with that! What she did want to know about, was how to set up the blog, and how to drive traffic to it. Which is when it struck me how easy it is to set up a blog these days. There are various platforms but my favourite is WordPress. I’ve used both wordpress.com and wordpress.org, and while wordpress.com is definitely the easiest and cheapest given that it doesn’t need hosting, if you want more control then it’s worth the extra effort of setting up hosting and installing wordpress.org for your blog. Because this family want to have the option of hosting adverts on their blog, I advised her to set it up using wordpress.org, since wordpress.com doesn’t allow advertising. The host for my websites is Dreamhost, and there are too many others to list here. But there are loads of free resources waiting for you on the internet to help you choose and get set up. The next question, that of how to drive traffic to the blog, is slightly trickier. Not because it’s particularly difficult, but because there are so many ways to...