Marsha Friedman, Guest Author
A well-written and regularly updated blog is a great marketing tool for variety of reasons.
A blog drives people to your website, helps you build your personal or company brand, and allows you to develop a relationship with customers or readers.
What’s worse is that, pretty soon, you start running out of material. After all, you already covered everything obvious and worthwhile, right? What’s left to write about?
Plenty, as it turns out. You just need to put yourself in a position to attract great ideas and snag them as they whiz by. Let me nudge you in a few directions that should help feed the blog beast that haunts your doorstep every couple of weeks or so.
One thing we do regularly at EMSI, and you should, too, is follow the daily news to see what’s creating a stir nationally, internationally or within your industry. For example, the debate over whether the mountain in Alaska should be called Denali or Mt. McKinley could be fodder for someone who blogs about mountain climbing, the outdoors or, perhaps, presidential history.
You also should check social media to see what topics have people the most excited. Twitter and Facebook track trending topics that are generating a lot of buzz, and those could provide jumping off points for your next blog entry.
I would also suggest that stealing from yourself is perfectly acceptable. Revisit old ideas from blogs past, but give them a fresh approach. Even newspapers and magazines will resurrect topics they previously wrote about, wagering that few readers will care or recall that the same subject was explored two or three years ago. You can do the same.
And remember, there’s no need to wait until the last minute to start formulating ideas. Keep an ongoing list, adding to it whenever a topic pops into your head.
Once you decide on a topic, here are a few tips for fleshing it out into a quality blog entry and for attracting the greatest number of readers:
Online searches are your friends. Background information about your topic is just a search phrase away using Google or another search engine. Look for real-life examples or recent news on your subject to add depth and reinforce your point of view. Just make sure your sources are legitimate. You will want to cite those sources, too, because that will add to the credibility of your post.
Statistics, studies and surveys. Specific numbers and recent studies also bolster the points you want to make. You could, for instance, write that “there are a lot of libraries in the U.S.” But it’s less vague and more impressive to write: “The American Library Association estimates there are 119,729 libraries in the U.S.” While you can often track down surveys, studies and data with a general Google search, you also can zero in on specific websites. For example, if you are writing about a medical topic, the Centers for Disease Control provides numerous statistics about how many people suffer from various maladies.
Integrate SEO keywords. People search the Internet using keywords or phrases they hope will uncover articles or websites with the information they want. The more you understand which keywords could bring the highest amount of traffic to you, the better, so research what might work best. You can integrate those keywords into a headline or the body of the blog entry. Keywords shouldn’t be too generic, though, or else your blog will be lost in a blizzard of other blogs, websites and news articles that use the same words.
Coming up with and carrying out great blog ideas on a regular basis certainly presents a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.
How do I know? I’m always on the lookout for ideas myself. For example, at EMSI we noticed that many bloggers were on the Internet discussing the struggles they have generating ideas.
And, voila, I had a topic for this week’s PR Insider!
BONUS Article: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write!
Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!
P.S. from Larry James ~ Blogs are also a great tool for launching a publicity campaign! If you need help getting the greatest mileage out of your blogs, give her a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215 or simply reply to this e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com
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