Blogging is garnering a lot of buzz at SAP and every few days I get questions from colleagues, asking, “How and where do I start.” For those of you interested in blogging, this post is for you.
“How to Write a blog Post: A Simple Formula to Follow” by Rachel Sprung provides wonderful guidelines for bloggers, whether you are new or experienced, and provides nine easy steps to follow towards your personal blogging success. Below, I have summarized the article with some of my own commentary.
Time to Start: Goals
What is your goal? For example, the goal of this blog is to summarize information of interest. Other goals can include, expressing your opinion on an issue, kicking off a campaign, building brand awareness, sharing expertise, sharing best practices, creating a discussion, or celebrating a customer? Understand what you want to do. Write your goal on a sticky note, and post it on your laptop screen.
The 9 Step Process
Step 1 – Think about your audience. Who are they, what are they looking for and what are they interested in? Is there a persona you are looking to address? What action are you looking for readers to take after they read the post?
Step 3 – Bring in the hook. The introduction is critical. Write something that engages the audience and keeps them asking for more. Make it personal so readers can connect with and identify with the content.
Step 4 – Organize. Make a short outline with three summary points.
Step 5 – Write, write and write. Just remember it is easier to remove words as you edit. When you finish your first draft, file the post away for a day or two. Edit and then read it out loud.
Step 6 – Format and make the content pleasing to the eye. Use subtitles and bold font to introduce new sections. There is nothing worse than a blog post of 1,000 words in three paragraphs. Break up the content add some pictures. White space sells!
Step 7 – Include a call to action at the end. Where do you want the reader to go from here? <Remember Step #1>. Provide links to more information, a link to a Webinar registration page, a link to a video, or at minimum links to your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.
Step 8 – Optimize for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Remember the adage, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a noise?” Similar for a blog – if a blog cannot be found by a search engine, will anyone read it? Recommendations are to include keywords in your title in your first sentence, your last paragraph and throughout the post. Use a site like hashtagify.me to identify keywords to sprinkle about the post. Also include links to related content (blogs, homepages, videos, etc.)
Step 9 – Create a cool title. Edit your title and include keywords, make it catchy and engaging.
Follow these steps and you are on your way to being a world class blogger.