Today I was going to write about guest blogging following on from my last blog. However, I’ve taken up the gauntlet of HubSpot’s latest challenge as part of their 30-Day Blog Challenge, which is to write a blog in an hour. So, here it is my one hour blog.
As I’m now over the halfway point of the 30-Day Challenge, I thought I would use the one hour blog to summarise what I’ve discovered to date. I chose to keep just one theme, blogging, for this month. Then, focus on a different theme every month with the emphasis on how to do whatever I decide to write about.
I will get back to normal tomorrow when I return to my blogging series but today’s challenge is all about speed. There will be those to whom this image means nothing. Basically, if you’re not British or didn’t spend time in the UK about 20+ years ago(!). This is a bit of nostalgia and is what used to appear on our TV screens when the BBC lost the transmission signal!
This challenge definitely fills me with dread and will be a real test for me. I start with the best of intentions, usually manage to get distracted and it takes me a lot longer to write than I ever plan. But I have my research ready and it’s already triggered a new blog idea that I’ve hastily written down.
My other challenge in doing this is a more technical one. I’m currently working away from my home base and so this is being done with a sometimes slow and dodgy mobile connection.
But time is flying by and I must get on! A word of warning this blog may be unfinished when published!!
My discoveries for writing a great blog
Why it is worth bothering to blog?
I found the following reasons resonated with me:
- Provide value-added content
- Build a relationship with your readers
- Establish trust with your clients while gaining credibility
- Create awareness about your product offerings
- Test ideas and research your market by getting your readers and clients to participate in discussions.
What to say on your blog?
Really it’s about two essential elements:
- Working out who your audience is – your ideal client
- Finding your authentic voice
The essential elements for your blog
- Creating killer headlines
- Delivering impact in your first paragraph (must re-read this one if I have time!)
- Having substantial, delicious satisfying filling, i.e., content
- Asking questions in your first paragraph and closing comments
- Having a goal for your blog, a.k.a a strategy
- Paying attention to SEO but not letting it dominate your content
- Brainstorm a whole set of topics and maintain “ready to go” research (only discovered that today) so you have something to write about
- Make comments on other blogs and always reply to comments on your own.
Set goals to measure the success of your blog
Here are mine:
- Attract my target audience
- Get potential clients to spend time engaged with my content and brand
- Build an audience for my content
- Increase sales (also expand cross-sell and upsell)
- Support sales with appropriate content
- Improve my SEO efforts
- Get the attention of experts in my field
- Expand my reach cost effectively and maximise social media shares.
How often I should blog
This was my big one from “To Blog or not to Blog” and got me published on Social Media Today and definitely achieved goal #8! It is also the subject that I will return to at the end of the 30-Day Challenge to see what works for me going forward.
A few additional things I’ve learned
- Type directly into your website to save time
- Turn on the lights before you start to save time – it is early evening here
- Don’t use a keyboard with a sticky “i” as you keep having to go back over what you’ve typed
- A one hour blog is definitely a challenge!
My time is now up and I’m going to publish.
What have you discovered during either the 30-Day or One Hour Blog Challenge? Do let me know below….