This is my first guest post here at Blogging Tips. I am excited about being a part of this blog because I have been a reader for a long time and I have always appreciated the high quality content offered here. Hopefully you will find my contributions helpful and feel inclined to interact with my articles.
My name is Sara Christensen. I spend the 9 to 5 part of a typical day as a techie for a not-for profit and the rest of my waking hours as a techie for myself. You can find everything you need to know about me from the About link at Pajama Professional so I am not going to ramble on about Sadie, my retired show cat.
I thought for a long time about how to approach this guest spot. I know that many people don’t take blogging very seriously, but I consider it a serious business and I want to be able to take pride in any article published under my byline. I look at it no differently than if I were writing a column for Newsweek or Time. It is a real job and I plan to treat it as such.
Generally, a regular column in a newspaper or magazine has a theme. While Blogging Tips already has a theme, I have decided that I want to narrow my guest posts even further and focus primarily on the craft of writing. I have a BA in English and was thisclose to a Journalism minor so I think my knowledge could be useful to others.
Different means of publication call for different writing styles. There are some things about writing for a blog that make it different from any other type of writing. So, for my inaugural post here at Blogging Tips I would like to share Six Ways Blogging Differs From Other Types of Writing.
1. This is Not The Times
Like an article for a newspaper, a blog post must have a strong lead. The trick is to make your lead hook readers without being too stiff and newsy. For a newspaper lead I might write: “Microsoft CEO Bill Gates announced today that he will be retiring in June of 2008.”
If I used that lead in an article on my blog, readers would be heading elsewhere for more interesting content. Breaking news on your blog is great, but that doesn’t mean your posts have to sound like news. If readers want news, they will head to CNN.com. They are at your blog because they want your original viewpoint. The fastest way to lose readers is to start regurgitating news content in a really boring fashion.
2. Personality = Popularity
If you want to succeed as a blogger, you have to be likable. Or hate-able. Or both. Just try your very best not to get caught somewhere in between. Be memorable. Find your voice. I will be discussing methods by which you can find your voice in one of my upcoming guest posts.
The thing to remember is, popular blogs become popular because of the blogger. A good blogger shows personality even when he/she is writing about an impersonal topic. Regular readers start to feel like they know the blogger personally. Once this happens, readers form attachments and loyalties that are achievable only in a venue like blogging that highlights a writer’s personality.
Just as you need a solid personality to be a good blogger, you also need solid opinions. Your opinions should be well-expressed and researched. You can absolutely base your opinions on emotions if that’s the way you want to go. But if you want to be taken seriously, you need to back those feelings up with facts.
People who read blogs like their facts with a healthy dose of originality. Don’t ever be afraid to share your opinions, even if they are different from everyone else’s. The issue on which you disagree wtih the five most popular bloggers could be the issue that brings the best linkbait post you’ve ever written. Each interesting, original opinion you have is an opportunity. Seize it.
4. Cut the Fluff
With a blog, you’re generally not writing to a certain word count or number of inches. This is significant because it means you can use all the words you need to say what you want to say. Then you can stop. There is no reason to write a blog post with filler and fluff. When I say fluff, I do not mean a nice literary intro, a related experience or a relevant quote. I mean extra words and off-topic ramblings.
Sometimes it can be tricky to decide what is fluff and what isn’t. You might think a point is relevant because of your experience, but its inclusion might not make sense to anyone else. I will write more about techniques for cutting the fluff in an upcoming post. For now, a good tactic for telling if your post is fluff-free is to read it aloud. If you feel yourself start to zone out at some point, go back and figure out why. If you are unable to follow your own writing then you have no hope of keeping the interest of other readers.
5. Think Audience
Write to your readers. Most blog visitors read at approximately a sixth-grade level. A flashy vocabulary and a lot of technical jargon do not make you look smart, they make you annoying and hard to read. They make you a lonely blogger. If you stick to writing “correctly” but conversationally you’ll do just fine.
Depending on your niche, you may need to consider other factors when addressing your readers. For example: if you are writing a blog aimed at Conservative Christians, it wouldn’t be appropriate to throw around a bunch of profanity. If you are not comfortable writing in a style that appeals to the readers you are attempting to attract, you might want to rethink your niche.
Most bloggers choose to write what they know and/or love. This is an especially great guideline for a new blogger as it is much easier to find your voice if you have knowledge of or passion for your material. A new blogger who chooses to write about a certain topic just because he/she thinks it will be profitable or popular is not very likely to succeed.
6. Watch Your Language
You have to know the rules in order to break them. Maybe you think this doesn’t apply to blogging, but it very much does. There’s a huge difference between comfortable, casual writing and ignorant, lazy writing. And readers can tell the difference very quickly. And, just as quickly, they will go read a blog that doesn’t feature unintelligible run-on sentences and include the word “irregardless.”
It is perfectly acceptable – even advisable – to write a bit like how you speak, infusing your posts with literary personality. However, this does not mean you should pepper your posts with misplaced commas, misspelled words and misused nouns. Yes, studying grammar and English language usage can be really boring. But if you want to be a good blogger, you need to study the craft.
Blogging is a means by which nearly anyone can instantly become published. You do not need an editor, an agent or a publishing house. All that is required is a PC, some free software and whatever words you can pull from the alphabet soup in your brain. Anyone can write a blog. The challenge is writing a good blog, or even a great blog.
In the world of blogging, there are a lot of blogs to choose from on any topic imaginable. For this reason, it’s often more about how you write than what you write. I plan to use my space here as a Blogging Tips guest blogger to share tips, tricks and tools to become a better writer and, by extension, a better blogger. In next week’s post I will use my superstar writing skills to make grammar an interesting subject.
And, yes, I really do have a retired show cat named Sadie.
The Importance of Digital Marketing Research for Brands in 2020
One of the key aspects of launching successful marketing campaigns is to conduct market research beforehand. This is no different when marketing on the internet. Digital marketing research is crucial to successful digital marketing, and without it, one can quickly blow through their budget without seeing any type of ROI at all.
A perfect example of this can be seen in social media marketing, where billions of ad impressions are served hourly. The same is also true with paid media marketing and pay per click marketing within Google. There is simply way too much information and user views out there, and if you aren’t careful and are using paid advertising–you could blow through a large budget in a short period of time.
If you have been neglecting digital marketing research prior to launching your campaigns, read on to learn the importance of digital marketing research and why you need to get on the bandwagon!
Digital Marketing Research
Market research helps the marketer understand the market and the trends. The information received can be used to develop a sound marketing strategy. Having an understanding of your audience and how to communicate with them is key to growing your business.
But, how do you go about implementing digital marketing research?
Eyes on the Audience
First, you must know who your audience is. Your business should have a niche target demographic to reach out to. Once you have established who this target audience is, you will have a better idea of how to communicate with them directly.
After you have identified your audience, you will need to get to know them better. You want to know their behavior patterns: how often they shop, what they shop for, what their preferred products are. Using a survey is a great option to ask your target audience questions to garner information about them.
And even better, if you do plan on collecting any type of data from your audience, you should definitely consider your options with remarketing afterward. By this, you can start running Google Ads or Facebook Ads campaigns that target only the audiences that you’ve selected (whether that be through pixel or email data).
Social Media Marketing and Other Digital Platforms
Once you have established your audience, you want to use social media and other digital platforms to market to them. Note: in your survey, it is best to ask them which platforms they prefer.
Essentially, you will be adopting a multi-channel marketing approach to reach your target audience. This means that you will be using different digital platforms to reach your audience, be it through content, social media, or messaging systems such as email, chat, or text messages.
Your market research will tell you which is the best platform to reach your demographic. For example, if your audience are teenagers and young adults – you may opt to use Snapchat and Instagram for marketing campaigns.
An older audience would prefer Facebook or even traditional platforms such as email for newsletters. And of course, if targeting professionals then LinkedIn is your platform of choice.
Who Can Help You and Who Can Challenge You
The importance of digital marketing research extends to knowing who can help grow your brand and who your competitors are.
A prominent aspect of digital marketing is the use of influencers. Use your marketing research to seek out these influencers and ask them if they can help promote your brand. For example, if you ran a company that sold protein powder, you would want to find fitness models who could endorse your products.
Similarly, use your marketing research to learn who your competition is. You can also look at their marketing campaigns to get an idea of what you are up against.
Get The Ball Rolling
Now that you have learned about digital marketing research, it is time to get the ball rolling. By following each of the recommended steps and methods above, there is no reason why you shouldn’t see improved numbers across the board. Digital marketing is changing all of the time, and so are the ways in which you can target and reach new audiences.
Research your target audience and ask them what their needs are. Determine your platforms of choice. Utilize influencers and keep a watchful eye on your competition.
Are you looking for more tips on how to use your blog for marketing purposes? If so, then browse around our blog for more of our latest content.
Do You Honor the Law of Lag?
The law of lag is always in effect. How it works; you generously, patiently and persistently help folks, trust in the process and yeah, make sure you promote yourself freely, too, OK? Be patient and persistent. Relax. A lag exists between you working generously, and, actually seeing traffic and profits increases. I refer to this as the law of lag. Lag times exist between you doing what works blogging-wise and seeing specific traffic and profits increases. Relax. Take a chill pill. Do not panic. Never believe that 0 traffic and 0 profits over the first few weeks of your successful blogging campaign indicates being generous, patient, persistent and trusting is NOT working, guys. Far and away, this is hands down the biggest mistake I see in blogging. Bloggers do not honor the law of lag. Bloggers panic and bail because they see minimal or no traffic and profits increases, during weeks or months, after they follow the successful blogging route.
See the journey through guys. Honor the law of lag. Know how it takes time and practice to become skilled enough and to yield enough exposure to actually boost your blog traffic. Boosting your blogging profits takes a bit longer, usually. Honor this lag time between work and results to become a highly successful, prospering blogger. Imagine being a doctor. During your first 3 months in pre-med, do you panic and bail because you have not made a cent through being a doctor? Nope; of course not. Do you panic and bail during your 6th year of medical studies because you have not made a penny from being a doctor? Nope; of course not. Do not panic and bail if you have not made a penny during your first 6 months of generously creating and connecting. Be patient. Good things take time. You need to become more clear and skilled in order to gain credibility in the eyes of readers. Plus you need to gain greater exposure by generously posting to your blog and by guest posting.
What happens when business slowly, steadily begins to grow? Now it’s time to learn how to better serve your customers. Nobody knows how to serve customers and clients fully until serving customers and clients in real world circumstances, gaining critical experience without a mentor or coach looking over your shoulder. I learned priceless lessons by boosting my traffic, by meeting more folks, by coaching clients and by interacting with customers. I had to put in the time and be patient during seeming lulls, or lags, to be a full time blogger. Being patient, persistent and generous made me the blogger I am today. You never grow until you go through testing periods where nothing appears to be happening but where everything is happening more quickly than you could ever see, in the background. All grows exponentially under the surface but only slowly and steadily bubbles up as profits and traffic stats. Envision the slow burn, bubbling up as a lag that cultivates your generosity, patience and persistent, and, your trust in self, as well as your trust in the blogging process.
I believe in you. See the journey through. Honor the law of blogging lag.
Does Twitter confuse you? How do ya work the site as a blogger? Buy my eBook:
Do You Seize and Use Blogging Opportunities Aggressively?
Look at the featured image for this post, guys. I love guest posting. Zac asked me to guest post here way back in 2015 right after I left the jungles of Costa Rica. I felt humbled but a little scared to seize the opportunity to guest post on Blogging Tips. Did I think I was good enough? Not quite. I also feared being criticized and failing because I would meet and greet a new, large blogging audience. Fast forward 4 years. After publishing posts on and off, I near 1000 guest posts on this blog alone. That, my friends, is seizing and using blogging opportunities aggressively. Zac said I could guest post on this blog whenever I wanted to guest post on the blog. I took his invite seriously. About 1000 guest posts later, I experienced increasing blogging success because I do not delay, hesitate or waffle when it comes to seizing and using blogging opportunities, aggressively, swiftly and with a single-minded focus.
I quickly seize blogging opportunities to promote my 100 plus eBooks daily – like this fun blogging tips eBook – because opportunities seized lead to big time blogging success. Opportunities you seize and use quickly lead to more opportunities which feed more opportunities as you swiftly become a more successful, prospering, fun-loving blogger. But most bloggers rarely seize and use blogging opportunities. Do you fear grabbing opportunities? What could go wrong? Why do you fear using opportunities for growth? True; sometimes you simply have no resonance with opportunities. Someone may try to convince me to freelance write for them but even a large financial promise cannot goad me toward freelance writing again. Bad match. However, I grab and use most opportunities that flow my way because gobbling up opportunities enters you into the spirit of opulence.
What do I mean? The spirit of opulence simply means if you think, feel and act abundantly, you seize most blogging opportunities immediately, using these opportunities to enter into a rich, wealthy, fun, freeing way of life. Example; most people who struggle financially feel so filled with fear that they stammer, delay and hesitate any time a blessed blogging opportunity knocks on their door. If you turn down opportunities for growth, you go broke. Plain and simple. Meanwhile, I publish 10 to 12 posts daily – or more – because I gobble up opportunities left and right and live a pretty neat life by adopting this frame of mind. I appear to be all over my niche because I seize blogging opportunities quickly, aggressively and clearly. I do not play around. I do not fear seizing opportunities for blogging growth because we all have to seize opportunities fast and use these blessings to gain the skills and exposure for becoming a successful blogger.
Every blogger who appears to be everywhere grabbed opportunities quickly. Do you notice some bloggers in 10, 20 or seemingly 50 places, at once? Said bloggers wrote and published 200, 300 or 500 guest posts over 6 months to gain such massive exposure. Doesn’t it feel good to help people? Don’t you feel fulfilled by being of benefit to your fellow blogger? Tap into that feeling, seize and use opportunities for growth and you will slowly but steadily experience greater blogging success. Blogging is not for meek, scared folks. Be clear. Be direct. Gobble up opportunities like a blogging beast to accelerate your growth and success to exponential levels.
Hey; if you don’t seize opportunities, I’ll be there to gobble ’em up 😉
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