Are you overwhelmed at the prospect of writing a blog post for your website? I get that way too especially when I overthink the process of how to write a blog post. When I think of it as an email to a client or prospect giving them information they’ve already requested, it’s a lot simpler. Here are tips for the next time you write a blog post:
This is the pot calling the kettle black when I say don’t let your blog posts go stale. You need to repurpose old content and not just let it sit on your website. I’m putting a plan together to make more of what I’ve already written. If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ll see that I’ve been sharing; but that’s not all there is when it comes to repurposing old content.
Think about why you’re blogging.
- Drive traffic to your website.
- Share your own content on social media.
- Call people to action.
- Make prospective clients interested in working with you.
You can’t meet any of these goals if blog posts are just sitting dormant and unshared on your website.
Make the most of your blog posts with these eleven ways to repurpose old content.
- e-book. You’ve got a lot of written content sitting on your website. Take a series of related blog posts and create an e-book website visitors can download in exchange for their email address. You may need to massage the copy a bit but it’s better than starting from nothing AND you’re building your email list.
- Podcast or livestreaming. Take the ideas from your blog posts and repurpose to a podcast and/or livestream where you can reach a new audience. Share podcasts and the transcript to your blog as new content.
- Share on social media. Breathe new life into old content by sharing it on social media. Share with the title and a link to the post. Then take shorter pieces from the body of the post and share on social media. Use a scheduler like Buffer or Hootsuite to keep the social media pipeline filled or hire a Social Media Manager.
- Revamp and re-release. Not every blog post is evergreen meaning that it stands the test of time. Schedule time to review current content to see which posts can be revamped and updated.
- Spin it differently. Instead of writing generically on your topic, write for a different audience. For example, if you sell life insurance, write about why people need life insurance, then also write life insurance for families, why you need more than just your employer sponsored insurance, spousal life insurance, life insurance tips for young families. Keep your target market in mind as you spin content differently.
- Case Studies. Let’s take the life insurance example from #5. Rather than telling people why they need life insurance, give them an example in a case study. Tell why the client came to you, what you offered as a solution, and the outcome. Use these stories as your commercials at networking events to get people more interested in what you’re offering.
- Value of links. When you’re writing new content, refer to old content. Link to the old content in the new post. You’re more likely to have visitors stay on your website and keep reading.
- Update the statistics or infographic. Take an old piece and update the numbers or the infographic and you’ve got a new post! Be sure you’re changing at least 30% of the content to avoid duplicate content issues with Google.
- Best of blog posts. Don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating content for your website. Create a Top Ten list a la David Letterman about content on your site. Link to the old posts to get them back in front of your audience.
- Pinterest for Brands. If you’re a master of images, utilize Pinterest to drive traffic back to your website. The old post about picking the best colors for your website? Get it in front of your Pinterest following!
- Newsletters. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel every time you need newsletter content! Use blog posts to create a theme and message for the people on your newsletter mailing list. This will let them know what you’ve been up to and will drive them to your website.
If you’re wondering which of these is most effective to re-engage your audience, use Google Analytics to track website traffic. Not only can you see which posts are getting the most views, you can review keywords and social media sites that are driving visits.
Creating content isn’t a one-time event. With a content strategy you can repurpose old content into newsletters, e-books, live streaming, social media updates, and new blog posts.
You’re staring at a list of blog post ideas waiting for the posts to write themselves but they never do. Where do you start writing blog posts when you’re feeling overwhelmed? Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away, do something else, then return with a new approach.
Do anything that gets your mind away from the blank page.
Go for a walk. Play with the dog. Dance.
Believe me when I say I spend as much time in my backyard pondering as I do writing.
Come back to the list of ideas or the piece you’re writing with new eyes.
Start where you’re comfortable.
Pick a topic from your list that inspires you and write. Some days that’s easier said than done.
There are two ways I approach blog post writing:
- Write the middle of the post first. Then a conclusion. Craft the opening last. It’s often easier to write the opening after I’ve gotten all of my ideas out of my head.
- Write what I know on the topic. Write from the heart. Research and make notes. Then go back and craft a piece my client will love.
Find your flow. There’s no right way to write.
On my list(s) of blog post ideas, whether for my own writing or for a client, I add notes and relevant links that trigger me when I come back to write. If I have only a topic listed, I don’t always recall why I wanted to write on that topic and it causes a feeling of overwhelm.
I have a list of 100 blog post ideas that gives me anxiety.
I wonder why I haven’t written these posts or how I could, if I wrote them, repurpose them into an ebook, livestream, or guest blog post. My chest is tight just writing about it.
Finally I took the list of 100+ blog post ideas and broke it into a smaller list of 25 ideas. That’s where I got many of my 12 blog post ideas in 30 minutes or less.
12 ideas is less overwhelming than 100 ideas or a blank page with no plan.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, step away and come back with a new approach. Make your list shorter. Focus on one category rather than a huge list. Write a topic that interests you in the moment.
There’s isn’t a right or wrong way to write your blog posts. Find what works for you and go with the flow to create content that reaches your target audience.
Originally I was going to write 12 blog post in six days but that just wasn’t a reasonable goal. I updated to 12 posts in 12 days which is more attainable.
I need a challenge.
Not an income challenge. I already did that Q1 when I exceeded my income goals three months in a row and running. It seemed like a good idea until a I realized I was also planning my wedding. It was a crazy time. Thankfully my supportive husband was with me every step of the way.
Not a client challenge. I’ve gotten the hang of nurturing leads so that when a client and I decide to no longer work together there are prospects waiting to work with me.
Not a physical challenge. I joined a gym in February. I am enjoying working off stress and sleeping better, not to mention the benefit of my clothes fitting better.
I need a blogging challenge.
Why I am Writing 12 Blog Posts in Six 12 Days
Clients approach me with an understanding that content is important to their marketing and social media strategy but don’t have time to write. That’s when they hire me for a 12 post blogging package. Within 4-6 weeks we develop 12 blog post ideas that they can use as blog posts, newsletter content, and/or LinkedIn publishing.
I’ve never done a 12 post post blog project for my own website and it’s about time for that to happen! And I am going to do it in Six 12 DAYS!
Sounds crazy but the timing is perfect. I’ve wrapped up a few projects and am waiting for a few to start. I have ideas on lists all over my office, in my head, and on my computer.
To start, I am handpicking 12 blog post ideas that I’ve had rolling around in my head for a long time. This post is the first of 12.
You’ve written a blog post. Now what? It’s sitting on your blog waiting for people to find it but no one is finding it. Why? You’re going to think this sounds weird but people want to be told what to do.
No one wants to be told what to do….or do they?
When it comes to content marketing, people want to be told what to do. They want to be told where to find the information they need. They want to know who the best bloggers are and when they post new content.
How do you share your blog posts?
- Share on multiple social media sites multiple times over multiple days. Change the message – take a sentence from the post that will catch readers’ attention, ask a question, make a statement about the blog topic – then add a link to the post.
Email can be overwhelming and sometimes we do it to ourselves. I’ve signed up for more newsletters than I care to count. Last year I used Unroll Me to unsubscribe from thousands of emails to which I was subscribed.
It was part of a strategy to test my theory that newsletters from other people aren’t just for the trash and that you can use the content for your social media and blog posts.
Here’s how to use newsletter content for your blog
Do you want more readers on your blog? If you’re like most bloggers, the answer is a resounding YES. Of course we want more people to read our musings.
Readers want to connect with you as if you’re a friend sitting on a couch sharing stories and cups of tea or glasses of wine. How do we accomplish this? We offer the following blog post ideas:
Make your blog post relevant.
Your readers want you to answer their questions.
Do you write blog posts and never publish them?
Are you writing a post for hours or over the course of days?
It’s time to stop overthinking your blog post.
Have something to say and say it.
Keep it pithy – short, concise, and to the point.
Carry a notebook with you at all times.
Your business website isn’t a stagnant marketing tool like a business card. It doesn’t just sit around looking pretty or it shouldn’t if you want to make the investment of a website worth your effort. A business website should be used to breathe life into your business and brand. The most affordable and effective way to build your brand online is to blog on a consistent basis and use your blog to tell a story about your business.
First things first. You must be clear about who your target client is or no marketing (blogging, social media, website, etc.) will work effectively to build your business. You have to know who you want to reach so you can create and share content related to that particular audience. Otherwise you’re throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks. Over time, the spaghetti method gets tiresome, boring, and stressful.
Before you begin blogging, ask yourself:
When I decided to become a professional blogger, I did it with my ass on fire and really had no idea what it meant to be a professional blogger or social media manager.
All I knew was that I had been laid off from corporate America and wanted to pursue my dream of being a writer. A dream, 14 weeks of severance, crash courses in blogging, social media, and networking, and I was ready (ish) to go.
Over the years I’ve offered a variety of writing services to my clients. The projects didn’t always turn out the way I wanted but I learned along the way.
Here’s what NOT to do as a professional blogger:
- Listen to the naysayers. I would have started a side gig before leaving corporate America if I had ignored a certain person at my corporate job. She told me I couldn’t make money blogging and I believed her. I never thought to do my own research or give it a try. I could’ve at least had a running start on a full-time business.
- Start without a plan. I know what you’re thinking — that I didn’t have a plan and I am okay. Yes, it’s okay but there are days when I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to get a j-o-b and start a side gig before jumping in full-time.
- Fail to have a strategy. I’ve spent A LOT of time spinning my wheels, doing what other people said I should be doing, and never had my own strategy. Whether it’s short or long term, you’ve got to plan where you’re taking your business. Once I did that, I was able to focus my efforts on social media and marketing, making the most of the time I spend on my business and on client work.
- Let clients dictate your pricing and packages. I thought it would be more sale-able to let clients tell me what they needed and then I could put a price on it. Boy was I wrong! Here’s the secret: clients don’t always know what they want. I ended up down a rabbit hole of projects and clients I didn’t want. Once I defined my pricing and packages, I was able to say, “Here is how I can help you and the cost.” It’s easier to tell someone that they didn’t fit what I offer and refer them to someone else rather than taking on work I didn’t really want to do.
- Assume people will do what they say. Last year I made the mistake of assuming a company was going to refer a certain amount of business to me so I didn’t fill my pipeline with leads. When they didn’t come through, I was left without the income and without any leads to fill the gap. Ouch. Lesson learned.
- Be afraid of change. If there is one thing I’ve learned as a professional blogger, it’s that change happens and you just have to ride the wave. When I started my business, I was a social media manager for most of my clients and blogged for a few. I discovered that blogging is a higher margin and, more importantly, I enjoy it more so that’s where my business is focused now. It was an interesting shift but well worth it in the end.
Even without a plan to start my life as a blogger, I’ve been able to learn, grow, and change along the way.