I’m sure I don’t have to tell you there’s a lot of steps that go into blogging. Never mind the task of having to come up with fresh ideas regularly to share with your audience. In part 3 of the Business Systems Series, I’m going to walk you through creating a system for your blogging process.
Create content ideas
Finding fresh content ideas, especially if you’re posting every week, can sometimes seem impossible. For a quick and easy system to come up with content ideas, use this method. Think of the “what”: What value do you want to provide your audience every time they read a blog post? This may be something like “I want my audience to get bite-sized tips to living a healthier lifestyle that they can incorporate into their daily routine.” Now think of the “how”: How can I accomplish this goal? Jot down 5-10 ways you can accomplish that. These will be your umbrella of blog post categories. It’s much easier to think of ideas for individual categories to get your blogging process started.
Writing the post
Sometimes you have a blog post idea, start typing and your fingers literally don’t stop typing. Other times, they stay hovering over the keys, typing a word (only to delete it 2 seconds later) and you’re left with a blank page wondering how you’re going to fill it up. When you create a system for writing your posts, you can break it down into small chunks instead of looking at the post as a whole.
Remember in elementary school when you had to fill out a diagram before writing a report? Well, we’re about to go old school. Start by writing down your main blog post topic. Next, choose 3-5 of the most important things you know need to be in the post for it to be valuable. If you’re going to add a content upgrade, include it on the page. Now, instead of starting with a completely blank document, write down your main topics and start writing!
Formatting your blog posts is a little more complex than formatting your emails. Decide on a distinct format you want to use for your blog posts. That includes headers, colors, bolded sections, where lead magnets should be inserted, what the lead magnets should look like, link colors, click to tweets, featured images, everything!
Think of your blog post format as a template for how each post should look. You may start with a pinnable image at the top, an introduction paragraph, Header 1, all your information and then a big, colorful call-to-action at the end. Get specific with each area of your blog post. For example, you may want your lead magnet opt-in to be shown at least twice in each blog post – once at the very bottom and once when it’s introduced in the blog post. The more detailed you get in your formatting process, the easier it is to outsource to a Virtual Assistant or Content Manager.
Just like with your social media graphics, create templates for your blog post images. You can easily update the title, pop in a new background image or switch between colors. Your blog post should include multiple image sizes so your audience can share the best image for each social media platform. If you have the Yoast plugin, you’re able to add a Twitter image and Pinterest image. The only picture that shows up in your blog post will be your featured image, not all of the images. This way, when someone wants to share your content on social media, they can choose which image is best fit for that platform.
Adding Lead Magnets
Something I’ve heard over and over from clients is how much they hate integrating their lead magnets into blog posts. LeadPages makes adding your lead magnets incredibly easy. Within a couple minutes, you can have your LeadBox created and insert the HTML into your blog post. Decide how you want your lead magnet to look – should it be a button, a link or an image? Then break that down into specific details. I know I like my buttons to have square corners, a little bit of a shadow and alternate the color between my 3 brand colors.
Pick a day and time your blog posts should be posted each week. If you haven’t decided on a day or time yet, test it out to see which day/time receives the most activity from your audience. Choosing this will also keep you accountable since you know you need to have a post scheduled before your deadline. And we could all use that extra bit of accountability!
If you want to get organized and save yourself time while blogging, The Blogging Systems Workbook will set you up so aren’t staring at blank Google doc each week. Get the workbook now!