“I don’t think I’m doing it right,” my caller mourned.
“No-one seems to read my blogs – or if they do, they don’t respond.” But there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to write a blog, just the best way for you. It’s what you do with it after you’ve written it that makes the difference.
As I may have mentioned once or twice (OK, I keep banging on about it), your blog should sound like you. Maybe you being a bit more grammatically correct than you would be over a pint in the pub, and without the ums, ers and pauses, but you. It’s personal.
Just write as if your intended audience was sitting next to you and you were chatting to them. The only way you can get it wrong is to try and sound like someone you’re not or to write inappropriately for your audience: like writing a University assignment in text-speak, it won’t go down well.
To take a current example, is Donald Trump getting it “wrong”? He’s certainly using language that roughly half the world finds inappropriate, but it seems to appeal to his intended audience and – unless he’s a much stupider marketer than I think he is – he’s showing us the real Donald Trump.
Maybe you’d rather not be compared to “the Donald”, but it’s a serious point. You are your USP and writing as yourself will help your blog stand out from the crowd in your industry (along with top-quality information and strong opinions, natch).
But that’s only the start of it. You may know the expression “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”. It wasn’t true when it was coined and it’s not true now. Because unless people have heard of your mousetrap they’ll have no idea they need it and you won’t get a new front path.
It’s the same with blogs. You can write the best blog in the world, but unless you tell people about it they won’t read it. You can’t just write it, post it and forget it. It pays to advertise, as the old saw goes. How?
Put a link on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, or whatever social media channels and forums you favour. Post the blog as an article on LinkedIn and on any relevant industry sites, as well as on your own site. Fill your Buffer/Hootsuite/whatever feed with subtle and overt links to it (but don’t make it your only topic of conversation). Get it promoted by the nice folk on Quuu. Convert it into slides and put it on SlideShare.
If your blog is not hosted on your website (which I don’t recommend, by the way), make sure there’s a link from one to the other and back. And put your blog address on your business card, just as you do your website and email addresses.
Mention your blog when you do a podcast, talk or webinar, go to networking and training events, and anywhere else you meet people. Ask your friends, colleagues and family to share it. Send a link to someone you respect in your industry with a compliment and a request for them to give you feedback on it.
In other words, promote the living socks off it, just as you would if it were a new product. You want it to become this month’s blockbuster best-seller. Once this post has found enough readers, some of them will follow you and promote future ones without being asked. And then you’ll never have to mourn that “nobody sees it”.
Yes, it takes a lot of effort, but only for a short while. Isn’t it worth it? Or, to put it another way, is it worth not doing it? You’re putting a lot of work into writing the blog, and that’s wasted time and trouble if no-one reads it.
In short, as long as you sound like you, there’s no wrong way to blog, just poor publicity.