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  • #967706
    vSuite
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    • Total posts: 9
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    Hey there,
    Just a couple of questions from a writing novice.

    When you decide to write an article/blog about a particular topic do you research what others have already written, or do you just write what you think and put it out there?

    Also, is it a good idea to put links in your work to other blogs/articles? Or does this detract from your own credibility?

    Thanks.

    #1028258
    mike@engagemarketing
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    Hi Sharon,
    with blogging there are a number of ways to go about it without there being a right or wrong way.

    Your blog content will depend on what you use your blog for. If it’s to allow more interaction between your customers and your business, then write about things that are happening in your business and what is on your mind.

    If you’re goals in blogging are to create content that gets passed around the internet, exposing you to new potential customers, then write articles with attention-grabbing headlines and easy to follow steps to make improvements on your topic.

    One of my businesses, The Blog Designer (link in the signature if you’re interested), just interviewed Mag Nation on their blogging habits. I’m sure you will find this interview interesting as it covers many of the questions that you brought up:

    http://www.theblogdesigner.com.au/blog/index.php/2010/03/interview-with-a-blogger-mag-nation/

    Cheers,
    Mike

    #1028259
    MatthewKeath
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    vSuite, post: 33548 wrote:
    Hey there,
    Just a couple of questions from a writing novice.

    When you decide to write an article/blog about a particular topic do you research what others have already written, or do you just write what you think and put it out there?Well, both. If you are writing about washing machines, you really need to know a lot about them, and research is needed. Reading other peoples blogs, or a newspaper, to get ideas is not only a good idea, it’s a must – you need to keep your finger on the pulse.

    That said, you also need to inject your own personality and opinions into the article. You may review a washing machine, and mention features that have already been covered by many other bloggers and journalists, but you can add what you liked or disliked about the machine, it come at it from a different angle.

    Also, is it a good idea to put links in your work to other blogs/articles? Or does this detract from your own credibility?

    If is appropriate, such as when you reference a website, or occasionally when you need to back up a point. A blog review of a washing machine could contain a link to the manufacturer, or to a website that carried out the machines testing. I wouldn’t got nuts with references though.

    There is a reason they are called web logs.

    #1028260
    Melinda B
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    • Total posts: 349
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    You need to be putting your own content out there – there’s no point just regurgitating what’s already been said. That’s not saying you need brand new topics, but you need your own slant on the topic.

    The way I do it is pick the topic and then pick some angles – each angle becomes a blog post.

    Quote:
    Also, is it a good idea to put links in your work to other blogs/articles? Or does this detract from your own credibility?
    So you’re putting an article up on your own site and linking to someone else, yes? Nothing wrong with this at all and it’s very common. Use the links to support what you’re saying, or provide some background information.
    #1028261
    Ali Dark
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    • Total posts: 101
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    Hi vSuite, here’s my 2c.

    It really depends and as Mike said, there’s definitely no write or wrong – because a blog ultimately is whatever suits you.

    Having a strategy that fits in with your overall business model is important, and writing posts are like little tactical maneouvers in that strategy. That’s the mechanical way of looking at it.

    In reality- if you simply know who you’re writing for what why, you’ll automatically get what ideas and inspiration you need to make your blog work for your business.

    I’d imagine this goes for on-site “articles”, though article marketing might be a little different.

    Link freely, especially to yourself. In most cases it will be interpreted as a convenient way to get deeper info on the linked term, not as an effort to self-promotion.

    #1028262
    vSuite
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    • Total posts: 9
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    Thanks everyone. I feel more confident about my topic choices and the way I’m going to approach each one.

    Now I just have to get all the muddle in my head to make sense and put it on paper (so to speak).

    #1028263
    Melinda B
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    • Total posts: 349
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    vSuite, post: 33774 wrote:
    Thanks everyone. I feel more confident about my topic choices and the way I’m going to approach each one.

    Now I just have to get all the muddle in my head to make sense and put it on paper (so to speak).
    Get it out of your head first, literally. Write down every idea that’s in your head, do a complete brain dump onto paper. Mind map if you want, but the important thing is to get it out of your head.

    We can’t think when there’s too much noise in our heads, and the best way to quiet it down is to actually write it on paper, or at least on a word doc on the computer. Then decide what’s important, what’s urgent, what you’re going to work on first.

    #1028264
    Accounts Studio
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    • Total posts: 516
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    Try also writing a blog topic plan for the next 12 months – write down a variety of topics one for each week (or how ever often you are going to blog) so that you don’t have to spend ages each week trying to come up with an idea on what to write about. That way you can also make sure you tailor any posts that coincide with major events e.g. easter, school holidays, father’s day, Christmas etc.

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