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5 Quick Tips How To Revive A Dying Blog (Hint: I’m Using #5 Right Now)

how to revive your blog with branding

 

It’s time for a mea culpa here.  

Bless me, for I have committed one of the cardinal sins of blogging.  

I’m an inconsistent blogger. 

And what makes that even more embarrassing is that just the other day, I wrote a halfway decent post (I think) about blogging consistency over at Social Solutions Collective.

Ouch.

It’s the classic what not to do for someone using a blog to build a business, I might add.  If you want to earn money consistently, your blog (aka your online storefront) has to be fresh and up to date (aka have new content regularly).  Otherwise, you risk angering That Large Search Engine Which Shall Not Be Named, not to mention that you just don’t look as relevant to the people who manage to stumble upon your website.

It’s not as if I’ve been sitting around eating bon bons.  For starters, I don’t even like bon bons.  But in all seriousness, I’ve found myself busy with client work and the work of raising 4 wonderful small children ages 9 to 1 while their daddy, aka my husband, has been off saving the world courtesy of his work with NASA and the US Air Force Reserve.  I’m not sure if I’d call it that I have any kind of balance; most days it feels like I’m juggling chainsaws.

(I know, for other work from home moms who manage to keep up with blogs, that sounds like an excuse.)

But when I’m immersed in kid learning and not making sure I read or listen to something to keep myself learning, admittedly, it’s really, really hard to pull a meaningful blog post out of nowhere.

What can I say… it’s almost Lent, and I’m feeling all introspective and stuff.

Forgive me.

But I know I’m not the only one who has to figure out how to come back from the blogging dead, so to speak. I know there are other bloggers who have started with the best of intentions, only to become one of the vast majority of blogs that fizzle out due to lack of fresh content.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Just because you’ve had a lapse in posting doesn’t mean you have to give up on your website entirely.

Really, if you look at the number of large businesses out there that manage to stay alive without fresh content regularly, you’d see it’s entirely possible. Here’s how to revive a dying blog.

How to Breathe New Life Into Your Dying Blog

1.  Time for a vision check

No, don’t go hauling out your phone and calling your eye doctor (unless your visual issues really are interfering with your content production).  By vision check, I mean, it’s time to give your website a little tough love.

Is the reason you’re having trouble being regular with your content because your focus is too wide or too narrow?

Do you know what value you bring to your readers?  Do you know what action you want them to take (becoming subscribers or customers)?  Does your blog speak clearly to your ideal customer?

If you’re having difficulty blogging, it could be because you’re not 100% clear on the value you provide for your readers.  Get clear on the vision for your blog, and you might find that your stubborn case of writer’s block clears up nicely.

2.  Commit to blog regularly

It sounds simplistic, but one of the best things you can do to jump start your blog is to make the mindset shift that blogging isn’t a negotiable item.  Decide how often you’re going to post and make a commitment.  Write it on your calendar.  Just like you wouldn’t accept a job and then not show up, this isn’t up for debate.  If you are serious about choosing to restart your blog, make that choice.  Say it out loud.  Tell people you meet, “I am a blogger.”   As my writing professor used to say, “a writer is one who writes.”  Well, a blogger is one who blogs.  Period.

3. Feed your brain

Writer’s block is one of the hardest hurdles to overcome as a blogger.  I get it.

But every time I mentally “go there,” I can hear the aforementioned writing professor’s voice declaring that “writer’s block is another word for laziness.”

Ouch.

But I think he’s right.  I’m sure he’ll be relieved that I finally gave him my approval.

If I can’t think of what to write, it’s because I haven’t somehow given my mind enough quality content to interact with.  (Ideas do not come out of a vacuum. It’s a metaphysical law or something like that.)

The key to avoiding writer’s block is to feed your mind quality content on a regular basis, and give yourself time to think it over before sitting down to write.

4. Plan your content

One of the ways you can make starting a post easier is to have a content calendar.  A content calendar is nothing more than a plan for your blog content.  There are a ton of great templates out there.  

That said, ideally, your content calendar includes your social media content so that you can deliver a more focused, consistent message between your website and your social media postings.  (Your social media is nothing more than an avenue or channel for you to share the value of your brand…so it makes sense to have consistency between your web content and what you share on social media!) 

5.  Get started.

What time is it?

Writing time.  Not research time.

Plan when you will write.  Make it a date with yourself.  Sit down (unless you use one of thosecool standing desks).

And then write.

When you sit down to write needs to be writing time.  If you need to do some research for your blog, do so at another time.  (See point above about reading in your niche and then letting it percolate a while in your mind.)

I know a lot of people are going to resist this. But what I’m encouraging you to do is to make sure that you have as few ways as possible to distract yourself (in the name of “research” ) while you write.

Turn off social media and email.

Really, they’ll wait.

Unless you choose to outsource, this is the step where the rubber meets the road.  But if you’ve completed the steps above, I promise, it won’t be as painful as you might think.

Need MORE creative ideas to get out of your rut and Revive Your Blog?  Click here to receive my checklist: Revive Your Blog created just for you!

SEO Content Writing for Businesses: The Great Blogging Hoax

great blog hoax

Opinions about SEO content writing are a dime a dozen these days – everyone’s got one. (And, like a related saying, most of them stink.)  Seriously, though, just because anyone can blog doesn’t mean that anyone should, much less that they should dispense wisdom about how to blog.

But because they do, there are a number of myths about blogging that persist. Have you fallen for the great blogging hoax?  Check out these myths that need to be refuted now!

SEO Content Writing for Businesses: 5 Blog Myths Busted!

1.  Google isn’t your only reason to blog.

It’s easy to get in the habit of thinking that you’re only blogging for Google and other search engine traffic.  And while yes, you want your ideal customer to be able to find your products or services if you can truly help them, the simple act of scoring well on search shouldn’t be the only reason you’re doing SEO content writing!

You should be blogging if you can create value for the people who need you. And you should be blogging if you can create that value in a way that makes people have a compulsive need to share your content.

On the other hand, if you’re just cranking out content ever few days or weeks just because you’re supposed to these days, please do us all a favor and stop. Because in that scenario – you’re wasting your time and money, along with ours.

 

2.  Some people can blog every day and it’s good. Other people blog every day and it’s hurting them.

This goes along with point number 1. You should only blog if you have something to say. You should not “find something to say” in order to have a blog. Make sense?

If you are able to create amazing content on a daily basis, some bloggers have experienced great results driving respectable amounts of profitable traffic by doing so.  I can’t say that it doesn’t work for some.

But on the other hand –  Jon Morrow over at Boost Blog Traffic  posted a guest post recently that says that daily posting actually hurts your traffic by decreasing the social proof possible on each post.  (There are a few other reasons listed too, and I have to say I agree with him) .

So – posting daily isn’t a part of my strategy, and I’m okay with that.  I’m guessing you’re busy enough that you don’t really want daily posts from me anyway.

3.  If your headline sucks, your article can’t save it.

A reminder for the new – the purpose of your headline isn’t to tell your readers what your article’s about. It’s not to prove to your readers that you’re a super clever author, either.

It’s to get your readers to read the first sentence.

And that first sentence? Yep. It’s to get them to read the next.

If all of those are written well, there’s a good chance they’ll keep reading, unless you bore the bloody hell out of them at some point, in which I can’t help you.

But if that headline sucks?

Kiss those carefully SEO-attracted readers goodbye.  And watch your bounce rates soar.

(Proven and profitable headline tips are often a subject of my weekly e-mails, incidentally)

4.  If your article sucks, your SEO can’t save it.

Okay, so you’ve written this article – and it’s mediocre at best. And then you carefully keyword it, putting in your title and meta tags, tagging your images, and sprinkling your carefully analyzed keyword phrase in like magical fairy dust so your article will rise to the top of Google search.

Even if that somehow happens, there’s just one problem. If your article sucks, no one is going to share it. And Google continues to look for ways to incorporate social signals in their ranking. If your articles aren’t shareworthy or worthy of peoples comments or likes, all of the traditional SEO in the world can’t save them.

5. If you write amazing content, Google’s Panda and Penguin are your friend. If not – watch out!

I think it’s funny to watch people freak out about Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, and here’s why. The team at Google isn’t really sitting around at a table with a perpetual agenda item where Matt Cutts starts by asking, “How can we screw the heck out of as many unsuspecting small business owners as we can today” in his best impersonation of Pinky and the Brain.

Google is continually refining its algorithm to find the best quality content – content that is engaging, authoritative, and relevant – and ensure that content is what appears at the top of search.  And they’re trying to make sure that the boring or crappy keyword-stuffed garbage is penalized and doesn’t see the light of day any more often than possible.  That’s all. So if you’re creating great content in your niche and your readers eagerly await it, comment upon it and share it – Panda and Penguin are 2 of the most loveable black and white creatures you’ll ever see.  You can even look forward to each new release.

Are there any myths I missed? Leave a comment below!

The Zen of Creating a Kick-Ass Blog: How to Write Better Blogs

Curious – what’s on your to-do list today?

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If you’re like most bloggers or online marketers, it’s probably a mix – writing and promoting. You’re trying to come up with your next great idea – or maybe a bunch of them- and at the same time learn the social media marketing tips you need for your content to just maybe get shared (we won’t even hope for going viral any more). Maybe somewhere in there you’ll scan the internet for a quick tip on how to write better blogs. Most likely, though, that won’t even cross your mind.

Because you don’t have any time. Because you’re freakishly busy!  You’re focused on getting “enough” content out there “regularly enough?” And at the same time, you’re desperately trying to figure out the secret of what to say in 140 characters or less to get more retweets, how to phrase your Facebook updates to get more likes, and what the secret is to getting more +1’s on Google Plus.

I’m here to tell you that if that’s become your focus as a blogger, you’ve missed the boat.

And by simplifying your list of “must-do’s,” you can actually end up attracting more readers to your blog or website.  It’s almost Zen-like, really.

How to Write Better Blogs

If you truly want the kind of traffic that defines you as a “serious” blogger, you can cut the crazy, frantic marketing activity and do just one simple thing.

Learn how to write better blogs.

That’s it.

Corbett Barr of Think Traffic calls it “Writing Epic Shit.”  Apologies aside to anyone bothered by a 4-letter Anglo-Saxon colloquial term, but it’s the best advice I can give you about writing a blog as well.

Discover what it is in your niche that will really move people. Inspire people. Give them what they need to go forth and create epic stuff in their own businesses and lives. Give your readers content that is truly amazing – content that creates so much value they can’t believe you’re giving this stuff away for free. This is the secret for how to write better blogs, my friend.

And they’ll sing your praises from here to the end of the Twitterverse.

Why Learning How to Write Better Blogs Works

Here’s the thing. If you haven’t taken the time to learn how to write better blogs, how to create some truly kick-ass content, figuring out how to share it won’t really do a thing for you.

Sure – you’ll get a few of your followers dutifully sharing, since you’ve all agreed to share each others’ content.

But other than that – no matter how much promotion you do, it’s not going to help your traffic if your content simply sucks.

Think about your favorite blogs – do they have to ask you to share their content, or do you find yourself wanting to pass it along?  Some of the most popular bloggers there are have become that way for one reason alone – they create amazing content that people want to promote for them.

Creating amazing content means that you are creating content that in one way or another changes your readers’ lives. That’s it. Whether it’s short (think Seth Godin) or longer content, make it unforgettable.

How to Write Unforgettable Blogs

1.  Share personal experiences

There’s power in stories. People love to read them, and they tend to remember them more than dry factual content. Illustrate your point with a powerful story, and you’ve taken a step toward creating truly epic content.

2.     Get a life

If your life is spent totally in front of your computer writing about your life, your well will run dry. That’s not a Zen saying, by the way, I just made that up. It means that you’ll run out of things to say if you’re just relying on your own past experiences and you aren’t actively living a rich life. Make sure you’re reading in your field, and living a life with a variety of experiences – this is the fuel for being inspired to write better blogs write amazing blog content. If you’re doing amazing things, you’re more likely to be able to write amazing things as well.

3. Take your time

Blogging is that thing we all like to do as quickly as possible. Sometimes I’m guilty of it too – I know I write well, so I try to write quickly since I have a host of other income generating activities to do.

It’s a bad way to save time, though. The marketing power of epic content is so strong that cheating yourself here is the blogger’s equivalent of being penny wise and pound foolish.

Question:  What are you doing to blog better and create amazing content?  Leave a comment below!