One of the toughest things about blogging is the self-imposed pressure to always have a terrific, earth-shattering, life-changing blog post that makes people catch fire reading it.
You know what I mean. You’ve got that little voice whispering in your ear that if your posts don’t measure up to some impossibly high standard you’ve set, then all is lost and the world will know that you’re a fraud.
The good news is, it simply isn’t true. You don’t need every post to be a 2,000-word masterpiece or the final definitive word on your topic. Instead, all you need is content that gives your readers what they want. That’s it. Your readers want to know the latest news or the best methods? Then that’s what you give them. Forget trying to be a great writer and instead focus on being your readers’ ‘friend in the business’ and you’ll be an AMAZING blogger.
Here are 10.5 more tips to take some of the blogging pressure off of you and put the fun back into blogging:
Make yourself a posting schedule and then stick to it as regularly as you brush your teeth. Surprisingly, having a blogging schedule actually makes it easier for you to blog. It provides soft deadlines that keep you motivated to sit down and write. You won’t be able to put off your blogging if your readers expect a new post every Tuesday and Friday, and you know it.
Keep a running list of blogging ideas. Use a program like Evernote to keep track of your ideas and the resources you can draw from when writing your posts.
Forget being totally original. Seriously. Every idea is built upon or inspired by someone else’s idea. So give credit where credit is due, provide your own unique twist or take on the subject and relax – no one expects you to reinvent anything.
Re-purpose your content and other people’s content, too. Curate, list, pull bits and pieces from here and there – it’s all good. Just give credit to everyone you sourced from. And go back to your own content and see if you can’t update it, re-purpose it, mix it up or whatever. Odds are if you’ve been blogging for more than a year then you’ve got a small goldmine of content you can mine to create new content.
Be more of a reporter and less of an expert. Being the go-to expert in your niche is difficult, especially when you’re new to blogging. The pressure can become so unbearable that you cease to write, afraid you’ll pen something that will make you look foolish in your readers’ eyes.
But if you place your focus on reporting instead of being the absolute authority, magic will happen. You’ll feel freer to express your own opinions, you’ll find it’s far easier to write posts, and because you are referencing other authorities and experts in your niche, you become your own authority to your readers.
Mix up your content. Are you only writing blog posts? Then add videos. Are you only podcasting? Then write blog posts. If you limit yourself to one media, you’re also limiting the number of people who will engage in and benefit from your content.
Short is great. So is long. There was a time when it was suggested (actually, I saw this again quite recently) that no post should be under 2,000 words, and all posts should take days to write and be the absolute authority on whatever you’re writing about.
Hogwash. I briefly mentioned this in the beginning – write as much as you need to. If you can cover your topic in 200 words, DO IT. If it takes 2,000 words, then just make sure you’re holding your readers’ attention for the ENTIRE 2,000.
This reminds me of the “short sales letter vs long sales letter” debate. It’s a stupid, ridiculous debate, and here’s why: A blog post or a sales letter should be exactly as long as it needs to be and no longer. Period.
Stop leaving terrific blog comments on other people’s blogs. Seriously. You just read a post on a high traffic blog and you’ve got your own opinion or insight you want to share that you’re sure will help that blog’s readers.
Don’t do it. Instead, create your own post on your own blog and link back to the original blog. Then let the original blog know that you mentioned and linked to them in your post. This way your blog has more great content and who knows? You might get a backlink from the blog you referenced.
Use images. Every. Time. Maybe more than once, too. It’s irrefutable that images work at grabbing attention, so make sure that every post you make has at least one image. And be sure to place a caption under the image, because people are far more likely to read the image caption than anything else on the page (other than the headline, of course.)
Publish your articles on other sites. Sites like LinkedIn, The Huffington Post, and many, many others allow content to be republished on their sites as long as it fits their guidelines. This is a terrific way to pick up new subscribers by posting a link back to your own profile or blog.
And what about Google’s duplicate content penalty? The duplicate content penalty doesn’t apply to syndication or curation. If it did, you’d never see a major news site appear at the top of the search results because they all subscribe to services that helps them get duplicate content, such as the Associated Press. And bloggers who frequently syndicate their content to other quality sites report that they receive no penalties what-so-ever.
10.5. Ask for the subscribe. Ask. And ask. But don’t be obnoxious. You wrote a post on getting traffic, and you’ve got a free report on even more ways to get traffic? Ask them to subscribe right there at the end of your post. “To get 27 more ways to get targeted, free traffic with the push of a button, simply tell me where to send the report and it’s yours.”
If you’ve been having trouble blogging on a regular basis, hopefully reading this has made you realize that blogging doesn’t need to be stressful. The rules are not as rigid and some would have you believe, and the most important thing of all is to simply give your readers what they want and lots of it, in whatever form it might take.