This series of posts is a guide to help you conquer the fear of writing. If you are attempting to blog for the first time, wanting to improve your writing skills, or struggling to generate quality content for your company, then you have come to the right place.
“Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.” – Francis Bacon
I am Srinath Ranga, Director of Opteamize. Today, I am starting a series of posts covering material used in our blogging workshops and extracted from a guidebook I have released titled ‘Business Blogging for Beginners’.
Note: This book is out in Amazon and you can buy the entire Kindle Edition right now if you want. I will update this series on the first of every month, so be sure to check back for more.
“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.” — Enid Bagnold
Blogging for Beginners – The Beginning
We have now gone into the third version of the book. Third time’s the charm!
The guidebook is organized into five easy-to-read chapters and workshop sessions:
1. Introduction to Blogging
– What is a blog?
– What are vlogs and podcasts?
• Categorize Your Blog
– Top Five Blog Categories:
b) Real Estate
• Content Marketing vs Social Media Marketing
– Lead generation that is driven by consumption – Content marketing
– Lead generation that is driven by participation – Social Media marketing
• Uses of Writing in an Organization
– Why Should you blog?
– 16 great reasons why businesses should blog
– 5 metrics to know how your business blog is doing
2. Getting Started – 6 Steps to Success (a)
• Lose the Fear
– Top 6 excuses for not blogging:
i. I am very busy
ii. I lack fluency in English
iii. I am just an average writer
iv. Nobody wants to read what I write
v. I don’t know what to write about?
vi. I am afraid of what others will think and say
• Five Professional Fears to Overcome
a) The fear of silence
b) The fear of sharing
c) The fear of selling
d) The twin fears of rejection and failure
e) The fear of success
• Six Tips to Conquer Your Fear of Writing
I – Talk about it; read aloud
II – Get a writing buddy
III – Break the post into small chunks
IV – Find a strong reason to write. Haters will hate
V – You are a writer, not an author
VI – Note it down now!
• Eight Steps in Blog Preparation
1. Where should I jot down my ideas?
2. What should I be aware of?
3. What should I store?
4. Where should I store them?
5. What should I write on?
6. Where shall I set up my blog?
7. Where shall I upload my blog?
8. Is the content SEO-friendly?
• Elements of the Blog
– 4 critical elements: Title, opening, body, CTA
– 4 critical sub-elements: Headings, Author Bio, Image, Comments & social shares
– Other elements: Search box, search by categories, related posts, tags, length, blog excerpt
3. Getting started – 6 Steps to Success (b)
• Blogging topics
– Focus on what you know
– Text, images, video, audio
– Understand what they want
A. What’s happening around you
B. What’s trending?
C. Interests and expectations
D. Ask, poll, or quiz customers and employees
• Be productive
Top 5 steps to be productive:
ii. Avoid distractions
iv. Set goals and schedules
v. Use productivity tools
• Build the brand
– Top Three steps to build the brand
a – Use a style guide
b – Professional Author Bio
c – Install a comments system
4. Basics of Grammar and Avoiding the Plagiarism Trap
- Six terrible writing mistakes
- Redundancy (repetition)
- Using tired clichés
- Synonym abuse
- Being unclear with dangling modifiers
- Poor grammar
- Improper punctuation
5. How to Write Better
Writing Critique Checklist
– Use a strong verb
– Junk Adverbs
– Avoid repetition of Pronouns
– Overused words or repetition
– Wrong word choice
– Active instead of passive voice
– Transition or Flow
– UK vs US
I will also throw in useful tools, exercises, tips, and ‘further reading’ links to improve your blogging skills.
Update: You can proceed to Lesson One now.