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Blogging For Beginners

Today I am starting a series of posts covering material used in our blogging workshops and extracted from my guidebook, “Business Blogging for Beginners”.

“Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.” – Francis Bacon.

The 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.

“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

We have now gone into the third print version of the book and it’s organised into five easy-to-read chapters and workshop sessions:

1. Introduction to blogging

• Blog
What is a blog?
What are vlogs and podcasts?

• Categorise your blog

Top Five Blog Categories
Beauty
Real Estate
Car
Fashion
Music

• Content marketing Vs Social Media marketing
Lead generation driven by consumption – Content marketing
Lead generation driven by participation – Social Media marketing

• Uses of Writing in an organisation
Why Should you blog?
Sixteen great reasons why businesses should blog
Five 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 am very busy
Am not fluent in English
Am just an average writer
Nobody wants to read what I write
What should I write about?
I am afraid of what others will think and say

• Five Professional fears to overcome
The fear of silence
The fear of sharing
The fear of selling
The twin fears of rejection and failure
The fear of success

• Six tips to conquer your fear of writing
Talk about it; read aloud
Get a writing buddy
Break the post into small chunks
Find a strong reason to write. Haters will hate
You are a writer not an author
Note it down, now!

Eight Steps to Blog preparation
Where should I jot down my ideas?
What should I be aware of?
What should I store?
Where should I store them?
What should I write on?
Where shall I set up my blog?
Where shall I post my blog?
SEO Friendly content?

• Elements of the blog
Four critical elements – Title, opening, body, CTA
Four 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
Categories
Text, images, video, audio

Understand what they want
What’s happening around you
What’s trending?
Interests and expectations
Ask, poll or quiz customers and employees

• Be productive
Top Five steps to be productive
Write
Avoid distractions
Plan
Set goals and schedules
Use productivity tools

Build the brand
Top Three steps to build the brand
Use a style guide
Professional Author Bio
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 and
Improper punctuation

5. How to write better

Writing Critique Checklist
Grammar
Use a strong verb
Junk Adverbs
Avoid repetition of Pronouns

Word choice
Over used words or repetition
Wrong word choice
Clichés

Writing Style
Active instead of passive voice
Readability
Transition or Flow

Sentence
Beginning
Sticky
Length

Consistency
UK Vs US
Hyphenation
Capitalisation

I will also throw in useful tools, exercises, tips and ‘further reading’ links to improve your blogging skills.

Let’s blog!
Srinath Ranga

Author-bio-srinath-ranga

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