We’re living in one of the most exciting and dynamic times in history; at the click of a button you can connect with people scattered across the globe, contribute to communities & build a consistent online presence. We should never underestimate the power and influence of the internet – look at the speed that social media has developed!
The generations before us developed their business personas through print (magazines, newspapers, ads), radio and television. Now, we have the opportunity to directly interact with people online rather than just throwing company slogans at them. These opportunities should be taken advantage of, especially through the use of blogging.
While social media allows you to connect with people, with a blog you can provide your community with valuable content & gradually build a sound reputation.
So, here are 23 steps to help you build your blog & online presence in a digital world:
1. Identify Your Passion
The best way contribute valuably to a community is to make sure that you’re doing what you love. Passion comes across in the tone and energy of your writing. If you’re not excited about it, why should your audience be? Remember, it all starts with you!
2. Create a List of Blog Topics
Once you’ve found your passion – write a list of 10 to 15 topics that you can write or video blog about. That way you’ll have a variety of directions to go in & enough content to publish.
3. Ask: Can I Talk About This Better Than Anyone Else?
If the answer is yes, amazing! Now be prepared to be dedicated – when those 5am wake up calls occur, will you be willing to get started? Make sure that you’re constantly trying to provide your readers with the best.
4. Naming Your Blog
Many people underestimate the power of a name. A name can simply make or break a brand! Did you know that, Nike was originally called Blue Ribbon Sports? Can you imagine them being the number one sports brand in the world with their original name? Even with their innovative technology & brand story, simply changing the name somewhat contributed to Nike’s success. So please, take the time to think about your blog name carefully. Most people make the domain their actual name – which makes you easy to find online & a perfect starting point. There’s also nothing wrong with a blog name that is reflective of your personality or lifestyle. Just makes sure that it paints a clear picture of you!
5. Find Consistent Name Domains
Deciding on a name is great but now you need to secure it, not just for your blog but consistently across social media platforms that you choose to be active on. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is by using either Namevine or Namechk – these websites tell you whether web domains are available. That way you can be found, consistently & have a stronger search optimilzation.
6. Determine Who Your Audience is
Before you start producing any content, you need to know who you’re targeting and what they need. There is no point in blindly creating content that they don’t want or need. Do some online listening – search for hashtags or key words that your audience may be using and generate a clear profile. The more you understand them, the easier it is to genuinely connect with them.
8. Join the RIGHT Social Networks
You’ll need to find a way to connect with your online community in other ways beyond your blog. It is vital that you don’t fall into the trap of trying to be everywhere – you don’t need to be! You’re community will be in specific social hot spots. Social media is very time consuming, so it’s better to be in a handful of places and create a strong presence. Be in the right places and connect with the right people.
7. Choose Your Main Content Medium
Whilst I do believe that you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things, it is likely that you’ll be using one particular medium consistently & dipping into others occasionally. Whether you choose video, audio or written word, find the best way to communicate your passions!
8. Share Buttons – Make It Easy
Another aspect of blogging that is often over looked is sharing buttons. They should be easy to locate & eye catching. Remember to include the social networks where your audience are most active. Email also important as people may like to share with a specific individual.
9. Think Carefully About Blog Titles
This is the first thing that people will see, this will either draw them in or lead them to move on. Here’s a great article to help you: 189 Words That Convert – Write Copy That Get’s Your Customers Attention
10. Publish Regularly
If you’re producing content frequently, you’re touching base with your community more often. Although, try to focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to produce two amazing blogs that are genuinely helpful than five that are hit & miss.
11. Talk to Your Community
More than pushing out great content, you should also be connecting with people and networking within your online communities. Everyone that you meet has something valuable to teach you! Do this by commenting on other blogs, replying to comments on your own, joining in Twitter chats & sharing other people’s content.
12. Curation & Sharing
There’s nothing wrong with sharing other people’s content as well as your own. Putting the spotlight on someone else & giving them the recognition that they deserve is an important aspect of community building. It shows that you care about the progression your industry! Great ideas should be shared so that everyone can maximise from them. There are some great tools like Paper.li that allow you to generate a single paper with links to content that received the most engagement.
12. Twitter Search
A free listening tool that you should use to your advantage! Use hashtags & key words to find the people who are talking about your passions & connect with them. Building relationships with people takes time so don’t be forceful – be a helping hand and people will eventually come to you.
13. Learn From Industry Leaders
Find the people who are causing ripples in your industry and follow them. Whether your signing up to a newsletter, blog or following them on Twitter, they will provide you with great ideas & industry news.
14. Monitor Your Brand
You need to know whether your successfully producing the online reputation that you had in mind. Track your links using Bit.ly & use a tool like Mention to monitor whenever you’re name crops up across the web.
15. Tool Time!
There’s nothing better than a great tool that allows you to handle the digital world. Blog & social media management can be incredibly time consuming; finding tools to make this as efficient as possible is key. Here are a few suggestions: 12 Tools That All Social Media Managers Should Use
17. Link Brands to Your Blogs
Written a product/service review? Don’t be afraid to reach out and let the company or brand know. You never know what opportunities this could lead to! You could be asked to test their next product or be a guest blogger. Make sure that you optimize on any opportunity to be show your expertise.
18. A Dream With out a Plan is Just a Wish
Planning is so important. It can significantly affect the chances of your blog becoming successful – so think carefully about everything that you do. Create a list of long and short term goals; this gives you room to make improvements.
19. Create a Content Calendar
You will get to a stage where the ideas just don’t stop rolling in. You’ll have 3 blog posts written, 2 videos waiting to be pushed out and maybe a podcast in the pipeline too. As tempting as it may be to publish them all as soon as you’ve created them – this could lead to some amazing content going entirely unseen. Think about the optimum time to publish your content and do it efficiently. Don’t let your hard work go wasted because of poor management!
20. Images for Engagement
It’s no secret that images increase the engagement rate of your posts, with this in mind make sure that you have some resources to go to. Canva is great for creating your own images and they have dimensions for pretty much every social media site going! I use FreePik & Little Visuals regularly for quality stock photos. But most importantly, make sure that the imagery is relevant!
21. Sexy Data
Now… I know that is sounds like an oxymoron. Data… sexy… yeah right. But what I mean is, use data to make yourself more appealing to the right people. Data itself can be a serious headache but there are some great tools out there to enable you to process it easily. I would start with SumAll – you can connect it with a variety of platforms & it simply tells you whether you’re up or down on the previous week with a percentage.
22. Re-Post Your Blogs
The great thing about social media is it’s capacity to connect you with people across the globe. Those people, however, all live in different time zones. If I publish at 9am GMT, that’s 5am EST and there won’t be many people around to see it. Remember to re-post your content so that your audience – where ever they are – has the opportunity to see it!
23. Have Values & Stick With Them
Blogs are a perfect opportunity to give the world a taste of your personality. With that being said, always remember to do the right thing. If you honestly believe that you stand for something, don’t be afraid to make this clear. But also, be weary of going off track. Consistency is key – especially if you want to build a solid reputation.
I hope that all of these steps have been helpful! Remember, this is the first step to creating new opportunities that, otherwise, may not have been possible. If you have any advice of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.Follow @lifeofaworkgirl