How NOT to Write a Blog Post

5 responses.

How NOT to Write a Blog Post.

Write a blog postThis blog was born in 2007 and it quickly became our most important marketing tool. Since the first post the family of people who have subscribed to these branding thoughts has grown to over 86,000. Plus 80,000 additional readers follow the blog on LinkedIn every week.

I’ve written a number of posts specifically about how to create and benefit from a blog. You can find them HERE, HERE, and HERE.

But today’s post is different. Today is not about how to write a post. Today is about something more important. Today is about how NOT to write a blog post.

How NOT to write a blog post. The headline.

The most important part of your blog is the headline. Because if the headline doesn’t intrigue the reader to read more, the rest of what you’ve written doesn’t matter. Like the proverbial tree that falls in an empty forest, if no one reads your blog it didn’t make a sound.

Do NOT make the headline about you. Why? Because no one cares. With the names changed to protect the wrong-headed, here are real-world examples of headlines you should NOT emulate:

  • Exciting news about Shmegegie and Partners.
  • Kevin Joellyn Big Winner at EPOC 2017 Annual Conference.
  • Newco Corp’s March Newsletter.
  • The Smith and Partners’ April newsletter is here!

How NOT to write a blog post. The text.

I’m not about to tell you how to write your blog. The subject, poetry, and context you choose should be yours alone.

But I will tell you how NOT to write a blog. Do not write about anything that does not/cannot/will not intrigue your audience or improve their lives. If your post is not All About Them, why should they care?

Perhaps your company bought new equipment, won industry awards, hired a new executive assistant, or opened a facility in Sphincter, Wyoming. Congratulations! Those are great things to tell employees, vendors, and the customers who are affected. But they’re not blog-worthy.

Why?

Because outside of the limited audience of people who are directly impacted, nobody cares. And even if they do, do you think they’re still willing to take time out of their busy lives to read about your accomplishments? If you think so, you have bigger marketing problems than your blog.

How NOT to write a blog post. The distribution.

Regardless of what you heard from Kevin Costner’s character in Field Of Dreams, if you build it they will NOT come. The days of a blog post being read and distributed simply because it was posted on the Internet ended more than a decade ago.

Instead, you need to have a well thought-out and executed distribution strategy. You need to think about who you’re writing for and why they should care. And you need to figure out how to get your words in front of them in a way that will both invite and incentivize your readers.

Distribution techniques NOT to count on include:

  • Posting your blog on your website and doing nothing else to promote it.
  • Posting your blog on your social media sites and doing nothing else to promote it.
  • Emailing your post to a purchased email list and doing nothing else to promote it.

What do these techniques have in common? None of them will produce your desired results if you expect them to work on their own. Well-read blogs get that way because they are not only interesting and targeted but because their authors consistently promote them.

Here are some promotion techniques that ARE worth your time and effort:

  • Join LinkedIn groups that discuss issues you discuss and upload your blog there.
  • Inventory the people and companies you feature in your blog and send your essays to them with a personal note. If they like what you’ve written, they will promote your blog to their lists because it’s in their own interest to do so.
  • Invite your readers to repost your blog on their social media sites or email it to their friends and family. But don’t simply ask; instead, give your targeted audience good reasons why they should want to share your words.
  • Give your readers a place to respond to your posts and acknowledge their comments. Let them know and feel they are important members of your community and you appreciate their involvement.

How NOT to write a blog post. The next steps.

The simple, overriding strategy that will get your blog read and forwarded is to be sure what you write is NOT about you but is All About Them. For more techniques on how to do this, direct your browser HERE.

  5 Responses

  1. David J. Hawes
    on April 11, 2017

    Bruce: Thanks, this valuable… because it’s about me!

  2. David J. Hawes
    on April 11, 2017

    Bruce:

    “I” is the smallest word in the dictionary… I just looked it up.

  3. Caroline
    on April 12, 2017

    such good information. As my dad used to say “applied knowledge is power.” Now to think of a good headline for my next blog post and its distribution strategy… therein lies the challenge.

  4. on April 12, 2017

    Great tips! I like the strategy of notifying the people whom you mentioned in your blog post. That has worked very well for me in the past–especially getting new LinkedIn connections from people who are too high up the food chain to notice me.

    One should also have social share buttons so the post can be easily shared by website visitors.

  5. on April 12, 2017

    Yes, Ash, social share is critical. Thanks for reminding everyone on this blog. Appreciate your insight.

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