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10 do’s and don’ts for blogging

March 5, 2016

The next two posts are part of a Small Business Marketing series that was intended to be on a Microsoft based site for “Small Biz Hacks”. Unfortunately, Microsoft never followed through with the site or series but it was a joy to work with Luanne Brown and it would be a shame to throw this content away.  So here’s the 2nd of 2 I could find. This one was created in partnership with Robert, Colin and Kelly.

Before you start your blog

Do

Come up with four to six topics—broad categories of subjects you’re interested in writing about. Then break these topics into categories and determine what stories you want to tell that fit into these main topic areas. Devise a system to record your ideas for future blogs. We use Microsoft OneNote 2013 (shared in SharePoint) to keep a running list of topics and make notes about what we want to say.

Don’t

Don’t start a blog if you don’t think you can keep up the effort over time. There is nothing worse than a blog with only one or two posts. If you have an abandoned blog, unlink it. If you’ve abandoned your blog, your customers might worry you’ll abandon them too.

Do

Structure your writing. Ask ‘what’ (define the problem), ‘so what’ (why does it matter), and ‘now what’ (how can the problem be resolved).

Don’t

Don’t ramble, get to the point.

Do

Put a bit of your personality into your blog. Let people know who you are and they will be more interested in what you have to say and, perhaps, more inclined to work with you too.

Don’t

Don’t make your blogs too technical and dry. Avoid religion and politics.

Once you’re blogging regularly

Do

Decide on your subject beforehand.

Don’t

Construct your blog around the kind of action you want people to take once they’ve read your blog.

Do

Keep your blog short and digestible.  Readers are attracted to blogs that focus on solving a very specific problem.

Don’t

Don’t cover more than one subject or make your blog too long.

Do

Write about problems you come across in your everyday work life. If you or someone you work with has a question or problem that needs solving, it’s likely other people will too.  What matters is that you help people get to the next step in their process.

Don’t

Don’t go out of your way to drum up ideas.

Do

Get your content out there.

Don’t

People are waiting for solutions to their problems. Don’t let perfectionism slow you down.

Once you’ve published your blog

Do

Share your blogs in different ways.  We have an RSS feed on our site and Tweet with links. We don’t use Facebook for our technical content. We tag our posts with three to five Microsoft key words in the title and blog post. Posts optimized for keywords are getting the farthest reach. While readability is important, wherever possible, repeat keywords.

Don’t

Don’t assume that if you just publish to your site your blog will get much play.

Do

Try to start conversations. Pose questions and invite people to respond so that once your blog is published, you’ll hear back from readers.

Don’t

Don’t lecture.

Do

The future is video blogging. We’ve invested in Camtasia as a tool to help us create professional videos from text, screenshots, and our PowerPoint presentations. We also use Snagit for static screen shots.

Don’t

Don’t stick with words only—especially if you want to reach the post-millennials.

 

 

 

 

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Sean Wallbridge

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