by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Millions of people worldwide are waking up to the fact that they are going to have a blog — no ifs, ands, or buts. That a blog — a personal marketing and communications device — is no longer a luxury. If you expect to stay on the cutting edge of the ‘net, you’re going to be a blog publisher, or else.
If you’ve accepted this fact, you’re on the right road. If you haven’t, you’re already a dinosaur… but let’s, for purposes of today’s discussion, suppose that you have decided to produce a blog… and want the results to be superb, meaning to create a blog that’s timely, well-written, persuasive and that delivers the cash, too.
Here are some key recommendations to produce this necessary result:
1) The most effective blogs are published on a regular, announced schedule, not just when you feel like it.
This point should need no discussion… but it does. One of the major problems I see in my work with blog publishers (I write their articles for them) is that these folks still see the business of blogging as something casual, episodic, to be done when and if they have the time.
That’s completely wrong. Blogs, like every other periodical on earth, must have a regular date and time they will be written and released This gives your readers something solid to hold on to, to look forward to. You want your readers to know that you are a person of deadlines and schedules; someone they can rely on.
Stop thinking of your blog as something you can do whenever you feel like it, catch as catch can. Is this how you want your customers, your readers to see you? Not if you value their business.
2) Resolve to say Something Important in every issue of your blog.
When you see most blogs, you have to wonder why their “publishers” ever got out of bed to do them. Trivia! Drivel! Published so that their publishers can say they have a blog… rather than to say something timely! Significant! Motivating!
Now hear this: if you’re one of these myopic blogsters, you’re sabotaging your success. Blogs work because they deliver useful information that informs, persuades, excites and enthuses your readers… just the way all great publishers have from the very first day of the very first publisher.
Publishers present stories that lift up the readers…. and do everything in their power to create, develop, and maintain the crucial link between publisher and reader, creating prosperity for both.
3) Create the all-important blog article idea file.
Visit my office in Cambridge, Massachusetts ,and you see an assembly line for the creation of intellectual property. The first crucial link in this production process is the article idea file. It’s a must.
Start with a pair of good scissors and the most important newspaper in your area. Supplement this material with the most important newspaper(s) in your country. Add other specialty publications to this list, publications which follow developments in your given field.
Go through these publications regularly and cut out articles that contain information of value and interest to your readers. Make sure every one of these articles is dated… then file for future use. As you become more and more proficient at your essential blog business, you will realize the crucial significance of this article “compost heap”… and you will make it a key part of your day to add to it by wielding your scissors and cutting out the crucial story ideas and information you need.
4) Each Monday, brainstorm the articles you will need for the week.
Post your draft titles and the date you intend to do them. Remember, your blog should have a format; your articles should fit into this format. My articles, for instance, (including this one) are 3 single-spaced pages in length, about 1,500 words. A lively, timely article of this length and substance anchors your blog and gives it “heft”, the feeling of importance and “must read” value.
5) Do a subject search in the major search engines.
To gather necessary background information and to see what others may have said on the topic, use the search engines assiduously. This is vital. Search engines not only post critical information on any given topic, but tell you when this information was posted. In tracking a developing story, such data are vital.
6) Always, always, always search Wikipedia (founded 2001).
Frankly, for blog publishers and researchers of every kind, Wikipedia takes the cake. As a very active blog content writer, I can confirm that I visit it every single day, and not once either. You will, too — if you want your articles to be informative, grounded by fact and not just your opinions.
7) Write your article copy.
Articles,as noted above, should be of a particular length and format, just like various departments in other publications. These should be written in the second person (“you”).
Paragraphs should be limited to 6-8 lines for easy readability; line length should be limited to 10-14 words, again for easy reading. If you bury your readers under a mountain of intimidating text, they will repay your efforts by.. skipping the arduous task you have assigned them.
8) Edit, proofread, post.
Your blog copy production line should chugging along nicely at this point. Now’s the time to polish with the finishing touches that transform a good article into a great one.
Read your article aloud. This will help you determine whether your sentences are balanced, or not; your construction difficult to comprehend, or mellifluous.
Make sure you have checked your spelling and any facts of which you’re uncertain. Proofreading is a must for your credibility and the value of what you’ve written and will present to the world.
To conclude the production process, post the article on your website and in your blog. You are not merely a blog publisher, you are, better, a publisher, part of the great tradition. Enjoy a moment of joyful reverie, but only a minute. After all, your next deadline already looms, and you must and shall be ready.
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About The Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also a syndicated writer and author of 18 best-selling business books. Details at worldprofit.com and JeffreyLantArticles.com
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