I took part in my second Google Plus Hangout on Air with Wade Harman and Carolyn Capern and am happy to report that it went rather well. So well that it’s become a regular feature and has been given the moniker of “Blogging Warfare”.
You can view the full hangout below and I’ve tried to extract some of the key points and highlighted below.
Successful Content Strategies for a Brainstorming Blogger
You never know what inspiration for content you might find by what is around. Always be aware of your surroundings
2) No Two Blog Posts are the Same (Wade)
You might not be the first person to write on a topic but you can put your own take and spin on it. People will derive value from different posts in different ways so don’t discount what you have to offer purely because someone else has broached the topic.
3) On Site SEO
The SEO nerd (me) points out the importance of onsite SEO for your content creation efforts. You want to maximise your efforts so that you can survive the marathon that is online marketing and not get disheartened. (Rob and Wade arrange a play date for SEO ;))
4) Be Aware of the Two Audiences (Rob)
When creating content you have to be aware of the two audiences you are writing for, one is the search engines and the second is human readers – both have to be catered for.
5) How Do you Choose Content To Write About?
When writing content try “follow your nose” so that you can write about what your interested in but also factor in search trends. – Rob
Write about your niche, subject or topic – Wade. Then, referencing a question from Sam Stormborn Ormandy about how to start blogging Wade says to focus on what your interested in and what is related to your niche or topic.
Identify your audience and draw on their experience for your content – Carolyn. Always have a notebook when meeting clients as the questions that pop up become great content for blog posts.
6) Think Like A Teacher (Rob)
If you can think like a teacher you can delve into the wealth of knowledge you have to teach and help others. By creating informative content you can then use lots of different content formats like video, slideshare etc. (I mention this point in my Content Marketing 101 guide).
7) “Should writers ditch their blog in favour of Google Plus?” – Lisa Heffernan
A unanimous don’t do it from Wade, Carolyn and msyelf. Your site is your home base and honey point – focus on sending traffic to it. By all means use Google Plus as a tool for traffic but don’t substitute it for your blog.
7.5) Long posts, like the one Mark Traphagen wrote referencing the great shared circle debate, are perfect for Google Plus and an example of how G+ can be used as a halfway house for content that could be housed on a blog – but isn’t.
8) Is it good enough to link to my blog from my G+ page?
It’s good, but no enough. Be active in sharing blog posts by elaborating on back stories to the post or whatever inspired you to write the post. – Carolyn.
9) Should I refresh content on an original blog post if I have new knowledge or content to add to it or write a new post? – Greg Trujillo
Refresh the content. If the post is doing well in search there is no need to jeopardise that. – Wade
Refresh the content. Recently Mike Allton refreshed his mammoth How I Promote New Blog Posts and if it’s good enough for him then it’s good enough for us ;) If the original post isn’t doing well in search though then a new post, which would be linked to by the old post, might have some merit to it. – Rob
10) Does it get easier to create content as you do more posts? – Sam Stormborn Ormandy
Yes, you’ll learn how to dissect topics and go more in depth as you continue to write – Wade
Yes, and you’ll actually get better at writing better posts as you move through the layers and go deeper into the content – Carolyn
10.5) Should I end a blog post with a question?
Yes, across the board you ask questions to try illicit a response, engagement and interactions. Have that in mind from the get go with all of your content strategies. – Rob
11) Don’t be too scared To put out your content
You’ll only be able to look objectively at your content when you release it. As Craig Chamberlin says, the first post, video or anything you do probably won’t be your best but don’t let that hold you back. Take your first shot in the blogging warfare and iterate and improve.
12) Don’t use “I” too much in posts – Wade
The use of I inhibits people from connecting with you. It’s much better to use the word “you” so that you can suck the reader in.
13) Should posts on my blog follow the same format on Google Plus? – Gwen
Use attractive images when sharing on Google Plus and make sure to include images in your blog to break the text and improve the formatting. There is a been a huge reduction in attention span and so you should factor that in so that your blog post will be read. The side benefit is that the image can get shared via Pinterest etc – Carolyn.
14) Do you have 3 concrete suggestions for writing an effective blog article? – Stephan Futeral
Headline – to get their attention, analogy (men stuck in the hole [ye, you better watch the video to find out about that]) and ask questions – Wade
Headline, image and analogy focused on your services. Use “you” in the headline to suck the readers in – Rob
15) What heights can be achieved from blogging? – Steven Fitzpatrick
Carolyn – all depends on your goals
Rob – it’s all relative really, like in life it all depends on what you put into it. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk as an example of some of the heights that can be reached from blogging.
16) Most Effective Writing Habbit
Wade – Consistency is key.
Rob – writing with a bit of my personality and character revealed
Carolyn – absorb the environment and be engaged with what’s going on in the world, that’s where inspiration comes from.
If you’ve read all of the above and watched the hour long show well, thank you – hope you’ve gotten some ideas for your content creation and online marketing efforts. There’ll be another HoA coming soon and if you havne’t seen the first HoA you can check it here, “How To Make Money with Your Blog“.
If you’ve any questions about blogging, content creation or online marketing please ask them below and they’ll be discussed during our next HoA – let the blogging warfare continue.