It’s 12:37am, and Damien Rose is still researching blog posting etiquette. He’s no newbie to writing – he’s a guest contributor for three different cannabis publications while he was finishing his Master’s in Agricultural Economics. He’s more than ready to start a cannabis blog of his own, but the thought of committing a posting faux pas makes his palms sweat.
If you, like Desmond, are thinking about starting a blog – or have already started one, here are a few do’s and don’ts that will help you on your way.
Do: Write Something You’re Passionate About
Authenticity. Is. Everything.
If you’re writing about something that you’re passionate about, it’ll show. Desmond is the perfect person to write about cannabis because he’s been doing it for years. He can explain the differences between CBD and CBG with the same ease that a pilot can fly a plane.
We tend to be enthusiastic about our passions. There’s a reason why I’m writing an entire blog series about content writing – it’s what I know! If I was writing about something like coding or the stock market, it would lack fervor.
Everyone has interests and topics that they know tons about. The term “write what you know” is a cliché for a reason. The more you do it (accurately), the more credible you become.
Don’t: Blog Posting About a Topic Just Because It’s “Trending”
If you’re not interested in politics, you probably shouldn’t be writing about the upcoming election. A lack of passion will show in your work and increase your bounce rate. Also, you’re far more likely to burn out before you see significant traffic. According to BlogTyrant, must bloggers lose interest in the topic they’re writing about long before they get a following.
Think of blogging in terms of writing a book. First off, completing an entire manuscript even if you’re interested in the subject is worth a standing ovation. Go, you! You’re not Josie Grosie anymore (Gen Z won’t get that reference, and that’s a damn shame)!
Can you imagine how much harder it would be to write an entire book about something you’re not interested in? Don’t write the next Harry Potter if you’re not interested in fantasy. Stay in your lane, and you’ll have a much better chance at success.
Luckily, there’s an exception to this rule. If you can take a trending topic and relate it to your subject matter, you absolutely should. Damien’s audience is expecting to read about cannabis, not about Biden and Trump’s views on foreign policy. However, if Damien writes an in depth piece about their views on the legalization of cannabis – that would be on brand.
Research what people are talking about these days. Are there ways to tie in how it affects what you’re writing about? If so, turn this don’t into a temporary do!
You’re gonna see me say this a lot. Make videos!
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth 1.8 million. We are visual learners. We retain more information if it’s explained through moving pictures. In the marketing world, it’s now the #1 way leads discover brands that they later buy from.
Not convinced yet? Here are a few more compelling stats:
- Viewers claims that they retain 95% of the information when in video format
- 84% marketers say that video has helped improve traffic on their website
- 93% of brands report getting new customers because of videos on social media
Pair your blog post with a video. The video can be an intro to the post, a couple fun additional tidbits, or highlight a few key takeaways. Sift through some of your older posts. Are they still relevant? If so, update them like it’s a new edition of a college textbook, pair it with a video, and retarget your audience.
Also, don’t let video intimidate you. You don’t need to be a videographer to create compelling visual content. Do you think those TikTok rapscallions all have NYU film degrees? No! All you need is a good script, a teleprompter app, a microphone, a phone with great video capabilities, a tripod, and your imagination.
Don’t: Recant your whole post in video
Reciting your post via video is like repeating every word on a powerpoint presentation. It gets redundant and eliminates the need for the post.
- 2 minutes for YouTube
- Less than 2 minutes for Facebook
- 60 seconds or less for Instagram
- 30 seconds for Twitter
Any longer than that and people lose interest. Keep in mind that a person speaks between 125-150 words per minute. When you’re writing a video script, concise is key.
Do: Offer Free Downloads
If you’re using a template to get your point across, offer that template as a free download. Better yet, offer it in exchange for an email address. Share this on social and include it in your newsletters for those who have already subscribed. If you’re looking for additional ways to attract subscribers, we’ve got you covered.
Don’t: Miss Golden Opportunities
Don’t “set it and forget it.” Think about how your readers can get the most out of every post. One of the best things about blog posts is their versatility. For example, if Desmond writes a blog post reviewing a strain of cannabis, he can:
- Use an cannabis-related image on social media w/a link to the post
- Use a pull quote from the article on social media w/a link to the post
- Create a short video on social media platforms w/a link to the post
- Start a YouTube series about reviewing cannabis products
- Convert the post into a chapter for an ebook
Desmond can also share his posts with other cannabis bloggers – especially if he used some of their source material. It’s a great way to make connections and motivate them to share your work with their audience. It could even be the start of a social sharing tribe.
Do: Keep It Casual
Google loves posts that are around an 8th grade reading level. Granted, there are some exceptions to this rule (e.g. if you’re blog is about the latest breakthroughs in quantum physics and your target audience are PhDs that understand said jargon), but you should strive to keep it simple.
Your blog posts should be education, but also conversational. Be a little loose with your style choices. In the blogging world, things like ending sentences with prepositions are usually okay. We do it in conversations all the time. However, it’s also important that your language is on brand. If your voice or tone don’t match the rest of your site it will come across as inauthentic.
Don’t: Ignore Your Engagement
Blogging is largely about informing your audience about your brand and starting a conversation. If you ignore the people that are comments, liking, and sharing your posts, you’re missing some golden opportunities to reach out to leads who may become customers and/or brand ambassadors.
Obviously, ignore someone if they’re trolling you. Interacting with them is like trying to explain on Facebook why someone else’s political views are wrong. You’ll waste two hours of your life and end up more frustrated than when you began.
These are just a few of the many do’s and don’ts of blog posting. Our Blog Posting: Do’s and Don’ts Part 2 will be coming soon. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your to blog posting more successfully. In the mean time, check out why content writers are such a powerful investment your in your business or leave a comment below.