If your blog is not building the personal brand you want, put it on a diet!
Adopt a new philosophy: write better, but write less!
Putting your blog on a diet sharpens your thinking and improves your ability to engage, inform, and motivate readers, building your personal brand as the “go to” resource in your field.
It also creates time for you to do a better job integrating your blog with your other writing, publishing, and brand building efforts.
Competent versus energized blogging
It’s easy to fall into the trap of writing “comfortable,” routine, blog posts.
Certainly, blog posts that are just “OK” are certainly preferable to no blog posts at all.
But, to become the “go to” expert in your field, your blog has to do more than simply echo basic ideas and current perspectives. Your blog posts have to sizzle with fresh, engaging, and relevant writing.
It takes time, however, to prepare energized, memorable, “stand out” blog posts….and there are only a few ways to create more time!
- Work harder, sleep less, exercise less, and cut family time
- Cut your income by spending less time servicing clients and developing new products and services
- Write less, eliminate marginal posts, and focus on fewer, better-written posts
Usually, the 3rd alternative makes the most sense.
Write better by writing less
Here are 7 ways to put your blog on a diet:
- Frequency. If you’re currently blogging 2, or more, times a week, consider cutting back to one blog post a week. Use the time savings to improve the quality, relevance, and resonance of the remaining posts.
- Length. Check the length of your typical blog posts. Use WordPress’s Word Count feature at the lower left of the Edit Post screen. If your blog posts typically run more than 700-800 words, you may be providing unnecessary detail. Sharpen your focus and edit to the bone!
- Theme. Develop a long-range theme, or mission, for your blog. Even if you’re not “blogging a book,” think of each post as a building block that supports a “big idea” that’s exclusively yours, one you’re sharing on a weekly basis.
- Topics. Select blog post topics ahead of time. This allows your brain to process ideas before you write. Choosing topics ahead of time also ensures that topics will appear in the right order and you won’t overlook any important topics.
- Structure. Create a simple structure, or template, for writing blog posts. Let the structure guide as you engage your readers, describe the relevance of each topic, introduce your main ideas, and end with a call to action.
- Schedule. Commit to posting new content at consistent intervals, i.e., the same day each week. Schedule a couple of short (30-45 minute) working sessions for each post. During the first session, prepare the first draft. During the next session, review and edit. Never select a topic, write, and publish a post during a single working session!
- Follow-up. Track comments, Retweets, Likes, and website visits. Back-up your posts on your own computer–preferably–on more than one computer. Use a Mindjet Dashboard to get a “big picture” view of your published and upcoming blog posts. Print posts on 3-hole paper and save them in binders devoted to specific topics.
Growing brand equity, one post at a time
The benefits of putting your blog on a diet include:
- Focus. By being selective in what write about, you can focus each post on your market’s needs while creating content ready to be reused and reformated.
- Polished. By writing less, but spending more time on each post, you’ll be better able to research, argue, and edit each post so it best reflects your mission and your brand. Your posts will become more engaging, persuasive, and passionate.
- Optimized. Writing fewer posts create time for support activities like search engine optimization, promoting, and tracking each post.
Questions to ask yourself
Review the blog posts you’ve created during the past 6 months. How many of them reflect you at your informed and passionate best? How many of them could you use as chapters in a book or reform them for information products, podcasts, or YouTube videos? Start your journey to a stronger personal brand by putting your blog on a diet, so you can write less, but write better.
Roger C. Parker is an author, book coach, designer, consultant who works with authors, marketers, & business professionals to achieve success with brand-building books & practical marketing strategy. He helps create successful marketing materials that look great & get results, and can turn any complex marketing or writing task into baby steps. Visit his blog to learn more or ask a question.