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How do I become better at blogging?

Creating and building a blog is a key way to grow awareness for your startup, tell your story, build audience engagement, and drive site traffic through SEO and Social Media.

Yet many struggle to find the time and focus to maximize their blogging activities. Here are 10 quick starters to make your blogging more efficient:

  1. Create the environment to focus; turn off any potential distractions such as email, chat, Facebook or the mobile. Be at one with your content.
  2. Have an ongoing plan with a schedule for each piece of content that you’re going to create. This should outline your objectives for each; who you’re targeting; what form the content will take (written, video, image, podcast, etc.); when it will go live; and how you’ll seed and promote it. This doesn’t need to be complicated or exhaustive, but rather a simple plan that compels you to action. Then, as you sit down to create your blog, you’ll know exactly what your doing and will avoid spending hours trying to figure it out or think of ideas.
  3. Before you start crafting, doing the necessary research is one of the biggest time-drains for bloggers – start building a repository of “ready-to-go” research to draw on when you need it. Save any relevant articles or content as you discover them using tools such as Pocket or Evernote (you can find some more resources to help with this here).
  4. Another way to ensure you concentrate your precious time on value-add is to outsource the research component; it’s critical to ensure that this is properly briefed, but using freelancers through Elance, oDesk or alternatives can deliver high quality research conducted quickly and at low cost.
  5. Start with the end in mind; know how you’re going to conclude and what you want the reader to take away and / or do. Having this purpose will help you to structure and channel the overall piece with clarity, consistency and a better flow.
  6. Build a framework; a good method for this is to outline your key points in bullets before refining and reordering as necessary, and then expanding.
  7. Stay disciplined and avoid “feature creep” as you write by adding more and more ideas as they pop into your head; keep it simple and focussed. This will save you time and avoid creating something overly long and convoluted for your reader.
  8. Start with a concise introduction that clearly states the issue that you’re discussing and allows you to identify with the audience that you’re addressing.
  9. Allow sufficient time for review and edits; finalizing the title and tags, etc.; sourcing images; and seeding through your social channels. This always takes longer than you expect.
  10. Look at how you can re-purpose your content to different audiences through different channels; i.e. could you turn a written post into a video or infographic? In this way you’ll maximise the output and return on your efforts.