Blogging 101

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Written by MVWG Member, Amanda Zieba

Our Mississippi Valley Writers Guild Blog may be brand new, but I’ve been writing for my author website blog for the last three and a half years. Throughout the course of my 120+ posts I’ve committed over 80,000 words (equivalent to the length of a novel!) to the screen, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Today I want to share them with you.

If you’ve been considering starting a blog, here are a few tips, tricks and techniques to keep in mind. 


Benefits of Blogging

  • Blogging proves your credibility in a specific area or niche topic. If you are trying to play the role of an expert in gardening, quilting, financial advice, or any other topic of interest, sharing what you know on a blog is one great way to establish your authority in the field. 

  • Blogging is a great was to increase traffic to your website. Posting new content will draw people back to your site to see what’s new. It also makes for fresh content to post on your social media platforms.

  • A blog is also a good place to post affiliate program links and therefore add a passive revenue stream to your company or business.

  • If you blog extensively, the material you produce can be turned into a book, which can then further increase your level of professionalism in your field. Once published this product can also be a source of income. 

  • Writing for your blog will require research and will therefore keep you current in your particular field or area of interest, further advancing that expert status you are trying to achieve and promote.

  • Finally, blogs are a great way to network. By hosting others on your blog or posting on another person’s website, you are exposing your work to new audiences you might not otherwise reach on your own. 


So whaddya think? Convinced that this writing ritual can benefit you? Ready to dive in? Hold up, read these tips first. 

Tips

  • Post consistently. Train people to know when to look for your message. I post on my blog every Wednesday at 5:00. (Don’t worry, I schedule these posts so I don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn!)

  • Have a bank of blog posts built up before you start, so that you can continue to be consistent, even when life gets crazy. (Keep reading for a list of post ideas to get you started.)

  • Create a subscription service to your blog via mailchimp or your website host, so people do not need to go searching for it. You can sign up for my blog here

  • Post your blog entries on social media to increase subscribers/followers. 

  • Make your blog visually appealing. Simply stated, make it pretty. I use Canva.

  • People have short attention spans. Most blog posts should be about 500-1,000 words. 

  • Make it valuable. Try to give your reader at least one solid take away from each post. 

  • Double and triple check! I always check my post the night before it goes live and inevitably catch a few typos and reword a sentence or two for clarity. I also look to see that all of my images have loaded properly and look good on screen.


Okay, still good? Hang in there. I have one more great list to share. Now that you are invested in writing on a blog and know how to get it done, it’s time to write. Here are 10 topics on which you can share your expertise, insight and passion. 


Blogging Topics

Sometimes writing advice can feel vague and unattainable, so to help, I’ve linked an example of type of post. Now you can see each idea in action and have a better idea of how to attempt it in your own writing. 


Alrighty! I think you have everything you need! If you already have a blog, link yours in the comments below so we can follow it! Thanks for stopping by ours! I hope to see you at one of our Mississippi Valley Writers Guild events soon! 


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Amanda Zieba is a self-proclaimed word nerd. In her opinion back to school supply shopping should be a national holiday because she certainly finds fresh notebooks and new pens a reason to celebrate. After a dozen years in public education, she now teaches writing part time at the college level, writes educational materials for a cultural connectivity company and most of all enjoys making up stories for the enjoyment of readers of all ages. She has visited schools and book clubs and lead writing workshops and retreats in four states across the Midwest. You can learn more about Amanda and connect with her at www.amandazieba.com.