Blogging – Mid-West Digital Marketing https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com Thu, 14 Jun 2018 16:17:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 75379469 Deciding on Blog Topics https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/06/blog-topics/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/06/blog-topics/#respond Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:54:30 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=3144 It shouldn’t be that difficult, right? All you need to do is sit down and write a few paragraphs about your business or a product or thoughts about your industry. Even the best writers stare at a blank piece of paper Here’s how we do it. “How do You Write Your Blogs?” Our content team... Read more »

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Mystery - Customers finding you onlineIt shouldn’t be that difficult, right? All you need to do is sit down and write a few paragraphs about your business or a product or thoughts about your industry. Even the best writers stare at a blank piece of paper Here’s how we do it.

“How do You Write Your Blogs?”

Our content team here at Mid-West Digital Marketing writes numerous blogs for clients as well as for our own website. The client blogs are not picked randomly.

We use SEO tools (some paid, some free) that allow us to research keywords related to our clients. We look at the volume of searches containing those keywords to help us choose a topic. For some clients, we have a content calendar based on their Search Engine Optimization schedule. For others, we look . And, for others, we get involved in trending conversations on social media. Remember, it’s not rocket science. It’s a challenge that can be overcome.

Researching Blogs

This is the time consuming part for all of us. We have to make sure we know what we are talking about in terms of our clients’ products and industry. The industries we represent are vastly different I’m talking about electrical supply, car repair, jewelry, home remodeling and contracting work, etc. After learning more about our clients and their industries as well as looking at the keyword research, we get down to writing the blog. Before it gets published, the client reviews it extensively.

Next Steps

One of the best ways to get the ball rolling on blogs is to come up with a content calendar. If you know you want to have 2 blogs a month, sit down with a calendar, start your keyword research, look at the dates and seasonality, as I mentioned before, and write your topics on certain days in the calendar. Consider these to be deadlines as well. Forcing yourself to have deadlines actually makes it easier to get the work done.

Do you have any techniques I may have missed? We would love to hear about them. Comment on this post on our Facebook page.

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6 Tips for Blogging Effectively https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/05/blogging-effectively/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/05/blogging-effectively/#respond Tue, 19 May 2015 15:08:42 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=3101 Sometimes a tweet, picture, or Facebook post is not enough. We need more; your audience wants more. This is when blogging comes in to save the day. With blogs you have an abundance of space, the ability to share photos and videos, and unlimited creativity. Blogs are utilized for many different purposes: corporate blogs, personal... Read more »

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Sometimes a tweet, picture, or Facebook post is not enough. We need more; your audience wants more. This is when blogging comes in to save the day. With blogs you have an abundance of space, the ability to share photos and videos, and unlimited creativity. Blogs are utilized for many different purposes: corporate blogs, personal blogs, hobby/interest blogs, professional blogs, and community blogs. Within these various categories, there are a myriad of sub categories to reach every possible niche. Because there is a blog for just about everything, it is crucial to take the time to make your blog stand out and place immense focus on your brand. You don’t want to just blog, you want to effectively blog!

6 Tips for Blogging Effectively

Effective Blogging Strategies

  • Authority: Don’t simply add content to your blog and blogging niche, make an impact and add something new and influential. Have that authority and power when writing your blog to really lay down the gavel and make a point.

 

  • Content: Along with having new and powerful content, make sure it is creative! Benefit from the ability to share more than 140 characters. While you have lots of space, make sure that you don’t bore your readers with too much information. Pick topics that your readers will be drawn to read to increase your engagement. While thinking creatively, also think like your readers to gain a better understanding of what they want to read. You can also browse what your competitors are blogging about to make sure your ideas are unique.

 

  • Timing: They say that timing is everything, and while this isn’t necessarily the case for blogging, it certainly is important. Take the time to research when it is the best time to reach your audience. Look at days and specific times that your audience is most active on Social Media and Blogs.

 

  • Style: Blogging allows you to share your voice with your audience on a digital platform. Don’t let the written words stop you from showing them what your brand is all about. Choose an appropriate yet creative way to stylize your brand that fits with how you want to be seen. This can additionally be shown through the design and extra elements on your blog page.

 

  • Frequency: It is completely understandable that you may not be able to blog daily, or even weekly, but pick a range and stick with it. You don’t want your audience to look at your blog and see 5 posts from 3 months ago and nothing sense. Make sure you are consistent with when and how you post to create more loyalty and interest in your blog.

 

  • Engagement: This is a key turning point in your blog, it takes your posts and begins to create a community. This is done through interaction on your blog in the form of comments. When your audience sees comments, they are more likely to post comments which creates great dialogue. While you want comments, keep an eye out for trolls and spam comments, you want to monitor to your comments to make sure they are related to your blog. Once you have your comments, make sure that you reply and respond to them to continue the engagement cycle.

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Why You Should Keep Blogging Even When Nobody’s Reading (Yet) https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/11/keep-blogging/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/11/keep-blogging/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:57:01 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2857 Do you have the patience it takes to get a following? How long do you think you should have to wait before your blog goes big? A week? A month? A season? Think again, hair-trigger. It takes longer. The Marshmallow Test Decades ago, scientists conducted a now famous experiment in which they left young children... Read more »

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Do you have the patience it takes to get a following? How long do you think you should have to wait before your blog goes big? A week? A month? A season? Think again, hair-trigger. It takes longer.The-Mashmallow-Test_blogging

The Marshmallow Test

Decades ago, scientists conducted a now famous experiment in which they left young children alone with a marshmallow. The kids were promised a second marshmallow if only they could hold off on eating the first one. Lots of those poor tots crumbled, but a few got their two marshmallows. The moral of the story is as old Adam: Good things come to those who wait. So, can you pass the marshmallow test when it comes to your blog? Authority and loyalty are the rewards for those who can.

The Incubation Period

All blogs begin with an incubation period that’s longer than you might think—closer to a year than to a month in most cases. I suggest business owners regard at least their first dozen or two blogs as kindling. Write. Push through social media outlets. Share with mailing lists. Maybe pay for promoting posts. Wait, calibrate, rinse, and repeat. Don’t despair when nobody likes, shares, or comments on your early blog posts. At the very least, don’t assume it’s because the blogging is bad. Don’t despair when nobody likes, shares, or comments on your early blog posts. At the very least, don’t assume it’s because the blogging is bad. Yes, keep circling back to the quality of that content, but also recognize that there’s a multiplicity of factors involved in successful blogging. To master the game, everything from the timing of the post to the platforms on which it was pushed to the content-saturation of your particular industry must be scrutinized during incubation.

Building Up Your Archives

Blog posts written during the incubation period are not a waste. Far from it, they become your archives. Having a meaty archive shows a measure of relevance and authority. And it’s a reward for visitors, who typically will be hungry for more once they read a post they dig. Think about it: Have you ever read a blog post you really loved, clicked over to the blog’s archives, and found just a few entries? It practically screams flash in the pan. So, think of the incubation period as a time to build up your body of work. And remember that what doesn’t get noticed at first, can certainly enjoy popularity down the road.

A Lesson from the Greats

History is filled with the names of greats that were slow to gain recognition—from Lucille Ball, once considered a B-list actress, to The Great Gatsby, which flopped in its time. Consider every painting Van Gogh ever made, every poem Emily Dickinson ever wrote, every scientific discovery made by Galileo. All of these went unnoticed for decades. Did you know that Stephen King’s first book, Carrie, was rejected 30 times before it found a publisher? The upshot: Patience and persistence are key to creative endeavors, and blogging is no exception. If you’ve greatly reduced the frequency of your blogs or halted blogging altogether, it might be time to think again about whether you were realistic in your expectations. It might be time to get back in there with that marshmallow and try again.

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Audience of One https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/10/audience-one/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/10/audience-one/#respond Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:51:32 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2819 Forget writing to the masses. Forget writing to a wide audience. One person is all you need. When I sit down to write a blog for a client, I often start by looking through their social media sites to see what content people have already found engaging. That’s not all I’m trying to find, though.... Read more »

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Forget writing to the masses. Forget writing to a wide audience. One person is all you need.

When I sit down to write a blog for a client, I often start by looking through their social media sites to see what content people have already found engaging. That’s not all I’m trying to find, though. Partly I’m looking for “The One”—the person who can be my audience. Yeah, I said person, not people. Basically I need a face to represent my imaginary coffee date, to be the person sitting across the table from me, the one listening to what I’m going to say. It’s a lot easier than talking to a faceless crowd.

Audience-blogs

  • Your house or mine? Blogger, WordPress, and their ilk are the living rooms of the business writing world. They’re not banquet halls or auditoriums. So, you don’t get a podium here: You get a sofa. You don’t get a microphone here: You get proximity to the person on that sofa. Straight-talking like you just rolled into town and stopped by for a “cuppa Joe”, that’s easier to do when you think of your blog as a conversation with “The One”. And that’s the right tack to take. Remember, nobody has conversations with crowds. Those are called presentations, and they don’t work great on blogs.
  • The client is NOT the one. This piece is hard, sometimes really hard, because oftentimes clients fancy themselves to be the audience. They’re not. They’re the client. The better ones may offer you a lot of great insight into the nature of their clients and prospects, but the boss man is truly not who you’re talking to. In fact, when biz bloggers write as though the paying client were the audience, the result can be antiseptic and come off sounding sales-y. And it’s way too tempting to play it safe. You lose the improvisational spirit that actually snags readers. Not so when you write to The One.
  • Do it in your undies. You want to hold court on your blog? Fine. Your expertise is a boon. Just make sure you’re offering it in your underwear and not a suit. By that I mean that it’s great to dazzle with your wit and wisdom, but you want to do it in a way that says, “We alone here? Between you, me, and the fencepost, I got a few things I want to tell you.” Not in a way that says, “Have a seat, folks, and let me fix my tie before I make this speech.” Done right, informality breeds intimacy, and intimacy breeds trust.

When I pick “The One”, I might aim for someone who’s shown some meaningful engagement with the client’s social media content. But just as often, I randomly choose a person who physically conforms in some way to what I know about the target demographic. Then I invent a sort of composite personality for them that jibes with the demographic. All you really need is a muse that could logically be in that would-be living room with you, and a set of eyes to look into as you take up your side of the so-called conversation.

 

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Let’s Get Engaged: Eloping with Your Blog-Readers https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/08/eloping-with-your-blog-readers/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/08/eloping-with-your-blog-readers/#respond Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:35:07 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2773 Last week, our director of social media, Ron Giordan, wrote a blog announcing the end of an era for businesses that use Facebook. The Cliff Notes version: Put a fork in Facebook “Like-gating” and turn your energy toward creating content that is consistently engaging. Let’s talk about a few ways we do that with blogs,... Read more »

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Last wblog-writing-tips-midwest-digital-marketingeek, our director of social media, Ron Giordan, wrote a blog announcing the end of an era for businesses that use Facebook. The Cliff Notes version: Put a fork in Facebook “Like-gating” and turn your energy toward creating content that is consistently engaging. Let’s talk about a few ways we do that with blogs, romancing readers rather than coercing them to like you.

I write blogs for businesses. Sometimes after a day of blogging for three or four different clients, I can barely figure out who I am on the ride home from work. The window replacement guy, the gourmet chef, the jeweler—I really put myself into the mindset of many different “characters” throughout the day in order to blog well for them. I also spend a lot of time imagining myself as their readers. What would they want? How can I make them care? This is how good stories are spun, by mastering the voice and knowing the audience.

Good blogs are like micro-stories

Notice I didn’t say novels, so I don’t expect a lot of readers’ time. That said, I won’t elaborate on specific storytelling techniques here. I’ll just say you be better be or hire a good storyteller if you want a quality blog. It’s one thing to know how to properly structure a sentence or craft a sound business proposal, but it’s quite another to know how to tightly string together words into something beautiful, poignant, thrilling, funny, provocative, or otherwise able to really gut a reader. And by the way, readers like pictures with their stories.

Something I don’t do in blogs is explicitly tell people to like or share the blog. I know some marketers think this is verboten, that you’ve always got to explicitly tell your readers what action to take next. But blogs don’t work like that. Business bloggers are supposed to make readers forget they’re being marketed to. Anyway, show me a reader who doesn’t reflexively look for the “Like” or “Share” button after reading a good blog, and I’ll show you my 98-year-old Great Aunt Rose. (Show me one who likes and shares whatever they’re told to like and share, and I’ll show you my blocked friends list on Facebook.)

Consumers know what to do with good content

They’ve been expertly conditioned to click the little icons that show their approval in a very public way. Simply put, it’s the content creators’ job to exploit that conditioning, to set off consumer impulses, to move people to act rather than extort them to do so. Engagement is rarely cheaply bought or lazily won—not in marriage, and not in marketing. Work your tail off to be engaging, and eventually, consumers are bound to run away with you.

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