We are closing in on four years of the Brainzooming blog, with more than 300,000 words written. Coupled with original business-oriented guest posts on various websites, two other personal blogs with nearly 560 other posts, and 25,000-plus tweets along the way, that is a lot of social media content.
It’s content I would never have thought was possible to create in the four years BEFORE I started Brainzooming.
I will be sharing some lessons learned in creating all that social media content in two social media presentations this week. Today, it’s a live presentation in Kansas City and a business blogging webinar Friday, October 28 you can all attend (Click on the link to get to the sign up. It is for an association, but it is open to non-members. The sign-up is a bit cumbersome, but I would love to have you join the business blogging webinar!) Our objective is to help attendees do a better job of creating fantastic social media content.
In updating my social media content strategy material for these two social media presentations, I uncovered a variety of blogging lessons never shared here. While these social media content lessons are oriented toward bloggers, for those of you not blogging, each lesson includes a special spin for how it applies to you as well:
- The order you write a post doesn’t have to be its final order. The original end might be the beginning. Or vice versa. Play with rearranging a list post for the best flow after it’s written. (If you don’t blog: No matter what you’re creating, if you hit a dead end, start working on a different part. Things don’t have to be created in the same way they’re presented.)
- Similarly, when writing a list blog post, do not get stuck thinking you have to start with the list’s topic. You can start with scrap bullet points and figure out the connections among them. From there, create a list topic encompassing all the items which originally looked disconnected. (If you don’t blog: This concept applies to any set of items or ideas. Find a creative, strategic connection among whatever you have.)
- Don’t use pronouns if you can insert the actual word or phrase you are referencing. This will help with a stronger keyword-based post. (If you don’t blog: If you’re not writing for online currently, take advantage of it to learn basics on search engine optimization and keywords, because you WILL be writing for online publishing some day.)
- You can benefit from printing what you’re writing and reading a hard copy. (If you don’t blog: Same thing applies. You’ll see what you’re writing differently on a page than on-screen.)
- Run your post through the grammar checker in Microsoft Word to gain a sense of the grade level, reading ease, and prominence of passive sentences in your writing. I’ve discovered people don’t know about this buried feature. Turn it on by clicking the Windows logo in the upper left of Word and select “Word Options.” Click proofing and under “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word,” check “Show readability statistics.” Now whenever you run the grammar checker, you’ll get the real story on your writing. (If you don’t blog: We all benefit from coldly analytical perspective on our writing.)
- Because of the grammar checker, write in Word then paste copy into your blogging platform. If you do modify things after they are in the blogging platform, paste your post back into Word to double check typos you might have introduced. (If you don’t blog: Don’t be too beholden to applications you typically use. Explore other applications which might help you better convey messages.)
- A blog is never done – you can tinker forever. If you are inclined to tinker, make rules for yourself so you’ll leave a post alone at some point. (If you don’t blog: Knowing when to close down options and when allow them to remain open is critical in managing any project.)
- If you use WordPress, take advantage of the editorial calendar and SEO Scribe plugins. They make a difference in effectiveness, efficiency, and insights about your blogging. (If you don’t blog: Go get some grounding in WordPress. WordPress is the content management system behind some big websites, so it’s not just for blogs.)
- If you’re guest posting for another blog, create your own brief persona for who you’re writing to on the blog, even if the blog owner doesn’t provide one. (If you don’t blog: The idea of thinking about and describing your target audience member is beneficial no matter what the writing application.) – Mike Brown
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