By Marie Pietersz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Using effective slides to frame her story from start to end, Erin Brenner took the audience through her world of blogging in a calm, clear, methodical manner – and for those who had perhaps tried it in the past and given up, Erin gave us her inspiring insights and experiences on how to have success being a blogger.
Even though there is a gap between freelance and employed editors, Erin says that both can use a blog to promote themselves. While there’s a lot of blogging advice out there, most of it is for:
- those who blog for their company, who have staff and a budget
- professional bloggers who blog for money – monetising what they write
- hobbyist bloggers – those with a passion for something who want to share it with the world.
As individual professionals, Erin said, we editors should have a purpose for what we are doing. If you are considering blogging, ask yourself these six questions:
- Why should I publish a blog? Blogging is a commitment because you will become a publisher and it will be a lot of work – writing, editing, putting it into a content management system, publishing and marketing. So ask yourself why you are doing it. The obvious answer is to promote yourself as an expert in your field – whether you are a freelancer or employee of a company – and to demonstrate your skills for new clients or new job opportunities. You’ll build your reputation and showcase yourself as a whole person and someone who wants to be on your readers’ team.
- Do I want to build a sales funnel? The AIDA model will make you consider “attention”, “interest”, “desire”, and “action”.
- Who should I write for? Your potential audience could be prospective clients, current clients or colleagues, so consider who are your readers. Think about job title, job tasks, industry, types of projects, problems to solve and familiarity with writing. What problems would your audience want you to solve, and what problems could you solve for them?
- What should I write about? Words have power! Some topics could include what problems your audience has, what they want to know about, what questions your clients frequently ask, what questions prospects frequently have, what you want to know – have a library of things you can pull out from – what opinions you have, how we can run this process better, inclusive language, sensitivity readers, vision impaired readers and artificial intelligence (AI). You don’t necessarily have to have a definitive answer on a topic; just provide guidelines. Don’t worry if it has been said before. You are unique. A topic can be old but what you say about it is unique. Don’t worry about how long a post should be. It can be as long as it needs to be. People will read long posts if the topic interests them, it is well written and it is written for web reading.
- How often should I publish? Stick to a schedule, and aim for weekly. To decide on lower frequency or higher frequency, watch your audience engagement.
- How should I market it? Link through your social media accounts, your email list and your email signature. Ask a question your audience is asking, share something unexpected, add hashtags and keywords, include images or videos, talk about your struggles and triumphs, poll people about what they want to learn or ask questions for research for your post. If you quote people, get their permission and ask if they want to be identified or not. Remember, when you promote in places you don’t own, follow the rules from those sites. You can respond to someone else’s post, post an ad (if allowed) or give a teaser and ask people to read more about it. You can also partner with a colleague and swap promotional space. Whether you blog through your website or share a separate space is up to you.
The audience was provided with a worksheet to use as a guide to doing their own blog.
If you missed her presentation, a recording is available for sale.
Erin is based in Massachusetts in the United States. EdVic thanks Erin for a perfectly timed entry using our Zoom link and calculation of our two time zones, which meant that she was delivering our lunch time seminar at night her time. Some resources from her presentation can be accessed on her website at: bit.ly/RTEresources