Hey, this blogging stuff can be crazy time-consuming. Time-consuming to write. Time-consuming to read. But, it’s one of my personal New Years Resolutions to write blog posts here on a routine basis in 2009.
While researching how to streamline this time-consuming task I’ve learned that a sure-fire way of writing a killer blog post is to create a numerically ordered list of things to do, or step-by-step processes, etc.
So, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, here is what I’ve come up with as a time-saving process for writing consistently erudite, numerically ordered blog posts:
Decide to make a numerically ordered, step-by-step blog post. The most daunting task is to decide how many steps to frame your brilliance in. Too few steps – say, three – and you’re not a subject matter expert. Too many – say, 12 – and it sounds too much like an alcoholism recovery program.
So, stick to 8. Of numbers 1 thru 10, eight’s the most symmetrically shaped. No other rationale. Eight’s just a nice number.
Then, write a snappy headline, like “8 Steps to Creating a Killer 8 Step Blog Post.”
Find any blog that’s even remotely close to the subject matter you’re writing about, make a mention of it in Step 2, including a link (such as Problogger’s 9 Signs of An Effective Blog Post), and you’re done with Step 2.
Also, this is a nice point to break up the monotony of the page — the feared “wall of text” — with a colorful pull quote, such as:
“Always offer one step less than what another blogger has described as a requirement for accomplishing the same thing. People value their time with families, Tivo’s, etc. Recognize this and honor it.
If you can offer a way of doing something that takes one less step than someone else’s blog has recommended, you’re golden.”
Wrap up your blog post with a strong, call-to-action closing step.
Make sure your steps follow a logical order. So, forget what I just said in Step 3, and bump Step 3 down to Step 8.
Spend two hours – minimum – studying at least 73 of the 36,800,000* different blogs in your area of expertise so that you can come up with something original.
Then, give up on being original and crib from the top three. Be sure to provide lots of attributes, quotes, links, etc., to avoid plagiarizing others.
* The number of Google search returns for “marketing” + “blog”
Add a graphic.
People like pretty pictures, such as pie-charts and bar graphs.
Unsure which is best to use? Is there a blog post that delves into this weighty issue? You betcha, in the vernacular of an Alaskan Governor, ex-Vice Presidential candidate, whose name won’t be mentioned here (except for the off chance there’s a great potential client out there doing a combined “content marketing, sarah palin” Google search that I want to capture, then maybe I’d slip her name in somewhere).
Gratuitously populate your 8 Step blog post with keywords and phrases about areas that are self-serving for future new business development, such as Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Cause Marketing and Sex Marketing (that last one’s an SEO hail mary.)
Also, sprinkle Step 7 with a couple names of [insert your area of expertise] gurus, such as marketing guru Seth Godin.
You don’t have to know them, they don’t have to know you. Just pretend that you’re in the same league with them. Maybe they’ll even ping you. (Hey, Seth baby, no kidding, call, write. I’d love to chat with you about the role of authenticity and storytelling in corporate communications).
Close with a call to action, such as have a Very Happy New Year. Stay close to your family and friends, especially in these — interesting — times, and go forth with fortitude and courage into 2009.
And the best of luck to you in ’09, President-elect Barack Obama.
About The Photo: The big story of the 2008 holiday season in the Pacific Northwest has been the unseasonal cold and heavy snowfalls. By Christmas Day, almost a foot of snow had accumulated on the ground on Whidbey Island. Normally, on Whidbey, an inch or two of snow can bring things to a standstill, so a foot of snow is a huge challenge. Yet, in spite of the challenges, there are scenes that are beautiful in their rarity, such as this scene of Candy Cane Lane in Langley.