Let’s start with your weekly tip.
How do I come up with ideas for my blog posts? It’s easy, sort of. I read a lot of blogs.
In truth, I probably subscribe to too many blogs but that’s how I keep up with the changing landscape of social media. In addition to the blogs that land in my inbox, I also subscribe to services that feed information to me for my social media posts.
For example, lately I’ve been reading about recent changes on a variety of social media networks. So I plan to write a blog post that discuss these changes and explain how they relate to authors.
Sometimes I use a blog generator tool, like the one from HubSpot mentioned later in this post.
I also use Google Trends from time to time. This tool tells me which topics and social media networks are trending up and down.
Then there are times when I’m reading the newspaper and ideas come to me.
I come up with the best blog topics while I’m walking the dog.
Oddly enough, ideas don’t come to me when I’m exercising in an indoor gym. It’s only when I’m among the trees that ideas come to me.
Before I started my podcast, many of you were kind enough to respond to a survey. The survey results determined the content of many of my early podcast episodes.
Just recently I surveyed my mailing list subscribers, and I’ll be using that information to develop blog posts and a course.
These are all steps you can take.
So the next time you’re stumped, read your blog comments for ideas – another great blog topic generator – or send a survey to your readers. When you ask your readers, you’ll always come up with topics that resonate with them and that they’ll want to share.
Blogging Tips from Around the Web
Now let’s transition to the second part of the podcast. All of the links to the posts that I am about to discuss will be available in my show notes, which I publish on my blog at SocialMediaJustforWriters.com every Friday morning.
First up is 39 Blogging Tools to Help You Work Faster, Write Better, and Land More Readers by the folks at Buffer.
I’m not going to mention all six tools, but I will mention a few that I think you would enjoy using.
To brainstorm blogging ideas, Buffer recommends:
- Buzzsumo – I’ve used this application, and I think for it to serve you will you need to pay for the subscription. The free tool kept sending me the same stories and dated ones. It’s a great app but you’ll need to subscribe to it to fully enjoy it.
- If you’re looking for a title generator, which is another way to brainstorm topics, Buffer recommends the Blog Topics Generator from HubSpot and the Twitter trending topics on your Twitter profile.
The next step is to create your editorial calendar. There are several apps you can use for this:
- Todoist – This is an app that creates an online list for you that’s accessible from any device.
- Dropbox – Yes, good old Dropbox is where you can store your editorial calendar for safe keeping.
Here are two great editing tools fro your blog posts:
- Hemingway – This app analyzes your text for readability, and following Hemingway’s advice, will suggest you get rid of complex sentences and “big words.” You know, the kind William Faulkner used in his writing.
- Grammarly – You already know that this is my go-to editing tool for everything I publish online. It’s nothing less than awesome. It will identify long sentences, passive voice, comma misplacement, and many other errors.
There are so many more tools in this post that you’ll need to read it.
Create Great Content
This post is from Zac Johnson’s blog, but Jawad Khan wrote this post. Khan’s first tip is you need to understand the type of content your readers crave. And that really is the first tip to creating and maintaining a blog, not just a post.
According to the post, readers like a blog that:
- Reminds them that life is short.
- Reminds them that dreams can come true if we work for them
- Reminds them of the forgotten basics
- Makes them look intelligent
- Makes them look morally superior
- Shares unique industry knowledge
- Is highly actionable
- Cites several authentic studies
- Challenges their assumptions
- Is controversial and goes against conventional wisdom
[clickToTweet tweet=”Readers like blog posts that cite several authentic studies via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Readers like blog posts that cite several authentic studies via @CaballoFrances”]
The next step is to include embeddable images, and if you’re up for it, infographics in your content. According to this post:
One of the best ways to get more backlinks, generate more referral traffic and get more social shares is by adding embeddable images or short infographics in your posts.
You should also share your posts multiple times. How often you share it depends on the social media network. On Tumblr, you’d share it just once but on Twitter you might share it six times over ten months. See this post for the graphic element with this information.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Readers like blog posts that challenge their assumptions via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Readers like blog posts that challenge their assumptions via @CaballoFrances”]
The next step is to share your posts with social media groups, in addition to posting it on your profiles and pages. For example, I share what I consider to be my best posts with my LinkedIn groups.
Create “Clickable” Headlines
As I’ve told you before, I adore this blog. If you want to excel in blogging, you’ve got to subscribe to Adam’s blog.
This particular post is packed with six blog title generators and analyzers. I’ll list them here, but you’ve got to check Adam’s blog for information about each of them.
- Blog Title Generator from Inbound Now
- Impact Blog Title Generator from Blogabout
- Blog Title Generator from SEOPressor
- TweakYourBiz Title Generator
- CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
- Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Headline Analyzer – I’ve been using this one for about one month, and it’s a wonderful tool.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Experiment with blog title generators and analyzers via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Experiment with blog title generators and analyzers via @CaballoFrances”]
In my post, 34 Blogging Topics Just for Writers, I list possible blog topics for fiction writers, poets, and nonfiction writers. This is my most popular post on my website, and it’s generated 516 shares so far, including 187 on Pinterest.
So if you don’t know what you want to write about in your next post, be sure to refer to mine. You can also use the list to tweak some of the ideas I suggest to meet better your readers’ expectations.
You’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, written and copyrighted by Frances Caballo. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Loved this episode? Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!