Recently, one of my clients was approached by the special sections editor of an online business journal to write some articles as a guest columnist for their how-to section. (This is what happens when you write and publish a book. People approach you for your expertise, rather than you having to approach them.)
Since I had helped him write his book, he asked me to help him with the articles. Even if you haven’t been approached by an online magazine yet, you can use these same strategies to fashion high-quality blog content for your own website.
- Write posts in bulk: We chose to write 6 articles at a time and submit one per month. For blogging, you want to blog at least once a week, so schedule one time a month to sit down and write 4 at a time; this way you are always at least a month ahead. This makes it easier in terms of time commitment and continuity of voice and tone. Not doing this could cause undue stress or worse, cause you to miss deadlines. You don’t want to destroy any goodwill and free, valuable exposure because you got too busy to submit a 500-word article.
- Repurpose your book content. You have already written content that can easily be repurposed into relevant blog posts. Break them down into manageable, easily-digestible chunks.
- Add relevant content that is specific to the area or audience. One thing you want to avoid in a book is using data or making statements that will later date the book. For example, if you say, “In the last recession….” Right now, we know you mean in the 2008 recession. But if someone finds your book in 2024 and there was a recession in 2018, it dates your book. Online, choose blog posts where you can add information that you couldn’t address in your book. For example, a good blog or articles subject for an expert in real estate might be: ‘Is 2016 a good time to buy real estate?’
Address a specific audience (ex – Florida business owners) and current statistics that you may not have been able to include in your book.
Here is what editors are looking for:
- Most business people just don’t have much time to spend reading, so a quick, to-the-point article will get read much more often than something longer. Around 500 words is considered good for a quick read.
- Use bullet points, which, along with subheads, are really necessary to capture the reader’s attention and to pull them through the article.
- Give great advice that is easy to digest.
- Write in the first person: “I see these things in my work … ” Readers can relate much better to that kind of first-person writing. They want to hear from experts who have been in the battle … and they like to hear about good and bad case studies (and with anonymous names is fine). For instance, “I once had a franchise owner who did this … “
- Finally, try writing from the negative, meaning write about something the business owner might miss … or about the traps that may be around the corner. (Unfortunately), human nature reacts much more to the negative than the positive. So “negative,” warning-type headlines do much better than positive, “here’s-how-to-do-things-better” headlines.
Follow these easy steps and you can easily become a prolific blogger or contributor in your area of expertise.