7 Steps to Writing A Great Blog Post

Writing great content isn’t easy. Anyone who has ever tried knows this. Thankfully, however, there are techniques designed to make writing a great blog post easier. One of those this is to create a process for how you’ll do it.

great blog post

As a writer in the search marketing space, much of my time is spent crafting content designed to educate and (sometimes) entertain my audience. As the VP of Strategy at Overit, I’m also responsible for helping our team to write content to be published on various platforms.

As such, I’ve had to develop a clear and effective process to keep myself and my team on task with the content we have to write. In doing that it’s not only helped us to get content out in a timely manner, but to create content people actually want to read and share with their communities.

Turns out, the more you enjoy sharing your words, the better those words tend to be.

My process for content writing looks like this:

1. Decide On Your Topic

Start by creating a list of everything you’re passionate about or that you feel like you can write on authoritatively. As a freelancer or small business owner, your list will undoubtedly be a mix of not only your subject-matter excellence, but also topics related to business, productively tools, work/life balance, and how you manage your day.

Also think about the questions that you’re constantly answering. What are the common problems/concerns your customers come to you about? What information are you often seeking? If you can pinpoint areas related to your business where many face difficulties, you can create a great benefit to your reader by solving their problems.

Start keeping a list of potential topics to write about. My team uses Google Docs to suggest blog topic ideas, both for themselves and for other departments.

2. Outline The Post

There are two great ways to work out an outline for your blog post.

The first way is that traditional outline our teachers taught us in grade school. It involves breaking out the main points of our post and creating a list of everything you want to include, in the order you will address it. By creating a traditional outline, it helps you work out the flow of your post and organizes thoughts in a logical manner so you’re better prepared when you start writing.

The second way to outline your post is verbally. Grab a friend or a voice recorder and talk out your post and main points instead of trying to write them. Talk about your topic like you’re explaining it to a friend or a customer. For many, talking through your post is a lot more effective than trying to write about it from a blank slate. Once you record yourself, you can take the transcript and use it to build an outline.

3. Fill In The Blanks

With a workable outline for your post created, start filling in the blanks. Add supporting evidence, show research, cite sources, give examples, tell stories, and just write. Don’t worry yet about how it sounds, just get the words out and work on building your story. Focus on the ideas you want to convey, not your ability to say them intelligently. Because writing and editing are very different skills, trying to do both at the same time will hinder your process and cause you to get “stuck” rewriting and editing the same three lines.

In step 3, just focus on getting your ideas out and saying what it is you want to say.

4. Edit

With a first draft down, read your post out loud to help you spot any writing awkwardness, typos, wrong words, sentence fragments, and anything else that may be hindering the flow of your post. If you have a difficult time being able to read it, that’s a good indication a reader will have a hard time getting through it, as well. If you’re not currently in the process of reading your writing out loud, I’d encourage you to start. You’ll spot a lot more typos and awkward writing that way.

5. Work On Your Title

Writing effective blog titles is hard. You need to not only describe your post and set your reader up for what you’re about to show them, but you need to engage them and be descriptive for the search engines as you do it. To become better at writing blog titles (and writing, in general) I’d recommend following blogs like Copyblogger, which truly make crafting blog titles an art.

6. Add Images

Adding compelling images to your content will help tell your story and affect how users perceive it. If you’re going to use stock photography, you may want to re-read our post on things to avoid when using stock photography to help you focus in on the photos that will add the most to your content. Concentrate on images that will set the tone for your post and draw people in. Images of people or that use warm colors often work best.

If you don’t already have a preferred site for purchasing images, TJ McCue’s post on 50 places to find images can help you get started.

7. Share Your Post!

Now that you’ve done the work, make sure to share your post via all of your social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and wherever else you participate. While you don’t want to overload or spam people, sharing your post multiple times can help account for different time zones or preferred reading times.

Above is my process for writing blog posts that people want to read. What do you find works best for you? How have you handled the content writing process?

More in: Content Marketing


Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Becomes Chairman as Co-Founder Steps Down

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Becomes Chairman as Co-Founder Steps DownSpotify CEO Daniel Ek Becomes Chairman as Co-Founder Steps Down
Spotify co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek is consolidating power over the world’s largest music streaming service, taking on the role of chairman ahead of a planned initial public offering as soon as next year.

Martin Lorentzon, a co-founder of Spotify, is stepping down from his role as chairman after 10 years, a Spotify spokeswoman said in an e-mail. Lorentzon will become vice chairman, he said Thursday on his Twitter feed.

(Also see: Spotify Debuts in Japan, Complete With Karaoke Lyrics)

“I look forward to another 10 years at Spotify as vice chairman,” Lorentzon said.

Ek is leading the company as it prepares to make its case to public-market investors and takes on a growing list of rivals, including Apple, Amazon and Pandora. He’s taking a page from other technology industry founders such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – who maintain tight control over the leadership and direction of their companies – as he oversees a growing staff spread across Stockholm, London, New York and Los Angeles.

The company is in the midst of critical negotiations with record companies that will determine how much Spotify pays to carry music on its service. The outcome will help determine whether the company can bend itself toward profitability, as it currently pays most of its revenue back out in the form of royalties to labels and publishers.
Spotify last month surpassed 40 million paying customers, and has 100 million monthly users including its free, ad-supported product. It generated more than $2 billion in revenue last year but remains unprofitable.

(Also see: Spotify Said to Be in Advanced Talks to Buy SoundCloud)

Earlier this year, Lorentzon joined venture capitalist and Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom, former Finance Minister for Sweden Anders Borg and several other business leaders in signing an open letter calling for reforms in Sweden’s education, tax and housing industries, and warned that failure to do so could force businesses from the Nordic region’s biggest economy.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Spotify, Music Streaming Service, Music, Internet, Home Entertainment, Apps


4 Steps to Marketing Your Business Using Facebook Liv

Four Steps to Using Facebook Live for Business

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is constantly rolling out new features and updates, many which enhance user experience while also facilitating advertising and e-commerce activity. As the platform continues to enhance the intersection of recreational communication and business interactions, the latest available features provide outlets for improved communication and challenges in creativity for the 50 million-ish active businesses on Facebook.

The latest of these features is Facebook Live, which are real-time video posts. Live videos are published by friends you follow, publications, celebrities, and any person or establishment with a valid Facebook account. Users also have the option of subscribing to certain users and/or businesses to receive notifications whenever a given account live streams.

While this feature has been available for a while now, many businesses are still not making use of it. Facebook live poses significant opportunity as a tool for customer relations, brand exposure, marketing, and more. Make this tool part of your digital marketing strategy by getting started with the most effective ways to use Facebook Live for your business.

Using Facebook Live for Business

1. Promotional Strategy

One of the best ways to use Facebook Live is for promotional purposes. Users are much more likely to watch a video than read a lengthy article or post shared on Facebook, and businesses can (and should!) capitalize on that point of user behavior.

For example, if you’re a retail boutique, you can redirect the same promotional strategies you’ve always done through Facebook Live. Contests, give-aways, and limited time offers are just a few ideas. If you have a new product coming out soon, give a sneak peak through a live stream. If you have a give away contest, showcase the product or service. You can actually show your followers what it is you’re offering and create way more appeal by streaming a video of the products you’re promoting.

2. Brand Transparency

A great way to instill trust in your users is by sharing some behind the scenes details with them and creating brand transparency. Let’s say you’re a restaurant that uses a sustainable, locally sourced garden to get produce. Use Facebook Live to share what that process looks like.

This can also work well for reputation recovery. If there’s a controversy or accusation that you’re actively recovering from, use the live stream feature to show exactly how you’re handling it, and give users a chance to see your real brand.

3. Engage With Users

User engagement is a key necessity of having an awesome Facebook business page, so you might as well enact that engagement in every way you can. Live videos are great for Q & A sessions and directly answering the comments and/or concerns of your users.

You can also use it to weigh in on issues relevant to your consumers. If there’s an event that people are wondering ow you feel about, or an issue your consumer base is talking about, engage with your following by discussing your business stance in a live video.

4. Establish Authority

It’s important for your following to recognize you as an authority within the industry your business falls into, and Facebook Live can help reinforce that. Offering tips, industry insights, updates, and news with a live stream can establish and enhance your credibility.

Another way to approach this usage of Facebook Live is to invite other lading authorities, experts, and industry leaders to be featured in your live stream video. Host a round table discussion, or even just a casual conversation with another industry authority, and you can have a mutually beneficial piece of publicity.

Image: Facebook

More in: Publisher Channel Content


Wal-Mart Steps Up on line Efforts in China as a Key to destiny

Wal-Mart Steps Up Online Efforts in China as a Key to Future

Wal-Mart’s tiny warehouse in eastern Shanghai doesn’t appear like much. however it is a key a part of theorganization‘s strategy to win over grocery customers in China who’re fast heading on-line.

inner, on a current go to, a reporter determined six-packs of rest room paper and bottles of oil on theconcrete ground subsequent to piles of bins full of other groceries. inside the nook, a Wal-Mart workerpunched orders right into a computer. Moped drivers whizzed inside and out, loading up goods to beintroduced to apartment buildings within some miles.

it is one of 250 hubs that Wal-Mart’s Yihaodian e-trade undertaking owns and operates in 2 hundredtowns, mostly concentrated in eight key towns like Shanghai and Beijing. All offer short shipping of groceries.

How short? within 3 hours in a few locations for one hundred to 150 items; overnight in others that make bigger to several hundred thousand grocery objects.

Wal-Mart has been stepping up its efforts to get a bigger share of China’s normal online commercial enterprise, which now has handed the usa and dominates globally. final July, 4 years after buying a minority stake, the world‘s largest store took full control over Yihaodian, founded in 2008. however Wal-Mart’s ordinary on line percentage is tiny in China, and some analysts say it’ll be tough to shut the gapwith the large chinese giants like Alibaba and JD.com.

in which Yihaodian has 250 hubs, Alibaba has 14,000 in rural China on my own that act as select-up stations. And as of overdue March, JD.com had a complete of nearly 6,000 shipping and pickup stations in 2,493 counties and districts throughout China.

it’ll be very difficult for Wal-Mart to catch up in e-trade,” says Jason Yu, general supervisor of Kantar Worldpanel China, which focuses on research on chinese shopping habits.

Wal-Mart is in the back of for lots motives. maximum of those chinese language outlets were on-linefor years, and they understand the nuances of chinese shopping behavior. Wal-Mart’s on-linecommercial enterprise has also been hobbled as it did now not have complete control over the chinesechallenge.

on-line, Wal-Mart has just 1.6 percent of China’s standard online marketplace, rating it as No. 6, properlyin the back of No. 1 powerhouse Alibaba 46.9 percent and 2nd-ranked JD.com’s 20.1 percent, in line withEuromonitor international, a global research firm. And the chinese language on-line giants and a swarm of smaller on-line food gamers are nibbling at Wal-Mart’s food business.

Wal-Mart’s aim is to be the various pinnacle three usual by means of expanding the range of hubs andmixing its on-line offerings with its shops. last yr, it released an app that lets shoppers order on line andselect up the goods at the shop in several southern cities consisting of Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Dongguan. it’s also focusing on 86f68e4d402306ad3cd330d005134dac goods at low fees. And sobecause it expands its services, it’s highlighting imported food to cater to middle elegance customersseeking out premium goods.

Wal-Mart is the usage of food as a key method to get on-line shoppers to buy extra frequently. in the event that they end up loyal meals consumers, they may much more likely buy other things like TVs and laptops. Getting its online enterprise right is critical for Wal-Mart’s universal success in China as thestore, together with different massive shop opponents, wrestle with site visitors declines at their stores.

In a rustic wherein consumers want to experience and contact their greens, it may seem atypical thaton-line meals buying is starting off. however after a few fantastically publicized food safety scares, thechinese language are increasingly more turning to online meals stores whose pleasant they trust. And for a developing variety of running town dwellers who’re time-starved, this gives the maximum handysolution.

“I seldom visit the shopping mall or supermarket. mainly on line,” stated one Yihaodian purchaser, whowould simplest perceive herself as Ms. Huang. She turned into taking transport of several flavors of melon seeds and different snacks at round 12:30pm on a latest week day. She spent CNY 270 ($forty one.68 US) and had positioned the order at 10:06pm the night time before, consistent with Wal-Martstatistics.

on line sales in China hit $307 billion (more or less Rs. 20,621,02 crores) in 2013, reached $589.2 billion (roughly Rs. 39,fifty seven,625 crores) last 12 months and have to exceed the trillion greenback markwith the aid of 2019. by way of evaluation, inside the US, on-line spending hit $334 billion (roughly Rs. 22,forty three,407 crores) closing yr and is predicted to generate $480 billion (kind of Rs. 32,24,043 crores) with the aid of 2019, Forrester says. China has extra than a thousand million human beings, as compared with 300 million in the US.

nearly half of chinese shoppers, or forty six percent, are already shopping for groceries online for homeshipping, compared to twenty-five percent globally, according to a patron poll of 30,000 on linerespondents by Nielsen, a marketplace research company. The survey has a tendency to skew to ayounger and extra prosperous base. That parent is 47 percent for the united states. The chinese also are an increasing number of possibly to shop by means of phone: 47 percent of visitors to the Yihaodian website comes from cellular gadgets, up from 28 percentage years ago. Likewise, 64 percent of Yihaodian orders are crafted from cellular gadgets, up from 14 percentage over the equal time period.

shoppers call for toppleasant items on line. it’s a big difference from some years ago, when theyturned to the internet to discover the cheapest items, says Wang Lu, president and CEO of Wal-Martglobal e-trade in Asia, who took over the helm of Yihaodian last 12 months. Yihaodian is likewise workingwith Wal-Mart’s international sourcing team to deliver South African grapefruit, Chilean apples and differentunique imports. In truth, 32 percentage of its consumers now buy imported goods, with the pinnacle 3 in dairy, biscuits and snacks like chips and seaweed. they are also focusing on fresh food and dumplings.

For equal-day delivery, Yihaodian gives 250,000 products in 8 cities, and subsequent-day transport inextra than 200 cities. it’s also increasing its collection of products on line. Now, Yihaodian containsapproximately 11 million merchandise, with 90 percent of customers shopping for liquids and otheringredients. And it’s far finding methods to customize product offers to individual customers, the usage of app messages and different kinds.

So whilst Yihaodian has challenges ahead on its domestic turf, it has plenty to teach the mothership.

three months after Wal-Mart absolutely took over Yihaodian, the chinese language challenge despatchedan elite crew of 20 humans to Wal-Mart’s e-trade headquarters in San Bruno, California. They spent every week with their American opposite numbers, sharing their revel in.

on the subject of online sales, China is “several years in advance … of america,” stated Wal-Mart’s Wang Lu.

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Tags: Alibaba, China, E trade, internet, Wal Mart, Walmart

Amazon Steps Up Air recreation With New cargo Deal

Amazon Steps Up Air Game With New Cargo Dealon-line retail colossus Amazon on Thursday boosted its fledgling air shipment service because itmovements to advantage greater independence from freight companies for shipping of online purchases.

Atlas Air worldwide Holdings will provide air cargo offerings to Amazon, which also received analternative to buy a stake within the big applebased employer, the groups said in a joint launch.

we are excited to begin a strategic longterm dating with Amazon to aid the persevering with growth of its e-commerce business and to decorate its customer transport talents,” stated Atlas Air leadergovernment William Flynn.

The agreement will consist of Atlas Air running of 20 B767-three hundred transformed freighters for Amazon. Operations had been to begin in the 2nd half of of this 12 months and ramp to full carrier via2018.

we’re excited to welcome a superb provider, Atlas Air, to aid bundle delivery to the unexpectedlydeveloping range of top contributors who love extremelyspeedy shipping, tremendous fees and greatselection from Amazon,” said Amazon senior vice chairman of global operations Dave Clark.

The deal included Amazon getting warrants permitting it to collect as a lot as 20 percentage of Atlas Aircommonplace stock stocks at a charge of $37.50 over a five12 months duration, in keeping with theagencies.

“The natural step for Amazon is controlling greater of its personal transportation and logistics, which include additional air cargo and other transportation operations, as those are nearly a need to keep thefast expansion of prime and high Now,” Baird fairness research stated in a observe to investors.

Amazon last month started up its very own air cargo carrier, laying down a project to companies like Fedex and UPS, which supply a great deal of its goods.

aircraft leasing firm Air transport offerings group stated Amazon’s success services unit will hire 20 Boeing 767 freighters, to be operated by using ATSG, to serve Amazon customers in the usa.

The pass became to “make sure air shipment ability to support one and two-day transport for clients,”according to Clark.

it could increase Amazon’s standing with customers, in particular at some point of the heavy buying of the give up-of-the-12 months Christmas length.

over the past years each united statesand Fedex struggled with the high volume of products ordered on line to satisfy delivery commitments.

“We hold to trust that Amazon is within the early levels of building out larger-scale transportation and logistics operations to feature capacity beyond existing providers, to decrease logistics fees, andultimately, to provide specialized services to 0.33 parties,” Baird stated.

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Tags: Amazon, Atlas Air, Atlas Air global, internet