Books by Lynn Thompson

We all have Blogs. Now what should we do with them?

This is the final class I will be taking through Shaw Academy until next fall, I think. I was so excited to take Blogging & Content Marketing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to write their posts better? And learn the importance of SEO blogging, how to use keywords and tags for blog posts etc? I have read a lot about blogging and content marketing but missed some of the aspects I needed to know. When you have other things going on you don’t think about the extent of information needed to make your blog better or easier to write or how to get a higher SEO ranking. It’s so nice to be taught sometimes instead constantly doing research.

This has been the hardest class I’ve taken. Not because I had a bad instructor, he was great! There were just too many distractions while I took this course. Too many for me to even get into at this point:)

This post is only the tip of the iceberg so for anyone who has a craving for more knowledge, these classes are worth it!

Here are the key lessons in my Blogging & Content Marketing class:

Lesson one, Introduction to Blogs, and lesson two Setting up your own blog were easy. I’d already done these steps though there were a few new blogging platforms I hadn’t heard of. I do prefer WordPress. It’s so versatile and the plug-in options could make your head spin if you’re not careful.

Lesson three, Best practices of Vlogging was a surprise-I didn’t even know YouTube video’s could be considered blogs, oops vlogs. I am so behind the times:) Apparently Vlogging is the future and it is easy enough to snap video on a smartphone and post it to YouTube. Getting the video seen is the difficult part.

Vlogging is something every blogger should look into, especially if you like making video’s. I’m more of a writer, blogger than a vlogger but I may consider making video’s in the future.

The Importance of SEO, lesson four, is still one of the biggies for me. It’s important to get your name out on the world wide web if you’re creating your own content to further your business. Even better is having your name rank high on Googles SEO platform.

Lesson five, Content curation & the art of content planning.

Content curation is the process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. Services or people that implement content curation are called curators. Curation services can be used by businesses as well as end users. via Wiki.

So what is better for your blog? Content curation? Your very own unique posts? A little of both?

I tend to lean to a little of both. There are some posts that are just mine and some I do research on before I write the post which still makes the posts unique. I’m not sure I have ever written a post on just content curation. Regardless of what you write, you have to or should plan ahead of time what you are going to write about. I prefer to write out posts ahead of time (while I’m thinking about the subject) and then put them on the back burner for future posts. This always leaves me something to fall back on if I get busy with other thing and don’t have time to write up something new.

Lesson six, Content Marketing.

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Via Content Marketing Institute.

While taking this class (and doing other research) it was brought to my attention that the easiest way to stay in your niche is to find ten topics to write about and then narrow it down to three. I’m all about improvement. Right now my main focuses are improving my writing and marketing my skills. I am continuously improving my writing, but I have struggled with the marketing aspect of it all which is crazy because I am in sales and I can see what needs to be improved when it comes down to other people’s products. When it come’s to my own products I’m stumped!

One of the reasons I decided to blog about these classes is to help myself focus on what needs to be done and hopefully help other people untangle the web of information out there into simpler steps. I, personally have a bad habit of reading too much on how to write better, promote, manage, and build a small business. I then want to apply it all right away and I get scattered…

Lesson seven, Creating a compelling personality for your content. I used to think blogging worked better without personality. I’m also an introvert so I tried to keep me out of my posts as much as I could:) But it’s true, you need to let some of your personality shine. This doesn’t mean being an *ss, so if you have nothing nice to say or nothing to give then don’t bother. You know who you are:) If you are a professional blogger then show that professional personality. If you are an all in one fun blogger then show that personality. If you’re an introvert like me then know that you will get there. It takes practice and some experimentation. But don’t force it or fake it, be yourself!

How to monetize your blog, lesson eight. Affiliate programs, informational products, sponsorships, podcasts, paid posts, and Google Adsense are some of the top few ways to monetize your blog. Google Adsense is one of the widely used mediums, but you do need to have a good stream of traffic coming to your website every day.

Lesson nine, Managing a community of online followers. This boils down to treating people how you would like to be treated. Having the diplomacy to deal with complaints without offending another person, and fixing any problems that arise in a positive way.
Lesson ten, Developing your brand through Social Media. Choose networks that support your image, provide valuable and shareable content, leverage influencers, and use social campaigns to promote your content.
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