Today we’re examining principle #6 of creating compelling content for your blog but to be honest I feel really strange writing it – because it’s too easy and really should go without saying….
However it’s something I know most bloggers struggle with, despite knowing it – so here goes….
Creating compelling content for a blog doesn’t just happen.
Unless you’re something of a freak (or have a great gift) creating compelling content takes a lot of time and effort. Really it is the same as any creative process – it takes time.
Tangent – over the weekend just gone I had the honor to attend the world premier of an amazing (and controversial) documentary by the name of the 10 Conditions of Love (you can see a trailer for it here on YouTube). The film has been in the headlines here in Melbourne as a result of the Chinese trying to stop it being shown.
The director (Jeff Daniels) is a friend and we know he’s put a great deal of work into creating the documentary. In fact by day he works as a secondary school teacher and so his documentary work has largely been an after hours passion. This particularly film took 7 years to make!
I reflected on the way home from seeing the film to my wife that apart from it being an inspiring story that one of the things that made the biggest impact for me was Jeff’s dedication to the task. 7 years of dreaming, researching, filming, editing…. to create a 55 minute end result.
Having seen the film I feel the 7 years of crafting this film was well worth it – it’s a thought provoking and inspiring tale (can you tell I’m a fan?) – but in addition to the challenging story I was challenged by Jeff’s own incredible effort in putting the film together. I came away asking myself whether I put a similar kind of time and effort into the creation of my own content?
Great blog posts don’t just happen. However when I talk to bloggers about their blogging workflow I get the distinct impression that many of us don’t actually put a lot of time aside to develop our posts. While there are times when whipping out a quick post on a basic idea can connect with your readership I’ve found that it is when I set aside extended periods of time to work on a post that it raises in quality to the next level.
I know the pressure of feeling you have to get out a post to keep your posting schedule moving but why not commit to working on one post each week that you work on each day over the week.
Your Homework for Today:
It’s the start of another week – so today choose a larger topic that will take some thought and effort and set aside time each day over the coming week to really put some effort into the writing of the post. Set aside at least 10-15 minutes each day of this week to think about that post
- to research what others are saying on the topic
- to look at it from new angles and form a unique opinion on the topic
- to find examples and quotes to add new depth to the post
- to check it for errors
- to make it ‘look’ good (by finding pictures and taking extra time to format it well)
To help you through this process I’ve outlined 10 points in the process of writing a blog post that taking a little extra time can help you to improve your post.
You don’t need to spend 7 years on the post but see what happens when instead of whipping together a post on the run you take time to ‘craft’ it into something more.
Note: Not every blog needs to have long in depth posts to be successful. Many successful blogs take the approach of creating lots of short, sharp and ‘link’ based content – however even many of these throw in longer more thoughtful posts from time to time. If this isn’t the ‘style’ of your blog then I understand your hesitation in mixing things up – but there’s no harm in trying something new on your blog from time to time. It’s all a part of experimenting with new voices and styles – you never know, you might just be surprised by the result!
I used to write articles based on what I know in my mind, but lately I’m seeing more value from doing some reading/research in the topic before I do so. This post reinforces that and the steps are very helpful. Thanks Darren!
Excellent post! Great suggestion and reminder that each posting is a creation unto itself. It is challenging when you are running a busy business to stop and go through the process and your blog is an excellent reminder of not taking short cuts in that process. I work hard on our blog and have found that the effort pays off.
It is also a great reminder that when you read a great blog or post from others what went into the work. I love it when passion closes out all reason such as your friend working on one film for 7 years – aren’t we all doing that to some degree with our own businesses?
This is something close to my heart at the moment. I have written content for many of my blogs and usually it is something very un-rehearsed and basic. And from my stats I can tell I have alot of one time visits, but getting people to subscribe to my posts and link to them is very rare.
But, that is about to change. I am going to read this article and start implememting some of its tips. Fantastic article!
It is important to create great content, but the reality is that we are being dishonest to new bloggers if we tell them that all they need to do is to create great content and readers will magically show up.
It just does not happen that way.
I’m so glad I read this. Too many times I’ve seen suggestions for quick Twitter-like posts and auto-content! All the while, I’m sweating out several hours to crank out my best heart-felt, personal content and thinking, “There must be something WRONG with ME!”
Yes, my blog is young – still under 100 posts, but getting there. I’m glad to have the opportunity to learn with the best of the best. In the end, I know I’ll get out of it exactly what I put into it.
All the best from Toronto,
I really want to start setting aside one day a week to do nothing but write posts for each of my blogs. The fact of the matter is, I’ve got way too much to do and, for the most part, it just isn’t possible to spend a whole day blogging. Your solution is great – if I just spend a little bit of each day (maybe before bed since that’s when I’m most creative) writing, I’ll be able to put the time and effort into some great posts and really start beefing up my blogs’ content.
The problem that I’m having is getting people to comment, so I think that if I write great content and invite people to chime in, I’ll start to see the results that I’m looking for.
I really have some trouble about this topic. I’m some kind of a person who is so hard to disgorge what I want to say. Well, I’ve even spend about 15 minutes adjusting my words here to post a comment here.
Yeah. My first mistake is I took a whole week to create a single post!
Now I understand that the length is not the matter but the most important thing is how the content responsive to the readers =D
I agree with Darren.I also take time but it just take about an hour.. I really don’t like depth post but that’s important coz it means you ‘re pro…
Nice tips to follow
A strategy I like is to rush through a post and write as fast as I can till I think I am done.
Then do something else for ten minutes.
Get a coffee, call the mechanic, shave, or whatever.
Then come back and take the time to really look the post over. That means: proof read for grammar, take out extra words, and make sure your talking sense. Then and only then do I try and put something up.
This is the reason I would always give to my coworkers as to why i felt blogs were never really as good content-wise as evergreen content on a website. I’ve spent years developing my parenting material for my website and book. That is my plan for my new blog as well.
it is extra ordinary post
Thank you for taking the extra time and telling us about this movie. I really want to see it. It looks like it was worth every second that it took to make it.
When reading blogs you can certainly tell you takes the time to write and who doesn’t.
I just started following your blog and I am trying to follow the advice you give – I find it most helpful.
Creating/Writing a content really do need an extra effort in order to finish this at a little span of time.This review is really true in telling how the time became an important factor in creating great contents from brilliant minds.
Thanks for this post!
This really helps.
How long you have been blog? Almost five years, right? That’s deserve you tho get what you have already get.
Its quite important to put more effort on every post as they not only symbolise you but they also act as the foundations of your blog… I’m planning to write an eBook by combining some of the post of my blog … and it is goin to make job easier as I had put consistent effort on all those post … Great Post :)
I write post routine to reach PR my blog. Thanks.