Feet Up Friday: Turn Your Blog Into An Unstoppable Train

Below is the transcribed version of the video.

What does a train and a blog have in common? More than you might think. Step into the shiny Amtrak sitting on your blog’s rails, and learn how to make your blog as unstoppable as a train speeding to its destination.

Step into the Passenger Car.

First, you have to find a seat -  become familiar with the train. Every blogger needs to become comfortable with his or her surroundings. This includes understanding what a blog really is. Blog Basics defines a blog as, “a means of communication used to examine a topic that often consists of written text, video, audio or other ways to exchange information.” That’s pretty broad and gives you a great deal of flexibility - a lot like Amtrak’s coach seating on some of its routes.

Trust the Engine.

As the train pulls out of the station, you’re very aware that there’s an engine pulling the cars (and sometimes there’s one pushing the train as well). The engine will speed you to your destination as long as it’s been fueled.

Your blog engine runs on carefully planned content. Not just any content will do. The content must be tailored to the audience you want to attract.

Your blog engine runs at its best when there are specific additives in the fuel. Written content is great for Google and other search engines and a small segment of your audience. Video is also Google-friendly, and even more people-friendly. Your audience will also love infographics.

Post a variety of content, consistently. If possible aim for once a day. News, instructional posts, spotlights on people, cheat sheets, visual content and content designed to entertain all propel a blog toward unstoppable momentum.

Send the ‘Baggage’ to the Baggage Car.

Everyone comes to blogging carrying some baggage. That might be preconceived ideas of what a blog must look like. It might be concepts you don’t think will work. Don’t toss the luggage. Pack those things up. Storing ideas in a file for later use is like sending your luggage to the baggage car. They remain in your possession, yet they don’t surround you with clutter during your journey.

Use the Luggage Rack.

Keep your blogging train fast by keeping the tools of the trade accessible. It’s fine to depend on a desktop computer if you’re always in the office. However, if you life is at all mobile, invest in a mobile tool, tablet or even smartphone.

Your train depends on you delivering content consistently. Choose tools that make reaching that goal attainable and keep them in easy reach.

Enjoy a Meal in the Bistro Car.

To keep your blog train unstoppable, you should never overlook the importance of nourishing your creativity. Ideas are the fuel of any blog.

Idea capturing tools don’t have to be complicated.

Carry a note pad with you. Jot down ideas as they come to you, or

  • Use a phone app like ‘Notes.’
  • Take pictures. Smartphone quality is often excellent, so those idea pictures might also be used on your blog.
  • Use your smartphone to capture candid video content.

To keep your train unstoppable, scan the world around you constantly for ideas. Ideas keep the rails smooth beneath the wheels.

Take in the View from the Observation Car.

Keep your blog relevant. Take the time to really ‘see’ what’s around you. Stop to listen to the conversations of your audience. Take in the scenery.

John O’Nolan says, “Foolish bloggers go out in search of ideas, efficient bloggers allow ideas to come to them.” How do ideas come to you? Read the comments on posts you’ve already written.

No comments yet? Visit your competitor’s blog. Not only will you know what they’re doing, you’ll also get ideas! A great post on someone else’s site could be exactly the inspiration you need for your own blog, especially when you read the comments section.

Another view you don’t want to miss is ‘the trend.’ Google Trends and Twitter.com/Search are valuable tools for uncovering what’s ‘hot.’

These trends change quickly, so you’ll have to act fast. However, your blog train can get a real boost from content that’s centered in the ‘here and now.’

Rest Awhile in the Sleeper.

It may seem counterintuitive to rest, yet it’s essential. At least once a month, take a breather to evaluate how things are going. Analytics can be your best friend, if you take the time to look at them. Keeping a train on schedule requires adjustments. Reaching your blog goals also depends on tuning the mix.

O’Nolan recommends that you look for ‘blockbusters’ or pages that continue to get traffic long after you first publish them. This is content you might want to tag for follow-up or an update.

Another way to ‘rest’ is to invite someone else to contribute to your blog.

  • Interview a subject matter expert or video. Focus on asking interesting questions. While the ‘who’ and ‘why we should listen to you’ element is important, limit introductory information.
  • Give a topic to a guest blogger and let them run with it.

Retrieve Your Luggage from the Baggage Car.

Wearing the same clothes for a week is likely to create a repellant situation. Likewise, your blog will grow musty and stale unless you retrieve your bag of ideas frequently.

A train’s rails may be fixed. Does that mean you never need to change trains? Compare your ideas with trends and analytics. Adjust your destination if necessary.

Enjoy the Unstoppable Train!

Nothing stops a train, except its scheduled stops. Your blog can gain momentum. Commit to the journey today and download our free eBook: An Introduction To Business Blogging.


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