Content is king ~ Bill Gates
If you have operated in the blogosphere for any reasonable length of time you are likely familiar with the above oft–repeated quote. It is in fact the title of an eerily prescient article written by Gates in 1996, back when the Internet was in its relative infancy. However, that shouldn’t detract from its undeniable validity. When it comes to building a successful online presence, content truly is king.
Don’t get me wrong — design and marketing are integral cogs in the engine of a successful blog (with notable exceptions). But they are nothing without quality content acting as the foundation. A blog’s design will rarely cause a viral reaction, and marketing only will if the underlying content is up to scratch. In my experience, great content almost always rises to the top. After all, the Internet is ultimately a free market.
With the above in mind, this section of the Paid to Blog course has a sole focus on teaching you how to write great blog posts. You will learn everything that you need to know about writing top quality content, which in itself represents the bulk of the battle that you need to win in order to create a freelance blogging career.
What You Need in Order to Be a Successful Blogger
I don’t want to mislead you into thinking that freelance blogging is a cakewalk. Like anything else in life, your determination, ability and experience all have a part to play in shaping your blogging success.
However, you do not need qualifications or experience in order to become a successful freelance blogger. Nor do you need a great deal of time — one can learn the art of blogging over time in just a few hours per week (although a greater time investment will accelerate your progress).
As with the practice of any other discipline, the key is in doing the correct things consistently, rather than the wrong things often. By purchasing this course you’ve already completed the first step — the second and third steps are to read and apply my teachings.
The General Recipe for Successful Blog Posts
We’re going to cover specifics in this guide, but when it comes to creating blog posts that engage with an audience, there are two key ingredients that you need to have in the mix:
- Your content needs to be informative and/or actionable. Or to put it another way, your post needs to teach the reader (or inform them of) something valuable that they didn’t already know and/or give them practical steps towards achieving something worthwhile.
- Your content must be unique in some way. There is a huge volume of content available on the Internet, so yours needs to stand out as something special and worthwhile of the reader’s limited time and patience.
That’s it. If you incorporate the above ingredients into your blog post, you will find success.
The vast majority of content out there is not unique, actionable, or informative. It’s just the same old stuff, recycled over and over again. You can buck that trend by providing something of true value.
Having said that, writing engaging blog posts is of course far easier said than done — creating something informative, actionable and unique is no mean feat. But it is possible; even if you are an inexperienced writer. For instance, a “unique” blog post doesn’t have to be unique in a literal since — you can create successful blog posts that tackle age–old concepts. The key is in approaching topics from a fresh angle. Think case studies, personal stories, research analysis, and controversial standpoints. Those are some of the tools that you can use to create something unique.
We will return to the above key concepts throughout the guide. You must always keep them in mind when you are creating content — that act alone will steer you in the right direction. The rest is just fine tuning.
Before We Begin
This guide isn’t just a reference piece — it offers you a step–by–step process to producing great blog posts.
Each section is concluded with Action Steps that suggest what you should do in order to put your newly–learned knowledge into practice. This is especially relevant to your own blog, but the Action Steps can also be used for your client work.
Just one more thing before we begin: this guide is written on the assumption that your blog runs on self–hosted WordPress. If you don’t use WordPress you will still find that 99% of the material is entirely relevant to you (and it’ll be clear when it isn’t).