If you want to write better blogs about business technology, you need content that’s uniquely personal, compelling and relevant.
And you better get typing because the best blog posts have between 1,000 and 1,500 words, and the best bloggers churn them out once or twice each week.
That’s according to Anita O’Malley, who speaks from experience.
O’Malley is the founder and CEO of Leadarati (Lincroft), a social, digital and public relations B2B marketing communications firm that’s certified. She’s also an avid blogger, and has authored hundreds of blogs for clients.
She imparted her wisdom to some 40 professionals during a Jersey Shore Women in Tech gathering in Asbury Park on February 19.
Her blog is called Marketing TECHniques. It focuses on the best use of today’s digital and online communication channels to help B2B and tech pros and their companies gain business opportunities. Topics have included social selling, social media for business, press releases, branding and content marketing.
O’Malley’s talk and presentation, called “Blogging for Thought Leadership,” focused on ways to create compelling content; develop a manageable, organized publishing process; and promote blogs to boost readership.
“We all want to look like thought leaders, right? We all want to be branded as experts in what we do,” she said, noting that a blog can “showcase that leadership.” She added, “We can use it to increase search engine optimization ranking. We can use it to build opportunities for our businesses and ourselves and our careers.”
It’s important to create original content based on personal insight, she said. “No matter what you do, even in your own little corner, you have unique experiences that nobody else has.” You might have experiences in product management, for example, or as a managing web developer or app developer, she told the audience.
While planning for the optimal blog, “we want to find a niche,” said O’Malley. She noted that the best bloggers use an analysis of keywords “to find out where you rank. You have competition and global monthly searches. The ideal is to find low competition and high searches: There are not a lot of blogs on that topic, but a lot of people want to read about it. That’s your sweet spot.”
Writers should focus on creating content that is personal and compelling. Never try to sell the readers, she said.
While working on titles, bloggers can wade into a subject matter with “How to …” or “ A Guide to …” or “When Should You …” and “Everything You Need to Know about … ,” and then get typing.
Blogs fail when writers try to widen the focus to a big topic. Everybody is writing about the big topic. Stay away from generalities. Blogs also fail when authors write about various problems in their industries, but do not provide solutions. They should instead provide answers drawn from personal insights, she said.
Bloggers should embrace metrics. O’Malley suggested that the best day to post blogs is Wednesday, after 3 p.m. And the best word count is between 1,000 and 1,500 words. The least optimal days to post are Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
A lack of consistency can sink a blog fast. Writing one post monthly, weekly or twice weekly is solid advice, she said. “Try to post it repeatedly. You post it a bunch of times to give it legs.”
Every blogger faces the dreaded writer’s block, but to snap out of it, O’Malley recommended using visuals and answering readers’ questions as part of the blog. A blogger should also cite industry articles, write about industry events, invite a guest blogger and add videos to breathe new life into her pieces.
O’Malley told the group that the best blogs bring value to businesses and to professional careers.
Bloggers should also use social media sites to build readership. “If you are a blogger, you need to have a community and use and build your social media sites. If you don’t have a community, it’s difficult to gain a subscriber base.”
O’Malley’s advice will be put to good use, said Brittany Jacobs, cofounder of Jersey Shore Women in Tech and a software engineering manager at Vydia (Holmdel).
“Anita provided many important tips and techniques for managing your blog content and promoting your blog in today’s oversaturated market,” she said. “Our members thought it was a fantastic evening, and were eagerly taking notes throughout the entire presentation.”
Jackie Chalet, a marketing director at TetherView (Oceanport) who blogs weekly, agreed.
“Anita is successful and popular within her field of blogging because she understands that marketing, and optimization as a whole, is always evolving. So should your strategies to best optimize your content. She’s moving with change and always seeking new outlets for each industry she writes within. …We’re in a field that never stops, and she embraces that,” Chalet said.
O’Malley publishes a column on NJTechWeekly.com, is also a PR News writer and a sought-after expert for press and business communications initiatives, specializing in B2B technology companies. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Boston University and a master’s degree in corporate and public communication from Monmouth University.