5 Reasons for Using a Blog Post Template

What comes to mind when you hear the word template?

For most people, its the thought of following a cookie-cutter formula that practically ensures the creation of mediocre work.

On the contrary, using a template reminds you of the essential components that most reliably produce your best work – and more readily help you to grow your audience.

While there may be more, here are five reasons why using a blog post template will make your blogging more successful.

#1 – For Capturing Ideas Large and Small

The inspiration for blog posts will come in a variety of forms.  It may be a specific point you wish to make or a larger problem that you plan to solve.

As you use the template you may discover that the point you planned to make isn’t the subject of the post – but merely a secondary point.  Or it may lead you to other ideas and be discarded later.

Physically writing down your points of inspiration will remind you of other related ideas.

When you select your title, it will give you thoughts about crafting your story.  For example, for this article words such as formula, recipe, and plan came to mind.

While I didn’t use any of them, it’s entirely possible the aforementioned ‘cookie-cutter formula’ was the result of thinking about recipes.

#2 – To Fulfill Audience Expectations

We all have our own natural way of doing everything – and that includes blogging. Over time you will apply your style to the best practices that you have adopted.

Your audience then comes to expect you to follow that format.  If your posts are more meaty like mine and you suddenly shift to a shorter and more pithy format, you may disappoint a portion of the audience you have worked hard to attract.

One of my habits is limiting my posts to three points that support the subject.  In some cases, such as this one, it leads to a few more.  Whatever your style, build that structure into your template.

#3 – To Speed up Your Writing

When you know where you are going you’ll get there much more quickly.

Blogging well takes time.  If you invest a little time in your planning, you will get it back with dividends in the form of speedier writing.

You don’t necessarily have to entirely complete your template before beginning to type – but at least be clear about the subject and the key points you wish to make.

#4 – For Producing Work that Gets Consumed

A well-written title gets clicked.  Now that you have earned the attention of your reader you have to deliver. This starts with what I call the opening scene – the first few lines.

Every great film starts with a carefully planned opening scene that honors the audience.  You have to do the same with your blog.

Then you have to take them on a journey that has a clear path.  That path could be a promised solution, 3 tips, or 5 reasons why.

None of that will reliably happen if you just start writing.

#5 – To Achieve a Balance of Topics

It takes time to learn the topics that your audience find most valuable.  Once that is accomplished you will want to deliver a balance of work on those selected topics.

My evergreen topics are the categories on the secondary navigation (bottom row of tabs) of this site – small business, SEO, social media, content marketing, online marketing, and small business trends.

So, as I’m building my templates I note which category each seems to fit into.  This makes it easier to sort them and publish to a calendar that delivers a nice balance.

As my photo suggests, planning your blog posts is not intended to be rigid process, though that may work for some.

My experience is that taking a ‘back of the napkin’ approach to blog post planning most reliably unleashes your full creativity.

What are the key components of your blogging template?  Leave a comment to share with the community.

If you would like to learn more about making your blogging better.  Here are some resources.

How to Start a Blog

21 Reasons to Blog

5 Ways to Make Your Blog Posts Outstanding

How Often Should I Blog?

How to Write an Article Faster

How Blogging Enhances Your Sales Presentations

My 27 Favorite Blogging Tips

Need more?  Want to really go deeper with your content and social media marketing? Then consider signing up for my Social Media Summit later this month – specifically designed for mainstream small businesses, including green industry businesses, retailers, and more.

Like you!

It promises to be anything but cookie-cutter – more like a recipe for your online business marketing success that we design together.  Contact me for more details. 

Leave a comment below or share this with your social community by liking it on Facebook, or sharing with any of the share buttons below – or on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

 Photo Credit:  headexplodie

Is Your Online Marketing Intuitive?

Anything worth doing is worth doing right.

That’s an expression that I have always lived by.  It’s also one that can create a great deal of pain for perfectionists like me – and turbulence for those around us.

Perfectionism is a personal quality that I normally keep to myself.

Nobody wants to be around a perfectionist, but we sure do appreciate the results they achieve, um … when they finally achieve them.

Steve Jobs is known to be one of us.  He keeps us waiting, but he rarely fails to deliver. I admire that; and clearly his legion of aficionados do too.

Only recently did I make the switch from a PC to a MacBook Pro.  Why not sooner?  I was terrified.  Perfectionists think as much about what can go wrong as we do about what can work out well.  It’s how we are wired.

When I finally made the plunge to join the cool kids that evangelize about Apple and its products and services, I discovered my fears were unfounded.  The Apple technology is intuitive.

What was the expression Steve Jobs used at his most recent press conference?  It Just Works.

I couldn’t agree more.

Not only did everything work, the process of learning their technology was a joy. It was as if it was designed just for me – a normal human being with moderate technology skills.

Design Your Marketing for Your Customers

If you understand your customers well, you are able to think as they do.

This means you should be able to design and build your marketing to effectively lead them to your door.  With all due respect to The Beatles, the path that leads to your door should not be a long and winding road.

When it comes to any kind of marketing – especially social media and other types of online marketing, there can be a temptation to think that more is better.

Better is what works – more easily, faster, and in real-time.

If the online path to your door is long and winding, then you need to rethink your strategy, the keywords you are optimizing for, and the methods you are using to spread your message.

Understand the DNA of Your Customers

One of the mistakes I made when I was operating my landscape contracting business was not fully understanding what worked for my customers.

There is a price associated with delivering amazing quality like Apple.  The question is – are your customers prepared to pay that price?

My best customers were just like me.  They wanted the best and were prepared to pay for it. Unfortunately, they comprised maybe 35% of my customer base.

For this reason, it was challenging to provide services that while being 100% acceptable to the majority, were not necessarily up to my standards.  It simply was not in their DNA to appreciate many of the extras that I believed were necessary.

The key to successful marketing is both understanding your ideal customer and firmly taking a stand on what you believe and are prepared to deliver.  If the two match, you are destined to succeed.

If not, you need to make adjustments by redefining your ideal customer and what you offer – while also being true to your beliefs.

Is Your Marketing Working?

If your marketing is working to attract your ideal customers, then your only challenge is determining why and how in order to attract more just like them.

When my online marketing in my current business attracts a new client it is invariably one that is right for me – a mainstream small business or an organization that represents them, that is looking for someone who can cut through the noise and capably help them to effectively use social media and Internet marketing.

This is where the real work begins.  You have to be relentless about determining what worked and what didn’t – and making adjustments to do it better.

When I prepare a presentation for small business organizations I go back over the last few and critically analyze what worked and what didn’t – even if I was the only one that noticed.  This includes handouts, personal notes, comments, and most importantly, videos.

What worked is easy.  You intuitively know it.

What didn’t work is eliminating anything that may not only have produced a negative result – but also one that is not positive.

It’s a game of inches – but it works.

Do you have a process for methodically creating continuous improvement?

Perfectionists know with certainty that there is always a better way.

Do the work to find it and watch your business grow.

Until then, leave a comment below or share this with your social community by liking it on Facebook, or sharing with any of the share buttons below – or on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Have a great weekend,  Jeff

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