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Gini Dietrich

Blog Content Creation: Tips for Writing Compelling Posts

By: Gini Dietrich | July 23, 2009 | 
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Our newsletter was released yesterday and, in it, we described how to start a blog, create content, and drive traffic once you got going. If you don’t subscribe, do so here.

It got me thinking.  Trust me when I say it’s hard to write compelling content every day. So hard, in fact, this very blog used to have multiple authors, just because the thought of my writing it every day was too overwhelming. But then I realized I had something to say that might be useful to many different audiences, including business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, new college graduates, clients, prospective clients, and even communication experts. And I realized that even though our blog is titled the Fight Against Destructive Spin, I didn’t have to find examples of “spin” every day.  I figured out that I can write about what it’s like to build a bootstrapped and growing business from scratch and what I’m learning about social media, as well as what’s happening in the PR industry.

So I thought I’d share some of my secrets here on creating compelling content consistently (wow – nice alliteration without even trying!) in order to make you a thought leader in your industry.

* I use Fridays to participate in #FollowFriday on Twitter, but I do it here instead of listing a whole bunch of Twitter handles in my stream. It does two things: It gives people a real reason to follow the people I’m recommending and it drives traffic to our blog. I know that I don’t have to think of a topic every Friday and, instead, can have fun with the 20 people I recommend each week.

* I read like a madwoman. I read everything I can get my hands on. I read most everything online and I do it quickly, looking for thoughts or ideas that spark some creativity. It doesn’t take as much time as one would think. I subscribe to SmartBrief newsletters and I pour through my Twitter feed looking for great content. Most days I have 20 or more tabs open in Firefox until I can read them all. Sometimes they stay open for days.  I read. And then I think. I use my cycling time every morning to create the blog posts in my head.

* Sometimes I read something that gets me all fired up and I get on my soapbox. If this happens, I don’t wait until it’s time to write another blog post. I just write it.

* I’ve learned A TON about starting, running, and growing a business. Some of what I’ve learned, people have told me I’d figure out on my own. Some of what I’ve learned no one tells you and I think it’s important for other entrepreneurs to know. I’m VERY transparent about what I’ve learned, what works, and where I’ve fallen. These posts are easy to write because they’re things I live every, single day.

* I do quite a bit of speaking. I also spend time with our clients on strategic and innovative opportunities and challenges. When I do this, I listen more than I advise. I ask a ton of questions. I get them thinking. Then I use the questions they ask me (I get a lot of the same questions) and answer them in blog posts.

* We host Webinars and it’s impossible to get to every question during the hour time period. So I answer a lot of the questions in blog posts. I don’t have to think of a new topic, but it allows me to connect and engage with every person that partipcates in our Webinars, even if it’s not during the session.

So there you have it. My tricks for writing blog posts nearly daily. What are some of your secrets?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

14 comments
Tinu
Tinu

I cheat by quoting what you say and telling people to go read your blog. Which I guess is counter-productive, BUT. Ramen noodles are on sale this week.

Marian Cutler
Marian Cutler

Solid tips. My problem is keeping my blog current (it's sadly fallen into a prolonged vacation) as I manage and create content for client blogs.

Marian
@mariancutler

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

Jenny - thank you! This is a great blog topic I'll expand on next week. Great idea!!

Jenny Wilmshurst - Tweet Twins Social Media - NZ
Jenny Wilmshurst - Tweet Twins Social Media - NZ

In reply to your previous blog post on doing Social Media in 15 -60 minutes a day, mentioned what works for busy people who want to create in-house written, high quality, market relevant blog content efficiently on the fly.

So now another few thoughts...relate that content to trending topics and trending keywords so that you get SEO mileage out of the blog post. You might source the trending topics real time from Twitter or use Google Alerts (or an alternative) with an RSS feed by email so you get current search topics.

Brad Farris
Brad Farris

Gentry & Chad, I think that writing in that more transparent way gets easier the more you do it. It took me a couple of years of writing our newsletter before I really got the voice that I wanted (and that people respond to). It's one of those things like riding a bike that you can't learn how to do without really getting yourself out there and doing it.

I recently started my own blog at www.bradfarris.com to give myself MORE practice.

In the words of Ms. Frizzle, "Take Chances, Get messy, make mistakes!"

Deb Evans
Deb Evans

Starting a blog has been on my task list for a very long time. I have to admit I have completed the other tasks of listening, reading and learning so I guess I need to jump into writing! Since I love to engage with people I should be ready to start a blog.
Thank you for your helpful tips.

Tom Reaoch
Tom Reaoch

"It’s not hard to let your personality shine through writing." It’s not for you Gini, you shine, naturally, in any way you choose to communicate, principally your voice. Looking forward to the “Return of Gini” on Vistage webinar part 2.
Tom

Maricris
Maricris

I'm interested at how you do Follow Friday on your blog instead. I would love to do the same thing in my blog. Would you care showing me how you do it?

This is my blog: http://zenforyou.dalefg,net

Chad Cohen
Chad Cohen

You hit it right on Gini. Read voraciously and don't get bogged down by the process. You can't be afraid to just write and put yourself out there. It takes some discipline, but soon becomes a vehicle for amazing expression. Now if I could only practice what i preach!

Dan Collins
Dan Collins

Before I started to write I didn't want to fall into the trap of narcissus so I figured why not write about other people. To keep it upbeat I try to put a positive slant by framing it "What I learned from". Whether it be the guy I buy coffee from in the early morning or a celebrity I have never met there is a never ending stream of inspiration, insights and stuff to say. Careful Gini one of them may be about you very soon.

Dan

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

Great tip, Gentry! Last week, during the Vistage Webinar I hosted, someone asked how you let your personality shine on the social networks. I said, "Follow me on Twitter and you'll see how it's done!" It's not hard to let your personality shine through writing.

Ron, I can't fix your typo, but we know you mean "your" tips.

Gentry Lassiter
Gentry Lassiter

All good points. Another way to write compelling blog posts is to let your identity be shown. The best bloggers are not anonymous. Rather, they let their readers know who they are. Their posts include insights to their personalities, experiences and lives and relate them to the ideas they wish to convey. Although it's important to let this identity be shown, it's also crucial that this doesn't overshadow the overarching objective of the blog.

Ron Schmidt
Ron Schmidt

Thanks for sharing got tips. Glad to hear how you put your heart and mind into your blog entries.

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