May 6, 2014

Time-saving tips to write more blog posts (with video)

Time-Saving-hacks-blog-posts

Make the most out of your time and blog more often

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, marketers, managers, journalists, general public.

John HaydonOne thing I’ve learned from years of blogging is that a blogging process saves time and headaches. My approach uses creative momentum at the beginning to blow through tasks that require linear thinking.

Above you’ll find a 6-minute video demonstration of exactly what I do, step-by-step, for each blog post:

Make an Outline – Assuming you’ve selected useful topic to write about, all you need at the beginning is a basic framework to support the copy. I use MindMiester to map out an outline. Continue reading

November 25, 2013

9 time-saving tips to write more blog posts

Target audience: Bloggers, nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists.

John HaydonOne thing I’ve learned from years of blogging is that a blogging process saves time and headaches. My approach uses creative momentum at the beginning to blow through tasks that require linear thinking.

Above you’ll find a 6-minute video demonstration of exactly what I do, step by step, for each blog post: Continue reading

October 6, 2011

12 ways to develop a loyal community for your blog

blog community
Image by Palto for Big Stock

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, Web publishers, bloggers, individuals

 

Live-blog sessions you attend, or ask others to do so and post to the blog.

4 Blog conference sessions. The surest way to attract a community is to be part of the community when events and conferences are happening. Live-blog sessions you attend, or ask others to do so and post to the blog. Use the session’s Twitter hashtag and tweet that you are live-blogging certain sessions. Those following the conference online will refer to your blog as a source of session content, expanding your organization’s usual reach.

5 Remember you ABCs: Always Be Commenting. Reply to (almost) every blog comment. Readers comment on your blog post because they want to be recognized, add to the conversation, and be considered. Replying to comments can lead to other interesting discussions within the blog posts’ comments, and deepening a reader’s engagement with your blog and its content. No need to reply to every person who writes, “great post!” Instead, comment after a few of these types of comments are up.

6 Ask for blog comments. Don’t be afraid to ask for comments. Send a DM on Twitter to people you know would be interested in a certain blog post. Ask Twitter and Facebook followers and fans to comment as you share the post. If there is a great discussion happening in the blog comments, tweet that out and ask for even more comments!

7 Friend and acknowledge your commenters. Once you begin to see regular readers commenting on the blog, seek them out and friend them in your social spaces. Follow them on Twitter, connect on Linkedin, comment on their blogs. Periodically send a public shout out to those who comment. You could even recognize them in a tweet such as this: “Great comment from @username on today’s blog. Thanks!”

8 Install an easy-to-use social commenting system. Disqus and Facebook comments are two very easy-to-use commenting systems that are inherently social. Once users are logged into Facebook or Disqus, the comments are publicly shown either on Facebook feeds or the Disqus network.

9 Include a “recent comments” widget on the sidebar of your blog. Highlighting recent comments sends the message that your blog already has a blog community. I’ve installed the Disqus “recent comments” widget within Community Organizer 2.0’s sidebar for that very reason.

10 Post the latest blog posts to your organization’s social spaces. A recent case study implied that autoposting to Facebook may decrease views, so be sure to post manually the latest from your blog to Facebook and Twitter. Consider also posting great blog comments to your Facebook Wall and other social spaces.

11 Show blog post retweets on the sidebar of your blog. Consider creating a Twitter feed that pulls in all the blog post retweets as a way to show that your blog already has a community of readers.

12 Give out some link love. Though linking out a lot is not always recommended as a good SEO practice, linking will get your blog noticed. Especially when your blog is relatively new or unknown, don’t be afraid to create links to other blogs your readers will recognize. When you link to others, the blog owner is usually notified of the link and will often take a look at your blog. This is a simple way to get your organization’s blog onto the radar of other industry blog owners.

July 18, 2011

12 tips for writing more blog posts each week

blog

John HaydonIwrite six to seven posts each week on four different websites, which might seem amazing. But I used to struggle to write just two posts every week (seven is still a struggle, which is a good thing).

Here are a few things I do that have helped me be more efficient (but still authentic) with my blogging:

  1. Dragon Dictation – I wrote this post in 10 minutes using Dragon Dictation by Nuance Communications (two minutes dictating and eight minutes editing the post in WordPress).
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  3. Theme Calendar – I have a theme calendar in my head that looks like this:
    • Monday – Strategy article at JohnHaydon.com (cross-posted to Socialbrite), video on Headway Videos.com
    • Tuesday – Tactical article at NonprofitFacebookGuy.com
    • Wednesday – Social fundraising article at Razoo, how-to article at JohnHaydon.com
    • Thursday – Tactical article at NonprofitFacebookGuy.com
    • Friday – Personal / thought piece at JohnHaydon.com
  4. Mind mapping – This approach allows me to bounce freely between unrelated ideas, but anchor them together in a way that’s extremely organized. I wrote this post in 20 minutes using the MindMeister iPad app while I sat in a doctor’s waiting room.
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  6. Reuse emails – Many times I’ll be answering a question for someone in an email and realize that other people probably have the same question. Copy, paste, delete the guilty parties.
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  8. Reuse comments – Sometimes I’ll find myself leaving a thoughtful comment on a post and realize that I could blow it up into a blog post.
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  10. Write in batches – Writing requires creative muscle which, once warmed up, can be used for creative tasks beyond the one you planned for. Take advantage of an engine that’s warmed up.
  11. Continue reading

January 25, 2010

How to grow your blog with social media for social good

charity-bake

This is part of the series the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media.

John HaydonLike many kids, I was involved in the Boy Scouts. The scout leader was Mr. Pertrazzio, who was an electrician.

Now, I’m sure he loved being involved with the Boy Scouts. But when you think about it, he had a clear marketing advantage over other electricians: Parents trusted him. And some parents trusted him enough to let him into their homes, which is important for an electrician.

3 reasons why you should do charity work on your blog

  1. It shows you care about something greater.
  2. Your blog and your outposts have power to create awareness around important issues.
  3. You can meet new bloggers that you can network with.

Continue reading

January 21, 2010

13 ways to get your blog posts retweeted

dominosteine

This is part of the series the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media.

John HaydonFirst of all, what’s the big deal about getting retweeted? If you have a ton of followers who are engaged, and you’re happy, then why should you care if they retweet your blog posts?

If you’re using Twitter for business reasons, you should care. And here’s why:

Measure engagement
Retweets are an indication of how engaged your followers are. If they aren’t retweeting any of your posts, chances are they don’t find them that interesting.

Follower attrition
Some of the folks who are singing your praises now will be gone in six months. That’s because you can’t be all things to all people all the time (and you shouldn’t being trying to). People grow, they change and have different needs as time goes on. New people who follow you because of a retweet they saw will take their place. It’s not personal, it’s just business.

Measure content
Getting retweeted is partially a function of good content. Or at least good headlines.

retweets

How to get retweeted

  1. Be Relevant – A survey conducted by Dan Zarrella found that people share content because they thought it was relevant for someone they know. In other words, try and stay relevant to topics your followers want to hear about.
  2. Write Pithy Headlines – On Twitter all we have is 140 characters. How would someone like Shel Silverstein tweet?
  3. Include links – Dan also found that retweets tend to have more links. 56.69% of retweets contain a link versus 18.96% of normal tweets.
  4. Add your own thoughts – One big limitation with Twitter’s retweets is that you can’t edit the tweet before retweeting. Tools like Seesmic and Tweetie give users a second option of “quoting” the tweet where you can edit it to your liking.
  5. Continue reading