YOU ARE BORING AND YOUR BLOG PUTS ME TO SLEEP

By Rachel Thompson | Author Marketing

May 30

YOU ARE BORING AND YOUR BLOG PUTS ME TO SLEEP

 

Are you boring?

 

I don’t mean in a ‘my personality sucks, I need a makeover,’ kind of way. (You’re on your own there.)

 

I mean, why should we click on your blog posts? Leave a comment. Follow you on social media?

 

Are you providing interesting content or saying the same words (with a small change in punctuation), or providing the same links over and over again?

 

Because this hurts you as much as it bores hurts us.

 

Wait, what?

 

Yea. See, those silly peeps over at Google have this new crawler/algorithm animal thingy I won’t go too much into cause it hurts my head, but suffice it to see that even if you don’t know what the heck SEO means, they do. New, fresh content rates higher on the evolutionary scale known as Google Search Rankings than not writing a blog at all, or writing about the same thing over and over.

 

So…without filling your brain with words that will turn it to mush (actually, I’m talking about me), bottom line is: you need to provide fresh new content on a regular basis.

 

There, now that’s not so difficult, is it?

 

Yet, people ask me constantly here and over on my RachelintheOC.com, Twitter and Facebook (links over there —->>>>), this question: What do I blog about? I’m stuck. I’ve no idea what my brand is. What should my topics be?

 

For me, this is a no-brainer. Life itself is a blog topic. In fact, the question: What do I blog about? is now a blog topic you’re reading right here and now (see how I did that? Tricky.).

 

So, here are a few of my own personal tools to keep my content fresh (both here and at RachelintheOC.com, my author blog):

 

1)   Vision: You must know what you want the vision or tone of your blog to be from the get-go. This can certainly change and grow with you (it’s your blog. Don’t you change and grow?), but to begin, have a clear idea of what you want to see. Some people even have a mission statement or tagline. I suggest your blog reflect your book or business. This includes your graphics, color story, blog schedule, genre, tone…really your overall plan for your blog.

 

2)   Branding: this is probably what you should think longest and hardest about. Is your blog about social media? Then, why are you posting about cookies? (Not that I’m opposed to yummy treats, believe me.) Point is, if you’re confused about your brand, how do you think your reader feels? And most importantly…will they make it back?

 

Figure out six to twelve words that describe you/your work. This goes such a long way to helping you create content and ideas.

 

3)   Content: While I caution you not to be boring, you must also be consistent. Show up and be interesting! That’s how you develop a readership. Stop showing up, so do your readers. Once weekly works well to start, twice weekly is also good. Anything more and you risk burnout. (I have many friends who blog daily and I love em. But I don’t read em. And they are burnt out and frazzled. If they skip a day, they freak. Ridiculous. Life’s too short.)

 

And let’s be honest: if you only blog about yourself all the time (unless you’re backpacking through the world with pink ninjas who eat only clouds — which will probably keep us coming back cause face it, that would be kinda awesome), you should look at your keywords and mix it up.

 

Fresh content. Engagement. Guests. Interviews. Storytelling makes people interested and care.

 

 

Ask yourself this: what do you find most interesting when perusing blogs? Do that!

 

4)   Visuals: I recommend using WordPress.org (different than .com because you pay a small monthly fee), simply because the themes are clean and easy, and the plug-ins are fabulous when it comes to upping your SEO/SMO. I’ve used both Blogger and WordPress and while I’m a fan of many Google products, there really is no comparison here.

 

(I came to WordPress.org kicking and screaming and now I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just switching increased my Google and Alexa ranking (take a look — fascinating stuff. Who looks at my blog, from where, whether they have kids…all good info!).

I know, crazy, right? If you want specifics about how I did it, email me.)

 

And promise me here and now: you’ll add your social media buttons. If you don’t, you will kill me. I will die. Do you want me to die? #okwait

 

And #deargod make it easy for people to comment. If we have to give our first-born pink ninja to leave you a comment, we’re outta there.

 

5)   Topics: This is where it helps to have an editorial calendar. Some folks plan the whole year out. I’m not that anal organized simply because I’m a) more of a pantser and b) would rather blog about issues as I see them arise. However, I do have at least four posts (one month’s worth since I blog weekly) ready to go.

 

I do like the idea of some planning only because, like math (which I hate), each post will build on previous ones.

 

Stumped for topics? Ask your Twitter or Facebook followers what they’d like to see you write about. I’ve been asked to discuss StumbleUpon, Digg, and other social media sites and how they impact site hits. And I will. But, as you can see, this post helps to lay the foundation for that one.

 

This may seem like a basic primer for blogging however; I see so many poorly created/kept blogs by people who should know better. Check your Alexa ranking (the lower the better). If it sucks, you have work to do. For specifics on how to improve stuff, use who I do: @sugarbeatbc aka Bakerview Consulting. She helped me create the site you see here and RachelintheOC.com.

 

Next week I’ll share more blog tips about creating interesting content and gaining followers. For now, please share your experiences and what you’ve learned!

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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month – created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.

She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(22) comments

PRice May 30, 2012

I promise to not be boring as long as you don’t send the pink ninja over with whatever it has in its hand.
Care to dish on how you got to be ranked so high in the “threesome” queries?

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 30, 2012

    Isn’t that funny? My best guess is last summer I participated in a Ménage a Blog promo. Other than that, no freakin clue!

    Reply
Justin Bog May 30, 2012

I love branding as a writer, but it’s the content that needs to zing . . . then how to sell one product until the next book comes out . . . and so on and so on. It’s not an easy life. The work must speak for itself. The brand can bend. Great thoughtful post.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 31, 2012

    Yes, absolutely JBo! Content is king, no doubt. My goal with branding is simply to help people come up with ideas for content — it’s especially helpful if they’re stuck for inspiration. Having go-to words is like a security blanket — you always have something to write about!

    The other important factor in discovering one’s keywords, and therefore branding, is when it comes to SEO/SMO and this carries across one’s entire platform. Most authors (including myself when I first started blogging) had no clue about any of this stuff. It’s more common knowledge now which is great. But it becomes increasingly more important when we have books to sell.

    xo and great points!

    Reply

“Once weekly works well to start, twice weekly is also good. Anything more and you risk burnout.”

Wholeheartedly agree with your statement. My gay humour blog is only 1 1/2 years old, but it’s going strong because I stick to an average of 2 posts per week or sometimes 10 – 12 posts per month. I’ve become very firm about that. No one wants to blog about shit, but that’s what you get if you over extend yourself.

I also use WordPress.org.

@JustinBog:

“The brand can bend.” I love that!

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 31, 2012

    Thank you, sweet. I can barely keep up w/ everyday life in general, let alone maintain a daily blog. I have no issues with people who do; but for me, I’ve seen so many people become so stressed by HAVING to blog as opposed to being EXCITED about it. That’s when you know it’s time to back off a bit. My Alexa rating is still good (on RachelintheOC.com — this is a newer blog but still gets a decent rating) and I post 1-2X/week. And yes, having a daily topic is difficult unless you’re doing something every day that merits it. My thoughts, anyway.

    I help people manage their writing time — if blogging daily takes away from that, then you need to prioritize. Thanks for visiting!

    Reply
Barb Drozdowich May 30, 2012

I like Justin’s comment! The content must bring people back. You don’t want to post about what everyone else posts on, and your blog must reflect you as well as your brand. You don’t want to dread going to the blog. Great post! Again!

Thanks for sharing! Love the pink Ninja…..

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 31, 2012

    Ha, thanks Barb. Not sure why my mind went to pink ninjas but she is kinda awesome. I see lots of stream-of-consciousness type blogs and often wonder: if these people went to someone else’s blog, would they read this? My next few posts will discuss HOW TO BLOG more specifically (have a beginning, middle and end to your posts, for example) but this is a start. A foundation, if you will. There are also tons of terrific blogs out there which I aspire to. It’s all a great learning experience.

    Reply
Jane Isaac May 31, 2012

Hey Rachel – great post with some very interesting points. I agree with Barb and Justin. We cannot avoid branding these days, but the quality of the content wins overall. Thanks for sharing:))

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 31, 2012

    Thank you, Jane. People fear branding, but it’s really just a matter of knowing what your focus is more than anything. If you’re a cookbook writer, then write about food, right? If people came to your blog knowing you’re a cookbook writer and see posts about politics in Mexico, that would throw them off (unless perhaps, you’re discussing the difficulty of obtaining a certain ingredient due to political strife — or something). Of course, what I advise people is to be your authentic self and do what comes naturally (because people see through the facade anyway very quickly). When you can achieve that perfect mesh, magic happens.

    I hope that makes sense. :))

    Reply

Okay, pink ninjas it is. Where do I read that one? I have to add something that you shouldn’t blog about. How miserable you are. Okay, a good rant is fun, and fun to read, too. But, please, no whining. I have a husband, if I want to hear someone whine, I’ll just listen to him.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 31, 2012

    Funny, Miss Groovy. I see the dark humor for you, for sure! Yes, there are a lot of rants which CAN be very funny however, when it ends up as whining I agree — enough. People say I ‘rant’ in my Mancode book which is interesting to me, given that it’s satire and not meant to be taken literally. Well, what can you do? Humor isn’t fickle; people are.

    Dammit.

    Reply
50Peach May 31, 2012

Excellent and much needed advice for newbies and vets alike! Thank you!
re: Social Media, my current experiment is Pinterest. Who knows if it will work or drive readership, but what’s the harm in trying? It not only puts me out there, but I’m MORE than happy to promote others, too! Paying it forward never hurts. 🙂

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 31, 2012

    Excellent attitude, Peach. Promoting others is a terrific way to engage, and Pinterest is a great place to concentrate since many aren’t understanding how to use it promotionally or for business. Focusing on ‘new media’ and learning all the ups and downs also helps you become an expert and go-to person. 🙂

    Reply
eden baylee May 31, 2012

How much do I LOVE your writing? As common sense as all this is – few can say it the way you do and persuade people to get on board. ALL great info that bloggers must learn.

The biggest problem I see in many blogs is lack of focus – too many topics /categories.
IMO, it dilutes the brand and makes worthy posts less valuable to the reader.

I do have a monthly agenda, more for me to keep organized than as a calendar for the reader.

Great post,
eden

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 31, 2012

    Thank you, Eden. I agree with you on lack of focus — when I see a header or tagline that says ‘random musings’ I think ‘UH-OH’ because I really want to know what that person has in mind or whether I should make it a point to come back.

    I enjoy your blog immensely and often refer clients to it — both for layout (it’s beautiful) and focus. You’re doing an amazing job.

    xo

    Reply
Toby Neal June 1, 2012

…..and once again Rachel hits a home run….and the bloggerverse pauses to read.
Aloha
Toby

Reply
    Rachel Thompson June 2, 2012

    Ha, thanks Toby. Not sure if that’s the case, but I love your support.

    Reply

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[…] You Are Boring and Your Blog Puts Me to Sleep(badredheadmedia.com) […]

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Ouch! :p “YOU ARE BORING AND YOUR BLOG PUTS ME TO SLEEP” http://t.co/9es8uxXbot via @BadRedheadMedia

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