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How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic

Lesson 9 of 10

Role of your Blog in Branding

Darren Murph

How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic

Darren Murph

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Lesson Info

9. Role of your Blog in Branding


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:08:21
  Class Trailer
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1 What Makes a Great Story? Duration:15:22
2 Blog Post Components Duration:19:12
3 Understand Traffic & Growth Duration:08:33

Lesson Info

Role of your Blog in Branding

The role of the block in branding yourself for your business so this is this is a big point for some of you here that where your business sort of hinges on the block, a lot of businesses now putting up a website with their portfolio of pricing what they offer in a contact sheet, the missing element of that is the block people now have an expectation that any business needs to have a voice, whether you like it or not. That's that's the expectation if you go search for a company's twitter handle because you want to complain to them on twitter and they don't have a twitter handle. It's actually a very negative experience like, why? Why aren't you on twitter? You're running from all of your problems, you know, give, give, give with the program blogging is similar to that, and it goes a long way in branding who you are and what you want to be. And we're gonna look at a few examples here on how some brands have incorporated blog's to further what they want to be perceived as so this first on...

e is a glimpse at the red bull block. So for those underwear, red bull is an energy drink, they make chemical concoctions that when you drink them. You are massively energized and no one really knows why it's just crazy that's what that's all they do, they make these crazy drinks that they charge a lot for and you can drink one and you're good for like five hours so that's what they do, but if you look at their block, I don't see anything appear at all about their newest product or, uh, what some kid did on a skateboard for five hours after he jumped a red bull there's none of that what the block is is what they want to be perceived as we've got profiles of astronauts, we've got a story of what it took for a guy to jump out of this orb from from outer space and make it down what they were using their block for is a perception port all they want to be known as the brand that is very highbrow, very science friendly, very edgy, extreme sports, those are the kinds of things they want to be associated with it's pretty hard to associate an energy drink to something like this unless you just make it so on the block. And so this goes back to one of the questions off, like, how out of balance can we go? Well, this is what they've determined they wanted they want to be as a brand so they might as well use there their blood to do it, and if you watch any of their advertising, you'll find a very similar message. They don't really focus on the product so much they focus on the aura around the product and it goes a long way, yeah, just touching on branding amanda's curious to know if you are just starting out a blogger, is it better to have several post before making them public? Or is it okay to just start with one post and have the viewers aware that you're just starting out? That is a great question. So, um, during my unguided days, a lot of folks split off and they form this site called the verge, and I was actually in contact with them while they were doing this, and they had a six month runway before they were gonna launch the site, and because it was a major publication, they actually had almost six months worth of archive content. So when it went live, like you could dig back months back now, that's for a massive publication, they had probably a forty, people working on that. But even in the personal sense, I would recommend starting with some amount of archival material, maybe it's a week or two weeks, even if you're welcome post happens, and then you put fourteen other post up and then you launch your block that's totally fine. I would recommend to have some sort of orca because here's, what happens if you don't let's say that somebody shows up it's your blogged because they hear about it from a friend and they get their own day one and the only thing there is the welcome post so immediately there like, oh, I love this person. I love the vibe. I love what they're doing. I want to read more and there's there's, nothing to read it's like all you showed up on day one. I'm sorry, like you got to come back tomorrow. They might come back tomorrow, but you'd be much better off giving them something, so I'd say one to two weeks, at least of earlier material. It can't stare you're wrong that way. If they get there and they love it, they can hang around a read and that's better for traffic. They'll keep clicking on those articles, so I want to show you this is a wedding photography blogger para veil is a friend of my wife and I are, uh, my wife and I, and you'll see this is this is the top of one of her block post if she shoots weddings for a living pretty simple she shows up at the wedding with her camera she shoots the wedding she goes home and edits the wedding and since the pictures to the client that's pretty much how it goes do you think well how could a blogged be involved in that so at the top she's got a headline and then immediately a photo and it's a it's a huge long long photo of how this wedding day began and if you were to scroll down it's about seventeen photos of the wedding day and then at the bottom there's a brief blurb on how the weather was how things went she's so happy for the couple and then you know speaks about the vendors and all the folks that were there so in this context having a very photo heavy blogged makes a lot of sense because she's in a business where visuals matter and so if you're in a business where visuals matter you could incorporate that justus muchas text it doesn't always have to be text you can use photos if it fits your audience she knows her audience the audience shows up to a block post they want to see pictures of course they want to hear her take on it but most of all they want to see pictures so this is a great understanding of just getting the audience last example here this is a personal block by gentleman named mg siegler uh he and I have been friends for some time he started out as a techcrunch blogger while I was at engadget so we were a sister sites writing about some of the same things and he rose to prominence he was an incredible blogger there and he left the world of blogging and went to work for google ventures so totally different section of work he went from blogging every day as his job to working with startups and funding them which basically requires no communication and in fact most of the work he does is all under india and it's all confidential so he went from publicly saying a lot of things to really not being able to say anything at all and as a writer at heart you just can't you can't live like that you just you just can't take away the pen from a guy like this so he started a personal block where he's able to write about things that he's just personally interested in and it still has a quite edgy vibe he still writes mostly about technology you can see the iphone they're a front in he did this so he could keep in touch with the folks that he left behind at techcrunch he still has a thread going that no matter where he goes being techcrunch er, google or wherever else in life this is now a mainstay he's still able to write still able to put his voice out there and you never know maybe somebody's looking for somebody like him and they're thinking about people they're going to recruit having this out there's huge for them because people you never know behind the scenes if they're looking on lengthen they're trying to get an idea of people they want to recruit they're going to google your name they find this block you know, within within an hour you have a pretty good idea of who this person is and it's it's it gives him a platform to show who he is because it's uh it's a small world and things come around and being ableto have your voice out there is it's just good for people getting to know you in the networking sense even if you haven't met them yet? Yeah, so this one was on a medium lodge, right? Yes, andi, you can have the orb log on your own web outside. Yeah, so I love medium. I love that you brought that up medium is a new newish blogging platform where similar twitter you can sign up for a medium account and they're very tightly linked and so you can publish two medium directly or you can embed this on your site I like medium a lot because there's an embedded audience with that because it's so tightly linked to twitter it's very easy to share amongst both services. And so, while I do like wordpress for the flexibility that it provides because you could make it look like anything you want medium gives you very pretty much every medium block looks like this, you're not gonna have a lot of options for making it your own, but if you embed it in your website, you have a broader website that already looks like you, then I don't have so much of a problem with your block looking like medium, but if he, um about it to your own website, does medium, uh, highlights it for its own audience, like, you know, they have the front page where they have, like, ex ert, they will, because they're still going to be a direct link to this block so you can access it embedded on their site or go to the direct earl and just be fully in mediums world, so they'll still do that. Yeah, as long as you're using their platform, you still have the opportunities for promotion. Darren we another question came in from our online audience, and I love that you showed that example of the wedding photographer because we have lots of those people watching in here, we have one in particular, a couple of votes on this this viewer is a portrait and wedding photographer and they want to know about frequency of block post they say they try to keep consistent by posting on the same days and keeping like a regular kids with their post, but they say, is it okay to every once in a while throw in some extra post that maybe are off that regular schedule that people may be accustomed to? Yeah, for sure, so I'll give you a little insight. My wife is also a wedding photographer and has a blogger and what's really fascinating is that one of the things that's most requested from brides is that she blog's about their wedding and it's really fascinating, but a lot of the brides I want that block because it tells the story of their day and then they're more than happy to share it out. And so when you're when you're able to work in an environment where you're providing a direct service like graphic design or wedding photography, you have a more intimate relationship with the client then most jobs allow that allows you to further share what you write about it much more easily because you khun directly ask people that the block post is written about so in terms of time and yes, she tries to do maybe one a week to kind of coincide with maybe a wedding a week, but recently this year there was a family that we were familiar with that adopted a few kids from overseas and it was kind of chaotic, you know, it's it's a crazy process to do that and she saw that happening and she has a heart for adoption and said, you know what? I really want to go out and do a family shoot of this of this family and I'm going toe create a block post about it in an effort to wait raise awareness about adoption and so that's just something that she went out and did it's very it's, obviously not wedding photography, but it's still close enough to the realm of what she's about it's still in encompasses the brand it's still tells the story of what she believes in and so yeah, throwing that out every now and then it's totally fine I do like the cadence, but then extra ones is you know, if it's a good story it's a good story. So yeah, great question I had questions about distribution and one is for business linked, the linked in platform and the new thing that's happening with apple and apple news. Yeah, just those two things. Yeah, no lynton what I have done personally when I've written personal blog's uh so I wrote a book recently and when I wanted to get that out there wrote a personal block about but I also wrote the same block on lake did okay and actually just copied and pasted it because they're so siloed lincoln keeps its content very, very much in its own portal and it's tough to share outside of lincoln and it's pretty much it's own thing so people that show up there they're kind of in the ecosystem and so I thought, you know the chance the likelihood of people seeing in both places or slim slim enough that I'm okay with having it both places so I definitely if you're in the business world we're linked in matters a lot you're trying to get clients or you're being recruited on that definitely use that on lincoln is very you can't very well import things and looked in that's good to know a lot of the times you really do have to copy and paste but people get it like people in the business room understand that it is what it is and they have their very discreet ecosystems so if they see something twice there gonna be a little bit you're forgiving because it's sort of a necessary evil especially if you make the effort to make them go live at the same time that way at least it's like oh I get it they were they were trying to to get to two audiences at once it's not like you draw it out over a long period of time to try toe increased attention on the other one was apple news yeah the newest that I think you have to have the latest operating system to do but that embedded thing that they're doing that's right? Yes so apple news is effectively working with some publications too bring their content that they create into an apple news app and increasingly this is happening more and more google has google news apple as apple news some of these larger companies are getting into the I wouldn't say the publication game but they're they're re aggregating and they're putting it in a portal in a format that they're happy with facebook is doing the same thing with their they're testing direct articles on facebook so instead of clicking out to the link you can read it fully within facebook and these air starting at the top with major news organization it will be a long time before they'll get down to medium or wordpress and more personal blocks to be able to be imported in but it is something to be aware off because it will get there eventually there are like for example, the john grouper blogged in a show uh he does he does more traffic than a lot of publications with fifty people on staff so eventually apple is going to have to take those types of people in the consideration because he writes about apple all day and I know that people with apple phones using apple news would want to be able to find that in there so it hasn't happened yet for bloggers but it probably will thank you just just kind of further touch on the question that's kind of relatable um she would like to know what is the protocol for referencing a comment from another person or entity um do you have to get their permission? Is there kind of like a process that you take for that? Well, I would I would always record like whatever journalism standards apply that's what I would I would go with and typically if you're getting a quote from someone either over email over phone you should definitely ask for permission before using it in a block post because if you're if you don't make it clear when a conversation is on the record or off the record you don't want to surprise someone by their quote and their name showing up they google their name and their mentioned in your block post and they had no idea it was coming probably not the best relationship but if you're just you're just quoting a comment that's already been posted publicly that's totally fine you don't necessarily have to reach out every time because the person made the effort to put it out there in the public ground so if it's a private thing it's just between you over e mail or phone definitely get permission if it's public realm already you have some more flexibility there, okay, great now we have another question here and I know that we're not getting too far into the weeds with wordpress I know a lot of this stuff is in the word press that you recommend, but t funk specifically wants to know if you have any tips for effective use of tags and categories when you're building out your blog's as a way to drive traffic yeah, absolutely uh tags, tags and categories so we're getting a little bit a little bit technical but inward press and in most blogging platforms you can choose to tag or categorize each post before it goes live, you can also choose to not do that and it will still let it published. So the temptation is I'm seriously done with this block post I'm not going to do anything else with it let's just get it online. The trouble is two or three years ahead if you want to say did I ever do anything about christmas promotions? Well, if you didn't tag it christmas, it might be a little bit difficult to find that easily so I really recommend making tagging in categories categorization a part of the process I mean it does take a little bit more effort at the end of each block post to say yes, I need to tag this design or tagged this christmas or tagged this wedding but it just makes life a lot easier when you're trying to find things for your own sake. And also when it comes to search engines, uh, google really respects that. If it if it looks like you're taking effort to categorize what you're writing, google's going to smile on that. If you just put things up without that it's going to hurt you. Because people, when people just search for good designers, you have nothing. Tag design. You're probably not gonna be in the mix, even if you are a good designer.

Class Description

New writers routinely have trouble finding steady work, but it doesn’t have to be such a struggle. Put yourself on a path to long-term success and learn how to thrive in the freelance workforce in How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic with Darren Murph.

Darren is the former editor-at-large for Engadget and holds the Guinness World Record® for being the most prolific professional blogger.

 In this class, Darren will help budding writers and bloggers:

  • Improve your writing skills
  • Spot the details others are missing
  • Build a portfolio that's too impressive to ignore
You’ll learn about the inner workings of publications and what editors are looking for in a writer or blogger. Darren will tell you which authors and publications to pay attention to and he’ll explain what kind of, and how much, work is involved in becoming a great writer. You’ll develop more clarity on how to improve, market, and monetize your work.

Develop the skills that will give you a competitive edge in a crowded marketplace in How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic with Darren Murph.


Tom Jamieson

As a new writer, I found this fantastic. Darren was a pleasure to listen to and I would happily recommend this to anyone who is starting out writing for the first time in regards to a small business blog, which is the area that I am coming from. He probably has taught me to use fewer words, but that can wait until tomorrow. Great class Darren

Dawn Pedersen

There was a lot of good content here for anyone new to blogging. I am not new to it, but I did gain some insight. Just a note: the 4 EASY STEPS TO LOSE WEIGHT was an intentionally satirical/ironic headline, which you discover once you get to step 3. Step 3 was "getting your heart broken", which I'm guessing anyone would agree is actually far from easy. The humor and sudden depth of meaning are the reason the post got so many likes and comments.

a Creativelive Student

I thought this was a good course on writing effective blog posts. It didn't seem to be too focused on driving traffic, however, his way of presenting his thoughts and tips were easy to watch in a single shot. Great course for non-writers who are trying to become writers!