How To Blog Like A Super Bowl Champion
Despite the image of a lone person typing by the light of their computer, bloggers have a lot in common with a Super Bowl Championship football team.
Just as football players work hard and prepare through on-going practice and games, bloggers need to continually publish and engage with their audience.
Here are seven lessons bloggers can learn from football to take their game to the championship level.
1. Blogging requires a solid strategy. Football players must know a variety of plays and be prepared to respond appropriately. Similarly, your blog needs a strategy to ensure that you’ve covered all of the important elements of a successful blog. Among the major points are:
- Determine your goals. Decide what you want to achieve with your blog. This should relate to your top-level business goals.
- Know your audience. Understand who you’re trying to attract with your blog posts. To this end, develop a set of marketing personas.
- Understand your niche. Know the other bloggers and content producers that are creating content on your topic.
- Create amazing content. Write the best content you can. This means continually working to improve your content’s quality and appeal.
- Track your results. Measure your performance against accomplishing your blog’s goals.
2. Blogging requires understanding the competition. Football players spend lots of time watching tapes of competitive teams. They focus on the different aspects of their competitors’ strategy and plays to better understand their moves and how to defend against them. (Here’s a fuller explanation of a competitive plan.)
3. Blogging requires being in top condition. Football players workout and get into shape off of the playing field. Similarly, you can’t just show up at your computer when the spirit moves you and hope to dash off a quality post. You must get your writing muscles in shape by building the writing a habit.
4. Blogging requires practice. Just being in condition isn’t enough to ensure that football players run their plays together. Similarly you need to practice blogging to get better.
- Keep a set of ideas. Since it’s easier to start a post if you’ve got an idea or outline of what you’re going to write. Collect ideas for future posts.
- Write regularly. Set a routine for your blogging. This helps keep you on track and ensure that it’s not something that gets put off because you’ve got too much else to do.
- Edit, edit, edit. At a minimum, get rid of the extra words that aren’t helping you develop your content. It’s useful to have a copyeditor (if you have the budget) or a colleague go through your content to ensure that it’s as strong as it can be. Also, your grammar must be good since it reflects on your brand.
5. Blogging requires a good plan. A football team can’t hope that a few Hail Mary passes will win the game. In terms of blogging, this translates to having a solid editorial calendar that’s integrated with effective marketing and promotion of every column.
- Regular columns. Based on your topic and business, create a set of on-going columns with special focus. If you’ve got a set of writers, each one can focus on a different topic.
- Special content. These are blog posts that are related to your promotional calendar and other major pieces of content. For example, if you had a blog on health issues, you might have a set of articles on heart health in February since it’s Heart Health Month.
- Guest blog posts. To provide a wider array of points of view, you may invite guest bloggers to contribute to your blog. (Please note that we don’t accept guest posts since the blog is in our name.)
6. Blogging requires teamwork. Bloggers need a team around them to help make their blog an on-going success. Among the resources you need are:
- Content creation. This includes other members of your editorial team, other employees or paid writers.
- Creative. These resources are needed to create visual content and supporting branding where appropriate.
- Research. Not all blogs need help with research. It’s useful for longer blog posts.
- Copyediting. Not to be confused with an editor, a copyeditor ensures that your content makes sense and is grammatically correct.
- Marketing. Just posting content isn’t sufficient to build a readership for your blog. Each post needs to be promoted.
- Technology. It’s useful to at least have someone you can call to help with issues and formatting that crop up.
7. Blogging requires persistence. As the saying goes, it ain’t over until it’s over. You need to maintain a positive attitude and keep playing until the clock runs out. With blogging you must keep showing up at the page. Understand that it can take time for blogging to yield results.
Blogging requires a strategic approach just like football to ensure that you maximize your effort and achieve championship-level results.
What other suggestions do you have for taking your blogging game to the next level?
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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aukirk/8426109718/