Sometimes I feel out of touch.
I’m constantly hearing people say that blogging is dead, that nobody reads anymore. And I get it. I know that video is hot. I know that according to research by Hubspot 45% of people watch an hour or more of video per day and Google has found that half of 18-34s would stop what they’re doing to watch a new video by their favorite YouTube creator. And let’s not forget about the rise of podcasting. But my weekend at WordCamp Birmingham 2018 showed me that I’m not out of touch at all. The fundamentals of blogging that I’ve been learning, implementing, and sharing over the past decade are the same principles that would help me or any other content creator be successful at video and podcasting.
The #1 lesson I learned at WordCamp Birmingham 2018 is that no matter the medium consistency is key.
Consistency and Blogging
In the workshop “Repurpose Your Words” writer Kathryn Lang encouraged bloggers to turn a collection of related blog posts into an e-book and to later expand this e-book into a print book. Lines that stand out to you in your blog posts can be repurposed for social media posts. She also gave great tips on how to be consistent with blogging so you’ll have plenty of post material to repurpose.
Kathyrn shared her “bite-sized” blogging schedule, how she breaks down blogging into several steps to batch produce blog posts and always stay inspired.
On Mondays, she works on memes, blurbs, etc., for social media.
On Tuesdays, she writes first drafts for several blog posts.
On Wednesdays, she creates images for posts.
On Thursdays, she polishes her posts and schedules them for publication.
On Fridays, she schedules social media posts for the upcoming week.
On Saturdays, she brainstorms up to 32 post titles.
If you’ve been having trouble blogging consistently perhaps following a schedule similar to this could be what you need.
Consistency and Video
Steve Schwartz of AVT Marketing gave a dynamic session on “Video for WordPress” that made me eager to add video to my own content strategy, yet didn’t make me feel foolish for loving old-school blogging as much as I do. As Steve said, “Video and blogging are a marriage made in SEO heaven.”
Furthermore, Steve’s tips on how to be successful on YouTube are the exact tips I offer on how to be successful at blogging: Pick a niche, be interesting, funny or informative, don’t give up, and, of course, be consistent.
Obviously, with video, there are other things to consider and Steve stressed that the key to good video is good audio and good lighting.
Consistency and Podcasting
I spent my time on Sunday of WordCamp Birmingham 2018 focusing on learning all I could about podcasting as I hope to one day add this to my content strategy, too.
In her session “Podcasting” 101 Kathryn Lang encouraged attendees to create a business plan just as I believe bloggers should, too. As you’re working on a business plan (whether for a blog or podcast) you need to consider more than just how you will make money (which could be from ads, affiliate links, or selling your own products and services). You also need to define your why.
What outcome do you want to achieve? What’s your mission and vision? How would you define your brand and describe your voice? Who is your target audience?
During his session “How to Grow Your Business with Podcasting” Adam Silver not only gave us tips for success but even recorded an episode of his podcast, Kitchen SinkWP, during the workshop to show us exactly how it’s done.
If you want to start a podcast but you’re struggling with deciding on a focus Adam suggests starting with a subject you’re passionate about and brainstorming 20-25 topics related to that subject. If you have trouble coming up with that many topics you might want to rethink your focus, Adam said.
Adam and Kathryn both included consistency as one of the keys to success. Kathryn recommends you start slow perhaps posting every other week or even once a month. Later you could move to weekly episodes. Some podcasters even publish new episodes daily!
Adam’s episodes go live each Monday morning at the same time so listeners can enjoy the show during their morning commute.
Consistency isn’t just about how frequently you publish new content, though. Having a consistent format for your show, branding the images you use with your podcasts, and consistently marketing your episodes on social media will also help your show become more popular. And these tips probably sound familiar because you know they’ll help your blog get more readers, too.
During his keynote presentation, “Empowered By WordPress” Gordon Seirup of Copper Leaf Creative shared that when he first started attending WordCamp events he felt like a fraud because he didn’t think he was enough of a techie.
I could relate.
“You belong here,” Gordon said, again and again, repeating a refrain that I definitely needed to hear. You see, even though I spoke at WordCamp Birmingham last year my impostor syndrome can still show its ugly face anytime, anyplace, even at a place as welcoming as WordCamp Birmingham.
Then Gordon said this: Be honest about what you know and you can never be caught in a lie. Impostor syndrome solved.
Gordon reminded us that there will always be someone who knows more than we do and there will always be someone who knows less than we do. Our job is to learn from the people who know more than we do and teach the people who know less.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to continue to do — consistently.