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How to Build an Audience, With Lee Schneider

Today, we bring you a veteran creative producer -- learning from his father who was a television executive back when the few networks reigned supreme, Lee Schneider has intense insights from his career in journalism, writing, documentary production, and entrepreneurship. You can find him at his Digital Fundraising School, and he's doing a GiveGetWin deal focused on key insights for creative producers on making high-quality content, building an audience, and earning a living from your art and passion.

How To Build An Audience, insights from Lee Schneider as told to Sebastian Marshall

I started in words even though I was writing for picture. I was a newspaper reporter and writer for TV shows… on TV, I wrote the introductions, intros, and outros.

I wrote for a newspaper in Texas and for A&E. This started teaching me the relationship between words and pictures. I went to writing for local television and Good Morning America. I learned how to write fast and how to write in a big noisy room, and how to write for picture. This is a key thing, the relationship between pictures and words. They get stronger as they relate, words and pictures, and sounds.

That led me to working for news magazines like Dateline NBC and a magazine for Fox, Frontpage. I was producing stories in the 8-10 minute range, and telling a story in that range of time is a very different animal than telling a story in 20 seconds like you would for a news broadcast. That led to longer form stuff; after Dateline NBC, I did Biography for A&E and started my own company doing hour-long documentaries for the Learning Channel, History Channel, and others.

Why Some People Almost Always Have Successful Blog Posts

On Zach Browne

There are several things to consider when writing a new blog post that are surprisingly left out more so than not. If you follow these core fundamentals with every post, you'll increase the likelihood of success ten fold.

When blogging, the most important thing to do is write for people and not just the search engines alone. Google's algorithm has become far more sophisticated and keyword-stuffed content is not what they're after any more. The more socially powerful your content is, the better it will rank. In other words when people share your content and then your content is shared again, it becomes more and more relevant to Google and starts to rank better and better. However, there's another key to making a blog even more attractive to search engines, keep writing and publishing new content!

There will be times when updating the corporate blog is so low on your list of priorities that you just discard it but that's dangerous. Search engines want on-going, fresh content it keeps them coming back to your pages more often and gives greater visibility to any changes you make on your site. If you don't have time, ask another member of staff to contribute, or even occasionally use a professional blogger to create an article for you. If you allow your blog to slack off, the search engines and your readers will lose interest.

Always keep important keywords in mind throughout the content creation process and use them naturally. Use tools like Google's Keyword Tool and Wordtracker's Firefox Plugin to find keywords that are used frequently and include other keywords that are relevant to your main ones. If someone else is managing your SEO efforts, talk to them and find out what the longtail keywords being targeted are, usually the more specific and lengthy search terms. For example ‘eye makeup for women' instead of just ‘eye makeup'. Since you'll be writing about the industry anyway, these should flow seamlessly into your content.

Your headline, or post title, is just about the most important aspect of your article next to the HTML title. It's the hook that will entice the reader to click on the story, so be very careful of how you choose it. It should contain your main keyword in a very natural manner if possible. If you can't use your main keyword than try to use relevant keywords. Also make sure to always use h1, h2 or h3 headings with in your post. Inside your content, break up the post into sections and use subheadings, again in h2 or h3. It will be easier to use your keywords in these subheadings and it also breaks down the copy for your reader and makes it easier to digest.

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