If you’ve been following along with the Data-Mania blog recently you’ve already learned why making your own branded space on the web is a game-changer for working professionals and independent data consultants. Today we’re going to talk about how you can become the owner of an awesome data science blog that delivers you loads of highly-targeted traffic.
Before going into details on how you can do this, let’s look at why you should be interested? Maybe you’re a coder, an analyst, or some other type of highly-trained STEM professional. In this case, you probably don’t have a blog (yet), and I’m guessing that’s because you’re not aware of how much value a well-crafted blog can generate.
Also, another important heads-up… we’ve greatly enhanced and expanded upon this blog post in our more recent article on Leveraging Content Marketing for Startup Growth: What Every New Founder Needs to Know. It’s definitely worth a read.
Why life is good when you’ve got an awesome data science blog
Let me use myself as an example, to demonstrate some of the opportunities that can present themselves as a result of trying to maintain an awesome data science blog. I started blogging about data in 2012. To be honest, I am not sure how “awesome” the blog was back then. Nonetheless, it quickly reaped me the following benefits:
- Paid freelance jobs: 2012 – Multiple solicitations found their way to my inbox from editors asking to pay me to write blogs on data for their big-name websites.
- Sponsorship: 2012 – Big businesses (like IBM, for one) began emailing me telling me that they will pay me to publish a sponsored post on the data topic of their choosing.
- Consulting leads: 2013 – United Nations staff emailed me asking for my technical consulting services because they had seen my blog post related to humanitarian deployment and spatial intel.
- Book deals: 2014 – A Wiley Acquisitions Editor emailed me with an offer for my first book deal.
A blog can be just the boost you need to step onto the next level in your career, or even to start your own business.
I could go on. My point is that a blog can be just the boost you need to step onto the next level in your career, or even to start your own business, like I did.
Now let’s get back to the main point of this post – how you can become the owner of an awesome data science blog. Before starting your blog, make sure to decide on answers to the following questions:
Will you create all the content yourself? Or will you hire a technical writer to help you?
You can either create your blog content yourself or you can hire a technical writer to help you. Most blog owners write their own posts. In my coaching program, I advise my protegees to create their own content for the following reasons:
- It’s a great way for you to keep current on the latest in the industry.
- It’s a great medium across which you can initiate genuine working relations with people in your target audience.
- It offers built-in quality-control.
- It’s the more affordable
In some cases, though, you may be better off hiring a professional writer to assist you. Cases where this may be more appropriate would be:
- If you’re already earning $200/hour+ in fees and you don’t feel compelled to divert time from your earnings.
- If you already own a relatively successful start-up and you need content to act as a vehicle for in-bound traffic, but you have your hands too full in other areas of your business.
Pro Tip: If you opt to outsource your content creation, please know that good data writers are charging up to $3/word these days. Expect to spend a fair bit of time sourcing someone who will create technical content for affordable rates, and if you find someone who will work for cheap – MAKE SURE TO QA THE HECK OUT OF WHAT THEY GIVE YOU AND COPYSCAPE EVERYTHING THEY SUBMIT.
How will you generate your content ideas?
Right off the bat, I can think of 3 easy ways to generate topic ideas for an awesome data science blog. Those are:
- What questions are you being asked by people you work with or who work in the data field? Create content that answers questions you’re commonly asked.
- Look at what’s trending in the data threads on Klout Explore, LinkedIn or CrowdFire Content Recommendations. Take some of those topics and generate your own content about them.
- Find some popular discussions on Reddit or Quora and use those as a topic for your own content.
I find it easier to generate content ideas in batch, so I don’t have to scramble every time I need to publish. Generating a list of good ideas every month or two should be sufficient.
What types of content will you publish on your blog?
If you’ve read this far then I am almost certain that you’re a technical professional. Blogs, vlogs, written coding demos, and video coding demos are all great forms of technical blog content. What’s more, technical audiences love to learn about newsworthy headlines, new products, and new services that can help them do their jobs more effectively.
When will you publish your content?
It’s a good idea to create an editorial calendar for at least one or two months in advance. Editorial calendars are helpful for keeping ourselves accountable to a content publish plan. Creating a formalized content plan will help you create and maintain a broader structure in your publications, so your blog is more than just a smorgasbord of technical topics spattered randomly across time.
It’s important that every effort you expend building your brand be spent in a strategic manner, to help you reach some over-arching goal. A content marketing plan and editorial calendar will help you work strategically.
How will you avoid typical blogging pitfalls?
The typical blogging pitfalls are related to either quantity or quality. As far as quantity, bloggers tend to get behind and make excuses to not publish. Before long, they’ve abandoned their blog, and thus their audience – so, it should come as no surprise when their audience abandons them. Brainstorming a list of content ideas, generating a content marketing plan, and establishing an editorial calendar are all great ways to safeguard yourself against letting your blog (and online presence) slide into oblivion.
As far as content quality tips, I suggest the following:
- Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct. Word’s Review features should be sufficient.
- If you’ve written an article, check your tone to see that it’s not too formal and academic. You want blog posts to be conversational in tone, as they are meant to help you establish a rapport with your readers. Word offers “Speak selected text”. I like to listen to my writing and edit its tone that way before I publish it.
- Make sure to site relevant sources, and avoid references that come from non-credible sources.
What sites will you use as inspiration?
It’s always a good idea to find a few people or websites that you can use as inspiration. That way, when you get stuck, you can refer back to these sources and see how they handle that particular issue. What sites you’ll use for inspiration depend on whether your building a blog for your personal-professional brand, a community, or a small business. Let the following sites help get you started in your quest for inspiration: Analytic Vidhya, R Bloggers, DataFloq, Revolution Analytics, Edwin Chen, Pete Warden, and Sebastian Raschka.
Ok, so there you have it. If you’ve read this far then congratulate yourself, you’ve already learned the basics of using content marketing to build an awesome data science blog. What’s next? Practice, of course.
Go ahead and get started on building an awesome data science blog by using these tips to create your first blog post. If you do, and then link back to that post in the comments section below, I promise to go there and add some good feedback in your comments section. ????
Also, this was a content marketing primer. If you want the full story on how to dazzle your audience with awesome content, check out the course SEO Driven Content Marketing for Entrepreneurs and Startups. Please note, if you purchase through this link then I may receive a small commission.