Every piece of digital marketing advice tells you to do it. Other brands seem to be brilliant at it. And the whole thing is turning out to be much harder than it looks. Writing a business blog for your website that’s readable and interesting has benefits from driving traffic to cementing your reputation as a expert in your field – but where do you start?
Read Other Blogger’s Work
Whether it’s for inspiration, or for finding out exactly what it is you don’t want to do, dedicating some time to find out what others are doing – from full time bloggers to your competitors – is definitely worth doing. If you really hate a blog or writing style, work out if there’s a reason for this. Is it your personal taste, or is it just bad? Think about how you can avoid being similarly terrible, if this is indeed what it is, and take a little time to work what it is about your own writing that will make you stand apart.
Also, if you make sure you don’t steal any ideas (which is very frowned upon in both internet-land and in real life), there’s a world of creativity out there to draw from. A little time spent looking around what’s already been written should get your brain sparking with inspiration, and let you work out how your voice is going be heard in a noisy market.
Writing content that people will want to read is not something you can do in a spare half hour. You need to set aside time, and then you need to focus, even if your brain is in full rebellion and wants to go watch Corrie or get on with something it thinks is more urgent. You’ll have to be strict with yourself, and let your brain sulk as much as it wants.
Think Around Your Subject
Now there’s a reason you started your business. It’s your particular area of expertise, something you are passionate about, and something that requires the skills that you excel in. If you find yourself staring at a blank page, bereft of inspiration, with no idea about how to start writing about your brand, think around your business and rely on your enthusiasm for the subject. While “Top Tips” guides and writing about the industry news of the day will always be popular and completely valid choices, there are other ways to engage your audience.
If your industry, craft or service has a long and interesting history, write about this. For example, people working in insurance could explore particularly fascinating cases, those who run a café could talk about the favourite cafés of famous literary figures, and a jeweller may explain the story of the world’s most remarkable precious stones. There’s huge scope whatever your business specialises in, and if you can’t find anything directly to write about then your blog is a brilliant opportunity to showcase your business practises, and let people get to know you and your staff.
Beat Writers Block By Writing
Write anything. Type out any words that have the vaguest association with your subject. Brainstorm until your brain hurts. You don’t have to publish what you write and you can edit away later, the trick is to get away from a blank page. Even the most ridiculous gibberish can have a glint of a idea in it, and if not, at least it will make you chuckle reading it back.
Reread and Edit. A lot
Oh, typos, they are nearly inevitable. Everyone does them. And you may think that if you haven’t accidentally replaced the N with a C in “funk” or left out the L in “clock” that it’s fine, and people will be understanding. But unfortunately, they are not. Pedants hide in every corner of the internet and if they aren’t ready to fact-check every inch of your article or pull apart your grammar, even the average reader will find misspellings and typos unprofessional.
While your tone can be conversational, and perfect grammar isn’t always necessary if it’s going to detract from your writing style (lots of people will start a sentence with a “But”, for example) generally you will need to be spot on, or it will reflect badly on your attention to detail. Also, something that you thought was a brilliant idea may, after a bit of contemplation, suddenly seem very ill-advised. Make sure you get at least one other person to look over your work, re-read carefully and edit ruthlessly.
There’s a reason why people blog in their spare time – it’s FUN. This is a chance for you to write about what you care about, connect with others, and express yourself. Take advantage of this opportunity for a creative outlet, and you could find that writing your blog could become one of the pleasures of running a business.
Title Image Credit- Sharon Drummond