Whether you’re a seasoned, successful entrepreneur, or are at the beginning stages of developing your own business, chances are, someone has advised you to start blogging for your business. Many people don’t really understand what a blog is, why it’s good to write one, or how to start. So if you are slightly interested in writing a blog but find the concept as confusing as it is intimidating, here are a few basic points to get you going.
First, recognize that a blog is, by nature, an informal commentary written to communicate three things to the outside world: 1) who you are, 2) what your business is about and, most importantly, 3) how the two are connected. Some would call this branding. Notice I didn’t say a blog is a written description about you and your business? A blog needs to represent you. Your voice. Through it’s tone.
People decide to do business with people they like. The way to get people to like you, (and I’m assuming you are, indeed, likable) is to make a connection with them. And since you can’t go around shaking hands and making eye contact with everyone you’d like to, a blog is a great platform for people to get to know you and what your business is about.
Each blog post you write needs to convey, in different ways, the impetus behind why you are doing this business in the first place, what motivates you, what you are passionate about. The blog forum lets people get to know you through your words and your “let me share a little something with you” tone.
Secondly, try to communicate something interesting to people. Something they don’t know. Clear up a misconception or bring your unique thoughts and/or ideas to light, through your blog. I’m in the wellness consulting business so I share my not-so-traditional take on health, fitness, and diets. My objective in writing my blog is to authentically help people as I build my brand, and, consequently, my business. I suggest avoiding topics that have been beaten to death or topics that are controversial or oppositional. People want fresh ideas. They don’t want drama or negativity.
Third, be aware of the length of your blog. Be conversational in your writing, but don’t go on and on like the relative you avoid at family get-togethers. We live in a world that prefers, and is accustomed to, information being given to us in small amount. The old adage, “Less is more” totally applies to blog writing. And P.S., If a topic is too-broad for one entry, break it into two blog posts. This way, you don’t have to think of a brand new topic the next time you write; breaking it down will bring your readers back, waiting in anticipation for your next post.
Lastly, try to post something twice a month, if you can. Your post doesn’t have to provide information that will change the world, it just needs to have a little insight. Consistently posting will put you “out there” and encourage your followers to keep reading your posts. Worried you will run out of topics? Don’t be. When you decide to blog, you will automatically bring your intention to the front burner of your thoughts, which means you will likely think of topics, throughout your week, that will inspire you to want to share the information with your readers. Not that it’s always easy.
Two things I do to help me with blog topic ideas: 1) I keep a small pad with me at all times, so when a thought comes to mind that resonates with me, I write it down. The pad/writing thing is important because even if you are younger than me and don’t have a memory issue, life is hectic. The pearls of wisdom you are sure you won’t forget can easily get lost in the sea of clams. 2) I “collect” (on a Word document) famous sayings and profound words from world leaders and famous people. When I’m not really feeling a topic, I go to my phrases and sayings. I include them in the beginning of the blog and connect the message (always give credit to the originator) to something that applies to my field.
Hopefully this helps and motivates you to take a stab at blogging. Talk to Mark about starting and managing a blog on your website. The rest, you can do yourself.
If you have any questions related to content, I can be reached at my email address below.
Bren Shropshire M.Ed.