“I’m not a writer; I don’t know anything about blogging.”
“What if people think I’m an idiot? Or a phony?”
“Nobody really cares what’s on my mind.”
Sound familiar? Chances are you’ve either heard or used one of these excuses when it comes to blogging for business. I’m here to tell you that each one of these excuses is absolutely, positively, 100 percent wrong.
You don’t have to be a professional writer to blog.
No one will think you’re an idiot, or a phony, because (drumroll, please)…
Your clients and potential clients have a vested interest in getting to know you better.
Try these six tips to create compelling content, and launch yourself straight into the wonderful world of business blogging.
1. Be yourself. If you’re a real estate agent, no one turns to you to wield a nail gun or slap up some drywall. They hire you to find them a home that suits their lifestyle and budget. In fact, whether you’ve been in business three years or 30, you probably field the same questions from clients and customers over and over. So, think of the five most-asked questions, and jot them down. Congratulations; you’ve found the framework for your first blog post.
2. Write the way you speak. If you’re nervous about writing, don’t be! Grab your mobile phone and use the voice recorder app to start “writing” out loud. Imagine someone has just asked you about a particular topic you’re well versed in… focus on the education you want to impart. This accomplishes two things. First, you’re more likely to zero in on helpful information and let it flow. Second, you’ll avoid paralyzing yourself by obsessing over finding the “perfect” words. Take it from yours truly: You can drive yourself mad analyzing and reanalyzing adjectives, nouns, and more, spiraling into endless Google searches for synonyms.
3. Let your personality shine through. People do business with you and your company because of you. After all, surely dozens of fellow business coaches, or photographers, or fine-food purveyors, or other professionals are within a 10-mile radius of you. You deliver something the others don’t, and a bit part of that is how you make them feel. Do you enjoy making them laugh? Sprinkle humor into your business blog posts. Do you comfort people in times of need? Reflect care and compassion in your content concepts and execution.
4. Share, don’t sell. Yes, you’re in business to make money. But if all you do is write about how great your products are, or how amazing your services are, you’re heading in the wrong direction. Remember, they do business with you because of you. More to the point, they do business with you because of your why, as Simon Sinek, the renowned author and inspirational speaker, says. “Why do you get out of bed in the morning? …Inspired organizations, regardless of their size, regardless of their industry, always act from the inside out.” Your “why” is the core of your being. Watch the video clip above.
5. Curate content from the calendar. If yours is a seasonal business, bingo! You have automatic business blogging themes to use as frameworks for certain posts. Similarly, if certain months mark important times in your business, those, too, are great themes. If you’re a tax accountant, naturally a post like “5 Ways to Be Prepared at Tax Time” is great. But you wouldn’t want to post that on April 10; rather, you’d want to ensure your clients are well prepared well in advance. So, consider a blog post in January or February reminding them to check those 1099s and/or W2s for accuracy, print their 401(k) contribution statements, etc.
6. Don’t be afraid of guest posts. Even journalists sometimes get stumped as to what to write about. That’s when having a friend or colleague gifted at blogging comes in handy. Invite him or her to create one or two posts for you in advance, and post them when writers’ block strikes. Alternately, conduct a Q&A with them, recording your conversation, and turn that into a blog post.