Of all of the activities you do to market your business, blogging may be the most daunting. It takes time to write and let's be honest, not everyone enjoys writing. You might even say you are not a writer. (Not true, btw!) You might also wonder if anyone is listening, interested or cares about what you have to say. Don't let that stop you!
"Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there'll always be better writers than you, and there'll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you." ― Neil Gaiman
Coming up with the ideas.
Jack London had it right when he said:
"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
You can't wait for ideas just to appear. Go after them. The last thing you want to do is sit in front of your laptop with a blank brain. Do some brainstorming.
- What questions do people ask you when they find out what you do?
- What made you decide to make what you make?
- What does your product do? What unique ways can it be used?
- What do you do every day to make your business and product?
List anything and everything that comes to mind. Then organize the list by type. Informative, entertaining, useful, heart-warming, about you, about your customers, etc. When you finish, I bet you have a REALLY long list. Take each of those, and put them on the calendar. Now you know what you are going to write about AND when it will appear on your blog!
Don't let perfectionism get in your way.
When you go to write, remember the words of Ernest Hemingway:
"The first draft of everything is shit."
Seriously… It's ok. Just let the words come without judgment, organization, worry about grammar, spelling or punctuation. Just write. Put the words, the ideas on paper. Be free and know that it is probably going to suck. That's ok. It really is. Because the second piece of advice that Hemingway gives will make it shine:
"Write drunk, edit sober."
(I am not suggesting that you literally write drunk btw, totally your call.) The point here is that you need to let go of your fears and inhibitions. Your worries about what people will think and just write. Once you are done, you can take a judgmental eye to everything and whip it into shape. Don't spend forever whipping it into shape btw. Edit, spellcheck. Let it sit for a few hours, read it rework it if needed and call it done.
A couple of handy resources to help you with the editing process
- Stunk and White's Elements of Style (an oldie but a goody, everyone should have one!)
- Anne Handley's Everybody Writes (tons of tips for writing from a marketer's perspective)
- Grammerly.com (upload your copy and get it checks it for grammar, word choice and more!)
The Concrete Tips
Once you have a plan, about what to write about you, these four tips will help you consistently post content to your blog. The more you write and post the more reason for folks to come check out what you have to say!
- Write a series of 4 related blog posts on your day off.
Then schedule them to post once a week. By writing a series on the same topic, you can do all your research and sourcing at one time. Saving you lots of digital running around. Batch writing and then scheduled posting leaves you free to focus on other priorities and still keep a steady stream of content going
- Record an interview and have it transcribed.
Use your phone to record and interview and send it off for transcription to a service like Casting Words. Post audio and transcription with a brief intro as your blog post.
- Invite guests to post to your blog.
Introduce your blog readers to others in your organization (formal or informal). Guest bloggers can post their point of view on subjects that are of interest to your readers but is not your specific area of expertise. You can write a brief introduction about who they are and why you love them and then let them take it away!
- Share content with your commentary.
Find something out in the world that you agree with or disagree with vehemently? Share the content you find on your blog by writing about your point of view or reaction to it. Talk about why you agree or disagree. Give your take on the topic. Make sure to link to the original content. Don't copy and paste their content, it's important to respect their copyright.