Blogging: A few things you need to know before you start

Starting a blog for your business can seem like a great idea and I, for one, would encourage you to do so. But there are some things you need to know if you’ve been considering blogging that not every web designer or marketing guru will tell you.

Blogging can be Good For You and your Business

Lots of marketers will tell you that blogging is good for your business. Blogging is not just a tool for sharing your favourite recipe, gardening tip or travel adventures (so maybe that doesn’t happen so much anymore). 

Blogging can have many benefits which support your online marketing efforts, such as:

  • improving your Search Engine Optimisation by the strategic use of keywords and phrases that resonate with your target audience;
  • assisting your customers and target audience get answers about your products and services in a FAQ style format;
  • creating a series of resources that you can use to educate and assist your customers about your products and services;
  • building your online profile and credibility by helping your target audience get to know your business through the power of story-telling

While blogging is a great way to support your business marketing activities, you should think long and hard before you start blogging.

Blogging can be Hard Work

You need to be aware that blogging can be hard work. And sometimes it is really.hard.work.

In can feel like a real chore on the days when you just don’t feel like writing anything or you don’t feel inspired or you feel like you’ve told your complete story and there is nothing more to tell… a writer’s block against a deadline, even if that deadline is self-imposed can be painful, debilitating and downright frustrating at the best of times.

On days when you are flat-strap fulfilling your existing customers’ requirements and really don’t want to think about how you would manage more customers you may re-consider your decision to begin a business blog. Why would you bother to add more work to your already busy schedule?

I look at a lot of different websites as part of the work I do. I see so many businesses who have made the decision to start a blog. And that’s just it. They’ve started a blog. They’ve written 2 or 3 posts and then something has stood in their way and they have lost their blogging mojo. And they haven’t kept their blog going.

And the old posts sit there for ever and the dates get older and older and the information probably becomes more and more irrelevant or out-dated. And no attempt is ever made to update the information so that it remains relevant.

It makes the website and the business’s digital assets look unloved. Which doesn’t give a potential customer a very good first impression of the business.

Think Long and Hard

If you are thinking about starting a blog for your business, I want you to think long and hard about it. Like any good thing, it takes time, effort and commitment to keep your blog going, up to date and relevant to your target audience. 

It takes effort to understand what will be important and helpful to your customers, what they need and how they interact with your products and services. And it takes practice to be able to write in a way that they will understand, rather than in your industry jargon.

It takes time to come up with creative ways of providing important information to customers and potential leads. It needs you to create some space to reflect, to listen to your customers – really listen to what they are saying – and identify how their questions can form the basis of a good blog post.

It takes practice and skill to structure your blog so that it is interesting, readable and helps your business rank well with good Search Engine Optimisation for each post that you develop.

It takes skill to find just the right images to go with your blog post that will catch your audience’s eye and make them stop and read a little bit more.

The Good News

The good news is that blog writing and storytelling is a skill that, with practice, can be learned. If, after a long ponderance and reflection you decide that you will develop a blog for your business you can develop your blogging skill as you go. 

As you write more and more you will find your “voice” – not your speaking voice, but the voice with which you write … how you want it to sound inside other people’s heads when they read your words. 

The ability to convey your ideas clearly and succinctly can be developed over time. The more you practice the better you will get.
It’s a little bit like learning the piano as a kid (which by the way I was never very good at!). It takes practice.

You don’t have to learn scales or play Three Blind Mice for the first few months, (thankfully!) but it is a good idea to start with a formula or a simple structure to begin with and work your words within an outline that you know will work for your customers. 

Once you are comfortable with a simple structure such as an introduction, dot points, and a summary, which is a nice clear way to get your message across and have it understood you can then play with the way the content is presented. When you don’t have to worry about the structure, you can better focus on providing the best content for your audience. 

If you are considering starting a blog, please think before you commit. It’s not just one story that you need to write.
You need to be consistent, whether that is weekly, fortnightly or monthly. You need to commit a time to blogging, just as you commit time to your favourite hobby, your fitness or your business. 

Decide how often you are going to blog and when you are going to blog and stick to it. In a year’s time (if you choose to blog monthly) you will have at least 12 pieces of content that you don’t have now. 

Once written, that content can be used over and over again and you never have to re-create it. It is wise to revisit it occasionally to make sure it is still relevant but that is normally a fairly quick re-write or easy edit.

If you would like to commit to building a repository of assets for your business by building a blog I offer a six-session package to get you started and get the creativity flowing.

We cover skills like identifying who you are writing for, search engine optimisation, images, categorising and tagging your blogs, critiquing your writing and developing writing prompts. You get one-on-one guidance, feedback and support as you start your blogging journey (oh and a bit of accountability thrown in for good measure).

Interested? Want to know more? Use the big orange button and get in touch.

P.S.

Found a spelling or grammatical error in this post? Then contact me as soon as possible and let me know. In return for your super proof reading, I will offer you a free 30-minute review of your digital presence and some fresh ideas you can try out for free.

Learn how to think like a marketing pro.

Click here to find out how you can increase turnover and build profit by finding and engaging clients and customers who are excited about your products or services!
UPDATED

Digital Marketing 101

Get regular digital marketing tips without the geek speak or spam.