Let’s face it most of us, and I include myself in this wonderful group, struggle when it comes to writing a blog. We are not trained, writers, nor did many of us expect to be writing anything much more than a shopping list!
“Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.” Andrew Sullivan
So where to begin? One thing a blog should NOT Be is an advert for your business. Be careful though as you want to remain relevant to your business and what your business readers want to be informed of.
A case in point is this blog. I am a fan of blog pages on websites, these are very helpful for a number of reasons. This blog is, in fact, a response to questions that my customers have asked and that is “How do I write a blog”
Here are 4 things you should keep in mind. I won’t call them rules as in extreme sports there are often very few if any rules!
Why Am I blogging?
What is the objective of the blog, the primary purpose is not to be offering a product or deal? Here are a few things I think about when answering the Why question
- I want to develop my reputation as an expert. So providing useful, relevant, and usable information is important to me. I hope this blog fits that bill.
- Demonstrate a level of care for my customers. In today’s parlance to Be Kind. So some of my blogs are bout dealing with situations and in truth may be totally irrelevant to my business. But in the case of the current situation relevant to my readers. Here is a link to one of these. https://web8.co.nz/blog/smart-habits-to-staying-positive/
- To help generate links to my website and enhance my SEO. (don’t forget to tell your social media tribes about the blog)
The reality is that there is a whole heap of stuff out there and this is only growing. You need to look to offer new and original content. Here are a few ideas:
- Find and use your voice. I have a casual approach laced with some logic. So you see a few grammatical errors, I don’t speak with the best grammar. Sometimes I may not follow a logical thought process.
- Create an original position, a different way of looking at something that is relevant to your customers.
- Share your customer’s successes. Especially with your product.
- Use or embed a video that you find interesting useful or relevant. And talk about the video.
- Think about your industry and where it will be in 5 or 10 years or even next year!
- Interview some industry experts this is a great way to create a Video Blog.
- What information will help your customers solve this problem?
- What do your top competitors write about in their blogs?
- What differentiates you from your competitors? (What are your unique selling points?)
- What other questions or goals will customers looking for your business also have?
How long should my blog be?
Well, there is a lot of ideas around this one. You need to decide am I going to write long in-depth blogs or more frequent shorter blogs. The longer and more in-depth the blog the longer it will take you. Quality costs time!
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” Brian Clark
There are many schools of thought from taking our time and make it right to the idea that getting it out there is more important than being perfect. One thing is for sure and that is consistent effort is required.
Many studies have been done and results vary but the trend is that bloggers who spend the longest on their blogs and write over 1500 words per blog are more likely to be more successful. (Orbit Media). Most bloggers are writing far less than this.
As far as Google goes when ranking on the all-important Authority ranks fewer more in-depth pages with quality information rate higher.
Give, Give and Give some more
The blogs should be about what your customer and potential customer want not what you want. So here is the catch they don’t want to be sold to. But what they do want varies between industries and age demographics.
Manufacturing, Service, and Trade Prospects are going to be more interested in solving a problem or a new product, new tool, or new process that can help them improve their business. Let’s be honest it’s about making more money and being more efficient.
Professional Services may be more interested in the latest research, findings, legal opinions, legislative updates. I am working with a company at the moment that is targeting the legal industry. These guys, and I, are struggling to get to grips with writing about legal things. In fact, we have hired a law student to help us research and write these blogs.
Music and Arts may be more interested in what you are doing, who you are meeting, and the latest trends in the industry.
Whatever industry you are in and whatever media you use for your blogs it has to be about giving your prospects what they want. After all it is them you are writing for.
Making it Happen
Here are some actionable steps you can take
- Commit to writing a blog on a consistent basis and to researching the blog so that it is interesting and engaging. I dairy a time every week to do this. Make an appointment for your Blog and KEEP IT
- Know your audience. Put together a Customer Character. This is part of any marketing strategy so if you don’t have one you need to get one. I have two one I call him John after me and the other Joanne. We have to acknowledge that there may be gender differences. If you don’t have one here are some ideas to get you started.
- Job Role
- What are my Customer CHaracters problems and how can I solve them. Case in point this blog is a direct result of over 20 of my clients not using their blog pages. When I asked why they said we don’t know where to start and in these economic times we don’t have the budget to pay someone to do it for me.
- Be Disciplined. This blogging thing is work and like any new skill, it takes time to perfect. A blank screen or piece of paper can be daunting. But persevere and you will get there.