Heather thought business blogging would be a timely topic, as many business owners resolved to either start blogging or do more of it this New Year. They’ve seen the stat’s showing how blogging can increase leads, boost conversions, and drive more traffic to their site – and they want a piece of that!
And while that’s a wonderful goal, it can be a challenging one for beginners. So tune in as Heather shows you the ropes and shares bonus tips to help reduce the “frustration factor” of getting started…
Tip #1: Make a list of possible blog topic ideas
One of the big mistakes all online writers make – even those who are experienced bloggers – is to assume that the blog topic will come to them once they sit down to write.
Unfortunately, the blogging muse rarely strikes so spontaneously.
It’s easy to feel pulled in a million different directions, so what happens is the deadline you’ve set creeps closer and closer and you panic – realizing you have no idea what to write about.
Here are some starting points to help you plan your topics and avoid the blog deadline panic:
- What questions do customers ask?
- Can you offer any DIY (do-it-yourself) tips?
- What are some “hot topics” in your industry?
- Research other blogs in your space. What are they talking about?
- Looking for local customers? Can you tie a local issue back to your business?
- Is there a list of blog posts/sites that you love?
These are just brainstorming ideas. You don’t have to worry about creating a formal framework or outline at this point – just put your ideas down on paper.
- Tip: Don’t copy posts from another blog. Link to it instead – and discuss why you think the blog post is a good one.
Besides the obvious copyright violation issue, copying from another blog doesn’t showcase your expertise. So if there is a blog post that you really love, link to it and tell your readers why they should check it out.
Discussing and linking to another post is a far more valuable strategy for positioning you as an expert, as opposed to randomly pulling resources from other sites and having no original content of your own.
Tip #2: Loosen up!
If you’re new to blogging and online writing, it can feel really weird to start. You may flash back to high school or college, conjuring teachers and professors and that red pen inking up your work. You may second-guess every word you write.
- You’re not in high school English class anymore.
Relax. You’re not writing some sort of “paper” for grading. Try to write as you would talk – it will help the copy flow more easily and naturally.
- Write with personality! A good writing style can make the most technical subjects approachable and fun to read about.
This is especially true when writing about a technical subject. Your writing doesn’t have to be dry and boring, even if the topic may seem so. Infuse it with personality and it will be far more readable and enjoyable!
Tip #3: Work with an editor
This is a really important tip for everyone, no matter how experienced they may be.
- Typos happen.
Have an editor to check your writing for typos, grammatical errors, and to ensure that your message is coming through as you intended.
It’s so easy for all of us to get too close to our own stuff that we miss these nitty things. So if you start uploading unedited blog posts to your site, with typos, bad grammar, or rambling, unfocused copy, it just makes your company look bad. And you don’t want to do that.
Also, having an editor is one of the easiest ways you can reduce the stress of writing – just knowing you have a second set of eyes that will catch those common writing errors.
- If your editor also knows SEO copywriting, he/she can help your post get better search rankings.
A bonus is to have an editor trained in SEO copywriting best practices. Then you have an ally who can not only edit your copy, but also optimize it for search engines to achieve better rankings and drive more traffic to your blog.
photo thanks to Jhayne: Foxtongue