How to blog: find the why and what tone to write it in
It’s not the best title I’ve written to be honest. Anyway, you’ve decided to blog. Great, and welcome.
Once upon a time, I freelanced for a company and they wanted me to blog for them. They didn’t know why they wanted a blog and at that time I didn’t understand the value of long-form content. I was a terrible blogger.
That was a true story, that’s why it lacked an exciting narrative.
1. Have a plan
If you’re a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of person then I have no time for you. Most things you do for your business should have an objective. Leave the spontaneity for the bedroom.
Get yourself some means for making notes, and hold on tight.
By now you should know who your audience is. Your blog is a powerful part of your website, a website that probably serves a purpose. If it doesn’t, see my other post about crappy websites. You’re giving something to the people reading your copy, only you can determine what that is.
Here are a few reasons why I like to blog:
- Help and inform
- Showcase my skillz
- Build authority and trust
- I enjoy it
If your blog only talks about how great you are, then it won’t really be blogging for business. No one likes a show-off, and you’ll probably turn people away.
It’s a bit like going on a date with arrogant Jonathan. He talks all night about how he trained as a pilot, spent 4 years running a multi-million-pound investment company and only dates women with a perfect waist-hip ratio (you’re the exception to this rule due to your ‘tremendous knockers’). You’ll soon realise you’ve made a big mistake and should have gone out with Jim who enjoys country walks and staring longingly into your eyes (not your knockers).
People are searching for a solution to a problem. Let them happen upon your amazingly titled blog post that offers that solution. They will begin to trust you, see if you’re the right person for them and maybe, BUY FROM YOU.
2. Mix it up and keep it fresh
Vary your content by all means but always have a purpose for writing. I urge you to focus on helping and informing your audience because that shit gets found on a google search. People want you to talk to them, and if what you write gives them an answer, they’ll get the impression you know stuff.
3. Blogging is great for SEO
But wait, if your only reason for blogging is to keyword cram, you’re a right royal knobber. You need consistent well-written long-form. I’m talking about the kind of writing that humans like reading. Keywords and key-phrases should be used when it makes sense to. If you can’t write for shit, don’t.
SEO-optimised copy is great content. There is no difference. Great writing is the only way to boost your content SEO
4. Find your tone
Pull up a chair and get comfy because we need to figure out how you want to communicate. Take a load off and grab a coffee and start to think about how you talk to people. How you chat to your mates might not be how you talk professionally. Or it might be exactly how you talk professionally. This stuff is personal and it’s about letting your personality come through, whatever that might be.
Certain things should be left at the door. Certain things should never be spoken of and yet I’m going to have to.
Talking in the third-person: “Patricia has been an event photographer since 2003”. Patricia is writing this about herself. Jesus Patricia!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a sole trader or part of a huge organisation, writing using ‘I’ or ‘we’ is the only way to go. But never ‘we’ when there really is only you. It’s disingenuous and you’re not the queen.
5. Know when to use jargon
Many of your audience will know words and terms that are specific to your industry. If you’re talking exclusively to that audience, knock yourself out but often those words can make for a really boring read:
“We can maximise your productivity and consolidate your output by using this great new CMV product”.
I have no idea what that means I only know it reads baaaaaaaad.
Corporate speak is one way to stop sounding like a human
You’re going to need to find the balance between jargon terms and engaging content, good luck!
6. Make ’em laugh (if you can)
You don’t have to make anyone laugh.
When I’m looking for information via the Internet, I usually want the solution to a problem. I want it quick and in easy to understand terms. Making me laugh is not essential. Sometimes though, it helps me to digest a really dull or tough subject better, especially if the author has used some funny metaphors.
If you’re a comedian, I would expect your blog to be funny but humour is subjective and not everyone will see the funny side. But that’s ok, it will attract the people who find you hilarious and repel the ones who think you’re a dick.
If you want to know more about how I can help make your dry-ass content funny and engaging, hit the button.