Post updated: April 2023.
You’ve decided to start a business blog. This is most excellent news. I am beyond thrilled, so much so that I’ve put up the blog-themed bunting.
Some years ago, I freelanced for a wedding venue. I thought, why not start a blog? Why not indeed?! That’s a great idea. Sadly, I didn’t have a scooby-doo about long-form content. Believe me when I say I was a terrible blogger.
I’d hate for you to be that bad at business blogging so here are my six beginner’s tips to kick off your business blog:
1. Come up with a plan.
If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, I have no time for you. Most things you do for business will have an objective. Blogging is no different, it most certainly needs a strategy. Please, leave the spontaneity for the bedroom.
Right, get comfy, get a notebook and hold on tight.
First things first, who’s going to read this blog? Call them your ideal client, your target market, your audience—whatever, you need to be writing all this content for somebody. Your blog will probably live on your business website. That website serves a purpose. If it doesn’t, see my other post about crappy websites. You’re giving something to the people reading your blog, only you can determine what that is—correction, your audience will determine what that is.
Here are a few reasons why I blog:
- To create searchable content
- To showcase my skillz
- To demonstrate my expertise
- To build authority
- To build trust
- I bloody love it!
Secondly, how are you going to communicate with these peeps? Think about how you talk to clients. What is your business persona? How you chat with your mates might not be how you talk professionally. Or it might be exactly how you talk professionally. So when you start your business blog, what will it sound like? Are your target customers going to respond to that tone? More importantly, are you going to attract the clients you want with that tone?
And thirdly, you must be hilarious—I’m joking. You don’t have to make anyone laugh.
(But funny writers can be a huge asset to your business, have you met me? Hi, I write funny, I can be your huge asset. Go here, find out more.)
Making your blog readers laugh is not essential. Sometimes though, humour helps me to digest really dull or tough subjects more easily. And sometimes I like reading a blog (business or otherwise) because I enjoy the author’s style, in those situations, I couldn’t care less what they’re writing about.
FYI: 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 amusing and repel the ones who think you’re a dick.
2. No one cares about you.
If your motivation to start a business blog is to talk about your achievements, that’s going to be a shit read for those unfortunate enough to find it. You might be super accomplished but if your writing isn’t providing something more, all you’re doing is writing an online diary.
And if you want to start a personal blog for that reason, great, go do that. I did that too.
No one likes a show-off (except Americans).
Self-absorbed business blogs are gross. It’s a bit like going on a date with selfish Jonathan. For the first part of the evening, he talks about his time as a commercial pilot. He then drones on about heading up a wealth management company. And “really interestingly”, he only usually dates women with a perfect waist-hip ratio—but you’re lucky, you’re the exception to this rule due to your “tremendous knockers”. You’ve made a big mistake agreeing to this date. You should have swiped right on kindly Jim, who enjoys country walks and (hopefully) will gaze longingly into your eyes (not your knockers).
Jim is the sort of chap that only wants to talk about you (in this metaphor Jim is your business blog and you are your clients. I know, it’s confusing). The idea is to keep visitors reading. That’s what we want and there’s a name for it—dwell time—and we absolutely must encourage that on our websites.
3. Be the solution, not the problem.
People are searching Google—right now for answers to questions. That means that potential clients are not only looking for answers that involve your industry but answers that are specific to the products/services you sell. Let them happen upon your amazingly titled blog post that offers a solution. They will begin to trust you, see if you’re the right person for them and buy from you.
4. Get SEO savvy.
Blogging drives traffic to your website, and as an SEO content writer, I’m always banging on about lovely long-form. But if you think it’s all keyword cramming, you’d be royally wrong. Writing for humans, and from their point of view, is all part of SEOing your content. There’s no difference between SEO content writing and great writing. But there are other things to consider when you’re optimising your words and blog posts to get them seen on the web. I would urge you to find out more about content SEO before you start to write a damn thing, click here for more info.
5. To jargon or not to jargon.
That is the question—or one of the questions copywriters like to bore everyone with on LinkedIn.
The obvious answer (and the correct answer) is this: always speak the way your audience speaks. Wanna make them feel included? Use their language. If you supply precision machinery to an aerospace company, your clients will understand aerospace talk. If like me, you’re selling SEO services to folks unfamiliar with SEO, ease off on the jargon—at the very least explain a term the first time you use it.
I think it’s important to note the difference between industry terms and corporate lingo. In my view, corporate lingo is the protracted, incomprehensible style that’s favoured by certain sectors (yes, information technology and financial services, I’m looking at you). It can make for a difficult read. Take a look at this:
‘We can maximise your productivity and consolidate your output by using this great new CMV system.’
I dunno about you, but I’m super excited after reading that.
6. Let everyone know.
All you have to do is write your blog and hit publish. That’s it, your work here is done.
Not so fast, gorgeous.
If you’re serious about blogging—promote it. Share that baby and never stop talking about it. If you’re proud of the content, you will unashamedly tell the people who need to know about it that they need to know about it. Build interest, gain followers and never stop doing that shit.
I’m a freelance business content writer at The Sarky Type®. My thang is SEO-informed blurb that sets your words on fire (ablaze with LOLs and engagement not to be confused with real fire that destroys everything in sight. Metaphors are better when they don’t require explanation. Note to self).