You’ve decided to start a business blog. This is excellent news, and welcome.
Some years ago, I freelanced for a wedding venue. The owners were keen to start a blog. 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.
I don’t want you to be a terrible business blogger, so here’s my beginner’s guide.
1. Come up with 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. They most certainly need a strategy. Leave the spontaneity for the bedroom.
Get yourself some means for making notes, and hold on tight.
You should know who you want to read this blog. Call them your ideal client, target market, specific audience – whatever, you need to be writing for somebody.
Your blog will likely live on your business 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 content, only you can determine what that is.
Here are a few reasons why I blog:
- To create searchable helpful content
- To showcase my skillz
- To demonstrate my expertise
- To build authority and trust
- I bloody love it!
If your motivation to start a business blog is to talk about you, that’s going to be a really boring read for those unfortunate enough to find it. You might be interesting, sure but if it’s not providing something else, 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.
No one likes a show-off, the idea is to keep visitors reading, self-absorbed wankers don’t usually induce people to stick around. And that’s what we want, and there’s a name for it – dwell time and we absolutely want that on our websites.
It’s a bit like going on a date with arrogant Jonathan.
He talks all night about how he trained as a pilot. He also spent 4 years running a multi-million-pound investment company. He only usually dates women with a perfect waist-hip ratio but 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 BUY FROM YOU.
2. 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. 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?
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.
3. Get SEO savvy
Search Engine Optimisation will be helped tenfold by blogging. And as an SEO content writer, I’m always banging on about the lovely long-form.
But wait, if you think it’s all about keyword cramming, you’d be royally wrong.
Write as you would for your chosen human. Don’t ever let me hear you’ve been shoehorning keywords and phrases around some terribly written copy. That’s not the blogging way and it’s certainly NOT the SEO blogging way.
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.
4. 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. I will say, that often, too many industry terms 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
Knowing your audience well will inform you when to use jargon.
5. Mix it up and keep it fresh
Vary your content by all means but always have a purpose for writing.
Focus on helping and informing your audience with your business blog. You want to create searchable content that 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.
Adding graphics, video and various different mediums are a brilliant way to make your blog interesting and engaging.
6. Make ’em laugh (if you wanna)
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.
And sometimes I like reading a blog (business or otherwise) because I like the author’s style, I couldn’t care less what they’re writing about because the writing is so good.
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.