These 5 tips should get you started with your blog

If you’re new to blogging or a returning blogger for your business website, hopefully these 5 tips will help you.  Firstly, HubSpot.com kindly give a good brief description of what a blog is:

a blog is a tool that can help develop an online presence, attract leads, and engage with an audience. It’s often a series of editorial content centered around a central topic that demonstrates industry expertise.”

1. Listen to your audience

Your customers or target customers are your audience or intended audience.  Have you done any market research?  Do you listen to what they are frequently asking?  You were given two ears and one mouth!  Use them in that proportion!  Listen to what your customers are telling you or asking you.

Some of your best blog content for your business website will come from your customers.  What are they asking about?  Is there a topical subject that your business can address?  Are there hints and tips that you can share with them?  All of this can make for great blog content.

I speak to so many business owners that flinch when I mention the word “blog”!  Then, when I boil it down to a short written piece that they are “subject matter expert” in, they start to warm to the idea.  Don’t overthink your content!  But please do write for your audience – not for yourself.

2.  Keep language simple

When you’re writing a blog, try to keep things simple.  If there is jargon and lots of acronyms in your line of business, then steer clear from it.  However, if you must use jargon and acronyms, but sure to include explainers.  Briefly and simply explain what the word or phrase means.  

If in doubt, just don’t use the “difficult words”.  If your target audience doesn’t understand your product or service, a blog can be a good way of explaining the product or service further.  Don’t complicate things by complicating the reader though.

I have read lots of articles on blogging and one common theme is to write as you speak.  Basically, write your blog article in a conversational and simple tone.  Some blog content is actually created by the subject matter expert originally as a video or podcast.  They can then transcribe the content to create a blog.

3.  Have a catchy title

Make sure that your titles aren’t too long for your blogs.  Remember that a blog isn’t an essay or a white paper.  It is to be enticing to read as it isn’t long.  Equally, the title for the blog needs to be short and catchy.  For some industries titles like “3 tips to…” or “5 things you didn’t know about…” can work quite well.

What titles attract your attention?  Try to remember this when you’re writing your blog content.  If you’ve lost the reader (your potential customer) at the first hurdle (i.e. the title!), then the chances are slim of them reading on.  You could have the best content written, but not be doing yourself justice with the title.

Best practice is to start with the title.  However, if you know what you want to write, but can’t come up with a good title, then start writing.  Your inspiration for your blog may come when your masterpiece is written!

4. Show your personality (or brand personality)

Remember that your blog should be written from a human perspective.  That means, that in order to come across interesting, you need to show some personality in your writing.  Again, some of my customers struggle when I mention this.  Then I go back to point 2 – keep your language simple.  If you’re just being yourself and using easy to understand language in a conversational tone, the rest will flow.  

Just be yourself!  If you write the way you speak, then your personality will naturally flow through.  For some people this just takes a little time.  Write a few blogs, publish them, check the analytics and then you’ll know what your readers are liking or maybe disliking.  Sometimes your personality will shine through as your confidence builds with blog writing.  If you’re a sole trader or writing about your own business, this element of personality shining through might scare you.  However, remember that people buy from people.  If your personality and brand personality can be seen, this can be the difference in somebody going to your business versus that of your competitor.

5. Don’t overthink it!

This could get me in trouble, because you kind of do have to think a bit!  However, if you’re overthinking what to write, how to write it, who will read it, etc. then you’ll get yourself tied up in knots.  Make sure that you do have a little bit of headspace or time to think before you write.  What is the title or topic that you’re going to write about?  Is that topical at the moment?  Have you heard lots of customers or potential customers asking about that topic?  Is it a topic that you feel comfortable writing about?  Do you have enough content to write about?

Once you’ve answered these questions, then just roll up the sleeves and get typing/writing!  A blog doesn’t have to be terribly long.  In fact, a blog should be a minimum of around 300 words.  I read recently that the optimum number of words is about 1,000 words.  Try not to overthink the length or be hitting a target.  Just go with the flow and start writing about your topic of choice.

If you’re struggling with blog writing or you’re struggling to come up with topics, we offer some “brainstorming” sessions with customers.  Like the phrase goes, a problem shared is a problem halved.  At Lush Marketing we bring a fresh perspective to your business.  We aren’t working in the business, so as an outsider, we often see things a bit differently.  This fresh perspective could save your hours of time wasted!

 


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