Writing a blog is a great way to keep your website active, create content for social media, drive traffic to your website, and demonstrate that you are a reliable expert in your field. From toy stores to real estate agents to campgrounds to construction companies, we recommend writing a blog. It’s all about talking directly to your audience, sharing your knowledge, and being active online. Blog writing can be intimidating, but we’ve made a quick list of things to focus on and tricks to use to keep yourself on track.
Choosing A Topic
Select a topic that you either know a lot about or can quickly get information on. The best way to ensure that you aren’t spending hours staring at a blank Word doc is to go with a topic that you’re passionate about. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to just let the sentences flow when you care about what you’re saying.
It can be easy to get trapped in the “I have nothing to write about” mindset, but I promise you, there’s tons to write about. Think about your business like an outsider. What would they be surprised to hear about? What bugs you when you see people doing it incorrectly? What do you know that family and friends are always curious to hear about? What’s new with your business or industry? What holidays are coming up and how do they relate to your business? (If you really feel lost, give us a call and we’ll help you brainstorm.)
Find Your Audience
Who are you writing for and who do you want to read your blog? Of course, other people who aren’t inside your exact target audience might read your blog, and that’s perfectly fine, but you should have an audience in mind. Primarily, the people who might read your blog fit into three categories: other professionals in your field, current clients, and potential customers.
You can nod to all three and definitely be aware of how your words sound to each one of them, but generally, it’s best to target one group. If you’re talking to other professionals, you might share some new tips, updates, or events related to what you do. You’re not going to be writing a how-to style blog on the simpler things. You can use more industry language without explaining yourself and write the type of content you’d want to read.
If you’re writing to customers, share your knowledge to show that you’re an expert in your field. Give them an inside scoop on what might be the day-to-day stuff for you, but from the outside, would be interesting or unique. This type of writing is best for current and potential clients and allows them to be confident in you and your product. Giving them that backstage look will keep them interested and engaged.
Writing With Voice
Let’s talk about voice. Most blogs, including this one you’re reading right now, use a conversational tone. Basically, you can just write the way you would speak. It doesn’t need to, and most likely should not be written like a research paper. This is good news. It’s far easier to let your words flow naturally when you’re just writing exactly how you think and how you talk. Voice doesn’t mean you need quotes, it’s just about the language you use and the sentence structure you pick.
Now, you still want to go back and edit, keep an eye on grammar and make sure it’s easy for your reader to follow along, but you can let the rules slack a bit and have a run on sentence every now and then. The conversational tone is all about being casual and being real. I can’t say it enough, just write how you speak.
It’s all about being visually interesting. See how I broke each little bit up into smaller topics (audience, voice, format). This lets the reader scan the page and decide if it’s something they want to read or what part they’re looking for. If someone pops onto your blog and just sees endless text, they’re clicking away and heading back to Google for the next option. Give them a short paragraph or two between each subheading to grab and keep their attention.
Let’s talk about pictures. It might feel difficult to think of pictures that go with what you’re saying, but they’re out there. You can use your own photos, or if you don’t have any, just grab some stock photos. I know stock photos had a bad reputation in the past, but now you can get free stock photos that are high quality and interesting. You need to have some images on the screen to keep the eye interested.
Subheadings are your best friend. If you plot them out ahead of time, it’s like a map for your blog post. Knowing what topics you want to talk about will make it so much easier to stay on topic. Plan out a list, some steps, or sections that fit within your larger topic. That’s my best tip for having an easier time writing and better product when you’re done.
Blogs are so important in a business world controlled by computers, data, and engagement rates. People are spending so much of their day scrolling social media just waiting for something to catch their eye. Let it be you. Let it be your blog and your business that makes someone stop and wonder what you have to say. You can do it, I believe in you.