You’ve decided your company needs to start blogging. After all, it’s a great way to attract potential customers, connect with current clients and promote your company as a thought leader in your industry.
But your business is an accounting firm. Or a bakery. Or a cosmetic surgery clinic. It isn’t exactly comprised of English majors. Don’t worry. Even if you haven’t written anything profound since your high school senior paper, you have the perfect ingredient to be a successful business blogger: knowledge about your audience and your industry. You know how to answer questions about your business, you’re current on the latest trends in your industry and you know how to talk to your customers.
Even if you haven’t written anything profound since your high school senior paper, you have the perfect ingredient to be a successful business blogger.
But you still may feel like a lousy writer. When you sit down in front of the computer to write a simple 300-word post, your brain goes numb. The white page on your screen remains blank. Your fingers are stuck hovering over the keyboard. Again, don’t worry. Here is an easy, time-efficient process to help you leap over writer’s block and churn out blog posts like nobody’s business.
1. Make Time
Blogging consistently requires dedicated time. It is important to schedule two hours of your time per blog post, to sit down and write. Mark it on your public calendar so everyone else knows. Schedule this for five days before the blog is to be posted, so give yourself time to edit and revise.
Schedule that time when you’re least likely to be bombarded by phone calls and urgent emails. If your two hours are up, move on with the rest of your day and come back to it later. Some bloggers have been known to seek out quiet corners in the office with their laptops unplugged and force themselves to complete a blog post before their battery runs out.
2. Set Your Topic
To develop a blog post topic, start by listing the questions you are commonly asked from people outside of your industry. A good blog topic is concrete and specific. You do not want a business blog turning into an online diary of whimsical ideas. The best way to keep blog topics handy and ready to go is to hash out a list of topics that will last you at least three months. If you have a scheduled list, you won’t find yourself at a loss for a topic.
3. Support Your Topic
There is nothing like cold, hard numbers to prove your point. Data, statistics and other articles with the same stance make great fodder for beefing up your post. But for every fact you throw out there, you need supporting evidence. Unless you’re writing a blog post based on past experiences, you need to have links to supporting sources. You want to build trust with your readers, and if your readers fully that trust you won’t pull facts out of thin air, you’ve already won them over.
4. Write It Down
A good way to get a blog written efficiently is to outline it first. That’s what I did when I wrote this article. I wrote out my main ideas first, got the introduction covered, then went back and elaborated on each point. You don’t have to start at the beginning. If you’re having trouble with the introduction, start writing the body of your post and go back to the intro once you’re done. You’ll have a better idea of how to hook readers with the first line by then. Once the post is written, make sure you pass it by coworkers to proofread before you hit publish. Misspelled words and grammar mistakes will drive your readers away faster than anything.
5. Finish Strong
To conclude your blog post, provide a take-away statment and either a call-to-action or a question. Calls-to-action ask the reader to do something on the site, such as click a link to your specials or view more information. Questions are great for interacting with your reader; ask them to post their answers in the comment section. And always provide a clear take-away statement to sum up the purpose of your post to really drive your message home.
Here’s my strong conclusion: writing a blog post deserves time, energy and creativity. Regardless of your writing abilities, you can build a successful blog for your business as long as you stay up-to-date on industry trends, write consistently and have other eyes to edit it.
For those who have begun blogging for your business, what is the biggest hurdle you come across when writing a post? Is it not enough time? Not enough manpower? Or an epidemic of writer’s block? How have you overcome your blogging hurdles?