Is having a business blog on your ‘to do’ list? Perhaps you’re worried about where to start or still on the fence about whether a blog would be right for your business? You can read more about why I think it pays to blog here.
It can be nerve-wracking to start blogging for the first time. Will anyone want to read what you have to say? Will you be able to find enough to say to keep people interested? Do you have the time to write regularly? Is your work schedule unpredictable?
Blogging has to work for you as well your customers if you’re going to stay motivated and be consistent. Here are nine handy tips to creating a business blog that your customers will love and that fits in to your busy schedule.
Choose a posting schedule that works for you. Be realistic about how regularly you can commit to writing a blog. Remember that quality is always better than quantity. It’s better to blog once a week (or even once a month) and do it consistently than post poor content three or four times a week.
Give readers a reason to return to your website by asking yourself what value a blog post adds to their experience. Is it giving them information they need and don’t already have? Will it interest or inspire them? Will it help them grow their business? Does it help them solve a problem?
Write original content that you feel passionate about. What do you know? What news stories have stirred you this week? What obstacles can you help your readers navigate? Your passion, experience and insights will shine through in your writing, giving your readers a richer experience.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have days when the words in your head flow naturally on to the page. On other days, you might feel like writing is more akin to getting blood from a stone. Remember, if you’re feeling your writing mojo, you can always plan and write several blog posts in advance of publishing them. Think about what you want to say, what message you want to convey, key dates in the calendar and how you might use them in your blog, topics that are creating debate on your Facebook page. These can all help you write a great blog.
Create a recognisable tone of voice for your business blog so that, post by post, readers will feel that they’re getting to know you as an author.
Be confident in your own opinions and believe in your tone of voice. When you first start blogging, it’s natural to worry about how people will receive what you have to say but, when you’re confident in your viewpoint, this comes across in your writing.
Get to know your audience. If people are taking the time to comment on your blog or Facebook page, then make sure you reply to their comments. Be aware too of the topics that are generating interest and discussion. How can you follow this up with a future blog?
Remember that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Whatever you write, no matter how well thought out it is or how passionate you feel about it, there will be people who don’t like or just aren’t interested in what you have to say. That’s fine – they’re obviously not your ideal customer. When you know your audience and stay true to the goals of writing your blog, you can make sure that you are giving excellent value to the people you want to reach.
Building up your blog takes time. It is a very rare blog that generates a buzz and following overnight. At first the number of people clicking through to your blog or sharing it on social media channels may make you question whether it’s worth the effort. However, be consistent and, over time, your readers will come to expect to hear from you. They will begin to view you as an expert and newcomers to your website will see that you are engaged enough with your own business and its customers to post about it regularly.