At school I hated English lessons, hated to write stories, didn’t enjoy reading and summarising texts or planning essays. Funny how these days I love to write. Excellent news then for being able to write a blog! If only it was that simple…….
Being able to write (stringing words together in a sensible fashion that actually makes people want to read them) is only really a small percentage of the battle. Knowing what to write about in a way that engages your target audience is another thing entirely. Well, maybe not entirely, but it certainly helps a great deal.
Add into the mix the need to write something that will engage an audience of people who might be judging your professional expertise and are hoping to glean something of a professional nature from your blog and this feels like another animal altogether. The business blog is something that I have been taking time to get my head around, and am slowly honing in a fashion that hopefully:
a) Shows people that I know what I am talking about, that I know my stuff.
b) Helps the reader to understand who I am (in my case fairly important since the product is essentially me wrapped up in a lot of skills and knowledge).
c) Allows better understanding about my services and the realms of what I am offering.
d) Encourages the audience to stay reading long enough to explore the idea that at some point they may actually need some of my services.
Of course I still have much to learn. As I wrote previously in 28 days later about the blogging challenge I did, there was a lot that I learnt about blogging in general and about me as a writer. But what did I learn about blogging for business?
It helps to clarify your product, your service and what you are offering. If you are writing about your work, you need to be clear, which means you need to think really carefully about what you mean. Even when you’re sure that you know what you are thinking, until you really try to articulate it properly you might not see any hidden flaws or inconsistencies. Writing about it can help to iron these out.
The more you write the easier it becomes and the more ideas you will have about what you do, and what you can offer. This is surely good for business. Writing helps to to explore and research things that you have done. Things you do know about but might not have considered relevant before. You have hundreds of talents, and many of them are a bit hidden. Stretching your thinking and working out what else you can add to your portfolio of knowledge often makes you want to learn a bit more. As Francis Bacon said, knowledge is power.
Breaking through your comfort zone to create a habit is probably a feature of blogging in general but somehow there seems to be more at stake if you are blogging for business; your professional credibility. You are in a sense laid bare in all that you write and it can be quite frightening at first. But conquering this is something that you can build on in other parts of your business. Everyone faces challenges and if you know that you can bust through the pain in one area you can do it again and again. If you keep doing something even though it hurts to start with it eventually becomes a habit (look at smoking as a (bad) example!).
It can be really motivating (and sometimes fun). Unless you are the kind of person who has clients and customers queueing out the door all the time, there will be down times. Keeping a blog going keeps the motivation and focus on your product or service.
The blog is also a resource. It will be there when you want to join in a discussion and post a link and be great content for your Social Media activities. You might not need to write something from scratch as you may have already written the outline, or something related. It can be a veritable treasure trove of ideas and content for drawing on when you need to.
Not to be forgotten is obviously the more technical side which someone much more adept at this sort of thing than me might tell you about. This includes the fact that you can tailor the words for better SEO, you can add various links to and from other sites, you can post your blog on all sorts of Social Media and you can create different types of posts, videos and include lots of pictures. You can also engage lots of lovely readers in the comments under your posts.
Understanding why and how to blog for business has definitely been a learning curve. It has been a challenge. But then I rather like a challenge, and you feel so much better when you have succeeded in getting on with it and realising just what wisdom can come out. The really only negative side to this blogging business is the extra spam in my comments boxes from those spamsters out there, but now I have a nice plugin to stop that, they’re history. That and the fact that it can actually be quite addictive…….
So what do you think, how is my blog? And how is blogging for business going for you?