A fresh WordPress site, complete with business branded colours and fonts stares back at you with blank expectation. Getting this social media marketing stuff up and running seemed like a feat within itself. And yet, the real work has just begun. Learning business blogging and blog promotion? You’re facing an uphill battle to scrounge the creative underbelly of your brain to come up with useful content, then promote it effectively.
You can’t even call it writers block, because you aren’t a writer. You’re an entrepreneur, a business owner. You’re a multi-tasking person with little direction for how to make your company blog a successful branch of your web marketing strategy.
Luckily, there are options for you! And no, opting out of business blogging is not a path I can point you down today.
Finding A Writer for Business Blogging
Firstly, you can consider hiring a web-writing specialist to maintain the content and delivery for the company.
Navigator Multimedia offers this service via yours truly, and I can assure you that by enlisting a professional writer, you can count on timely, informative, and entertaining content with pristine grammar and an eye for SEO. That’s what I strive for, and that’s what you should expect.
Secondly, you can enlist someone from within your business to oversee the blog content. The advantage here rests in the employee’s deep-set knowledge of the company and its clients. For highly specialized industries, this can sometimes be the preferable option.
Thirdly, you can take a breath and take on the task yourself with a pragmatic attitude: use the resources available to you, and learn what works for your business. With time, and practice, you may even come to enjoy the process.
If the third option seems most realizable, take these tips to begin your confident journey onward as an effective business blog writer. These tips should save you time, help inspire content topics, and assist in building fantastic blog posts:
1. Turn customer inquiries into blog posts
Let your clients spark your blog ideas.
I adapted this idea from Ryan Taft’s suggestion in his article “7 Easy Ways To Turn Old Content Into New Content”, who suggests using user comments to generate new posts.
However, if you’re just starting out in the blogging arena, you won’t have much for comments yet. If your clients are often emailing or calling with similar inquiries or comments, write a blog post addressing the question. Give a thorough and knowledgeable answer that both current and potential customers can benefit from.
2. Break big ideas into series
Another Taft-inspired suggestion here, which minimizes the intimidation factor in presenting a topic in writing.
By breaking down the topic into smaller chunks that can be published separately, you spread the value of the idea itself, buying time and tempting readers with the anticipation of “the next chapter”.
For instance, instead of tackling “Highlights of British Columbia Tourism” in one article, present a series of “BC Tourism Highlights”, and feature a different aspect over the course of several posts.
3. Post in the morning
Invest in blog writing time at the beginning of your workday, sometime between checking email and grabbing that first bathroom break. If you leave it to the end of day, it will be left eternally until the end of day.
Procrastination and writing tasks for non-writers share a tighter bond than Santa Clause and Coca-Cola. As a writer, I find my mind calmest and least distracted in the early morning, and can whip out effective content in half the time I could if I left it until the evening. Try it out. Let me know how it goes.
4. Let “Why?” be your guide
Erin Kissane says it best: “Anyone who touches copy can make a difference by insisting that every chunk of text on the site is doing something concrete” (“Writing Copy that Works For A Living”).
Instead of floundering in white space, wondering what you’re going to write about, just start small and direct with your subject.
Say, “I’m going to write about the differences in synthetic materials,” and then ask “Why?” If you can provide an answer (“It’s imperative that my clients understand the difference to appreciate my product,” or “It will convince clients of the superiority of my materials”), then run with it and don’t look back.
Stay focused on why you’re letting the content hit the page.
5. Write about your business as the fascinating company it is
Whether you run a farm or a steel-manufacturing factory, approach blog writing with the attitude that you’ve got the goods on the intriguing inner-workings of a fascinating company. Divulge company news, explain “a day in the life” of an employee, and feature photo galleries with excitement and a sense of sharing something new.
Time to rustle up some enthusiasm for your industry; you might know it inside out, but there are readers out there who are learning about it for the first time. Even the seemingly minutest of company routine might be fodder for an interesting blog post.
Create value for readers, and that will create value for your company.
Kissane, Erin. “Writing Copy that Works for a Living,” A List Apart. 4 November 2008: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/writingcontentthatworksforaliving/
Taft, Ryan. “7 Easy Ways To Turn Old Content Into New Content.” Ist Web Designer. 27 December 2011: http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/turn-old-content-to-new/