Should You be Writing A Blog?
Blogs. Everyone seems to have one. Or, at the very least, they consistently release content on social media platforms. As your business and brand start to grow, you’ll want to look at your outreach. When you Google your name or business, do many results show up? If so, are those results actually relevant? Producing content, especially blogs, in the online world can help raise your visibility and rank in these search results.
A blog is also a great way to lend your expertise, engage your audience, broaden your platform, and boost your Google rank. Even if you’re not a writer, a blog can be easy. Blogs are recognized as a more informal, monologue-style post covering your chosen subject or area of expertise.
As you can tell from this blog series, the tone of your blog can be much more casual than other published work. As I proceed to walk you through some blog-writing tips, you’ll notice my tone here is as conversational as if we were just talking on the street.
Tips for the Non-Writer Blog Creator
The most obvious question to start with is deciding what your blog will be about. If you’re looking to build your business brand, you should stick to your expertise in an area relevant to the services and products you offer. If this blog is more about building your personal following, you have some flexibility with the content.
Either way, you need to choose a subject you’re really passionate about. It needs to be specific (ex. independent publishing) but broad enough that you can cover many topics in your posts (outlines, editing, press kit, etc.) And yes, you really should love the topic you’re discussing. Ideally, you’ll make posts on a regular basis and that kind of content dedication will prove much harder if you’re indifferent towards the topics.
Once you have a subject and a series of topics lined up, you’ll need to get to the writing. Keep in mind who your audience is—yes, everyone online can see it, but you should still look to engage specific groups. Consider who your target audience will be and what content, tone, and message will most appeal to them. This will also influence the platform you choose to publish your blog on. There are many free options available, but you should also embed the content into your primary social media accounts to get more traffic.
If the writing process feels overwhelming, check out our other blogs, particularly the one on writing exercises. You may find some more help in other blog posts we’ve published. Any time the writing process feels overwhelming, simply jot down a list of ideas and points you want to make. You can write a detailed outline or stick with a simple grocery-style list; adding those points will give you a sense of control and purpose that can help you get to writing.
After you have the content, try to get a catchy headline that 1) captures the reader’s attention and 2) gives an indication of what they will find in the blog. Play around with your key phrases and see what sparks your interest. But, try to be aware of certain things that you may do too often, as it will end up killing the effect. I’m personally a fan of alliteration, so I have to actively make sure I don’t overuse that tactic.
With the content polished and a catchy headline, you just need to round off your post by making it appealing. Try to keep your paragraphs short; people are looking to read just a slice of information, not an entire manifesto. If you can add bullet points and headings, do that.
Readers obtain more information when they can scan the post and see key phrases stand out. It’s also a great idea to include an image, video, and/or links to other sites. These encourage readers to interact with your blog and are more likely to entice them. Few people will read blogs that look like a page out of a textbook. If you like the post, chances are someone else will too.
So even if you have no experience writing, a blog is an easy asset to build your brand and start building your platform. It’s a fun, casual way to convey information and start a conversation with your views. If you have the time, give it a try, and see what you learn from the process.