When was listening to a talk by the serial blogger, author and Internet personality Cory Doctorow at a convention a few years ago, I never expected his advice to apply to my future working life. What was he talking about? Writing, of course, but more than that – about how writing shouldn’t become a thing which occurs only when a specific set of circumstances are just right. He told us about writing his books on trains, sitting on the floor, waiting for things; anywhere, any time the opportunity to put some words down presented itself.
I want you to get over your fear of blogging. Sometimes it seems that when you have the ideas, you don’t have the time and when you have the time you don’t have the ideas. Fine. That can happen. How do productive professional bloggers solve it?
Blogging on the Move
- Keep a notebook (tablet, phone, paper notebook; something easy to dip into quickly) with you all the time. Write down any insights or ideas, as they happen. You can simply write down a topic or go further with it and sketch out a structure straight away. The beauty of this approach is that you will capture the ideas when they happen.
- Don’t make blogging into a Big Deal. It’s you, your voice, your business, your ideas, your expertise – and your questions that remain to be answered – out there, for the world to see. Yes, it can seem intimidating but originality and authenticity are a good start and as you begin to blog regularly, you’ll begin to see aspects of your business which lend themselves to useful blog posts. More about that later.
- Think of what value your blog posts represent to the reader. For example, with this blog post, I am hoping that the penny will drop for at least a few of you and that you’ll be able to give business blogging a go (or make it an easier task for you in the future). Always keep your readers in mind and talk about things which relate to your business and offer “how to”, insight or entertainment value.
- Make blogging into a part of your working life. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the more it’s part of your weekly routine and just another thing you do, the less intimidating it becomes.
- Anticipate bottlenecks in your schedule. When you’re in a good spot with time, go through your notebook and look at the ideas you had but never had time to finish. Write up two or three blog posts in advance and publish them when you haven’t got time to write.
- React to news and events which relate to your business. Be wary of overly enthusiastic newsjacking but do look at what is happening in the world and in your field – and whether there are news items which directly relate to what you and your clients are interested in. These posts are time sensitive. If you spot the opportunity to make a story out of something that is happening right now or is about to happen soon, don’t hesitate – do it now.
- You should get into the habit of writing on the move – get used to typing on a tablet or writing into a paper journal or even taking your laptop with you. You can get portable miniature keyboards for tablets if you find touchscreen typing too frustrating.
How to find ideas for blog posts
- Take a look at what other blogs in your industry are covering; these might sometimes give you an idea about a topic of your own.
- Are you launching any new products or services? Consider giving little “taster” pieces (or freebies) away.
- Tap into the knowledge and expertise your team has. You may find that by interviewing other team members (or even asking them to contribute to your blog directly) gives your blog a boost.
- Keep an eye on trade press and relevant publications; are there topics which you have something to say about? That’s a blog post – as long as you add something original and genuinely useful, you can even quote what you’ve read elsewhere (within reason; don’t plagiarise).
- Keep the blog at the back of your mind when you go about your daily business. A question a client asks you may prompt a blog post. Something you notice a client struggling with may give you an idea for a “how to” post.
- Do you attend any trade shows or conferences? The conversations you have there and talks given by others might prompt a blog post (which is, after all, where the idea for this one came from).
My challenge to you: find 10 topics for your business blog within the next week. You don’t have to write 10 blog posts, just go find the topics. Write them down or store them as documents but save them in some way other than just in your head. Getting into that mindset is half the battle. The more you blog, the easier it becomes. As a business blogger, you should also be aware of why keeping your website regularly updated is important – it helps with your SEO, especially if your blog posts are relevant to your business and contain keywords that your potential clients might be searching for. It’s also useful to have regular, fresh content simply because when a potential client visits your website and sees that it’s active and frequently updated, they will be more likely to take the next step and get in touch.
Speaking of which, if you would like any help with your business blogging, online marketing, web design, graphic design or SEO, do get in touch: 01252 413757. We are a full-service digital agency based in Farnham, Surrey and love to help our clients’ businesses succeed!
Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com