There are so many different things to consider when writing a blog that I will definitely be revisiting this ‘How To’ angle again. But for the purposes of this post, I’m talking about how to overcome some of the typical obstacles that get in the way of a good blog post and ultimately how to write your blog in a way that will best speak to your audience.
I can just sit down and write, can’t I?
Coming up with inspiration for content for your blog is the first step in the process which you can read more about here, but assuming you have a list of topics you’re ready to work through, you then need to think about how you’re going to put these topics into words. That may sound like an odd thing to say because you can just write the first thing that comes into your head, can’t you? Not necessarily. A few business owners or marketers may be able to produce fantastic blog posts by downloading what’s in their head, but the majority will struggle to put their thoughts on paper in a meaningful way.
In my 20+ year background of writing copy for various companies and different personalities within those companies, I’ve seen every possible approach to generating and articulating content. Some of these approaches have been counter intuitive and believe it or not have put people off of using their services. Here are a couple of examples of some of the obstacles businesses need to overcome when blogging about their offering.
Some of the people I work with are very technically minded. Their jobs require a high level of detailed technical knowledge and indeed it’s why their customers choose to work with them. However, when it comes to writing pieces for mass consumption, the complex technical approach probably isn’t going to work best.
Think about your audience carefully. Choose one customer or ideal customer and imagine writing for them. What would they want to see in the blog post? How much time do they have available to read information online? Do they want to see lots of technical jargon, or will that make it harder for them to read? It can be a tricky balance because you need to show you have the knowledge and information your readers require, but equally you don’t want to put people off with an overly technical and jargon-heavy article. You don’t need to be patronising, but it’s important to accept that not everyone will know the same terms, abbreviations, industry specific jargon, that you do.
It’s also good to remember that blog posts aren’t about proving how much you know – the most successful blogs genuinely help people with advice and information.
Shelve the modesty
Another common obstacle I have seen for businesses generating content for themselves, is that they’re too modest. Some of the best companies and people I work with don’t think they have anything to say. I have come to the point now where I almost relish hearing this on first meeting because more often than not it means I’ve found a hidden gem! It is always easier for someone outside of your business to see the things you can’t see yourself.
Downloading this information isn’t a painful process either. I simply ask people about their background, their philosophies and what makes them different to their competitors and wonderful nuggets of information flood out! But they haven’t been able to see it because they are too close to all the good things they do. As is probably the case with most of us, they are more focused on the things they feel they need to improve than they are about all the positive aspects of the business.
This obstacle is a little more tricky to overcome because if you’re the modest type there’s not an awful lot you can do about it. However, if you identify with this, you should try to detach yourself and see your company afresh as much as possible. Again, think about a customer or prospect and pretend you’re writing to them. What useful information could you give them? How can you make their lives easier? What makes you different from your competitors? If you’re still finding it hard, perhaps you have a friend or family member that isn’t involved in the business that you talk to and find out what they think stands out about your offering.
If in doubt, outsource!
Of course, if this all feels too time consuming, or an impossible task, you can always outsource your business blog to a professional copywriter. They will have the tools to take your knowledge and experience and present it in precisely the right way for your online audience. Or see through your modest claims of ‘I have nothing to say’ and easily be able to produce a regular blog on all aspects of your business.