Thursday, June 28, 2012
How Do I Start Blogging For Business?
In the previous post I wrote about why your business needs a blog. In this post we'll look at how to get started writing your blog for your business.
Google loves quality content so you can't just go and copy (steal) someone else's work and post it to your blog. You can however use another blog as a start point and write about what that article raised for you and add a link to that blog with some additional commentary about what you see as useful - or not useful if you want to be provocative or just write the alternative viewpoint.
You could curate a blog with content from around the web and this can be effective if your blog is about a topic that is highly visual, but if you do this you will need to be very mindful that content is what you are aiming for and if your blog is mostly pictures then these need to be well tagged and some content to draw this together with your key topic for which you want to be associated.
Images can be your own or they can be bought as stock photos but images of real products or events or situations will be more powerful as they are authentic. Be clear that you are not contravening copyright.
For those who are not accustomed to writing it can be a little disconcerting thinking about putting yourself out there. Your blog will be a reflection of you so you want to consider what tone your business has and write in a way to reflect that. There is room to be personable without being personal. You can share your observations, without invading your own privacy. Or maybe you are in a business where sharing personal experiences in an intimate way fits with the tone of how you run your business.
Just imagine that your business was a person.
How would they talk? What would people think of them. How would they approach topics? Would they be someone that was clever and knowledgeable about their topic and attract people because they have good technical ability, or would people be drawn to them because they are fun to be around?
Give some thought to these questions before you start your blog and start to write down headline ideas or just topics that you think would be good to cover on your blog. This is an easy way to start getting your head into the idea.
What Are The Top 5 Things You Want People To Know?
For most businesses, there are at least five things that customers don't understand when they are looking to buy something. Whether it is a product or a service, there may be questions they need to ask to buy well, that they don't know.. They may need to know things about where that product will go that they have not considered. They may not know that some other businesses sell what you sell but without some special service that you provide that makes or better performance or takes away some hassle that they could have if they buy somewhere else.
Whatever it is, work out what the top five things are that you wish all your customers knew about why choosing you is a good idea. These are essential things that you want on your blog. You can share these five blogs over and over with different people and use them in printed form or other places to reinforce your story. This is just a start but as you begin to flesh out these ideas you will discover other ideas coming to you that you can write about too.
Looking Through Your Customer's Eyes
Blogging is a great way to turn your mind to how the world looks to a customer. What does a customer search for when they need what you do? It may not be what you would look for. This is a tricky element that can make all the difference to your blogging and translates into having a good understanding of your customers needs and wants and may be their fears.
When you look at your offers and your service model through the eyes of your customer, you communicate with them that you care about their business and that is a very attractive quality for a customer.
Do Some Research.
Search online for some blogs and notice what appeals to you. Notice the style the layout, what things are they writing about? What is it about this blog you like compared to that blog you don't much care for. Make notes on what you learn from your research and you can use some of this knowledge to create the environment on your blog that meets with what you want to portray.
Start An Ideas Book For Your Business Blog
Think about events that happened through the day and just make some notes about funny events, things you learned, problems that customers have that you see over and over again, and add these notes every day. You just need to write enough so that you remember the point that you would share about these and these notes can act as a prompt for you when it comes to posting a new blog.
Remember your blog doesn't need to be long. It should be useful though. It should have a purpose in reading it. Either it is something good to look at, something funny, something that teaches me something. or informs me about something that I am interested in, or educates me about something that I don't know.
By starting your ideas book you can get your unconscious mind on the job too, and that will make writing your posts much easier and organic.
Next post we'll look at some examples for some different businesses of topics that could work for them.
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Part 3 Blogging For Business: Ideas
Part 1 Your Business Blog