There’s a niggle at the back of your head, isn’t there? Something that says, “I know I really should blog, but…[insert any of the following excuses].” Your instincts are right. Blogging can provide huge benefit to your brand. But I know, it’s not always easy. Let’s tackle some of the main sticking points…
I don’t think there’s a point
For some, the mere thought of putting their thoughts down in written form brings on the sweats. For others, it’s an inconvenience. But there are many reasons why blogging is a worthwhile task, whether on your own platform, or another. Here are four:
1. Visibility – blogging gives you the opportunity to share relevant content across yours and other networks, increasing your visibility and ensuring people know you’re there.
2. Trust – blogging is a way to build trust in your brand and services. By talking about the issues that matter to your audience, you can build familiarity, become a source of support and attract like-minded people. I’m sure you know this already, but people are more likely to buy from people they trust.
3. Reputation – people don’t know what you know until you tell them. Generously sharing your insight is a way to demonstrate your knowledge and build a reputation as an expert in your field.
4. Engagement – blogs can express opinions that ignite debate and share information that’s enlightening or appealing to your audience. This kind of content encourages engagement, further spreading your reach and building on the three former points.
If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to write on another platform (MNC members can write in the MNC blog as a perk!), grab it with both hands. Why? Because it’s the most effortless way for you to gain reach, riding on the coattails of the platform’s community. (But remember to share in your own too!)
I don’t know what to write about
If creativity is proving to be the challenge, start thinking strategically. Firstly, ask yourself who you want to speak to. Then ask yourself what do they want or need to know about? If you don’t know the answer to that, ask trusted customers for inspiration, take a look at what your customers’ interests are on social media and look for inspiration where you know your customers are.
The important thing is that what you write is relevant to the audience and gives them something useful, be it inspiration, a trick of the trade or in-depth insight into your area of expertise. If your blog is purely promotional it either won’t get read, or it will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the reader who has invested valuable time only to be sold to. Remember, blogging is about building trust, visibility and engagement.
The MNC blog is predominantly for entrepreneurs and written by entrepreneurs providing advice around business. So, looking at the audience, there are a few questions to ask when considering blog topics for MNC:
- Do I run a business that helps other businesses and if so, in what ways?
- If not, is there some way that what I do could be referenced in the business world? For example, you may be a teacher and can share insights from working with children around resilience, creativity or some other area of business relevance.
- Is there something that I’ve learnt in business that is useful for others in business to know? For example, how to choose an accountant, or tactics for raising capital.
- Have I had a stand-out moment in business that others could learn from? Did you rise to a significant challenge, for example, or experience a loss that you’ve learnt from?
Thinking about the answers to these questions should help you find a blog topic that supports the audience and therefore, builds their trust in you and/or your services.
I don’t know how to write
Some people like numbers, some people like words, some people like sport…we all have different skillsets. But that doesn’t mean we can’t give other things a go.
Blogging is mostly about communicating your knowledge effectively. So, here’s a trick to get you started:
1. Write down three things you know that your customers are interested in.
2. Write down what you know about each of those things, in bullet form.
3. Look at your three topics and consider which one seems most interesting
4. Start expanding on your bullet points in that topic. Before you know it, you’ll have a blog.
If spelling and grammar are your concern, use tools like Grammarly, get a friend or family member with the skills to check it over, or speak to an editor who may be able to help you (it might not cost as much as you think.)
I don’t have the time
You run a business, it’s no surprise you’re short on hours. But don’t let that rule out creating content. Instead, use the time you have as effectively as possible and pre-plan.
Having a schedule of content can help you plan in advance, rather than on the hoof. But as and when you think of topics use that momentum to drive your content. Open a word doc and write the idea down. If you don’t have the time to create it then, save it into an ‘unfinished blogs’ folder. Keep doing that. When you get some spare time, go into that folder and see what you’ve got. Take the article that appears to be most relevant for that time and start writing. Using the bullet point method above can help to shape a blog quickly.
Consider microblogs. Microblogs are short blogs or long comments. For example, a LinkedIn post or a Google My Business ‘What’s new’ update. They are limited in characters and so force you to be concise. They’re a great starter for people with limited time and good writing practice if you decide to delve into longer-form articles.
If all else fails, engage with a professional who can help you to plan, write and edit your content to make it stand out and talk to your audience.
About the Author
Niki May Blane
Director, Big Bee Content
Big Bee Content delivers digital content with social purpose, helping our clients to communicate more effectively with their audience.