Updated: Sep 28, 2021
(Let’s just skip over the weirdness of me writing a blog about writing a blog because it’s hurting my brain a bit…)
People can find blog writing incredibly difficult.
It’s often delegated to copy and content writers because business owners don’t have a lot of spare time to write, or learn how to write.
I’m guessing here, but you’re probably going to relate to a few of these bullet points:
You know you *should* have a blog, but you haven’t got started on it yet (er, hello? You’re running a business! Who has time?).
You’re a bit baffled about SEO and keywords.
When you open a word document the blank page makes you want to go and do the weekly shop or do a wardrobe clear out… anything to get away from it.
You know blogging helps to showcase your expertise but you're not sure how.
You have some ideas about what you want to write but you aren’t sure if they’re actually good ideas.
Don’t worry. I can help with all of these.
You know you *should* have a blog, but you haven’t got started on it yet
First of all, yes, having a business blog is a great idea (I won’t go into it here, but you can read more about why it’s a good idea). And, its never too late to start one, even if you’ve been running your business for ages.
This is where talking to a copywriter or a content writer could really help. If you really weant to battle on alone then my advice would be to start small. Write one 500- 800 word blog a month. It's hard to estimate, but if you spent four hours writing and proofreading it, it would be about right. That's an hour for research, two for writing, and an hour for editing.
Being able to find four hours a month is achieveable, but only if you protect that time. Choose a morning or an afternoon in your calender and block it out. Perhaps choose the same day every month and keep it consistent.
If you're finding it managable to hit your monthly blog post target, perhaps write one fortnightly, or even weekly. The more you write the easier it gets, and you might even find it fun!
You’re a bit baffled about SEO and keywords
SEO can be confusing, but in terms of blog writing, you just want to get as many relevant keywords as possible. Think about what someone would search for in Google if they wanted the information you were writing, and weave those words and phrases into your blog. You can use keyword finders online, such as semrush.com, and there will be suggestions of what to include too.
When you open a word document the blank page makes you freeze up or run away
The blank page is incredibly intimidating to a lot of people. One way to overcome that fear is to come to the page knowing what you’re going to write. Or at least, having a vague idea. You’ll be able to do this when you’re content plan is on point (more info on how to plan your content here).
If you’re thinking “wait, she’s telling me to do something BEFORE I write the blog? How is that making my life easier, she’s adding things to my to do list?!”.
I know, I know. But trust me on this one.
You need to write your content with an idea of what you want to achieve with it. Taking some time to make a plan for the next quarter, or the next month, means it’s far, far easier to smash that content out. It just takes away the thinking time. It’ll give you confidence that you’re writing about the “right” idea. You’ll come to the page with a plan and the words will flow as smooth as silk.
You know blogging helps to showcase your expertise but you're not sure how
This one is a quick fix.
Think about what it would help your audience. What do they need to know to use your product, or to help them make a decision about your service?
If you're a florist, for example, why not explain what flowers are in season at the moment, or how to arrange flowers for a seasonal holiday, or which vases you stock and how to use them.
If you're a photographer you could write a how to on setting up lighting, or explain how you choose locations to shoot, or what happens when a client books a shoot with you.
If you're a coach you could write (briefly!) about your journey to becoming a coach, or explain one specific method you use, or highlight a case study of one of your clients (with their permission!).
This might be something you want to talk to me about on one of my Support Sessions!
You have some ideas about what you want to write but you aren’t sure if they’re actually good ideas
This is simply a matter of confidence. You'll only know if its a good idea if you give it a go!
If your blog is informative, helpful, written FOR your audience, and accurate then you're on the right track. You are a business owner, you are an expert in what you do. Whatever you know is important and valuable. Get it into words and get it on your website.
What's the worst that's going to happen? No one reads it? Even then you'll have learned from the process of writing and posting. And, you can make the next one better.
Hopefully, all of my tips have already helped you. If you're still wondering how to *actually* get the words on the page then let me share my process with you. Every writer has their own tried and tested ways to get going. Some start with research and gathering everything they can on the topic. Others start with a paragraph-by-paragraph plan, or a handwritten mind map.
Personally, if I’m writing for myself, I just blurt everything out in a rough first draft. I just start writing and whatever happens, happens. A thought will pop into my brain about the topic and then it travels down my arm, into my fingers and out onto the screen. I’m doing it right now. Words are just coming.
Then, once I’ve done the first draft (which will be ramble-y and rubbish in places, and ok in others) I’ll ignore it for a while. At least a few hours, maybe a few days, depending on how busy I am and what the deadline is.
Then, I’ll re-read it, edit it, cut unnecessary sentences and upgrade the vocabulary. I’ll add research here too. I make sure I’ve got accurate statistics or quotes, and I make sure my keywords are searched- for and relevant.
If I’m writing for a client, on the other hand, I always start with the research. This stops me writing in my voice, and helps me to write in theirs. I look at their social media, the brief they gave me, my notes from the discovery call, their competitors, their current website, their industry leaders and the relevant keywords. Once this is all buzzing in my brain, THEN I’ll do the first draft. (Which, will be wonderful in places and awful in others- that’s what the edit is for!)
Why not take all the pressure off yourself and just have a go? Just experiment. No one is going to see what you write but you. You might surprise yourself.
And, remember, if you still need some help, I’m only a free discovery call away.