School’s Out: get blogging!
June 27, 2016 | Business Journey
By Suzy Rounce
This week was filled with speaking about the things that we do. We held blogging workshops, marketing presentations and more consultation type meetings than usual.
We have set in our marketing plan that we want to help educate and elevate businesses to be able to think about the whole picture, to be able to have a bigger vision.
Obviously, you are reading this blog now so you see some of the perspective we try to bring to the table with our blogs. Helping others see the value of doing their own blogging is a tougher battle.
Why should you blog?
There are a lot of reasons. Here are few of the top ones:
- Most obvious reason…marketing and networking! Other than a time investment, it is free! Let me repeat, it is free!
- It’s a place to tell your story, share your perspective, news, updates, ideas, products and special services. And all of it drives attention back to your website, back to you.
- An opportunity to create a community. Find your tribe, create a following. The way you position yourself, the way you speak about your brand company, the values you possess all come through in a blog.
- SEO reasons: internet bots want to know you are the expert in your field. Blogging will establish you as that it will also mean that you can keep your website content up-to-date and give others more ways to find you and learn about what you do.
- To educate! Inform and HELP your customers. Lift them up.
- An excuse to reflect: I use blog writing as an excuse to curl up on the couch, or lounge on a patio with my computer and review and reflect as I write.
I often uncover some interesting revelations about myself and our company in the process of blogging. When you are considering what to put out there on the subjects you are conversant about and the lessons you have learned, your thoughts often gel, bringing awareness and insight to past struggles.
Blogging is an opportunity to create a community. Find your tribe, create a following. The way you position yourself, the way you speak about your brand and values.
But, before you start blogging, you need to take the time to first determine a few things:
- Who are you targeting in your business? Who is your avatar.
- Is there someone out there that is doing, or blogging, similar things as you? What can you learn from them. How can you do it differently or better?
- How do you want to sound, look and feel in your blog? What are your aesthetics, brand consistency, photos, design? How does it fit with your product or service? How does it fit with your goals as a business? The objectives can be different, but they should be connected somehow.
What to blog about?
This is the biggest stumbling block for people. We hear a lot of excuses and reasons why they can’t blog. But here are some tips to get you started.
- Your blog should essentially be a part of who you are. Just be yourself.
- Get into the habit of keeping a notebook with you to jot ideas at any time. Write them down in the same place each time. Then when you are sitting at your desk stressed about writing something, you have a list to refer to.
- A good place to start for content is “Frequently Asked Questions”. What questions do your customers frequently ask? Start to keep track of them in a notebook and address them in your next blog.
- INDUSTRY: What issues come up in your industry? What industry stereotypes do you want to overcome?
- Dig deep and think about what categories you want to write about. How do they fit with your goals/objectives? Example: business development, our journey, marketing, website development, branding. These five topics will then be what you stick to when writing blog posts. (Note: narrowing down the playing field will keep you sane.)
- General subject ideas to pull from: tutorials, diary, biz updates, your story, your team, reviews, discoveries, lessons learned, tips, resources, people you love, books you love, philosophies. DIY.
- TOOLS to use to write and research blog posts: notebook, pen! We also use Pinterest or Evernote to bookmark ideas and resources. Evernote has a plug-in tool that you can download for your browser and when you click, it copies content for your notebook. (Hint: mark and keep track of them in real time, or else you will never find them again.)
- Images: canva, pic monkey, apps on your phone Adobe spark post, a real live graphic designer.
- Get a blog notebook and at the start of your business year. Over a glass of wine January 2 make a list of 20 titles that you could write about. Use the above thought starters as a jumping off point.
- Don’t be intimidated. Be brave. Put yourself out there, people are far more receptive and complimentary than you think.
Trust your instincts about your business and realize that connecting with your customers, friends and community will help drive your business over time. It will also give you a community of people who understand what you are doing and why you are doing it. Blogging can benefit you in ways that are not easily achieved by any other means.