Lately I’ve been talking to people who are either just setting up, or have been in business a while and want to start a blog. This is music to my ears. Blogs are beautiful, potent forces for good: good for your business, your readers, your writing.
Getting started, then.
Your first move is to think about why you’re blogging. Ultimately, you’re blogging to grow your business. Your blog can help you with this in so many ways (just in case you need a reminder why you’re bothering!):
Writing a blog regularly will:
- showcase your expertise – show you know what you’re talking about
- let your audience ‘see’ you – help them get to know the person behind the business
- mean you help more people – you never know who might read your blog and benefit
- give you more to shout about and share – when people ask for tips you can share your blog about it, boosting your visibility
- build your audience, and therefore your potential pool of clients.
All this adds up to people having more trust in you and what you do. Which means they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
So, as you start, think about what you want to get out of your blog. Different outcomes will call for different tactics (though there’s no reason not to mix and match!).
Here are four big reasons for blogging and some tips to get you moving in the right direction.
I want to blog to increase my audience
If you’re looking to have more people in your world – more people you can share offers, news and tips with – then invite them to join you.
Write chatty, informative blog posts that help your clients, but, importantly, don’t forget to ask them to link up with you. You can do this any number of ways:
- invite them to join your mailing list for latest news
- invite them to find out more by giving them an in-depth guide in exchange for their email
- invite them to join your Facebook group
- invite them to connect with you on your social media platforms
- invite them to email you or book in a call
Work a call to action like this into your blog, and give people the chance to be part of your world.
I want to blog to connect deeper with prospective clients
A blog is a great way to let people see behind the scenes, see the real you. People buy people – they like to hear what life’s like for you in your business.
The highs you feel when you’ve helped a client or learned something new: that moment when you saw someone get it for the first time. A eureka moment when you tried something new and it worked.
The frustration when you’re feeling over-burdened or that you’re missing out. Don’t be afraid to share ‘mistakes’ or snippets of things going wrong. Shiny perfection is boring (and, frankly, dishonest). People will trust you more if you’re confident enough to show a bit of warts and all realism.
I do love to talk about the importance of values in business – sharing what you hold to be important in the world, and putting that into action. When it comes to it, people like to work with people who care about similar things, because people like to feel heard and understood. Talking about your values can feel vulnerable, but it’s also an incredibly rich blogging goldmine. I get into that more in my guide on using values to connect and sell – download yourself a copy for zero pence here.
I want to blog to position myself as an expert
Your blog is your platform to hold forth. Not in a self-indulgent way (though please enjoy yourself – your reader will enjoy themselves more if you are too). It’s the place to show what you know.
Think about who you want to be an expert for. Is it your clients? In which case, think about the ways you help them with your products or service, and give some of that away in your blog. What questions do they have for you? If you’re not sure, ask them – email your list, ask in your group, or choose a couple of people and ask them what they wish they knew more about. Giving people the information, advice and guidance they need is the number one way of becoming an expert in their eyes.
Is it among industry leaders? Think about current issues and news in your work and give your take on what’s happening. Connect with conversations on linkedin and twitter and use your blogpost as a way to be part of it. Contact industry leaders directly and ask for their views on your piece.
I want to blog to reach more people
If your main focus is on getting your message out there, think about adding some guest blogging into your mix. Look for blogs sites that have big audiences, look at what they publish, and see if they accept contributions from guest bloggers. The beauty of guest blogging is that you can piggyback on that bigger audience to share your message, and, with a canny call to action or link back to your own site, bag a few more followers of your own too.
If you know people working in a complementary field to you (maybe you’re a mindset coach and they’re a business coach, or you’re a massage therapist and they’re a meditation teacher), ask to guest blog for them. It’s a win-win: they get fresh, interesting new content for their site, and you get to chat to their readers.
Share, share, share
Remember, you have a duty to your lovingly-created blog post to look after it, not abandon it. It’s easy to think the work is done once you’ve hit ‘publish’. Not so, in this noisy world. Your magnificence doesn’t speak for itself, sadly. It’s no longer a case of ‘If you build it, they will come.’
So share, share, share. If you feel self-conscious about it, check back in with yourself:
Have I written something I believe could help somebody?
Yes? Great. Then you have a duty to share it around places where you can help. No? No problem, go back and write something helpful. Then share it.
Don’t think of it as self-promotion, if that makes you feel uneasy. It’s service.
- on your own social media platforms
- in other groups, so long as that’s allowed (we have a Friday share thread in my Facebook Group The Copy Kitchen – come and join in!)
- to answer someone’s question (e.g. “What do I need to think about when I blog” Me: “I’ve written a few blogs on that – take a look here.”
- in sector/industry-specific networking circles
- to your email list.
So, that’s some starting points to help you focus your energy on getting the most out of your blogging efforts.
But what to write about? And how to write posts you’re proud of? More on that coming soon! In the meantime, don’t forget to join us in The Copy Kitchen for more bloggy/webby/booky chat!