When we first sit down with a prospective client to talk about their communications activity, we often spot a hint of fear in their eyes when we mention the need to keep websites fresh with new and engaging content.
‘But we don’t have enough to talk about’, is one of the objections they raise before the word blog has even left our mouths!
Now, we’re not saying this apprehension isn’t understandable. The thought of sitting down in front of a blank computer screen once or twice a week is enough to fill many clients with dread. Not only will they struggle to find the time when they’re already battling a schedule from hell, but they’re also pretty certain they’ll simply end up scratching their heads, desperate to nail that ‘must read’ topic.
Of course, this is where content experts come in – people who take the pain away from your organisation and blog so that you don’t have to!
But what if you can’t afford the services of a professional copywriting business, however cost-effective they may be? (#Scriba!)
What if you’ve been tasked by your boss to keep a blog up to date? What if you run a small business and know you must take the reins yourself? How do you write a killer blog?
Well, naturally, it helps if you have a good grasp of the English language. Nobody wants to drag themselves through dull or poorly written content, littered with typos or horrendous grammar.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to word count or sentence structure either. Write naturally, honestly and don’t be afraid to convey your personality (so long as it isn’t likely to cause offence or get you into trouble!)
But above all, stick to a topic you actually care about. Whether you’re passing on advice and knowledge, sharing an opinion, unveiling an industry insight, or simply shouting from the rooftops about something you love, the subject has to matter to you. If it doesn’t, your readers will spot forced content a mile off (and the chances are Google will too!)
Then think about what people will want to read or know about your topic of choice:
- Could you offer some tips, for example? This is a great blog theme, especially if the tips aren’t available elsewhere.
- Could you curate a top 10 of the hottest trends in your market, so that people feel abreast with changes and the direction the industry is going in?
- Is there a relevant product or service that you could review? As consumers, so many of our purchasing decisions are influenced by what we read or hear from other people, especially those we deem influential. Might people look to you as an authoritative voice when it comes to what they should be spending their hard-earned money on?
- Is danger looming in your industry, and are you able to warn people so that it doesn’t impact upon them?
- Could you use the opportunity to encourage thoughts and responses from your readers? A blog that encourages two-way (or multi-way) dialogue could be incredibly powerful – people love to have a say!
- Is something irritating you about your sector, or even the wider business/consumer environment? There’s nothing wrong with a CONSTRUCTIVE debate, providing you don’t sound like you’re merely having a rambling rant!
Really, the scope for blog content is limitless, providing you stay true to the basics. The hardest bit is often getting started so, if you’ve been putting it off for some time, start by jotting down even some basic notes and go from there. You never know where the words could take you…