Blogging – How to 101!
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Blog writing or blogging as some simply refer to it can be a contentious subject. Some love it, some loathe it. Some tear their hair out crying, ‘WHY?! What use is a blog, I don’t need a blog!’. What they often mean is, I don’t know how to do it. Whether this is fear of the unknown or stepping out of your comfort zone, either way, it’s stopping you from doing something that could potentially help your business.
Now I’m a writer, so I may be coming at this from a particularly biased point of view, but I love blogging. I think it’s a great way of showing your customers (or potential customers) who you are, what you do and what you know. Some of the best blogs I’ve read haven’t necessarily been the best written and may have had mistakes in, but they had passion. Passion wins over grammar every time for me. We’ve all heard it said; we don’t buy from businesses, we buy from people. I don’t care if a builder or an artist knows how to spell, I care that they love what they do and take pride in their work because that comes through in someone who is truly passionate about what they do. Don’t let the fear of writing stop you from sharing that passion with others.
I do understand blogging is not easy for everyone, we all have different skillsets but if you’d like to give it a go and really aren’t sure how, here’s a few tips to help you get started:
What do you want to talk about? Why do you want to talk about it? What is it you’re trying to do? Blogging can be a great way to sell a product or simply inform your readers about a topic you find interesting but you need to know that before you start.
I approach writing a blog the same way I did essays at university. You start with an introduction, move onto a main body and finish with a conclusion. The introduction lets the reader know what you’re going to talk about, the main body actually talks about it and the conclusion gives a summation of everything they’ve just read. Plan an outline before you start so you can work out what you need to include and what isn’t actually important.
I cannot stress this one enough. Once you have your topic and your outline, do some fact-checking to make sure that what you have is accurate. It could end up being the best blog in the world but if it’s giving the wrong information, it’s worthless and can reflect on you.
Don’t worry too much about what you’re writing at first, just get something down on paper. You don’t have to start at the beginning, you could start with the main body and then move onto the introduction. You’ll likely have more than one draft before you’re happy with the finished product.
Who are you talking to? Who’s your audience? What are you talking about? Make sure the tone of the blog reflects that. There are many situations where humour is appropriate and some where it really isn’t.
Read it again and again. Look for spelling or grammar errors. If you’re not confident then use spell check or Grammarly. If you’ve read it so many times it doesn’t make sense anymore then give it to a friend to look over. They’ll be able to tell you if you’re repeating words or phrases too often or if it doesn’t really flow. Read it aloud to yourself or have someone read it aloud to you. You’ll know what sounds right and what doesn’t.
Give your blog a title. You want to grab the reader’s attention but make sure it’s relevant to the topic. Don’t do click-bait, you’re better than that.
Be brave! Publish it! Put it out on the big, wide web for all to see and become a blogger!
Look, is the idea of blogging scary? Yes, it can be. Should that stop you from doing it? Absolutely not. Give it a go. What’s the worst that could happen! And if you find yourself really stuck in a hole then get in touch and I may just be able to help.