After years of hearing marketing types like me preach at you about starting a blog, you’ve finally committed. All the hype about search engine optimization and added value convinced you that the time you invest in writing will pay off for your business. Now that you understand the “why,” you’re sitting in front of your computer screen, Googling “how to start a blog” and looking for inspiration.
You’ve come to the right place.
This isn’t the technical manual for forming ideas into sentences and then posting it on the correct platform. This is a place for beginner bloggers to get started. This is the place to define your voice and map your content philosophy, which will make the technical part of the blog much easier. (But if you were looking for technical help – download our SEO guide here.)
Ready? Blogging for beginners 101.
Define Your Expertise
What is the problem your business solves? Focus on that. Write about that. Tweet about that. Leave the other stuff alone. It’s great to have a broad base of business knowledge, but defining your true expertise will be a critical step – not only for your blog, but for your business. Identify where you add the most value and determine from day one to focus on making that part of your business the most visible, relevant, differentiated thing you do every day.
Stay in Your Lane
Once you’ve defined your differentiating expertise, keep your business – and your blog – in that space. If you’ve attracted the eyes of a potential customer because you are solving a particular IT problem they have, they don’t want to click back in to your blog archives and read about your Pokemon Go skills. Interesting to your friends at the backyard BBQ. Not to a frantic customer-to-be looking for IT solutions. Know where you excel. Stay there.
Be Authentic…and Patient
With every piece of content you write, be genuine in your answers, your word choices, and your tone. There is magic in being yourself – people are drawn to it and trust is built. But it takes time to develop your voice in blogging. What sounds natural coming out of your mouth does not always translate to the written word. Give yourself space to find your voice, but along the journey, strive for authenticity every time you write. Adding value is our highest priority, but doing it in an authentic voice is what attracts customers.
Clarity Trumps Crafty
TED talk sensation Brene Brown wrote multiple best selling books including Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, works focused on vulnerability, shame and resilience. But she has noted that her early work on shame was a book that almost no one read. Ms. Brown said she was so focused on the approval of her academic peers, that she wrote that first book for them – using thesaurus words she hoped would leave them awestruck. It may have impressed her colleagues, but it didn’t connect with her true audience. It was only when she began taking her research and writing it for her friends – in a voice that they would recognize and connect with – that her work impacted millions.
That is a lesson for all of us.
If our goal is to help our customers solve a problem, we must care more about solving their problem than impressing our peers and industry folks. It’s rewarding when you can be clever and clear, and everyone appreciates your work. But if you have to choose, write with clarity, and write for your customer.
Need help with a content plan that will reach your customers with value and clarity? We can help!
Topics: Inbound Marketing