Every business with a website should have a blog. It's how you connect to your consumers and make your brand a part of their lives. As long as you provide quality content that's entertaining and adds value to your consumers lives, people will read it. And, if you do it right, that content will be shared across social media.
It's the perfect way for your business to engage with consumers online. But before you go and start your own blog, there are a few things you should know.
Don’t use “I”
This is not your story. And this is not an opinion piece. You have to be the expert but act like it’s not entirely coming from you. Sure, if you’re writing about changes in the business, you can use “we” (if you really have to). But for the most part, using “I” makes your blog seem less official and more like a diary entry… which bring us to the next point.
This is not a diary entry, don’t treat it like one
This is not the story of how your business came to be or what your managers get up to on the weekends. Or worse, some kind of personal introspection. Unless it’s a truly great story that the world should know about, you’ve got to create content that links to your brand but is not about your brand. This means finding relevant topics that your consumers will actually want to read. It’s not about you. The sooner you accept that, the better.
Have a clear idea of what you want to write
Before you sit down to create any sort of content, you should know exactly what you want to write. Scribble down some notes, draw a picture, talk to yourself… whatever works for you. Do this so when you start to write you know where you’re going with each point. You don’t want to lose your way halfway through and have to start all over again.
Look at this blog post. See how there are subheadings outlining each point? It makes it easier to read and follow the story. And, if you put down the subheadings first, it also makes it easier to write. That way you don’t get lost in your own thoughts because it’s all already there and you just need to fill in the blanks.
Cut the flowers
Flowery language is pretty in poetry and prose but that’s where it should stay. Clean copy is writing that gets to the point (and explains that point) without taking the reader on any unnecessary detours. Once you’ve written your blog post, take a breather and then read it again. Cut out anything that doesn’t need to be there. You can still make it entertaining but just make sure every sentence and word has a purpose. Avoid adjectives and adverbs unless they need to be there. For example, try steer clear of words that end in “-ly” (like “beautifully” or “carefully”).
It's never a bad idea to start a blog for your business, as long as you do it right. But producing the wrong kind of content could actually damage your brand. So stick to the above guidelines and, if you're still finding it difficult, hire a professional.
*This article was originally published on The Marketing Site.