Whenever I have meetings with new clients, the concern about blog posts emerges. “I’m not a writer”, “I suck at writing”, “Where do I even start?” – these are all common phrases I hear. I used to be in the same boat. And, to be honest, I still have those “writer’s block” moments on a weekly basis. However, I’m a firm believer in organic marketing and how powerful it can be. And that is where blogging comes in. A relatively easy way to engage with your audience and this article will break down some ways to make this process easier.
1. Don’t Worry – Be Happy
Stress plays a big role in writing a blog. Many clients worry that they might spend hours and hours on blogs and end up with no sales or awareness. And, it’s easy to have this idea as you’ll often start with a very small or non-existent audience. I often think of blogging as losing weight – it takes a few months to see any real results.
Whenever we write for other clients, we don’t even worry about the first 10-20 blog posts we write. At this stage, you’re still getting used to the content and your audience.
Here are other pain points we found our clients worrying about when trying to start a blog:
- Running out of ideas – yes it can and will happen, but that’s okay. But, you’re forgetting about one thing – the internet. There are loads of informative pieces out there right on the first page of Google
- Posting too little, or too often – it’s never easy finding a steady flow (see below) as everyone has their own rhythm. However, as long as you’re being consistent and still posting valuable pieces of information to your readers you’ll be good to go
- Having your own thoughts – you might laugh but it’s true, people are afraid that giving their own opinions on topics might lead to conflict in the readers. But in fact, this is the total opposite. Showing and emotions here and there gives your blog its own personal touch, which is something quite rare to find these days
- Promoting your own work – now I don’t mean posting your product or services in every post you do, but every now and then it helps link to what you sell or provide. As long as you’re providing quality content, readers won’t mind you pushing some of your content (say in the form of a link) as long as it fits in the theme of the post
2. Be Consistent
Blogging is just like any other habit. There’s nothing special about that makes it impossible to complete. Consistency is key here. Atomic Habits, one of my favourite books of all time, illustrates this very well.
“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”― James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Write down somewhere how often you’ll dedicate to blogging. The X Effect is a great method for getting this right. Say to yourself, “I’ll dedicate 10 minutes a day to writing blog posts”. Why 10 minutes? Because it’s easy to start small. Rather say 10 minutes and do 15 instead of aiming for 30 minutes and only doing 15. Once you get into a steady rhythm, longer writing periods will feel more natural.
3. Plan Smart
Planning is vital. I’ll often write a post for an hour and realise I have no idea what is my end goal. It doesn’t even have to be so complex. Keep it lean. Start with your topic and work from there:
- Will your post need images – if so, gather some in the beginning and store them in the same folder you’re storing your post. This will make it easier when coming back to it weeks later
- Keep your end goal in mind. Is it covered throughout your whole post?
- Have a rough structure of what your post will look like. Usually, I’ll have a skeleton framework of the post (just a conclusion, headings and a few key sentences)
There are also plenty of useful tools to help keep you organised.
4. Keep It Simple Stupid
Quite often, you’ll be an expert in your field. For example, a finance client of mine wanted to blog about finance tips. That was great, but he ended up spending days or even weeks writing even a simple post. I don’t mean simplify complex topics. I mean cut off excess and unnecessary material. This is no easy task, which is why that planning comes into play. This will help reduce wasted sentences. Also, reviewing your content once it’s finished and then asking something like, “do I need this sentence or am I just trying to please the SEO gods?” will help reduce the excess.
Here are some useful points when wanting to keep your blog writing simple:
- Keep your title simple, too complex and you’ll end up explaining too much, (i.e. Top Grooming Tips for Your Dog vs How to Keep your Dog Clean Plus Tips for Your Cat Too)
- Stick to one topic per blog post (see above)
- Use Grammarly to help reduce spelling and grammar mistakes
- Write like you’re a teacher, not the professor – too many complex words and phrases will turn many readers away
- Make sure to get at least one takeaway in the blog post (i.e. a piece of useful information the reader will enjoy)
- Try using at least one CTA (Call-to-Action) somewhere in the article
Having a checklist like this will really get into writing quickly and without any intense effort. In the end, writing blog posts still require time and effort. But, making use of these tips will definitely help you to get better at blogging! If not, we can also help with your blog posts (or any other social media services). Good luck!