Photo by: Dale Moore
Nearly every client that comes to us has an interest in blogging or wants to learn more about it. The value of a blog far outweighs any costs that may be involved to develop or design one. We generally always recommend a blog to customers whose primary place of business is on the web. Blogging is a great way to generate fresh, relevant content. It offers a new channel to connect with your visitors. It can be incredibly beneficial for SEO too. Many businesses have concerns and fears about blogging. Let’s address those fears today!
- What will other people think of my posts? Will they interpret my messages the way I intended them to?
- What if I run out of things to write about?
- Who is going to want to read what I have to say in the first place?
- How will I find the time to blog? I have enough on my plate as it is.
- What if I’m not a great writer? I always misspell words and my vocabulary isn’t extensive.
Putting Yourself Out There
#1 Fear: What will other people think of my posts? Will they interpret my messages the way I intended them to?
The internet is a vast place. Anyone can publish content to it from nearly anywhere in the world. Some find it intimidating to put themselves out there. The misconception is that a blog is like a diary. It could be, if that is what you intended for. But for most businesses it’s simply a way to provide additional knowledge, resources and maybe even a few good deals in front of potential or current customers. People are emotional creatures. They can relate to other people. A business is made up of people. So why do businesses constantly pretend to act as one mass and not individual people with the same goal in mind?
The more you are able to connect with your customers on an emotional level the more they will remember your business and likely be a loyal and returning customer.
For more on emotional design, read A Book Apart’s Designing for Emotion. By putting a little bit of yourself into your blog posts, you give your business a personality. Write about something that you & your business care about. Let your own ideas come through a little bit.
Remember, not everyone is going to like your blog posts. Then again, you shouldn’t be trying to write them for just anyone. Always write with your target audience in mind. Think about what they might care about. And never worry if people will misinterpret your writing. If you have facts to back up your thoughts, reference them right in the post. If you have a strong opinion about something that others may disagree with, make sure you have strong reasons why. Controversial posts are often the ones that people will talk about and get you noticed.
Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. – David Frost
Generating New Blog Ideas
#2 Fear: What if I run out of things to write about?
I am guilty of this blogging fear. In the early days of blogging, I was afraid I would run out of things to write about. Sometimes all it took was a trip to the grocery store or a visit to an online magazine. When I’m having trouble trying to come up with something to write about I look for article titles that catch my eye and spin them to work with what my audience might care about.
For example, on Cosmo’s homepage today, one of their titles is “Everything You Need for an Outrageous Halloween.” Maybe I could write about different Halloween promotions or designs that were well done. Or give some examples of how businesses could use Halloween to spice up their creative on their website. Upcoming holidays or seasons are easy ways to bring some relevancy to your blog. Be timely with your content. If you’re writing about holiday gift ideas for pet lovers, make sure you give your readers enough time to actually purchase the items before the holidays.
If you ever have a moment where you think there is nothing more to write about, ask a friend or colleague for some ideas. Look to your customers and help them solve common problems they often ask about. Start up a series that you could do each week or month to build some consistency and give your readers something to look forward to. There are an endless amount of things you could write about. They don’t have to be big grandiose ideas. A blog post can be short and sweet.
#3 Fear: Who is going to want to read what I have to say in the first place?
Your customers. That’s who. Write about things your customers have questions about or resources they need to understand your services better. Blogging is not instantaneous. It can take a long time to bring in readers. If you are engaging and writing about things they have questions about, chances are they may find your content. If you can be personable and let go a little bit, your customers will have an easier time reading your blog posts. Remember that blogging isn’t meant to be as formal as a newspaper article. Here are a couple of tips to help make your blog posts easier & fun to read:
- Create Small Scannable Sections – People like to scan first, then read more if it captures their attention.
- Include a Photograph or Graphic – This will help draw them into the article and/or support the ideas that you are writing about.
- Provide Links to Resources – Linking to additional resources in your articles can make the experience of reading them more interactive and fulfilling.
- Use Various Heading Sizes – Typography is important in a blog post. Make sure you are using big headings for new sections and bolding and or using block-quotes for important pieces of information.
Finding the Time to Blog
#4 Fear: How will I find the time to blog? I have enough on my plate as it is.
This is one I question myself all the time. For a while I even fell off the blogging horse. But it turns out there is always a few moments extra in my day to jot down a new idea for an article. Maybe you can only spare 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there. Great! Write when you have the time.
You’ll find that you write best when your inspired or have a good idea. I find it usually goes faster too. Don’t try and force yourself to sit there if you don’t have a good idea to start with. It’s tough to keep to a writing schedule. But your traffic will likely thank you for it. The more content you are putting out there, the more likely one of the topics will capture the attention of someone.
If you build it, they will come.
Lack of Writing Skills
#5 Fear: What if I’m not a great writer? I always misspell words and my vocabulary isn’t extensive.
There are other options out there if you really don’t have any extra minutes left in your day. Or if you simply have terrible writing skills. Blogging may just be something you’re not meant to do. If you have the extra cash, hiring someone to blog for you can yield some great results. There are what the industry likes to call Ghost Bloggers. They swoop in and save you from your blogging nightmares.
So what are you waiting for?! Get your blogging on.