These are real concerns from a recent client who is about to launch her blog. I talked her through each of these, from my personal experience. (I’ve written a blog for my jewellery business, Rangoli since 2008).
This is the biggest stumbling block for lots of us. We know that we should be writing a blog. We know examples of people who are doing it well. We’re excited about the possibilities. But we have so many questions. For many, these are a mix of technical how-tos combined with questions of whether we are knowledgeable enough in our field to put ourselves out there as an ‘expert’. I have totally been there myself. Initially I questioned why people would want to hear me talking about different aspects of my business. But I wanted to show readers what I am like and how personal my service is. My website is a product catalogue but my blog is a place for my customers to get to know me better. It’s a ‘behind the scenes’ peek into my studio!
My thoughts: You are learning a new skill. Treat yourself to some great books or tutorials. Don’t wait to be perfect before you publish because otherwise you will never begin.
For starters, blogging is very different to other forms of writing. That doesn’t mean that grammar and structure are not important. But, if you start thinking about sharing conversations, rather than writing formal articles, it will really help you. I teach lots of tips about writing for an online audience as well as how we read online. What I have found is that you get better at editing your content over time and reducing it to the core message. You can continually edit, unlike a printed document. This lets you improve (or remove) your content over time.
My thoughts: Your writing will improve with regular practice. Be conscious of telling your story in a conversational and concise way. Lose the fluff!
Wow, this is a biggie and should probably be number one on the list. The fear of radio silence is huge when you publish your first few posts. Will anyone read it? Will they be bored to tears? I certainly had this fear when I started. It’s such a human emotion. While blogging for Rangoli, I decided from day one that I didn’t want the blog to be all about me and my business. I consciously looked for content to share from other related sources. Readers want to be entertained. Variety is essential.
My thoughts: I read somewhere that you should read your posts out loud to see if they bore ‘you’! The chances are that if it sounds boring to you, it will definitely bore your reader. Only blog about things that you are really passionate about, even if that means producing less content.
This one is really about understanding and connecting with your audience. I can teach you how to get to know your ideal clients. The better you understand their needs, the easier it is to choose content that will appeal to them. There is a balance though, as you need to write about things that excite you too. I enjoyed creating a section called ‘Aisling’s World‘ on my Rangoli Jewellery blog. This was a space to share some ‘out of business’ interests. Readers can dip in there if they like!
My thoughts: The more niche you become, the better. Find the audience to match your specific passion and skill and then you can write about things you’ll both enjoy.
Starting a blog requires new skills. Of course you are going to feel a bit vulnerable for a while! Ban your inner perfectionist and give yourself time to learn this new skill. Blogging can be learned in stages and at your own pace.
My thoughts: I found that connecting with other bloggers both online and in person was a huge support. I went from relative shyness to public speaking in 5 years, so imagine what you can do!
I hope this article helped you; did I cover some of your own concerns? If I could sum up my best advice in two sentences; it would be to keep learning, but most importantly, Just Start!
I always love hearing from new and ‘old’ bloggers; scribble me a comment below or let’s arrange a coffee. I offer training on business blogging to suit all levels. What do you need help with most, right now?