When I am counseling a business owner about expanding their influence, I always recommend a blog. In the web 2.0 world of social media and authenticity, your customers want to see a person on the other side of the cyber connection.
I think almost anyone active in today’s marketing environment will recognize the value of this platform. Often there are obstacles to engaging in this medium that many of those new to the game of social media have a difficult time overcoming.
We will tackle a few of those here.
1. But I am not a writer.
I talk with people all the time who tell me they are not writers. They know a lot about their field, but they don’t write well. When they do begin to blog it looks more like a page of classified ads than a blog.
So how do we deal with that? First of all, stop telling yourself that! If you are not a writer, you are right – You STINK at it. But if you have “never been a writer before,” then you can learn.
Second, some people really were not created to write. There is no denying that. If that’s the case, then you still have options.
a. You could pay someone to write your blog. Make sure this person is teachable and knowledgeable about your business. Make sure they have a passion about your market. To be completely honest with you I don’t know how someone with no passion can ever write quality content at the level necessary to write a compelling blog.
b. Learn. This is my favorite. I am a firm believer that anything can be learned. Good writing comes two ways. First by reading, and then by writing. The more you read the better you will write, and the more you write, the more you will improve.
On this note let me say this. When you are writing, you should write like you are talking to someone you care about. English class is over, and it doesn’t matter anymore. Now it’s time for real life. Be authentic, be real, and be yourself! If you are writing about something dear to you, this will come across!
So in summary, if you are not a writer, you need to either hire one or become one. My recommendation? Become one!
2. A blog is NOT an advertisement for your business.
This is a HUGE obstacle because honestly, yes it is, but then again no it isn’t. People unschooled in social media will quickly learn that advertising is a waste of time, money and energy. You must think of your blog not as an advertisement for your business but as an advertisement for yourself. Your readers don’t care what XYZ corporation does. They want to know you.
When you are writing your blog, don’t try to be some stone faced bluechip executive. Be who you are. Be passionate about what you care about. If you care about your business, terrific! Let your readers know that, but let them know you as well.
3. Provide Quality Content, Not Garbage.
While your readers really do want to to know you, they are far more interested in themselves. If you ramble on and on about yourself and your business, you will lose traffic fast. You need to carefully craft content that is helpful to your target audience.
Let me illustrate, I was talking with someone the other day who had posted a paragraph on a download site they were recommending. This was nothing short of an advertisement. I told them this could be considered spam and I explained that a much better blog post would review various download sites with the pros and cons of each.
This sort of post would provide helpful information to someone looking for the best site to download music and movies from. People would be likely to subscribe and come back later if this is the sort of content you produce. But if you are simply suggesting a product, people are going to hit the back button faster than you can say “lost opportunity.”
There are more, so please dont hesitate to let me know if there are stumbling blocks in your way or some you have seen others struggle with with. I would love to hear your thoughts on these and more!