Quick Blogging Tips
Do you have a blog? If the answer is no, why not?
A blog is a free website. You can go to Blogger or WordPress (my favorite, it has options for multiple pages and tabs that make it look website-like). If nothing else, why not create a blog as an online business card? Forget the blog blather, just describe your services, bio, published clips or testimonials, contact info . . . .
It doesn’t have to be more.
Of course, it can grow (and probably will) . . . because you’ll find out how easy and fun it is! You’ll discover the professional blog is the perfect place to announce news (conferences you’ll attend, new products or services, FAQs, etc.). Or a place to comment when you really have something you want to say.
- Plan short posts, 300-700 words.
- Don’t overdo it at first, then lose interest. Start slow (some short welcome posts to kick it off) and keep it going. (How often to post? Minimum of once a month. Twice a month is fine. Write more if you feel inspired.)
- Check your work. Spellcheck!
- It helps to write a post, save as a draft, and wait to post a day later. Too often, small annoying mistakes are made by rushing & posting at the end of a day. Try a quick, clear-headed check the next day before posting.
2. DEVELOP “TEMPLATES”
Develop easy standard formats for posts, such as end-of-project announcements, or a “quick update” about your business (what’s new, any current products or service you’re most excited to talk about). Share your excitement. Share your satisfaction with helping your clients solve their problems.
- Thank-yous are great to post at the completion of a project. Compliment the client, say what you did (and be sure to use good search-terms to describe the service you provided, terms that others might search for online).
- Answer an FAQ. If you answer a common question for one client, you can often generalize it, and post it in a standardized version on your blog. Later, if someone else asks the same question . . . you can just send them the direct URL to that post.
3. USE KEYWORDS
- Sprinkle your post with terms that resonate with the audience. What are they looking for? (I’ve sometimes written a post and, when checking it before posting, realized that I forgot to use the mainstream term that summarizes the topic.)
- Just think of the common terms that someone using a search engine might use in looking for that service. (For instance: Is this post about how to use a blog to market your business? Online visibility? Branding? Yes!)
4. ADD A WEE BIT OF PERSONALITY
- A blog is more like a conversation, like having lunch with a client. While a website is more like a corporate brochure. (So I prefer to make a blog a bit chatty, more colloquial than formal. Yes, I write in complete sentences. Mostly.)
- Do a “fun” post now and then: interview yourself, or office colleagues, with interesting questions: “Five things you probably didn’t know about (x) person.” “Best single tip.” “Favorite movie.” “Five toys for a desert island.” Etc.
- Look at blogs outside of your field for fresh ideas.
5. LINK GENEROUSLY
- If you mention clients or significant websites in your field, add a link to them (it’s very easy).
- The more links, the better. A blog is all about making connections.
6. HAVE FUN!
- Your enjoyment of the process is key to keeping your blog fun, lively, and ongoing. Keep it light. Keep it short. Keep it interesting . . . to you, the blog writer!
- Over time, the posts mount up. It gets easier . . . and you’ll get feedback about what kind of posts are most popular with readers.
It takes 6–9 months for a blog to start to have any organic growth. That’s when there’s enough body of content to draw people. But in the short term, a quick blog can be a simple way to create content you can use to market your business.
If nothing else, it’s an online business card. And with a few posts, it becomes a place visitors can get to know a little about you . . . how you think and what you care about . . . often, with more insight than they will get from your typical website.
So, why not? Plunge in. Create a super-simple blog with your contact info.
And then . . . add a little bit at a time!