I am a professional writer and blogger.
I web design too but much of what business advisers call my “offer” or my “USP” (ie what I can do for you and your business) revolves around the fact that I have lots of experience as a writer.
I enjoy it, too. I wouldn’t have spent 20 years in journalism with its shockingly low wages – as a Russian graduate with a sought-after journalism qualification, my first annual salary still only took four figures to write down – if it wasn’t something I’d always loved doing. And yet still I struggle to find the time to blog, which makes me think that non-writers must find it nigh-on impossible.
With that in mind, and with a dogged determination that 2017 is going to be different, I thought I’d share some of my top tips for blogging as one of my first blogs of the year. Some of these I already do, some I’d do well to learn myself.
Start thinking about blog ideas
Sounds obvious, but whenever you’re out and about, watching TV, in the pub, anywhere, look at everything with a blogger’s hat on. If you like something or if you don’t like something, you can blog about it.
Get some kind of a notebook on your phone/tablet
If you carry a phone or tablet around with you at all times – as many business owners do – and it’s an iPhone or iPad, then you have already got Notes. If you’re an Android user, then in Microsoft’s OneNote is very good and does exactly the same thing. If you use a mixture of Apple and Microsoft (eg your computer is Windows but your phone is an iPhone), then go with OneNote as it is simplicity itself to download it for your iPhone and sync it with your PC.
Whichever digital notebook you go for, use it. You’ll be surprised how quickly it fills up and how satisfying it feels to make a note of something and then get rid of it when you’ve blogged about it.
Realise that it doesn’t have to be about your business
Blogging about your business is great. But blogging about something that people want to read about will get them to your website, where they may just see something that they want to buy or a service that they want to use. It really is that simple.
Get it in the diary
If you’re going to blog, you have to do it with some regularity so people visit your blog page and follow you on social media with an expectancy that something is going to be there. The best way to make sure that your blogs are regular is to diary some time in to do it. That way, it doesn’t weigh on your mind every day and writing is much easier once you’re in the right frame of mind.
Use pictures and better still, video
Pictures brighten up a blog no end, and your blog is a billion times more likely (those figures may not be exact) to be clicked on in Facebook and Twitter if there’s a nice image attached to it.