My friend and colleague, Jen Powell presented a wonderful seminar last Tuesday at the Enterprise Center in Salem, MA. The topic was “How to Write a Great Blog.” Let me say this: Jen knows how to fill a room. I’ve been to quite a few seminars at the Enterprise Center but I’ve never had trouble finding a seat before. Jen, of course, will tell you that the topic is interesting – which it is – and that’s why there was such a great turnout. But that’s not all of it. It’s her easy going, interactive, “hey we’re all in this together” approach that puts backsides in the seats when she speaks. So here, then, are three (there were many more) questions that struck a chord for me.
Why Am I Blogging?
Pretty basic question don’t you think? But still so many bloggers don’t know the answer. Are you blogging to establish your credibility as an expert in your field? Are you using your blog to sell products or services? Are you a writer blogging because….well because that’s what writers do? I blog for three distinct reasons. First, to communicate to clients and would-be clients that I am an expert at what I do. My post on Designing for Mobile Devices is an example. Second, to get something off my chest. That’s why I created a category called “Rants.” (Does it say something about me that I have more posts in the Rants category than any other?) My post called Advice for Bosses, Managers and Supervisors – Be Nice, is a rant. Third, to share with readers in my own demographic group something that interests me and thus may interest them, like Paul McCartney Turning 70. Those are my reasons. What are yours?
Who Am I Talking To?
We’ve heard this before haven’t we? Know your audience is another way of saying the same thing. Of course the who can only be clear if you know the why. If, for example, you’re blogging to establish expertise in your field, then it’s your potential clients you should be talking to. They are the ones who have to have confidence in you before they hire you. No matter what your reason for blogging, the better you know your audience, the more focused your blogging will be and the more success you will have. Here is another great idea courtesy of Jen Powell. Write to just one person. Of course you’re trying to reach many people but writing to one person will make it easier to focus your thoughts. Try it. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to write that way.
Should I Hire Someone to Write my Blog?
It depends. One of the keys to a successful blog is authenticity. If you’re a small business owner then the best chance of your blog being authentic is for you to write it yourself. But you may not have the time or the ability and hiring someone to write it for you may be the only way to ensure that it gets done. This is fine providing the person writing on your behalf spends enough time getting to know you and your business. This is essential if the writing is going to be authentic – which it must be if you want your blog to be successful.
And Now Back to You
Have you thought about blogging but haven’t been able to get started? What’s holding you back? Start with the three questions above and see if that helps. Let me know how you’re doing.