There's been an influx of inquiries by friends and acquaintances on the best way to set up a business blog and to start writing posts. Some of these people are planning to start a business in the near future, and others have already had their companies for a while. Whatever state they are in, if they don't have an active business blog, they should get one up as soon as possible. The competition is growing as more business owners realize the value of adding a blog to their marketing assets. Well written articles pertaining to a business owner's industry, published throughout the Web, helps establish them as an authority in their field.
Here are some writing tips to help you get started with your business blog. (For advice on what platform to use, check out this article, Best Blog Sites.) Keep in mind, there are other considerations, such as SEO (search engine optimization), and promoting your blog with a strong social media network. I'll be focusing this post on the act of writing, and how to prepare yourself for the task.
You must decide who your audience is. If you're in the real estate business, your target audience would be people who want to buy or sell homes. But perhaps you have a niche market. Using the real estate example, if your main focus is luxury real estate, then most of the content will focus on luxury homes. Getting more specific: if your business serves a particular area, you might want to include content that is relative to that region.
Use a spreadsheet to set up a daily, weekly or monthly calendar to keep your articles in order. Having a calendar will set a clear editorial path for your business blog, and keep you deadline-oriented. In the schedule, make sure you have columns for due dates, post dates, and, if you hire freelance writers, you can create columns to keep track of who wrote what. It's also a good idea to include a column for the main keyword used in the article, and one for the post link. This helps you keep track of how the well the keyword is ranking for the post. Most importantly--stick to the schedule.
Writer's block hits everyone. The first thing to do is to stick to the schedule you created. If needed, add another column to your editorial calendar--the day and time you should write your post. Dedicate that period to writing. Go to the library or somewhere quiet and without distractions if necessary. The point is to sit down and write. Questions to ask yourself to get started: What is my story about? Or, what is the main point I want to get across? Don't worry about the headline right away, type in whatever comes to mind. You can change it later. When you are ready to title your post, the headline should be short and tell the reader exactly what the article is about.
Who is your target audience? Keep this in mind when writing your business blog post. Put yourself in their place--what would you want to know about your product or services? What kind of information is important to know about your industry? Again, the real estate model: what should a person know and do before buying a home? Perhaps it could simply be a home buyer's checklist. Remember, there are tons of generic articles out there: make yours unique and specific to what you and your business offers.
After you write your blog post, set it aside for a few hours, or even a day, and come back and read it with fresh eyes. Don't rely on spell check. If possible, ask a coworker or friend to be your proofreader. If you really want to make sure you're article is in tip-top shape, hire a freelance editor to proofread and edit your blog posts. The positive impact on your brand will be worth the cost.