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Getting Started With Blogging
Posted on June 1st 2014
Whether for business or personal reasons, writing and blogging are important skills to have. In most professions, you will need to use your writing skills at one point or another, so how do you find inspiration?
In my opinion, all businesses should have their own corporate blog. Whether they promote their own services or comment on relevant news stories, it is a great way to display thought leadership and expertise, and it’s a place for your C-suite to share its knowledge with others in the industry. Sharing blog posts generates ready-made social media content and also helps boost SEO for your company’s website. Unsurprisingly, B2B Companies that blog only 1-2x per month, generate 70% more leads than those that don’t blog at all.
One of my PR professors in college constantly drilled into her students’ heads, “consider the ‘so what?’ of what you are writing about.” Initially, this was incredibly difficult for me, as I was still developing my personal voice and writing skills. I now realize it was some of the best advice I learned throughout my college career.
When you are writing a piece, why would someone want to read it? What do you have to say that offers new ideas or opinions, and can help the reader in some way? A tip I have learned throughout my time at Solomon McCown is to think about what internet users across the world would be Googling before you begin writing. Would they search for “Which social network should I use for my business?” or “social media business”? The second search would likely yield social media and digital agencies, rather than advice and tips. If they are looking for helpful results, my guess is they would choose the first option, which would make a great title for a blog post.
Getting started with a blog might be the hardest part, so how do you choose a topic and get writing? Here are some of the tricks I use to get my brain flowing:
Write about what you’re passionate about. Not only will it be easier to write about something you’re passionate about, but it’s likely your piece will be stronger with deeper insight.
Try HubSpot’s blog generator. HubSpot developed a fantastic tool that generates blog topics for you. All you have to do is enter one to three nouns that you’d like to write about and within seconds HubSpot comes up with a week’s worth of relevant blog post titles. If you have a general idea of what you want to write about but can’t think of a topic, this is a great tool to try!
Read the news and respond. Everyone is reading about, listening to, or watching the news at all times of the day. But there comes a point when people don’t just want to hear the story any more, they want valuable interpretations and advice on the happenings or events. How does your business, industry, or personal experience relate to an event in the news? For example, whether you are a healthcare firm or a PR firm and everything in between, the ACA and its deadline impacted everyone in some way. Everyone has an opinion or take on the changing healthcare industry, making it a great topic to write about and comment on.
Piggyback off of holidays and events. Did your business plan a stellar April Fool’s Day prank? What does Memorial Day mean to you and your family? National holidays and events are relevant to everyone, and will be hot topics before, during, and right after they occur- piggyback off of the already-generated buzz and give a different perspective on the holiday.
Share general tips and tricks. People search online for one reason: to learn something or find out something that they didn’t already know. Think about what users will be entering into a Google search. What tips and tricks can you offer? Are you a human resources manager? Offer tips on how college grads can find jobs. Are you an event planner? Offer tips on how to minimize stress in the final days of planning. I have found that the more general posts typically find the most success with readership and engagement because they apply to a larger audience. We are all experts at something. Share your knowledge!
Photo Credit: Beginning Blogging/shutterstock