The thought of blogging can fill the most confident person with terror. And part of the problem is struggling to find a natural writing style that feels comfortable. However confident you may be when talking about your business in person, blogging about it just feels weird.
For one thing, you don’t know for sure who your audience is, so essentially you’re writing into the void. And for another, aren’t you just trotting out a load of platitudes? If this is how it feels when you start writing, STOP.
The way to make your business blog come alive and develop real character is by picturing your ideal reader. Perhaps it’s a client who embodies the lifestyle and characteristics of the majority of your client base. Or someone who asked you loads of nosy questions about your line of business at a networking event. Got someone in mind? Good. Now you’re picturing them, think about their personality, the way they dress, the things you know about them, and aim your blog at them. Blogs are meant to be chatty and familiar, not formal and dry, so use their lifestyle as a frame of reference, and write to entertain as well as inform.
Now look at your language. Is it clear and concise? Most of us use far too many meaningless words, and they add nothing. According to horror writer Stephen King ‘The road to hell is paved with adverbs’, and if those adverbs include ‘always’, ‘really’ and ‘very’, I see his point. These words are so common that they can dilute the impact of your message. Say what you want to say without going all round the houses to say it. Whatever and however you write, your blog will benefit from careful editing. Spending the extra time on ‘tweaking’ will make it slick, clear and memorable.
And as for writing in platitudes, this is one way to guarantee you DON’T get a loyal following. Well-loved blogs actually say something, they’re useful and entertaining, giving readers just enough to leave them wanting more – the tip of the iceberg of what else you could tell them. Instead of thinking you OUGHT to write a business blog, ask yourself: what do you actually want to tell people about what you do? What is often misunderstood about your industry? Give your opinion on relevant news items and developments, your tips, advice and recommendations, all delivered in your inimitable style, and make it as amusing as the subject allows. These are the things that make a blog really readable – and infinitely easier to write.