Doesn’t ‘Blogging’ sound like a load of old marketing fluff? It doesn’t sound like something a serious IT business should be bothered with. And yet, a serious IT business is exactly the kind of business that could benefit from blogging.
What is Blogging?
Blogging is the regular publication of any kind of article that shows people what you do, how you solve their problems, and who they get when they work with you. There are all sorts of ways and places you can blog: on your website, on a social media platform, or on a dedicated publishing site such as Huffpo or Medium. And if writing’s not your thing, you can use video or audio instead.
The posts you publish give your potential customers an idea of what you can do for them, how you can solve their problems, and what you might be like to work with. They quickly demonstrate whether you understand them, and whether you speak their language. Your blog posts reinforce your good points to your existing customers, and make it easy for them to refer you to their network. They can also attract former customers to work with you again.
Blogging helps to keep you in the front of people’s minds, so that when they’re ready to buy what you sell, it’s your company that they choose.
Avoid The Five Most Common Blogging Mistakes!
So many businesses launch into blogging with a rush of enthusiasm, before quickly running out of ideas and motivation. But you can avoid this pitfall by putting in a little work to correct these five common blogging mistakes.
Mistake One: Not having a clear picture of who you’re blogging for.
You need to know who you’re talking to. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to impress their peers, which doesn’t make much sense, because they’e not the ones who’re going to be paying you, or keeping you in business.
The people you should be talking to are your ideal customers. Compile a profile of who they are, what industry and market they’re in, which of their problems you solve, and how they use your product or service.
When you know who you’re speaking to, it’s easier to appeal to them, and to help them relate to you and your business. It’s also a lot easier to talk about things that they’ll be interested in.
Mistake Two: Not having a good enough reason for blogging.
Like every task in your business, if there’s a good reason behind it, it’ll get done; if there’s not, chances are it won’t.
If you want your blog to work for your business, it needs to have a business objective. The best way to start, is to look at your Vision, Mission, and key business objectives, and then work out how your blog can help you meet them. For example, if your Vision is to be seen as the go-to expert in a particular field, you could write blog posts to demonstrate your expertise, as well as using your blog to share all the other ways you demonstrate that expertise.
When you have a clear, business-focussed objective or objectives for your blog, it makes blog posts easier to write, and they’re a lot more likely to get written.
Mistake Three: A ‘Just In Time’ approach to choosing what to write about.
Very few people find that inspiration for a blog post falls out of the sky when they need it, so most people who employ a JIT approach to blog post writing find themselves scrabbling around for something to write about, and spend an inordinate amount of time staring at a blank screen.
The solution to this problem is to keep a bank of things to write about. I use a template called a Story Cupboard for this. It has jars for topic ideas, useful quotations, books to review, people to interview or profile, top tips, and news sources. This means that whenever I come to write a blog post, I have a plethora of ideas waiting for me.
You can download a free Story Cupboard template when you sign up for my newsletter (link at the end of the post), or just create a file with these titles as documents in the folder.
Mistake Four: Talking like somebody else. Or a robot.
People buy people, not robots. When you were growing up, chances are you were taught to write formally, but when it comes to writing a blog post, that’s the biggest turn off. One thing you can do, is go through your posts and change ‘it is’ to ‘it’s’, ‘you are’ to ‘you’re’ and so on.
As a company, decide upon what kind of impression you want to make, and therefore what kind of language and tone to use. The ideal is that people who read your posts encounter the same tone and language when they meet you in real life. A top tip is to read your blog posts out loud, and change anything that doesn’t sound right.
Mistake Five: Failing to share your blog posts.
When it comes to sharing your blog posts, the key is to apply clear logic. Choose your method with a view to which platforms your ideal customer is most likely to be using when they’re in the frame of mind to read the kind of blog post you’re publishing. Is that email? LinkedIn? Twitter? Medium? Facebook? Huffpo? It can be tempting to post on numerous platforms, however in order to create a sustainable presence, only choose the number of platforms you can comfortably commit to engage with on a regular basis.
Remedying or avoiding these mistakes will help you to create a blog that works for your business. You’ll write blog posts that advance your business objectives, while appealing to your ideal customer. You’ll give your ideal customer opportunities to relate to, and connect with, you, and you’ll be helping them to get to know, like, and trust you. In short, you’ll be helping them to choose you.
Sam Dounis helps businesses to create online content that counts towards their business objectives, connects with their ideal customers, and helps them get chosen. She provides blogging tips and tricks through her blog and newsletter, and you can find out more at samdounis.com.
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