How to Blog About Your Business Even If You’re not a Writer
Every small business owner should be blogging
If you’ve been following and reading our blog, you know that I believe it’s imperative as a small business owner that you have a blog related to your business. The value and benefits of small business blogging cannot be overstated enough! Did you know that Richard Branson, the world-renowned English business magnate, investor, and philanthropist takes the time to blog weekly! He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies and yet despite his busy schedule, knowing its value, sits down to write a weekly blog – and reads your comments! My feeling is that if a successful, multi-billionaire, serial entrepreneur feels it’s important, then as a small business owner you should blog about your small business as well. (Or at the very least have someone do it for you with your heavy input.)
Blogging!? But I’m no writer!
Resistance in one form or another is the most common reaction I get from small business owners when I tell them about the importance of small business blogging. Believe me, I can relate. When I recently suggested to my business partner that I’d like him to contribute to our business blog as well, his reaction was priceless. Deer in the headlights anyone? His response was how like many typically respond. Their face, body language and sometimes even their actual response all say the same thing – “Blogging!? But I’m no writer!” They’ll come up with all sorts of reasons and excuses why writing is not for them. “I don’t know how to write properly”. “My writing days have long since passed – I haven’t written anything since school or college!”. “I hate writing”, or “I can’t write worth a darn.”.
Let me be frank. If you want to grow your business successfully, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to put words on the page. In all probability, many words on many pages. Be it for your website, business materials and a myriad of other business related things, you need to have someone writing for you.
However, when it comes to your small business blogging, there is no one better than you. Why? You ask. As a small business owner, there is no one who knows your business and your customer’s needs better than you. No one is more passionate about your business than you. Let’s face it – your customers choose to do business with you because they want to do business with YOU! You are your business’ competitive advantage! You are what differentiates you from your competition. Who better than you can connect with your customers? Which means there’s no room for excuses anymore. It’s time to start blogging!
4 Tips and techniques to help you blog about your small business
1. ‘Anyone can learn to write’
First and foremost you need to ditch this negative “I’m no writer” attitude. You have to understand that at its core, blogging is all about communication. If you have a business and cannot communicate what it is you do and why you are a better choice than your competition, you’re probably not going to last long. You ARE successful in business because you DO communicate well. If you can communicate, you can blog. Remember – no one is expecting a ‘Best of The Net‘ or ‘Pulitzer prize‘ winning level of writing. Anyone can be a writer. It’s a learnable skill like any other. Telling yourself otherwise is nothing more than an empty excuse. Convince yourself, “I have what it takes to write” and just do it!
2. ‘Forget the rules – just write!’
Remember when you were a little kid and you actually enjoyed writing? Before the rules and your teacher’s dreaded red pen corrections made writing a chore? You let your thoughts run wild and you wrote ’em down? Get back to that carefree frame of mind! Think of what you want to accomplish or communicate and put it all down.
You will find, especially once you start blogging with regularity, that you will come across things in your day-to-day that will be great topics to cover. Write these ideas down so you don’t forget. All your raw, unpolished and messy ideas – thought after thought – write ’em down. Don’t be an editor and a writer at the same time. You’ll just freeze up. Worry about editing later. At least now you have what to start with!
3. Record yourself and transcribe.
I had a potential client who told me that he doesn’t blog because English is not his native tongue. This gave me pause. On the one hand, here was an artist with a passion that cannot be replicated by a freelancer. On the other hand, he made a fair point. Right? Wrong!
Like I said before – blogging is all about communication. You can talk, can’t you? So imagine having a conversation, record yourself and transcribe! Make it casual and informal. Nothing conveys authenticity better in a blog than a casual conversational tone. What’s more, if you don’t like what you hear, chances are your audience won’t either.
As for the transcription, there is a free google transcription tool that allows you to ‘type with your voice’! You can type and edit by speaking in Google Docs or in Google Slides speaker notes. (Note: This feature is only available in Chrome browsers.) Once you have your basic document ready, copy and paste it into another great free online writing tool – Grammarly. As their own meta description reads – ” [Grammarly is an] Online proofreading tool that checks the text for grammar, punctuation, and style and features a contextual spelling checker and plagiarism detector.” It works with Microsoft Office, Windows and Google Chrome. I use it all the time. It’s awesome! And if you’re going to be doing a decent amount of writing, upgrading to their premium account is probably well worth the investment!
4. Vlogging Has the Added Benefit of Video.
Video blogging or ‘vlogging’ is another option you may want to consider for a blog about your small business. Like the method I suggest above of recording and transcribing yourself, you can do the same with video. (In fact, YouTube has video transcription software which can help get the rough draft done. Here’s a link teaching you how to transcribe your video to text. Please note: In all probability, you will have to edit it heavily.) Plus you get the added benefit of simultaneously creating video content – the hottest trend in content marketing today.
Video’s popularity as a content marketing platform is growing day by day.
Consider these facts.
* Almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (Google, 2016)
* 55% of people consume video content thoroughly. (Hubspot, 2016)
* By 2017, video content will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic. Globally, IP video traffic will be 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020, up from 70% in 2015. (Cisco, 2016) .
Imagine the possibilities of combining video and blogging! Just the added link building potential is huge!
One of my favorite SEO blogs that I follow religiously is Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday. He has perfected this method by embedding the video of his material into his blog post. So you get to watch his content and have the transcript of the video in blog form for future reference. It’s really the best of both worlds! Even if you don’t want to be front and center in front of a camera, there are plenty of software options that allow you to record your computer screen activity while you describe what’s going on in the background. The ways to incorporate video into your arsenal are many. The point is that it’s another way to overcome the challenge and getting the benefits of writing a blog.
If you want your business to get noticed online, small business blogging has to be a core part of your business model. No one can convey your passion and connect with your customers better than you can. Figure out what method works best for you and your organization and consistently blog about your small business.
So get moving and get blogging!
Hopefully, this article has provided you with a good starting point and a number of strategies you can use to start a blog about your small business. If you have any questions or want to dive deeper into these points, get in touch on Twitter or Facebook. I look forward to continuing this conversation!