I’m writing this post because of a client who recently expressed her reluctance about blogging.
“It might sound strange to you,” she said. “I’m a writer. I’ve written grants, donor materials, research papers. But writing for a blog… it just seems too personal. Some blogs (for example, the infamous Julie and Julia) seem to spew and tell all. And they’re successful. But I don’t want to blog like that.”
She’s not alone. Many of my clients who are beginning to blog express discomfort or dis-ease about blogging. They just don’t feel comfortable writing posts. Perhaps it’s putting your thoughts out there in cyberspace that makes you uncomfortable. Maybe it’s that you think that blogging is too personal. Or too emotional. Whatever your reasons for hesitating, here are some tips to get you on the road to recovery.
5 steps to recover from blogging dis-ease
1 – Read business blogs widely
Notice their tone and voice. Are they personal? Rant-y? Most likely, the blogs are full of useful information for their readership (that’s you). Okay, so sometimes they might get passionate about a topic that’s near and dear to them. And it might almost move into the realm of rant. But it’s not personal. Each post will be associated with business. You can blog the very same way.
2 – Add comments online to blogs that you regularly read
One way to begin to develop your voice online is to take small practice steps. Begin by commenting and engaging with posts that you read on a regular basis. If you’re connected with business groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, use those groups as a testing ground for your opinions and voice.
3 – Remember that informality does not equal personal-ness
Blogging is definitely a more informal form of writing. Informal doesn’t have to be associated with personal writing. You are just writing in a more informal way – breaking some of the grammar etiquette rules. For example, contractions are widely used and one sentence paragraphs are acceptable. Actually – some web writers use them to highlight info that they particularly want their readers to notice.
4 – Resist blogging about your family, your cat or your garden
Your business blog is not about your family, your cat or your garden. Only if you have a unique story or angle that applies directly to your industry, business or blog, should you write about these subjects or include them in a story.
5 – Spend some time brainstorming topics you know your audience wants or needs to know about based on your services or products.
Don’t worry about being a thought-leader. Write what you know and answer questions that you regularly hear from your network of clients and colleagues.
Take small steps to get blogging
Getting in the blogging game is like being an athlete. Athletes pay attention to the small steps in front of them. They focus on the game immediately in front of them and don’t look to the tournament, series or cup (I’m thinking Stanley Cup here). Your blogging game should be the same. Pay attention to the small steps immediately in front of you and complete those steps thoroughly and methodically. Then, before you know it, you will have navigated your way to successful blogging.
What makes you uncomfortable about blogging? Leave a comment and let’s talk.
Cross-posted at digital dialogues.