It’s approaching Friday; I need to write an article for the Green Umbrella blog.
Cue that sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach.
Yep – palms are sweaty and my heart’s racing.
I am going to have to actually write something.
I am going to have to practice what I preach….from a blogging perspective.
So now I’m asking myself the question that my clients ask me…
“What on earth do I write about?”
I’m struggling to decide on a topic. My daughter once suggested I write about cheese. Apparently “everyone likes cheese, so that’s a good topic” – Her words, not mine!
Time to get a grip. If I was now sitting with one of my digital marketing coaching clients who was spinning this story about not knowing what to write – what would I advise?
- Think about what resonates with your target market. What do they want to read about?
- What is a no-brainer to you right now, that in your early days you wish someone had told you?
- What’s the one topic EVERYONE is talking about in your sector right now? Can you add value to it with your opinion? Can you direct people to the best sources of information and help them to avoid the noise on the subject?
- Really listen to your clients – what are they talking about when you see or speak to them? Is there a question that keeps popping up in conversation?
- What are you passionate about? Write about that!
Now I have an idea…
My clients want to know the real me. I can make myself more human and more approachable by sharing my experiences – so I’m writing about the experience of writing!
I love my job – dearly. If you’re struggling with what to post on your Facebook page, I can help you brainstorm. If you don’t know where to begin when writing your LinkedIn summary – I’m your girl! If you’ve got an idea, I can help you develop it, shape it, get excited about it and produce a full-blown blog/social media/email marketing campaign. However, the actual writing? Yeah, that’s not me and I usually run away from it. (I even managed to marry a writer – yep I’ll do ANYTHING to avoid it!) Writing doesn’t come naturally to me, and that is the same for many of my clients.
So what’s step one?
Picking a subject of course. When it comes to blogging and to keep Google at its happiest, we need to mix up our blogs. The content can’t all be Green Umbrella Marketing does this, and Green Umbrella Marketing does that. We need to produce some non-salesy (professional term there folks) content – also known as unbranded content. You can do some research, check out your thought leaders and spy on the competitors to see what needs writing about. (Or what controversial subjects to avoid perhaps!) But once you’ve settled on a topic – go for it. Don’t think – just start writing.
For me, it’s a no-brainer to make use of the following tools and resources – I wish I’d discovered them sooner! This little list includes my personal top three tools that help me come up with what to write when I’m stuck for ideas, what titles to use to make sure I get your attention and also keep me in check once I’ve written my article!
- Quora – This helps me identify what questions there are that need answering for my target market?
- Headlinr – Using this helps me come up with better titles for my articles
- Grammarly – Have I spelt everything correctly? Are my apostrophes in the right place? I use Grammarly to make sure I’m not damaging my personal brand (or that of the business) with poor grammar and embarrassing typos!
If you want advice on how to create a blog, what a blog is or isn’t, what should be included, etc. – there is loads out there. When it comes to advice on how to approach putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard in most cases), the advice remains technical. Not very helpful if like me, writing creatively is outside of your comfort zone. My honest advice is keep writing. Aim for a page of A4. Re-write if required, don’t overthink it and keep it authentic. I’m writing this with my voice. Even thinking way back to my very first blog, it was like that too. I’ve written hundreds of blogs now but I do remember hitting the delete button on one or two, (horrendous doesn’t even begin to cover it) but stick at it!
The more you do it…
Ultimately, it’s your call whether another living soul sees it or not. But the more you try it – the better you’ll write. Some of our clients write an article, then send that to their Green Umbrella Blog writer for a rewrite. That way when the article goes public – they are confident about it. Have someone read your work and give you an opinion – but make sure it’s someone who will tell you that your grammar is atrocious or “I’m really sorry Mr Client, but I simply can’t let you publish that. These are the reasons why…”
Back at point 5, I suggested writing about what we’re passionate about. I’m passionate about my clients doing things for themselves! So write away guys, and get someone else to read it and feedback to you honestly. Get your voice out there and I will continue to do the same.