The most irritating myth about writing is the one that trills, “anyone can be a writer!”
I’ll say this here and now: they can’t.
(I find it strange that writing is singled out so often as something anyone can do. We hardly ever hear things like “anyone can be an accountant!”, or “anyone can be a designer!”, do we?)
But the main problem with saying anyone can do a particular thing, is that if you genuinely can’t, or you just don’t want to do that thing, it’s easy to feel like a failure.
So if you’re reading this because other people keep telling you how much you need to write a blog, relax. You don’t have to. You might have one of those brains that’s wired for numbers or images, instead of words. If you’re really lucky, you could have a brain like Cliff Richard’s (wired for sound).
If that’s the case, go forth and use those gifts instead. The world will thank you for that, much more than it would a half-hearted blog you’re not bothered about.
If you do want to write a blog, it can be difficult to know where to begin. In my experience, most people tend to worry about three things:
- their ideas drying up,
- not having enough time, and
- lack of confidence about sharing their writing.
This is how I usually respond:
- ideas are everywhere,
- if you make time for something, it’s easier to do it, and
- the world isn’t holding its breath in anticipation of your words.
Does that last point sound like an insult? It’s not meant to. After all, the world doesn’t hold its breath in anticipation of anybody’s words (except perhaps JK Rowling’s).
Instead, it can feel strangely liberating, because if you know the world doesn’t care about your blog, you can feel far more confident about sharing it.
Start by choosing a subject to blog about
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But your blog is going to need some sense of direction – or in other words, it needs to have a point.
If you’re promoting a business with your blog, that point could be educating readers about what you do, and why you do it. Otherwise, you could write about a specific subject you enjoy (like Perez Hilton famously does about Hollywood gossip, for example).
You could then make the first post you write an introduction to your subject, as well as laying down some guidelines about what readers can expect, such as telling them you’ll be posting something new once a week/month/quarter.
Really care about that subject
If you don’t care about your chosen subject, don’t blog about it. Your lack of interest will filter into your writing, ready to be picked up on by readers.
Caring about your subject means you’ll be much more likely to set aside some time to write about it, and your words are much more likely to sing with personal enthusiasm (which can be seriously addictive to read). You’ll also find it easier to come up with ideas.
On that note…
Carry a notebook
When I said “ideas are everywhere”, I wasn’t lying. Once you start blogging regularly, they’ll start worming their way into your mind as if by magic.
(Stephen King talks about this process in his book, ‘On Writing’. If he’s struggling with something wordy, he stops thinking about it for a while and leaves it to the “boys in the basement” – otherwise known as his subconscious mind – to sort it out for him. It works).
The only problem is that you can’t choose when those ideas will make themselves known. So you’ll have to come up with a method for capturing them. I use a notebook, but you could use the Notepad app on your phone if you prefer, or record a voice memo.
All that matters is getting those ideas down straight away. Because if you don’t, they’ll behave like dreams, disappearing into the ether without a moment’s notice.
When I visit a new website, I always click on the ‘Blog’ section (I can’t believe I’m the only one who does that). Often, a blog is the best online indicator of a company’s style and personality – and those are the things I want to know more about.
It’s disappointing when there’s nothing to show, or the last post was written years ago. That’s a fabulous engagement opportunity, utterly missed.
You don’t have to post new blog content every week. But once you’ve found your rhythm, be it fortnightly, monthly, or even quarterly, stick with it. Consistency is key to getting noticed.
What to do next?
If you’re raring to go, here are two ways in which I can help get your new blogging habit started:
- Join my Business Blogging Club – an about-to-launch six-week, small-group course (hosted online via Zoom) that will help you blast any blogging reticence into oblivion.
- One-to-one or small group blog coaching – with sessions tailored to your exact needs (so if you’re lacking in confidence, we’ll work on that. If you’re worried about ideas, we’ll come up with A LOT).
Interested? Send a message or book a call with me, and I’ll tell you more about either or both options.
Or…simply get on with what you do best, and let me write your blog posts for you instead (insert shiny-toothed grin here).
I'm a friendly and professional writer, reviewer and editor who works with warmth, humour and flexibility.
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