Hiyaaaaaa! I hope you guys are having another strong week on your brand journey, building that life you love. It takes time, and you have to create something that works for you, and your brand, across every touchpoint. One of those touchpoints is your blog, yep that’s right, this thing you’re reading right now. So it has to be on brand. And why is that I hear you ask? Because it’s an amazing way to showcase you, your opinion on your industry and most importantly, build a strong, personal connection with your ideal client. By doing that, you’ll attract more ideal clients every time you post. Now this is a pretty big topic, so I’m splitting it into two parts, with the follow up coming next week. (This is a great way to make your blogs go further by the way, especially if you’ve got a lot to talk about.)
Now a lot of people talk about the importance of blogging, and how impactful it can be, and do you know what, they’re right. In terms of both SEO, and defining your reputation as an expert in your field, they can do an amazing job for your brand. So let me help you break it down into with the process that works for me…
TIP #1 – HOW TO PICK A TOPIC
Now this is key when it comes to creating blogs. The topic needs to be on-point. For your brand, and for your ideal client. And that’s great, because you’re an expert in your industry. You know your niche, and your ideal client, inside and out. So you know what makes them tick, and you know what they need to know about – whether that’s trends, new ways of doing things or, and this is a big one, their pain points. What do they need help with the most? And what would they love to read? If you answer those questions I guarantee you’ll come up with interesting topics, that grab your ideal client’s attention.
Another great way to create a bank of topics for your blog is to open things up to your clients. Look through your FAQs, or the questions that you often get asked and use that information as the base for your posts. For example, as a wedding stationery designer, I was often asked how early before the wedding should you send out your save the dates? So I wrote a blog about it. Then I extended that blog with a follow up, discussing my recommended timings from save the dates right up to the day itself.
Finally, why not open things up on social media? Use Instagram Stories, or your next Facebook Live to host a Q&A. That will give you a whole host of ideas, direct from your audience. But not only that, it will give you the chance to promote your blog online, and drive people back there when the post goes live.
TIP #2 – BUILD THE STRUCTURE
When you have your topic, the next step is to build the foundations of the story you want to tell, the elements you want to feature and how you want to tell it. Just like building a brand, you need that base to work with. That will become the spine of your post, and you can check back to it throughout to make sure you’re staying on topic.
Personally, I like to do this by defining the section headers and then adding bullet points underneath, listing out everything I want to cover in each point. Why? Well, it helps me in two ways. Firstly, it helps me to work out exactly what I want to say. Secondly, it gives you something to refer back to as you write. I mean, we’ve all been there right? When you have that idea, or that thought, which just feels perfect, but you forget it. By planning and making those notes you’ll set yourself up so that when you get into the writing zone you’ll be 100% confident that you’ll cover everything.
TIP #3 – TELL THE STORY
So, you have your topic, and you have your structure, so now it’s all about telling the story. You need to flesh out those bullet points and add the detail which is really going to attract and engage your ideal client.
It sounds simple, but for a lot of people, me included, it’s one of the hardest parts. You need to get into the zone I mentioned above and that’s when you’ll find your flow. Before you know it, you’ll have smashed through those bullet points and have a strong draft to work with. Some people like to work in chunks, breaking the sections down into more manageable sections, but personally I always try to write it all in one go. Then I come back to finesse and fine-tune a bit later on.
The other thing to remember when bringing your bullet points to life is to always use your tone of voice. If you’re struggling, or wondering how to define your tone of voice, check out this blog right here… Not only will this keep you on brand, whenever you’re writing, but it will also help you craft and develop your voice. From sentence structure, to the words you use, the way you tell the story of each blog will take your storytelling to a new level, not to mention give you the confidence to write more.
TIP #4 – GET SOME FRESH PERSPECTIVE
It’s always important to hit pause and step away from any project, especially if it involves staring at a screen for any length of time. And that’s definitely the case here. Writing long form content can sometimes make you feel mentally drained, so you need to hit refresh every now and again. By the time you come back, you might have more ideas to add, or have a different way of communicating the message.
So hit pause, and then do whatever works for you. Listen to a podcast, go for a walk, a run or work on a different project. You will come back ready to go again, guaranteed.
TIP #5 – PROOF, PROOF, PROOF
After your break, come back and proof read what you have so far. In fact, proof read the hell out of it. I talk a lot about consistency and this is the way to achieve it when it comes to your blog. The last thing you want is a spelling mistake, or grammatical errors to put off your ideal clients.
So use your break away from the mass of words to recharge and then read through your post to make sure you haven’t missed anything. It adds time to the process, but it will be worth it, 150%.
Part one, done. As you’ve noticed this part is all about the more practical, physical process I use to actually write the blog. And in part two I’ll focus on the tricks you can use to elevate your blog and make it more engaging. That’s coming soon, so stay tuned and in the meantime, get thinking about or sourcing those topics. Keep a record, a notebook, or a document on your computer and build a bank of possible subjects. Then, when it comes to sitting down to write, you can crack on and not waste valuable time trying to think of something to talk about.