Today's guest blog comes from the wonderful Kerry Brind of Write to Win Business
"Blogging can often seem like a monumental, time-sucking, confidence killing content marketing strategy.
I mean, it takes so long to write a blog post… doesn’t it?
And if I start a blog, then I have to post on it two or three times a week… don’t I?
And besides, writing a blog won’t make my business any money… will it?
I hear these objections to blogging all the time and if I’m honest, it’s not really surprising. Because along with all the amazing business blogging advice out there. There’s also some pretty shoddy advice being thrown about by so-called ‘blogging experts’. Urgh.
‘Experts’ who take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to blogging (despite the fact that your business is unique).
‘Experts’ who are giving advice based on the only blog they’ve ever developed… their own.
No wonder, blogging comes in for a bit of a bashing every now and then.
But the truth is, blogging doesn’t have a to be a massive time suck; it doesn’t have to be something you do just because you think you ‘should’.
Blogging can and should be something you enjoy. And done right blogging should bring real benefits to your business.
I’d like to bust open the three biggest blogging myths that are doing the rounds right now so that you can overcome them to get blogging and make money!
MYTH 1: I don’t have time to run a blog
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to blogging. Lots of so-called ‘blogging experts’ will tell you that for your blog to be successful you have to post 2-3 times a week, minimum.
This isn’t true.
Sure, if you’re aiming to make the majority of your income via ads then page views are important. But if you’re writing a blog to boost your business and promote your products and services, then don’t tie yourself in knots over creating endless articles. Blog at a pace that YOU feel comfortable with.
It’s much better to put out one brilliant post a week, a fortnight or even a month, than it is to post a rushed load of drivel every other day. Quality content is much more important than quantity.
The key to finding time to blog – as with most tasks – is to plan ahead. Decide how often you want to blog and create a content calendar, setting yourself deadlines for posting. Assign a set amount of time to blogging each week/fortnight/month and do your best to stick to it.
MYTH 2: A blog doesn’t make you any money.
Your blog is not a direct sales tool, it’s a place to start a conversation.
But used right it can:
* Supercharge your SEO, placing you higher in search engine results.
* Help you to grow your e-mail list, giving you a direct connection with your customers.
* Boost your industry authority, and brand visibility, building trust with potential clients.
* Establish a relationship with your readers, making them more likely to buy from you in the future.
Yes, you can use your blog to announce new services, and promote products but it MUST be done in balance. Most people just aren’t interested in hearing your sales messages, in fact they probably aren’t that interested in your business… harsh but true.
But, they ARE interested in what your business can do for them.
So, when it comes to business blogging, stop thinking like a salesperson and start thinking like a mentor, an advisor, a tipster… a friend.
MYTH 3 – I hate writing /I can’t write a blog
Lean in… I’m going to tell you a secret…
You don’t have to be a great writer to write a great blog post.
Blogging isn’t about creativity, it’s not about prose and creating the perfect article. It’s about giving your readers mini tips, advice or solutions to their problems and like good writing, there are structures you can use to simplify the creative process. Here’s just one:
Create a Mind Map
Let’s say you are a nutritionist. In the middle of the page write down the (or a) key component of your business (e.g. eating well) and then around it, write down other stuff related to that subject (e.g. five a day, rainbow foods, smoothies, healthy recipes, counting calories) Spend 15-30 minutes or until you run out of subjects.
Ta-da! You’ve just started creating a content plan. The subject in the middle is your blog category and the smaller components around it are your post subjects.
And this works for every niche
Let’s say you are a PR Expert and your key component is: Press Coverage. Around it you might list subjects such as: Guest blogging, pitching the media, finding the right channels or writing a press release.
Let’s say you are a Beautician and your key component is: Flawless Skin. Around this you might list subjects as: exfoliation, facials, facial brushing, skin supplements, sun protection, skin boosting foods, make-up miracles, handbag essentials.
Remember you are an expert in your business and you are brimming with interesting and useful information that the average person on the street wouldn’t have the first clue about.
You started your business because you were passionate about helping people right? Passionate about solving problems, changing perceptions and creating abundance; well your blog is the perfect place for you to do this.
So forget about structure and grammar and syntax and just write; write about subjects that get you excited. Get those amazing ideas down on paper and worry about tidying them up later.