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Ready to outsource? How you can find the right people

Outsource by finding the right people.

Making the decision to outsource some of your business tasks is one thing. Finding someone you’d actually trust to do the work is quite another. If you’re looking for a full time employee you might be better off hiring someone to find suitable candidates. However, more and more businesses don’t want the hassle. It may even be that you only need someone for a couple of hours a week, or to work short term on a specific project. A freelancer with other clients is the ideal solution. But how do you find the right one?

Sole trader v Agency

Agencies or larger businesses are ideal if you’ve got a specific project or need help with a range of different things. There are agencies of all sizes, including some that are run by sole traders. The difference between an agency and one sole trader is that the agency will have built a team of people who can cover a range of different things and will manage them all for you.

Sole traders are great if you don’t need to outsource to lots of different people. For example, you might already have a designer who’s created your new website, but you need someone to write the copy. Managing two freelancers is relatively easy – it gets trickier if you need five or six different specialities.

Getting recommendations

When it comes to finding the right person, getting a recommendation from someone you trust is by far the best option.  You can get a personal recommendation based on their own experience so you can outsource with confidence. Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that their needs might not be exactly the same as yours and their approach to work may be completely different.

Networking events have been invaluable for me in finding people to work with. My main memberships focus on relationship building so I’ve got to know a range of people and discovered who I get on with. Then when I need a particular service I’ve often already got someone in mind.

Personality is key

Whilst access to specialist skills is one of the main benefits of working with a freelancer, you’ll still need to consider whether their personality fits with yours. This not only makes the working relationship easier, it will get you better results. No matter what work you’re planning to outsource, communication is the key to getting it done well.

I’ve met and worked with all kinds of different business owners, but they all have one thing in common. I’ve found it easy to build a rapport with them. When I’m choosing service providers for my own business the only difference between two equally qualified people has often been that I like one better than the other.

Selection

Of course, there’s more to it than personality. It’s important to be upfront about what your budget is when you’re talking to people. This enables them to tell you whether you need more funds, to adjust your expectations. They might also be able to recommend someone else. It’s a waste of everyone’s time if a freelancer takes the time to prepare a quote only for you to find it’s double what you can afford.

Also, think about whether their working style is a good fit. You may simply need someone who gives you regular updates or uses resources that allow you to check progress. If you’re looking for coaching I’d also recommend looking at their whole approach. Some coaches help you to become more personally effective, others look at your whole business and deliver strategic operations to achieve growth. Which kind do you need?

If you’re ready to outsource your copywriting, get in touch and let’s have a chat. If you’re looking for a DIY approach, visit my online shop for resources that will help or sign up to my mailing list for monthly hints and tips as well as a copy of my free guide ‘Stop hiding your business! 5 ways to be seen online’ as a thank you.

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Why you need to outsource your blog

Is this your idea of fun? Why you need to outsource your blog.
Is this your idea of fun?
Image from Pixabay

It’s one of the most common misconceptions about blogging. “Shouldn’t I be writing that myself?” Well, if you’re writing as an individual about your personal life, yes. Otherwise, for most people, no. There are a couple of reasons why writing your own business blog is a good idea (I’ll come to those) but a few others which mean it’s a better idea to outsource. Here goes…

When writing it yourself is a great idea

If you’re writing a personal blog, it should be, well, personal. That probably also applies to influencer type bloggers too. However, if you’re writing a blog for your business it’s not necessarily about you. You’ll be talking about your business but focusing on what your customer needs or wants. However, when you first start out you’ll spend some time finding your way. There’ll be trial and error while you work out what people like and how you want to sound. You might even be working out where blogging fits in your marketing. If this describes you, keep writing. (If you’re struggling to get going because you need ideas, this book is for you.) If you eventually hand your blog over to a writer it’s much better for everyone if you have a clear style that your writer can adopt.

Help with talking to your customers

There will always be trial and error when it comes to blogging, but what if you’ve been trying for ages and getting mostly error? You know exactly what you want to say but it just doesn’t come out right. When you outsource and a writer can take random ideas from your head and turn them into sentences that sound like you (this is where ghost writing gets a bit spooky). The other benefit is that a writer or marketing expert isn’t part of your business. You might see something as boring and routine when it’s exactly what your customer needs to hear about. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking you to explain what’s in it for your customer or helping you to spot the things they don’t understand.

What’s your time worth?

Blogs are slippery little beasts because you never know who is watching. I’ve had new customers tell me that they love my blog but they’ve never visibly engaged with it. I’m telling you this because I know how disheartening it is to slave over a blog and get tumbleweed. It’s even worse if you’ve spent time on it that you could have spent having fun or doing something more productive. The truth is, if your analytics tell you that people are reading, it’s probably working. It builds your profile and it’s hard to put a figure on that. I pay a cleaner because I don’t want to spend my day off cleaning. If you resent the time you’re spending writing get it off your plate and go and play with your kids instead.

How much do you love writing?

If the days, hours or minutes you spend writing content for your business are an absolute joy, keep going. The more you do it, the better you get. If the time came when writing was competing with other things that are important to you, you might have to decide to let it go. If, on the other hand, you sit down to write with a sigh because you hate it, then stop. I know you might have to get some income into your business before you can do that, but you could make it something to aim for. Goals don’t just have to be about income. It could be ‘I want to earn enough to outsource my blog/pay someone to do my filing/ [insert your least favourite task here]’.

Are you ready to outsource your blog? Drop me an email and let’s have a chat (and if you just want to ask me how much it would cost so you can put a figure on your goal, that’s fine too).

50 blog post ideas for your business (if you're not ready to outsource)
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Are we really pivoting?

Are we pivoting? White arrow on purple background.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I know, I know, I’m sorry – I’m sorry if you’ve heard the word ‘pivot’ far too many times in the last couple of months. I’m definitely tired of it (along with ‘unprecedented’) but if I’m going to face the thing I have to use the word. So. Are you pivoting? I keep getting it mixed up with pirouetting. That may actually be a better choice. If you feel as if you haven’t stopped spinning you’re not alone.

Pivoting has become a key term because a lot of us have had to consider it. Whole industries have come to a standstill overnight. Some are eligible for Government support but others aren’t. We’ve all got bills to pay and mouths to feed. I started pondering the actions I’ve taken since lockdown and what I’ve seen other businesses do. What’s been happening for you?

Are we pivoting or just readjusting?

To a word geek like me, pivoting means turning in a completely new direction. This has clearly been necessary for a lot of people. I’ve seen friends whose work has disappeared overnight apply for all kinds of jobs. Delivery drivers and grocery shop workers are in higher demand than ever before.

For the rest of us, it’s possible that we’ve just changed the way we do things. Your business might be able to continue online rather than in person. I’ve done online networking and a friend’s yoga class is now taking place over Zoom. My eight year old’s guitar lesson and football sessions have gone virtual as well. Virtual football coaching with a kid hurtling around the garden is quite an experience! The great thing is, we’re able to continue even if some bits have changed.

Getting creative

For some of us, adapting has meant getting creative. Pubs have started offering takeaways – I’ve even had a socially distanced gin delivery! My personal favourite was the lady who is painting rainbows on people’s windows. She’d normally be creating beautiful hand painted signs and chalkboards for shops and events, now she’s cheering people up at home.

My business has always been online, so it’s mostly business as usual. (Apart from the fact that I’m currently home schooling two under 10s.) The trouble is, some of the businesses I work with are struggling. It’s made me look at creating new products that will help without breaking the bank. What’s more, they’ll still be there when we go back to whatever the new normal turns out to be.

Is this a pivot?

Even though I’m creating new things and have adjusted my working week to fit around the kids, I’m not actually pivoting. I’m doing the same thing I was doing before, writing words and trying to help other business owners. All the same, things have changed. It’s not that long ago that I swore blind I was never going to create any kind of digital product. It all seemed like far too much work. Creating something I could sell wasn’t too much of a stretch. I just had to get over my horror of generic content by creating something semi-generic.

The real challenge was the techy bit. How on earth was I going to set up an online shop that would actually take money without me being involved? Well, I’ve done it. Turns out that the people who make shop software want small businesses to be able to use it so they make it easy. I know, who would have thought it?

Are you pivoting or just adjusting? Whatever your experience I’d love to hear about it so please share in the comments.

Further reading

This is my third dispatch from the realms of self-isolation. Here’s the first. And the second.

Also, if you’re in the Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire area and would like your windows painted with rainbows here’s the lady to talk to.

If you’re looking for a shot in the arm for your business marketing, sign up to my email list for blogging and content tips straight to your inbox. You’ll also receive a free copy of my guide ‘Stop hiding your business’ as a thank you.



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Content marketing: what are you posting?

Content marketing

Content marketing can get overwhelming at the best of times. Even when you’ve got a clear idea of who your customer is and what kind of content they’ll like, there are still lots of decisions to be made. Your marketing could be a full time job, but you haven’t got time for that (even I haven’t). I’m a big believer in repurposing the content you’ve already created. It’s a bit like recycling except it won’t have any significant impact on climate change. Here’s how I approach getting as much use out of my content as I can.

Write a blog

Writing a blog can seem like a massive effort, particularly when you’re struggling with it. If you’ve ever sat down and tried to write a blog only to end up with something you’re not happy with, you’re not alone. However, it is worth persevering. (Or getting someone like me to write one for you.)

A blog is a big, chunky piece of content in comparison to virtually anything else you’ll create. You can take the topics you’ve chosen and use them to inspire other posts. You can even lift phrases straight out of your blog and use them on social media.

Sharing tips

One of the best things you can do in your blog is to share tips and advice with your audience. These will vary depending on what you’re talking about. For example, I write about reasons why you might want to blog and what the benefits are. I’ll also talk about ways to get started or come up with topics.

If you’ve written a blog with multiple tips, separate them and create images with one tip on each. You can share these on multiple platforms so they go further. You can also create videos – and no, you don’t have to be in them if you don’t want to! Facebook lives tend to get better reach than other types of video so I’d recommend doing some if you can. However, you don’t have to go face to face with the camera. You could just show your hands demonstrating a tip or use computer screen capture. I also create tip videos using images with overlaid text.

Motivational content

Unless you’re in the habit of writing motivational quotes or meme-worthy copy in your blog, this one will involve going off on a bit of a tangent. Take your blog topic and use it to search for related quotes. You don’t necessarily have to stick exactly to the topic if you find something that will resonate with your audience. For instance, I wrote a blog about finding time to blog and one of the quotes I found was this:

Not directly relevant to the topic, but certainly something that would get lots of us nodding our heads. You can use the same approach with memes, particularly if you search on Pinterest. I post a fair bit of stuff that isn’t directly related to writing but which I know my audience will enjoy. However, I often find this type of content when I’m just doing my own social media scrolling so don’t worry if the repurposing/search approach doesn’t work well for you here.

There’s also a different kind of motivation you can offer. Helping your audience to gain expertise (or realise that they know more than they thought) is really worthwhile. You can do this by sharing useful resources or by asking questions about their experiences. This helps them to share their knowledge and also helps you get to know them better.

Further resources

If you’d like some hints and tips on writing your blog, start here.

My favourite video capture tools:

Screencast-o-matic for screen capture videos.

Ripl to animate your images with overlaid text.

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Is your blog too serious?

Is your blog too serious?
Does your blog need to smile more?

When you first write a blog for your business it can be hard to get the tone right. Too serious and your potential customers will stop reading (unless it’s so dry you’ve actually caused them to nod off mid-sentence). On the other hand, if it’s completely off the wall you run the risk of looking unprofessional. So what do you do? Here are a few ideas from me.

What’s your personality?

I feel as if most of the blogs I’ve written start with knowing your customer. While this is still true, when you’re writing a blog you need to show your personality. The subjects that you talk about need to be ones that are important to your customers. That way you share your expertise and show them that you can help. But what if there are hundreds of other businesses sharing the same sort of content?

If you offer a service that needs to be delivered in person you’ll be competing with other businesses in your area. Go online and the pool is even bigger. Skills, experience and price are important but your customers will often choose to work with you because they like you. You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not. I know two fantastic marketing experts. One is in your face and bold, the other is calm and quiet. They both get results and their clients love them. You can do the same.

How do you talk to your customers?

If you’re wondering how you get your personality into your blog while still sounding professional, the answer is pretty simple. Think about how you talk to your clients face to face. When it comes to marketing, consistency is key. You build trust by sharing your knowledge and showing your customers how it helps them, but that’s not all. When you write a blog you’re giving them insight into your personality and what you stand for. If the way you come across is at odds with how you are in real life, the trust will be lost.

In practice, this means developing an awareness of the way you naturally speak to your customers. It’s also worth thinking about how you present yourself in other ways. If you’ve blogged about your green business credentials it’s not going to go over too well if your client arrives at your office to find you dressed head to toe in endangered animal skin. OK, I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea.

Blog in your voice

Most of us shift quite naturally between the tone of voice we use with business contacts and the way we speak to our friends. You might not even notice the shift. If you’ve found yourself wondering how you actually sound, start with your emails. They’ll give you a flavour of the way you communicate in writing in a business context. I often suggest recording yourself talking about your business when you’re trying to blog. This can be problematic as voice to text generally needs quite a bit of editing. Plus, if you’re talking to clients they might not want you to record them.

The best emails to look at are ones that you’ve written to people you’ve worked with for a while as you’ve already built a rapport. The way you write to them is likely to be on the informal end of the spectrum, while still being professional. When you write your blog in the same style you’ll give potential customers an insight into the kind of relationship you could ultimately develop.

If you’d like to start writing blogs that sound like you, I can help. Email me at info@kirstyfrancewrites.co.uk to find out how you can outsource your blog writing or get training that helps you to write your own.

Otherwise, sign up to my mailing list for monthly hints and tips on blogging and lots of other useful marketing stuff.

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How you can create a successful small business blog

Successful small business blog

It’s one thing to know that you want to create a blog as part of your marketing strategy. It’s quite another to actually do it. Maybe you’re feeling a bit daunted at the thought of starting a blog or have created one that’s fizzled out. If you’re reading this wondering why you’d want to blog for your small business, read this. On the other hand, if you want to blog but don’t know how to make a success of it, read on.

Be consistent

A blog that starts then stops again won’t do your business any favours. A regular blog tells Google that the information on your site is more likely to be relevant so you’ll rank higher in searches. Also, if a potential new customer lands on your website to find one blog post written over a year ago they might think you’ve stopped trading. It doesn’t really matter how often you blog as long as it’s consistent – once a month is fine for most businesses. The important thing is that you keep it up.

Think about your blog keywords

Keyword research is one of those terms that has a lot of small business owners running for the hills. You can get really technical about it if you want to (or you could get an SEO expert to do it if you have the resources). When you’re first starting out the main thing to focus on is how people will find you in an online search. That could be something as simple as what you do and/or where you do it. For example “Manchester florist” or “Leicestershire hairdresser”. If you’re not location specific you can focus on your services instead.

Talk to your customers

If your blog talks about things that your current customers care about it will also attract new ones looking for the same things. The most important thing about any business blog is that it talks to the right people. If you work with industry experts they’re not going to read a beginners’ guide so you can deal with more complex issues. Maybe keep them up to date with industry news in a digestible format. Alternatively, if your customers regularly ask you the same questions, write blog posts that answer them. That way when someone is searching for the answer online they’re more likely to find you.

Choose great images

This isn’t just to make your blog look pretty (although it helps). It takes a while for any new blog to start ranking in search engines, especially if you’re competing with bigger businesses. Sharing your blog on social media helps you to send people to your newest posts. A great image means that your potential readers are more likely to stop scrolling and read your posts. I’d also recommend creating a quick video or doing a Facebook Live to trail your blog post too – even if people don’t read it the video will give them the general gist.

Invite guests

I’ve just started getting organised with guest blogging and inviting people to contribute to my site. Inviting guests to write a blog for you is a great way to extend your reach. You both share it on your social media channels which means you reach each other’s audiences. It’s also a way of bringing your audience new specialist knowledge that will benefit them. My first guest blogger is a social media specialist whose knowledge is more in depth than mine. I’ve also written about blogging for a graphic designer. Exchanging guest blogs mean that you start to build links between websites, which is great for – you guessed it – SEO.

Further information

My guest blogs about blogging for Hollie Ellis design are here and here.

Or read about outsourcing social media with Anita Popat here.

If you’d like to know more about how blogging can fit into your marketing, sign up to my mailing list for lots of hints and tips. Alternatively, if you’d just prefer to hand your blog over for someone else to do, email me at info@kirstyfrancewrites.co.uk and we can have a chat.

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When not to blog for your business

When not to blog
Don’t give yourself a blogging headache

I know, I know. I’ve been urging you on to write a blog for your business since the last decade (feels weird to be able to say that) and now I’m telling you not to?! Well, no. Mostly, a blog is still a really good idea for most businesses. If you need a quick primer on why that is, here you go. Despite that, there are times when a blog just won’t be the right choice for you, either because of the industry you’re in or just because it’s the wrong time. If you’re thinking of writing a blog but any of the following apply to you, think again…

A blog won’t work for your industry

There aren’t many businesses that I would actively advise against blogging, but there are a few. If your business is scientific or sells something technical that’s on sale to the general public, a blog can be great. It helps you to demystify your product or service and make it more accessible. If, on the other hand, you only deal with other members of the scientific community a blog is pretty pointless. Blogs are chatty and conversational. If your audience is already very well informed and your articles need to set out technical data, a blog is just the wrong format.

It should (hopefully) go without saying that the same applies if your work is subject to a blanket NDA or national security level secrecy. If you want a blog to work you need to be able to share something about your background or life in general. If you can’t do that, a blog probably isn’t for you.

You don’t have time

Lack of time is one of the main reasons people tell me that they haven’t started a blog. It’s understandable. When your blog isn’t a core part of your business it’s one of those things that you can easily put to one side. While it’s great for marketing it doesn’t earn you anything on its own. Focusing on activities that generate income is far more important and I know you’ll have your own list of tasks that take priority over writing.

If you think you haven’t time to blog, this gives you some ideas for fitting it in. But what if you really haven’t got time? Either hand it over to someone like me or don’t do it. If you don’t have time to commit to writing and publishing a blog at least once a month, it will fizzle out before long. It won’t help your SEO and if potential customers come across it they might even think you’ve stopped trading.

It won’t be any good

This might sound a bit harsh. One of the advantages of writing a business blog is that anyone can write one. Of course, this also means that absolutely anyone can write one. For yours to work you need to put a bit of effort into making it good. Otherwise, it’s just going to disappear into the mass of boring, badly written blogs out there.  The good news is there is lots of advice and guidance out there to help you. (Including mine.) You just have to make time to
absorb it and put it into practice.

To put it bluntly, there’s no point writing a blog that no-one wants to read. If you’re already struggling for time, put the effort into creating something that your audience will find useful.

Do you need some help?

Sign up using the form below for monthly blogging tips (and lots of other useful stuff) straight to your inbox. Or, if you’d rather get some personalised help from me, whether that’s blog writing training or outsourcing, please get in touch.

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You can find the time to blog (honest!)

Time zone clocks

OK, I know that’s a sweeping generalisation. There will be plenty of you who really can’t find the time. If adding another thing into your week means giving up sleep or spending time with anyone you care about, don’t do it. Maybe you don’t even want to blog, and that’s fine. That’s what I’m here for. Writing a business blog isn’t right for every business. There’ll be more on that in a future post, but if you’re a small or micro business a blog is still a great marketing tool for most businesses.

The problem, in most cases, is that you think you need to find masses of time all at once. You will need to sit down in front of a screen at some point, but that’s the most time consuming bit. With the right approach everything else can be fitted in around your other daily tasks and will even make the writing part easier. Here’s how I break everything down.

Preparation

Nothing kills inspiration faster than sitting down in front of a blank screen and wondering what to write about. Having your topic ready to go before you start is a major time saver and you can think of ideas while you’re doing other things. You can write answers to your frequently asked questions, share insights on your services and learn about your customers’ struggles at networking events.

After that, create a quick outline plan by breaking the topic down into smaller sections and giving each one a subheading. I often do this when I’m making my lunch. Then when I start writing there’s a guide ready to go.

Writing

I can’t lie, this is the most time consuming bit, but there are ways to make it easier. When you make your plan, if any key phrases spring to mind, write them down. Make voice notes if you like. Recording yourself can also work really well if you find it easier to talk through your topic. Even just talking to yourself could help you to get the words flowing. 

Once you start writing, keep going. Your blog will be better if it sounds like you and that will come more easily if you aren’t constantly worrying about your grammar. That’s what the next stage is for…

Editing

The editing stage is every writer’s best friend. My mantra is ‘you can edit a bad page but you can’t edit a blank one.’ When you’ve written your post, leave it for at least a day then go back with fresh eyes. Run it through a spelling and grammar checker if you like (or visit Grammarly.com). Then, read to see if it makes sense. The best time for this is when you’re (relatively) relaxed. If you’re not already in the habit of taking proper meal breaks or stopping for an afternoon cuppa, this is the perfect excuse.

If you’re feeling brave give your blog to a friend and ask them if it makes sense.

Time for the finishing touches

The finishing touches on your blog are actually a series of tiny tasks that become much more straightforward when you break them down. Finding a good header image, on page SEO and sharing to social media can all be done separately when you have a few minutes. I put an appointment in the diary to find images for future posts, but do what works for you.

It can be a bit of a shift but when you stop viewing a blog post as one solid chunk of work and think of it as a series of smaller tasks, it makes it much easier to work out where you can fit it into your working week.

This is a lightning run through the things that go into a good blog post. If you’d like a bit more detail, sign up to my mailing list for monthly hints and tips on blog writing and all manner of other business marketing stuff. You’ll also receive a copy of my free guide ‘Stop hiding your business’ as a thank you from me.

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How you can write a blog stress free

Stress free blogging
The look on your face when blogging gets easier…

I’m going to hazard a wild guess that since you’ve clicked on a link about stress free blogging, you find blogging stressful. Is that a fair assumption? The source of your stress could be the idea of getting your blog started in the first place. It could also be that you’ve got started but are finding it tough to keep going. I get it. I’m fundamentally lazy and will only work hard at something if it’s absolutely necessary. For me, the only things that fall into that category are strategic planning, client work and keeping my accounts straight. Even writing for clients gets easier as I get to know them better. Writing my own blog is about as stress free as you can get.

The thing is, if something causes you stress you’re more likely to dump it sooner rather than later. (At least, I hope you are.) But blogging doesn’t need to be stressful. You might never love writing blogs as much as I do but there’s no reason why you can’t have some fun with it.

Remember who you’re talking to

Knowing who you want to reach with your blog makes it about a million times easier than going in without a clear idea. The reason I refer to it as ‘talking’ is because it is a bit like a conversation, if a very one sided one. Writing a blog when you know what your audience is interested in is like having a chat with someone you already know. Compare that to doing a talk to 500 people you’ve never met before = loads more stress.

If you can relax and imagine the kind of person you’re talking to, your stress level drops. You can write in a way that feels natural to you. 

Pick your topic

It’s a good idea to come up with a few potential topics before you plan to start writing. You can find some suggestions for ways to do that here. Then just mull it over for a bit. Which topic would benefit your customers? Is there something you particularly want to tell them about? Could you remove an obstacle that’s preventing someone from becoming a customer?

When you’ve chosen a topic, break it down. Take your time and put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What knowledge do they already have and what don’t they know? Break it down into smaller subsections. Doing it this way means you can tackle each section at your own pace, which means, you guessed it – less stress.

Get fired up

When it comes to actually writing, stop being logical and just write. Your blog is your chance to talk about something that really matters to you. Enthusiasm is infectious so get excited and let people know why they need to know about this stuff. You might be thinking that the results of writing from your gut might not be too professional. I won’t say it doesn’t matter, because it does. If you want people to trust you as a professional you can’t be completely chaotic. But professional, or even formal, does not mean dull. Churning out bland content will only get boring for you and the reader. You don’t get the results you want and wonder why you’re going through all this stress for nothing.

The key thing to remember is that you can always edit. Write your first draft without putting any restrictions on yourself, then read it back. If there’s anything that won’t work for your audience, you can change it and no-one else will ever know.

If you want to get started blogging put need a push in the right direction, you can sign up for my blogging challenge using the form below. Over 5 days I’ll take you through 5 simple tasks that will leave you with a stress free, finished blog by the end of the week.

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How you can get started blogging

Blogging for beginners

If you run a small business it’s likely you’ll have been
bombarded with marketing advice from various sources (including me). It would
be completely incredible if blogging hadn’t featured somewhere. Blogging isn’t
the only way to market your business but it’s a good one. There aren’t many
businesses that a marketing blog wouldn’t suit. (There are some, but that’s for
another post.) A blog helps you to build trust with your audience and offer
useful information that shows you know what you’re talking about. It’s also
recyclable – you can take one blog post and use it in lots of different ways.

If you think this all sounds great but you have no idea how
to get started, this post is for you.

Choose your blogging platform

Technically, you don’t have to have a website to blog. You
can write mini blogs on Instagram or Facebook or articles on LinkedIn. The risk
of doing it like this is that those social media platforms don’t belong to you
and could, in theory, be taken down. When you blog on a website you’re in control.
If visitors to your site spot something else interesting you still have their attention
but that won’t necessarily happen on social media.

There are loads of website providers to choose from. I’m on
WordPress as it’s easy to maintain and the self-hosted option means I have my
own website address rather than one with WordPress in it, so it looks more
professional. Choose something that works for you.

Choose your blog topic

There are loads of different ways to choose topics for your blog. There are a few ideas here. One of the simplest ways to start if you’ve already had some customers or enquiries is to write a blog answering a frequently asked question. This works on the principle that if prospective customers are asking you when they get in touch, they might be searching for the answer online as well.

Keep your topic quite specific so you’re not overloading
people with information. If I were to include every possible way of coming up
with topics in this post you’d be reading all week. Choose a few simple ways of
answering the question and break it down so you cover a little bit in each
paragraph. That helps you to keep things structured and to the point as well.

Start writing (or talking)

Blank pages can be completely terrifying. If you sit down
and find that your mind empties at the sight of a blinking cursor, there are a
couple of ways to deal with it. If you want to stick with the paper, type or
write your paragraph headings then jot down some notes about what you want to
cover. They don’t have to be perfect sentences, just enough to give you
something to work with.

Alternatively, record yourself. This takes practice, but
works if you find it easier to explain your subject when you talk to people.
Record what you say and get it transcribed, then you can edit the notes to turn
it into a blog.

The finishing touches

When you’ve got a blog post down on paper, read it back. You
might cringe but you can spot typos and it will also help you to see bits that
could work better. Getting feedback from someone you trust can also be really
helpful. I’m in a few Facebook marketing groups and they can be a good place to
share for support if the rules allow it. The main thing is to get it out there
as you only start improving once you do.

If you’d rather get a professional involved, I can help too.
I polish and edit blog posts and other stuff for all sorts of businesses. Of
course, if the whole thing is making your head hurt I can write them for you as
well.

Have you already written a blog? Share a link in the
comments if you have, I love to share!

Further reading

For more about putting the finishing touches to your blog posts, read this.

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