Blogging 101

A horseback rider

I hear this all the time about blogging, “I know I should probably write a blog, but I don’t know where to start.”

If you are an entrepreneur or run a business based on a service, this is such a great thing to do to build web content, SEO value and establish your credibility in your field. If you haven’t done it before it can feel intimidating, but luckily it is something you can learn to do with a little practice.

1. Topics. Make a list of all the questions you get asked as part of your job. Your FAQ list, as it were. Then just pick a question and write the answer.  Then tackle the next one. It’s that simple. Before long, you’ve established a pattern, your professional voice and your authority on the matter.

2. It does not have to be a bestseller. Don’t belabor it, just get it out there. Overthinking and over editing is the killer of art. Get it all down on the screen before you start editing.

3. Grammar questions. If 8th Grade English class with Mrs. Jones was a while ago, I recommend keeping a PDF of the AP Style Guide on your desktop to check those pesky questions such as when to use a semi-colon, and if it’s high-performance or high performance. If you are rusty, get someone you trust to proofread things before you hit go. I love to over comma (Is that a thing? I’ve just invented it.).

4. Use a graphic. You already know that using interesting, compelling photos or graphics draws more clicks and readers. Just don’t use p0rn.

5. Be funny. Unless you aren’t, then don’t.

6. Creative process is important. Find a time during the week where you notice it’s easier to pull your thoughts together. I like Sunday mornings, as the house still asleep and I have a good hour to drink coffee and brain dump. My filter is low and I do less self-editing, which results in something more interesting. There is no cut and dried process (See my old archery blog on Muses) for this stuff.

7. Be yourself. This takes some getting used to. My own voice took a while to develop, but it did come over time.  You are the expert here, so trust that you know what you are talking about.  In a previous life, I worked for a self-styled editor that told me that I didn’t know how to write. After some practice and feedback (from someone else), I realized that I actually did know how, and furthermore, didn’t suck as much at that person let on.

8. If you’ve followed all of the above and are still struggling, get a ghostwriter. Or call me and I will hook you up with someone.

(Edited – After posting this, I found three edits and my link was broken. I like to hit Go, too)