As a writer, I’m often asked “What should I blog about and how often should I blog?” This question is sometimes followed by the offhand comment “by the way, HOW do I blog?” The easy answer is that by asking these types of questions you are already well on the way to creating your blog. Yes, blogging can be as simple as this: answer the “5 W’s” and you’ve got yourself a blog. The “5 W’s” are: Who, What, Where, Why and How. Answer these and you can build a blog fairly quickly and easily. Throw in something seasonally related or currently in the news and voila, you have yourself a blog. (Answering why “how,” which doesn’t start with “w” is even considered a “w” word is one of life’s little mysteries and the topic of an entirely different blog!)
Who is your audience? Who are you trying to reach out to? You’ve chosen your business because of your particular expertise or because you know and love a product and want to offer it to the public. Blogging to reach that market should be easy – you knew whom your audience was before you even started your business so now you just need to write a message that is tailored to this target market. Blogging for a product that appeals to seniors should look significantly different from a blog tailored for youth. Choose words that are appropriate and geared to your audience.
The “What” to blog about is simple. What is the core of your business? If you’re a Dentist and it’s the summertime, talk about ice cream, popsicles and sugary treats and the possible detrimental effects that these summer treats could have on teeth. Real Estate agents might discuss why summer is the best time to sell a home and perhaps blog about how to stage homes in the summer. If your product or service is a little more esoteric (say, writing for example) you could blog about grammar and in a friendly manner take your clients to “summer school” providing tips and tools on sentence structure.
Where to blog? Should you blog on your website, your facebook page or try to publish a post on LinkedIn? Should you be using one of the many web based blogging platforms? In determining the answer that best suits your business you may want to defer to the opinion of a social media specialist in your area. There are advantages to each option and whether you are trying to drive traffic to your website or to your physical location will have an impact on which option you choose. Additionally, knowing your target market should also influence where you blog. If you’ve identified most of your customers are on facebook for example, clearly that is where you should be blogging.
Why should you blog? I might be a lone wolf on this one and certainly as a business that offers blogging services I am doing myself no favours but when it comes to blogging and the “why factor” I urge you to ensure you are blogging relevant content for a reason. You should blog because you have something of value to offer your customer. Blogging because someone said you should, or posting random content of no significance, will simply drive customers away. For most, the quick answer to “why blog” is to attract customers. That is the “why.” So ensure your content is relevant and will attract not repel.
Now for the “How.” Call a writer! Just kidding. Use the “5 W’s” as your guiding principle, make a series of bullet points under each heading, determine your overall theme and then start building sentences around these bullet points. As the movie “Field of Dreams” once told us, “If you build it, they will come.” In this case, the structure is your blog and if you build your foundation using the “5 W” bullet points, a fully realized blog will be the end result. The beautiful thing about blogging is that you can schedule your posts to occur at anytime but write them whenever and wherever you want – even sitting on the back deck, in the sunshine, while sipping a cool beverage! See what I did there? I just tied a seasonally related theme to a blog about blogging. Happy writing!
As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed? Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.
Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.
Writing Right For You
Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!