If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I write about using websites, social media, and email lists to grow your business.
However, an astute reader might point out that I don’t write much about blogging. Which, when you think about it, is pretty ridiculous. Clearly I believe that blogging is essential to growing my business, or I wouldn’t set aside time to write a post each week.
So what gives? Why don’t I write more about blogging?
Blogging is not about technical expertise
As we all know, the goal of writing a blog for your business is to let your tribe get to know you and your expertise. The more they know and like you, the more they talk about you, do business with you, and recommend you to their friends.
It all sounds great in theory, right?
The problem with blogging (and the reason I haven’t written much about it), is that the process of writing a post is not as technical as setting up a website or Facebook page. It’s not as cut-and-dry as adding an email sign-up form to your website, and it definitely involves a lot more work than figuring out what status update to post on Twitter.
Blogging is about telling a good story
I’m the first to admit that I don’t count “storytelling” as one of my top qualifications. I’ve always been better at papers than short stories, better at emails than I am at persuasive essays.
I’ll bet you’re the same way.
But be a good blogger, you have to be a good storyteller. So say all the experts, and surely the experts can’t be wrong.
Or can they?
How to write good blog posts when you suck at telling stories
Like most non-storytellers, the hardest thing about starting my blog was figuring out my “voice.” At first, I wrote several “professional” posts, which were full of great info, but didn’t have much personality. In my head, I knew that I needed to put more “me” into the posts, but I had no idea how to do that.
Then, I got an email from Anne Samoilov, responding to a comment I’d written on her blog post about adding personality to your blog posts. I can’t remember the email exactly, but it went something like this: “Hey Felicity, I like your blog posts, but I wish they sounded more like your emails, which are funny and interesting and so much more you.”
I would love to say that her unsolicited feedback vastly improved the interesting / entertaining factor of my blog overnight.
But it did point me in the right direction. The next time I sat down to write a blog post, I imagined that I was writing an email to a business friend. And you know what?
My blog has way more “me” in it now than it used to, and people tell me they enjoy reading it. Clearly, this “think like an email” idea is pure genius. 😉
How to use the “think like an email” concept
Everyone has their own writing process, but here’s what your “think like an email” blog writing process might look like:
- Get an awesome idea for a blog post
- Write down everything you can think of about that post. It can be in outline format, on a scrap piece of paper, or in an ideas doc on your computer.
- Take the ideas you jotted down in step 2 and imagine that you’re writing an email to a client about the topic of your post
- Let the blog post sit for 24 hours, then edit it for clarity, spelling, on-topicness, etc. Take out anything that sounds general or like something you would never actually say in a real-life conversation. Also look out for any terms / phrases / sentences that sound like a corporate drone wrote them instead of a live human being.
- Publish, get feedback, and make notes about the process that could be improved for next time.
That’s all there is to it. The very act of imagining that you’re writing an email to another live human being will go a long way towards producing good quality blog posts that entertain your readers, even if you’re not the world’s best storyteller.
Do you have a special trick or visualization you use when writing your blog posts? If yes, share it in the comments below! Writing is one of those things where one person’s trick may be just what you need to look at your blog in a whole new way, and vice versa!
[hana-code-insert name=’Felicity Fields Author Bio’ /]