Most people think that blogging is easy. If you're talking about pre-Web 2.0, circa 2003 blogs, where people just let their thoughts flow and treat their blog as a personal online diary, that could be true. You might consider blogging to be easy, especially if you have a flair for words.
However, things are different today. If you sit down and start to write, you'll quickly realize that writing business blog posts is more challenging than it seems. Here are some typical challenges beginners have and how they can remedy these issues.
Struggle #1: Coming Up with Ideas
The primary struggle of most new bloggers is that they run out of ideas—or at least, they think they have. One reason why this happens is that they write for themselves. If you blog—whether for your business or as an employee—you probably re-read your posts after you hit publish. But you have to realize that you're not the only reader of these posts. Anyone who visits your website could read your business blog as well, and you should be writing for them and not yourself.
Another reason you could feel like you have nothing to say is because you don't have a system for blog post ideas. Sometimes, ideas come to you randomly—you could be on a run or washing dishes and get inspiration for a post. It can be exciting when these things happen, but relying on flashes like these won't make for consistency. When you aren't inspired, you could feel like you don't have ideas anymore.
Solution: Always Have Company Goals in Mind
If you are writing for a brand, you want the audience to associate certain things with it. For example, suppose you write for a software company. In that case, you might want people to see your brand logo or name and think 'reliability,' or 'ingenuity.' Consequently, you could focusing on posts that showcase these traits.
Another reason why you want to write is to solve your audience's problems. All of your blog posts should help solve your audience's concerns—better if you can present your product as the ultimate solution to the reader's challenges. Ironically, when we put constraints on our writing, we often find ourselves producing more creative work. So always have your company goals in mind when writing, and you'll find that you have a much easier time generating topics for future posts.
Struggle #2: Knowing the Audience
Blogs that generate traffic, produce leads, close sales, and carve out a name for themselves have one thing in common: they are relevant. They resonate with people—sometimes from various demographics—and compel them to act. Besides generating ideas, one of the biggest challenges for new content writers is knowing the audience. Arguably, it is also one reason why someone might experience the first struggle. If you don't get to know your audience, you won't have anything to write.
Solution: Write to Your Buyer Persona
All businesses have at least one buyer persona, a comprehensive profile of the person representing their audience. It makes sense to adapt your marketing team's buyer persona as your blog's audience if you write for a business. By having a persona, you create parameters for your writing. You immediately know which posts will matter, what topics they care about, which helps you create better content.
Struggle #3: Sounding More Approachable
When you write a blog post, you have to use a different voice than your academic or literary one. Many content writers start with these two before moving to business writing. They end up writing dense posts that could be a little more approachable. However, most people online don't read the way academicians do. If you want them to keep reading, you have to learn how to write more persuasively. You need to master how to write relatable content.
Solution: Be More Conversational
The more approachable your writing, the more people will want to read it. Consumers want to feel like they're interacting (and transacting) with people, not robots, and content is a crucial part of that. If you write jargon-heavy and formal posts, you could alienate your customers. Real people use contractions and poke fun at things. When you write conversationally, people are less likely to click away after the first two sentences.
Struggle #4: Sounding Like an Amateur
There's a difference between sounding like a person and like an amateur. You can be conversational and still keep a degree of professionalism in your work. A dead giveaway that someone is an amateur is if their work has spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Another is if they don't use concrete examples and case studies in their work. When either of these happens, you sound like you don't know what you are writing about, which could hurt your brand's reputation.
Solution: Always Edit and Proofread
Even the most skilled writers need to edit their writing. Often, first drafts aren't outstanding. They have inconsistencies intense or thought, run-on sentences, incorrect word use, spelling errors, and much more. Before you hit publish, check if everything reads the way it should. You can run your story through online tools like Hemingway or Grammarly or have another writer look at it. Meanwhile, you can avoid writing "fluff" into your articles by incorporating as much real-world experience in it as possible. Draw from what you learn as a marketer to help others navigate creating a digital presence for their brands.
Struggle #5: Letting Go and Publishing
Blog posts will never be perfect. Not even the best writers in the world are capable of writing perfect stories. If you read feedback on famous writers, you'll always find naysayers or highly critical folk. This reality—that you cannot please everyone—is a struggle common among new writers.
They think that it's better to keep polishing an article—swapping words around, choosing better images, rewriting introductions and conclusions—until it's just right. Doing this will only cause you to waste time.
Solution: Go For It! Update Later
Done is better than perfect—you can always edit and update stories later. Although you don't want to post an article chock-full of errors, you don't want to keep it in your drafts for fear of publishing something you'll regret. When you've done all that you can, hit publish. Remember, your goal is to help people decide that your business will solve their problems. You cannot do that if you don't publish your posts!
Some struggles are common to new bloggers, like finding ideas or getting over their fear of making mistakes. If you are writing a business blog, always remember that you're there to help a company find customers. When you put your audience first, it becomes easy to decide what you should do.
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