“Ah Grasshopper, when you can snatch the pebble from my hand it will be time for you to leave.” Okay, I’m an old Kung Fu fan but the master’s comment still holds true. When you learn to master a few basic secrets, it will be time for your business to soar.
So, Grasshopper, are you ready to get started? Secret Number 1 – You must learn to blog. Now before you get that dear in the headlights look, hang on. Like any good master, I’m going to impart the knowledge you need to master this needed skill.
I can almost always predict the reaction when I tell clients they need to start a blog. Their shoulders sag, they expel a huge sigh and look like they just got punched in the stomach. The hardest thing for most business owners is writing about their business. We can talk about our businesses in person, but when it comes to putting it down on paper, that’s a different story. Maybe it’s insecurity in our writing style, maybe it’s the time it takes to peck it out on the keyboard. But fear not. Help is here.
Let’s address the easiest one first – slow typing skills. Even though I’m pretty proficient on the keyboard, my best writing is done as I speak. So I bought Dragon Speak software and with my headset microphone, I talk, it types. It takes a little training but the more you use it the better it gets. It was the best $40 I’ve spent.
With that excuse down, let’s tackle writing insecurity. The beauty of a blog is your high school English teacher isn’t going to be grading it. If you can “fool” most of the people most of the time verbally, you’re in luck. A blog should be in your voice. Let your personality show through. People do business with people they know, like and trust. If your blog reflects who you are, your readers will get to “know” you. Besides, if your blog is a boring lecture, your readers will only come back when they have incurable insomnia.
Now for the serious decisions. What direction do you take your blog? Do you go serious or humorous? Witty and sarcastic or reassuring and calming? Or maybe controversial? A couple of notes on controversial. If you choose to go down the controversy road, be prepared for responses. A controversial post will frequently generate lots of comments. While that is exactly what you want, engagement from your readers, you also need to be thick-skinned enough to handle it. You will also want to respond to every comment. Just don’t be argumentative. Acknowledge the commentor’s points and either defend your position, recant it or just thank them and let it go.
One last hidden secret Grasshopper. What do you talk about? Do you read newsletters, trade journals or other publications about what’s happening in your industry? (If you answer “No” we need to go back to Grasshopper kindergarten. You’re probably way behind the times and your competitors are more than likely taking your lunch money!!)
The information you read is loaded with trends, techniques or knowledge your customers would find valuable. All you need to do is take that information, put your spin on it and there’s your blog post. Sight the article source and wrap your take around it. “Just read this article about the new 2011 widgets. Their going to make your life so much easier because…” Or the article may trigger something you want to let your customers or clients know. Don’t hesitate to dip into this limitless well of information.
So now you’re ready to start practicing. Remember Cain was in the Shaolin Temple many years before he could grab the pebble. But feel free to test your skills when you feel ready.
Need help with how to write your content? Creating a Buzz with Word Of Mouth Advertising is a 64 page ebook loaded with ideas, tips and techniques.