Blogging is a really good business activity – but ONLY if you like writing.
Only if you like writing will you have the perseverance to hang on in there and write the amount of stuff that will be needed to make your blog work. And only if you like writing will you enjoy the craft of making it flow, making it clear and making it enjoyable for people to read.
My (other) Blog
I have been blogging for over 10 years now. Not here – this blog is comparatively new. My other business blog is my Landlord Law Blog where I write about legal and other issues relating to the private rented sector – to support my Landlord Law business
It’s a terrific asset for my business now and brings in a huge amount of traffic (for a niche blog in England). It works because I blog consistently and am good at writing.
Getting good at writing
Getting good at writing takes a while. Enjoying reading helps, as it will give you more a feel for what good writing is. But you also need to shake off a lot of the things that you have been taught about writing.
Being clear and engaging is much more important than being grammatically correct. The grammar police won’t like that but it’s true. For example – to regularly split your infinitives may be good – if it sounds right and makes your point.
You need to sound like a real person not a corporate ‘suit’ – which means writing in the first person, using short words rather than long ones, and using contractions – ie its rather than it is and can’t rather than can not. It sounds more natural.
A grammatically correct piece stuffed full of jargon and pompous prose is only going to put people off – the last thing you want.
You also need to remember that reading something on a screen is a bit different from reading it on the page. It’s harder and the eye is less likely to make the effort.
So big blocks of text are a total ‘no, no’. You need short paragraphs with white space right round them.
Bullets are also a good idea:
- They’re good at making a number of points
- They break up the page nicely and
- Help get your message across
Anything you can do which makes the page look interesting is a good idea and will help the readability of your blog post. For example
It may be a good idea to indent or highlight important points. To make them stand out a bit more.
You get the idea.
Headings are really important
Not just to break up the page. They are also important for SEO (search engine optimisation) – putting your keywords in a title helps prioritise them and make your post rank better for those words.
Also – a blog post (other than a very short one) without headings is a lot more difficult to read. Many people will skim read a post to see if it is something they want to read properly – and your headings will help them make that choice.
I don’t know about you but I find a post without any pictures somehow more difficult to read. It’s odd but there you are.
There are lots of places to get pictures – Flickr is a good source, but make sure you use photos which have a creative commons license (ie where the photographer is happy for you to use them).
Then there are your own photos – you won’t have any copyright problems with them.
You can also buy photographs. Istockphoto (which I used to use a lot) is now a bit expensive so I now use Depositphotos as I bought a large image pack cheap recently through the wonderful App Sumo.
The photos need to go at the top. Some people are dead against having them on the left as they will interfere with the left margin of the text and make it harder to read, but I think it depends on the post.
I have been using really big pictures on this blog. It a bit of an experiment, but the most popular of all the posts (at the moment) on my Landlord Law Blog has a big picture at the top. I’m not sure whether it contributes to the posts popularity or not. What do you think?
You MUST blog consistently
This is probably the most important thing. I try to do a post on the Landlord Law Blog every week day with a ‘roundup’ post at the weekend.
I have done that more or less consistently since about 2009 and I think it is a big part of the blogs success.
So there you are
Some of the important things about business blogging. If you manage to get your blog high in the search engines it is a great way of bringing people to your brand.
However as I said at the beginning, enjoying it is key. If you hate writing you are far better off never starting a blog in the first place and doing something else.
It’s worked for me though.