Most people don’t like to write. This is simply a fact of life. Why did you wait until 4am to finish your final paper for every class during college? Because you were dreading the writing process, preferring to procrastinate by watching TV or hanging out with your friends. Heck, most writers don’t even like to write. The self-loathing, insecure writer has become a cliché in movies and TV shows (if you want to see an excellent portrayal of this, I recommend the movie Adaptation).
Why do I tell you all of this? Because I want you to understand that it’s perfectly fine to be dreading your first business blog article. Writing is hard; writing well is harder still. Take it from someone who writes for a business blog every day – I know how you feel. Some days the words cascade down the page like a waterfall; other days, not so much.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You’ll have days, weeks and months to fill your blog up with articles. A consistent business blog must begin with a single blog article, and that’s what we’re concerned with today. To help you as you begin your journey, let me provide you with seven tips:
Jump in feet first
Your first blog doesn’t have to be an introduction for you or your company. Just start writing about a relevant topic. Chances are, the person who discovers this article online won’t have any idea it was your first blog article anyway.
Have a plan
Whether you jot down some notes or type up a full outline, make sure you have an idea of how your article will be structured. What’s the beginning? How will it end? What ideas do you need to explore? You should have the answers to these questions before you type a single word.
Don’t overthink it
This isn’t a scholarly article you’re including in a medical journal. It’s a blog, so people aren’t expecting it to be Shakespeare or a dissertation. They just want to be informed. Write the way you talk. Don’t try to use every big word you can think of. Keeping it informal is OK. But that being said…
Keep it professional
Informal doesn’t mean sloppy, confusing, vulgar or lazily written. Just because you use a conversational tone doesn’t mean it can be bad work. Spell things correctly, ensure the writing makes sense and put some real effort into it. This is still part of your job, after all.
Ensure someone else reads it
Sometimes, you’re simply too close to your work to see things that don’t make sense or that should be changed. Having someone else read it provides the opportunity for feedback. Even if it’s well-written and doesn’t have to be changed, a second reader can still spot potential spelling or grammatical errors.
It can be hard to edit and proofread your blog as soon as you finish typing the last word. So my recommendation? Don’t. When you think you’re done, take a step back. Go do something else. Go to the breakroom for a snack. Get a drink of water. Do some push-ups in the lobby. It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you take a short break and remove your article from your mind completely. Then, when you sit back down to edit/proofread, you’ll be able to do so with a clear head and fresh eyes. To this day, I still occasionally use this technique after writing a blog article.
Have some fun
Writing a blog doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. It can actually be fun, especially if you remember not to take it so seriously. And I’m not talking about the work itself, because your work ethic and effort should be very serious; but your tone doesn’t have to be. Be playful with your readers and try to entertain them while you inform them. It’s not always possible, but when it works, it’s golden.