I recently did a short presentation to my M62 Connections networking group in Birchwood entitled ‘The Joy of Blogging’. My aims were to talk people through the benefits of having a business blog and to pass on some helpful tips on how to start writing one. The session generated some animated discussion and lots of questions (fortunately all of which I was able to answer!) and I received some really positive feedback afterwards.
Much of the discussion was along the lines of ‘I know I need to do it, I just don’t have the time to sit down and write it’. We also talked about what kind of topics would be appropriate and suitable to share.
Both these issues can be resolved through careful planning. If you can plan most of your blog content in advance and build time into your schedule to write, then you shouldn’t have too many issues maintaining regular blog posts. Saying that, you should also allow for some reactive posts, in addition to the planned content. This shows your reader that you’re aware of current trends or issues affecting your business. I must admit, although I have a schedule of potential themes to write about, I often decide to change tack and write about something more pertinent. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you’ve been inspired to start blogging or you’re struggling for inspiration for this month’s post, here are a few suggestions…
6 months on
Come the end of June, we’ll be halfway through the year. It’s an ideal time to reflect on what you and your business have achieved during the first six months of 2016. The rollercoaster of running a business is sure to generate some interesting content. On the personal development side, you might write about what you’ve learnt, new skills you've gained or reflect on your achievements. Are you a different person now than you were in January?
The EU referendum
Highly topical at the moment. If you don’t want to go all political on your readers before the polls, write a reactive post on the result and the potential outcomes for your business, customers and the broader sector you work in.
Let’s face it, sport is everywhere in June, with Euro 2016 underway and Wimbledon just around the corner. And it’s only going to continue throughout the rest of the Summer with the Rio Olympics and Paralympics still to come. It’s a great time to promote the benefits of exercise, getting outdoors, spending time and having fun with the family. All this patriotism must be good for the soul, right? It can equally have an impact on businesses - how important is it to allow your employees to watch these sporting events whilst at work? Does it motivate them or have a detrimental impact on business as tasks get put on the back-burner?
Summer holidays offer so much scope for helpful blog posts. Once we know our hols are just around the corner, it’s generally all we talk about and read about. From preparing to go posts like staying safe in the sun, tips for packing and must-have products to advice on how to relax and revitalise when you arrive, you can link a holiday theme to most subjects. Do your customers need to consider the more serious subjects of travel insurance or home security whilst they’re away?
Jobs for the Summer
If, like me, you don’t tend to go away at this time of year, Summertime is a great opportunity to cross jobs off your To-do list. Some of those jobs could be outdoors and need drier weather to properly get to grips with - gardening, building walls, painting fences, windows etc. All these are subjects people search for online to find tips on how to get it right. Equally, you might have a list of admin jobs that small business owners should think about tackling whilst everyone else is on their hols!
If in doubt, read other people’s blogs for inspiration. There are literally millions of them out there in the blogosphere.
Well, that’s the inspiration sorted. The only way I can solve the issue of not having time to write would be to write it your behalf (which I’m more than happy to do!). Or if you just don’t have time to write this month, how about inviting a trusted friend or colleague in a related sector to guest blog on your site.
The experience of presenting on ‘The Joy of Blogging’ was so enjoyable that I’ve agreed to deliver the same presentation to the Warrington Central Business Club next month. If you’d like to come along, drop me a line or visit the WCBC website.