Even copywriters need inspiration. I’ve been searching for new ideas for my blog posts for a few months. So far in 2019 I’ve only managed one post a month as opposed to my usual two. It’s not a huge problem. I’ve been super busy writing them for other people! Still, I decided it was time to seek some expert help. I needed to find my blogging mojo again.
So I took to Amazon and purchased ‘Write blog posts readers love’ by Henri Juntila. He’s a blogger from Finland (check out wakeupcloud.com) whose mission is to inspire people to follow their passion in life.
That may sound a bit touchy feely for some but his advice really resonates with me. It’s relevant to the small business owner like you or I. We’re in this position because we’re following our dreams.
Bite-sized blogging tips
I bought the book purely for the title. It’s a Ronseal book that does exactly what it says on the cover. It teaches you to write a successful blog post. The chapters are short with hints and tips throughout and an activity at the end of each one.
Not only is it written in bite-sized chunks, it’s also a shining example of how to structure a blog post. Sentences are short, sub-headers clear and prominent on the page, use of bullet points and a call to action at the end of every chapter. This book is a very easy read. At just 126 pages (and large font), you could easily get through it in an afternoon.
A decade of blogging experience
I’ve been writing business blogs for almost a decade. I started by editing guest posts and ghost writing for an intranet site. Then I began training colleagues on the elements of a successful blog post. Every blogger wanted to get more comments than the last one!
Since starting Comma Sense, I’ve developed this blog. My aim is to share helpful communications tips with other small business owners. I love inspiring other people to showcase their expertise via my blog training. Of course, I also write regular posts for clients – for their websites and LinkedIn. But there’s always time for learning.
These are my top takeaways from Henri’s book
“What you know, you should teach”
Write about what you know. You have a wealth of knowledge and expertise so share it with your audience. Allow them to learn from you – because you’re good at what you do. When you try to write about a subject you know little about, it will take you longer and the gaps will show in your final piece.
Ideas are everywhere. It’s your own fear that stops you from writing.
SO true! Let’s stop being afraid of what people think and have the confidence to just write and see what happens.
Don’t try to copy another blogger or business. Authenticity in a blog is crucial. Write as yourself and your readers will respect you for it.
To start with a headline or not?
The blank screen of death is a horrible sight. A lot of people tell me they don’t start writing because they can’t think of a witty headline. So they don’t write anything at all. I encourage them to write the bones of their post and then return to the headline at the end. Sometimes the headline will come more naturally at this point. No one is going to judge you for not writing a witty and engaging headline first. How will they even know?
Henri says the opposite. He says that starting with a headline is the best way to answer your reader’s questions and do what you set out to do. I’m open to new ideas so I’m going to experiment with this. You should too!
Start a list of favourite headlines
This tip is the easiest of the lot. We all spend far too much time on social media. Next time you come across an interesting, creative, helpful, popular, or fun blog title, copy and paste it into a document. Use this list to inspire your future blog headlines.
I’ve discovered a new name for brain dumping
It’s called freewriting and I’m doing it now. It’s fab! Also known as writing gibberish. Just grab your weapon of choice and write what’s in your head. I’m very guilty of having ideas and not writing them down. So now I’m going to use them or lose them.
Oh, and it’s ok to be ashamed of your freewriting – you probably won’t ever publish your first draft anyway.
Leave it to settle for 24 hours
It’s the same rule for that contentious email you wrote in response to an angry customer. Draft it and go back to it the next day. Chances are, after a good night’s sleep, you’ll feel different about what you wrote and want to review and edit. Most blogs aren’t written and published on the same day. Well, mine aren’t anyway. This one has been four days in the making.
There’s no such thing as the perfect blog post
That’s what makes blogging such fun. There are no hard and fast rules. Your blog can be whatever you want it to be. So get cracking, start wherever you want to, and see where it takes you and your business.
Blogs are an incredible way for small business owners showcase their talents, knowledge and experience. Content marketing can be an expensive business. If you have a website and a head full of useful information, you already have a free marketing tool at your disposal.
If you’re in any doubt about why you should blog for your business, read my post ‘3 reasons to start a business blog’.
And if you fancy getting your hands on Henri’s book, here’s a link. It’s given me a huge lift (Thanks Henri!). I hope it does the same for you.