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So You Want to Start a Blog…

May 9, 2014
Arson Invetigator dog

WSRB Blogger Kristen Skinner with Mako, the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area arson investigator dog

You have a small business. You want it to grow, to make money, to be the best at whatever it is your small business does. You research, you talk to people in the know, you learn about value propositions and CTAs and SEO and any number of buzzy sounding words. And then one night you wake up at 2 AM with a stroke of pure genius.

You think, “It’s time to write a blog. It’s going to be a bloggy blog where we talk about things that are important to us and to our customers.” The next morning you wake up, shower, and dress yourself with newfound vigor and energy. Today is the start of a new adventure for your business! Today is the beginning of fresh content and information people can’t live without! Today…Today you have to think of your first blog article to write. And tomorrow? Tomorrow you’ll need another one. At some point it dawns on you that in six months, or a year, you’ll still need content. How do people do it? How do people write blogs and find content and keep things interesting?

I’m certainly no expert, and I’ve only been helping out with blogging duties at WSRB for a short time. But from one small business to another, here are some tips that have helped us!

  • Have brainstorming sessions with your staff. Come up with lists of possible topics and keep them on reserve. Better yet, try assigning some of the topics to your staff members and see what sort of articles they can come up with!
  • When you’re feeling inspired to write a couple of articles, set aside the time to do it. Having an “article library” to draw from has helped us when we don’t have time to write or can’t think of a good topic.
  • Think over articles you’ve written and see if there’s any way to make them into a series of posts. Our Construction Class series started as an idea to describe construction classes in a general way and evolved into a series of 7 posts.
  • Look for inspirations in your everyday life. Have you ever wondered how something we all have, but take for granted (like a smoke detector) works? Why do golf balls have dimples (hint: it makes them fly further)? These questions can become easy blogging ideas.
  • Think about the things that are important to you and what interests you. Whether it’s family or animals or golf, does it relate in any way to you or your business? Even if it doesn’t, sometimes just relaying a good story is enough to draw people in.
  • Practice, practice, practice! You may not think you’re a strong writer but there’s a good chance you’re just out of practice. The more you write, the more comfortable you’ll feel with it and the easier it will become.

Lastly, be sure to write like yourself. It sounds basic, but when you try to sound like someone you’re not, it can make writing significantly harder and can make you dread having to do it. Your 2 AM stroke of genius can now remain just that…a stroke of genius instead of just a stroke!

Article by: Kristen Skinner

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