There are many important criteria that you need to include in a killer blog post but if your audience can't relate to it then it doesn't matter how many of them you include: you're not going to engage them and they'll then disappear.
Unlike your website and marketing materials, which need to lead your would-be-clients directly to the important details of your business, your blog should be a reflection of you. It should sound like it's come from your heart, so that your readers will understand that it's you talking directly to them.
As part of my Business Blogging Workshop I tell attendees that in order to write a brilliant blog post, they need to find their voice. And that's not always as easy as it sounds.
What is your voice?
If writing doesn't come naturally to you then you probably find that attempts to capture your thoughts and ideas on paper or screen often sound stilted and unnatural. That's because you're not using your voice: you're writing using facts as the main theme and that's not what we're going for here.
Your voice comes through when you harness your personality and passion. Your business may be up and running because you had a great, workable idea but what fleshes out those bare bones and keeps the work coming in is YOU.
What will make your blog posts interesting is your unique voice. And that's what I'm going to show you how to find.
Your voice is already here!
I go to lots of networking events and always find it interesting to hear people say to me 'Oh, I can never think of anything to write for my blog posts' or 'I find it so hard to write in a natural way' but then, when it comes to their couple of minutes pitching to the group, talk about themselves and their business in a lively, animated way that doesn't fail to get across how much they love what they do!
(That's their voice...right there!)
When you're sat in the pub, or in a café, with your friends and they ask you what you've been up to and you respond by telling them all about your latest event or product or service...that's your voice! When your partner gets home in the evening and you tell them all about your working day...that's your voice! When you meet a potential new client and they ask you why they should buy from you and you tell them...that's your voice!
How do you write your voice down?
You may think about your business and you may be able to tell other people about your business but how do you get that from your brain/mouth to your laptop or notebook?
This is how easy it is to do. Once you've got an idea for your next blog post, grab your phone, find the voice recorder app and press record. Now imagine that a friend or client has asked you about your blog topic and just start talking. Don't worry about giving a polished speech or trying not to say 'er' or 'um'...what you're aiming to do is record exactly how you'd tell somebody about it in real life.
Talking to myself
I tend to do this in the car: I throw my phone on my seat and start burbling on about whatever post I'm thinking about as I drive. I don't always talk in complete sentences, sometimes it's just ideas that I want to mention or particular phrases that spring to mind. When I get home I listen to the recording and transcribe the bits I think would work in my post: that's my voice right there. (I leave out the bits where I'm swearing at inconsiderate drivers...)
You'll probably feel a bit self-conscious at first but just remember that nobody else is going to listen to your recording, so it doesn't matter what you sound like. If you prefer, ask a friend to join in: get them round for coffee and get them to ask questions about the theme you've chosen for your post. Record the pair of you talking and let the conversation flow. It will sound a lot more natural and you'll find that your friend will probably come up with lots of points that you hadn't even thought of - a double win for your post!
Just keep swimmin'
The more you write, the easier it becomes to capture and transpose your voice onto your blog posts. If you're a funny person, don't be afraid to let your humour out onto the page but if you're naturally a more serious person and trying to be humorous feels uncomfortable, then that's fine too. Just be yourself in your blog writing - after all, that's what your friends and family love you for already!
If you'd like to learn more about blogging for your business then join one of my Business Blogging Workshops: the next one is Wednesday 16th May (10am-12pm) at The Fairmile, Portsmouth Road, Cobham. It's an interactive and non-intimidating couple of hours that will show you exactly why, what and how you should be blogging in order to hugely benefit your business. And it's really easy to learn!
More information, testimonials from past attendees and the chance to book your place can be found here.
Hope to see you there!
When I am hosting my Business Blogging Workshops, one of the as