Trying to figure out what to write about in your business blog can be a terribly disheartening task. You’ve been told endlessly by SEO gurus and online articles that you must create great content to have any hopes of ever being found on the web but when you finally sit down to do a job of writing, one of many things can stop you, including:
- A sudden lack of self-confidence: “Will the article sound awful?”
- A shocking dearth of ideas: “Oh, but I’m sure that’s all been written about before…”
- Uncertainty on how to put those ideas down in an article, in a succinct, understandable format
- And so on
These are just some of the gazillion thoughts that professional writers have gone through (and sometimes still go through) during the course of their careers. It’s called Writer’s Block.
Writer’s block when business blogging
Writing is a professional skill which takes years of work to hone and improve. It’s more than just a single skill, actually. It is many skills which all combine to form this final artistry we call writing.
Not the least of the things which needs to be learned when writing professionally is this matter of breaking through your writer’s block.
For guys like me who make their living from writing, writer’s block can be likened to a company which suddenly has no more suppliers. It can’t sell, because it can’t get in any goods to sell.
For professional writers, writer’s block is simply not an option. And busting through writer’s block is a skill which must be learned.
What to write about in your business blog? Wrong question.
Too many people think of writers as guys who sit in the sun holding a feather and waiting for inspiration. No, writers — real writers — are quite the opposite. From Harlan Coben to Stephen King, the advice and consensus are the same: Writing is a job and you must treat it as a job.
As a writer writing for your business’s blog, you simply don’t have the luxury of not knowing what to write about. You need to simply sit down and start writing.
Knowing what to write about is far less important than knowing how to write. If you write regularly, you’ll know that your best ideas sometimes come to you after you’ve been writing for half an hour!
It’s a bit of a catch-22 — you need to write to get ideas, but you need ideas in order to write.
Well, there’s a secret about this which I learned when I was fighting my own writer’s block not too long ago.
Any idea is better than no idea
I read a book once called “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy” by Orson Scott Card. It’s absolutely brilliant. And in that book, he tells you that you should not go with your first idea. You should always ask Why? If you want to write a book about a kid who is afraid of monkeys, ask “Why is he afraid of monkeys?”
Answer: Because he was once attacked by one.
Why? Because his parents left him alone when they went on safari.
Why? Because they were drunk.
And so on until you get one hell of a plot which makes for a great fiction story.
Read that again: Fiction story.
As a business blogger, you’re not writing fiction. You’re writing to attract visitors to your website. You’re writing about what you sell, writing about your staff, about what you do on a daily basis to bring your products to people. You’re writing things that are angled to a certain market and public, and which are related to your services.
A pro writer — I mean a real pro who has been writing for years — can afford to ask Why? Why? Why? for non-fiction articles and come up with something great and unique for a non-fiction article. But unless you have over a million words of writing under your belt, you’re better off just taking the first idea that comes to your mind, putting it down as best as you can, and then publishing it.
So, maybe the idea won’t be unique. Maybe it won’t get you any visitors after all.
But at least you wrote it.
When you’re starting out as a writer for your business’s blog, you need to take small steps if. You need to accumulate small victories which keep you writing.
If you keep writing, you will get better at writing. You will get faster, more confident, and then the ideas will come to you in a torrent.
But until you reach that stage of confidence, just write what comes to mind and do a sincere job of it.
Don’t get disheartened by lack of traffic
Okay, so you took my advice, churned out an article…and then you got no traffic…
Relax! Traffic takes time. As a new writer for your business’s blog you need to have the following as your top-priority goals until you’re confident enough in your writing to pump out high-quality articles in practically no time:
- Write regularly, write on a schedule, never miss a writing day
- Focus on quantity for the first 100 articles, just trying to get articles out there
- Do your best
- Realize that so long as you’re still writing, you’re doing the right thing
- Treat your writing like a job and learn the discipline of writing on a schedule
Business blogging is easy for those who’ve been at it for years (by which I mean actively writing for years, not just publishing one article every few months) but it can be terribly painful for those who are new to it and haven’t yet developed the discipline necessary to write fast and hard.
Only regular practice will get you there, and soon you’ll find that you have so many ideas for your business blog’s articles that it’s difficult to get them all written down.