Blogging regularly has taken a bit of practice, but I passed a milestone recently, publishing post number 102. (I was so busy posting I missed the 100th blog milestone.)
And I feel pretty chuffed with that, particularly as it takes time and effort, and it’s been a learning curve.
Even though I write for a living, writing for my own business hasn’t come naturally. It’s taken a little while to find my feet, working out what to write about and how to write about it.
There is stuff I’ve had to establish and get comfortable with, like tone of voice.
So what have I learned?
1. Write stuff that is good for business
When I first set up my website and blog, I was fresh out of a 20-year career as a B2B journalist in the built environment sector. I was comfortable writing about the industry and what was going on but not about me and what I do.
I ended up posting sporadically, a weird mix of stuff about being a freelancer, some work-life stuff and the odd thing about writing.
Neither the frequency nor the content mix was doing me any favours. It wasn’t engaging, and it wasn’t doing much to demonstrate my knowledge and expertise.
2. Make the blog top of the content pyramid
At first, I’d been trying to turn stuff I was writing about on LinkedIn into a longer format suitable for a blog post.
Then I had a lightbulb moment, which seems so flippin’ obvious now: Write the long-form blog post and repurpose it as shorter LinkedIn posts.
I’m still experimenting with how to repurpose the blog content, but it gave me the incentive/kick up the bum I needed to blog a bit more regularly.
3. Blog regularly
Yep, once I worked out that starting with the blog post was a lot less labour intensive than trying to pad out LinkedIn posts, it made it much easier to produce regular content.
And it started paying off as my website visits have started rising. There is still a way to go, but I have phase two plans.
4. Generating enough ideas
One of the barriers to blogging initially was not knowing what to write about and thinking there wasn’t enough to cover.
But I was wrong. Several things have helped with this, and the first was getting comfortable with my service offer and USP.
Part of this was the increasing amount of work I was doing and noting themes – what do I get asked the most?
Doing more writing and media training has been a fruitful source of ideas as the format I use includes discussion and Q&A.
I’ve also had to unpick how I write and interview, work out all the stuff I don’t think about because I’ve done it for so long, so I can teach others. But that has given me more stuff to write about.
Repurposing content into different formats or taking a different approach to a similar topic is also something I’ve learned.
I’ve learned to jot down ideas when the inspiration strikes and do mini brainstorming sessions, so I’ve always got plenty of ideas to hand. I use a Trello board for that.
5. I want to do more
The more I’ve blogged and experimented, the more ideas it gives me – and the more things I want to try. I have new plans to boost visibility and fresh content ideas.
Getting to the point where I have an archive of more than 100 posts is a confidence boost and feels like a good place to be and from which to build and learn.
Where are you in your blogging journey? What have you learned?
Here are my top 5, most read posts (bit of a theme developing, I think):
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