- Emily Hopper
5 Steps to Write a Blog for Your Biz
Are you wanting to share your content with your people, but don’t know where or how to get started?
Blogs are a great way to share valuable information with your audience and increase your organic search results. Posting consistent content helps your Google ranking and keeps your audience engaged and learning about things that matter to them.
The problem is, many business owners (especially those just starting out) need to write content for their brand but don’t know how.
Here are five simple steps to writing a blog for your business:
Brainstorm and Research
Use a template
Edit and Finalize
It doesn’t have to be hard. Keep reading to learn some tips to get started writing your first blog.
1. Brainstorm & Research Blog Topics
It can be hard to write for your business. But when you’re just starting out, sometimes that’s the only option you have. When you have to create your content yourself, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start.
Start with brainstorming. It’s easy, can be fun, and gives you an easy shoe in the door to getting your gears turning on your business’s best content you want to share.
Decide your best mode for writing, whether it’s pen and pad, a fresh Google doc, a spreadsheet, or your favorite journal, in this step, you want to start with a blank slate.
Take a deep breath and reflect on your business. Ask yourself these questions:
Who are you speaking to?
What is the main goal or intention for your blog?
What types of things do you want to talk about?
If you could summarize your content into “5 content pillars” what would they be?
What are some problems your customers face and what information can you provide to help them?
What personal stories or experiences are your people dying to know about?
Once you have some ideas, write them down! Don’t think about categorizing topics or editing what you write, just brain dump whatever comes up onto the page.
Then, go back and read everything you wrote, without judgment, and let your brain do what it does best: categorize the information. Find the topics that overlap and circle them and then create a larger category out of them.
When you can identify 3 - 5 larger themes (or “content pillars”), you’ll place all blog topics under the appropriate category. This will create consistency with your content and everything you write will ladder up to a broader theme. You also won’t have to start from scratch when you want to come up with a topic to write about. You’ll have direction and clarity already!
When you sit down to write your monthly blog, you can simply pick a topic that inspires you most and begin your research!
I typically spend twenty five to thirty minutes researching each blog (unless a new client or in a new industry - that usually gets two hours or more!) When researching, you want to read as much as possible from as high quality sites as possible. I’ll write a whole blog on researching- be on the lookout for more on that!
2. Pre- Write!
A friend in the industry, Cody at StoryWright, writes about the importance of pre-writing in your writing process and I couldn’t agree more.
When you pre-write for your blog, it saves you SO much time in the next step: the writing process.
Pre-writing can look like a lot of things. As always, it’s important to remember to do what works for you. I am only giving suggestions on what has worked for me (and others) and hopefully allowing you to learn something in the process.
My pre-write looks like this (these are prompts pulled directly from my pre-writing template):
What topic have you chosen to write about?
Start with the problem. What's the main problem you are here to solve for the reader?
What is the solution?
What are 3-5 added values or benefits are you can give your reader around the problem?
What does success look like after someone learns this information?
What SEO keywords do you plan to use in this post?
What research and resources did you find helpful and are going to link to?
I typically spend another 25 - 30 minutes pre-writing. However, I will say, the longer I pre-write, the less real thinking I have to do in the writing phase and I can just let the words flow. So it’s up to you how much you want to balance the pre-writing and writing phase.
3. Create a template
In this step, unlike the brainstorming, you want to avoid at all costs starting from a blank slate. Leave the white canvas for painting. A blank canvas in Google docs can be a little terrifying and very overwhelming.
So give your future self a gift and spend a little extra time now to create or find a template you can use frequently into the future. I am going to be giving away my template very soon so also stay tuned for that!
In the meantime, there are many others you can download (like this one) and (this one). Or you can start your own!
Writing a blog is NOT like writing a high school English paper. So do not structure it as an opening paragraph, body, and closing. Think about doing it, instead, like this:
Intro to Topic (Summarize the content - yes, you want to tell what the entire thing is about in the beginning!)
Added value points (Tell the main information or content you are writing about.)
Outro paragraph (Sum it up for the reader and add a way for them to learn more from you!)
The more detailed you can make your template, the better. I like to start creating templates by identifying the main pieces (like the ones outlined above) and then break each piece down by asking 3-4 questions that I need to answer in that section.
From there, your answer to those questions will start to create the template for you.
4. Write Your Blog!
And now, to the best part! (If you like writing that is…) WRITING THE BLOG.
Some of you may panic here, some may get super excited. The level of enthusiasm here is something to be aware of. This can be a good indicator of whether or not you want to outsource this to a writer. If you absolutely loathe writing, then it could be very beneficial to hire a writer so that you can stay in your zone of genius.
Whatever you do, don’t overthink it. Just write. Trust that you did your research and you know enough about the topic on your own to relay some really valuable information… and let the fingers do the talking.
Here are a few tips for writing a blog:
Be empathetic and relatable. For example, use statements like “I understand what it’s like to…” (and mean it!) or include a personal story or relatable situation that is relevant to the topic, problem, or solution you are writing about.
Add value. You are writing a blog to be helpful (and yes, increase your SEO ranking), but mostly because you CARE. You care about your audience so much that you want to give away as much free expertise knowledge as you can because you genuinely want them to thrive and grow. (or atleast, that’s the case for me).
Help solve a problem/pain point. How does your information, knowledge or product or service help solve a specific problem your audience may be facing?
Add lots of GOOD resources and links.
This also helps SEO… AND it gives your readers a place to go to learn more about the topic you’re writing about. Link to stuff you read in your research process or highly valuable and credible resources that will go into more detail about key concepts or resources in your blog.
5. Edit and finalize your blog
This can be the best or worst part, depending on your work style or personality type. For me, I am not a detail oriented person so I thrive most in the writing process, not the editing phase.
This is also something you could outsource if it gets to be too hard or time consuming. (Pro tip: outsource it to a Virgo! They tend to love details).
I only spend about twenty minutes on this phase and try to keep it simple. I check for spelling errors (dowload Grammarly and it makes it so easy!) and I look for grammatical errors. For those who didn’t do well in English class and aren’t that strong with grammar, you can rely on tools heavily here!
Here are some of my favorite editing tools:
And finally, you want to finalize your blog. This means wrapping it up and making it shine. Clean up the formatting, polish the headlines, make sure the magic SEO keywords are sprinkled in organically, and correct any final errors.
Now, your blog is ready to post.
Write your first blog for your business!
I believe in you, creator, and I believe you have the power to do what you set your heart, mind, and soul to do. If you really want to write your own blogs, I’m here to help. And if you really don’t want to write your own blogs, I’m also here to help!
My goal is to help you grow your business. Because, to be honest, I’ve done it the hard way and I think the more we share information around what we’ve done and not done, the more valuable it can be to someone else’s growth process.
When it comes to writing blogs for your business, I’ve had a lot of practice. I’ve worked through my own creative blocks and found a process that seems to work well for myself and those who try it.
Try writing your first blog using these four steps and soon you’ll be knocking out a blog in two hours or less!
If you’re a creative entrepreneur looking to make a positive impact in the world with your brand, product, or service, let’s connect!