How to Blog When You’re Not a Writer

by Vanessa on September 22, 2010

Look at any article about marketing yourself on the internet and one of the first options that will be suggested is to create a business blog.

The central idea of a blog is to write something, right? But what if you don’t consider yourself a writer? That can lead to anxiety of having to do something on a regular basis (it’s recommended that blogs be updated weekly) that you really don’t want to do, coupled with the anxiety of knowing that there’s a huge marketing avenue that you’re ignoring if you don’t do it. Even people who think they are a fairly good writer can be inhibited by the idea of posting something online for the whole world to see. After all, if you wanted to be a writer you wouldn’t have gone into small business ownership, right? So what’s a concerned business owner to do?

The first thing is to know that there are options! The internet is based on content. Content of many types: words, video and images. Words are just about all that a search engine can see (a search engine can’t “see” a picture, just the title and other word tags that the image is given), so being able to create content that is related to your products and services–whether that means traditional blog posts, videos, pictures or podcasts, for instance–is an important thing to do as a small business owner.

Common obstacles of business owners who don’t blog are:
1. That they don’t have the time
2. They don’t like writing or don’t think they are good at it
3. They don’t know what to write about.

Begin by telling yourself that you will create a list—nothing but topics—of 20 things related to your business that you would like people to know more about. Beneath these topics, use bullet points to add in some brief details. Flesh the bullet points out with simple sentences and you’re off to a great start. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be long. One benefit of the “just do it” approach is that in time, you will become less apprehensive about writing and will get better at it simply through the act of practicing, like anything else.

If you really aren’t able or have no interest in writing blog posts yourself, take this list to someone on your staff who understands the voice of your business and who your customers are. If they are receptive to blogging, ask them to devote 30 minutes to an hour each week to flesh out the outline you have provided and post them to the blog. If employees simply can not be spared to do this job, freelance writers are easy to find, and will be skilled in creating content, especially if you give them an outline.

Are you more of a talker than a writer? You can talk about your products all day long to anyone who will listen? Try voice recognition software to enable you to “speak” your blog posts rather than writing them. Ask a friend or employee to proof read the posts before they go on the blog. Why not explore podcasting and video blogging? There are many tools that make it easy. If you have an iPhone, the “cinch” app is a free and easy way to create and share audio, text and photo updates using your iPhone. Using a simple interface, you can make and automatically broadcast your “cinches” through Facebook, Twitter and more.

Are you the picture taking type? Take lots of photos of your products or services in action and write captions to accompany each one. The picture does most of the work for you. Many people who don’t enjoy writing are successful with video blogs or podcasts. It’s also possible to aggregate other people’s information on a blog, but this most likely would require some commentary from you in order to be successful.

The important thing to take away is that if you feel that blogging would help your business, there are ways that it can be accomplished that still leave you time for your business. It isn’t going to happen magically and you may need to push yourself a little bit when you don’t feel like doing it, but the pay off can be big.

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