Everyone has something to share. Some knowledge that they can impart to another. As small business owners, we have a large wealth of knowledge that we can share with our followers and customers.
By sharing our knowledge, we build trust with those around us. People see that we know what we are talking about. They learn more about our products and how we can help them achieve their goals.
Your audience is craving that knowledge. They want a way to connect. They love to hear from you.
Those that follow you on social media are likely following you because you shared something that intrigued them. They connected with your personality and want to hear more from you.
I often hear business owners say that they are boring. That they have nothing to share. The reality is exactly the opposite. You have the power to write a blog. Or make videos. It just takes a little effort.
However, there are a few tips that you can put into practice to help your efforts go a whole lot farther. And in the process, you can make your articles more interesting for the reader.
Tip #1 – Plan a time and just do it
Given a month to complete a task, the majority of us will put it off till the last second. It’s in our nature. I would be willing to be there are a handful of tasks you are putting off right now. Am I right?
If you want to get into the habit of creating and sharing regularly, you need to set aside time and do it. Even when you are not in the mood.
If you have an article you need to get written, sit down and just start writing. Don’t care about the words (I will touch on this more in a minute). But start. Write down the thoughts as they come to you and more and more will come.
The first few articles might be a little short. But if you continue to exercise this muscle (yes, writing is a muscle), you will naturally get better at it. Want proof? Go read some of my early blog articles.
Tip #2 – Write to a single person
This article is being written specifically for you. Yep, I went into your mind and found an idea I could write about and am now writing it for you alone…
Just kidding. What I really mean is that you should write like you are having a conversation with a single person.
As a business owner, you should know who you serve. Pretend you are sitting across the desk from them. Heck, if needed, you can even use their name in the article during the first draft. But an article aimed at everyone is aimed at no one.
You can’t add personality if you don’t know who you are talking to. We have all read these articles. Bland, lifeless.
Instead, you should be yourself and act how you would when you are talking to someone you know. And the cool thing is, by writing to someone specific and having that conversation with them you are less likely to struggle with creating content.
Your personality is important in business. Check out this article about personality in business to learn more.
It’s important to write to someone specific rather than to some people.
Tip #3 – Bring them into the story
Now that you are writing to just one person, bring them into the story. Talk in a way that makes them relate to the information you are sharing. Or that allows them to put themselves in the shoes of the storyteller and think “Yea, that total happened to me” or “Man, that would be scary”.
People relate to stories. They thrive on them. It’s one of the reasons we have so many movies and entire cultures that evolve out of them. Hello Star Wars…
When you tell a story and provide information in a way that your readers will relate to, you invite them into the fold. They will remember you more because you made them feel a part of the larger picture.
If you are teaching them something, don’t just give them step-by-step instructions. Add a little story. Involve them with the how and why. Teach in a way that they can remember and want to share that same story later.
Be interesting. Sure, anyone can write a technical manual about their job. But who wants to read it?
Tip #4 – Break down walls
Breaking down walls can mean a lot of things. From emotional to learning and so on. But in this case, you need to break down walls of text.
The human mind can only take on so much information before it needs a little break. Photos and videos in your articles can provide for a much-needed pause. Headings help too.
When I write an article, it often starts as one long blob of text. Sometimes it has headings. Sometimes not. Then when I start the editing phase, I work on the article. I add spaces. I make long paragraphs smaller.
Headings and sub-headings are added. Images are collected or taken. As I post the article, I review the draft edition to see how it will look to you as you read it. I read it again, sometimes out loud.
Every pause space you add gives the reader a break. Headings make walls of text skimmable.
Pictures provide further context to what the words on saying. They can help tell the story. They say an image is worth a thousand words. And in writing, they can be worth a thousand words plus some emotion. They can set a tone in your articles.
You can even use bullet points and other styling items to break down walls. And you should so that your readers don’t feel overwhelmed.
Tip #5 – Write at their level
After years of running my own computer repair business, I learned how to dumb down the technical jargon. And I do the same thing for my readers here.
Often when I refer to things such as web hosting, I discuss the place where the website lives. Not many of my readers care about what a server is or deal with the “cloud”. These technical terms don’t provide them with any benefit and so are written off in their mind.
But I bet if I told you that your website is the house and the server is the land you are leasing, it makes total sense. You need to do the same thing for your readers.
Write at a level that they understand. Break down complex topics into terms they can relate to.
Yes, sometimes you will be stuck and must get all technical so they can understand. But you should simplify or add relatable items where you can.
However, I will caution you. It is easy to dumb something down enough that you end up turning your audience off. You might even offend them.
When you are writing know who you are writing the article to. Some articles might be aimed at an audience that knows all the basics and understands those things well but is looking for a little extra help. Others are aimed at the beginners of your audience. Know who you are writing to and when it’s best to dumb things down.
Tip #6 – Don’t read it yet
As you write the article, don’t stop writing to do much editing. Work on getting the article out there. Some authors call this the ugly first draft.
Write and keep writing. Even if your ideas get out of order. Just get them out of your head and onto paper. Drafts come later. If you try and edit constantly, you will never reach the end.
Often, I have gone back to old articles and thought “Wow, I wrote it like that?” But that’s ok. That article is out there for all to see. Heck, some of them even have errors, both grammar and spelling. It happens. If you strive for perfection, you will never make it.
After everything is out there, then it’s time to go back and begin editing. Read the article (out loud works even better) and start fixing things. Correct the spelling. Change things as needed.
This process could end up with many drafts, or only a few. It does not matter. You decide when you feel that it’s ready. Again, it does not need to be perfect. Sharing is more important than perfection. And a written article is more important than a blank page.
My normal process is to write an article, read over it, and do the basic editing. Then I will pass it over to my wife, who does a proofread and lets me know if there are sections that don’t make sense or are hard to understand. Then, I do a final edit and get it out there for all to see.
Writing is a skill that anyone can do. And while they teach you in school that it all needs to be perfect, with perfect grammar and spelling, we are not in school anymore. Your audience likely does not care if the article is perfect. Heck, they might not even know there is a problem with it.
Write it out. Read it sparingly. Share it with the world.
Search engines are all about new content. That’s why blogging remains so popular and is often recommended to help with search engine ranking. The longer someone stays on your site the better, so creating irresistible content is a must. You need content that draws in readers and keeps them wanting more. Preferably more that they find on your site.
Writing articles can seem like a lot of work. And it can indeed take up some of your time. But when you use the six tips I have given above, each article will get better and better. And your audience will become more engaged.
Don’t let fear or procrastination slow you down. Start writing and sharing.