Guest Blog by Peter Springett | Orginaly published on LinkedIn
Time is short. You’ve got deadlines, meetings, and quality time with spend with family and friends. No wonder it feels like a struggle to compose a blog for your business. Especially when you confront the blank page needing to write 500 words from scratch. If that sounds intimidating, I have good news. You’ve written dozens of blogs already.
Even better news? I can tell you where to find them. Read on for 5 ways to get your next blog started and complete.
5 ways to get your blog started
Yes, you read that correctly. Good old email. Did you ever send a message pitching an idea to a colleague? Describing a new process that will make the team more efficient? Explaining the advantages of your service over that of a competitor? Take these messages, give them a polish, add an introduction and a conclusion, and you’re pretty much there.
It doesn’t even have to be your email as long as you seek permission and attribute your author. In many ways, sourcing from a colleague is even better because you’re bringing another voice to the discussion.
2. Your website
Start with a product brochure. Edit out the dry stuff and add your own voice to the 300-500 remaining words that really get to the heart of the benefits. Make sure you include a link back to the original document. Get permission from the service/product owner where you need, offer to include them as a co-author, and get their social handles so that you can tag them in any posts that you share.
3. Your head
Set a 20-minute timer and spend some time asking yourself these questions.
What do you care most about at work?
Who inspires you?
What do you want to be famous for?
If sitting down at a keyboard is intimidating, then take out your smartphone and use the dictaphone app to record your ideas. Don’t expect everything to run smoothly to begin with, but after a few takes you can write up the recording or even send it out for transcription. If talking to yourself is a struggle, then grab a colleague and start a conversation. Write up and edit as before!
4. Social media
Not a day goes by when I don’t see several articles discussing the same topic from many perspectives. Normally I’ll select quotes from four or five articles that complement or contradict one another.
Not every blog needs to be 500 words of original copy.
A bit more work is required drafting a few lines between the references. If you attribute your sources and link back to the original articles, you should have a good summary of the current thinking on content marketing, self-driving cars, or whatever your passion might be.
5. In a PowerPoint
I’m constantly amazed that the people who dread writing most are the ones who most enjoy putting together a slide presentation. That said, your best presentations should tell a great story.
If you’ve got notes alongside the deck, then start with these. If not, add notes to accompany the best slides. Pull together the copy, and edit quickly for consistency and clarity.
This could be from your pitch deck, recent industry conference presentation or workshop.
Still lacking inspiration? No problem.
I get it, you may still be thinking, "easier said than done." That's why I came up with this list of 7 themes and topics that will get you in the blogging mood:
Teamwork, leadership, competition, the rules of the game.
Sport is a great way of illustrating the bright ideas behind your business and its tech. Just be sure that your audience is familiar with your favourite pursuit be it cricket, baseball or Formula One motor racing.
2. The four seasons
Your calendar is always a good place to find inspiration. If you can't find a diary entry for your business that inspires, then look out for holidays and other important dates. Valentine’s Day? My love affair with coffee. Back to school? The joy of new beginnings. You get the idea!
3. My secret hate
Let’s face it, there's always a workplace itch that you can't scratch. Too many meetings. Email or Slack doing your head in. The office fridge.
Don't be afraid to have a rant or two.
Avoid making it personal and make sure you draw a positive conclusion once you've let off steam. Especially about the fridge.
4. The list:
“And another thing...”
“I could go on.”
“Do I have to draw a picture?”
Whenever you find yourself inspired, make a list of what’s good or bad and expand the points in a blog. A bit like this section of the post of course.
5. Devil’s advocate
Start from a controversial position and work backwards. “Why I Hate the New iPhone,” “The Beatles are Overrated,” “Why We Should Nationalise Social Media.” As Mark Twain once said, "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
This isn't just the golden age of TV. It's the golden age of business dramas. Toxic workplace? Check out Succession. Silicon Valley mindset? Startup is the show to watch. The Office, of course. Dig in to Netflix, HBO or Amazon Prime for more ideas.
The good and the bad. We all have an indispensable piece of kit or software that makes life a joy. For me that’ll be my old Nikon D90 DSLR camera (it still rocks), Hanwag GTX hiking boots and Sony 1000xm3 headphones. And then there are the technologies that rub us up the wrong way. Don't get me started on the internet fridge.
There you go. That’s 5 places to dig around for content and 7 ideas to inspire your next article. Ready to write? And what would you add to the list?
Founder | Bright Content Ltd.
This blog was written by Peter Springett, Founder of Bright Content Ltd and a business writer, content strategist, AI expert.
Bright Content enables organizations to maximize the impact of their communications through digital marketing, social media and employee advocacy.
Be sure to connect with Peter on LinkedIn!
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Peter is the Founder of Bright Content Ltd. He is a business writer, content strategist, and AI expert.