Most business owners understand that blogging has its benefits, but what are the options if you’re uncomfortable with your writing skills? HEATHER COOPER shares some practical advice for overcoming this hurdle.
In the June edition of Jeweller I explained the benefits blogging brings to a business.
Actively blogging is a ‘must’ for modern jewellery retailers. The benefits that are available are simply too good to pass up.
Not everyone has confidence in their ability to write, however. For those who struggle with writing, there are some very good resources and ideas available to help you get started. With a little help, you can turn your blog posts into something in which you feel proud and that you deem worthy of sharing with others.
Take advantage of Grammarly
One of the best blogging resources is Grammarly. It’s not just helpful for blogging either, it’s an easy-to-use program that frequently comes in handy for many other daily computer tasks.
It is a free AI-powered writing assistant that helps you create clear, error-free writing. Not only does it correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but it also guides you with style and tone suggestions as well.
Additionally, Grammarly’s blog is a fantastic resource for any question you might have about improving your writing.
Read it out
This tip isn’t a specific blogging resource you can use, it’s a great tip for improving all kinds of writing. I find it to be one of the most useful things to do when writing, especially when editing prior to publication.
Reading your writing aloud is the easiest way to find word repetition, omitted words, and sentences with which readers may struggle, and therefore need to be reworked. While you may feel silly doing it, it is the best way to improve your writing.
It puts the writer into the reader’s position, and as an added benefit, it’s free!
Blog ideas generator
For some people, creating or developing a topic on which to write is often just as difficult as completing the writing.
Luckily, there are some blogging resources to help with that. One of these is the HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator. With this free tool, you can enter nouns related to your business and industry and receive several blogging ideas.
It’s a fantastic way to reduce some of the stress of frequent online content creation , especially if you already lack confidence in your writing.
Refer to a style guide
Finding the correct rules for writing your business blog posts can also be difficult at times.
There are conflicting recommendations for spelling, grammar, word usage and punctuation depending on which style guide you choose to use for your blog.
A style guide is a collection of writing conventions (or rules) for a particular industry, brand or project. While there are many style guides out there, your business may choose to create a personalised house style.
If you’d rather defer to the experts on the topic of language, consider using the Australian Style Guide or the Australian
Government Style Manual. There’s also a style guide available at Editor Australia.
Most style guides are published and updated every few years. Since these guides tend to be quite hefty, I do suggest subscribing to your particular style guide online.
While there is a fee associated with this, they usually have the most up-to-date information and often include an “ask the editor” section where you can submit a question or read through questions and answers that others have submitted.
Stock image plans
This resource is not specifically for writing, but it is something that may help you make your business blog more successful.
Blog posts with images perform much better than those without. Finding visual content that you are legally allowed to post with your writing can be difficult sometimes.
Websites such as Shutterstock provide stock photo options that include royalty-free images, photos, and videos.
There is a fee associated with 123rf, however there are several plans depending on how often you will make use of the service. As businesses that blog regularly perform the best, a subscription plan to a stock image website will provide you with a wide supply of images to help your blog succeed. You can also explore plans on iStock and Getty Images.
Don’t miss out
Anyone can be a writer with the right ideas and resources.
While stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult and painful at first, especially if writing isn’t something you enjoy, taking the step to begin blogging for your business can help your company drive traffic to your website, convert that traffic into leads and establish yourself as an authority within the industry.