You have decided to take the plunge and begin a blog for your small business. Congratulations! And welcome to the writer’s journey. But where to begin? And how to get over the initial hurdle of sitting down with pen and paper, or blinking computer screen, to craft your first posts?
Once you have your blog set up, and looking pretty, try to follow these steps for getting those creative juices flowing.
1. Give Yourself Time and Space to Just Think
Sometimes we get so caught up in the doing we forget about the necessity of the planning process. Set aside at least one hour when you will sit with pen and paper, or on your computer, and brainstorm topics you would like to write about on your blog. Fill the page with as many ideas as you can think about. At this stage, don’t try to flesh out the ideas, or make them perfect. Simply jot down anything and everything that comes to you.
2. Ask Yourself Some Key Questions
To stay continually “on message” with your company’s branding, always ask yourself – “what is my company all about?” “what is it that I offer the public?” “what would I want people to say about me and my company?” Guide your topics and keywords with this exercise. In doing this, you will generate some “buzz” words that you will want to incorporate into your posts, and that will guide your choice of topics.
3. Arrange Your Ideas On a Calendar, And Use Some Important Dates to Guide You Further
Get out a big calendar, electronic or paper. And sit down with your million (and one!) ideas from your brainstorm and start plotting. You might find it easier to write your topics on sticky notes and then arrange them on a wall or piece of large paper. You can manually shift things around this way. You will do this to align your ideas – the topics you came up with in your brainstorm – with dates on a calendar. Do choose themes that align with holidays, the seasons, and public awareness campaigns (like Breast Cancer Awareness Month).
In three easy and simple steps you have the start of an Editorial Calendar. Build on this calendar in the coming months: as you write and think about your blog, more ideas will start flowing. You may notice themes arising in comments from readers and customers. Keep a note book, or simply a piece of paper taped to a wall, to jot down these ideas as they come to. Re-visit your calendar weekly, monthly and every few months to keep it up-to-date and accurate. You want this to be a fluid, evergreen document.
And of course, just get writing. Write often! Just do it.