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How to Blog Effectively: The Ultimate Guide for Solopreneurs

Last week I went to a local networking meetup group. These kinds of groups generally aren’t full of my ideal audience, but I like to go to this particular one because they always have a speaker, and hearing people like LinkedIn expert Kevin Knebl or Facebook guru Andrea Vahl for free is something I can’t pass up!

Anywho, as we were finishing up, the gentleman sitting next to me, an architect looking to start his own firm, asked me a variation on a question I get a lot:

How do I start a blog?

Usually, these people want to know technical directions, as in, what software should I use, where do I go, how does it work?

But frankly, those are the wrong questions to ask right out of the gate.

There are plenty of tutorials out there on the web on how to physically start a blog (I recommend using Wordpress), but the bigger, more important question they should be asking is:

How do I write a blog?

If you have a business, blogging is not just about writing what’s on your mind.  I’m a big believer that if your blog doesn’t support your business — bring new traffic to your website, convert that traffic to your email list, and then help convince those readers and subscribers to become customers — then it’s a waste of time.

Business blogging requires a strategy.  So let’s break it down as to how you can create yours.

1. Why are you blogging?

The absolute first thing you must understand about your business blog is why you are writing it.

There are three main reasons people read blogs:

  1. to be educated
  2. to be inspired
  3. to be entertained

This is the value that blogs deliver for the readers. Most business blogs fall into the education category. It used to be that business only blogged to educate readers about their business, as in, what’s happening with their business.

More recently, with the advent of the freemium model, more and more businesses are giving their readers the education information they might have had to pay for before.

For example, a marketing firm before might only have blogged about what was happening with the firm: we hired a new associate, we’ve expanded our services, we will be speaking at this event, etc.  Now, with a freemium model, the same firm might give away free tutorials on their blog, teach their readers how to create a certain kind of graphic or document, or post images of inspiring designs.  They’re giving away for free what they might have charged for in the past.

Beyond understanding what you hope to deliver to your audience, you need to have an idea of what you hope to gain as well.  For example, your goal may be to deliver value by educating your audience, but your business goal may be to get people to sign up for your email list, share your content on social media, or buy your latest thing.

Your business goals for your blog will probably change more frequently than the value you deliver, and will depend a lot on where you are in your business’ development and where you are in your sales cycle.

Understanding how the value you deliver and how you will work towards your business goals work together will help you understand why you’re blogging for your business.i

These articles will help you get a handle on understanding the WHY behind your blog:

2. Who are you blogging for?

You also need to know WHO you’re writing to.  I often see small business bloggers writing to the wrong audience, so before you ever start writing, make sure you understand who your ideal reader is. (Here’s a hint: she might be slightly different from your ideal customer.)

And once you know who your reader is, you can better understand what he or she wants from you and your blog.

 3. What are you going to write about?

Everything you write about on your blog should serve your greater purpose.  If, for example, your purpose is to inspire your readers and build your email list, that will help dictate which topics you should write about.

But that doesn’t mean that figuring out what to write about every week is easy!  When you need some inspiration, check out these resources and posts:

4. Where are you going to promote your blog?

The second biggest problem I see with small business blogs is the Field of Dreams mentality: the business owner believes, “If I write it, they will come.”

And that just ain’t the case any more.

As much as you need to have a strategy for writing your blog, you also have to have a strategy for promoting it.  This includes sharing it with your social media networks, but you have to go beyond that as well.  These articles will help you understand the basics of blog promotion:

5. How the heck do I do all this while still running my business?

Finally, as a solopreneur or micro-business owner, you must learn how to create and write content quickly and efficiently.  If it takes you 10 hours a week to create and promote your content, it’s pretty likely that you’re not making a good return on that time investment.  Steal some of my best techniques for blogging more quickly and efficiently:

Now it’s your turn: What questions do you have about building your blogging strategy? Let me know in the comments below.

27 thoughts on “How to Blog Effectively: The Ultimate Guide for Solopreneurs

  1. These are awesome tips, Lacy! I’ve bookmarked a couple of the articles you link to. I wish I’d found you when I first started blogging – it took me a while to figure out those basic few questions that give the work direction.

    1. Thanks, Anne! Yeah, this is meant as more of a guide for beginners, but I’m glad to hear you found some useful tidbits, too!

  2. Lacy, great article, many thanks. I’ve clicked some of your links and they are taking me to a WordPress login screen! Eg, the first link underneath “Why are you blogging”. There are several links doing this.

  3. In fact all your links under #5 “How the heck do I do all this…” are doing this (except for the first link in the list).

  4. Lacy, You’ve really got your stuff together, I’m so impressed and don’t know why I haven’t been paying attention to you earlier in the game! I love what you’re doing!

  5. Lacy, you are awesome, your delivery of such valuable information, for someone like me, a newbie to blogging, is really helpful. You are a natural teacher and amazing writer. I downloaded your pdf tips, and will be implementing them, not just collecting them! Thanks so much.

  6. Amazing collection of how-to information Lacy! I look forward to digging in deeper to the additional resources and making my blog better!

  7. Lace, Thank you so much for this. I’m bookmarking it! This is exactly what I’m examining for one of my blogs because the structure has changed. This is so very helpful!

  8. Hi Lacy,
    I’m brand new to your site and I love everything I’ve read! All the resources in this post are super helpful and just what I needed. I’m just starting out with a business lbog. Thank you!

  9. Hey Lacy!

    Wow, I’ve gone through tons of blog guides, and yours is definitely one of the best ones. What struck out to me most is your theme, word fonts, and your writing style. Absolutely incredible.

  10. Thanks for submitting this to the Blogging + Business Collective. All submissions get pinned to Pinterest. Have a great Sunday!

  11. You’re one of the most concise and informative writers on this topic I’ve seen. This is helpful with my focus as I prepare launching an online business with content in my niche categories! Really appreciate finding you as a role model blogger l!

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