Having credibility in your field or industry creates more leads for your business, attracts more visitors to your website and results in more paying customers. Many people believe that becoming a published author can significantly add to your credibility. So, more and more business owners are striving to become published authors.
Indeed, “becoming a published author” has become an industry in its own right. I see many entrepreneurs running workshops and webinars on how to write a book, how to become a published author or how to self-publish a book.
And there is nothing wrong with writing a book. But if you don’t have the time, money or ideas for a whole book, I would advise you to start with your blog.
Your blog is a self-publishing platform. It has the potential to put your expertise, in the form of your writing, in front of a huge audience. If you know what to write, how to write it and how to promote it, your blog will soon be read by those who most need your expertise and has the potential to convert them into paying clients.
Many clients tell me that they don’t have time to write a blog, or that they struggle to continually come up with new ideas for blog posts, or that they have an idea but don’t know how to convert it into a high quality, shareable post.
These are all valid concerns, but they can be overcome with a planned, structured approach to building a powerful blog.
One approach that I recommend to my client is to set aside just 30 minutes each day to:
- write down all the problems, or issues, you hear your clients talking about – on social media, in conversations with you and each other, in comments on your blog posts (if you’re already blogging) and anywhere else that you might hear or read about them;
- get clear on who your ideal client is – where they live, how much they earn, what they worry about at night, do they have families and any other characteristics that are relevant to your product or service;
- get clear on your own agenda – why do you do what you do? What difference do you want to make in your clients’ lives? What is your intrinsic motivation for this? What are you business goals? What goals do you have for your website?
- use the answers to the above to create a list of blog post topics, then use brainstorming or mindmapping to grow that list, until you have enough material for a year’s worth of blog posts;
- choose 4 or 5 topics and write each of these at the top of a piece of paper – attach them to a wall in your office where you can easily see them and whenever you have a thought about one of those topics, jot it down on the relevant piece of paper (if you’d like to go electronic for this, use Evernote to organise your ideas, or create draft posts in your blog) – once you have 5-7 dot points under a topic, take it down, transfer the notes into your blog and expand the ideas until you have completed the post;
- promote your blog posts on social media – this includes Facebook groups where such promotion is allowed, LinkedIn and Google+, as well as Twitter and your Facebook business page; if you use infographics, beautiful images of your products, or create your own images with quotes, add those images to Pinterest;
- analyse your statistics using Google Analytics – which posts are the most popular? which bombed? which received the most comments? which were shared the most? and use the results to write more about the popular topics, as well as improving your writing skills – do you need to improve your headlines? are your blog posts easy to read? do they invite conversation? are they of value to the reader?
- review and republish old posts, with the intention of providing even higher value to your readers – be prepared to give away your expertise for free in your blog – the more value you offer people, the more they will want and the more they will keep coming back – once they see how much value you offer for free they will realise how much more they will be able to get once they pay you;
- develop free downloadable templates, checklists and guides that you can include in your blog posts in exchange for your reader’s email address – this is a brilliant method of building your email list.
If you set aside just 30 minutes a day, at a time that you feel most creative, perhaps with your morning coffee, and implement these action items, you will soon have a collection of high value published material on your website. The more frequently you publish your posts, the more material you will have.
You are now a published author.
Soon, you might consider collating some of your best posts into an ebook that you offer for sale on your site, or perhaps use a series of blog posts on a specific topic as a basis for a book on that subject. You can then write and publish this as an ebook yourself and have it available on your site and/or Amazon. I would recommend having any ebook professionally designed by a graphic designer, or, at the very least, its front cover.
If you’d like more help with jump starting your blog, I’d like to invite you to join my 21 Days to a Powerful Business Blog Challenge.
Each weekday you will receive a new task through which you will learn about:
- listening to your clients to identify their problems and create blog posts that solve them,
- writing well structured, readable blog posts that your readers want to share with others,
- what YOU and your your BUSINESS are all about, so you can write with confidence and authority
- SEO basics that anyone can implement, making your blog posts and your website easier to find,
- showing YOU, the person behind the business, through your blog, to build a genuine person-to-person connection with your readers,
- developing a plan for your blog to stop the procrastination that comes when faced with a blank computer screen,
- strategies for promoting your blog, creating rich visual content and using guest posting to further build your credibility,
- copyright – what is it, how to use it and how not to breach it.