So you’ve decided to use content marketing as a strategy to increase traffic to your website. Everybody is doing it now, and you feel you should be doing it too. You’re excited and you’re ready to go! But you open up that word document and the blank sheet just gives you an overwhelming sense of writer’s block.
You might not have written something like this since you were back at school. It can definitely be daunting. But here at Statement, we believe that content marketing is too valuable an opportunity to let go. So taking our experience into account, we came up with some top tips to start your first post.
Whatever your blog post is going to be about, you need it to stay on brand. It sounds obvious, we know. But the worst thing to happen would be if your children’s clothing brand is quirky, comical and fun but you produce a 5,000 word blog post on the legal requirements of children’s fabrics in the United Kingdom. You need to keep your brand and tone in mind when you write any blog post but it’s always the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re starting your first piece of content.
Every content marketing blog on the Internet tells everyone to be aware of this but people rarely listen and they jump straight in with their piece. You don’t need to write a huge report on the target audience of the content piece (though a degree of initial research would be useful).
At Statement we produced a few ‘brand cameo’ profiles, outlining some of our typical clients’ experience level, knowledge level, passions etc. If you wanted to write a blog post about flower arranging in Yorkshire, you would write it very differently depending on whether your audience was an expert or a beginner in flower arranging. Not every blog post needs to be targeted to the same audience either, you can vary it depending on your range of customers or clients.
It’s tempting to be take exciting risks when creating content. But don’t do it on your first one! Stick to the basics for now, such as a simple ‘how-to’ article and then learn how to be comfortable with it. Once you’re more comfortable, consider taking more risks and try your hand at something outside of your comfort zone like video content. Just don’t get ahead of yourself too soon!
As we’ve stressed before, stay in your comfort zone. If you run a successful stationary business and you have a strength when it comes to selling stationary to local schools then specifically write about that. When you get more comfortable with the topics you know less about, that’s the time to spread your creative content wings!
To calm your nerves it might be good to have a look at the most popular content posters in your industry and have a look at their very earlier blog posts. Look also at how their style has developed over time. It’s a little bit like looking at popular Twitter users’ first tweets. They will look choppy and possibly a bit out-dated. Hopefully this will make you see that your first post doesn’t have to be perfect!
This is your first blog post so it’s not going to become Pulitzer Prize worthy - you know that. Your first content piece is going to be a little experimental or exploratory and you may make mistakes! Ask yourself - would you rather make a big mistake in the beginning when you have low readership, or in the future when you have a large following?
Content marketing takes a while to start being effective anyway. If you only have one blog post and you don’t get any newsletter subscribers or new customers as a result, don’t fret. People who stumbled across your blog post probably saw that you had no other blog posts and then left. Now if you have a bank of a few weeks’ worth of blog posts and somebody stumbles across one, they will see that you post regularly and will probably sign up to a newsletter or follow you on social media.
Image Credits: Death to the Stock Photo