I was watching children’s TV show the other day, with my son, and the episode of the programme we were watching was entitled ‘self-respect’. First of all, I thought it sounded a little harsh telling kids to ‘have self-respect!’, but I soon realised that it was actually talking about teaching children to have ‘respect for themselves’ – to be proud of what they have achieved, the talents they have and their own characteristics. They were teaching children to have respect for and confidence in their own abilities.
So many of the small business owners I meet have no self-respect. I never hear ‘I am actually really good at what I do’ or ‘I have a real talent for my job’. Instead, I hear all about what they can’t achieve, how the content they create is ‘rubbish’ or ‘wrong’, how they find digital stuff so difficult and frustrating because of their lack of ability.
When I am talking about blogging, my main aim is to give people the confidence to do it…to get them writing to help their business. I want them to engage more people ensuring they stay a little longer on their website and to give them the respect they deserve for the hard work they put in to their content creation.
Here are some ideas to help you build self-respect for your blogs:
Write about what you know – the comfort zone
It’s nearly always the advice I kick off with – write about what you know. I love doing research and writing articles for businesses whose subject matter I may not know a lot about, but that’s because that’s what I do for a living. Don’t start in the unknown…doing research on a topic and writing it up into your own words is a real skill (and with my new ‘self-respect hat’ on, I am telling myself it is one I happen to be good at it…*squirms whilst writing*!).
Therefore, if you are new to blogging, start by sharing information about your business write about what you know – services you offer, experience you have, events you have been to, how things are made, your passions, your interests, your location…and so on!
Write about what is true – the factual zone
If you are worried or nervous about blogging because you think that you have to revolutionary, overly opinionated or ranting – then don’t be. You don’t have to do any of those things! Stick to facts – write about how your products or made or where they come from.
If appropriate, certainly feel free to use statistics or quotes which back up what you say – link to the original source. It will give your blog a real sense of authority. However, make sure you use responsible and trustworthy sources.
If you do wish to offer an opinion, but know there are other approaches or strong views, then explain this. The wonderful thing about writing a blog is having the space to explain yourself – you are not on Twitter trying to stick to 280 characters!
Write about what is informative – the helpful zone
There is nothing nicer than trying to helping people and a blog is a great space to do this. Think about what your clients will want to know; what questions may they be asking and what information are they trying to find. Use your blog to answer their questions, their concerns, their worries…and then feel good about yourself for doing so! It will definitely add to your self-respect.
Answering questions can also naturally lend itself to ‘search engine optimisation’ (SEO) for your website because it is often what people are using as keyword search string, i.e. How do I do X? Where can I find Y?
Write about your knowledge – the experience zone
We are talking about self-respect and it often starts with acknowledging your talents, abilities and expertise. The primary thing that will convert a sale in your business is you. People buy from people…and especially from people that they trust. So in your blogs, give them a reason to trust you. Share your knowledge and highlight why you are worth buying from. Share your experience, qualifications and training to illustrate what gives you the backing to do what you do and sell what you sell.
I think one of the best reasons for blogging is a kind of ‘self-validation’. If I choose a topic and then find that I have lots to say, it is confidence building. It makes me feel that I know what I am talking about and that I have useful information to share. On the other hand, even if I have a good idea, if I am struggling after one paragraph, then I know I need to do more research or get more experience.
Have a go and I think you will be surprised how much knowledge, experience and top tips you have to share – respect yourself and your ability.
You can blog! You can write! You have lots to share! Give yourself this recognition. Give yourself some self-respect. Get writing.
If you want some convincing….give me a shout!