A conversation in the hall of your business day

Lots of small business owners struggle to get a blog going.

There are some technical challenges: geek stuff is huge for some and tiny for others.

But in almost every case, the tech stuff isn’t the hard part.

When it comes to business owners, almost every conversation about blogging tends to start with “What do I write about?”

It’s not a bad question, really.

The root of the problem is usually how owners perceive their blog.

If you view it as a formal trade publication (or a series of emotionless whitepapers written in corporate-speak), you’ll likely struggle to find meaningful topics to write about.

When you have to produce a formal article, suddenly that 2 minute conversation with your client doesn’t seem “worthy” of your blog.

I don’t see it that way at all.

Conversations

For me, the blog is an informal business conversation. It’s as if we met in the hall at your office or sat down somewhere for coffee.

If you approach it in that context, I’ll bet you can find lots of things to write about.

Fact is, that’s what shows people that you’re someone they’d actually want to do business with.

Think about the last 5-10-20 or 100 conversations you had with clients in your store, restaurant, on the phone, via email etc. Think about the questions you answered, the issues you discussed, the advice you gave, and the challenges you dissected.

Every single one of those could should be a blog post.

Finding your voice

Some days you might get a feel like I’m talking to you one-on-one.

Many times, I have picked out a client as my apparent conversation partner that day and I write as if I’m talking to them. Occasionally, I’m doing just that – sending them a public (yet private) signal that they need to do something.

Other times, it may sound as if I’m speaking to a small group of business owners, like at a “brown bag business lunch” or chamber seminar.

That’s completely intentional.

When we meet, I want our conversation to feel like the conversation we have here. I talk here (mostly) like we would in person. I do that so that there isn’t a shocking change in our relationship when we start working together.

Wouldn’t it drive you nuts to read my blog and then meet me in person only to find that you’re talking to a guy who spouts corporate-speak?

You need to make the same decision about how your blog “sounds”.

Stiff upper lips

One thing that is important when writing posts is not to talk in stiff, boring whitepaper-ese or corporate-speak – unless that’s really how you talk (ugh).

A blog is not a research paper or a doctoral thesis. It doesn’t have to pass muster with the United Guild of Boring Writers.

Its a conversation in the hallway of your business day. Not necessarily about American Idol, but in a friendly, collegial way.

Once you find your blogging voice, I think you’ll find it a lot easier to to find topics and have conversations.

I know it’s in there. Just be the person you are when you’re helping someone.