Sovereign Standard, Issue 30 You’ve got an idea for a really important blog post for your business’s website - brilliant!
Tell me about it. Tell me why you need to write it. Tell me the story that will glimmer with insight. Tell me what you’re asking your reader to do when she reaches the end.
What I want the writer to do? you ask.
Yes. You know, the call to action. It’s the logical, necessary conclusion to every business blog post. It’s anything from join my email list, to get my free report, to book a session.
Oh, you say, I’m not sure…
Well, how about you send them to your services page? In a pinch you can always say “learn more about what I do” and invite readers to delve more deeply into your website that way.
Um… I’d rather not. My services page is kind of outdated. I keep meaning to get back to it.
You’re starting to shut down. You’re kind of wishing you’d never asked me - your friend the writing coach - to look at something you wrote.
This is when I get a certain look in my eye. I really, really want to give you a hug, but I see you're pulling back. I know that feeling. The last thing I want to do is discourage your writing, but I have to be honest.
I am about to deliver some news you probably don’t really want to hear, but that you and I both know you need to hear.
This blog post isn’t where you need to put your energy, friend.
We’re wasting our efforts on this one precious article if you’re still struggling with pangs of website shame.
Tough love: 5 things your online presence needs BEFORE you invest time, energy, and writing coaching dollars in your blog
Whether or not you want to be a blogging superstar, regardless of whether you buy into the quest for any kind of superstardom at all, you need to be the star of your own online show if you're going to make your business work.
And so, before I start helping you promote yourself through blogging and content marketing, I want to be sure that you've shined up all the points on your online presence star.
[tweetthis]5 things I tell my friends to do before they write a #blog post[/tweetthis]
- You've got overall clarity on what your website is meant to do for your business. Your website is a key member of your sales force. Yes, even if you run a itty bitty business or a private practice you actually do have a sales force.It might just a force of two: you at networking events introducing your work and passing out cards and your website with the "book now" button. Make sure it's clear that your site has a job and be the boss who makes it do the work! (Note: your site does need to be more than an online booking platform - it welcomes prospects with a clear, comprehensive overview of who you are, what you offer, and what problems you solve, too!)
- Your About page shines with your Sovereign Story. Beyond sharing some key elements of your biography, the About page expresses your passion and your mission. It inspires people say “I want to have coffee with this person and find out how she can help me. Heck, I want to hire her!”
- Your Services page describes what you do and answers fundamental questions about your work. The Services page on your site is a resource for you too. When you’re new to business or you’re making changes in your practice, you can refer to your website as your organization's “manual.” You already figured out the length and cost of a session and you posted it for the world to see - no need to second guess yourself when someone asks your what you do and what you charge!
- You’re continuing your relationship with your reader by building a list. You get an extra gold star when you tell me you have an email opt in offer (like a video series or a report) that incentivizes sign ups, but simply asking people to join your community and entrust you with their email address is a great start.
- You’re consistently strengthening your relationship with your online community. Communicating with your list. Posting useful content on social media from a variety of sources. Starting conversations with colleagues, potential clients, and the people who inspire you… All of this helps you develop an online platform and build and audience so there’s someone there to read this awesome blog post that is blossoming within you.
Yes, but there are stories that must be told
What, what’s that you say? The blog post you need to write is burning you up inside?
It’s about your clients, your business, your relationship with how you serve the world and nothing makes sense until you get it out there. It’s one of those immediate stories that has to be birthed now, huh?
And you say that putting your concerns about list building over this really big idea just crushes your soul.
I get that.
Your friend the writing coach takes a deep breath... (that's me, remember).
I can’t help myself - I too am driven by story, art, connection, and the need to express that idea that will not be denied. I understand how you are dedicated to so much more than "doing the internet right.”
Alright. Just this once. Just ONE post. Show it to me. I'll make suggestions and edits and ask you to clarify a few things, ok? Expect to get it back by Tuesday. If it's that important we'll be the this one post will inform all those other web presence building activities I talk about above.
But, once this is published, do you promise that our next project involves a comprehensive review of your site so you can put website shame to bed forever? Or, if you're just not sure where to begin, we'll have a Message Development Session. Promise?
How shiny is your online presence star?
Help me understand where you are right now... Do you feel like you have all five points covered and you're ready for the blogging adventure?
If you're still polishing up your online star, which points feel bright and shiny and which could use some help?
Please let me know in the comments so I can craft some content that will help you set all five points aglow!