Blogging started out as a hobby. Blogger, launched in 1999, and later WordPress, launched in 2003, gave anybody who had something to say an online platform to voice their ideas, insights, and experiences. Who knew that in less than a decade, blogging would become a powerful marketing tool for businesses?
Blogging is one part of a larger content marketing strategy. People visit your blog because they want to read about your insight on a certain topic. A blog is also a great way for existing and prospective clients to get to know you and to help you to put a face to your brand.
The Benefits of Blogging
Businesses that blog regularly and consistently often see great results. With an effective blogging strategy, you can:
- build your brand and reputation,
- demonstrate your expertise and knowledge about your industry,
- boost your search engine ranking – Google loves regular fresh content,
- create content to share on social media,
- convert web traffic into leads, and
- improve your customer service by building a research bank to refer customers to without needing to explain common questions over and over again.
To get your blogs to work for you, you need to put effort into producing great content that people enjoy to read. You also need to optimise your content for search engines, and promote and share posts diligently on social media.
Here are some blogging statistics, courtesy of HubSpot:
What Keeps Accountants from Blogging Regularly?
Some blogging challenges are real, while others are nonsensical untruths that we believe about ourselves. Do you recognise any of these statements?
- I don’t have time to write consistently: Time is one of the most common challenges accountants face. If you have to choose between billable work and writing a blog post, the blog post is going to get the short end of the stick. Consider outsourcing all or part of your blogging to a freelance writer or marketer.
- I don’t know what to write about: Consistently thinking of new topics is another big challenge for accountants. But it doesn’t have to be. Start to compile a list of questions you often get from clients and make it a habit to add items to the list after each meeting. If you get a question more than once, it’s probably worth writing about. If you need more help, download this guide packed chock full of topic ideas.
- I’m not a good writer: Many accountants are great writers, but just as many struggle to write in an engaging way and in an everyday language that their clients understand. If that’s you, consider signing up for this blogging course where I show you step-by-step everything you need to know about putting an effective blog together.
- I’m not an expert, so why would people want to read my blog: This is a common misconception, especially with newly-established accounting firms or accountants that just qualified. If you haven’t been in business for 20 years, it does not mean that you don’t have anything worthy to share. Yes, you may not be the most experienced in your field, but no-one goes through years of studies without accumulating valuable skills and knowledge. If people come to you for accounting advice – even if it’s just your family – you have something to share. Additionally, writing solidifies your expertise; you’ll be even better prepared to help your clients with something after writing about it.
How Can I Learn to Write Better?
The best way to improve your writing is to keep your client’s needs in mind and think about how to create value for them and help their businesses succeed. Don’t write a blog because you want to get more traffic or boost your ranking. Write because you want to help your clients. This consciousness alone will take your writing up a few notches.
Remember that your blog posts don’t need to be perfect. Your clients don’t come to you to read an award-winning article, they come to you for your expertise and because they trust your opinion. So, if you’re a decent writer, don’t shy away from it.
Also, know that your first draft is not going to be flawless – your first draft is just to get your thoughts on paper. Write down everything you want to say and then take a break. Let it rest for a couple of hours or days, and then come back to rewrite and refine your post.
Lastly, get someone else to read your blog post before you publish. When you spend a few hours with a piece of writing, you’re bound to miss a few typos and errors. Another set of eyes can also pick up any clarity issues.