The paralysis of the blank page

The paralysis of the blank page

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 09.08.51You’ve got lots of great opinions, ones that start a debate, that show your market knowledge and expertise.

Sharing them with your customers, prospects and partners is good for business. It’ll get you noticed. You’ll boost your reputation. So you’ve decided to write a blog and share the content using social media.

Time to sit down and get started. You only need to do about 400 words. Easy, right?

But you open up a word document and there is nothing there. The paralysis of the blank page takes over.

So how are you going to get it written? And maybe what’s worse, how are you going to write one regularly?!

After years of starting with a blank page, I’ve got a few practical tips to help get you on your way.

Think about your audience: who are they and what matters to them. If you’re not sure do a little research and find out what they’re talking about. What’s trending in the Twittersphere? What are the conference topics, the lead stories in the relevant media?

What do you want to say: what are the messages you want to project to your audience? These are the things that make you different, that will make a potential customer put you and your products or services ahead of a competitor.

The content of your blog should be in the overlap between the two.

Decide on your call to action: be really clear about what you want your audience to do when they hear your message. You don’t have to shout out ‘BUY MY PRODUCT’ but you do want to give the reader ideas about what to do next – visit the website, sign up to a newsletter, give you a call …

But the page is still blank!

Don’t panic, just start writing: A great intro matters – “It is a truth universally acknowledged that an evocative first sentence must be enticing to a reader” (to take outrageous liberties with one of my favourite authors.) But sitting staring at the screen waiting, hoping for divine inspiration isn’t going to get you anywhere. So just starting writing; bash down your thoughts.

Order your thinking and create your narrative: with the page starting to fill up you’re now in a position to weave a thread through the piece. This is much easier with thoughts and ideas already on the page. All you have to do is rearrange the elements into a coherent argument.

Draw them in at the beginning and leave them wanting more: Now think about the headline, intro and finish. The headline needs to be explanatory yet snappy and enticing; a lot easier said than done! The first paragraph is all about making the readers you want, feel this is for them. The finish should leave them wanting more and direct them where to get it – from you!

Then there is the SEO, meta description, H2s, tags, key words and visual impact to think about. But they are all much simpler to sort once you’ve got words on the page!

Give me a call if you’d like to chat about blogging.

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