Preparation is so often the key to effectively accomplishing any task you set yourself. When writing a blog, for business or otherwise, thinking about who you are writing for is a major step towards producing something that not only speaks to your audience, but will be found by the search engines. So, continuing my tenuous analogy between working the room at networking events and working the vast expanse of the online world by networking through a blog – how can networking tips help you prepare your online content?
Who would you like to meet?
Or who would you like to read your writing. Just as you can plan who you would like to talk to at a networking event, you can plan your blog to appeal to the right people. That doesn’t mean finding a list of names and throwing yourself at them. It means finding out about your target audience, so you can connect in a meaningful way. What interests do they have in common with you? What will they want to know from you? What will they want to know about you?
If you can’t find an answer to these questions, you won’t have anything worth saying. Get stuck at a networking event with nothing worth saying and you’ll blend into the crowd with disappointingly forgettable whimpers of insubstantial conversation. Those whimpers drown all the more quickly on the internet.
What’s your message?
It’s sensible to prepare a short introduction to yourself or your idea when you want to convince someone you’ve just met that you know what you’re doing. You don’t have to rehearse a little speech word for word, but you should have a good idea of exactly who you are and what you do. Uncertainty is a serious turn off in the world of business.
Online content is no different. The best way to make sure what you’re saying is bold and clear is to know what you want to say in advance, and to have practised saying it beforehand. Don’t spew early drafts onto the internet, take your time with what you want to say. Think about your message. Be clear in your own mind about what you want to tell people, long before you tell it to them.
How will people respond?
This doesn’t just apply to the content you’re uploading. Think about the responses you will receive, too. How will people respond to what you say? What other information will they want? What questions might they ask? Or, in the end, how will they follow up your conversation? If you think about all these questions in advance, you can provide appropriate responses. Or, better yet, you can clarify your position by volunteering the information before they have to ask.
When you have an idea of what you’re going to say, who you’re going to say it to and how they might respond, you can walk into a room more confidently and explode into action.