Write what you know

I once wrote a fantastic English essay about a talking dog.

At least, I thought it was fantastic until my teacher handed it back with a large red scrawl at the foot: “Rubbish! Write what you know.”

He was, sadly, right. It is incredibly hard to make a piece of writing seem believable unless you have experienced the subject in some way. The more life you can breathe into it and the more knowledge you can bring to bear, the more convincing the piece will be.

This applies a thousand-fold to business blogs.

Demonstrate expertise

The degree of knowledge displayed by a blog relates directly to its ability to attract – and keep attracting – a readership. To build a large following blogs and blog posts must be able to demonstrate that there is something behind the information presented on the screen.

Personality, thought leadership, expertise, advice – the ‘something’ may take many guises, but is always founded on the fact that the person blogging knows what he is talking about.

Make use of your expertise

From a business blog point of view, this is great news. It means that you don’t have to try to out-think your audience:

  • Build your credibility by offering advice. If a customer asks you a question, the chances are high that other people are wondering the same thing. So blog it.
  • You will recognise relevant sector news when it comes up. Mentioning it on your blog will demonstrate your sector knowledge to everyone else. Adding a comment will double the impact.
  • If you’re speaking at a conference or event, write about the topic you will be discussing and mention in passing that you’ll be there.
  • Don’t sell your services. Blogging is more subtle than that. You simply want people to remember your name.
  • And never, ever, write about talking dogs…

(This blog was first posted in 2014 on an earlier version of this website)

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