One of the best tools for increasing your stature and visibility on the web is a well maintained, quality blog. Google loves to see fresh, unique content and a blog is usually the easiest way to accomplish that. There are a lot of things that make it difficult but for a lot of people simply getting started as well as having the confidence to write (and having your writings available to the world) is a big hurdle. A big part of this is also feeling like you have something important to say. So how do you get over this and get started?
There are a couple of things to help you get started. First, just get started writing. You don’t have to publish your first few articles if you don’t like them (I still have some unpublished blog posts for the Trafficado blog), but just start identifying your voice and getting a feel for writing. It needs to sound authentic. One of the great things about a blog from the readers perspective is that they feel like they start to get to know you and then they want to hear what you have to say. If it is just too big of a hump to get over having your name attached to the blog you can use display only your first name on the posts, but just get started.
As you start writing you should identify various topics that you are going to be writing on. This is definitely fluid and can change, but it will help you get started by identifying categories. These topics/categories you are writing on should be something you have some expertise in and is also interesting to your target audience. So identify what people want to know in topical area of your blog and write down questions they might have. Start with the basics to get the creative juices flowing, then think about things that people seem to misunderstand on the topic where you can contribute a simple answer (or more easily clarify the answer). From there offer your unique perspective on various issues. One place to always be watching is current events that relate to your topic. Current events are a great way to get new ideas about writing. Another place to look for ideas is to ask others what they would like to see on the blog–see what questions they have and write answers to those questions. As you get going you should be able to write down enough ideas to get started–and from there it gets easier.
Make sure you plan ahead by outlining a content schedule. It could be as simple as “write and publish one post per week”, or it could specifically state which posts you have and when you are going to post them–or which categories you are going to write about on which days. Put it on your calendar and plan time to write. It won’t ever happen if you don’t make it a priority, so planning time makes sure you have time to do it and you are reminded about it.
Keep something (notepad, phone with a note about blog thoughts, etc) with you to write notes and thoughts wherever you are. Ideas will come from a variety of sources and you need to capture the thought whenever and wherever it comes. And when they do come try and write down the context for the idea so you can re-create the thought and run with it when you actually sit down to start writing.
If you’re having problems coming up with ideas yourself, search the web for other blogs on your topic and see what they are writing about–then see if you can offer your own unique perspective on the topic–or if there is something you feel is missing from those blogs then fill in the gaps. Use personal experiences to identify topics and add a personal perspective to your writing as well.
All of this will help get over your lack of confidence in writing, but in the end you have to decide that this is something that you are going to do. If you aren’t committed, it won’t happen. And if you are truly committed to your search engine marketing you should be committed to blogging.