When you start thinking about writing for your business there are more options than you might realise. And if you think you need a website first, you don’t. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of the options in this article.
Writing about your business enables you to share insights about why you do what you do and how it helps your clients. You can share your perspective and values, as well as enabling people to make purchase decisions more easily.
For more reasons to write about what you do, read 9 Brilliant Benefits Of Blogging For Business.
Here are 8 places where you can write and get known for what you do. One of the things to consider with all of these options is what you want people to do. Do you want them to follow you? Do you want them to subscribe to you? Where do you want to be able to interact with them?
1. Your website
If you do have a website then this is the Number One place you need to write. Why? Because you want to be driving people to your business home. Whether your business is completely virtual, you have physical premises, for people searching online for what you sell, your website is your online shop. You want people to visit.
More than that, you want them to look around. A shop window is great! But you want them to walk through your door, and explore. Your blog articles help to showcase what you do, let people get to know you, and build trust. You’re helping your website visitors decide whether they want to buy from you.
By writing articles on your website, you are building a resource for people wanting to be informed, educated, entertained, or inspired. Your blog is a great way to showcase your products or services.
Great for SEO
Brings people directly to your business
Can help you build an email list
This isn’t really a downside but it’s not a case of write it and people will come flocking. You need to share links to your articles with your audience on social media and your email list to get more people reading.
LinkedIn has changed a lot over the last few years. If you still think of it as somewhere to post your CV and pop in to look at what’s happening occasionally, you might be surprised. There’s an active community there now.
There are three places where you can write on LinkedIn:
- The newsfeed
The newsfeed is the most familiar one. You will be prompted to “start a post” at the top of the page. You’ve got about 1275 characters to play with. That’s around 220 words. It’s a decent space to tell a story in.
You can use hashtags to help your post get seen by more people. Check out this handy guide to LinkedIn hashtags from Hootsuite.
To write a LinkedIn article, click Write Article on the ‘start a post’ bar. You will be taken to LinkedIn’s blogging platform. Here you have all the formatting options you need, including the ability to put in a cover image, headlines, sub headings, pictures and videos. You can also embed content from elsewhere by using ‘snippet’.
It autosaves as you go and when you have finished you press ‘publish’. You will then be prompted to write a post telling people about your article.
Another way of writing on LinkedIn is to use documents. This enables you to upload a PDF which people can flick through on LinkedIn, or download to read later. To do it, you go to ‘start a post’. Next to the options to add an image or a video, you will see the document symbol. Choose a file and add it to your post.
Now you can write a lot more about the topic you want to share in a post and give people added value by enabling them to download the information.
All of these are great ways to share your expertise among your peers on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn articles can be indexed by Google.
If your audience is not on LinkedIn, they won’t see your posts.
You need to persuade people to click through to your website.
If LinkedIn shut down tomorrow, you would lose your audience.
If you haven’t come across Medium, it is an independent blogging platform which brings together work by lots of writers under different themes. As a reader, you can treat it as a magazine based on your interests. You tell Medium what you want to read about and it shows you articles on your chosen subjects. It also learns what you click on and shows you more of the same.
As well as content themes, there are also publications, which you can subscribe to. You can follow individual authors too. Your homepage is a mix of your favourite themes, publications, and writers.
What does this mean for your business?
Anyone can write on Medium. It’s free to use. Create an account, and it looks much like the Articles platform on LinkedIn. You can tag each article with up to 5 themes. They can be as niche or broad as you like. Medium’s inhouse curators read through what has been tagged and decide whether it will be selected to appear under that hashtag. Owners of publications also look for potential writers.
You can grow an audience on Medium. People are already reading it and interested in those topics. You can also create your own publication which people can subscribe to.
If you want to, you can sign up to Medium’s payment programme and put your work behind the paywall. The Medium algorithm figures out how to distribute the income from readers’ monthly subscriptions between the writers.
There is an art to becoming successful on Medium but to start with, just have a go. Write some articles, tag them, and see what happens.
Here are some helpful guides to get you started.
- The 25 Best Ways To Grow On Medium
- What Are The Most Popular Topics On Medium?
- A Comprehensive Guide To Medium Publications
- Medium Article Formatting Guide
A ready-made audience.
The opportunity to earn money (this is not guaranteed, and might be very small).
A great place to experiment with your writing.
If it closed down tomorrow, all your work would be lost.
You need to work hard to get your articles seen.
4. Facebook / Instagram
You might not think of Facebook and Instagram as places to write about your business. However both are microblogging sites.
You can write around 250 words on an Instagram post and use hashtags to get your message seen. And while we think of Instagram as filled with aspirational images of beautiful sunsets and beaches, you can have a lot of success with text-based images.
✅ If your audience is hanging out on Facebook or Instagram, it’s a good place to get seen.
✅ You can use hashtags to attract more people.
❌ You don’t own the platform, if it closed down tomorrow, you would lose all your work and your followers.
❌ They are commercial platforms which operate for their own gain, this means that something which works for you today, might not work for you in the future.
5. Twitter and Revue
There is a lot to be said for the art of the tweet. You might be surprised how much you can write in 280 characters. For example:
Stories are incredibly useful in business:— Rachel Extance (@RachelExtance) January 27, 2020
💡They help people understand complex concepts
💡They help people see how your product or service fits with their life
💡They show how you help people
💡They act as a differentiator, making you stand out in a busy marketplace
You can also create a Twitter thread where you reply to yourself and string your tweets together to get your message across. There is an art to this too because you need your readers to want to read the next tweet.
Twitter recently purchased newsletter platform Revue. This is a nifty bit of tech which enables you to create email newsletters people can subscribe to. Not only can you write an email directly on the platform, but it also lets you pull in material from elsewhere, like your blog. Here’s an example:
Now you might be wondering why I didn’t give you the link for you to subscribe to my Revue newsletter. I don’t want you to. I want you to subscribe to my email list instead.
6. Your email list
You might be surprised to know that you don’t need a website to build an email list. Email marketing platforms enable you to create forms for people to subscribe to your list. They can also give you a landing page, a one page website, with its own URL, where you can tell people about yourself and encourage them to sign up to keep in touch with you.
This is a great way to get started. It is low, or possibly even no, cost and you are building a tribe of people who genuinely want to hear from you.
✅ Everyone checks their emails.
✅ You’re not trying to fit in with an algorithm which only shows your message to a percentage of your followers.
✅ You can sell in your emails.
❌ Only people on your email list will see what you write
7. Industry website or magazine
You’re an expert in your field. This means you will have insights to share of interest to your peers. Look at websites and magazines in your industry and see if they take contributor articles. If you can’t find a reference to it on their website, ring up and ask. No-one’s going to object to a quick polite conversation.
If they do accept contributor articles, then pay attention to any rules they have set out about style, word limit, or topics. Make sure you have read the publication thoroughly before pitching. Read the past few issues. You don’t want to pitch an idea they have written about recently. You want to have a fresh idea for their team.
Don’t write out your article in full and send it in. Instead, send in a pitch. This is two or three paragraphs telling them what the story is and why it is of interest to their readers. Follow up a couple of days later if you haven’t heard back and ask if they need to know any more information.
Please don’t phone and ask, ‘did you get my email’? They get hundreds of emails and why wouldn’t yours have got through? Giving it a couple of days and asking if they need any more information is a gentle way of getting someone to take a second look.
Kudos! You can say ‘as seen in’.
Your article has a shelf life.
Your customers might not be reading the publication.
8. Traditional media
Journalists need stories. It’s well worth thinking about news hooks related to your business that you could pitch a story about. Also look out for journalists asking for people to take part in stories. Check out #journorequest on Twitter. This might not be related to your business, but can be an opportunity for you to mention in passing what you do.
Take a look at your favourite newspaper or magazine. Does it have regular columns where it profiles people? Consider how those people got to be in that column. Is there a call out for people to participate?
✅ Kudos! You can say ‘as seen in’.
❌ Your article has a shelf life.
❌ The article you appear in might not be directly related to your business.
❌ Beware of usage rights. Some publications are members of a scheme which does not allow you to share photos of your press coverage. Putting an image on social media or your website could lead to you getting a bill.
Where will you write about your business?
As you have probably gathered from reading this article, there are lots of options available to you. You might like the sound of more than one option. There is no single ‘best’ place to write. If you have a website, I would say start there because you can share what you write there in lots of places. If you don’t have a website, then set up a landing page connected to your email marketing account which you can use as a link in your bio on your favourite social media platform.
If you want help figuring out what to write about and where to write it, then book a Blog Rescue session. I’ll ask you some questions beforehand, then we’ll spend 60 minutes working out a plan together. I will send you a recording of the call and notes on what we discussed.