Are you procrastinating starting your blog because you think you can't write?

I have always loved to read, but I hated writing. I thought of it as stiff and formal, probably because of those term paper days in high school. You remember, don't you? Stressing over a topic, spending hours researching facts, recording them on a stack of three-by-five index cards, only to get your rough draft back with all kinds of red marks showing you what you needed to clarify, change, or correct?

Writing because I had to made me hate writing, and most of the business owners I work with feel exactly the same way. No wonder so many marketers procrastinate starting a blog for their business!

I recommend we all forget about English class and all the rules we stressed over in school. Write exactly as if you were having a conversation with your best friend and follow the steps below to help you get results. Writing for your blog doesn't have to be fancy or formal, just keep it fun!

Here are seven tips to easy creative writing for network marketers:

1. Imagine that you're writing to one person who has all the qualities of your ideal client. Who are they? What are their challenges, goals, dreams? Write to them the way you'd talk to them as a friend who knows their struggles and wants to help.

2. Follow your mom's advice and just be yourself. Write the way you talk. Don't worry about perfect grammar and punctuation; write from your heart. Share a personal story that will show your readers that you can relate to their problems. Let them know you're human and have experienced similar challenges, dreams, and desires.

If you're not sure you're "qualified" to talk about a topic because you don't feel like an expert, remember that what comes easily to you doesn't necessarily come easily to someone else. Also keep in mind that you're not writing for people who are more advanced than you are on a topic, you're writing for people who want the knowledge you have.

Freely share your solutions, tips, and information, and add value by giving advice that your reader can take action on right away.

3. Keep it simple. My thirteen-year-old daughter and I laugh about the fact that she's always trying to expand her vocabulary in her writing and I'm always trying to simplify mine. I often will ask her or my nine-year-old to read my important blog posts to see what parts they don't understand. Our readers are busy; it's best to keep your writing pitched at about the fifth-grade level.

4. Why are you writing this post or article? Do you want to build your subscriber base, establish your authority on a topic, grow your email list, or sell a product? You need to approach your writing with your end goal in mind so you can direct your article that way.

5. Answer the questions your readers are asking in their minds. (These are also the same questions your offline prospects have.)

Your readers want to be able to trust you, but in the beginning they probably are skeptical and have some self-doubt as well. Weaving in some of your personal stories and experiences will help them to get to know you and like you. Simple writing from the heart that also addresses a problem your readers are having will help them to trust you.

Here are some other questions your readers may have for you when they visit your blog. These are great questions to answer on your "About" page as well as throughout your blog posts.

6. How to never run out of things to write about. We all have interests we could talk about for hours. Is there something you've really wanted to learn more about? Something you really love to share with others? You'll want to choose something you're really passionate about for the topic of your blog.

Even when writing about something you love, you will still have days that leave you less than inspired for a blog post topic. When that happens to me, I go read popular posts on other blogs in my niche for inspiration. Constantly expanding your knowledge and personal development will also lead to a never-ending stream of content.

7. Simplify the writing process by following a formula. Alternating different kinds of blog posts will keep things interesting for you as well as your readers. Here are some common types of blog posts to get you started.

- List or tips
- Pain relief
- Q & A
- Contrast: pros and cons
- Secrets of...
- How to...
- Checklist
- Case study or results of research

My final advice for you is to write frequently. Writing consistently over time truly is the key to success when blogging for your business. Set a schedule that will fit your life and stick to it. The more frequently you write, the easier it will become and the more your readers will get to know you, like you, and trust you.

Successful and effective writing for your home-based business can be boiled down to one sentence: have fun, keep it simple, keep it about your reader, and keep it up!

HEATHER C. STEPHENS is a blogger who specializes
in teaching home business owners how to
market online with a blog. Visit her blog to
get your free copywriting cheat sheet, a list of
forty-five hypnotic headlines, and three
simple writing formulas for your blog.
www.networkingtimes.com/link/stephens