7 Things You Need to Write for Your Business that Aren’t Blog Posts

When I started my blog in 2021, I was almost solely concerned with writing the obvious–blog posts. Over a year and a half in, however, and I’m finding out that writing a blog doesn’t just mean writing blog posts. There are other things to write as well, especially if you’re going to scale your business, as I am now trying to do. 

But there is more writing to a blog than just writing blog posts. Just as there is more to any business than doing the primary thing for which you’re in business. 

1. Passwords and Account Numbers

Yes, really. And no, don’t rely solely on LastPass or any other computer program out there. Buy a password book and use it. 

One piece of advice that is ubiquitous is “use strong passwords and change them regularly.” Well, if you’re like most people out there, you can’t remember what happened yesterday, let alone some highly secure password that is a bunch of gibberish. 

And even then, computers get hacked. Emails get hacked. Batteries run out and you need so many different SAAS applications these days, it’s almost impossible to remember everything. From a small business perspective, what if something happens to you? How will your employees, family, or whoever you have as your executor handle your business affairs? 

Solution? Return to pen and paper. It will work whether the electricity goes out, your electronics get stolen, or your office admin leaves. 

Besides, as Samuel Jackson pointed out when he played the villain in Kingsman, you can’t hack into pen and paper. 

2. Policies 

There are several policies you need to have in place. Most of these are standard across every business out there. For instance, nearly everyone needs a privacy policy. You may also need to have a policy for sharing your content, guest bloggers, and linking to your blog. 

Now, for most of these, you will want to have someone with actual legal expertise do the final sign-off but if you do your research and are careful, you can get away, at least in the beginning, with your own research and a lot of common sense. 

Just keep in mind that most people out there don’t have a lot of common sense and if you deal with people internationally, what is common sense to you may not be common sense elsewhere. 

Also, while I would still have the full-blown legal privacy policy available, I would also suggest you write your own summation. This sounds like double-work, I know. But there’s method behind this. 

In the first place, you still cover your butt with the more formal legal policy. But, you also show your brand and your personality with the one you do yourself. This tells your customers you have a very decided opinion on this topic and you have clear expectations not only for how they behave towards you, but how you intend to conduct your business with them. 

People will turn their noses up at this, no doubt. A lot of business people among them. Some may even say that it makes you look a little unstable. That’s their opinion and they’re entitled to it. Just as I have my opinion. Just keep this in mind, is what I’m suggesting any more ludicrous than what big-name businesses out there right now are doing? Look at how many of them pander to the next big trend out there, just to be seen as part of the next movement. 

Never mind that some, like Bud Light, are increasingly irrelevant because, let’s face it, it’s water masquerading as beer. Just my opinion, mind! But this is coming from the gal who, if she drinks beer at all, drinks Guinness, and insists on proper port and sherry from Portugal and Spain, respectively. Not this stuff from California that claims to be the same thing. 

3. Product Descriptions

If you eventually sell products, like subscriptions, T-shirts, or even templates on your blog, you are going to have to write descriptions of each product. Now, if you use a POD service like Printful or Printify, this is a bit easier. Most of those have pre-written product descriptions, but you will still have to customize those for your brand and purpose. 

The big thing about product descriptions? You need to use your voice, your brand voice to write them. My voice tends to be more formal, I’ll admit. Blame the years of academic writing before the big social media revolution came along. 

Some easy ways of doing this are to include phrases you use on a daily basis. Make your customer believe it’s really you behind the screen, not just another pre-written product description. And, of course, you want to target keywords. 

Now, before you ask, should you use ChatGPT to write your product descriptions? If you are a one-person business, then you can leverage ChatGPT to do that. BUT, I would urge you to edit very thoughtfully and aggressively. When you are big enough to hire a writer, you can have them look and make sure everything is up to snuff. But human copy will win out every time. 

Besides, AI-generated written content isn’t that great of a look on any brand. Who wants to admit they denied another human being an honest day’s work in favor of a computer that doesn’t need to eat? 

While we’re on the subject of brands….

4. Style Guide

This isn’t something you’ll need right off, but consider it as your business grows. If you’re used to AP Style, MLA, Chicago, or APA, you’ll know the basics of what a style guide is. For those of you who don’t know, it’s primarily about how you format your writing. 

This can include the fonts and their sizes you use for headings, subheading, and regular text. It can also include how you reference sources, how to display your logo, and even how to write out the name of your business. 

Style guides will remind you, but they will also make it easier for anyone you work with in your business. For instance, if you hire an executive assistant, an editor, graphics designer, or even another writer to help take the load off your plate, you will need a style guide to help them get a feel for what you want for your business. 

Think of it as both a standard and a guideline to your employees for how emails should look, documents written, and reports generated. It gives your business cohesiveness inside so that all of you can present a united front to your audience. 

5. Manuals

Manuals are a silent, but deadly necessary commodity for any business out there. I speak from experience on several levels, but also as a virtual assistant who has written a couple of manuals in my time. 

These communicate your brand message, mission, and standards to your employees and serve as a reminder to yourself of what your business is here to do. What your manual or manuals need to contain will vary according to your business. Most businesses have at least two sets of manuals.

HR-generated manuals

These are things like an employee handbook, code of conduct, etc that give the basic guidelines for how to conduct yourself while at work. There’s also mandated sections in most of these manuals such as a Non-Discrimination Policy, a Handicap Policy, etc. These cover things like discrimination in the workplace, workplace violence, sexual harassment, and hiring someone who has needs because of a physical or mental limitation. 

Yes, these are necessary even if you don’t have a Human Resources department.

The biggest problem with these is that they end up being either too formulaic, or they they are formatted so badly, it’s hard to read. Employee handbooks in particular suffer from these problem because they have a lot of legally required sections in them and you can’t do anything to the language. Except format.

Operations Manuals

These are things like the Safety Manual, quality manual, and even manuals for specific positions within your organization. These should do two things and two things only: 

  1. Provide your employees with the knowledge and tools they need to do the job or adhere to the company’s standards with as little help as possible. 
  2. Consistently communicate your brand’s standards in every aspect of the business.

Now, the only problem here is getting the employees to read the manuals. This, however, is not your problem. If you present someone with a manual they need to do the job, it is their responsibility to read and know it. Not yours. Your job as the writer or the business owner is to make the information available and then to enforce any standards they contain. 

This means, however, that if you’re going to enforce anything at your business, that you have to have it written down. Again, this is where manuals come in handy. They remind you as well as your employees. 

Win/win. Right? 

6. About Me Section

You’ll need an “About Me” or “About Us” section somewhere on your website. This isn’t new, and it’s not unique to a particular business but it is a must-have. 

This is how you introduce yourself to your readership and future customers. It shows them who (or what) you are and is the first opportunity you have of really presenting your brand to the world and connecting with your customer base. 

It’s not a one-and-done either. You’ll have to revise as you grow, or expand into different areas. If you hire people who become essential to your business, you’ll also have to add them to this section or add links to this section which take you to where you introduce your team. 

7. Your vision 

This is something which I think we all struggle with at some point or another either because we’re afraid to dream, or because we don’t know what it is we actually want. But, if you’re a business owner of any kind, you need to have an idea of what you want not only for yourself but your business in the years to come. 

The problem when you don’t is that you forget. Life is busy. Starting a business is hectic, stressful, and extremely time-consuming. You’ll go through periods of doubt, and you’ll go through periods when others will also doubt you. 

When that happens, and believe me, it will happen. You need to remind yourself of you dream. Because a forgotten dream is the one that’s most easily lost and if you write down your dream for your business, then even if you fail, you can say you at least tried. And you may even see where you went wrong. 

If writing it down fills you with too much anxiety, then at least do a vision board of what you want. 

Why didn’t I include social posts? 

I didn’t include social posts because social media may work for some businesses and not work for others. Most platforms are “pay-to-play” these days and you may find that you can post till you’re blue in the mouth and get few, if any, results. It’s not for everyone or every business. 

But, if it is part of your business and your audience, then yes, you will have to write social posts and you’ll have to write them almost constantly. If you do decide to make social media part of your strategy, then you’ll need to make sure you’re put to keeping those posts going, or you’ll have to hire someone to help. Ideally, at least. 

If you can’t afford to hire someone, then offloading some of the work to an AI program like ChatGPT makes sense. It’s not ideal, and you’ll still need to edit, but even if you only use it to help you generate hashtags and emojis, then it’s worth it. 

Enjoy this little break from Dante? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to like, subscribe, and refer others! 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close