Cannabis blogging is one of the most fun and challenging niches I have had the pleasure to write in. The ever-changing landscape and fast paced movement of the industry guarantee continuous exciting topics to explore. However, those new to the niche should know there is no how-to handbook.
No matter what sector of the cannabis industry you work in, you are constantly learning. Thankfully, many people choose to impart their lessons learned onto others, creating a make-shift how-to handbook accessible by the internet.
So you want to be a cannabis blogger?
When it comes to blogging, the cannabis niche is like starting on hard mode. Marketing hurdles, state and federal regulation on prohibited keywords and claims, and outdated propaganda continuously can make it seem like you are writing through a minefield. However, here are a few tips to help you along your literary journey.
Have the Right Toolkit
You don't need a ton of fancy software tools to help. There are great tools available for free on the internet that can help with everything from editing to trending topics. Here are a few:
I love Google Scholar. When it comes to researching topics, being able to find quality source material is vital. Google Scholar gives you research papers and scientific journals instead of the filler content that isn't helpful.
Grammarly is a free editing tool that has helped me smooth out the editing process. While it does have a premium version you can purchase, I personally have gotten along with the free version for years now with no problem. The only con is that it has a penchant for hyphenating some words that don't need it.
This is a great tool for when you need to know what topics are popular within the industry at the moment or if you are fighting a round of the dreaded writer's block. Google Trends is free to use, and definitely a must have tool.
Know the Forbidden Words
It doesn't matter if you are writing about marijuana or hemp, there are certain words that could spell disaster for a cannabis blogger. The FDA released a press notice in late 2019 announcing they had "issued warning letters to 15 companies for illegally selling products containing cannabidiol (CBD) in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act)."
These ways included using words such as:
Using these words could hurt your social media presence and potentially get you fined by the FDA.
Be Flexible on Social Media
Social Media is not cannabis friendly. Outdated policies make it difficult for even hemp brands to have a presence. Finding platforms where you can reach your audience is important. But because there are hundreds of platforms out there, weeding through them may take some time.
No One is an Expert
No one is an expert when it comes to cannabis. The industry evolves so rapidly and is so massive that it is impossible. Know your strengths and always keep learning new things. There are thousands of reputable journals, seminars, books, and podcasts available to help you on your way to becoming an experienced and well rounded cannabis blogger.