One of the biggest complaints that business owners, like you, tell me about writing a blog is a lack of time. When I stand up in front of audiences to share my thoughts and strategies on successful blogging, the same question gets asked over and over again …
“How would I have the time to start, write and keep up a blog?”
Now I don’t blame you for thinking this. It’s a hurdle I have had to mentally – and physically – jump over many times over the years.
When I started my first blog back in the summer of 2005 (back when blogging was viewed more as a secret online diary that fed the occasional series in the Sunday tabloids) it was tough starting from a blank website template. It was always easier to find other things to do than sit myself down to write a 500 word article.
Even now as a published author, a blogger here as well as over at CanDoCanBe.com and creator of content at The Web Tech Club, there are times I feel so completely uninspired that I would rather go and change all the beds in our house (my most hated household chore …. ever!) than sit down to write.
And this is why I think that time is never really the problem to starting, writing and keeping up a blog. The real problem is coming up with enough ideas and inspiration to keep the content flowing.
As more and more businesses now use blogging as part of their marketing strategy, it’s also too easy to feel that there is nothing unique about what you want to share. The little gremlins in your head start chanting “it’s all been done before – who would want to read what you’ve got to say anyway?”
Your creativity and inspiration over what to write is crushed even further. And bam … you find yet another excuse to not find the time to do it. And if you don’t want to do something, then you know how easy it is to make all the excuses in the world and not do it!
(Being your own boss is great … but without a boss to hold you accountable, it’s so easy not to do the stuff you don’t like, right?)
OK, blogging isn’t for everyone but, if you are selling your knowledge and providing services and products based around your coaching, training, consultancy or any other skill that you have, then blogging has proven time and time again to work when done in the right way.
So if you are stuck in the trap of using time as an excuse to not blog – when really it’s what you actually write about that you are stuck on – then here are 6 shortcuts to writing quality blog posts in record time.
[headline_georgia_small_left color=”#000000″]1. Create a content calendar[/headline_georgia_small_left]
It doesn’t have to be a complicated spreadsheet or macro programme. Just a simple monthly calendar (find and print off a Microsoft calendar template, for example) will do.
Decide how often you want to write each week (three times is great but once a week is better than nothing at all!) and which days you want to publish your content (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for example) and give each day a theme. Tuesday could be a quick and easy how-to article, Thursday could be your more in depth article that you use for your newsletter and Friday is an upbeat, get ready for the weekend style.
There’s no right or wrong here – it’s what ever works for you and your target clients.
[headline_georgia_small_left color=”#000000″]2. Plan out headlines based on your key words[/headline_georgia_small_left]
Get clear on what key words you want to be found by when your target client searches the web and use these in your headlines. This will help keep you focused on writing articles that attract the right target audience.
It’s real easy to lose your focus and go off on a tangent. That’s fine from time to time, but if you forget why you are writing a blog (and yes, it is a marketing activity rather than providing a free industry magazine that gets read by thousands yet does nothing to pay the bills … there is a difference!), your time spent writing will not grow your business. And if you don’t see results, you will give up.
[headline_georgia_small_left color=”#000000″]3. Target yourself each month[/headline_georgia_small_left]
As I mentioned above, it’s great being your own boss but if you have no one making you accountable, then it’s easy to “forget” certain tasks. Commit yourself to a number of blog posts each month but be realistic about what you can achieve. It’s no good thinking you are going to blog every day and then feel guilty by Friday because you’ve only managed the one.
I know this may seem obvious, but if you are setting yourself targets, there is little point writing a blog post at the end of busy day just to keep up. You’ll make silly mistakes. Your writing won’t flow. And you will end up hating your blog … which is something you really don’t want to end up doing!
Many people like to wake up early and write first thing. I read this advice a lot from the big blogging gurus out there. I find, however, that I am more creative late at night; when the house is quiet and the dog is snoring in his bed. Give me the nightshift when it comes to writing any day.
Decide when it’s best for you – just don’t try to squeeze it in between tasks and client phone calls because you will end up write dross! And dross won’t win you any clients, will it?
[headline_georgia_small_left color=”#000000″]5. Write in bulk[/headline_georgia_small_left]
The great thing about using blogging sites such as WordPress or Squarespace is that they all give you the option of publishing your article at a particular time and day in the future. Don’t feel you have to write in the now, for the now. Write when you are in the mood. Keep the flow going. And then set the publish date to suit your content calendar.
This works beautifully for when you take off for holidays or you know you are working flat out with clients for a week or two. Write ahead and schedule so your blog keeps going, even if you are elsewhere.
[headline_georgia_small_left color=”#000000″]6. Outsource it altogether[/headline_georgia_small_left]
OK, this suggestion may make some of you freak out a little and be concerned over authenticity. But you know, you can’t do it all, all of the time. I don’t outsource any of my writing (at the time of writing this!) but I do know plenty of successful business owners who do outsource.
Don’t feel as if you have to be the one to do it all and then miss out on using a successful blogging strategy to grow your business because you are too busy to do the writing yourself.
You can be clear on the writing style you want to use on your blog. You can even be completely transparent and not even have to claim that it’s your words that are published. Why not have your blog writer listed as one of your team members on your About Us page?
Whichever way you want to approach outsourcing, is up to you. Again, there is no right or wrong way. But don’t dismiss outsourcing just because you want to “authentic” or you feel it “should” be you who does it.
[headline_georgia_small_left color=”#000000″]So, what about you?[/headline_georgia_small_left]
I love blogging and feel it is still very much an integral part to any business’ web marketing strategy, especially if you want to see social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook work for your business. But blogging isn’t easy, especially when it comes to creating fresh, interesting and quality articles without it sapping up hours and hours of your working week.
These are my top shortcuts. What can you share about writing quality blog posts?
Add your thoughts and ideas below as I know others would love to read them, too.