Last updated: 10/09/2016
Showing your business blog a little love is essential if you want to get super-visible online
It’s not easy keeping your business blog updated. What with finding ideas, the time to actually write and edit posts, oh and running your business at the same time.
Given this state of affairs the stats on abandoned blogs are not surprising. Up to 50% of them are abandoned in the first 90 days.
In my previous post ‘making the most of your free marketing asset‘ I showed why a business blog is one of the best ways to get visible online and a cost effective means of connecting with clients.
I also explained how it’s a struggle to find the time to blog regularly, especially when it’s not your core skill or service.
You might be a reluctant blogger yourself. Did you start with good intentions but now your blog is languishing unloved? Despite knowing the great PR opportunity your blog offers?
Maybe you’ve got a few ideas but lack the organisation or time? Or, like many bloggers you pump out post after brilliant post but just hear crickets and you lose the hunger to keep the blog going.
I know. I’ve been there.
My blog started off that way too. Finding the motivation to keep going when I had so many other demands on my time was hard, especially when my audience was limited.
Not showing the blog-love
I’m always banging on about why blogs are brilliant to anyone who’ll listen, and why blogs should be maintained. Yet I realised that I wasn’t showing my own business blog the same consideration.
Blogging is a great way of getting my message out there, connecting with others online, getting me visible on social media and at the very least refining my writing skills. Writing blog posts was one of the core services I used to offer too, so not showing my own blog the love didn’t make commercial sense.
I also write a personal, mindful parenting blog – Mindfully Mummy, and that was heading the same way too.
In March I took action.
I don’t know about you and your blog, but both of mine needed CPR (stat) to breathe life back into them and prevent them sliding into blogging-oblivion.
I’m going to share with you how I keep my blogs going without getting overwhelmed
5 Steps to keeping your business blog afloat and working hard
Here’s the 5 steps I’ve been using not only to keep my blogs going but to make them shine:
1. Treat your blog like it’s a client
Clients always get top billing as they’re the ones paying you. It might not seem like your blog is important, but as the statistics show, it’s a vital part of your marketing mix. Leaving it to languish isn’t an option if you want to people to find your virtual home.
With this in mind, I’ve begun to view my writing blog as if it were a client who needs kick-ass content. This avoids it getting pushed down the to-do list. I’ve also set aside time in the diary each week for topic research and writing for both my blogs.
2. Keep a list of post ideas
Good ideas are the life-blood of blogs. There’s nothing worse than wanting to write posts but having nothing to talk about! Pressuring yourself to sit and write a new post without having any ideas won’t work. Keep a master list and update it each time you think of something. This is helpful as you’ve already done the hard work by thinking of relevant topics.
I add to my ideas list regularly by undertaking keyword research, keeping up to date with news and reading other blogs via Alltop. This helps me to find fresh angles for well-discussed topics. Once I have a kernel of an idea, I note it on this list alongside a few working titles and an excerpt of what the post will be about. This helps focus my thoughts when I come to draft the post.
If I’m running dry in one area I’ll re-run a mind-map to see if I can unearth any more gems from a topic. For example, I wrote a post on preventing writer’s block which generated a nugget of an idea, then a post about how to stay organised as a writer.
3. Create a content schedule
Once you have a list of ideas you should rarely lack inspiration. Now you can create a schedule to decide what you’re going to post and when.
I create an editorial schedule using a monthly calendar print out (I’m kind of a paper and pen kind of girl) and pencil in potential posts based on my ideas list. I then use the calendar to help me decide what to post and when. This also helps me schedule in a set of related posts or instalments, which strengthen the blog and encourages readers to come back.
4. Maximise your content and time
It takes time to research and write a blog post. Don’t let that effort go to waste. Combine your time to write a set of related posts, or a longer post that you can break down into instalments – I did something similar with my recent set of posts regarding blogging.
Even better, take a broader topic that you can drill down into and create spin-off posts or a post series. Writing extensively about a topic in one go will give you a wealth of content and may even spark off more post ideas.
I often use this technique for my parenting blog. Mindful Parenting is one of the categories I write about. I write broad posts giving tips on mindful parenting, then other posts showing how I use these tips myself, sometimes devoting a whole post to one tip. My ‘How I’m using the 3-step breathing technique to get me through half-term’ is an example of this.
Another bonus of having lots of material is you can use points from your posts for social media updates. You can even turn your research into an e-book to offer in exchange for an email address to build your email list.
5. Get organised
Schedule finished posts ahead of time. Set aside more time for actually posting onto your blog. Post in batches ahead of time ready to go live according to your schedule.
No more whipping-up a few words and slapping it on the site on a whim for me! I’m taking an organised approach. At any one time I have at least 3 completed posts with images scheduled to publish on my site, another 2 posts ready for editing and several more in the early draft stages.
This is a great system as it means I’m never short of content and if I’m having an exceptionally busy week (or even take a holiday – gasp!), then I know my blog will keep going without my input.
I also use an automatic blog feature to tweet and post updates on LinkedIn when the post goes live, promoting it without extra effort. I use Hootsuite to schedule more promotional tweets too. So while I’m busy working on new posts or client projects, my writing blog takes care of itself. Buffer is another great app for scheduling content on your blog and across social media platforms ahead of time. It even optimizes the posting times based on audience interaction.
Be methodical in your approach and see the pay-off for your business blog
Being methodical about your blogging pays off. My parenting blog quickly picked up traffic. In month one I had 20 visitors. This increased ten-fold to 200 visitors in month two, followed by 300 visitors in month three. I posted and promoted consistently and now that effort is starting to pay off.
I have a regular and growing audience and, because I’m writing posts regularly as well as reading similar blogs, the ideas just keep flowing. I’ve also attracted brands who want to work with me based on my parenting blog – three of which contacted me and one I successfully pitched to. All within the first three months of starting up.
I’m getting similar results for my writing blog now too which proves that consistent posting and promotion really does work.
The best thing? Its barely costs anything – just my time and determination.
Hopefully these tips and my own story will inspire you to take another look at your blog.
Try these 5 steps over the next month. See how much easier it is to get your business blog updated regularly. I’d love to hear how you get on – let me know in the comments below.