Take your business blogging from zero to hero even when you’re busy running your company
Blogging is a great way to connect with your ideal customer, drive traffic to your site, get free PR and build your credibility. It’s one of the most effective content marketing tools according to research by the Content Marketing Institute.
But regular business blogging can take it out of you.
What with all that idea generation, research, writing and promotion to do. And as a busy business owner you’ve got clients to manage, deadlines to meet and you don’t feel confident in your writing ability anyway.
No wonder business blogging is the first task to be put on hold.
Sound like you?
Practical steps to break down the blogging overwhelm
Don’t worry. There are simple practical steps you can take every day to break down the overwhelm and fit blogging into your day, no matter how busy. You can even do some of these steps with your first morning coffee before your day gets going.
Why tiny but consistent actions get results
Consistent small actions have a massive impact. Build a workflow around important small tasks – make them habit. Darren Rowse, Founder of Problogger.com
But you needn’t spend hours’ blogging every day to achieve results.
Blogging is a form of social media and the best advice for maintaining your social media presence is ‘little and often’. Break down the blogging tasks and consume them in bite-size chunks.
On the whole, small but consistent action maintains your blog and gives better results than blasting out lots of posts in one month and then nothing the month after.
It’s much easier finding little chunks of time even when you’re super-busy. You’ll stay motivated and get a sense of achievement when your blog grows and the leads increase.
Follow the formula below to kick-start your business blogging and get in the blog habit.
The 15-minutes a day business blogging formula
First things first. You need to do a little preparation before you start blogging in 15-minutes a day. At the start of each month brainstorm your blog topics and plan your blog post schedule. You’ll probably need an hour to do this but once you have a list and plan blogging becomes much easier.
Keep a master list of blog topics centred around themes to do with your business. Think of questions potential clients ask, industry news relating to the work you do, or advice your ideal customer values. If you think of ideas during your working day, note them and add them to your master list first thing in the morning. Having a solid topic list means you never run dry of subjects to talk about.
Add two or three bullet points for each idea to get the key points down. This is important as it saves you time when writing your post. Struggling to create posts on the same topics? Check out this post: 43 awesome blog post ideas for inspiration.
If you’ve just started blogging and are struggling to think of topics, grab your free guide 5 Easy steps to fill your blog with content your dream customer loves.
Plan your content schedule
Add topic ideas to your content calendar for the month ahead. This needn’t be fancy. A monthly Outlook calendar or a simple spreadsheet is fine. This helps you plan and direct your content. It also prevents procrastination and if there’s several of you working on your business blog, keeps your team on the same page.
Now the ground-work is done you can begin your daily blogging
Spend 15-minutes on one of the areas from the list below at the start of each day. Work through the formula in order and when done, start over from point one.
1. Write your headlines
Spend as much time writing your headline as the actual post. Why?
Eight out of ten people read headlines, but only two will read the article. You need to convince your reader to give up their valuable time and a kick-ass headline will do this.
Writing the headline first saves you time and effort later on. It gives your post direction and focus. Spend your 15-minutes today drafting five or six headlines for one of your topics and choose the best one.
2. Draft a post
Lack of writing confidence is a fear holding many business owners back. Not only from hitting the publish button on their content but getting words on paper in the first place.
But, you’ve already got your topic idea with key points plus your headline. You’re already halfway there. The best advice? Get those words out of your head and onto the screen or paper. It won’t be pretty but you’ll be tidying it up later.
Set a timer on your phone for 15-minutes and write. Imagine you’re telling a colleague of friend about the issue in hand if it makes it easier. Don’t edit as you go and don’t be embarrassed – no one will see this but you.
Producing the Ugly First Draft is basically where you show up and throw up. Write badly. Write as if no one will ever read it. Don’t worry about grammar, complete sentences or readability. You’ll tackle all that later. Ann Handley, Everybody Writes.
Still worried about your writing? Here’s two of the best tips I’ve heard.
- No one complains that you’ve made things too simple to understand. Don’t feel that your writing needs to be fancy.
- Even the best writers in the world create terrible first drafts most of the time. The key is to edit well – and that’s what you’ll be doing tomorrow.
Spend today’s 15-minutes looking over yesterday’s first draft. It’s good practice to distance yourself from your writing before editing. You’ll get perspective and edit more effectively. Use today’s time to tidy up and clarify any points. Make them more concise and remove jargon. Break up long paragraphs with sub-headers and bullet points for visual impact.
Now you can publish your post. Spend your 15-minutes uploading the post to your site. If you use WordPress ensure your site is linked to your social media profiles. This means your profiles automatically add your new post to your feeds, saving you time.
Don’t forget to add a call to action to your post before it goes live. What do you want your reader to do once they’ve consumed your words? Buy something? Download a resource? Sign up for a trial or to schedule a call?
5. Promote and engage
Social media is vital to blog promotion; it drives traffic and raises your visibility. If you’re not telling people about your post it won’t get read. But social media is a huge drain on your time.
Use a tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule updates about your new post on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. It only takes a few minutes to add new updates for the week ahead. Buffer even shows you which posts are doing the best and allows you to ‘re-buffer’ which saves even more time and effort.
Once you’ve scheduled your social media updates, reply to comments on earlier posts. Engaging with people who’ve taken the time to comment is not only polite but helps build trust. The comments section on a blog is a gold-mine of future topics and will help keep your topic list topped up.
And no matter how busy you are you can maintain a business blogging habit. Just 15-minutes each day will keep your blog ideas fresh and your blog updated, promoted and working hard to get you found online and bring in new clients.
Use these steps to keep your business blog fresh and working hard even when you don’t feel you have the time.