Blogging. If you have a website you are probably sick of this word or perhaps you’ve done your utmost to ignore it entirely. I can’t really blame you for that one. Blogging is one of those jobs that can take a lot of time and effort away from other business needs.
This post is really to help you through some of those struggles that you face when it comes to writing. Sadly, spouting words out on to the pages doesn’t come naturally for all of us (me included) but that doesn’t mean that we get off lightly. Content creation and blogging plays a big part in your online presence.
Part of the work we do at Avidmode is making sure that our clients are giving themselves the best chance to be seen on the web, which is no small task. We probably sound like a broken record at this point with our continued attempts to make blogging a part of the weekly routine. With that in mind here is the short version of that rant!
Two main reasons why blogging should be part of your marketing strategy.
- SEO – having fresh content coming from your website sends the right signals to the search engines as an authority with up to date content, this is an important factor that is taken into account when Google (or other search engines) ranks websites.
- Trust building – You want to be showing yourself off as the best option for your potential customers and trust is a huge part of the buyer process. Having constant and informative content does a great job of planting the seeds of trust with a buyer.
There are other reasons why having a blog is a positive move for a business but these are the two that really stand out. Being seen on the internet is not an easy feat. Think about it as one giant marketplace, everyone is peddling their wares and you can’t hear anything over the din of voices – this is exactly what the web is like. Blogging is a way to compete with your neighbors and helps you be heard!
We do weekly, bi-weekly and monthly chats with our clients on blogging (depending on the needs of the customer) and there are some topics that always come up when we sit down for a talk, I wanted to delve into these a little bit as it might help someone out there who is having similar issues with their own blog.
Let’s have a look at some of the common comments that people mention when we discuss blogging.
“I can’t find the time to sit and write”
This is by far and away the most common issue that business owners in particular face in our blogging meetings. Most of our clients are handling small businesses with limited extra hands on deck – so, often they play many parts in their businesses and it can be so difficult to carve out a couple of hours to get something down on paper for their blog.
A blog can seem like an ephemeral and intangible part of a business owners’ offering and honestly, it is. We suggest that people who are starting out fresh start writing four blog posts a month, one a week, by the time they finish up the first one, the second is on their plate and so forth. It’s no surprise that blogging gets pushed to the back of the list of jobs, it’s not something that offers instant gratification and the impact that you might feel from it takes some building up.
The solution: There are a couple of ways to fix this one. The first option is to get really strict with yourself – get your writing utensils, find a quiet spot or time in the day and get to writing. It usually takes around an hour to get a blog post to the right quality and quantity (word count dependant, your mileage may vary) so note down when you plan to find that hour in your busy diary.
The second fix here takes some resources which you might not be willing to give up, if you find that your week has no extra space in it at all it might be worth finding someone to delegate this task to. Blogging should be an ongoing task in your schedule, it’s recurring nature means that you need to find the time in the day or give someone else the job so that you feel all of it’s benefits.
“I’m not a good writer or I don’t like to write”
This is a particularly tricky one, I honestly believe that most people have the ability to write a solid blog post from week to week or at least learn how to do so but sometimes confidence can be a big issue. If you go in believing that you’re going to fail it usually makes that outcome a lot more likely.
Whether you enjoy the writing or not obviously lies with the individual but unfortunately blogging is one of those necessary evils if you want the best chance of reaching your customers via the web. It’s unlikely that you’ll suddenly start enjoying writing if it’s never really stuck with you before but there may be other options that might work better for you.
The solution: If you feel like you don’t have it in you to write a blog post each week for months on end, try breaking down the work a little bit. Lower the pressure on yourself and aim for a smaller number of blog posts a month or a word count drop. If you are really uncomfortable with the writing tasks then it might be worth looking up some guides on how to get better at writing – there are some fab guides on do and don’ts on YouTube and a Google search will serve you up some fantastic written content on the same subject.
Remember, you have a lot of insight to add to your subject matter that is specific to you and your experiences. If you’ve been in your sector for many years, that’s a lot of information stored in your brain that would work really well as a blog post. Don’t put yourself down, you just need to find a way to extract that content from your brain and pop it onto paper for the world to see. If writing really puts you out then there might be some other creative ways to get your content and word out there. Maybe think about doing some sort of visual content, this could be in the form of videos or infographics. These are great ways of reaching out to your audience, if you decide to go down the video path then you could get the videos transcribed and posted out to your blog!
“I have no idea where to start and it seems like a large undertaking”
You grab a cup of tea, your writing material and stare blankly at the screen for five minutes before you realise you should be writing about something. Don’t worry, I’ve been there plenty of times – sometimes it’s tricky to get the creative juices flowing. More often than not if I find myself in this position I’ll take a break from the blogging idea and go and do something else until I’ve found something that inspires me or I’m in a blogging mood. Now, this can’t happen every week or I wouldn’t get anything done so, what’s the fix?
The solution: If you are totally new to the idea of blogging, you are starting out with a blank slate which can be a shock to the system, there are a couple of ways to make the transition into content writing a little easier. First off, you’ll want to start of with some sort of content idea board or an editorial calendar, this will change depending on how you prefer to see the ideas in front of you. Get an ideas session going, maybe get a couple of your friends to help out as bouncing ideas off of others can give you a fresh view. Write them out into a calendar format and aim for around 48 topics that you could cover, this will give you somewhere to start each week, you don’t necessarily need to stick to the topic but it could spark some ideas for you.
Other ways of getting started include, take some inspiration from your day to day. Most of us will have to write emails daily, we’ll be responding to questions or doing some form of writing. You could easily start by turning those emails that you write every day into a blog post. If you write someone an instruction set on doing something, think about if the topic could work for your clients or customers and do a little bit of fixing to make sure it reads as a blog post and volia!
There are some solid reasons why blogging is a great idea for any business but a lot of the time it’s much easier to talk about it than it is to do it. We hope that this week’s topic has helped you if you find yourself in a similar position. If you would like to discuss your own blogging or content creation, we’d love to have a chat. Feel free to pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org