You run a small business and there are simply not enough hours in the day. So just how do you find the time to do blogging?
This is the predicament many small businesses and SMEs find themselves in.
However, just because your business is under resourced and time poor, is no excuse for failing to blog at all!
If your business is reliant on the internet for sales and leads, you need to be blogging.
Let’s first examine why this is the case, before looking at some tips to ‘make time’ for this vital piece of your digital marketing strategy.
Why Small Businesses Need to be Blogging
Whether you’re a solopreneur or a global corporate giant, you’re raison d’être is essentially the same, albeit on different scales; you are selling a product or service.
And this product or service provides a solution of some kind to your customer.
A downloadable eBook on tips to lose those love handles, for example, helps people wanting to lose weight. Anti-virus software helps people keep their computers safe etc.
Behind every solution (product/service) there is a wealth of problems (consumer pain) that the customer is trying to solve. And it is these problems that you want to be writing about on your blog.
When people have a problem these days they Google it. If you have a blog post on your site that offers helpful, non-salesy advice, and your product/service is relevant to the issue, then your blog post has helped turn a random visitor into a future sales prospect.
If your blog contains countless posts that discuss every conceivable problem your target customer might be able to solve with your product or service, you turn your small business website into a lead generating magnet.
Alchemy magic – your blog content needs to help your target customers by offering free advice. Don’t sell, help. The rewards come later.
And all this is in addition to the fact that Google loves regular fresh content and the more content you have on your website, the more long tail keywords you are able to rank for etc…
You get the picture. If you want customers from the internet, blog until your fingers bleed!
However, blogging takes commitment, time and effort. So here are a few blogging tips to make this essential marketing task a little bit easier.
Small Business Blogging Tips – How to Become a Writing Beast
Create a content calendar
A content calendar has the desired effect of fleshing out a plan to achieve a specific business goal, say of 30 blog posts published over the next 3 months.
If you also create working titles in your calendar, the task of writing the posts will be much easier. Sometimes the most difficult part of writing, is deciding what to write in the first place.
Having a calendar which specifies dates by which titles should be published, removes much of the psychological barrier to getting started with blogging in the first place.
Structure posts first with sub-headings
Subheadings not only help make a blog post easier to read. They also make posts easier to write.
Before you even put pen to paper (or rather finger tips to keyboard) do all your research. Whilst researching your topic, jot down some subheadings to structure the post, ensuring they cover all the salient points of your chosen subject.
Again, this process removes the psychological resistance to writing in the first place and saves a lot of time that might otherwise be spent staring blankly at your computer screen, wondering where to begin.
Alchemy magic – Plan a content calendar along with post titles and dates. Having a plan makes your content goals much easier to achieve. A goal without a plan is just a wish!
Cut out all distractions for a block of time
I personally find that writing solidly for 45 mins then taking a break, works out best for me. During that time, I turn my phone onto silent, turn all social media notifications off and any other distractions and simply write.
If I have researched my topic well and have my subheadings already in place, writing tends to flow.
My point is, if you are going to write, write. Make it your only focus for a specified time. You will find it a lot easier than you think and you may even begin to enjoy it!
Write at the same time every day
People differ as to when their minds are at their sharpest. Choose a time of day when you think that you are at your most productive and make it a habit to write every day at that time.
Writing every day at the same time will train your brain and writing blog posts will soon become habit.
Alchemy magic – daily blog writing will pay off many times over for years to come in the form of free traffic that is relevant to your business.
Carry a notebook around with you
We often get our best ideas at the most inopportune of moments such as in the shower or out walking the dog. At the times and places when we don’t have a pen or paper.
Great inspiration comes from the subconscious mind, not the conscious mind. We therefore don’t have any control over when inspiration comes up.
But if you carry a notebook and pen around with you will be able to write down your great blog post ideas.
And for all you technophiles out there, sorry to say that your iPhone just isn’t the same as a notebook as this excellent post points out.
Outsourcing Blog Content
If finding the time to write regular content for your business blog really is impossible, then outsourcing blog writing is always an option.
There are a couple of things to consider if choosing to go down this road. Firstly, if you already blog regularly your readers will have come to expect a particular personality and tone from your writing. Outsourcing will make it difficult to maintain the same style your readers have grown to love.
Secondly, outsourcing can sometimes be a false economy where time is concerned. Sending drafts back and forth to the freelancer during the editing process may be eating up as much time as it would take you to write the post yourself, especially if instructions regarding tone haven’t been communicated clearly.
There is a mantra in digital marketing spheres – content is king. For the small business owner it is an opportunity to build up your online visibility amongst the very people that have an interest in your product or service. If you write posts that help prospects, rather than sell to them, you will establish your brand as a thought leader in your niche; a business that people will come to trust.
This isn’t an overnight process and takes a lot of work. But the rewards are great. And I hope that some of the tips discussed in this post will make the task of blog writing a little easier.