Are you suffering from blogger’s block? Is it hard to find time to create content for your blog? If so, look no further. This article lists some easy-to-implement tips to help you get over the hump.
But first, there's a big myth (and it may be your roadblock) that needs attention.
The Myth: I Have No Time to Blog
Every now and then I poll my blog readers and ask about their challenges with blogging. Without fail, most people say that their number-one challenge is that they don’t have time to write on their blog. Frankly, I think that is a false problem because you make time for what’s important.
I suggest reframing the challenge from “I don’t have time to write on my blog” to “I make time to market my business.” In the context of your business, blogging is a marketing tool.
A business blog is one of the best tools you can use for extending your online visibility because it’s the dynamic hub of your business on the web. The content you create can be leveraged in many ways that will work for you 24 hours a day, so making time needs to be a key part of your marketing plan.
I propose you devote a minimum of 30 minutes per day focusing on your blog marketing activities.
It’s not really that much time when you think about it, especially for the return you can get from consistent effort. Yet I know there are other social marketing tasks competing for your attention. Just keep in mind that the content you create on your blog can be syndicated and leveraged on other platforms as well.
So how do you make time? I’ll state the obvious: you’ve got to schedule it. That’s how I advise my clients and it’s how I manage my blogging time. Following are six tips for how you can efficiently tackle your blogging tasks.
#1: Create an Editorial Calendar
There are two steps to creating an editorial calendar. First is to assign your blogging to time slots when you know your creative juices are flowing, when you typically feel inspired and productive. For me, that’s usually in the morning.
To build a body of content that is quickly indexed by the search engines, I suggest writing on your blog two to three times a week at minimum. So block that time off—for example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9:00 to 9:30 am is blogging time. That’s the time you spend writing.
Need some inspiration? Check out the article on 13 Ideas to Inspire Your Blog Content. Maybe once a week, spend an additional 15 minutes and write a longer, more detailed blog post.
Next, two days a week, spend 30 minutes reading other blogs in your industry and leaving comments where appropriate when you have something of value to add. Not only does that help give you more visibility and more exposure, it also can drive traffic back to your own blog. It positions you as being active and brings you to the attention of other people who you might not have known before.
#2: Plug in the Types of Posts and Topics You’re Going to Write About
This will make your blogging time more efficient because you don’t have to spend precious time trying to figure out what to write every time you’re scheduled to write.
Make a list of categories that are of interest to your audience. Take a look at your categories and make a list of 5 to 10 subtopics that relate to each category.
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If you have 10 primary categories and 5 subtopics for each category, you have 50 blog posts at your fingertips. You can add another layer to your planning by assigning each topic to a style of post:
- Top 10 List
- Case Study
Finally, assign each subtopic idea to a date on your editorial calendar and you’ve got four months of blog post ideas so you’re not facing a blank page. Of course this system serves only as a guide. There’s nothing stopping you from being spontaneous when a current event or hot topic in your business must be addressed with a blog post.
#3: Keep a Running List of Blog Topics
The more you blog, the more ideas you get. Everything you do, every conversation you have, every book, article or blog you read, becomes fodder for your own blog posts.
I have a long list of ideas and links that I find and want to share. Most of them will never become blog posts, but if I’m stuck or uninspired, I've got my list to prompt me.
#4: Write Several Blog Posts at One Time
Many bloggers use this time management strategy. Maybe you really do only have one hour a week to focus on your blog. If that’s the case, grab your laptop, head to your favorite coffee house and pump out a series of blog posts.
Queue articles up to publish over the course of a week or two. All blogging software I'm aware of has the option to schedule your blog posts.
#5: Find Guest Bloggers to Help You Out With Content
Occasionally if you're pressed for time, find someone to help. Depending on the purpose and goals of your blog, a great feature to add is the voice of others in your industry. Perhaps once a month you showcase the ideas of other members of your team, your vendors, your colleagues and thought leaders in your industry.
If you’re a solo blogger, a great service out there for finding guest bloggers is Blogger LinkUp. Submit a request of what you're looking for, and people who write on that topic can contact you and provide blog content for you. You can indicate whether you want original material or will accept content that has been previously published.
#6: Interview Experts
Finally, another great way of creating content quickly is doing interviews. This could be a weekly or monthly feature that you plug into your editorial calendar.
Identify 12 to 20 industry leaders who've written books on your subject. Prepare a written interview with five to seven questions and invite them to respond, then post the interview on your blog. Not all of them are going to take the time to respond, but some will.
Tell them what’s in it for them… Exposure to your audience and links back to their blog, website or book. I don’t know of any authors who don’t want more readers and more visibility for their book! What’s in it for you? Content you don’t have to create that positions you as a credible expert and trusted filter of the best information for your readers.
Don’t forget to plug the interview posts into your calendar – either weekly or monthly depending on the posting schedule you’ve created.
This is a sample model that may or may not work for your business and schedule. You need to develop a schedule that works for you so you can maintain an active blog.
Posting two to three times per week keeps your blog fresh and relevant. Investing a couple of hours a week on creating content that works for you 24/7 will pay off in more traffic, more leads and more opportunities for your business.
These are a few ways to save time and be more efficient with your blogging time. I know there are many more and would love to hear how you manage your blogging time.
What’s your top tip for managing your blog writing so it doesn’t suck up too much of your time? Share your comments in the box below.
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