Should you blog?

Everybody wants a blog when they get a website and that’s awesome. Blogging is a great way to reach out to your audience and build credibility for your brand.

However a lot of people start with good intentions (“I will write 1 blog post every day!”) and then life and work gets busy and the blog is left to decay. Suddenly your last post was 2 years ago and the thought of starting it up again fills you with a mixture of embarrassment and dread.

. . .

In this article we’re going to find out if blogging is for you by asking 2 simple questions (you have to promise to be honest!) Then whether you answered yes or no to these there will be a couple of ideas as to how to include this in your strategy.

Question 1: Do you like writing?

It sounds obvious but you need to enjoy writing to write a blog. It’s hard work and you’re simply not going to stick to it if you don’t enjoy it. Motivation may be enough to get you through the first few weeks but at some point you’ll probably just give up.

By all means, write a couple of articles and see if you enjoy it. If you don’t, I’ll go through some alternatives later in this article.

Question 2: Do you realistically have the time?

Blogging takes up way more time than you think it will. If you’re already overstretched in your business you’re probably not going to have the time to keep up a blog so you either need to delegate more and free up some time or admit defeat.

I wouldn’t recommend blogging in your spare time either. A personal life is really important and no blog is worth the time spent away from you and your family. Keep work for work time, and personal for personal time.

If you answered yes

If you answered yes to both of these questions then awesome, you should start a blog! Here are a few ways you can make sure you keep on top of you posting and make it super relevant for your audience.

Define your focus

The first thing you need to do is define your focus for your blog. In one sentence, who are you targeting and what do you hope they will get out of it? Go ahead and write it down. Keep it somewhere you can always refer back to when you feel yourself losing focus.

For example, if you sell vintage jewellery, what will your customers want to know? Maybe how to tell which time period different pieces are from? Maybe you could do a series of stories behind the pieces that you sell.

Or if you’re a marketing consultant, you could provide tutorials and insight on how your clients can boost their marketing campaigns.

Don’t think this means that people won’t still come to you when they need a professional. They’re more likely to see you as someone who knows what they’re talking about so will actually be way more likely to hire you over your competitors.

Keep a scratch pad

When you start blogging you’ll realise ideas will come to you in the strangest of places. Suddenly you’ll be watching Downton Abbey and you’ll see a link from post-Edwardian class wars to cat biscuits. Or maybe you’ll be hiking up a volcano or in the shower and you’ll be struck with sudden inspiration.

You can’t rely on your memory to keep track of all these ideas flying around so you need somewhere, whether it’s a notebook or a document on your computer, to store all your ideas.

You should never sit down and feel you have nothing to write about. Make sure you have at least 10 ideas at any one time that you can choose from.

Make it a part of your routine

A lot of writers prefer to write first thing in the morning (myself included). So they set themselves an hour a day to do a bit of writing, research or editing before they get started on the days work.

This is a great way to get yourself used to writing being a core part of your strategy. Like going to the gym, showing up is half the battle.

If mornings don’t work for you, find a time that does. Or test out a few. But try to keep it consistent until it's as routine to you as brushing your teeth.

Another tip is to change your location when you write. I find grabbing my laptop and heading out to a coffee shop gives me the change in scenery I need to get the words flowing.

Set a realistic posting schedule

This is the biggest mistake I see people make. They start out wanting to post every day and just can’t keep it up.

Give yourself realistic targets that you know you can hit with your hour a day strategy. For example, my goal is to write one quality post a month. Yep, you read that correctly: one per month. That’s 12 per year.

This really takes the pressure off and allows me to write posts that are way more in-depth and useful than if I was trying to cram in one per day.

If you end up writing more, that’s great! But having a minimum is useful for those busy times.

If you answered no

If you answered no to those questions, kudos for your honesty. But don’t worry, there are still a couple of ways you can have interesting and useful content on your website without the huge commitment.

Consider hiring someone

The first is an obvious one. Consider hiring somebody to write blog posts for you. There are plenty of people out there who will research and write pieces that you can use.

Here are a few people who could do your work justice:
Kayleigh Moore
Julie Lenard
Gay Merrill
Nikki Groom

Most copywriters will want to have their name and face attached to the content they write but if you would prefer to appear to be the author, you can ask them to ’ghostwrite’ but this will usually cost more (as they’re losing out on others finding and hiring them).

Create an evergreen guide

This is my favourite tip and it’s so useful. In fact, even if you plan on blogging a lot I recommend you doing this too.

You can spend some time up front creating a resource guide in your chosen field. This will be a collection of articles that will pretty much never go out of date. It’s kind of like writing a book and posting the chapters online.

Hint: This guide you’re reading here. This is exactly what I mean.

You have the benefit of being able to put in work at the start, yet provide value to your audience indefinitely (assuming your content is good enough).

Want to see some examples? Here are a few who do the job really well:

Community Building Guide

Beginners Guide to Facebook Advertising

Ultimate Guide to Asking for a Raise and Negotiating Salary

. . .

So there you have it. Whether you’re an aspiring writer or not there are plenty of ways you can make content part of your strategy. Try some of them out and let me know how you get on!

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