Firstly, big thanks to Clair at ClairWN business + marketing for providing a lot of inspiration for this post. I recently did a marketing webinar that Clair ran and came away with so many ideas. This post incorporates my take on a lot of the tips I’ve picked up from Clair.
Running a blog on your website is a smart move. You can use it to engage users, show your expertise, and provide regular content for search engines (which is important!).
But it can feel overwhelming, I know! When I started writing this post, I realised that it had been a year since I had last blogged. Imposter syndrome kicked in big time – who was I to offer advice about blogging when I wasn’t doing it regularly myself? So, let’s admit that writing this post is a way for me to get over my own angst about the process.
Preparing blog posts takes time. You need to decide what to write about, actually write it, and find at least one suitable photo to use with it. Not to mention remembering how to add it to your pesky website (okay, this bit I can do).
But with a plan and some advance preparation it can definitely be manageable. Here’s are my 5 top tips for blogging without the angst.
Tip 1: Make the Time
Thinking about it now, this has my downfall. I’ve been foolishly assuming that there would come this perfect moment when I would have the time (and brain power) to write a blog post. Of course, that never ever happens. So, you need to schedule it in and make the time to create content.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been setting aside an hour a day for creating content. I set a timer for an hour and work through my plan (see Tip 3) solidly for the hour. This involves doing research, so I’ve got the info I need, writing posts, selecting photos and preparing images to go alongside the posts, recording videos, scheduling the posts on my website and Facebook page – whatever I need to be doing to get the next bit of content ready to go.
I’m finding an hour a day is the right level for me at the moment – it allows me to make solid progress and keep up the momentum, whilst still leaving plenty of day to work on other things (like the all-important client work!). But if you can’t imagine finding an hour a day, how about an hour a week? Schedule it in at the same time every week and treat it like an appointment with yourself.
Tip 2: Decide on the Frequency
So that you know what you’re working towards, decide how often you are going to post. Of course, in an ideal world we’d all be writing a blog post every week but it’s just not realistic for a lot of us, is it? Unless it’s actually your job to create content, you’ve got plenty of other things to be doing, don’t you?
So, first off – how many blog posts can you realistically manage. One per week? Superstar! One per month? Great! One every other month? Fine, whatever will work for you. Pick a frequency and use Tip 3 to plan.
I’m being quite ambitious with my planning and am aiming for one a week. This is definitely going to push me, but I also think that keeping up the momentum is the key for me.
Tip 3: Plan in Advance
Once you know how often you are aiming to blog, see how many posts you can plan in advance. I don’t know about you, but I find writing content needs quite a bit of energy, so I don’t think I could actually write six blog posts in a row. But having a list of subjects to cover will definitely help give you a start when it comes to putting the content together.
Because I’m planning on writing one post every week, I’m making sure that I’ve got four topics planned at a time. This means that when I do my hour of content creation every day, I can pick the next topic on my list and dive straight in. Otherwise, I would spend the whole hour trying to decide on what to cover.
Tip 4: Schedule Schedule Schedule
This is a good one. So far, you’ve worked out when you’re going to do your content creation, how often you will be posting, and what your next few posts are going to be about. So, the next thing to do is schedule them in. There are three types of scheduling I want you to do:
- Schedule when each post will appear on your website. You could use your calendar or a spreadsheet for this, whichever comes most naturally.
- And once you have your content prepared you can add it to your website and schedule it to go live on the chosen day. Did you know you could do this with WordPress? It’s sooo useful – you can draft your post and set it go be published at a specific date and time.
- And if, like me, you’re also adding your content to your social media (see Tip 5) you can also use tools to schedule posts to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. I’ve been experimenting with Buffer to schedule posts to our Facebook page. It’s so easy to use and it means that I can schedule them in and just let it run. Magic!
Tip 5: Reuse and Repurpose
This is one of my favourite tips. We’ve established that it takes time, energy and brain power to create blog posts. And when you’ve gone to all that effort you want to make the most of it don’t you? I know I do!
When you’ve got the content use it as much as you can. Your starting point is creating something to add to the blog on your website but what else can you do with it? Post it to your social media accounts – I’m making sure that everything I create for my blog gets used in some way on the Webfooted Designs Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/webfooteddesigns):
- Depending on which social media sites you use, you can also post your content to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
- If it is video content think about having a YouTube channel.
- If you’ve got a mailing list, you can also create an email using your post content and send it out to your subscribers.
Once you’ve created the content there is a lot you can do with it!
So, these are my top 5 tips for blogging without the angst. What do you find works for you? Post in the comments below!