“I want to blog, but don’t have the time.” That’s one of the many reasons we give as to why we don’t blog (more often). Believe me, I have the same problem.
I have some suggestions on how business owners, artists (of all types), consultants and others can blog more regularly. But first, we should address the main question:
Why bother blogging at all?
There are many reasons, but I’ll focus on two before I offer some suggestions on HOW to get your blogging groove back.
Reason #1: Blogging Displays Your Expertise
First of all, blogging displays your expertise to those who might require it. And not just that. Blog content is generally more interesting than the basic information found on most websites. What is that “basic information”? We all have it on our websites: the Services and Products web pages that contain the content that we really want prospective clients and customers to read and consider.
Let’s break that down. Let’s say you are an expert on feed and caring of Tribbles (not a Star Trek fan? google it!). Well, few people simply go straight to your “Buy or Hire My Tribbles” web page. They have a different sort of problem, like:
- How to care for your Tribble
- How much does a Tribble cost?
- What color Tribble is best?
- My Tribble is making weird noises
And so forth.
You blog about that stuff. It’s more interesting. And it will probably address your future client or customer’s need more than your main Tribbles web page. For example, if your toilet water tank is leaking, you’ll probably google “how to fix a leaking toilet tank” rather than simply googling for “plumber.” So, you blog about the actual problems people have, not about your Services and Products.
As you can imagine, those Tribble blog posts also attract Google’s attention and – if you’ve properly linked your blog posts to your main Tribbles Page – help your Products and Services pages rank higher in Tribbles web searches.
So there are solid business, search, SEO, and reputational reasons to blog. Mainly: attract the people who have the problems you can solve, and attract Google’s attention so you rank for these issues. When you get your blogging operation humming, you are then more likely to find ways to improve your entire digital marketing platform, including enticing interested parties with awesome metadata. But those are future improvements. For now, it’s important to get your publishing going, first.
Reason #2: It’s a Client/Customer Outreach Tool
Second, blogging gives you a reason to reach out to people who might need your Tribbles services, or who may be good for Tribble Networking. It’s easier to connect with people if there is an actual reason to connect.
Have a potential client who has a question about Tribble anatomy? Send them an email: “I think you’ll find the answer to your question in this blog/white paper we wrote about Tribble back problems.” Blogs show individual people that you are an expert on your topic and have your act together. People like to work with people who have their act together – who know their stuff.
Four Methods to Better Blogging
Here are four techniques and practices that can help you get back to blogging regularly.
1. Take a Walk
Yes, you heard that right: take a walk. And no, you’re not allowed to put earphones in your ears and listen to music or a podcast. You must walk in silence. Here’s what is going to happen …
For twenty minutes or so, you’ll be mentally running through a laundry list of things you’ve got to get done: the bills, those emails you haven’t sent yet, the auto service that’s overdue, and yes, maybe even your laundry.
And then this is what will happen: you’ll come to the end of the mental list. And you’ll start thinking about those topics about your business, about your professional ideas, about your work. Because you ARE an expert. And there are things you will want to express, whether it’s current events, or best practices, or professional commentary.
“The key here is cutting off all the usual podcasting and music inputs that go into your ears and embracing silence. The result will eventually be that your own thoughts take precedence in your head.”– Nicholas Kosar
The minute those thoughts enter your head, you’ve got an article or blog post. The trick is to start writing those thoughts down immediately, on your smartphone. Standing at the edge of a lake? Take a pause and tap into the phone. If it’s just a bullet point list for now, that’s great. List points A, B, C, and D and then start filling in the finer points. Keep at it. Within a few days, you should be able to finish the article. Voilà, you’re blogging.
If walking doesn’t work for you, then do you spend an extended period of time in a car or on transit? The key here is cutting off all the usual podcasting and music inputs that go into your ears and embracing silence. The result will eventually be that your own thoughts take precedence in your head. Whether you end up blogging or not, the world needs more of this.
2. Comment: Constructively and Routinely!
It happens all the time: you read something about your line of work or your profession and you have something to say about it. Like, maybe two or three comments or opinions about a topic. Issue X happened and you think A and B about it.
When you’re blogging, you don’t need to come up with the next novel. Even if you did, people have only so much time and probably won’t read your novel. But they CAN handle points A and B.
Commenting should always be a positive experience, both for you (the commenter) and the writer. I can tell you that when someone publishes an article, they are usually thrilled to find that someone has something constructive to say about it. Note that I said “constructive.” Yes, people love to hear positive things about their writing, but more than anything, they appreciate that people actually read their article and want to add something positive to the discussion. If you disagree with anything someone writes, use the golden rule and say something positive about what they wrote, before you add your constructive criticism.
The point here is simple: if you can comment substantively on someone else’s blog post or article (whether you comment directly on their website or via social media), then you probably can expand your commentary and create your own article. I think we’ve all seen comments that are so long that the commenter should have simply published their own article!
3. Convert Existing Content
Oftentimes, organizations already have blog content – it’s just not in “blog” form. Where is this content? It’s in emails you send to individual clients or partners, in the corporate email newsletter, and in social media posts. This content can be pulled together and published on your blog, such as:
- information about new employees or interns
- events you attended
- news or commentary about professional or industry happenings
- “heads up” information about upcoming events or actions
There is nothing wrong with content like this that is published in an email newsletter or on social media. But think about how that same content can be posted on your blog. It will keep your blog active and trigger Google to recrawl your website, confirming your status as an expert in your field.
4. Write for Your Prospects and Clients
Your current clients have questions. Prospects – or simply the people you know are typically likely to convert into clients – have concerns. You know this because you’ve been talking and emailing with them.
So, write for these people. The questions they have are the ones that have both commercial intent (as opposed to information intent) and are more likely to convert.
One thing I’ve heard time and time again is: Other people are already writing about this, so why should I bother?
The fact is that your prospective clients and customers want to be convinced that you are the expert they need, and writing helps convince them that you are. And, just because you have seen articles about a particular topic doesn’t mean that your prospective clients and customers have. Simply displaying content that reflects your expertise is a positive signal. So don’t hesitate – write it and publish it! This process will also fine tune your thinking about topics so you’ll be increasingly ready to help out your future clients.
Wrapping It Up: Share Your Content
The more you write, the more you’ll find that the content you use may be beneficial to others. Don’t assume that just because content is sitting on your blog that people will find it. Once your content is live, keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to share it – on social media (both sharing your content as your own post and also sharing it in comments on others’ posts), via email, and even via messages and texting. Now that you’ve started to publish regularly, don’t forget to share regularly and – more importantly – in direct response to individual needs. It works!