While blogging for your business can be as enjoyable as having a personal blog, it does require a slightly different mindset, reflecting the difference in objective. If you’re spending time on your business blog – time that you’ve dedicated to marketing your practice – you want to make a return on that investment. You want to ensure that you’re using that time as effectively as possible.
We’ve explained blogging and given you some compelling reasons why you should consider doing so for your business. Today’s post will give you 3 simple, practical strategies, regarding how to go about it.
We’ve been blogging for over 10 years combined and, in that time, we’ve learned a lot – both from working on our own blogs and from the various blogs that we read. The tips here result from this experience and our observation of what works.
1. Create some structure
It’s helpful to spend some time making some decisions that will create a foundation for your blogging activity. The following are things to think about:
How often you will blog – Consistency is key so pick a frequency that is manageable and sustainable for you. This might be every day, it might be once a week or, it might be once a fortnight. Pick something, declare it (public accountability is always a great motivator) and then stick to it. That way, your readers will know what to expect and will look forward to reading your content every day/Thursday/fortnight etc.
Themes – Picking specific themes can be really helpful when it comes to thinking about ideas for your posts. Think about newspapers and magazines: while the content is always different, there are often columns or regular features with consistent overarching themes. You can do the same for your blog. For example, you might have ‘success stories’, ‘behind the scenes’ and ‘seasonal recommendations’ as themes. That way, when you’re sitting down to write, you already have a place to start – you know that you need to think about a post that fits into one of these themes. We share 20 theme ideas here.
Your process – What do you need to put in place to ensure that your blog gets sufficient attention and that you are able to create valuable and interesting content? How will you capture ideas? Will you jot them in a notebook or in a virtual note (e.g. on Evernote – see our post on tools to help you be more organised, professional and profitable)? What regular time will you set aside to filter through your ideas and pick one for the next post you’ll write? Will you prepare your posts in one sitting or will you have several sittings – e.g. one to flesh out an idea, one to do some research to support it (if relevant), one to focus on the writing and editing? Your process can be as simple, or as involved as is appropriate and useful for you. Here’s the system of one prolific content creator.
2. Plan ahead
Despite our best intentions when it comes to sticking to a schedule for creating posts, life will inevitably get in the way. Because we’ve made a commitment to consistency, and because people are therefore expecting to hear from us, there are some contingencies that we can all put in place. The best advice is to create several posts in advance. You might choose to schedule a day/days where you create batches of posts, that you can then either schedule (most blog platforms allow you to create a post and then decide when you want it to be published), or keep in your back pocket for times when you just don’t have the time to write something new. Some bloggers plan their content for a whole year in advance (here’s one way how)!
3. Promote your posts
You’re investing time and care into creating useful and engaging content so, it’s only fair that you give it the highest chance of reaching the people you’ve created it for. Just as with your website in general, having a blog is not enough – it really starts to work for you when you drive traffic to it. There are several things that you can do, including:
Send your post out in emails to your mailing list. You can choose to just include a couple of paragraphs and then direct readers to your blog to read more. While they’re on your blog/website, they might be enticed to read other posts and find out even more about you.
Share the link to your post across your social media channels
Post the link in groups and forums that you belong to, if the content will be useful or interesting to the other members
The strategies above should give you a good framework to work within but, remember that it’s also okay to be flexible and to evolve. Pay attention to how your audience is responding; see which type of posts are getting the most views, comments and shares and; use this data to inform your future content.
Share links to your posts with us – we’d love to read them!