It’s probably safe to say that every present-day entrepreneur and small business owner has heard how they need to blog. I know I’ve gotten the spiel time and time again by multiple sources.
“You have to blog every single day,” some will say with utmost authority (even if they’re not actually an authority in the field).
“When you write, make sure you have at least 1,000 words per post,” another might stress.
And then whoever the well-meaning – or salesy – individual you’re talking to will invariably continue the sermon with a list of all the reasons why your business will crash and burn if you don’t blog your life away.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is almost always the almighty Reason #1. Everyone’s online, you see, so you clearly need to be too. There’s no other way of looking at it!
Moreover, they'll add, with how crazy-crowded the internet is, it’s not good enough to simply have a website. You have to constantly be producing more and more content because Google and other search engine gods prefer new content, so new content is what you must give them.
There’s also the engaged customers argument, which says that your clients will forget about you if you don’t consistently remind them you exist.
And don’t you want to establish yourself as a business expert in your field of focus?
Truthfully, those are all good points. You also want to keep old customers and attract new ones… all of which blogging can help with.
It’s not a complete problem-solver or fail-proof marketing method, mind you. But blogging is still a useful tool. You might argue that it’s an intimidating, arduous tool, but it’s a useful one nonetheless.
Now, in my case, I write a new blog post six times a week. There’s a creative writing-related piece for every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and then a Professional Writing Tip every Thursday.
Admittedly, even for a creative writer, business writer and editor, that can be time-consuming to handle. However, intimidating it’s usually not. I make sure of that by following a specific set of guidelines.
And here’s a short list of how you can keep it in line too.
Keep a list of topics you can write about. If your business centers around an industry, whether appliances or technology or home décor, you should already have a bunch of topics to talk about. Write them down. Don’t worry if it’s a finite list. As you interact with clients or read your industry-specific news or consider various aspects of your business, you’ll be able to come up with new ones easily enough. When you do, just write them down for the next blog post.
Have a minimum word goal. You actually don’t need 1,000 words per blog. A thousand words is a lot, particularly for something most of your readers will just skim through anyway. You can show up on searches just fine with 687 words. Or 500. Or even 300. Besides, you do have an actual business to run; your time’s valuable.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Speaking of your time’s value, if you can’t do six blog posts a week, then don’t do six blog posts a week. Try two to start out with and see if you can work it up from there. Two is a perfectly respectable number and, depending on the platforms you’re funneling your thoughts through, three might be enough as well. I know I only ever post on LinkedIn three times a week since traffic is so light on Mondays and Fridays. While on Facebook, Thursdays and Fridays between 1 and 3 p.m. are peak traffic times. (As of this writing, anyway.)
Be yourself. Blog posts are not doctoral theses, so don’t try to treat them like they need to be academically stellar. Make them interesting and engaging by throwing some personality in there. Tell personal stories if they’re relevant. Commiserate with clients. Share your insights. Essentially, have fun with it… if you can.
If you really can’t have fun with it – if the act of writing 687 or 500 or 300 words is too intimidating (and it might be. Not everyone is a writer), or you simply can’t find the time to put out one blog a week much less two or three, consider hiring someone to do the job for you.
Innovative Editing has great rates and can make them even more competitive by giving you tips to cut down on the cost. So feel free to shoot me an email at JDiLouie@InnovativeEditing.com or call 717-609-5661. This experienced and dedicated blogger looks forward to hearing from you.