Three blog posts in three months. Not a particularly impressive strike rate, especially considering I’m supposed to be a professional writer.
My excuse isn’t exactly creative, or even very sound: I simply haven’t had the time. Establishing a reputable, successful small business while still working full-time is, well, time-consuming. Between work, and client work, and squeezing in a social life, my blog has been somewhat neglected. When it came down to sleep or blogging, a little bit of shut-eye won every time!
But it cannot (and, fingers crossed, will not) continue.
The benefits of blogging, and blogging regularly, are extensive and well documented (tune in next week when I explore this thought-compelling topic).
So, in addition to boosting blogging-related benefits for my clients, I’m determined to blog for my own business.
To kick-start my new year’s resolution, I did some research into practical, actionable tips to ensure more regular blogging activity. Some of the tips I stumbled upon are fairly obvious. Some aren’t. Regardless, I thought I’d impart my recently acquired knowledge. Perhaps we can work on these tips together…
Pick a topic. Before you open the lid of your laptop, know what it is you are going to write about. That doesn’t mean you have to have your whole post mapped out, sentence-by-sentence, word-for-word. Just have a topic in mind. There is nothing worse than sitting down to write, and staring at a blank page for hours on end. You will waste so much time. Worse still, writers block can cripple the confidence of veteran and beginner writers alike.
Get in the Groove. Work out when it is that you like to write. At what time of day are you most productive? Are you focused first thing in the morning after your third latte? Are your creative juices flowing last thing at night? Whatever the case may be, go with it. And be willing to adjust. What worked last week might not be the case tomorrow.
Keep a notebook (or digital device) on hand. Inspiration can strike at the most unusual, and inconvenient, times. Just last month, I had the most amazing idea for one of my client’s blogs. The problem was, I was smack-bang in the middle of a job interview. Not only did I fail to register what my potential new employer was asking me, I didn’t have the opportunity to make a note of it. The result: I have spent hours racking my brain and still cannot remember the amazing idea. Since then, my little pink notebook occupies a permanent position in my handbag. I have another two notebooks on my desk: one for my business, and one for my clients.
Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. I must admit, this tip appeals to my anal-retentive OCD side. I love a solid project plan. An editorial calendar is pretty high on my list of favourite things too. I’ve compiled countless editorial calendars for my clients, just never for my own business. They come in handy. You can use them to track keywords, record calls-to-action and ensure that content is delivered on-time. The level of detail you include is entirely up to you. I’d suggest, at a bare minimum, dates, topics, content overview, keywords, target audience and call to action. Hubspot has a great free downloadable Editorial Calendar Template.
Focus. Do you think Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet in front of the TV, while texting his best friend and updating his Facebook status? Alas, I thinkith was not so. It is so easy to get distracted, particularly if writing isn’t your strong suit. So, remove all other temptations. Lock yourself away. Focus. If the online sphere is too much of a temptation for you, check out WriteMonkey. It’s a really cool app that allows for full-screen editing, leaving just you, and your words.