Blogging from an entrepreneurs perspective
A lot of my coaching clients are referred to me by existing clients and that means I tend to help and advise a lot of entrepreneurs. Sometimes I find this quite tough as I’m not a natural entrepreneur, but I’ve coached and taught specific skills since 1998, so it’s not a huge issue. Entrepreneurs have a different focus when it comes to creating content. In fact sometimes they’d rather do anything but…
Without a doubt blogging takes time. It takes energy to create content, it takes time to research and it takes time to write. If you’re a entrepreneur with a daily to-do list as long as your arm, the last thing you want to do is update your blog. It may be you are a mumpreneur, juggling family as well as business. It could be you are an established business person with a strict routine, and you feel that blogging is someone else’s job. However, it might be your day’s most important task, so you shouldn’t skip it. Remember your blog posts are working for you 24/7, marketing your business when you are sleeping and when you are busy doing other tasks.
Let’s take the blogging weight off your shoulders and make blogging what it should be – fun, energizing, and creative.
Find Your Best Writing Times. I sit down and start writing at 9am every morning for 30 minutes whether I want to or not. It works for me. Everybody has certain times of the day when they feel more inspired than others. For example, you might have your best ideas daydreaming over lunch – your mind has free rein and gets creative, you might find evenings work better for you. Simply set aside some time each day during your productive periods for working on blog posts. Strike while the iron is hot, or do as I do and make the iron hot by striking it. Sorry Mr Yeats.
Load Them Up. Devote an afternoon or whole day to writing and loading up your blog with draft posts. This works very well for the busy entrepreneur. Writing daily seem like a chore when you are not disciplined to do so. You may have days when you just don’t feel like blogging or writing (I’ve just had a whole week like that… my 9am words have left a lot to be desired this week), or when business emergencies come up. If you write a number of posts at one time, when you’re on a roll, you can create enough for several days or weeks. Just upload it to your site in draft form, add an image and you’re ready to go. You can schedule them to autopost or you can publish manually whenever you’re readers are ready for a dose of your wisdom and experience.
Keep an Idea List. Any time you get an idea for a post, jot it down. It could be when you’re at work, out walking around somewhere, or even going to sleep at night. Start an ‘Ideas’ file and just keep adding to it. Mines called an inspiration file and it’s the biggest file on my computer. Whenever you’re feeling uninspired or have writer’s block, refer to this file and explore an idea or concept that strikes your fancy. If you have a team ask them for ideas, and ask them for blog posts. I’m going to tell you that not every post has to be perfect – they can be edited later. Over at Birds on the Blog I see posts that often have 30 or 40 revisions to them. The writers have gone in after the article has published and tweaked it a little.
Start saving a graphics swipe file: When you have time search out some gorgeous images and add them to your swipe file. Each month I buy a graphics pack from Mighty Deals, AppSumo or some graphics plr. I have a small budget for images and I purchase some stunning images to add to my graphics swipe file. I find this saves me time when I’m looking for a blog post image and it’s another source of inspiration.
Get a brainstorming buddy: Set aside some time for brainstorming topics. Let the ideas fly and don’t judge whether they’re ‘good’ or not. An idea you think is off-the-wall now may be a winner later. Riff off of each other, and see where the ideas lead you. A brainstorming buddy can help keep you accountable too.
Know Where to Get Ideas: Bookmark some good sites for getting new ideas when you run out. You can find interesting ideas absolutely anywhere online, but some of the best places include forums, question and answer sites, article directories, social media sites, or other blogs. Read what people are talking about. One of the most effective ways of attracting traffic is to take each question you see asked online and write a blog post that answers that question. I recently did this with my Sensei review. I’ve found that I get found for both Sensei review and online course plugin. Which is no bad thing…
Outsource and Edit: Hire someone to write your blog posts for you and then edit the work they deliver so that it’s ‘you.’ One great way to save money doing this is to hire people to write short articles (300 words or less) to use as skeletons that you’ll expand upon. As you edit, expand on the points they make and add your own ideas. This is cost-effective and it saves you a considerable amount of time. You have to add your voice to your articles, you cannot publish and be damned… If you’ve blogged for some time your readers will know your voice, they know somethings not quite right with the post and they can’t put their finger on what it is. Edit any work you get from a writer so that it’s your voice, and it reads as you sound. If you find a good writer, you can also let them come up with post ideas for you.
When the Inspiration Dies… Whenever you don’t feel like blogging, stop. Do not force the words (did I tell you about this weeks 9am writing?) If you push it and write when you’re not feeling inspired, it’ll show. There are days when the words don’t flow, the right words won’t enter your head and you think “I’ll just give it 5 more minutes” and you sit at your desk willing the telephone to ring, just to distract you from the task at hand…
If you can’t invoke the muse, don’t even try is my motto. It’s good time; wasted. Don’t beat yourself up about it, as most entrepreneurs know there is always a queue of people waiting to gripe about something without your subconscious mind adding to the list. Move on and come back to it later, read a book instead or listen to an audio book. Time reading and listening is never time wasted when you’re an entrepreneur, and neither is blogging.