The major hesitation we hear from business owners about starting a company blog is the time commitment it’s going to take to sit down and create quality content. Jenni here, with our second installment of our blog series: How to Start Your Blog Today (Check out Part One here). Today we're going to talk about how much time you should spend on blogging, and making sure you actually make the time.
As experts, we know the importance of creating quality content for our clients, but we’re also small business owners ourselves: We have to make calls, take meetings, network, balance our bank accounts, and have days where we feel like we’re pulled in 200 directions. So even though we help our clients face these issues, we’re no strangers to them ourselves. We get heart palpitations too when thinking of how much time it can take to keep up with companies that have an entire team of people dedicated to writing articles.
In this blog post I’m not going to share “the top things that big marketers say you should be doing with your blog… that you probably won’t have time for” — instead I’d like to have an honest conversation about this time conflict, and share 4 tricks to keep you ahead of your blog.
EVERGREEN POSTS BOOST BUSINESS LONG TERM
An interesting way to think about blogging is to factor in how long your piece of content will live on the Internet and continue to serve your business. Evergreen topics, or topics that are always relevant to your business are going to be the blogs that work for you for a long time. In fact, a great post can have a life span of 2 – 3 years. If you compare that to the limited life span of social media posts, which are days at best, blogging does offer a higher pay out rate; 2 – 3 year of boosting your rankings in search engines, establishing rapport with potential clients, and helping potential clients to find you more easily. A couple of examples of evergreen content might be FAQs for your business, detailing the difference between certain papers or fabrics in your products, or DIY tips derived from your most popular service packages. When deciding where to invest your time, an evergreen blog post is one of the most valuable investments you can make.
TWEET THIS: A great blog post on evergreen topics can have a life span of 2 -3 years online.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU BLOG?
An important mantra we’ve picked up from a couple of experts in our field is “Consistently = Legitimacy.” Consistency is going to be the thing that brings people back to you over time, and will prove that your business is legitimate (not a hobby, not a flash in the pan). Best practices indicate that the sweet spot for small businesses is posting 2 – 3 times a week.
But for some of us posting three times a week isn't sustainable over the long term. So instead, choose to prioritize consistency by picking a posting schedule that you can stick with. So if once a week is more manageable, then start there. You’re going to be more successful in the long term by choosing a manageable schedule and being consistent with it.
TWEET THIS: Being consistent is just as important as following best blogging practices.
FOUR TIPS TO HELP CARVE OUT THE TIME
Ultimately, you’re going to be successful with your blog by believing it’s important and making it a priority. For us, blogging is a huge part of our online strategy, so we’ve devised a couple of ways to pull in as much help, support and tactics to ensure our blog doesn’t fall by the wayside. Here are some of the things we’ve recently put in place:
SCHEDULE YOUR WRITING TIME
Sophie and I try to calendar just about everything we do — down to the time we spend scheduling tweets and writing blog posts. We do this because social media and blogging are just as important as our client calls, and we’ve made them part of our job descriptions.
We write on Thursdays at 11:30am. That means it's on our calendar, we hold up our "Do Not Disturb" signs, and we write for 60 minutes. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish on your blog with just an hour of uninterrupted time each week.
TO DO: Pick an hour every week, make yourself a calendar invite and mark yourself as busy. Are you ready for our Marketing Magic Trick of the Week? To help our readers, we’ve made calendar invites that you can plug into your schedule right now.
MAKE SOMEONE ACCOUNTABLE
Use accountability to make sure blogging gets done. Each week the blog has an “owner” and it’s part of their job to make sure a post goes out on time. Its like going to the gym, you are much more likely to get serious about doing it if there is someone else counting on you. There are a couple of ways that you can set up accountability around your blog:
- Assign a team member the role of Project manager over the company’s blog - this empowers them with the authority to assign writing. (You can incentivize them in some way, for example if the company hits their blogging quota for the month, maybe they get a small bonus or a gift card)
- Find a fellow business owner in your network and have “co-working days” where you can meet somewhere, discuss ideas for your blog, and write together. I've done this with colleagues in our industry. We meet at a local wine bar discuss our goals for the night and then get down to writing.
TO DO: Assign one person to oversee the company blog and empower them to assign "owners" for each blog post.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE – GUEST POSTING
Part of our blogging strategy also involves guest posting — relying on complimentary experts in our network and offering to help them in exchange. For us, we have tons of great partners: copywriters, videographers, and web designers, who all have great knowledge that is completely relevant to our customers. You can do the same by approaching and collaborating with “brand-friends” to help write quality articles, and offer some content in exchange. As small business owners, we’re all in this together and helping each other is the best way to make progress.
TO DO: Make a list of 4 or 5 companies or brands in your network that could be a good partner to collaborate with. Think of 1 or 2 post ideas that you might exchange with them, and approach them with an offer to exchange guest posts.
Of course there is always the solution of hiring marketing experts to write your blogs for you, or at least help supplement the number of posts your team is able to write each week or month. We often help our clients with this process by coming up with fresh ideas for blog content, scheduling relevant topics or even take the writing off their workload. While helping with their blogging content, we always advise that our clients should plan a little bit of time to review and edit to make sure the company's voice is coming through in a way that feels natural. You may decide that this method is more effective and ensures your content will be consistent — so you can focus on running your business.
TO DO: Evaluate the work load, and decide if you need additional support in running your blog.
But if you enjoy writing and sharing your experience through blogging, stay tuned for more next week, where we'll tackle the best times of the week to publish your blog posts depending on your target audience, and how to promote them using social media.
What scheduling tips do you have to keep your blog on point? What time saving tools or blogging systems have you found works?
Get FULL Access to our Resource Library
Get FULL ACCESS to our curated and most powerful worksheets!