You're a small business owner, and you've heard that blogging regularly can raise your profile online and win you more customers. But you're already so busy that you can't imagine where you'd get the time to write a blog. Keep reading; it's not as hard as you might think.
Stoney deGeyter noted that most small businesses can't afford to hire a full-time blogger or ghost writer. Therefore, as with many other tasks, if any blogging is going to get done, guess who has to do it? The business owner, of course. Add to this the fact that writing a really good blog post takes time (just ask any writer!), and lots of small business owners just say no to blogging.
If you're not blogging simply because you think it's too much to do on top of everything else, maybe all you need is a little organization. As deGeyter notes, “The key to good blogging is understanding how to work it in, prioritize it properly, and not to feel obligated to anybody but your family and customers.”
Let's look at the priority you give blogging first. Yes, creating a regular blog benefits your business in a number of ways. It lets you communicate and interact with your customers even when they aren't buying things from you; it builds your brand; makes your website easier to find in the search engines; and on and on. But if you miss a day of blogging here and there, neither the world nor your business is going to end. So it's not as important as the things you're doing that bring money in immediately.
With that knowledge, you can set aside a little time to blog when you're not serving customers – on a slow day or a quiet weekend. With most blogging platforms, you can write several posts at once and schedule them to go live throughout the week (or whatever your regular schedule calls for). And if your normal time to blog gets overtaken by something more important (such as filling orders), skip the blog posts. You can always explain later. As deGeyter says, “It's not the end of the world if you don't get your post(s) completed on schedule.”
Now that you have an idea of when to write, you need to consider how much time to spend on writing. Once you get into the natural flow of a post, you may find yourself making it a lot longer than you intended...and you still have to write several more posts. Are you going to write all day, neglecting your other responsibilities? Of course not! So what do you do?
Take a look at that long post. Can you break it up into two or three shorter posts? If so, your problem is solved. This is easier than you might think, once you get the hang of blogging. Readers don't always want something really long anyway, so it's a good idea to vary the length of your posts.
What if you can't get a long block of time to do several blog posts at once? Write your blog in a way that fits into the rhythm of your business and your writing style. Do you like to do long posts but never have the time all at once? Nothing says you need to finish even a single blog post at one sitting. If you only have ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes at a time to work on a post, use several writing sessions to create one very good, well-polished post. Even posting a blog entry once a week can help.
Keep in mind, too, that not every post needs to be the same length. If you have some valuable information that you can share in two or three paragraphs, don't be afraid to write it up concisely and use it as a standalone post. Any readers who are as busy as you are – and trust me, we're ALL busy – will appreciate the quick but valuable data you've shared with them. Not all of us can read Atlas Shrugged in our spare time.
To help keep yourself on track, deGeyter recommends that you create a schedule. You should have a schedule for the time you're going to spend blogging, and another one for when you're going to publish. Say you decide to publish blog posts three times a week, but the only time you can write is on the weekends. Set aside some time on Saturday and/or Sunday for it; put it into your appointment book, complete with the time.
Once you've gotten into the swing of blogging, you'll want to build up a backlog of posts in case you can't blog for an extended period. For example, deGeyter likes to keep at least a month's worth of blog posts ahead of his schedule. He observes that “This gives me a chance to 1) write a post and go back to it later for proofing, and 2) have blog posts ready to go should something interfere with my normal blogging schedule.” Putting in the time will give you some peace of mind; you'll never have to worry about the inevitable deadline crunch that plagues so many in the publishing industry.
Now that you know how you can fit blogging into your busy schedule, why not give it a shot? You'll reap the benefits with more visitors and customers. Good luck!
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