So you have a blog. Congratulations! A blog is a useful tool that will help you establish your brand identity online. But now that you have it, do you have a plan for how you are going to consistently post content to it? Do you know what you are going to write about and how often?
If the answer is no, or I am not sure, or yes, but I am not really doing it, we are going to help you. Blogging might be enjoyable for you if you just write when the mood takes you, but if you need your blog to work hard for your business, you have to have a strategy for how often you will post and what you are going to write about. To help you develop a strategy we will be sharing a series of tips with you over the coming weeks. So let's get started.
How much time do you have?
My experience of working with people in their businesses as a Mentor has taught me that most of us underestimate the time tasks take and also have little idea of how much time we actually have available to us, to devote to the tasks we want to complete. So for me the question of how much time do you have is one I encourage you to ask about any aspect of your business and things you want to commit to. The easiest way to do this is sit down and write out what you do each day and how long it takes. If you are not sure that you can do this accurately get yourself one of those diaries that have a day to a page and as you move through your day, record what you did when, so you can start to see where you have time available for new work, like blogging. It might sound a bit laborious but it is honestly the most accurate way to determine what time you have available, or what time you can re-assign.
Having little time is not a reason not to blog by the way. You just need to understand how much time you have to do it, so you can do it, consistently.
Once I might have asked, how often do you think you should post, or how often are your competitors posting, but with experience I have come to realise that what a dedicated audience wants, is quality and consistency. And what you want, is a dedicated audience.
If you have a favourite magazine that you buy every month you will know what I mean when I say, readers like to know when they are going to get your next hit of content. So strive towards a regular posting habit, rather than going in with all guns blazes one week and then leaving your reader with nothing new to read for the next 3 weeks. And be conservative. If you think you can post 3 times a week, maybe 4, commit to 2, strive for 3 and on those weeks when the planets align and you have something meaningful to say, give them 4. Which brings me to the subject of quality.
Quality over Quantity
Instead of pumping out a pretty ordinary post every day, consider how much time it will take you to produce quality content that actually helps your reader in some way. That is what your audience is after. They won't return to your blog to read posts you have only published because they are jam-packed with keywords designed to drive readers to your blog. They want to be informed, inspired, entertained and challenged.
If you are new to the blogging game set yourself the task of writing the best blog post you can possibly write and time yourself doing it. Whilst you are at it, time yourself researching the topic, planning the outline of the post, finding the images you need and styling them so they send out just the right message to your readers. Now go to your blog and set it all up and schedule it. How long did that take? Longer than you expect I bet. But that is the time it takes and whilst you will get quicker as time goes on and when you have an Editorial Calendar in place (more on that in a future post), you should never get quicker because you cut corners, or lowered your standards. Quality over Quantity - Always!
Tip: Don't be intimidated by the need to write quality content. You will be writing about your area of expertise and with your target audience in mind. Trust that you know your stuff!
Once you know how long it takes you to write a good quality blog post and what time you have available to write those posts, you can determine how often you are going to post and on what days. There is a lot of talk about what days are best to post to grab a reader's attention but opinions differ widely. I recommend trying different days and times to find the right one for your audience.
In our next post we will share our tips for Planning your Blog content.