The Trouble with Blogging (and 4 Ways to Fix It)
Welcome to Famous in Your Field! Here’s your free weekly tip to boost your fame factor. (Be sure to sign up in the box on the right to get on the VIP list for free tips and training, delivered straight to your inbox.)
You’ve started a blog for your business. At first you posted like crazy, spewing profound messages every day.
Then, you ran out of things to say. Day to day disasters stole your writing time.
Now your blog is a ghost town. Tumble weeds are blowing by.
Blogging is hard work and for most businesses, it’s not a revenue source and never will be. So how do you combat business blogging burnout?
Know the purpose of your blog
Blogging has two business building benefits:
1. Attracts potential customers to your website. When someone is searching for the answer to a problem, they turn to the web. And more specifically, to Google. The more great information you publish on your blog that answers client’s burning questions, the more likely a client will find you while searching.
2. Positions you as an expert in your industry, someone who can solve their problem, whether it’s navigating the nuances of healthcare reform or styling an updo that stays up. By consistently sharing valuable information, your web visitors come to know you, like you and trust you.
But a caution – building a blog that attracts searchers and turns those searchers into customers takes time. More time than you think. But the good news is, you probably don’t need as many visitors to your blog as you think either. If you’re a service provider, you don’t need ten thousand clients. You just need 10, 20 or 30 of the right clients.
Here’s the fix for your blogging blues:
1. Slow Down.
While SEO gurus dictate that you should be blogging daily and writing 500+ word missives if you hope to have your website rank high in search engines, the truth is that strategy isn’t sustainable for all businesses. The best strategy is the one that you’ll actually execute.
Consistency is vital to building trust with your prospects and customers, so plan to publish one good post, on the same day and time, once a week or every other week. (Luckily there are lots of free tools to help you automate the publishing part.)
2. Create an Editorial Calendar.
For blog publishing success, you need to create (and stick to!) an editorial calendar. Magazines use them to plan out the topics they’ll cover one year in advance. An editorial calendar prevents the “uh-oh, it’s Tuesday, I’ve got to get a blog post out today” panic.
Sit down and brainstorm a list of topics. Start with your ideal client – what does he or she want? What are her questions? What would help him right now? What does she need to know that she doesn’t ask for?
You should easily be able to come up with a list of 24 topics. Number them, and voila, you’ve got your editorial calendar for the next six months or year.
3. Don’t make the “Professor” mistake.
Lots of businesses and professionals try so hard to sound “professional” and smart that they write long, boring, corporate-style posts that talk over their client’s heads. Making your prospects feel dumb will cause them to flee your website and guarantees that they won’t work with you.
Forget about impressing your industry colleagues or your competitors – you are not writing for them. Focus on giving clear and simple information to your customer’s most common questions.
4. Mix it up.
Is writing torture? Chances are, if you’re bored, your audience is, too. Add some spark to your content!
- Shoot a quick video where you give a 2-3 minute answer to a commonly asked question.
- Record an audio file on your computer or phone. Post it on your blog.
- Upload a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation on Slideshare and embed it on your blog.
- Put a little text on an image and post that on your blog. (This post is packed with ideas.)
Your fame boosting assignment:
Let’s take action to get the biggest road block OUT OF YOUR WAY. This week, create your editorial calendar for the next three months.
1. Set aside 15 minutes and brainstorm a list of topics.
2. Then number them in order that you’ll write about them.
3. Put them on your calendar.
4. Get writing! (Or recording. Or crafting text over image.)
You got this.
I so need to do an editorial calendar. Because so much of what I write about comes up ‘spur of the moment and in spirit’ I haven’t. But I so see the need for it right now! THanks for yet ANOTHER great post!!!
Laura, I wonder if there’s a way you could plan your spur-of-the-moment-and-in-spirit ideas. What would happen if you set aside time to think of occasions, interactions, or experiences when you feel a powerful connection to spirit? If you can identify some of them, you can be on the look-out for them, so your inspirations might come to you more readily. Might be worth playing with!
Such great ideas Lori. Love this: “The best strategy is one that you will actually execute.” Nothing worse than setting yourself up for failure. Making your goals attainable are better in the long run. Great post. Thanks!
Loved this post as I have been consistently blogging for 3 months, and now with a VA, can even do more. Thanks for providing the framework of what works.
Awesome, Michelle – great work on getting a VA to help with the workload.
” If you’re a service provider, you don’t need ten thousand clients. You just need 10, 20 or 30 of the right clients.” Can you hear my sigh of relief and and feel the sensation of calm that descended over me when I read this, Lori? THANK YOU for pointing this out!!
I hear you, Kathleen. It’s easy to caught up in the dream of hundreds of thousands, but really our tribe can be small and mighty.
Four great tips – thanks.
An editorial calendar is at the top of my list! And finding a schedule that works for me. These are such great tips. Thank you.
Mix it up. Short and sweet. These are definitely things that will make my weekly attempts at coming up with relevant content a little easier. I’m working hard to move away from the 1500 word missives!! Thanks for the tips!
Yes, make it easier on yourself, Susannah!
Hay! Editorial calendar is awesome, except I tried this last year but often I end up changing my mind or not “feeling like” writing about a particular topic I thought I would want to explore several months ago. None the less, i keep a list of “ideas” . They start out as what I call “thought post its” when an idea comes into my head… I plop it on a post it and then move it out of the way so that I can continue to finish whatever I was working on… eventually all those ideas get placed on my large calendar, this way I can move them around as I see fit! Love the idea of switching it up, especially since I just started feeling more comfortable in front of the video camera… Thanks for all your assignments!
I hear you, Kelly. I often end up changing my mind about the topic scheduled on my editorial calendar. And I keep a list of post topics, too, in an application from GetItDoneApp.com, so that I can switch it up on the fly. Using post its on a wall calendar is brilliant! By the way, LOVE you on video.
Another great one Lori! I remember when I first started blogging, I thought it was so important to sound “smart”. But smart doesn’t connect with the audience and more often than not, smart is boring. Thanks for including that in this article.
I love the idea of the editorial calendar and brainstorming ideas ahead of time. I do like to be inspired to write about what is happening in my life or that of my clients, but it would be wonderful to already have multiple blogs written that I could choose from at other times. Thank you so much for the great ideas and the reminder that the best strategy is one you will actually follow!
Thanks for your article. It is a breath of fresh air for me. As an ex-teacher, I do have a tendency to be pedantic, something I need to remember to let go.
I can slip into “teacher talk” too, Lilia. I try to check that habit by reading bits of the post out loud. If it doesn’t sound the way that I actually talk, I revise.
Thanks for this post! I always wait until I FEEL what to write which really creates a lot of chaos in my weekly schedule. You are right… there are hot topics that I can blog about that serve my audience and creating the calendar would ease my mind and keep blog panic to a minimum. Awesome idea! Thanks!