I spin a lot of plates in my life – business, family, charity work – every day throws up a new challenge, something that urgently requires my attention. Sometimes it can be hard to set aside time for the things that are less urgent, but more important.
Blogging is one of those things. I see it as a significant factor in the success and longevity of my business. It serves multiple purposes – building relationships, building trust, sharing knowledge, generating web traffic… the list goes on.
Despite knowing this, I still struggle with consistency. I’m not a particularly disciplined person, nor would I consider myself to be a natural writer; it was never something I gravitated towards as a hobby. This, combined with the aforementioned plate-spinning, means that I find it challenging to stick to a regular blogging schedule.
I know I’m not alone in this. It’s exactly the same for most small business owners. We wear a lot of hats, we have a lot to manage, and sometimes blogging just falls down the priority list.
But often there are underlying reasons WHY we let blogging fall down the priority list. I’ve identified 6 of the most common:
- Lack of confidence
- Lack of ideas/inspiration
- Insufficient planning
- Need for prioritisation
- Lack of a system
- Lack of assistance/delegation
How did I identify all of these issues? I’ve been there. I’ve experienced every single one.
So in this 2-part series, I’m going to share 6 strategies to overcome each of these challenges – here are the first 3.
Learn from others
If you procrastinate over blogging because you’re unsure about what you’re doing, or lack confidence, then I have a few suggestions for you.
The first is to learn by observing others. Find two or three examples of businesses that you feel are doing blogging well. Whether they’re in the same niche or not, they will be a source of inspiration and there will undoubtedly be things that you can replicate (respectfully!) through your own blog.
- Here’s one of my favourites – Millie’s Beach Huts
The second is to read. Just today, I took a delivery of content marketing books for my own collection, from experts such as Joe Pulizzi, Mark Schaefer, Ann Handley, Dan Norris and Darren Rowse. Why not join me in reading one of the books below and leave a comment with your #1 learning point?
Thirdly, I would highly recommend joining a community such as The Content Marketing Academy, where you can access training materials and get invaluable feedback and support from other business owners who are on the same path.
Set aside time for ‘free thinking’
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel totally uninspired. When I sit down to write a blog post, there’s just nothing that springs to mind that I want to write about. Usually, this happens because I’m simply not setting aside enough time to get my creative juices flowing on a regular basis!
Your brain needs space to generate new ideas. If you’re constantly in “doing” mode, without time for learning or thinking, then it’s no wonder you don’t feel inspired with new blog ideas.
Try spending just 30 minutes in the morning reading one book chapter (with a hot cuppa, of course), and note down the thoughts and ideas that start to bubble up. Or go along to a seminar to get a fresh perspective and record audio memos of your “ah-ha” moments on the way home.
Do this regularly and you’ll be amazed how many ideas start to pour out of you at every turn!
Create a solid plan
One of the biggest barriers to consistent blogging is the lack of a plan.
There will always be times when you deviate from your plan to address a hot topic or take advantage of a flash of inspiration. It’s a creative process, after all.
But the rest of the time, you need to have a solid working title and outline in place if you have any hope of keeping a regular blogging schedule.
In my experience, if there’s too much wiggle room in your plan – in other words, it’s too vague – then your inner procrastination monster will pounce on the opportunity to distract you, and your good intentions will go out the window.
To make blogging a non-negotiable task in your week, you need a fully-formed plan that you can rely upon.
- Related content: How To Create A Blog Plan
These are 3 ways to become more consistent at blogging – tune in later this week for 3 more, in Part 2.
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