When you search for ‘discipline’ in the Amazon UK bookstore, there are over 24,000 results in the category of ‘Business, Finance and Law’ alone!
The plethora of books available on the topic of self-discipline, building habits and creating rituals for success tells me that being consistent is a common struggle for entrepreneurs – and blogging is a prime example.
Last week, we discussed strategies to overcome the lack of confidence, lack of ideas and insufficient planning in relation to blogging. But there are 3 more underlying reasons for inconsistency that I’ve been able to identify:
- Need for prioritisation
- Lack of a system
- Lack of assistance/delegation
So, let’s tackle them now.
Be strict about your priorities
Easier said than done, right?
When you’re running a business day-to-day, your priorities can become muddy. What you might decide is your top priority on a Sunday night, when you’re undisturbed and preparing for the week ahead, may quickly go out the window on Monday when one of your clients is having a crisis.
A few distractions like this and before you know it, the day is over and you never did get around to that blog post. Why?
Because it didn’t shout loudest.
At the end of the day, if you decide that blogging is a key part of your marketing strategy and that it’s important for the long-term success of your business, it’s down to you to honour that.
Something that has really helped me with prioritisation over the last couple of years is when something seemingly urgent comes across my desk, to ask myself:
‘Does this serve my agenda, or someone else’s?’
For instance, emails, whilst an integral part of doing business, are effectively people adding their priorities to your agenda. And how many of us use our inbox as our to-do list?!
Obviously, as service providers, we have obligations to our clients, our team and various other people. But, occasionally, it pays to take a step back and ask yourself that question, to evaluate how much time you’re really spending on your own objectives.
If you feel that your own priorities are indeed being overtaken by ‘urgent’ issues, try setting ‘do not disturb’ periods throughout your week. Agree on them with your team, and put on your out-of-office response to let your clients know you’ll reply later in the day.
- Related content: Important vs Urgent
This will help you find time for the important, yet non-urgent tasks like blogging.
Establish a system
To become a consistent blogger on sheer willpower alone would be virtually impossible. You need to create a system; a routine that gives you the best chance of maintaining your publishing schedule.
You need a system for gathering your ideas, for planning, for managing your upcoming posts, for writing them, and for publishing and promoting them.
This might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It simply means deciding how you’re going to approach the process so that indecision doesn’t become a tool for procrastination.
For example, you might decide that you’re going to gather your ideas in Evernote because you can capture them on-the-go. You might create your blog plan in Google Sheets or Excel, and decide that you’ll have 3 months’ worth of blog posts planned at a time.
You might choose to manage your blog posts in Trello, because you can use the list function to show, visually, what stage each blog post is at in the process. You may decide to write the posts themselves on a Friday afternoon because this is when you experience the least distractions and can fully engage in creative thought.
You could also create a checklist of steps to publish your blog post, so that you do it successfully every time, and set up social media posts to be automatically sent out when the article goes live, using IFTTT or Zapier.
Establishing your own personal blogging system will ensure that you are best-equipped to deal with the curveballs that might be thrown at you on a weekly basis, which may lead to procrastination or avoidance.
Get someone to help you
The final strategy for becoming more consistent at blogging is to get help. Blogging successfully for your business can be very time consuming if you’re doing it all by yourself.
Let’s break it down…
- Planning/research – 30mins-1 hour
- Writing – 2-3 hours
- Proofreading/editing – 30mins
- Sourcing and designing images – 30mins-1 hour
- Formatting, optimising and publishing – 30mins-1 hour
- Promoting – 1 hour
Total = up to 7.5 hours
When you look at it like this, it’s easy to see why small business owners find it difficult to blog consistently! Without assistance, they could be dedicating an entire day’s work to writing and publishing just one article!
So, as entrepreneurs, we need to overcome our superhero-syndrome and delegate part of the process. This could be one of your existing employees, a virtual assistant, or a professional blog management service.
The hidden benefit of delegating elements of blog production is accountability. The very fact that you have to send content, or provide input to your team member in order that they can undertake the work, means you are far more likely to maintain a consistent publishing schedule.
If you’re struggling to blog consistently for your business, try to determine the underlying cause and employ one of these 6 strategies to get back on track.
What’s your biggest challenge with business blogging? Let me know in the comments!
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