Several friends weighed in on Facebook this week with topics they wanted me to write about. My client Heather of Makes Scents Natural Spa Line voiced something that I hear a lot:
“How do you do it all when life keeps throwing you curve balls? How do you keep up with social media and blogging when life happens? I just wish I had time to write a stash of blogs that I could post when I don’t have time to write. Same with Facebook and Twitter.”
I think Heather speaks for a lot of small business owners. She gets it. She understands the importance of blogging. She wants to blog. But where she struggles is finding time. Small business owners and operators are very busy people. They may work 12 or 14 hours a day, mostly taking care of their core business. For Heather, that is the manufacturing and distribution of high-end natural spa products. She and her husband, Nate and the few employees they have are incredibly busy. So when is she supposed to find time to be involved in social media, not to mention blog?
Part of my job is to help my clients, and you, find ways to make blogging and social media more manageable, and make sure that it’s not a total time suck. So here are a few of my tips for making blogging more manageable, some of which can also be applied to other social media duties:
1. Create a realistic, manageable schedule
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I often suggest starting with one post a week. If all you do is 300-500 words each week, that right there makes the task much more manageable. You don’t have to blog every day. You don’t have to write a novel. Create a schedule and keep to it. You can even plot out topics a month or two in advance.
2. Don’t take it all on your self
Just because you decide to blog doesn’t mean you have to write everything. Enlist employees, vendors, and others from businesses with which you deal. Guest bloggers can really do a good job of easing the burden. With social media, assign some of the duties to a trusted and well trained employee. Breaking up the tasks will free up more of your time.
3. Keep an idea file
One of the problems with blogging is the task of coming up with ideas and topics. Don’t wait until the last moment. Jot down notes throughout the week as ideas come to you. Keep a file with ideas you get from notes, magazines, and the internet. Sure, it’s not the greenest thing, but if need be you can print out pages and put them in a physical file folder. Or you can keep a document of ideas on your computer desktop. There are also apps like Evernote that make it easy to keep notes and save clippings from online.
When I get ideas I just open up a post draft on my WordPress site and throw in a link and a few notes so I can go back to it later.
4. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Don’t feel like you have to come up with completely new content. You might already have content on your website or on offline printed materials that can easily be converted into blog posts.
5. Remember WHY you are doing it
There are many reasons for blogging, which include everything from search engine optimization and building an archive of great content to showing that you are an authority in your particular field. Keep reminding yourself that there is a very real purpose for blogging; it’s not just an empty exercise. There are goals and there is a payoff. When you remember that, it might give you more motivation.
6. It’s part of your job
Ultimately, the blogging, social media, and marketing are all a part of your job. Sure you might really be in the business of manufacturing a product, selling something, or delivering a service, but that’s not all you do. The marketing of those products and services is also a part of your job. It’s not just something you do in your free time, if you have any. It’s an important part of your job that must be done.
7. Have fun!
Hopefully you enjoy what you do. If you love your job, you can learn to love blogging about it. I love blogging. I enjoy the writing. Find a way to write about the things you enjoy, and suddenly the task becomes a lot more manageable.
Those are a few tips, but I’m sure there are more. What other ways have you found to make the task of blogging more manageable?
Social media tips for small businesses (aurorasentinel.com)
9 Tips on How Businesses Can be Heard on Twitter Without Shouting (inklingmedia.net)
Why content marketing is a “do-over” for social media (businessesgrow.com)
What makes a blog tick? An insider’s guide to audience connection (businessesgrow.com)