In the last post we saw that Business Blogs can provide many benefits. How do you gain those benefits without turning your role into full time blogger?
It’s a common question. Clients often object to me that they just don’t have time to blog so much and they worry that if you don’t put in the effort then you can’t expect to reap the rewards.
Not all businesses have the money to outsource all the work, and sometimes finding people who can blog on your topic is a challenge in itself.
Though it is true that there is a lot of work involved in creating a successful blog, there are ways to make sure you are only working on areas that will bring results.
10 Tips for Top Blogging Efficiency
The following tips and tactics will help you put the effort where it is most needed and will bring you the best results. It does not remove all the work but will make sure you are not waisting any time on unproductive areas. To follow all ten points might seem extreme but in fact if you just take on one or two of the tips you should find you save some time.
- Goals – Know what you are doing and why. How will you know what you are doing is working? What will tell you that you are on the wrong track? Are you working towards building links? Better search engine rankings? Generating increased traffic? Attracting more subscribers? Building up your sales? Know what you want to achieve before you launch and develop everything towards this aim.
- Targeting – Once you know what you want to do, now work out who for. A large percentage of the time when I see business bloggers making little progress it is due to a cloudy idea of who their audience is, and a cloudier idea of how to reach them. Which audience can most help you achieve what you want to do? Remember if all you want is links then your audience is NOT likely to be customers, if you want sales then do not expect your links to go through the roof. While in a normal blog you can achieve both, if you are wanting to have the least amount of work then you need to make sacrifices.
- Topic Focus – Again, with topic, you have to sacrifice, and focus on the topics that will attract your most needed audience. Forget about pleasing everybody, you have to work out which topics you can manage to build out and which you are going to leave behind. It might take some research to discover which areas of your subject are most compelling and most critical. Preparation before launch will save you a lot of time and guess work later on. Place a contact form or even a question box on your blog to encourage questions.
- Time Focus – Writing focus does not just limit the topics you write about but also how you share the time. Your time will be spent on idea creation, writing and promotion. It is better to concentrate your time than try to steal five minutes here and there. Rather than trying to write five decent posts a week, try a couple of excellent posts. You do not have to have the ideas, write and publicize all in one go. Allocate your daily writing time to building up top notch articles. Perhaps one days writing time could be ideas and headlines, the next outlining, followed by fleshing out, finding images and illustrations, editing and promotion. In fact with this system you might find you are on a roll and can create lots more posts this way than trying to do everything at once. If you get into the flow you can batch and pre-post using the date stamp feature.
- Testing and learning – Keeping abreast of developments can take time. Testing and educating yourself is essential but not for every single blog, and not for every member of your team. If you are working solo then you are going to want to stick to tried and tested tactics and have a very scientific approach to your own testing.
- Tracking – If you are not monitoring your progress then how do you know if what you are doing is working? You need appropriate tracking and analytics BUT do not obsess over them every day. Once a week is probably sufficient. Decide the key metrics that tell you how well you are doing against your specific goals.
- Distractions – There are work distractions and tech distractions. Some bloggers find it more productive to escape the office for an hour or two, work hard while getting heavily caffeinated, then come back to work. Tech distractions mainly affect the geekier amongst us, and it is a matter of self discipline. You already nominated your key metrics and your long term goals, keep your eye on the prize. Don’t be distracted by every shiny new gimmick that comes along, take a cold hard look at each development and work out if it will help you and your specific case. You don’t need to be an early adopter, let other people be on the bleeding edge and report back before you make any bold moves.
- Housekeeping – Obsessing over housekeeping is almost as big a problem as obsessing over metrics. Work out what style works for you, a little a day or once a week tidy session. In general you can automate many things, like backups and spam prevention. One area you want to keep up on is comment approval, people like to see their comments appear quickly and you need to encourage conversation. Some even turn off comments completely but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you can resist adding widgets, tweaking your theme, and other tinkering, once you have a handle on spam and comments, there is actually not that much housekeeping that is actually required.
- Easier Content – Your readers and customers could be an excellent source of guest posts, making your role more editor than writer. Also consider doing interviews, surveys, polls, and other type of valuable content that doesn’t take as long to put together. If you find it quicker to talk than write, consider a podcast or dictating your posts and have them transcribed. It would be best not to make easy posts a habit, but they can help you out of a fix.
- Teamwork – Can team members spread the load? Are there tasks you can share with friends? You might not have the funds or type of topic that allows you to outsource all the work but there are other tasks that can be handed over to virtual assistants, marketers or writers. Lots of blogging work can be outsourced, housekeeping, promotion, research, editing, and so on. Also, while your topic might require specific expertise, you might find supplying a gifted writer the bones of an article speeds up the process as compared to you trying to put your facts into an interesting and readable post.
If all this still seems like too much work then perhaps a business blog is not right for you. Could you gain many of the benefits by having an infrequent newsletter and publishing the occasional article or whitepaper on your website?
Getting the most out of your business blog requires putting your effort where it counts. Share the load across your team or outsource the parts that you don’t have to be 100% involved in. Most of all, make each post count.
There is more to this subject than I can fit into one short article, but I hope this helps you find your best blogging approach for your situation.
Which other ways do you find help you get the most bang for blog for your business? Please share in the comments …
Table of contents for series: Business Blogs
- Attracting, Retaining and Converting Prospects With Blogs
- The ROI of Business Blogging
- How to Get Maximum Bang for your Blog