"I know I should be blogging."
We hear this every day. There are REAL reasons you should be blogging. We agree, but we don't see any sense in making you feel badly because you just aren't getting around to it.
"Yes! This will be the year we blog."
Sounds great, but speed bumps come up pretty quickly. Here are the 5 most common obstacles to successful blogging and a few tips from the professionals to help you move forward:
Obstacle 1: Who will write the blog?
Once you commit, the first question is who will be writing your blog? In the world of unicorns grazing under a rainbow your team has plenty of time to blog. Your team would be the perfect choice - after all, you all know your industry better than anyone!
Pro Tip: Ask for guest bloggers to write on subject matter that falls into their wheelhouse, but that is related to your audience. You'll lighten the workload, present a wider spectrum of writing to your audience and possibly gain followers based on the guest writer's connections.
Pro Tip: Complete a FAQ with insightful answers to frequently asked questions. This can be a big help for search engine optimization along with speeding up the process as this kind of blog entry doesn't require sophisticated writing.
Pro Tip: Interview someone of interest. Again, this lowers the burden of writing and like guest blogging, it can attract new visitors. HINT: People who are promoting a book are almost always willing to be interviewed!
Obstacle 2: But I don't know what to write about.
First and foremost in a blog, write about what you know! That sounds simple, but the companies who take this advice start down a road of successful platform building. That leads to real search engine optimization which is just a fancy way of saying that people who need your expertise, product or service can find you when they are ready to buy.
Pro Tip: Your expertise seems like common sense to you. Duh! You already know it. But what you may think is obvious is very insightful to others. Instead, ask someone you know well or work with to make a list of things they would like to hear you explain. You may find these articles are easy for you to write, but incredibly helpful to others.
Obstacle 3: Writer's block. Ugh!
Writer's Block. Bam! We've got that covered. Check out our blog with an awesome blog title generator that will get you inspired and swinging from the fence.
Obstacle 4: But I have no time!
I am a firm believer in Gay Hendrick's theory that you make time. If this is important to you, you will find the time to accomplish the task. After talking with so many about this obstacle, I find that the real issue isn't finding the time, but understanding how to break this HUGE task down into smaller pieces.
Pro Tip: Don't go from 0 to 60. Consider writing one blog this month, two next month and so on until you are blogging consistently once a week.
Pro Tip: Set your goal to getting worked ahead by four to six months. This takes time to build up your arsenal (see Pro Tips under Obstacle 1 for ways to build it quicker), but working ahead helps you manage your time better. Besides, sitting down to write a blog that is due TOMORROW rarely produces quality writing!
Pro Tip: Use an online virtual assistant, or a site like Fivrr.com to outsource your research. Writers on these sites can also help you with a basic outline and get you started so that your time is spent just on the real flourishes and your expert insight.
Pro Tip: Maybe it's time for an organized approach to outsourcing your blogging. Hmmm... Maybe it's time for a marketing assessment.
Pro Tip: Use a free service like Trello.com to organize blog ideas, create a calendar and be sure to include scheduling time to promote the blog. Our rule of thumb is that for every hour you spend creating quality content, spend four hours promoting that content. A service like Trello can help you break up those activities. For a blog, that should include sharing it on every social media channel you have multiple times over the year.
Pro Tip: Don't expect to be able to spend hour after hour on quality writing. Break up your time with different activities. Have only 20 minutes? Don't start writing a blog! Instead, use that time to brainstorm 20 new blog titles. Schedule it out in chunks and set a timer. You'll learn over time what works for you and how long it takes you to complete a task.
Pro Tip: There are steps to the process, so don't try to accomplish every step in one sitting. For example, this blog was written in a rough draft a month ago, today I came back to it with fresh perspective and began truly writing the content in one session. Tomorrow it will get a review for keywords and get sent off for editing to someone else on my team. Another day the graphics will be created and it will be loaded to HubSpot for publishing and distribution. That service also automatically wraps my blogs up into a monthly recap in case someone missed this juicy content the first time around!
Obstacle 5: How does this fit into my online strategy?
In our world, blogs are the very foundation of inbound marketing strategy. We've already mentioned the word consistency and that is a key part of strategy. The more often you add new content to your website the more often search engines will crawl over your site to index the information. That is why using relevant keywords and phrases (long tail keywords are phrases with three or more words that act together) naturally in your writing will help you get the right eyeballs to your blog through online searches.
Pro Tip: See how I just naturally used the phrase "relevant keywords and phrases" within this blog? That is a long tail keyword people who could use our services might type in the search engine. With consistent use of this phrase, my blog will begin to rank for that long tail keyword. I also used the words "writer's block" in this blog and that keyword is searched almost 10,000 times per month!
Pro Tip: Don't know what keywords to use? Try out this free keyword generator. It will get you up to 750+ long tail keyword suggestions for every search term you enter. Check it out at http://keywordtool.io/.
At Little Bird Marketing, we're always breaking down big topics and complicated marketing strategies into understandable actions. As you commit to blogging, keep this list handy to quickly help you overcome these common obstacles. If you need more marketing help, be sure to check out our resources page. It's chock full of free guides to help you on your marketing journey.
This post was written by Priscilla McKinney, Momma Bird at Little Bird Marketing. As a full service agency, we provide full branding overhauls, website development, and extensive digital strategy including inbound marketing packages. Hear more from this Momma Bird in her podcast, Ponderings from the Perch or follow her on Twitter @LittleBirdMktg.
Want to learn more about the why content is so important to your marketing platform? Check out our blog, 5 Benefits to Regular Blogging!