Blogging for business: you know how to do it, you know you should be doing it, you know it will help your online marketing campaign, and yet after the first week or two of diligently putting together blog posts, it’s suddenly been three weeks since you last updated your blog.
This singular problem has many causes, and we call these the Blogging Hurdles. For some people, certain hurdles are higher than others – but they’re all hurdles you’ll have to jump before you hit that home stretch of having a productive and profitable blogging routine.
Hurdle One: “I can’t seem to find the time”
Taking the jump:
-Make the commitment. Unless you make a commitment to yourself that you genuinely want to put the effort into your blog, then you’re far less likely to make time to do it. Once you’ve made the commitment, find a reminder. Tell someone you work with to check up on you. Put a post-it note at your desk, or a reminder in your computer of your designated blogging times. If making the commitment is hard, ask you Campaign Manager to go through the benefits of blogging again, and keep a list nearby so that when you’re down on motivation, you can revisit the benefits and be reminded of why it’s so important in the first place.
-Schedule ahead. Don’t feel that you have to write your posts on the day you publish them. One of the best tools on blogging systems like WordPress is that you can schedule the times you want your blog posts to appear. If you only have time to write your blog post on a Monday, but your posting day is Wednesday, then you can do all the work on Monday and schedule your post to automatically publish on Wednesday.
Hurdle Two: “I don’t know what to write about”
Taking the jump:
-Keep a list of ideas. Don’t depend on bursts of inspiration magically appearing when you sit to write a blog post. Do yourself a favour and keep a notebook handy at your desk, or a designated folder on your computer, just for jotting down those ideas when they come up. Extra hint: jot down common questions that you get from clients/customers. These usually make great informational blog posts that target a need and offer a solution.
-Use long-tail keywords. What if you could answer questions people are searching? What if someone searched a question relevant to your industry, and your blog post came up in Google? With long-tail keywords, all these are actually possible – not only are you sure your content is relevant, but you also have a well of ideas handy, too. Use this online tool for long-tail inspiration: https://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/keyword-questions/
Hurdle Three: “No-one is reading/commenting!”
Taking the jump:
-Keep it in perspective. This where patience and persistence come in: very rarely will a blog receive many comments after a couple of posts. Building a reader database is a slow and gradual process that should be seen as more of a long-term investment than a short-term gain. And if a voice in your head is telling you blogging is a waste of time if you’re not getting comments, then think again. Whether you’re receiving one comment or one hundred comments, the fact remains that your blog is providing valuable content and credibility for the SEO aspect of your online marketing campaign.
-Encourage reader interaction. So if you know you’re getting the readers, but the comments aren’t coming in, then maybe it’s time to have a second look at how inviting you blog is for a user to comment. Some of the best ways to encourage this are:
- ending your blog posts with a question and inviting readers to answer.
- replying personally to every single comment. Every. Single. Comment.
- referring to comments in your blogs (don’t overdo this) so people know that other commenters are getting some love – they’ll want some too!
- mercy calling your friends and colleagues to comment. Don’t feel silly doing so – one of the best ways to tell readers to comment is to have an example set in place already. Crowds attract crowds!
Hitting the Home Stretch
What does your home stretch look like? A regular posting routine that is more like habit than effort? Readers commenting on every post? Getting traffic to your website? All of this is possible, if you know how to identify the right hurdles and jump them the right way.
What are your biggest blogging hurdles? Do you have one I haven’t mentioned and need to find a remedy for? Don’t be shy – comment below!