A few ideas to make blogging easier for women business owners.
1. Clarify The Why
Knowing why you’re blogging makes it easier to do. Often times we begin things because we heard from “others” that it’s important for our business, yet we don’t often take the time to clarify why we’re really doing it. Knowing it’s important is not a powerful enough reason to get us started. So, take some time and ask yourself a few questions to determine your why for blogging.
- Why am I blogging?
- What is the goal of blogging, what do I believe blogging will result in?
- What will I personally gain from writing blogs?
- What might my business gain from writing blogs?
- What might others gain from reading my blog posts?
2. Talk It Out
I find that I prefer to talk rather than type or write so I have decided to try Google Drive Docs via my phone so I can use the talk-to-text feature to dictate my blogs for me. I simply open Google Drive on my phone, open a new Google Document and then press the microphone icon and talk away. Now, this is not a perfect final draft, but it’s a really great raw rough draft that I can either come back to later or send off to my virtual assistant for editing.
3. Get Together With A Cohort:
It never fails that when I’m sitting chatting with a cohort (another woman business owner) my mouth can move a mile a minute with words flowing out as if I have almost no control over them. BUT, when I sit down at my computer to write a blog, it’s like there’s a lock on my mouth and my fingers freeze up. So, a cohort and I have decided we’re going to start getting together and dictating for each other. As one person talks about their views on things, their perspectives or anything that comes from their heart, soul and mind the other person will quickly capture those words down on a computer for them. Again, this will likely not be a perfect final blog post but isn’t it better to have a rough draft than no draft at all? Who knows, in one conversation with a cohort you could even walk away with more than just one blog topic.
4. Basket Of Blog Ideas
Now, this can certainly be a real basket filled with post-it-notes that have a blog idea on each one OR like me, you can use a specified Google Document where whenever you have an idea for a blog you simply add it to the list. This is why I like having Google Docs on my phone so that no matter where I am when I have an idea I can quickly add it to list (except when I am in the shower, then the phone doesn’t work so well.. See #5) Then when you are ready to write a blog, you simply take the idea, start a new separate Google Document and well.. see #2 and start talking it out.
5. Shower Ideas
It never fails that the shower is where I get tons and tons of blog ideas popping into my head. Some say it’s because it is the most oxygenated space and the extra oxygen is what opens up our brains and allows them to function at top performance. So maybe we should all strap on oxygen tanks when we blog. (Sorry I digress.) Back to some tips for shower ideas. Their are actual note pads for your shower at aqua notes (not an affiliate link) or if you’re more old school (like me) you can certainly look at your local Goodwill Thrift Store for a small white board you can hang outside your shower to capture your ideas. Just make sure those ideas make it into your basket of blogs (see #4).
6. Calendar Of Blog Content:
Grab a piece of paper or your basket of blogs and start thinking through each month of the year with your audience in mind. What is your audience experiencing, thinking about, planning during each month of the year? How could you spin this into a blog post for that time of year? Here is a short list of things to think about for each month.
- January: Goals, New Year, Resolutions, End of the Holiday Season, Tax Preparation
- February: Love, Relationships, President's Day Get-A-Ways (short weekend get-a-ways)
- March: Spring, St. Patrick's Day (anything to do with luck, Ireland or Irish), Taxes are only one month away
- April: Spring Cleaning, Taxes, Prom Season, Easter,
Hopefully this gives you a good start and you can now go through each month and think about what’s happening for the world in general and how that might be playing out in relationship to your clients and your area of expertise.
7. Invite Guests To Blog
While you are certainly an expert for your ideal audience, there are likely other experts who could add value for your clients as well. Often these are people who work with your same audience but serve them in a different way. For myself, I have reached out to a money/budget coach, a freelance writer, an image consultant and more. These are all people who can add value to my client's lives/businesses and I invite them to be a guest blogger. Who in your networking community could you invite to be a guest blogger and add value for your audience?
8. Make Time:
Ahh yes, the best plans can remain plans unless they are given dedicated implementation time. I once thought that setting an appointment to blog would work and while that might work for you, it just didn’t for me. I found that when I pigeon-holed myself into a certain time each week for blogging, I just created a bigger block and the lock on my words just got harder to break. Yet, when I just dedicated two hours each day to my business and used that time for things like blogging, social media, accounting, program development, etc. I felt this deep sigh of relief. Now I have a blocked out time but I have the freedom to do what I want in that time, as long as it is working ON my business and not IN my business (meaning not working with clients or on client stuff). I was good to go. It feels free and allows my words to flow as they are inspired to flow rather than forced.
9. Stop The Self Doubt Cycle
We all do it. We all have times when we beat ourselves up, berate ourselves and, to be honest, get downright mean with ourselves but it’s not worth it. It’s energy draining and non-productive. So, if you get off track with your editorial calendar, don’t finish a blog exactly on time or implement a system that doesn’t work for you, just admit it, take responsibility and move on. We are not perfect, we are human. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. It’s okay, it’s just a mistake and you’re very likely to make another one so rather than spending energy trying not to make mistakes, spend your energy learning how to move on from mistakes and not allow them to start you down a cycle of self doubt.
10. Set Realistic Expectations
Sure, if you can blog 3-4 times a week Google is likely to give you more Google Juice (higher SEO ranking) but if blogging is new for you or not your best skill, setting the expectation that you’re going to blog 3-4 times a week is just crazy talk. It also sets you up to start a cycle of self doubt (see #9). Instead, what if you told yourself you were going to write one blog a month for the next three months and as you wrote them you were going to create a checklist of what you do to create that blog.
Maybe your checklist would look something like:
- jot down bullet points you want to talk about
- come up with a title
- write blog
- edit blog
- look for places to add keywords or change words to more keywords
- format on blog
- schedule date and time to post
Also, as you write these three blogs be sure to track your time for each blog as this will give a more realistic estimate of the time it will take you to write. Once you have a better estimate of time and a checklist maybe you’re ready to start writing two blogs a month for the next three months while continuing to define and refine a system for blog posting. Then after three more months move it the 3-times a month and so on until all of a sudden you’re writing weekly and bi-weekly blog posts because you have a system and a flow.