Every small business should have an onsite blog, a place to add new, fresh, relevant content on a regular basis. You want to provide content to your readers that they find useful, so you create blog posts that answer questions people are asking, providing information people are looking for. But when you’re a small business owner wearing a lot of different hats to keep your business going and growing, the question often asked is how to keep your blog active when you hate blogging?
Why you need to keep blogging
Blogging is part of the bigger effort of content marketing. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Yes, blogging is that important. It’s a great way to attract new traffic to your site, engage that traffic, and ideally convert that traffic into clients. It positions you as the subject matter expert if you do it correctly; not selling yourself, but being helpful by providing content people want. THAT is why you need to blog.
Why blogging is so hard
Blogging is hard. Content marketing is hard. It demands planning, researching, creativity, consistency and time. The last part is especially hard when you’re an overly busy business owner. There are vast examples of well-meaning business people who start blogging and fizzle out. according to a 2008 study by Technorati, over 95% of blogs are essentially abandoned. All that hard work goes to waste if you don’t keep up with it. Most people don’t understand how much time and energy an onsite blog demands, let alone getting that content distributed when you’re done.
How to make blogging work for your business
Though blogging is not an easy task, there are things that can make it a bit easier. First, try planning ahead. If you post a blog every Friday and don’t start even thinking about what you’re going to write until Friday morning, of course, it’s a drag and feels like a burden. With a little creative planning, you can brainstorm topics and titles well in advance, and know exactly what you’re going to write about. It doesn’t mean you need to create a complex content strategy, but at least try to plan out 30, 60 or even 90 days in advance. It’ll help on those days when you simply hate to blog; at least the concept and title are already created, you just need to write the content.
What if writing new, fresh, interesting content is simply too much to do week after week? There are a few ways to get creative. Instead of creating new content, how about curating other people’s content? Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. The work involves sifting, sorting, arranging, and publishing information. Sure, you still need to find the content, but you use a lot less of your creative energy when you have established content to being with.
You can also create a Top 10 (or Top 5 or Top 7 or whatever) list of tools, marketing blogs, software programs, etc. Again, you might need to put some explanation behind your list, but overall, you won’t have sit down and write a 1000+ word blog post from scratch.
How about interviewing a subject matter expert in your industry and using that as a blog post? Simply create 5-7 questions for an individual to answer, put those answers with a quick opening and summary into a blog and you’ve got yourself a post. The idea is to be helpful, and if the interview answers questions people are asking, or provides content people want, it’s a good post.
Still sound like too much work? How about inviting subject matter experts in your field to post guest blogs on your onsite blog? You win because the content resides on your site, so people are coming to you to get the information. The guest blogger wins because he or she is getting their content on other sites (they’ll likely ask for a link back to their site and their name mentioned as the author).
Of course, another option if you hate blogging but know better than to give it up is to hire a small business marketing professional to manage the process for you. There are several ways to keep your blog active when you hate blogging. Consider some of the suggestions above or for even more ideas, check out content marketing websites for more great ideas. Find one that works for you and keep going. The payoff is worth it!