This is definitely a case of do as I say, not as I do. Or have done until now (stand by for a new year's resolution).
Writing a blog (or even a good old-fashioned email or print newsletter) is still a good way to keep in touch with your client base or followers. It helps remind them that you are still around and keep you 'front of mind', and it is the perfect way to reinforce the fact that you're an expert in your field – that you know what you're talking about.
But the benefits don't end there.
Google is placing increasing emphasis on content – quality content – in its search ranking calculations, ahead of things like keywords. I'll come back to that in a future post, suffice to say for now that regular, quality blog posts will help push your website higher in Google's search results.
Most people I talk to struggle to maintain their blog because a) they run out of ideas, b) they can't find the time to do it, or c) they hate writing.
Here are some hints for overcoming these and regularly posting to your blog:
- Capture your ideas as they happen. Every seasoned writer knows this one. If you don't write down an idea at the time it occurs to you, you will lose that idea. Many a great plot twist or earth-shattering business idea has been lost because it wasn't captured at the time it raised its head.
Keep a notepad with you at all times (your smartphone's notebook app is a good start), and keep a notepad by your bed. And use them!
Apart from not allowing your ideas to escape, this approach means that you will always have a backlog of things to write about, and that blank screen won't be so forbidding every time you face it.
- Write at the right time. Some people respond best to writing at a set time every week (or fortnight, or month) – but some don't. Sometimes your job simply doesn't allow this sort of regularity. If it doesn't, don't kid yourself that this method will work for you. Instead, train yourself to write whenever you can, ideally whenever inspiration strikes, and use the 'save as draft' facility in your blogging software to post the blog at the time of your choosing.
An advantage of this approach is that you don't need to worry too much about getting your writing right first time. Just dump your content down when you can, then come back and polish it later. (I'll have tips for doing this in a future post too.)
- Find someone to help. Okay, I would say this wouldn't I. And yes, a ghostwriter is a good option for getting your blog done regularly and well if writing is just not your thing. Believe me: I place a lot more emphasis on getting blog posts written for my clients than I do on getting them done for myself (as you can probably tell). But if you don't want to go down that path, find someone else in your office or circle who does like to write, and find a way to get them to turn your ideas into blog posts for you. The most important thing is to get it done.
By now you may have guessed my new year's resolution: to post to my own blog more regularly. So stay tuned, and I'll let you know as I learn more tricks along the way.