Why blogging is like going to the gym
Blogging is a bit like going to the gym. We all know we should be doing it but we just never seem to get around to it. Even when we get a moment of inspiration, we may churn out a post (or go to Body Combat) but our motivation is short-lived and before we know it, two months have gone by before we produce more content (or step foot in a gym again).
The issue with this is the only way you’re going to reap the rewards of blogging is with consistency. So, the question is:
How can I stay consistent with blogging?
Make a commitment
I’m constantly preaching to clients about the benefits of regular blogging but you only have to look at my page to realise I’m living by the philosophy of ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ The words hypocritical and embarrassing spring to mind so even though it’s 25˚outside without a cloud in the sky, (this is rare for the UK), here I am producing content for my website.
I admit it can be hard to prioritise. All my time is spent writing content for other people but I can’t expect them to take me seriously when I’m not even doing this for myself. So I’ve made a commitment to my business that from now on, I’m going to publish a blog every week.
I’ve been working with a client for years and every month they send me a list of blogs they need me to write. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, the summer holidays, they’ve got the January blues, if business is busy or they’re going through a quiet patch – those blogs keep coming through right on schedule every month. And do you know what? They’re doing incredibly well. If they’re being consistent with their blogging, they’re probably being consistent with everything else in their business and this is what’s making them so successful.
It’s going to be hard to stay consistent with your blogging if you don’t have fresh ideas for content. Start by brainstorming ideas or keep a list by your desk so you can make a note when an idea suddenly comes to you.
Try to come up with ideas that are varied so you can get an idea of the type of content your audience is interested in. Once you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll know the types of posts which tend to do well.
If you’re struggling for inspiration, some great ways to come up with blog topics include:
What are the most common questions or concerns your customers come to you with?
What are your most popular products or services?
What are your competitors talking about?
What’s your online audience talking about?
Ask your audience what their favourite posts are
Interview industry experts
Hold a group brainstorming session - your team may have some fantastic suggestions
Let people know what’s going on in your business
Ask customers if you can write a case study about them
Use Google’s autocomplete tool. This is based on current search trends so it’s a quick and easy way to find topics that people are searching for
Create a schedule
Creating a schedule will help you stay organised and consistent. Pre-determine how often you’ll be posting, which blog will be sent out on which date and which social media channels you’ll be posting to. Have everything ready such as images and what you’re going to say in your social media introduction because if everything is laid out for you, there’s no excuse not to post.
It’s important to be realistic with your schedule. Only commit to posting as often as you can. This may be once a week, once a fortnight or even just once a month.
Dedicate time to writing blogs
Routines build good habits, increase efficiency and mean that you don’t need to think about whether or not you’ll do something. If you don’t dedicate a set time to writing blogs every week, chances are you’ll never do it. If you know that every Wednesday afternoon from 2-5pm is for content creation however, it will eventually become second nature.