We mentioned last week that it is pretty hard to stay consistent with writing blog posts. The main reason is that, just like you, we feel that running the business and completing projects take precedent over writing a blog post. But we are pretty darn wrong … and so are you. Sorry!
A blog post is such an incredible tool for our business and yours. It helps our search rankings, builds traffic, grows our email list and helps us gain trust of potential customers. How is any of that more important than getting the receipts entered in QuickBooks before our CPA yells at us?
We have to prioritize activities that grow our business and so do you. Online marketing grows our business … when we put effort into it. When we don’t put effort into it … we don’t see the results we want.
Just because we “do” online marketing for a living doesn’t mean we don’t have to work for every website visitor, every new subscriber and every new fan.
Everybody has to work at online marketing to see results. What we can all do is try to work smarter, not harder. So today we’re going to share our not so hard to do tricks for getting blog posts written.
1. Brainstorm Meetings
We absolutely love to meet and brainstorm! We sit down on the deck, a Chardonnay for Collin and a Pinot Grigio for me, and we chat about clients … in a good way, promise. We look at recent projects and say … “OK, what questions did they have?” or “How could we have made Client A more comfortable with the idea of email marketing?” or “How could we have helped Client B get the most use of their Facebook Ads?” or “Client C was so excited they could integrate this with that, I bet other people don’t know this can be automated and would love to save the time!”
The questions we want to answer for our clients lead to our best and most useful blog posts. They will also naturally produce blog posts that have the keywords our target customers are searching for … because people search with questions and blog posts reply with answers. (That seems quotable, btw!)
We also look at our Google Analytics and see what blog posts are getting the most traffic. This helps us know topics that are more popular than others. For example, you and the majority of our readers are most interested in how to make a blog grow your traffic. Whodathunkit?!
Tip: Name one person as the note taker … this really helps!
2. Schedule Time
Ugh. I so don’t like scheduling time to write blog posts. But I do. Usually. (I’m honest.)
My husband and I go for walks in the morning. OK, he runs and I walk! But in any case, this is when I listen to podcasts about … you guessed it, online marketing. I think of such great ideas while I am walking and listening to other great professionals in my field. They inspire me and walking wakes me up so just after a podcast walk is the best time for me to write. So I know on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday morning I am going to be my best at writing.
I usually pick just one morning each week to write because I don’t have time to write all the time. So Wednesday morning is usually the sweet spot. Set aside an hour or an hour and a half and treat it like a meeting. Do not answer emails. Do not answer texts. Do not answer the phone. So hard to do but you kinda start to like it.
3. Set A Timer
I so love this rule because it makes my mind be free somehow. I set a time for exactly 25 minutes. In that 25 minutes I have to type an entire blog post start to finish. I don’t overthink anything. I have tons of typos. But I get all of my ideas out on the screen. I never reread what I’ve just written. Yes, it shows when Collin edits the blog posts I write. But that is OK. The ideas are out there and usually they are great … way better than if I would have overthought every single sentence and word choice.
Here is proof I use a timer … I am on my second blog post this Wednesday morning and here is my screenshot from the timer I used while writing “4 Reasons to Add a Blog to Your Website“.
And FYI, I kept writing and didn’t put those pictures in when I took them … that’s done during editing by Collin!
You may not write an entire blog post in 25 minutes. I’ve been doing this about 5 years so I know my optimum time to get a good solid chunk of ideas out of me. You may need a full hour for your first blog post. Who knows? Just start and find out your natural pace. There are absolutely no right or wrong answers to time … the longer you do this the faster you will be. Maybe one day I can get below 25 mins!?!?
4. Use Distraction Free Writing
In WordPress there is this awesome little button that makes your blog post full screen … meaning you don’t see any buttons or menus, just the big white writing screen to fill up. This helps me a lot. And I used to think this was a bogus idea but then I started timing myself and found that it really did keep me from browsing away or being tempted to click away.
Again, I didn’t add the above picture while writing so as to stay focused. That is done during editing!
5. Have An Editor
It is absolutely amazing if you have the opportunity to have an editor. Editors are great help and make everything readable. For Collin and me, I am usually the one who writes and then I pass off the blog post to Collin for her to work her magic. Neither job is more important than the other. It works out great this way for us because she also makes graphics for the blog post.
I will shoot Collin a text and say there are X amount of new draft blog posts for you to edit. She will say awesome! She will usually have to shoot me a text or an email and say, “What did you mean here?” I clarify and we are good to go.
Find someone in your business or your life who is detail oriented and ask them to be your editor.
Tip: It works great if you share your writing schedule with your editor. That way they can know when to expect your drafts and have time for editing when it is best for their schedule.
6. Add Outlines As Ideas Come To You
I didn’t quite know where to put this in the process for you because this part of the process is fluid for me. A lot of times I take notes of blog posts in my phone. I will instantly write a title (a rough title, mind you) and then write about 3-5 bullet points under the title that I want to talk about.
For example, here (to the right) is what my “4 Reasons to Add a Blog To Your Website” notes looked like:
I then email myself all my notes. I copy and paste each blog post idea into a draft post and save the draft. That way when I am in the mood to write, my ideas are all right in front of me and I can meet my 25 minute deadline per post.
All In All …
… You have to find the process that works best for you. I do highly recommend brainstorming when you aren’t in work mode, having an editor, and having a go to notes app on your phone.
Ideas strike at anytime and no matter how smart you are, you won’t remember that brilliant idea when you go to start writing. It is the law of the universe or Muphy’s Law or something like that.
So go the rest of this week with a note app handy on your phone. Then schedule a time to write, and set your timer. Shoot me an email and let me know if this helped you get a blog post or two cranked out. And if it didn’t, tell me what you found to work better for you. I always want to try to improve my process and you may be the secret key to greatness!
Brittany the Writer and Collin the Editor