My journey to increase my business’ visibility started three months ago when I signed up for Denise’s “Online Visibility for Introverts” class. It promised to teach me how to build my email list, get on board with social media, and increase my online visibility.
One of the first habits Denise encouraged was “consistency,” or doing the same thing on a repeatable schedule, to help build your visibility. And since the blog is the hub of a business’ online efforts, that meant I needed to start blogging consistently.
This was a big challenge for me. Up to that point, I blogged when I found time and posted every few months. At best.
But I vowed to change my ways. Here are some advice and insights from my blogging journey that might help you. I struggled with blogging at first – and at times still do. But I was surprised at how it’s not only helped my business grow, but it’s helped me grow personally, too.
- The more you blog, the easier it gets. Really. There’s something about forcing your brain to write a 200 or so word article on any topic you want (and, hopefully that your target audience will also find interesting) that gets easier each time you do it.
As you write more posts, you’ll start to cultivate a flow and rhythm that makes it quicker and easier. You’ll also develop your voice, which can take some time to evolve. Once you have those things in place, you’ll find writing posts is a much smoother process.
- Trying for perfection eats up a lot of time. One big block I had to writing posts regularly was the expectation each one needed to be 100% perfect. This was a tough nut for me to swallow, because I’m a copywriter. I’m supposed to be picky with my copy.
But it was causing me to take forever to finish a post. I’d edit over and over, critique from every angle, and decide it still wasn’t ready for prime time. I was stalling based on the fear it wasn’t quite good enough.
I once had a boss who said “It’s better to take something that’s 80% perfect and get it out there, than try for 100% and it never sees the light of day.”
Very true. While you do want compelling content, you don’t want to spend so much time on a post that you never publish anything, or you spend an inordinate amount of time polishing it. That won’t go far in building your online visibility. Try for “pretty decent” or “good enough” and then publish. You can always go back later to edit and add more.
- It’s far easier (and quicker) to blog if you plan in advance. I’m a copywriter, so I often write in my head. If I know what my next blog topic will be, then my brain starts percolating away. And then when I starting writing, the words just flow.
The most difficult posts were ones I didn’t plan in advance. They forced me to stare at the computer screen, think of a topic, and THEN write. That’s too many steps to do in one sitting. Do yourself a favor – make a list of your next 10 post topics and assign a date to each (also known as an editorial calendar).
- Schedule the time on your calendar. And stick to it. If I don’t schedule blogging time, then client work creeps in or other business activities. Before I know it, it’s 5 pm on Friday and I have no post for the week. So I grudgingly get up early on Saturday morning to get the job done.
Here’s my fix: I schedule two hours first thing Tuesday morning to write the post, edit, and publish. If I do it early in the week (and early in the day), then I can spend the rest of the week promoting it. Pick a day that works best for you, schedule a recurring appointment in your calendar, and stick to it.
- Blogging consistently is strangely gratifying. Around week six, I had a startling revelation: writing my weekly post was surprisingly cathartic. Business blog posts normally don’t share intimate, personal revelations like a diary (or at least mine don’t) but, still, committing your opinions and thoughts to electrons that can be read by anyone, anywhere makes them more real and concrete.
There’s also something gratifying about taking the risk of publicly sharing your opinions. You’re putting yourself out there. And that’s the first step to being seen as an expert by others and, even more importantly, by yourself.
What are your stumbling blocks to blogging regularly? Has blogging taught you anything about yourself that surprised you?
About the Author
Kim Gusta is a copywriter and content marketer who creates powerful content for high-tech companies. Visit her blog at www.kimgusta.com/blog .