For small businesses and solopreneurs, blogging couldn’t be more vital in terms of helping you to stand out as an expert in your niche, and consequently, attract the right traffic to your website. We call this ‘the top of your marketing funnel’ (gosh I think I made myself yawn then – no more jargon, I promise), which simply means it’s one really effective way to attract your prospects before converting them into leads and customers.
Despite this, solopreneurs and small businesses avoid blogging because of one universal problem . . . yes you guessed it – TIME. Their are many benefits to being a solopreneur or running a small business (my favourite being that you can make decisions and change direction quickly), but lack of time isn’t one of them.
You’re so busy carrying out every function of your business, that how on earth do you have time to create three, four or five insightful, original and engaging blog posts every week on top of everything else?
The fact is, even if you’re an experienced writer, blogging is time consuming. For example, this blog post has taken me nearly two hours to write, edit, image search and publish. But there are some tips I can offer you:
Yes, I know this is the enormous elephant in the room. But I promise you, deciding what you’re going to write about way in advance is a really good idea. It takes the pressure off big time. It stops you wasting hours deciding what to write about on the day it’s due and then turning out a blog that’s mediocre because it’s been rushed.
Your plan doesn’t have to be a big scary document. It can be as simple as writing a list of topics in Excel under month or week categories. You can simply add to the list as and when you want to. I often find that I come up with great ideas for other blog posts when I’m writing. So I’m always adding topics to my plan when they pop into my head. I’m a solopreneur with limited time too, so I find this a really effective way of working.
When planning, please remember that you have to write about where your expertise as a solopreneur or small business lie, but you must also write about what your customers really want to know about. Otherwise, how are you going to be picked up by search engines? How are people going to feel compelled enough to read your blog post? Why would people share your content? Otherwise, your just blogging for the sake of blogging. And that truly is a waste of your time.
2. Save time blogging by stalking learning from your competitors
Look at what your competitors are blogging about. Which blog posts are getting the most shares and comments? Shares are a good indicator as to how relevant your target market finds each post. You can use this as an excellent starting point for your content plan, as well as helping you with where to start when writing.
And when I say ‘starting point’, I mean, don’t copy it. You must offer something unique and of even greater value; whether it’s tone of voice, adding even more depth of information or a different opinion. Whatever you do, do not copy it. Firstly, this is blatant plagiarism and secondly, you could damage your search rankings by repeating content.
3. Save time blogging with guest posts
Another popular way that solopreneurs and small businesses save time blogging, is to get others to write guest blog posts for them. Do you know someone who could cover a topic that you know your target market would find relevant and value-adding? This is a mutually beneficial arrangement as it means you have one less blog post to write, they get exposure to your audience and hopefully links back to their website (all good for SEO).
If all else fails, why not get an experienced blogger to help you? There’s no doubt that you are the best person to blog when it comes to promoting you as a business. However, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, time isn’t on your side. Or perhaps writing simply isn’t your forte? In which case, the idea of blogging numerous times a week will fill you with dread.
If you do decide to hire someone, make sure that you’re having an in-depth discussion with your blogger before they start writing, as it’s essential that your thoughts and opinions are conveyed correctly and in the correct tone. I would recommend your blogger carrying out a telephone interview with you on the topics before you begin. And always ask to see samples of their work in advance.