Did you start a blog six months ago, write three posts, and then quit? How about a year ago? Or three years ago? It happens.
Personally, I think most people fail because they are too ambitious when they start. They promise themselves they’ll post something weekly, or several times a week, or even daily. For most small businesses, a schedule like that is unrealistic, undoable, and unnecessary.
Besides you can become annoying to your readership by posting too often. For example, I may be interested in subscribing to a blog about decorating a child’s room.
That doesn’t mean I want to hear about the topic daily! So come up with a realistic schedule.
I recommend starting out monthly. That may sound light, but if you haven’t posted in three years and suddenly you bang out 12 in a year, then you’ve improved big time. Once you get monthly down, then you can increase to bimonthly and maybe even weekly.
To get ideas, pay attention to what your customers ask you over and over. Jot those questions down in a “Blog Ideas” notebook. It doesn’t matter how elementary or basic these questions sound to your experienced ear. If people are asking, they will want to know in a blog.
Also think about the things customers “aren’t asking” but should know. These are the items you find yourself educating customers about repeatedly. Jot those items down as well.
Soon you’ll have a dozen or so ideas. Now you’re ready to write. Here’s my system.
I like to write five minutes a day over a five-day workweek. I set aside five minutes for five days to write a single blog post. Sometimes I work longer than five minutes, sometimes I skip a day, but the idea is that no matter how busy I get, I have it on my calendar and usually am able to carve out at least five minutes daily to work on my blog post.
DAY 1: Go to your blog idea notebook to select a topic. Scan over the list and select the one that seems to “pop out.” Then copy and paste your topic into a document. Jot down any notes you may have. That’s it. Quit for the day.
DAY 2: Go back to your article and continue writing for at least five minutes. Do not censor yourself or edit what you’ve written. Just get as much information about the topic out.
Hopefully, you’ll get all the essential information down in this session.
DAY 3: Finish up your thoughts and review what you’ve written thus far and rearrange it for logic and flow. Go ahead and edit it.
DAY 4: Determine what the keywords for the piece should be. Pick what seems to come naturally. For this post, I selected the phrase “write a blog.” Then try to use that phrase in your title and a couple of times in the body of your article. If you know how to write title and description tags, then write those today, too.
DAY 5: Run spelling and grammar check. Read out loud to find flow problems. There will be some. Make last minute changes as needed. Now, you’re ready to publish!
Why do I choose five minutes? Because I’m kind of ADHD, I get restless and, because no one is directly paying me to write the darn thing, my motivation is low. So committing to just five minutes, for five days works well.
Obviously, this technique only works if you keep your posts short, around 500 words. This makes it easier both on you and your reader.